ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- A Catholic high school in southern New Jersey whose fans taunted a mostly black basketball team by dressing up as a monkey and a banana has apologized.

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The Press of Atlantic City reported Father Perry Cherubini, president of Holy Spirit High School, offered "heartfelt apologies" to Atlantic City High School in statement Monday.

"Holy Spirit offers our heartfelt apologies for offending anyone that evening," he wrote. "The decades long history, rivalry and friendship between ACHS and HSHS is a treasured one. To the students, families and fans of the ACHS Vikings, our apologies for behavior that may have suggested otherwise."

Cherubini said he also personally called the administration of Atlantic City High School to apologize.

Holy Spirit said last week its students were warned but not punished for their conduct during the game.

The fans also used a shower curtain to hide several spectators who jumped out from behind it in an attempt to distract Atlantic City players who were attempting free throws.

Holy Spirit's starting five players are also black.

Holy Spirit acknowledged the conduct violated league rules regarding sportsmanship and promised it won't happen again.

Atlantic City beat Holy Spirit, 54-53 in the Feb. 17 game.

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