This will be a busy week (hopefully) for high school basketball players and wrestlers. With the snow and ice wiping out nearly every athletic activity from Tuesday through Friday, basketball teams are in a hurry to finish up the regular season schedule and squeeze in their conference tournaments before the calendar hits Feb. 21.
The Two Rivers 3A Conference planned to play its games moved from Feb. 11 on Saturday afternoon, then play its Feb. 14 games on Monday, Feb. 17.
The conference tournament, which gives every team regardless of its record a path into the state playoffs, could begin Feb. 18 and run through Feb. 21. (Any team that wins the conference tournament is guaranteed a state playoff berth, regardless of where it finished in the regular-season standings.) The Greater Neuse River 4A Conference canceled its tournament since a few teams had three regular season games still to play between Feb. 15-21. So teams like Clayton will make up their games from last week on a somewhat more normal schedule this coming week.
Conference basketball tournaments are important to the overall financial picture for all conferences. In some cases the gate receipts from those tournaments make up as much as half of a conference’s budget in a given year.
Of course, safety of student-athletes and fans comes first in the decisions conference leaders are making but getting the tournaments played is important.
Wrestling individual regionals will be held Saturday and Sunday, likely to determine who advances to the state championships, which run from Feb. 20-22. But those regionals must be completed by Sunday so if a region can’t wrestle on Saturday, the top four seeds from that region will move on.