Conference 28 drops quarterfinals

Skyline’s boys and girls basketball seasons came to an end on Wednesday without even playing a game.

Conference 28 voted on Wednesday morning and decided to eliminate the quarterfinals of their basketball tournaments due to the weather. The top four seeds advance automatically to the semifinals, which are scheduled to be played Thursday. Skyline was the fifth seed in both the boys and girls tournaments. Warren County and Central’s boys basketball teams also had their seasons come to an end due to the elimination of the quarterfinals.

“It’s disappointing,” Skyline athletic director Bill Cupp said. “I feel bad for the kids — they don’t get the chance to play. You hate to see them get voted out, instead of getting knocked out by a loss.”

Central’s girls basketball team, the third seed, will play at No. 2 seed Loudoun Valley at 6 p.m. Warren County’s girls basketball team, the fourth seed, will play at top-seeded John Champe at 6 p.m. The winners of the two games will advance to next week’s Region 3A East tournament.

The Virginia High School League deadline for the conference tournaments to be played is Saturday, but some have requested and been approved to play on Sunday. It’s possible that Conference 28 could have played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but more bad weather is possible on Saturday and the schools didn’t want to play three consecutive days and then have to play again on Monday in regional play.

Central athletic director Kenny Rinker said it’s a tough situation for players and coaches.

“Any time you’re taking an opportunity to play away from the kids, it’s tough,” Rinker said. “It’s frustrating, but there’s nothing you can do about the weather.”

No games have been played all week due to the snow that fell on Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning. Region 3A East, which is the region Central, Skyline and Warren County play in, starts tournament play on Monday.

The Conference 28 athletic directors communicated with each other through texts and e-mails to try to work something out, before voting to eliminate the quarterfinals. The principals then voted for the same outcome.

“We were just running out of days,” Cupp said. “We talked about possibly playing Saturday, but then they’re calling for more bad weather Saturday, too. It just got to the point where we’re like we’ve got get it in.

“There were other conferences in our region that did the same thing.”

Conference 35, which includes Strasburg and Stonewall Jackson, is planning to play Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Strasburg athletic director and boys basketball coach Matt Hiserman said they will do everything possible to play their quarterfinal games, because the winners of the quarters advance to regionals.

Conference 28 and Conference 21, which includes Sherando, only takes two teams to regionals, while Conference 35 takes four teams. Conference 35 starts regional play on Tuesday, while the other two start on Monday.

Hiserman said it is possible they would play the quarterfinals and semifinals and not the finals and the top two seeds for regionals from the conference would be based on higher seeding in the conference.

Sherando is scheduled to host Woodgrove in the Conference 21 boys basketball semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m., while the girls play at Loudoun County at 7 p.m. in the conference semifinals. The finals are scheduled for Friday. Conference 35 played the quarterfinals last Friday.

Hiserman said next year things will be smoother for Conference 35 as they will only have five teams. Hiserman also said there will not be a Bull Run District tournament next year in any of the team sports, in part because all five teams in the Conference 35 will also be in the Bull Run District.

One of the reasons games were postponed on Wednesday was the forecast for some snow showers on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Another factor for Thursday’s games could be the temperatures and wind chills. The wind chills are expected to be below freezing Thursday evening.

Whether games are played Thursday or not, it’s already too late for four area teams. Cupp said everyone just has to accept it and move forward.

“It is what it is. There’s nothing you can do about it,” Cupp said. “The timing of this winter blast of snow just really got us. We’ve just got to move on.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com