WIAA, St. Thomas More court battles continue over basketball fight

High school football is back Friday, but one school is still fighting a legal battle over basketball.

St. Thomas More High School could face penalties for suing to keep its state tournament hopes alive in March.

"What the officials did is end the game," said Keith Bruett, an attorney for St. Thomas More. "We've all seen the video. It was a mess."

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"The courts are not the venue for contesting bad calls. If they were, there would be no point to having referees," said Brent Jacobson, an attorney for the WIAA.

"That’s not what we’re doing," Bruett said.

St. Thomas More High School Cavaliers varsity boys basketball practice

A bench-clearing fight prompted referees to end a playoff gamed early in March. It's what the state's governing body for high school sports did next that prompted a lawsuit.

"We’re not asking was this a three-pointer or was the ball out of bounds," said Bruett.

Members of St. Thomas More High School Cavaliers varsity boys basketball team involved in fight

The WIAA informed St. Thomas More that its entire team was suspended – effectively ending their season.

"The referees didn’t suspend anyone. This is a call that was made by the WIAA," Bruett said.

The school filed suit, convincing Judge Hannah Dugan to grant a temporary restraining order – or TRO – which allowed them to keep playing. In fact, the Cavaliers won three more games before losing in the state semifinals.

St. Thomas More High School Cavaliers varsity boys basketball practice

"The tournament is over. We are out of the tournament," said Bruett.

St. Thomas More wants its own lawsuit to go away.

"The case is done. The case is moot at this point," Bruett said.

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The WIAA said rules are rules, and if the court allows the school to drop the case now, St. Thomas More will pay the price.

"We are going to impose penalties. We have the right to do so," said Jacobson.

The WIAA has not said what penalties it will impose against St. Thomas More. Just that it will impose penalties against the school if the judge grants its motion to dismiss the case as moot. Judge Dugan said she will issue a written decision sometime soon.