One uncertainty in the state high school basketball tournament bracket was solved on Monday, the same day Gwinnett's weather-related school cancellation caused more scheduling dilemmas.
The Georgia High School Association ended some mystery by announcing this weekend's quarterfinal sites, including the largely unpopular choice of West Georgia to host the Class AAAAA North games. The county's AA teams will play the Elite Eight games at The Forum in Rome, while the Class A Wesleyan girls, should they advance, play that round at Marietta High.
While that announcement firmed up Saturday's schedule, today's second-round girls slate saw major changes. All four of the local AAAAA girls teams that planned games today - Duluth, Mill Creek, Norcross and Parkview - moved them to Wednesday.
Those teams' coaches were concerned with playing a game today when the school cancellation prevented them from having a Monday practice. Buford, Greater Atlanta Christian and Wesleyan will play girls second-round games today as planned.
By moving four AAAAA girls games, Gwinnett now will have nine teams playing on Wednesday - joining five boys second-round games. That schedule presents a unique problem for Norcross.
The Blue Devil boys host Walton at 7 p.m. Wednesday, while the girls play at the same time at Marietta.
"We didn't want to split (our fans) up," Norcross athletic director Kirk Barton said. "We have a lot of girls fans who come to see the boys, too, and a lot of boys fans who come to see the girls. I hate to make them choose."
Any fans who want to see a Gwinnett AAAAA team play on Saturday will have to make a trek to Carrollton. The GHSA chose West Georgia, which boasts a new arena, for the quarterfinals even though it's very undesirable geographically for the remaining AAAAA teams.
Of the 16 second-round teams in the AAAAA North bracket, eight are from Gwinnett, four are from Cobb, three are from North Fulton and the other is Cherokee. All are in metro Atlanta, nowhere near Carrollton, which is out I-20 near the Alabama border.
Finding suitable venues for the state basketball tournament has been a problem for years.
"It's unfortunate that in the state of Georgia, the two big schools (Georgia and Georgia Tech) do not want any part of (hosting) the high school playoffs," Parkview girls coach Mike McCoy said. "I understand they have (conference) tournaments coming up and all that. But to me, I would think they would want those kids on their campus (as a recruiting tool)."
SideBar: STATE BASKETBALL
Class AAAAA Girls
· 6 p.m. - Milton at Parkview
Class AA Girls
· 6:30 p.m. - GAC at Union County
· 7 p.m. - Coosa at Buford
Class A Girls
· 7 p.m. - Darlington at Wesleyan
Class AAAAA Boys
· 7 p.m. - Centennial at South Gwinnett
· 7 p.m. - Peachtree Ridge at Wheeler
· 7 p.m. - Walton at Norcross
· 7 p.m. - Central Gwinnett at Milton
Class AA Boys
· 6 p.m. - Chattooga at GAC
Class AAAAA Girls
· 7 p.m. - Campbell at Mill Creek
· 7 p.m. - Cherokee at Duluth
· 7 p.m. - Norcross at Marietta