Peninsula-Gig Harbor girls basketball game closed to fans
Peninsula School District will bar spectators from a girls basketball game between Gig Harbor and Peninsula high schools on Friday, Feb. 10.
The district announced the restriction in a news release sent the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 9.
Alleged racist comment
The restriction is related to alleged racist comments by a Gig Harbor player toward a Peninsula player during a game between the rival schools on Jan. 11. The district hired an outside investigator to probe those allegations.
According to the district’s statement:
“Under the advice of the district’s legal representatives, and in the interest of both teams, the decision was made to close Friday’s game between PHS and GHHS from spectators. Only district administrators, coaches and players will be in attendance.”
Parents and other family members of players will not be allowed to watch the game in person.
The two teams have already played each other again since the Jan. 11 game. Peninsula clinched the South Sound Conference championship with a 63-23 win on Friday, Feb. 3.
A district spokesperson declined to specifically explain why fans were admitted to the Feb. 3 game but will not be to the Feb. 10 game.
“The decision to close campus during the game was made in consultation with the district’s legal counsel and involves a number of privacy interests which cannot be shared,” PSD spokeswoman Danielle Chastaine wrote in response to emailed questions.
The Feb. 10 game is the first district playoff game for both teams. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Peninsula High.
The district took no disciplinary action in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 11 incident. The district previously said that any disciplinary action would wait until the investigation is complete.
“As a community, we need to allow the investigation process to continue, and withhold any judgment until the investigation is complete,” Peninsula School District Superintendent Krestin Bahr said in a letter to GHHS and PHS families on Thursday, Feb. 9.
The game will be broadcast, free and muted, on the NFHS Network for families and supporters to view. Additionally, radio station KGHP will broadcast the game online and on air at 89.9, 89.3, and 105.7 FM.
Anyone who purchased a ticket for Friday’s game via GoFan will receive a refund through the West Central District 3 GoFan account.
“As we prepare for the upcoming game, I want families, supporters and myself to be a role model of good sportsmanship among our student athletes,” Bahr said in the news release. “My ask is that each of us work together to create a culture of healthy competition. In short, let’s focus on playing ball on the court.”