Share This Page

Woodland Hills player charged in altercation in playoff game

The Washington County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday that it filed juvenile charges against Woodland Hills senior Shakim Alonzo for his role in an altercation during a WPIAL Class AAAA playoff basketball game against Peters Township.

Alonzo, 17, punched Peters Township junior center Gabe Pritz in his left ear late in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game at California (Pa.) University, causing cartilage damage. Pritz needed 11 stitches.

"The process, because he's a juvenile, is done out of the public view," said Steven Fischer, chief of staff for District Attorney Gene Vittone. "Anything from this point forward, there's not going to be any ability to find out what steps are going to happen or the disposition of any case that goes forward."

Alonzo has claimed that he and his teammates were subjected to racial slurs and taunting throughout the game.

Alonzo, Woodland Hills athletic director George Novak and superintendent Walter Calinger did not return phone messages yesterday. Woodland Hills will hold a news conference with Alonzo, Novak and district officials at 11 a.m. today.

In a statement Thursday, Peters Township again denied that its players used slurs.

"While accusations have been made regarding the use of racial comments that could have led to the assault on the Peters Township player, accounts given by our coaches and players, as well as officials in the game, indicate that is not the case," the statement read.

Peters Township officials acknowledged that a student uttered racially insensitive language in the locker room after the game and since has apologized to teammates. The student has been disciplined by the school. The statement also said Peters Township and Woodland Hills will file incident reports with the WPIAL.

The Pritz family issued the following statement: "No words were exchanged between Gabe and Shakim the entire game. They competed cleanly and intensely through 3 12 quarters of play. In Shakim's own words in his apology to Gabriel, he stated, 'You were a cool dude on the court I had no problem with, therefore I had no reason to hit you.'"

With 3:38 remaining in the game, Alonzo, a Cincinnati football recruit, was given a double-technical foul and ejected for throwing a punch that missed a Peters Township player. Instead of leaving the court, Alonzo circled back toward the Peters Township bench and, after breaking free from Woodland Hills coach Mike Decker, ran toward the Peters Township side of the court. He then punched Pritz.

Peters Township's Trenton McPherson also was ejected after he threw a basketball at Alonzo during the altercation. He will have to serve a PIAA-mandated one-game suspension in the Indians' next game — a quarterfinal game against Central Catholic at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Canon-McMillan.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.