PREP BASKETBALL: Mother Nature wreaks havoc on area slate (1/26)

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By Ryan O'Gara

There will be two unbeaten girls’ basketball teams in 17th District play for a little while longer.

Snow caused cancellations of area games Saturday, most notably the North Hardin Lady Trojans and the top-ranked Elizabethtown Lady Panthers in a battle for first place in the district.

The first half of that doubleheader – the LaRue County Hawks (10-8) and Elizabethtown Panthers (12-4) – was also canceled, as was the boy-girl doubleheader of Thomas Nelson at Central Hardin. Meade County’s boys’ and girls’ games at the SportsCenter Classic in Owensboro were called off, and the LaRue County Lady Hawks’ contest at Owensboro Apollo was canceled.

The Lady Trojans (12-5, 4-0 district) and the Lady Panthers (15-3, 4-0) have not decided on a makeup date yet. The teams were originally scheduled to square off Jan. 17, but that game was also postponed because of weather.

“It’s the same for both teams. I don’t think of it as a letdown or anything, honestly,” Elizabethtown coach Tim Mudd said. “It doesn’t hurt one team more than the other. I’m sure our girls are looking forward to playing, and North was looking forward to it, as well. You can’t control the weather, so you make best out of it. We’re trying our hardest.”

Mudd pointed out that rescheduling is not as easy as just picking an open date. The game needs to be in primetime, which is on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Girls’ teams are required to play 40 percent of their games in primetime or the boys’ team will lose home games the following season.

Complicating matters is the teams are also slated to meet this Friday at North Hardin, so playing this Saturday – when both teams are off – wouldn’t be ideal. Elizabethtown’s only open Friday is Feb. 14, when North Hardin plays at Marion County. North Hardin is off Feb. 7, but Elizabethtown hosts Fort Knox.

Mudd and North Hardin coach Darryl Murray hope to have a resolution Monday. Mudd said he would be contacting the KHSAA to see if the rule can be waived in this situation.

The Hawks and Panthers will now be the first part of a boy-girl doubleheader at 6 p.m. Monday before a highly anticipated game between the Lady Hawks and Lady Panthers.

Bruins coach J.C. Wright said he hoped to have a makeup date set with Thomas Nelson by Monday, though he wasn’t sure if it would remain a boy-girl doubleheader because of the challenges of scheduling around four teams. It’s unlikely to be next week considering the Bruins already have three games scheduled.

At this stage of the season, making up games becomes even more challenging. But playing a full schedule is still the goal.

“Weather-wise, it’s obviously one thing you have no control over,” Wright said. “The kids work so hard in practice, they want to get out and play other people, not just bang on each other in practice.”

Ryan O’Gara can be reached at 270-505-1754 or rogara@thenewsenterprise.com.