The games were pushed back again on Wednesday with more cold temperatures and inclement weather in the forecast.
But TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress made one thing clear regarding the state’s district basketball tournaments as teams scramble to find a date to complete them.
The games must be played.
The TSSAA moved the start of regional tournaments to next week earlier this week. The region girls quarterfinals are scheduled for Monday with boys quarterfinals on Tuesday. All four semifinals will be played on Feb. 25 with both finals set for Feb. 26. Two days later, girls sectionals are scheduled.
Childress told The Daily News Journal the high school athletic association is “running out of options” if the snow and ice continues to keep districts from holding their consolation and championship games.
“I don’t know if we have any other options,” Childress said. “We don’t want them playing district games on Monday morning, then playing region games that night.”
In other team sport such as baseball, softball and soccer, the TSSAA bylaws say districts “shall determine the district winner and runner-up in any manner they choose.”
That permits each district to determine its top teams based on regular-season finishes if weather — or anything else — prohibits the district tournaments from being played. However that wording is different for basketball. The basketball bylaws state that “districts must be completed by the date set by the Board (of) Control.”
“I don’t know why it states it like that,” Childress said. “It’s been this way for a long time. But it doesn’t read like the others.”
Several coaches believe the tournaments will get in at some point this weekend.
District 7-AAA has moved its girls and boys consolation and championship games to Saturday at Riverdale. The girls consolation featuring Riverdale and Smyrna will be played at 11 a.m. followed by the boys consolation between Oakland and Stewarts Creek at 12:30 p.m.
The girls championship between Blackman and Oakland is slated for 2 p.m. with the boys championship featuring Blackman and Siegel at 3:30 p.m.
In District 9-A tournament at Eagleville, the MTCS girls will play Community at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Like 7-AAA and 9-A, District 8-AA will also complete its tournament on Saturday. The girls championship featuring Central Magnet and Cannon County will be at 5 p.m. The boys championship between Cannon County and Livingston Academy set for 6:30 p.m.
Cannon County girls coach Michael Dodgen said he believes the games will get in this weekend across the state.
“I just hope these teams have heat in their schools,” Dodgen said. “And you’ve got to keep an eye on the pipes. (Wednesday night) could be the coldest night and when you have older gyms like ours and like at Central Magnet you’ve got to take care of those gyms.
“I think everyone will get their games in. It is going to depend on what the storm forecasted for Friday brings. In places in upper East Tennessee or north of Nashville that has got more snow, it could be less favorable than some people.”
Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.