Public barred from York High basketball game, start time changed

The next York High basketball game will be closed to the public and played at an earlier time, according to  York City School District.

The District 3 Class 5-A boy's basketball third-place  game between York High and Northern York will be played at William Penn Senior High School at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, and and it will not be open to the public.

The game was initially scheduled for 7 p.m.

District spokeswoman Erin James said in an email that the change in the starting time came at the direction of Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association officials.

Decision: The move comes days after an altercation at a game that led to four adults being charged.

The district said in a news release that four adults were charged following a fight at York High's semifinal game against Muhlenberg High School on Monday, Feb. 25, at William Penn.

In a news release Wednesday, PIAA District 3 said altercations between adults at Monday's game led to the decision to bar the public from Thursday's game.

The game will be limited to parents of the players, security personnel and officials from the schools and the PIAA.

PIAA said York High student-athletes were not involved, meaning the students retained the right to the home game.

York City School District and PIAA officials agreed that, in the interest of safety, the attendance would be limited, the release states.

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Charges: The district's police department charged the four adults involved, and they will be filing a charge of disorderly conduct against a Muhlenberg student as well, according to the release.

Charges against one York High student were referred to the York City Police Department, the district said.

Lt. William Wentz, who supervises the detective bureau, said the department filed a charge against someone who assaulted a staff member.

He did not have additional information Wednesday afternoon.

None of the six mentioned in the release were named. They are all banned from attending future district sporting events. Two other Muhlenberg students are banned as well.

The district said the incident was brought under control quickly by security staff. 

York High vs Muhlenberg in the District 3 Class 5-A boy's basketball semifinal game, Monday, February 25, 2019. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

York High lost, 66-63.

Previous changes: This is the second time the school district has limited access to  basketball games in about a month.

On Jan. 26, the district postponed varsity and junior varsity boys’ basketball games against Chester and increased security for the girls’ games because of security concerns. The boys' games were never made up.

The girls’ junior varsity and varsity teams played Lancaster Mennonite, and attendance was limited to parents or guardians of the players and school staff.

The issue came from social media tension that escalated to a fight after a boys' basketball game in Harrisburg between York High and Harrisburg High on Jan. 23.

Harrisburg Police had to use pepper spray on a large group after two people began fighting after the game that day. 

At the same time, about 100 students were causing a disturbance at a nearby McDonald's, officials said. Police said pepper spray was used there as well, and the crowd dispersed.

Harrisburg School District requested officers be at the game because of social media activity that indicated there might be a problem there, according to the release.

The game's start time was moved from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. as well to avoid any problems, authorities said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.