SAMOHI — A fight broke out between Santa Monica High School basketball fans and supporters of the opposing team after a tense game that ended in a last-second victory for Samohi at the home game Friday night.

Approximately 30 people were involved, and Samohi students, parents and employees were punched, pushed or kicked by parents and students from Morningside High School, according to Samohi Principal Laurel Fretz.

The conflict lasted two to three minutes before eight police cars arrived on campus. Another four also responded to the call, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

Tensions began before the game started, said Jordan Mathews, a junior team leader, and continued into the game.

Both Morningside coaches were ejected from the game during the last minute of play for double technical fouls, and Samohi scored the game-winning point in the last four seconds.

After the game ended, Morningside fans were directed up one pathway to board their buses and Samohi fans were pointed to a different direction to get to their cars or to walk home.

“Morningside fans, both students and adults, disregarded the directives of our administrators and security officers and approached Samohi fans,” Fretz wrote in a message to the school community.

The crowd dispersed before police arrived on the scene.

“We are working with SMPD, our superintendent, (California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section) and the principal of Morningside High School and Inglewood High School to ensure nothing like this ever happens again,” Fretz said.

CIF-SS will not get involved with the incident because it happened outside the game, said Thom Simmons, spokesperson for the organization.

Principal Reginald Sirls of Morningside declined to comment for this article.

Samohi’s basketball team will have a rematch on the road at Morningside on Feb. 7.

The team expects the game to be intense.

“It’s going to be war at their house,” Mathews said.

It’s been a difficult two months for Santa Monica High School.

The fight comes at the end of a week of peace after a series of gang-related conflicts sprung up on and off campus resulting in at least three suspensions.

In December, a student was shot several times in the chest just blocks from the school in what police suspect is also gang-related violence.

The outbreaks led police, Samohi and district officials to hold a special meeting with the Parent Teacher Association to explain what was being done to keep kids safe, including increased police presence on campus and extra adults out at break times.

ashley@www.smdp.com

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