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Meeting goes well, but no location determined for Battle of Vincennes

Morgan Park principal Carolyn Epps met with the parents of Morgan Park’s basketball players at the school on Saturday. The meeting lasted for more than 90 minutes, but there is still no word on the future of the Morgan Park vs. Simeon game.

“We had a wonderful meeting with Dr. Epps,” Tiffany Burrell, a Morgan Park parent, said. “The other parents and I are all in agreement with Dr. Epps, we are currently working on a resolution. We are all on the same page, which is a wonderful thing. All of our concerns were addressed.”

Burrell said she expects there to be another meeting with Epps next week.

The clock is ticking. Morgan Park controls where the game is played, but Simeon has to agree to a date. Simeon coach Robert Smith has approved Jan. 28, so that is the date that Epps and the parents are working towards right now. The game has to be played before the Public League playoffs start in February.

The parents reached an agreement Friday with Chicago Public Schools to postpone the game, which features top-ranked Morgan Park against No. 3 Simeon, until further notice.

The parents want the game to be held at Morgan Park. Epps and CPS want the game played at Brooks, which holds 600 more people than the Mustangs’ small gym. CPS had scheduled the game for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Brooks.

Both schools are in the Public League’s Red-South conference, so they play twice in the regular season. Simeon always hosts its home game. Morgan Park’s is usually held at a neutral site since the school’s gym only holds 270 spectators. Morgan Park, ranked No. 16 in the country by USA Today, won the first game this season

The parents banded together this week with a number of goals. They want Morgan Park to play all of its home games in the current Morgan Park gym. They also want CPS to find funds to build Morgan Park a bigger gym.

“We want to stand up for our children and do what is right for the school,” Burrell said. “Go visit Morgan Park for yourself, tour the school. They need more than just a gymnasium. This is just the start of it. We need people to listen to us, let’s do something about this.”

Morgan Park’s players and parents have presented a unified front all week.

“No one else is sticking up for one another in the city and now our parents are,” Morgan Park guard Charlie Moore said. “I’m proud of them for it and I’m sticking with my parents 100 percent.”