Blogs > New Haven 200 at 200

The New Haven Register sports department is celebrating our 200th birthday by sharing 200 of the most interesting stories relating to sports in Greater New Haven over the past 200 years. Check back daily for historical updates.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wilbur Cross' 1958 New England championship

No one is quite sure how it began. But within seconds a scrap between players from Wilbur Cross and Somerville (Mass.) in the finals of the 1958 New England boys’ basketball championships had turned the fabled parquet floor of Boston Garden into a wild scene that more resembled the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Wilbur Cross was ahead by 11 points with under a minute left, about to wrap up its first New England title in 34 years. A sellout crowd of 13,909 was on hand at the Garden, although a large contingent from Somerville in the upper balcony had been unruly most of the game.

The Governors were running out the clock when fists began flying under one of the baskets. Several players from both sides were soon fighting, and it wasn’t long before an estimated 75 spectators joined the fray. It took Boston police and several ushers upward of 10 minutes to break up the melee.

Read Chip Malafronte's complete story.

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