ROSELAND — Simeon and Whitney Young's boys basketball teams calmly shook hands before Saturday's highly anticipated matchup at Chicago State University.
Players from both teams wore warmup T-shirts stating "Shoot Jumpers Not Guns" — a direct result of the last time Simeon played at C.S.U. Jan. 16 against Morgan Park.
A scuffle between Simeon and Morgan Park players broke out in the postgame handshake line at that game. And afterward, in Chicago State's parking lot, 17-year-old Morgan Park student Tyrone Lawson was fatally shot.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, who stayed for most of Saturday night's first half, said the fatal shooting had nothing to do with the game or the scuffle during the postgame handshake.
"It's a shame those two events haven't been separated," McCarthy said.
The only headlines from Simeon's 44-41 victory over Whitney Young came from on-the-court performances. Whitney Young, the top-ranked team in the state, had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds, only to come up short against second-ranked Simeon.
"We made a statement tonight," said Simeon senior guard Kendrick Nunn, who had 10 points in the win.
C.S.U.'s Jones Convocation Center was about two-thirds full, but the crowd was subdued for most of the game. One of the loudest cheers was during the pregame handshakes.
"This is the safest place in Chicago tonight," Chicago State athletic director Dan Schumacher said.
In previous days, there were discussions about moving the game or possibly canceling it. Schumacher said not only was he pleased the tilt was played, but that it stayed at his school.
"I think most of the people said to cancel the game, but if you look at it, is that the real answer?" Schumacher said.
McCarthy and Levertis Robinson, the Chicago Public Schools head of basketball operations, would not reveal how many security and police officers were at Saturday's game.
McCarthy noted it was a similar number to the Jan. 16 game.
"We didn't anticipate having any trouble tonight," McCarthy said. "We had to make people feel good after the incident about a couple weeks ago."
Both teams are now 18-2.