Fights break out at South-North basketball game


Kristian Herrera Amigon

“Game tensions were high and school rivalry went too far.” – Official Statement from the South High Cheer Team, in response to the fights that broke out after the South-North game.

Andrew Godes, Staff Writer

When basketball becomes a combat sport, the safety of fans and players can be compromised. After North High School won the January 9th basketball game with a 73-71 buzzer beater shot, disputes erupted between fans in the stands and on the court. Tensions spilled out into the parking lot where multiple fights began between students from the two schools. It’s unknown exactly what started the arguments, but it seemed to be personal matters which were only amplified by the intense evening.

The game score was neck and neck the entire time, with both sets of stands packed with extremely animated fans. As the game progressed some became more unfiltered and disorderly, until a tipping point was reached where real disputes broke out. Thankfully for those uninvolved, almost all of these individuals left the gymnasium and filed into the parking lot, where the fighting continued. However as head coach Joseph Hyser noted, “Fans can be out of line across all sports… I didn’t hear anything about it (the fights) being basketball related, whenever you get a large group of students together things happen”. 

Other attendees, players, and cheerleaders were made to stay inside the gym until the situation was handled for 5-10 minutes. Thankfully due to proper intervention by deans Ray McCullogh and Kroan Bonner, and shortly thereafter by the Minneapolis Police, the fights were rather brief. Police were already nearby due to a shooting at the Lake Street train station, so the response was faster than usually expected. No arrests were made and the approximately 20 students involved were simply told to go home. 

The problem of violence during school events is nothing new. Coach Hyser said, “I’ve seen fights happen at games for 20 even 30 years, but what’s more prevalent today is guns being introduced. Luckily that hasn’t happened to us… but it does scare people and I know people who will not come to games anymore.”  Hopefully incidents like this diminish and people feel more comfortable coming back to watch in the future because, as Hyser says, “The players spirit gets let down,” if they don’t have an audience to play for.