Fight leads to cancellation of FHS-SHS basketball game

Published 8:34 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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A fight broke out in the stands of the Southampton High School gymnasium on Friday evening, Jan. 12, that led to the cancellation of the varsity boys basketball game between the Indians and Franklin High School and has resulted in pending charges for multiple subjects from the crowd.

A Tuesday, Jan. 23, Southampton County Sheriff’s Office news release stated that shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, SCSO deputies assigned to work a basketball game at SHS saw a fight break out in the stands. The release noted that there were approximately 10 persons or fewer involved in the incident, and deputies responded to the area of the fight and were able to stop the active fighting quickly.

“It is unknown why the fight started or who started it,” SCSO officials stated in the release. “Both adults and juveniles were involved. There are no reports that players from either team were involved.”

Southampton County Sheriff Josh A. Wyche Sr. was at the game, and he and school officials made the decision to cancel the event and have everyone leave, the release noted. 

“Charges are pending on multiple subjects at this time, and deputies are still working with school officials and others to try to identify any persons involved that are still not known,” SCSO officials stated. 

They also added, “We want to thank the coaches and faculty from both schools in attendance at the game who assisted with separating individuals.”

The sheriff’s office noted that there were six deputies assigned to work the game, and three additional deputies responded to assist with the crowd and traffic leaving after the game was canceled and to make sure that there were no incidents in the parking lot. An off-duty deputy was also at the game and assisted with the incident.

There were rumors that a shooting had later taken place elsewhere, stemming from the fight that erupted at the game, but SCSO Maj. Camden Cobb said, “I am not aware of a shooting incident related to the fight at the game.”

The Tidewater News reached out to SHS athletic administration for information on the fight, game cancellation, refunding of tickets and whether or not the game will be made up, but no response had been received as of press time.