Virgil Pratt started fielding phone calls from coaches looking to reschedule Friday basketball games on Thursday afternoon, hours before a winter storm dumped ice on area streets.
The assignment secretary for the Baton Rouge Area Basketball Officials Association kept getting calls until his cell phone died. Then he continued logging changes by using his home phone line well into Friday afternoon.
The net result – no high school basketball games in the Baton Rouge area on Friday night.
“I guess I had to reschedule games at 31 sites,” Pratt said. “Things like this don’t happen very often and more goes into it than you think.
"Both schools have to agree on a day and a time. Then we have to see if officials are available to call the games. Most officials are used to working on Fridays and they may not be available on a Saturday or Sunday. But you do what you can and work it out.”
Saturday’s list of rescheduled games starts at 1:15 p.m. with Dutchtown traveling to Catholic High for a District 5-5A boys game. A steady stream of rescheduled games continues the rest of the day, concluding with a 7 p.m. game that will feature the Belaire and St. Michael the Archangel boys in District 6-4A action.
The make-up schedule also includes games at three sites on Sunday and three more sites on Monday.
Though it was always scheduled for Saturday, the Hall of Fame Basketball Classic set for Baton Rouge Community College also was altered by the weather issues. One team, Donaldsonville, dropped out in order to make up its District 9-3A game with Patterson.
Defending Class 1A champion Metairie Park Country was the team left without an opponent, though Madison Prep coach Jeffery Jones and Country Day coach Mike McGuire actively sought a team for the 2 p.m. time slot.
“We’ve called people all day and haven’t had any luck,” Madison Prep’s Jones said. “I think coach McGuire still may be looking for somebody. The thing I do know is that the last four games are set.”
The four boys games on tap are White Castle vs. Southern Lab at 3:30 p.m., Comeaux vs. Parkview Baptist at 5 p.m., McKinley vs. Port Allen at 6:30 p.m. and University vs. Madison Prep, 8 p.m.
Instead of trying to reschedule between Saturday and Monday, others opted instead for a later date. Others are still pending, including St. Amant at McKinley boys.
“We were going to play it Monday and I was looking to push back our Tuesday game to Wednesday, but Catholic had a schedule conflict,” McKinley coach Marvin Dotson said. “Right now I’m not sure we’re going to play. Some time in February, I guess, but I’m not sure when.”
Pratt said Dotson mentioned scheduling the make-up game for Feb. 2, but quickly realized that was the day of the Super Bowl.
One unique rescheduling situation involved Denham Springs and Zachary in District 4-5A. The district always plays its boys and girls games at different sites.
Though playing boys and girls games at one site was considered, the girls games are scheduled for DSHS at 2 p.m. and boys games at 5 p.m. at ZHS, according to ZHS Athletic Director Joey Sanchez.
Updated BR Basketball Schedule. (Schedule reflects games that were rescheduled from Friday.)
Dutchtown at Catholic, boys varsity only, 1:15 p.m.
Patterson at Donaldsonville, 4 p.m.
East Ascension at Woodlawn, 5 p.m.
East Iberville at St. John, 5 p.m.
Denham Springs at Zachary, JV-varsity, 5 p.m.
Plaquemine at Tara, 5:15 p.m.
Baker at Brusly, 6 p.m.
Belaire at St. Michael, 7 p.m.
Hall of Fame Classic
Southern Lab vs. White Castle, 3:30 p.m.
Comeaux vs. Parkview Baptist, 5 p.m.
McKinley vs. Port Allen, 6:30 p.m.
University vs. Madison Prep, 8 p.m.
Zachary at Denham Springs, JV and varsity, 2 p.m.
Plaquemine at Tara, 4 p.m.
Patterson at Donaldsonville, 4 p.m.
Baker at Brusly, 5 p.m.
Belaire at St. Michael, 6 p.m.
East Iberville at St. John, 6 p.m.
Northeast at East Feliciana, girls-boys, 3 p.m.
Redemptorist at Episcopal boys, 3:30 p.m.
McKinley at St. Amant girls, 5 p.m.
Capitol at The Dunham School, girls-boys, 5 p.m.
Port Allen at Glen Oaks, girls-boys, 5 p.m.
Doyle at Springfield, girls-boys, 6 p.m.