Friday’s Class 3A sectional final game between North Lawndale and St. Joseph has been moved from Westinghouse to Whitney Young according to St. Joseph Athletic Director Bruce DeSanto. The game will still be at 7 p.m.
The move comes after a brawl between players and fans erupted at the conclusion of North Lawndale’s 70-62 win over Marshall at Westinghouse Wednesday night.
Illinois High School Association and Chicago Public Schools officials are still investigating the situation and it’s possible players and/or coaches from North Lawndale will be suspended.
Marshall coach Henry Cotton says that the CPS has reviewed the tape and cleared his team of any wrongdoing.
“They reviewed the tape and it put us in the clear,” said Cotton. “Everybody in the city saying it was us but they reviewed the tape and saw that North Lawndale threw the first punch. We didn’t start it. The first punch came from their kid, which was crazy. You already won the game, why would you jeopardize your next game.”
Police responded about 8:45 p.m. to the disturbance after the game at the school in the 3200 block of West Franklin, police News Affairs Officer Janel Sedevic said.
A scuffle in the handshake line after the game led to a protracted brawl on the court involving both teams and several fans, said Westinghouse coach Bill Curry.
No injuries were reported, police said. A female juvenile involved in the fight was arrested and later released to her parents, Sedevic said.
“There were no guns involved, just a lot of stressed out people after the game,” said Curry. “There was definitely a good police presence. It’s something that you don’t want to have happen but from what I can tell there wasn’t anyone that was hurt.”
IHSA spokesperson Matt Troha said the IHSA is aware of the incident and that it is possible suspensions could be leveled against some of the participants.
The CPS is coordinating with the IHSA on the investigation and released the following statement:
“Chicago Public Schools does not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct on or off the court, and we are currently investigating this matter.”
Marshall and North Lawndale and some fans brawled after a game in 2009 at Marshall. After the incident Chicago Public Schools changed all varsity start times to 4 p.m. and closed some games to spectators.