ELKINS - While the nasty mix of winter weather has put a damper on most high school basketball games this month, Class A varsity teams across the state are still gearing up to compete in the 2014 West Virginia Hometown Invitational Tournament this weekend.
Division I and II girls' varsity championship games are scheduled for Saturday in St. Mary's, while both boys' divisions move to semi-final rounds on Friday and Saturday at various venues.
According to the girls' tournament co-organizer Mike DiPasquale, 22 of the 37 public Class A schools are participating in the tournament. For the girls' tournament, Division I consists of 12 teams and Division II has 10 teams. Schools were ranked using the same method used by the WVSSAC.
DiPasquale explained that when both schools can't play the regularly scheduled contest, the higher ranked team advances in the winners bracket. DiPasquale is the coach for the Tygarts Valley High School girls' varsity team. His squad forfeited its round one game against St. Mary's due to inclement weather.
"We have multiple schools that didn't play a game," DiPasquale said. "There's absolutely nothing we can do about it. As they say, the show must go on."
In the Division I championship, St. Mary's plays the winner of the Pocahontas County/Gilmer County match up at 9 p.m. In the Division II Championship game, Doddridge County plays Paden City at 7 p.m. At press time, Pocahontas is scheduled to face Gilmer County tonight in the semi-final round.
Tom Wamsley, TVHS boys' varsity coach, helped organize the boys' tournament. He said it was a difficult task to get the teams schedules to match up for make-up games. He said postponed games would still be played, however, as regular season games and not part of the tournament.
"We've been on the phone and sending emails every day," Wamsley said. "It's nobody's fault. The winter weather really kills us. It's a shame, but everybody is fighting it. We just go with the flow. There is nothing we can do about it."
In the boys' Division I, winners' bracket, Buffalo hosts Cameron on Friday and Midland Trail visits Clay-Battelle on Saturday. In the losers bracket, Valley Whetzel hosts Richwood and Tygarts Valley travels to Fayetteville, both on Friday.
In the boy's Division II, Doddridge travels to Valley Fayette and St. Mary's hosts Van in Round 1 action on Thursday. Semi final rounds begin on Saturday, with the matchups to be determined based on Round 1.