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Originally published Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 12:00 AM


Incident at basketball game under scrutiny

Administrators are still sorting out how to handle an incident Saturday between a referee, a Bothell player and the player's father.

Seattle Times staff reporter; Seattle Times staff reporter

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An altercation at a boys basketball game that involved a referee, a Bothell boys basketball player and the player's father has left athletic administrators untangling the complexities and sorting through varying accounts of the skirmish at Lake Washington High School on Saturday.

In the end, the player's father — who uses a walker — had fallen to the ground after contact with the referee, the referee had been pushed to the ground by the player as he rushed to his dad's side, and the officiating team decided to call the game with more than seven minutes remaining.

"Just an ugly situation," Bothell coach Ron Bollinger said.

What becomes of it remained up in the air Monday as administrators faced an array of questions: What penalty should the player face? Or the referee, for that matter? Do they finish the game or name Lake Washington, which led Bothell 49-39, the winner? What should have been done?

And just what happened?

Without helpful video as of Monday afternoon, all that was left to answer that were the different versions from those in attendance on Saturday.

Bollinger gave his account Monday. He said a ball caromed out of play and Rob Storm, the father of Bothell senior forward Robby Storm, sent it back onto the court. The ball hit the referee, whom Bollinger said confronted Rob Storm, who uses a walker because he is recovering from surgery for prostate cancer.

"The official, I thought, instigated it," Bollinger said. "The proper thing to do is go to the gym manager and say I want that guy out of here."

Contact between the referee and Rob Storm caused Storm to fall to the floor near the Bothell bench, Bollinger said, and Robby Storm ran to his father's side, pushing the referee to the floor. The officiating team of Paul Reed, Brandon Lorain and Fred Graf then met with the coaches and decided to call the game.

Although one media report named Lorain as the official involved in the altercation, Washington Officials Association commissioner Todd Stordahl said Lorain was on the other side of the court. Stordahl didn't name which official was involved. He said the association is investigating whether there was any referee misconduct. The WOA instructs its referees not to speak with reporters.

Bothell suspended Robby Storm for one game, though he could face further punishment from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, which is informed of any contact made between a player and referee. Bollinger could also be in trouble for breaking a WIAA rule forbidding criticism of officials in the media.

The KingCo 4A Conference will decide whether to finish the game, likely in a meeting this week. Both coaches said Monday they would like to see it completed, though likely not at Bothell on Friday, when the teams meet again. Lake Washington coach Terry Johnson said the game should be completed at his school and that fallout from the incident — such as what technicals will be assessed — needs to be clarified before play is resumed.


"My personal feeling is that this incident had nothing to do with the players on the floor," Johnson said. "The kids from both schools don't deserve to have the game ended this way."


• Sammamish has hired offensive coordinator Brian Tucci football coach. Tucci has also been an assistant at Juanita and Woodinville.

David Gilbertson, a second-team All-KingCo 4A quarterback from Redmond, will walk on to play football at Washington State, he announced.

Tom Wyrwich: 206-515-5653 or

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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