AUGUSTA — Saturday night’s Eastern Class A boys’ basketball quarterfinal games involving Lewiston and Edward Little were postponed due to the impending snow storm, the Maine Principals’ Association announced.
The game between No. 5 Edward Little and No. 4 Messalonskee, originally scheduled for 8 p.m., will be played at 8:30 a.m. on Monday at the Augusta Civic Center. No. 8 Lewiston’s game with No. 1 Hampden Academy, originally scheduled for 9:30 p.m., will be played at 1 p.m. on Monday at the ACC. All pre-sold tickets will be honored.
Saturday afternoon’s games, involving No. 3 Bangor vs. No. 6 Oxford Hills and No. 2 Brunswick vs. No. 7 Mt. Ararat, were played as scheduled.
Erskine Academy athletic director Doran Stout, the MPA’s site director at the ACC, said tournament officials talked with transportation from two of the participating schools, which he did not identify, were uncomfortable sending buses out into the storm.
He said not wanting to send fans and players leaving Augusta late at night into the teeth of the storm made the decision easy for tournament officials.
“Our last game is not supposed to get over until 11 o’clock, and that means we’re putting people out of here after 11:30 and 12 after players take their showers and so forth, and the conditions at that time are supposed to be, from what I’ve seen, heavy, heavy wet snow,” Stout said. “It’s totally based on safety and the fact that we don’t put anybody in danger.”
Stout said it is very unusual for tournament games to be postponed due to weather. He said tournament officials discussed other alternatives, including “the possibility of getting kids here by other means if the schools were willing,” but decided rescheduling the games was the best option.
Given how rare postponements are, Edward Little coach Mike Adams, now in his 13th year, said his team had prepared to play Saturday night, even with the snowy forecast. The very early start isn’t conducive to either team playing its best in their biggest game of the season.
“I would have preferred to play (Saturday night),” he said.
Lewiston coach Tim Farrar said the Blue Devils will be ready for the unbeaten Broncos regardless of the change.
“We don’t have any control over it,” he said. “We’ll play anywhere, anytime that we’re told to play. The kids are just excited about playing.”
There are two Western D girls’ quarterfinals scheduled to take place between the two Eastern A boys’ games. No. 3 Searsport faces No. 6 Richmond at 10 a.m., followed by No. 2 Rangeley vs. No. 7 Valley.
Stout said tournament officials did not want to disrupt the rest of the docket to fit in the rescheduled games.
“It’s not ideal,” he said. “What we tried to do is fit those games into spots on Monday where we wouldn’t have to move anyone else, in other words, have the change affect as few people as possible. As it turns out, it’s only going to affect the four schools that are involved.”
The night session at the Portland Expo, featuring Western Class A teams, was also moved to Monday. No. 3 Bonny Eagle and No. 6 Sanford will square off at 10 a.m., with No. 2 Falmouth and No. 7 Cheverus slated for an 11:30 a.m. tip.
The Western Class A girls’ games Monday at the Expo will remain unchanged.