By RYAN HERMAN
Old Man Winter is doing all he can to wreak havoc in the final few weeks of the high school winter sports season –– and the beginning of the spring one.
This week’s winter storm that has impacted the entire state –– and most of the Southeast –– has forced local schools and conferences to scramble to find ways to get in their last remaining regular season conference basketball games, and continue with the conference tournaments.
Games that were scheduled to be played either Thursday or today in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A, North Piedmont 3A/4A and Southern Piedmont 1A conferences were all pushed to Monday, officials from each league announced Thursday, delaying the start of league tournaments by at least a day.
Locally, today’s regularly scheduled games between West Lincoln and East Lincoln, Maiden and Lincolnton and Lincoln Charter and Pine Lake Prep will now be played Monday. Thursday’s postponed NP3A/4A matchup between North Lincoln and West Iredell will also be played Monday.
Saturday’s scheduled SP1A contest between Community School of Davidson and Lincoln Charter will be played Tuesday. The school announced on its website that all homecoming activities that were scheduled for Saturday have been canceled.
Southern District 7 president Tom Watson on Thursday sent an email to the media detailing the new tournament schedules. With the regular season coming to a close on Monday, the SD-7 boys and girls basketball tournaments will now begin on Tuesday at the higher seeds. A boys and girls semifinal game each will be held Wednesday and Thursday of next week at Catawba Valley Community College, with the finals being held at CVCC next Friday.
Alexander Central sports information director Jonathan Watts announced in an email Thursday the NP3A/4A tournaments will follow the same day-by-day schedule as the SD-7, with the semifinals and finals being held at Alexander Central.
Lincoln Charter Athletic Director Daniel Schmitz said in an email to the Lincoln Times-News that, while nothing had been finalized as of Thursday evening, the SP1A tournament was thought to begin either Wednesday or Thursday at Cherryville High School, and would only involve the top four seeds.
The NCHSAA on Wednesday announced it would allow basketball teams to play four games in one week next week in order to facilitate the completion of the regular season and a conference tournament. Teams are only allowed to play three times in a week’s time under normal circumstances. The state playoff brackets will be seeded on Feb. 22 as scheduled, so all games must be played by the end of the night next Friday.
Another exception to the rule the NCHSAA waived is allowing competition on Sundays for this weekend’s individual regional wrestling tournaments. Typically, no sanctioned athletic events may be held on Sundays, but the NCHSAA waived that rule this weekend in order to allow time for the regional tournaments to be completed.
The 2A West regional has taken the NCHSAA up on its offer, and has pushed the tournament back a day to Saturday, West Lincoln Athletic Director Wayne Navey said. The tournament, which will be held at Black Mountain Owen, will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. It will wrap up on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.
The 3A Midwest regional, which includes North Lincoln, had not made an announcement to the LTN as of Thursday night on its status, although Knights AD Jonathan Carpenter said he expects it to follow the same suit as the 2A West.
The 3A Midwest regional will be held at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg.