Davis Whitfield, the commissioner of the N.C. High School Athletic Association, said schools across the state will have to cooperate and communicate during the next two weeks in the wake of the basketball playoffs’ disruption.
“Our cooperation will have to be at a peak,” Whitfield said Wednesday morning as a winter storm bore down on the state. “Our communication is going to have to be at a peak. We realize that it is not going to be an ideal situation situation for anyone, but if we cooperate and communicate everything is going to work out.”
Last week’s boys and girls basketball conference tournaments were not held because of schools being closed because of icy condition.
The first three rounds of the NCHSAA basketball tournaments had been scheduled for this week, but only a couple of the first-round games had been played by Wednesday afternoon. Teams still might be able to play three games this week, depending on the weather and travel conditions, but some teams probably want get any of the three games played.
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Regionals are scheduled for next week with the regional finals on Saturday, March 7. The state championships are scheduled for March 14.
The week between the regional final and the state final gives the NCHSAA a little wiggle room, but the odds are great that the regional format, with state quarterfinal and semifinal games in either Fayetteville or Winston-Salem, will have to be changed.
“Nothing is off the table right now,” Whitfield said. “We are adjusting on a day by day basis.
“We are going to continue to make the welfare of our students, coaches and fans the highest priority.”
Many coaches want time to practice and prepare for playoff games, but that might not be possible. That’s where the cooperation part comes in.
The N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association plays its quarterfinals, semifinals and final on consecutive days and for years the NCHSAA used that format. A similar format might be an option, but there are plenty of possible scenarios.
Rick Strunk, a NCHSAA associate commissioner, said there is no purpose in guessing when the playoffs will be resumed on a statewide basis.
“I wish I could tell you that we’ll do this or the other, but we are like everybody else in guessing about the weather,” Strunk said.
Spring sports: Whitfield said there had been no discussion of pushing back the start of the spring sports season.
Teams may begin playing spring sports games on Monday, but most area teams have had only one or two days of official practice and some have not practiced outside yet.
Many games scheduled for early next week probably will be treated as rain outs.
50th anniversary: The Durham County Library is sponsoring a panel discussion on Sunday at 3 p.m. , at the North Branch Library. The panel will discuss the three Durham high school basketball teams that won N.C. High School Athletic Conference championships in 1965.
Hillside High, Merrick-Moore High, and Little River High played at different classifications in the NCHSAC, which was the association for black high schools in a segregated system. The other NCHSAC boys basketball title in 1965 was won by Wake County’s Berry O’Kelly.
The panelists will include Dr. Brenda Armstrong a surgeon and an administrator at the Duke Medical Center, whose father was the executive director of the NCHSAC; former Hillside principal Dr. John H. Lucas and former players Ronnie Moore of Merrick-Moore and David Harris of Little River High School.
The panel will be moderated by Eddie Davis, a member of the Durham City Council.
The public is invited.
NCISAA playoffs: The N.C. Independent School Athletic Association urged the teams participating in its basketball quarterfinals to travel to the Asheville area on Wednesday. The boys and girls quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.