CHICAGO (CBS) — It will be a packed house Thursday afternoon for the “Battle of Vincennes” at Morgan Park High School as the Mustangs take on the Simeon Wolverines, after a two-week delay over where the game would be played.
Morgan Park parents threatened to have their boys boycott the game when it was originally scheduled on Jan. 16, when they were told it wouldn’t be played in the Morgan Park gym, even though it was officially a home game for the Mustangs.
The Chicago Public Schools had said the Morgan Park gym was too small for the crowd of up to 1,000 people expected to attend and moved the game to Little Village High School. When parents complained that venue was too far away, it was moved to Gwendolyn Brooks High School, but parents wanted it at Morgan Park and threatened to forfeit the game.
The so-called “Battle of Vincennes” is often the biggest CPS high school basketball game of the season in recent years. The two archrivals, located 4.5 miles apart on Vincennes Avenue, are often among the top-ranked in the state. Morgan Park has won two 3A state titles in the past three years. Simeon won four 4A state championships in a row from 2009-10 through 2012-13 and has won six since 2005.
After Morgan Park’s threatened boycott, the Jan. 26 game between the two teams – each currently ranked No. 1 in their respective class – was postponed so parents could meet with the principal, and CPS agreed to have the game played Thursday afternoon at the school gym.
“The kids are so excited that they’re actually going to be able to play this huge game in their home, on their home court. They’re absolutely excited about it,” said parent Tiffany Burrell, whose son is a junior on the team.