2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 3/7/2013 11:31 PM

Basketball teams weathering a scheduling problem

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  • Sean O'Mara of Benet powers his way under the basket against Neuqua Valley during the boys basketball Class 4A Bolingbrook sectional semifinals in Bolingbrook, Thursday. Benet defeated Neuqua Valley 68-62.

      Sean O'Mara of Benet powers his way under the basket against Neuqua Valley during the boys basketball Class 4A Bolingbrook sectional semifinals in Bolingbrook, Thursday. Benet defeated Neuqua Valley 68-62.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer


In 20 years of covering high school basketball, I can't remember another time when snow played such a major factor in the playoffs.

For two straight weeks we've had snowouts that canceled an entire slate of Tuesday games. That meant regional and sectional semifinal games were bumped a day to Wednesday and Thursday.

What that also meant, unfortunately, was Thursday semifinal winners had to turn around and play a title game with less than 24 hours of rest and little prep time.

The impact in the regional was glaring. In 14 Class 3A and 4A matchups between Wednesday and Thursday semifinal winners, the more-rested Wednesday team won 11 of 14 games. Keep in mind, though, that the higher seeds played Wednesday.

A key example last week came in the Benet regional where Naperville Central, after a grueling overtime win over cross-town rival Naperville North on Thursday, never got itself going in a 62-36 loss to the host Redwings the next night.

The lack of prep time and flat-out mental and physical exhaustion took a clear toll. Fans throughout the area were extremely upset about their teams facing playoff games on back-to-back days.

Why couldn't there be a doubleheader with both semifinals played on Wednesday? Why couldn't the finals be moved to Saturday so all the teams could have at least one day of preparation and rest?

Simple answer. The IHSA Terms and Conditions for boys basketball do not allow those shifts.

The Terms and Conditions, established by an IHSA basketball advisory committee consisting of several coaches, clearly state that regional and sectional title games will be played on Friday unless a site conflict arises.

Doubleheaders, meanwhile, are allowed but they have to be approved before the playoffs begin. Besides, a doubleheader scenario in the sectional semifinals would be near impossible because the host school would have to clear the gym in between games to honor ticket allotments.

So before you send in all those petitions complaining to IHSA basketball administrator Kurt Gibson, keep in mind this was not his idea.

Save the feedback for the basketball advisory committee. The freedom to reschedule needs to exist in the future.

Shake it off:

My apologies for going into cranky old man mode here. But...

I'll be a mighty glad person if I never again see a Harlem Shake attempt by a basketball student section.

Don't get the wrong idea, I love a lively group of fans. But there's a right way to do things, and then there's the Harlem Shake.

At a recent Naperville North boys game, athletic director Jim Konrad wisely cut off the student section mid-shake when it got out of hand to the point of being dangerous.

What really bothered me, though, was a Wheaton Academy video showing its student section doing a Harlem Shake in between quarters during a game against visiting St. Francis. Students spilled onto the court as confetti and silly string filled the air.

A lengthy delay followed in what easily can be described as a selfish display by the fans.

Enough already. Do what you want on your own time, but let the players play during the game.

Here's hoping the Harlem Shake goes the way of the Macarena sooner rather than later.

Coaches vs. players:

A rash of new boys basketball coaches this season gave me a great idea.

In honor of Friday's announcement of the Daily Herald DuPage County All-Area Basketball Team, how about a game of coaches versus players?

Let's start the coaches' team with a pair of former All-Area guards to butt heads with, say, Waubonsie Valley's Jared Brownridge and York's David Cohn. Imagine a backcourt of Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins, the Warriors' all-time leading scorer, and former Wheaton North standout Jim Thomas, currently Downers Grove North's coach.

On the wing I'll take either Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke, a past All-Area team captain for Glenbard East, or West Chicago's Bill Recchia, a prolific scorer for the Wildcats back in the day.

Finally, the coaches will bring plenty of size to bang with 6-foot-9 Benet center Sean O'Mara. Take your pick among Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder, Waubonsie Valley's Steve Weemer and Wheaton North's Dave Brackmann. Each has plenty of height to prowl the post.

Oh wait. Did I forget to mention Proviso East coach Donnie Boyce and Pirates assistant Sherell Ford are transferring in for the game?

No big deal. Just a couple of former NBA players added to the mix.

So what do you say ... any takers?

Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_schmit


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