Monday, December 16, 2013

The tournament that will not end

The only thing that has been able to get the best of the Avella girls basketball team this season is the weather.

Avella (3-0) is one of four remaining undefeated girls teams in the Washington and Greene area, but the Eagles 0-for-2 -- through no fault of their own -- when it comes to finishing their own tip-off tournament.

The Eagles were scheduled to open the season with the tournament Dec. 6 and 7, but a snow storm in the area caused the first night's action to be posponed. The opening round was pushed back to Dec. 7 with Winchester Thurston defeating Bentworth and Avella routing Mapletown. After some discussion, it was decided that the teams would return to Avella last Saturday night for the consolation and championship games. Winchester Thurston expressed doubt about it being able to play because the Bears' coach said she couldn't miss work on consecutive Saturdays to coach games. It was eventually agreed upon that Winchester Thurston would return Saturday to play the championship game.

With snow and freezing rain in the forecast, Avella athletic directior Jason Fogg contacted Winchester Thurston Saturday to make sure the Bears were still planning to make the trek to Washington County from Pittsburgh's North Hills.

"They said everything was OK," Avella coach Jim Matalik said Sunday. "They said the roads were only wet there."

Bentworth and Mapletown arrived and played the consolation game, with Bentworth winning 48-28. Winchester Thurston, however, was a no-show.

"Winchester Thurston decided not to come. It was actually the parents who decided. They wouldn't take the kids to the bus because the roads were getting bad," Matalik explained.

Will the championship game ever be played? Matalik said the athletic directors will try to reschedule the game so that both teams can play the maximum 22 games for the season. If it can't be rescheduled, Matalik said there is a possibility that Avella could play three games at the upcoming California tournament instead of the planned two games.

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