Racial taunts were allegedly hurled at a visiting varsity girls basketball team in Dutchess County last weekend.

It's playoff basketball time at high schools all across the Hudson Valley over the next couple of weeks and unfortunately, one Catholic Poughkeepsie High School had to play their last playoff game at home in front of no students due to students shouting racial taunts at one 17-year-old basketball player.

The alleged incident happened last weekend when the girl's varsity basketball team from Our Lady of Lourdes High School was playing a quarterfinal game against the Ossining High School girls basketball team. According to reports, while a Hispanic player on the Ossining team was shooting free throws, some students started shouting extremely offensive comments towards her. Those comments included the name of a certain Mexican food according to the Daily Voice.

Our Lady of Lourdes Response

Once school officials were made aware of the incident, Our Lady of Lourdes President Catherine Merryman issued a statement stating,

"Racism is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and contrary to the values of all Catholic schools, including Our Lady of Lourdes. We have and will continue to hold our entire school community, including our students, to the highest standards of behavior."

 

Our Lady of Lourdes Athletic Director Bill Kyle also announced that the school "will now be limiting spectators to four family members for players for each team, and no students will be permitted for their next scheduled game on Thursday, March 3 against Roy C. Ketcham in the Section 1 Class AA semifinal." The "no students allowed" didn't just apply for the home team, it was also in effect for the visiting team.

The spectator limit didn't sit well with the Roy C. Ketcham Indians and parents of students from the Wappingers Central school. Once parents were made aware of the limit, many asked, "why should our school be punished for something we had nothing to do with?" Before yesterday's game, Ketcham school officials tried to have the game moved to their home court due to the policy but to no avail.

Full disclosure, I have a child that plays on the Ketcham team, and being at the game last night, Lourdes did strictly enforce the no-student policy, and unfortunately, students from Ketcham didn't get to see the lady Indians beat Lourdes 55-45.

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With the win, for the first time, Ketcham moves on to the Class-AA finals to face Albertus Magnus on Sunday, March 6th at Yorktown High School. The game is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. and as of today, all students and family will be permitted to watch the game in person.

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