More delays for basketball, wrestling tournaments
by Chris Goltermann and Doug Gorman
The Georgia High School Association might want to look into adding another activity considering how efficient its members have become.
Region basketball and state wrestling tournaments went through another round of reschedulings on Thursday that continued to push schedules back due to this week’s winter weather and the ensuing fallout.
The GHSA postponed the start of the annual state traditional wrestling tournament until next Friday while also granting basketball regions the option of completing postseason tournaments by Wednesday.
Region 3-AAAAAA officials announced that its basketball tournament will begin Saturday at Tri-Cities High School following a four-day delay.
Opening round games are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Games featuring Coweta lineups begin at 3:30 p.m., with No. 6 boys seed East Coweta taking on third-seeded Douglas County.
East Coweta and Newnan girls teams follow at 5 p.m. in the No. 4-No. 5 seeded girls matchup. It then concludes with the No. 4 seeded Cougars playing No. 5 boys seed, Hughes at 6:30 p.m.
All four winners on Saturday will clinch a berth in the Class AAAAAA tournament.
The tournament will continue Monday with semifinal games starting at 4 p.m., and conclude Tuesday with consolation finals and both 3-AAAAAA championship games.
Postponing the GHSA state wrestling tournament comes after most schools were in session less than three days this week while trying to prepare for what would have been opening rounds today at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
Instead, state qualifiers will be given an extra week of practice time. They include four East Coweta wrestlers that advanced to the Class AAAAAA Tournament and a pair from Northgate that will compete in the Class AAAAA event.
“It was a real good call,” said East Coweta head wrestling coach Josh Herring, who was still without power on Thursday afternoon. “It would have been a huge injustice to the kids who couldn’t work all week. There was too much hard work put in all year.”
Sites for the wrestling championships have yet to be decided. Gwinnett Arena is unable to accommodate the GHSA due to previous bookings.
East Coweta state qualifiers include Dusty Nelson (5th, 106 pounds), Matthew Durham (3rd, 113), Kevin Lashley (3rd, 160) and Dawson Ellis (8th, 285).
Northgate’s qualifiers were Ryan McNeal (120), and Michael Martin (220), both of whom finished eighth in respective weight classes at last weekend’s AAAAA West Sectionals.
McNeal and Martin qualified as eighth seeds for head coach John Waters, who is in his first year as head coach of the Vikings.
The GHSA isn’t the only association experiencing reschedulings.
Both The Heritage School and Trinity Christian are unlikely to finish respective regular season schedules by the start of next week.
The Region 1-AAA tournament will begin as scheduled on Monday despite multiple games lost to weather.
Heritage will wrap up the regular season tonight at home against Holy Spirit.