Shamokin does belong in HAC tournament
Since it's golden statuette season: the award for foot deepest in one's mouth goes to - this guy.
And so, apologies to Shamokin's girls basketball team.
Apparently, the Indians, by way of a better winning percentage and one more division game played, were the Heartland Conference Division I leaders after their win over Milton Monday, and because of that were the front-runners for the automatic berth in the HAC playoffs today at Mifflinburg. They were not party crashers.
In fact, the Indians followed the rules as closely as they could in order to get all their games in before the Feb. 11 cut-off date issued by the conference. That's why Monday's game with Milton was pushed up to Monday from Tuesday, and why the Indians tried their best to get the Danville game in before that same date, but it couldn't be arranged.
It's turns out Danville was the outlier all along. The Ironmen still had a good enough conference record, since Muncy lost to Millville Monday, to earn the wildcard berth and not need the pity of the conference committee.
And so finally, the field for the girls' tournament is set.
Mount Carmel, the Division II winner and top seed, will play Danville at 6 p.m. Shamokin, the Division I representative (can't say champ yet because that title will still be decided between the Indians and Ironmen Friday at Danville), will play Benton, the Division III champ, at 7:30 p.m.
The boys' tournament will start with St. John Neumann, the Division III winner, playing Loyalsock, the Division II winner, at 6 p.m. Thursday, and Danville, the Division I winner, will play Lewisburg, the wild card team, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, the girls championship will be at 6 p.m. at Williamsport and the boys title game will follow.
Tickets for both the semifinals and finals are $6 for adults and $3 for students.
Is this wildcard system perfected yet? Nope, but a date to have games played by is a good strategy, and since it is the first year, hiccups can be overlooked.