The idea was great. Take the three Wyoming Valley Conference divisional champions plus a wild-card team and hold a four-team playoff for an overall WVC boys basketball championship.
Imagine a few years back, Eugene Lewis, who made the controversial transfer from Wyoming Valley West to Meyers after the football season, playing on the hardwood against his former Spartan teammates. Or Hazleton Area playing GAR in a battle that didn’t occur during the WVC regular season.
Those matchups would have been great. Unfortunately, logistics couldn’t make them happen. And it appears that any chance to crown an overall WVC champion is bleak.
According to a couple of sources, there are just too many factors to overcome to make it work. Here are some of them:
• Weather: We’ve all seen the past few days how snow played havoc with the schedule. Thursday’s games were moved to Friday. Then some of those games had to be moved to Saturday, a day that was reserved to break any divisional ties. And then some were shifted to Sunday when more snow occurred Saturday.
The snow pushed the WVC schedule right up against the start of the District 2 playoffs, which are another reason there can’t be an overall WVC championship game.
• District 2 playoffs: The WVC season was scheduled to end last Thursday. Even if it did, the District 2 playoffs start Tuesday. That means a four-team WVC playoff would have to take place in a four-day window. It would also mean consecutive games somewhere in that span, and coaches hate that.
Unless District 2 drops the silliness of an open tournament – this season’s features three teams winless in league play and two with one victory – there can never be a big enough buffer between the end of the regular season and the start of the district tournaments. Unless …
• Altering schedules: The first step would be the WVC adding a second three-game week. Yeah, that’s not ideal, but for the betterment of the conference and local boys basketball, it could be done. But that’s not the real problem, said one person close to the situation.
All WVC teams would have to drop two non-league games in order to accommodate a WVC playoff. Dropping those early games would mean the league season could start sooner. However, that’s not that big of a deal as it seems.
The four teams in the WVC playoffs would be guaranteed to get one of those games back. And if the WVC also had a consolation game prior to the WVC title game, those four teams wouldn’t lose any games.
As for the other 14 WVC teams that would lose two games, there is a solution. Match them up in seven exhibition games as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser. It would take some on-the-fly planning, but that’s easier done in basketball than say … football.
DISTRICT PLAY-IN TODAY
The official seedings will be set this afternoon, but there is a play-in game 7:30 p.m. today for the 16th seed in the District 2 Class 3A playoffs. Western Wayne (0-22) will be at Wyoming Area (0-22).
Northwest was scheduled to host Old Forge in a non-league game on Dec. 9, but inclement weather interceded. The game was rescheduled again and bad weather struck again. And then a third time.
The Rangers and Blue Devils were ready to go last Friday, but with the snow postponing Thursday’s games in the WVC and Lackawanna League, the meeting was scrapped once more.
CALLAHAN TO 1,000
Wyoming Seminary’s Seth Callahan reached 1,000 points on Feb. 8 against Tunkhannock. He became the fourth WVC player to reach the mark this season.
STATS AND RANKINGS
The poor weather played havoc with them as well. Because the WVC and Lackawanna League had to move games to Sunday, there wasn’t enough time to compile them. They will return next week … weather permitting.
WVC ALL-STAR MEETING
The coaches will meet at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Coughlin High School cafeteria to select the divisional all-stars. The senior all-star teams will also be selected for the annual game that will be played April 4 at Holy Redeemer High School.