A postgame fight marred the first game in Curie’s newly renovated gym on Tuesday.
Chicago Public Schools released a statement on the incident Wednesday afternoon:
“Safety and sportsmanship is a key priority at Chicago Public Schools.The District is aware of an altercation during last night’s Curie vs. Phillips High School Boys Basketball Game. District departments, including the Office of Sports Administration (OSA), are working closely with each school’s administration today to further investigate the incident, support the school community, and reinforce sportsmanship.”
A dispute about the management of the game clock in the final few seconds of the Condors’ 67-64 win against Phillips led to the altercation according to Curie assistant coach Larry Wallace.
“The game ended and some of the spectators and people in the stands on the Phillips side were upset about something happening at the table and started harassing our scorekeeper,” Wallace said. “One of them hit her or put their hands on her and it went from there.”
The scorekeeper is a sophomore at Curie. It was her first game running the clock and keeping the scorebook. Chicago Public Schools doesn’t pay for the position.
“I didn’t see how it started when I looked up I saw the Phillips players in the stands fighting with what I think were adults from Curie,” one fan in attendance said.
Wallace believes having adults running the clock and keeping score would help to keep situations calm.
“If you go to the suburbs or Catholic League you always see adults working the book and scoreboard,” Wallace said. “It’s always kids in the CPS. You can’t have kids doing that. They have to find a stipend. If they can do it everywhere else, why can’t they do it here in the city?”
Curie led by five points with 15 seconds left. Phillips made two free throws and then Curie missed a shot. Phillips corralled the rebound and the final buzzer went off.
“They said she started the clock too soon,” Wallace said. “[Phillips] was really agitated when the game ended. There are a bunch of videos out there of what happened after. None of my players are in the video. The girl’s father had to go out there and save his daughter.”
Phillips hasn’t responded to a request for comment.