With schools around the metro-Atlanta area closed today and Wednesday, and with the possibility of snow and ice lasting into Thursday morning, the Georgia High School Association made the move Monday to consolidate the traditional state wrestling championships into a two-day event. GHSA associate director Denis Tallini, who oversees wrestling for the state association, said the decision to change the start of the tournament to Friday is to make sure everyone can travel safely to and from the event in Duluth.
The state basketball tournaments have also been delayed. With the possibility of region tournaments continuing into Monday, first-round state playoff games will now be played next Wednesday (girls) and Thursday (boys).
In order to streamline the region tournaments, the GHSA added a provision that, if necessary, teams could play two games in one day, provided they have at least four hours of rest in between.
Organizers of the region tournaments are putting contingency plans into effect, but those are subject to change depending on what the weather will allow Thursday.
For Region 4AAAAAA, McEachern athletic director Jimmy Dorsey said the four games originally scheduled for Monday night would take place Thursday. The six quarterfinal games scheduled for today and Wednesday would move to Friday, with the semifinals Saturday and finals Monday.
Dorsey said the schedule would be revisited if Thursday’s games are canceled.
Etowah athletic director Robert Van Alstyne said his plan is set for whichever day the Region 5AAAAAA tournament starts. The first day would consist of three girls games at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. in one gymnasium, while the boys would play at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in a second gym.
There is one fewer girls game on the schedule with Roswell set to host Milton in an opening-round game Monday afternoon.
The second day of the 5AAAAAA tournament would consist of the four semifinal games, with the final day set for the championships. The only question at this point is if the tournament opens Thursday or Friday.
With Region 7AAAAA consisting of schools from four different counties — Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth and Fulton — the tournament at Sequoyah High School will resume Friday with an eight-game basketball marathon.
The schedule will begin at 10 a.m. with four games taking place during the day, with matchups between teams from Cobb, Forsyth and Fulton counties, which will be on their respective mid-winter breaks. Cherokee County students will still be in school Friday, so any games involving Creekview and Sequoyah would be played between 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Allatoona girls basketball coach Michael Taylor said the contingency plan for Region 5AAAAA was to play a similar schedule to that of Region 4AAAAAA. Games scheduled for Monday will be Thursday, with the quarterfinals Friday, semifinals Saturday and championship games Monday.
But if Thursday’s games are canceled, the tournament could become a logistical challenge.
Through the quarterfinal round, girls games were scheduled to be held at South Paulding, Woodland-Bartow and Hiram, with boys games at New Manchester, South Paulding and Allatoona. The semifinals and finals of each tournament are set for Villa Rica.
Region 6A consolidated its tournament, limiting the participants to the top four schools in each subregion.
The girls tournament is scheduled to begin Thursday with four quarterfinal games at the Darlington School in Rome. The semifinals would be Friday with the championship game Saturday.
If Thursday’s games are postponed, the tournament would begin Friday with the championships Monday.
The boys tournament will follow the same schedule, with the quarterfinal games at Trion High School, followed by the semifinals and finals at Darlington.