*UPDATED: Feb. 18, 12:30 P.M.*
PORTSMOUTH — An incident at Friday night’s Portsmouth-Minford boys basketball game at Portsmouth High School resulted in the game being declared a no-contest shortly after halftime.
As shown on the Portsmouth City Schools’ live stream of the game, with 7:45 remaining in the third quarter as Minford led 33-32, patrons on the home and visitor sides were seen running toward the exits.
According to the Portsmouth Police Department, no weapons were found once the school and gymnasium were cleared of patrons.
On Saturday morning, the Portsmouth Daily Times spoke with Portsmouth City Schools Superintendent Scott Dutey to discuss the school district’s perspective of the incident.
“There was a social media at some point during the week that came from a school that wasn’t Portsmouth or Minford,” Dutey said. “There was discussion at the beginning of the second half or at halftime, something was said in the bleachers near the student section and it kind of took a life of its own at that point. One of the students talked about the post and said someone was going to bring a gun to the game, none of that happened. As folks started talking, they got scared and folks started evacuating the bleachers and took off down the sideline. While the game was going on, the officials stopped the game. I credit the officials and our administrators, the police department and our school resource officer Mike Queen, for getting a handle on the situation quickly. They got everyone out of the gym and decided to postpone and eventually cancel the game. The whole thing is just unfortunate because it didn’t involve anyone from Portsmouth or Minford. It was a great setting, great crowd, great game going on and to see all of that happen, it took away from what should have been a really great evening.
The Portsmouth Daily Times received the following release from the PPD:
“This evening at Portsmouth High School at a basketball game between Portsmouth High School and Minford High School, there was an incident where someone allegedly had a weapon. Someone overheard the comment and ran from the gym with others following.
After the school was cleared, no weapon was found.
Officers spoke with all involved and are continuing to sort out the incident. The investigation is on going and there is a person of interest.
No students from Portsmouth or Minford were involved.
No one was hurt in the incident.”
The Portsmouth Police Department, via their Facebook page, asked for anyone with firsthand knowledge of what happened at Friday’s game to contact PPD at (740)-353-4101 or email School Resource Officer Mike Queen at [email protected].
The Minford Local School District issued the following statement via text to parents and students around 9:30 p.m. on Friday night.
“Earlier this evening an incident occurred during our boys basketball game at Portsmouth. The game was ended after the incident, and all student athletes and spectators were safely evacuated from the gym at Portsmouth. According to our last law enforcement update, a threat of violence occurred between two groups of students that resulted in the sighting of a gun. No gun was fired at any point. As we are trained, all athletes and spectators responded appropriately to the situation. Most importantly, all student-athletes and those in attendance are safe.”