Bosse-Harrison high school basketball game ends early because of fight among fans

A fight among fans ended a high school basketball game in Evansville on Friday night.

The fracas occurred in the fourth quarter of a Bosse-Harrison game at Harrison High School’s gym. No players from either team were involved.

Officials said the fight was among three fans under the age of 16. EVSC Athletics Director Andy Owen said at least two middle schoolers were involved. He was unsure what grade the third person is in.

Owen said there was no indication that any weapons were present.

A supervisor at the city-county police dispatch center said “multiple” officers from the Evansville Police Department were sent to Harrison’s gym at 8:37 p.m.

It was not immediately known what started the fight, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. The Courier & Press left a message with a police department spokesperson seeking more information.

Bosse was leading 69-65 with 2:56 to play. A near capacity gym was asked to clear the gym and the teams went to their locker rooms.

Due to safety concerns, Owen said the game would not be restarted and had been declared, as of Friday night, a draw. It could also be ruled a no-contest and not count in the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference standings or ruled complete.

Neither coach knew exactly what happened away from the court.

Do not put this on Bosse high school basketball or Harrison high school basketball. What an amazing game and atmosphere. Student sections were great! Players were great! Coaches were great! Good luck to Harrison the rest of the year! #godawg!

— Shane Burkhart (@CoachBurk22) February 19, 2022

“All I know is it was a great basketball game between two talented teams,” said Bosse Coach Shane Burkhart. “Unfortunately, idiots take over. It’s not a fair scenario for (Harrison) or us the way the game ended. We have people who have nothing to do with anything (who) want to make it about them (away from the court).

“I am very proud of my kids and proud of the Harrison kids. They played their butts off and deserved to be recognized for that.”

Harrison Coach Nathan Fleenor echoed those statements. He called it “the best basketball game of the year.”

There were multiple lead changes in the second half with Harrison senior Jahni Summers and Bosse senior Matthew Wagner, notably, having big games.

Fleenor said his first thought following the stoppage was player safety. Eventually, the gym was cleared and the players left with no further incident.

“It was a great basketball game with big play after big play,” said Fleenor. “I think it was going to have a great finish too. Bosse-Harrison games always do. It’s a shame that it was ruined. I’m proud of our kids, their kids, our coaches and their coaches.”

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