Maine’s latest snowstorm forced more postponements in high school basketball tournaments.
The Maine Principals’ Association announced Tuesday that the Western Class B girls’ basketball quarterfinals had been postponed to Wednesday morning at the Portland Expo. The four games had been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and evening. And at the Augusta Civic Center, the final two games of the day – in Western Class C girls – have also been postponed until Wednesday.
“The way that it is supposed to be snowing so heavily after the release of the second game of the first session and leading into the night session, we felt it best to postpone the games,’’ said Gary Groves, a member of the MPA tournament committee.
The schedule in Portland on Wednesday begins with Wells playing Gray-New Gloucester at 9 a.m., following by Spruce Mountain and Fryeburg Academy at 10:30 a.m. The afternoon session begins at 1 p.m. with Greely playing Lincoln Academy, followed by Lake Region vs. York at 2:30 p.m.
In Augusta, the two postponed games will be squeezed into the existing schedule with Old Orchard Beach facing Madison at 8:30 a.m., and St. Dominic playing Dirigo at 1 p.m.
Games at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor were not postponed.
“The southern part of the state seems to be getting hit harder more often,’’ said Dick Durost, the executive director of the Maine Principals’ Association.
This was the second time in four days that a snow storm forced the MPA to postpone tournament basketball games – once a rarity. Four boys’ basketball games (two in Portland, two in Augusta) were postponed Saturday night to Monday morning because of Saturday’s snowstorm. In the past, the MPA has played its tournament games unless the Maine Turnpike was closed.
But, said Durost, several factors have gone into the decisions to postpone games.
First, he said, the MPA is taking into consideration the location of the Portland Expo – in the middle of Maine’s largest city – and how access can be a challenge during snowstorms. It can be easier to maintain schedules at the Augusta Civic Center and the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor because those arenas are easier to get to – both located near highway exits – than the Portland Expo, and the storm was not expected to be as severe in those areas.
And, Durost said, both those sites already had games scheduled for Wednesday morning, which would have made rescheduling more difficult.
“This is a case where we had options,’’ said Durost. “We try to be cautious. We take the safety of the student-athletes into consideration, along with that of their parents and fans, when we make these decisions.
“Portland had a window open for the games to be played on Wednesday morning and afternoon.”
The Western A boys’ semifinals will be held as scheduled Wednesday at the Cumberland County Civic Center with Falmouth playing Bonny Eagle at 6 p.m. and Portland playing Deering at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday’s storm also prompted the MPA to revise the Class B boys’ state championship swim meet at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, going directly to timed finals so the meet could end in the early afternoon, before the storm intensified.
Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or at:firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: MikeLowePPH