Three basketball players for Hart and Valencia to miss game time after incident last week

Three players will sit out for half a game after an incident that occurred after Valencia’s 69-57 win over Hart in a boys basketball game at Hart High School on Friday.

The original punishment for the three players was a full-game suspension, but the punishment was reduced after administrators met Monday evening.

“It’s a cooling-out period,” Valencia coach Bill Bedgood said. “We’re not using the word ‘suspension.’”

Video from the NFHS Network online stream of the game shows multiple Valencia players approaching the bleachers after the game and waving goodbye to the Hart student section and fans in the stands.

Chaotic stuff after the Hart-Valencia boys basketball game.

Valencia appears to come over to the Hart student section to wave goodbye, and things unravel.

— Haley Sawyer (@haleymsawyer) January 13, 2024

“All the Hart kids and coaches were lining up to shake hands and their players ran across the court and were taunting our parents, our cheerleaders, our student section,” Hart coach Tom Kelly said.

“So I made the decision that we’re not going to wait for them to come back over to shake hands, so I just told our guys go to the locker room.”

As Hart was leaving the court, Valencia player Bryce Bedgood, the son of Bill Bedgood, grabbed a basketball and dunked in Hart’s hoop. Hart player Riley Scott shoved Bryce Bedgood as he was landing.

Bryce Bedgood and Scott as well as Dabe Princewill of Valencia will miss the first half of their next games as a result of the administrations’ decision.

“Tom pulled his kids off and my kids were probably offended by that, I know I was offended by that,” Bill Bedgood said.

“And then all of a sudden, I look over my right shoulder and here’s Bryce taking off towards the basket to dunk the ball. I couldn’t believe that he was doing that. I just thought that was a bad decision.”

Bill Bedgood said that he and his players faced negativity and anger from the Hart crowd as they departed. As Bedgood addressed him team outside the gym, he observed Hart parents approaching his players and attempting to touch them, yell at them and critique them.

The coach also mentioned that some of Hart’s students were at the parking lot gate as he and his team walked to their cars.

“I really thought there was going to be some violence because of the way the kids were approaching us,” Bill Bedgood said. “I’m trying to get my players into their cars and they were being verbally assaulted the whole time. Called names, racial names, people’s moms were being insulted. It was ugly.”

Hart and Valencia previously played each other on Nov. 28 at Valencia, a game that Hart won 77-74. Bill Bedgood said that game was emotional as well and the Hart crowd had rushed the court and that the Vikings’ logo at center court was stomped on.

Many Foothill League boys basketball games draw large crowds that fill the gym and each school has a dedicated student section. The games have administrators in attendance and a police presence to help prevent major disruptions before, during or after the game. Additionally, three referees officiate Foothill League games.

“The school sites will continue to investigate the matter and work collaboratively to create a better environment for events in the future,” Valencia principal Pete Getz said in an email to the L.A. Daily News.

Valencia’s next game is at Saugus on Tuesday night and it will host Castaic on Friday. Hart will travel to Golden Valley on Friday.

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