ROCKINGHAM — The races for the Southeastern Conference basketball regular season titles are expected to come to a close this week, but the latest winter storm may alter those plans.
The weather forced Richmond and Pinecrest to move its doubleheader up a day and the remainder of the Tuesday’s contests — Lumberton at Scotland and Purnell Swett at Hoke — to be postponed. School officials have shifted the Pirates-Scots clash to Saturday afternoon, while the Rams and the Bucks will attempt to get their games in on Thursday.
There is one doubleheader slated for tonight, Hoke at Richmond. As of press time, Richmond athletic director Ricky Young said the contests are still on, but would be postponed if school is canceled in either of the districts. If that is the case, Young added the games would more than likely be moved to Saturday.
With all of this schedule shuffling because of the weather, Hoke athletic director Gary Brigman said there is a chance it could affect the conference tournament. Hoke and Lumberton are the only two schools with three games remaining in the regular season, the others have two.
Because of this, Brigman has Friday circled as the important day.
“If we can get the games in that day, we should be able to get the tournament in,” Brigman said. “We may have to push back the start a day, but we can still get it in.”
Brigman added it was important to have the conference tournament because it “generates revenue for us to buy trophies and the all-conference certificates.”
There are a handful of possibilities at Brigman’s disposal to get the tournament in before the North Carolina High School Athletic Association requires the conference seedings to be turned in on Feb. 22.
The tournament could be trimmed to the top four teams instead of the normal six and completed in two days. Another option would be to have the tournament run Wednesday through Friday. Brigman said the final plan, that he hopes to avoid, is canceling the tournament.
In addition to causing problems on the hardwood, the winter storm could force a change in this weekend’s 4A East Region wrestling tournament.
The event is scheduled to begin 5 p.m. Friday at Jack Britt and wrap up Saturday morning. Brigman said there was a small chance the tournament would be canceled. He added if that were to occur, then the top four seeds in each weight class would advance to the state tournament Feb. 20 to 22 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.