Class AA basketball tourneys to be held togetherThe South Dakota High School Activities Association passed a vote on Wednesday to have both the Class AA boys’ and girls’ state basketball tournaments held at one site on one weekend for a two-year trial period. The plan will take effect beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The South Dakota High School Activities Association passed a vote on Wednesday to have both the Class AA boys’ and girls’ state basketball tournaments held at one site on one weekend for a two-year trial period.
The plan will take effect beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.
Last season, Mitchell High School had both its boys’ and girls’ teams make the state tournament’s championship games and Geoff Gross said had the idea already been implemented, Kernels’ fans would have been in for a treat.
“A situation like last year would have been incredible for Mitchell,” Gross said. “It would create a really neat atmosphere.”
Gross said he thinks it’s not a bad idea to have one host during one weekend.
“I’m certainly not opposed to the idea,” he said.
He added that he didn’t think Mitchell’s fan support would have seemed any larger if both teams were competing at one location.
“I think the people who were going to the tournaments were going to go no matter what,” he said. “You could have held the tournaments on different planets and they would have been there.”
Gross said he likes the idea that the tournament setup will have a trial period.
“If it works you’d certainly want to continue it and if it doesn’t you could just go back,” he said.
Wes Morgan, head coach for the Kernels’ girls’ basketball team, said he opposed the idea.
“I like the way it is set up now,” he said. “I don’t really have a strong point either way but it’s not really broke so I don’t know what’s wrong with the way it is.”
Morgan added that he is worried about losing playoff spots with the change.
With the current setup, eight teams from Class AA boys and girls make the state tournament. Morgan said that number could be cut down to four each if all Class AA state tournament action occurs together.
“There’d be too much in the weekend to handle it all in the same facility with eight teams,” he said.
SDHSAA President Wayne Carney said the combined plan will be used for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons and as of now there is no plan to cut the number of tournament teams.
Carney said there still is a chance for the drop in qualifying teams but when asked if eight boys’ and eight girls’ teams would be competing at the 2016 state tournament he said, “That’s what we’re planning on right now but that has not been finalized.”
In regards to one site having too much basketball action over three days Carney said the tournaments do not plan on being set up any differently than years past.
“We’re not looking at extending the tournament to four days or eliminating the consolation round,” he said.