By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Who is the best high school basketball team in the country? That question is posed on the front page of a website for the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National basketball tournament to decide a boys and girls national champion team. One thing is certain, that team will not be from North Carolina, but they could have been.
The Myers Park Lady Mustangs, from Charlotte, defeated Southeast Raleigh 52-47 recently to capture their second consecutive 4A state championship. At 29-1, the team garnered national attention and are currently ranked #4 in the USA Today Super 25.
With the high-profile ranking, they earned a spot in Dick’s tournament to determine a national champion, but they have been denied a chance to play due to a NCSHAA rule.
The NCHSAA released the following statement, “The long-standing NCHSAA rule is that the season ends for a team with the last regularly scheduled game, completion of the conference tournament or when defeated in the state playoffs, with the state championship game being the culmination of the season.”
Myers Park sought an appeal to play in the prestigious tournament which is scheduled for April 2-4 in New York City. It was denied.
“The Board (NCHSAA Board of Director) concluded that there are more factors to consider than simply waiving rule 2.3.14, allowing a school to play after the end of the season,” Davis Whitfield, NCHSAA commissioner, said in a statement. “This event has not been sanctioned by the NCHSAA nor by the National Federation, which also means there could be insurance ramifications.”
Myers Park basketball tweeted the following after their appeal was denied, “Thank you to everyone who supported us in the effort. Disappointed. Also, heartened by those who spent their time to help 13 ball players.”
This issue doesn’t make any sense to me. A team from North Carolina had a shot at playing in a very high-profile tournament putting the players from Myers Park in the national spotlight (i.e. in the spotlight of recruiters), and the state association in charge of promoting high school sports and student-athletes in the state prevented that from happening.
The issue can’t be over the concern of the length of the season. The Lady Mustangs have already played 30 games…what is the big deal with one more?
I hope that the NCHSAA takes up this issue in the off-season and changes their rules so that this doesn’t happen to any other teams from North Carolina in the future.
Sporting must-sees for March 27-29
There will be a lot of NCAA basketball tournament action this weekend, both mens and womens, on CBS and ESPN so stack up on your snacks.