High school basketball programs prep for season

Local Sports

(WCIA) — Not may high school basketball programs know when their first game of the season is going to be, but Tuscola wasted no time getting their first game on paper.

“I sent it out to about 20 schools,” says Tuscola Athletic Director Ryan Hornaday. “I said, ‘Hey, if anybody’s got seven practices in, the first person that replies to this we’re playing.'”

The Warriors will be one of the first Illinois high schools back on the court this season when they take on Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Friday. Hornaday will meet with other Central Illinois Conference leaders Thursday to hammer out the details.

“I don’t imagine we walk out of there without schedules in hand,” says Hornaday. “Once we know however many and days of the week we’re going to play our CIC opponents, then everything else falls into place after that.”

Basketball schedules will come first, but athletic directors are also getting to work on spring and summer sports as well. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley AD and football coach Mike Allen cannot start practice for five weeks but he is happy schools have clear directions to follow now.

“Tough place for the IHSA to be in, they’re not going to make everyone happy,” says Allen. “Just glad they made a decision, know we can move forward and complete the school year.”

At St. Joseph-Ogden, the boys basketball team had not scheduled any practices in the gym past Wednesday. There are a lot of things to figure out, including who and when they will play.

“Five week season, six week season, whatever it is, you could have a max 15-18 games, which wouldn’t be bad at all,” says head coach Kiel Duval. “At this point these guys just really want to play. I’m happy for my guys.”

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