Administrators investigating brawl after Gulf-Ridgewood game

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Mon. January 14, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

Pasco County school officials are reviewing a brawl that began in the stands and ended with police being called to Gulf after Friday’s boys basketball game against Ridgewood.

“It was not good,” Gulf principal Kimberly Davis said Monday afternoon. “Any type of altercation like that involving our fans is not a good situation. It’s a potentially dangerous situation, from the smallest to the largest.”

District officials are still unsure of what sparked the incident after the Rams’ 56-55 victory. Davis said the altercation began in the stands, and it’s unclear how many people were involved.

No one was injured, Davis said, but the scene escalated to the point where the New Port Richey Police Department was called to disperse the crowd.

“It was handled quickly,” Davis said. “We took care of the situation.”

Davis said officials from both schools spent Monday reviewing game film and interviewing those at the game to find out what happened. The Pasco Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the incident Monday morning through a school resource officer assigned to Gulf.

“At this point no arrests have been made, but the SRO continues to work closely with the school district and interview witnesses,” sheriff’s spokesman Doug Tobin said in an email. “We have an open investigation and have not determined what involvement any basketball players may (have) had in the incident.”

Punishments for any student fans who were involved in the fight have already been doled out, Davis said. The schools have been in touch with the Florida High School Athletic Association regarding any possible future suspensions or sanctions. Davis said she expects to submit more details to the FHSAA on Tuesday.

“The two administrations are working together to look at film and get to the bottom of what happened so it can be dealt with appropriately,” district athletic director Phil Bell said.

Gulf’s one-point loss was its second Class 5A, District 8 heartbreaker against the rival Rams this season. The Buccaneers missed a shot at the buzzer on Dec. 4, and Ridgewood escaped with a 53-51 victory. Gulf is 6-10 heading into Tuesday's game against Anclote. The Rams are 11-7.

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