East County Sports

Leaf suspended for Knights’ state opener




EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – Nine-time section champion coach BRAD LEAF has been suspended for one game by the CIF San Diego Section following his tirade Tuesday night during the chaotic conclusion of the Foothills Christian Knights’ 72-69 Open Division semifinal loss at St. Augustine.

Leaf was originally suspended for three games, but after AD Tim Griggs spoke with CIF officials, the suspension reduced to 1 game.

Three-game suspensions are said to be issued in cases of profanity, with six-game banishments for contact with officials.

After day-long meetings between FCHS representatives and the CIF, it was determined that Leaf didn’t use profanity, and he never made contact with an official. So the original three-game suspension was reduced to one.

The Knights’ KALE BALDADO is seen signaling for a time out after JORDAN VAN OMMERING grabbed the rebound of a missed free throw with the scored tied 69-69 with 1.5 seconds left.

Foothills Christian was given a time out with 1.5 seconds left in the game, but the Knights were out of time outs, an penalty that results in a technical foul.

Leaf drew a pair of technical fouls arguing that the Knights didn’t call a time out. He was hastily escorted from the gym.

All-American guard JAYLEN HANDS tried to rally his team to leave the court in solidarity with their coach, but ended up walking off alone and on his own volition, not as part of an ejection.

Hands has unfairly drawn some criticism for his action.

Also being unfairly vilified on Wednesday has been St. Augustine star TAESHON CHERRY.

Cherry has been the subject of some cyber vitriol after he was allowed to play in the game on Tuesday despite receiving a pair of technicals in the quarterfinals.

His penalty was reviewed by the CIF and also reduced to just one ‘T’, allowing him to participate against the Knights.

Foothills Christian opens the CIF State playoffs on Wednesday.

Experienced assistant coach THOMAS LOWERY will guide the Knights in the state playoff opener.

Griggs said Leaf will not face any further discipline from school.


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