Winter freeze puts chill on area games

Snowy weather and freezing temperatures have caused most area high school basketball teams to postpone games over the past few days.

All local girls’ varsity basketball games for today have been canceled including Elkins High School at Fairmont Senior, East Hardy at Tucker County, Tygarts Valley at Notre Dame, Bridgeport at Philip Barbour and Buckhannon Upshur at Lewis County.

EHS girls’ varsity head coach Cathy Duffield believes the break in action could have a negative impact on her squad. The team defeated Capital on Jan. 4 at home, but Duffield says it’s difficult to maintain consistency with pauses in the schedule.

“It’s horrible,” Duffield said. “Nothing good can come from it. We can’t practice. With no school, we aren’t allowed to practice. It doesn’t give anyone an advantage, that’s for sure. It’s very frustrating for the coaches to get something consistent going. It’s also tough on the players to stay focused and sharp.”

Games rescheduled for the Lady Tigers include an away contest at Lincoln on Jan. 13 and Lewis County at home on Jan. 27.

PB girls’ varsity head coach Stan Fitzwater says the interruption has helped his team recover physically and sharpen their skills at practice. The Lady Colts haven’t played since Dec. 20. The team next plays on Jan. 8 at Greenbrier East.

“It’s been awhile,” Fitzwater said. “We had a few practices over the break. It helped us solidify some things, but it’s nothing like playing games. We got some rest and worked on our shooting. So it gave us a little extra time.”

The Elkins High School boys’ varsity team has also experienced some downtime. Their game against Lewis County was canceled on Jan. 3 and has been rescheduled for Jan. 27.

EHS Boys’ varsity coach John Lawson believes the haitus was good for his squad. The team plays Fairmont Senior at home on Jan. 8.

“Our kids like to play,” Lawson said. “They are eager to get back on the floor. But the rest did us some good. One of our players (Kollin Hopwood) has been hobbled up with an ankle injury, so it gave him some time to heal. But the guys are ready to get back at it and play some ball.”

The Tygarts Valley boy’s varsity team hasn’t played since Dec. 28 against Philip Barbour. Coach Tom Wamsley says the respite hasn’t been good for his team. The Bulldogs’ next game is scheduled for Jan. 10 at home against South Harrison.

“I can’t see it being good for us,” Wamsley said. “We’ve got in the gym a couple of times last week and we practiced on Saturday. It’s hard to maintain continuity.

“I worry less about practice and more about getting games stacked up. It really wears he kids down and doesn’t give them a chance to recover between games. It almost seems unfair to play three or four games in a week when they get rescheduled.”