The Wintry District Road
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By Troy Treasure
Last week’s hazardous weather forced cancellation of many area high basketball games – just as district tournaments are scheduled to get underway in a matter of days.
For North Shelby head coach Landon Daniel, there is another complicating factor.
“We really struggle making up games because we aren’t in a conference,” Daniel said. “Schools in conferences that schedule us will cancel our game so they can makeup other conference games. Then late in the year, we can’t find teams to play us for makeup games because they have conference games to makeup.
“Our (cancelled) games against Brashear, Bevier and Northwestern (Mendon) were all the result of conference situations,” Daniel added.
The NS boys do know who they will play, and where, in the first round of Class 1 District 11.
The fourth seeded Raiders (10-9) will entertain No. 5 Brashear (4-8) Saturday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m.
“They know that we have an uphill climb but also know that there isn’t a team in this district that we can’t beat,” Daniel said. “The boys can compete with anyone, we just have to execute at higher levels than what we have in some of our losses this year. We have been inconsistent.”
The Lady Raiders (14-5) are the No. 1 seed and received a first-round bye. North Shelby, ranked seventh in the state, will host the winner of Atlanta-Green City on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m.
“The girls worked hard during the season and beat all the other teams in the District and deserved the one-seed, but we know that we still have to perform at a high level and will take no opponent for granted,” Daniel said. “They have handled things like our success and being state-ranked very well this year and being the one-seed will be no different.”
David Sharp of the Edina Sentinel reported each district game will be held individually as opposed to the past practice of holding district tournaments at one common venue. The highest-surviving seeded team will have the chance to host the games.
“Your court has to be a minimum 84-feet by-50 feet and you have to be able to host at least 60 fans from each school,” Daniel said. “Some of the schools in our district do not meet the court requirement and have to go to the lower seed’s gym. Our gym meets the requirements.”
North Shelby was scheduled to host Scotland County, weather permitting, Tuesday, Feb. 16.
“Weather has definitely compromised where we want to be at the end of the season,” Daniel said. “Ideally you are peaking this time of year.
“We definitely need to get in better physical shape before districts get here but if we don’t play games this last week because teams won’t schedule us, we will definitely have practice and get in the shape we need to be,” Daniel continued.
“It is frustrating though for all of us that we were playing so well during the North Shelby Tournament and then cooled off due to weather, of all things.”
Being iced-in or snowed-in has not kept Daniel from gaining information.
“I watch more high school basketball than college basketball and this year with pretty much every team broadcasting their games, I have watched more than normal,” he said. “I’ve watched games on NFHS Network, YouTube, Facebook, you name the media platform and I’ve watched it.”