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LNP (Lancaster, PA)
The surprise mid-March snowstorm has created some havoc with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association's basketball and swimming championships.
The second round of the state basketball tournament, which still features a handful of area teams and was slated to be held tonight and Wednesday night, has been pushed back to Thursday.
And the PIAA swimming championships, slated to draw swimmers from across the state to Bucknell University in Lewisburg and originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, will now run from Thursday through Sunday and feature a compressed schedule.
PIAA officials got ahead of the weather system on Monday and avoided a situation in which postponements might have happened piecemeal.
In addition to moving all of today's and Wednesday's games to Thursday, officials announced that all quarterfinals will now be played on Saturday.
"You don't want to put a basketball game above student safety and the safety of the people who are traveling to the game," Hempfield athletic director Steve Polonus said Monday. "That wouldn't make sense. So we have to keep things in perspective here.
"You have to look at it when it comes to travel. And are the sidewalks cleared? Are the parking lots cleared? Can you get game help in? Those are things the host sites have to consider."
Here are the updated schedules for the local teams that are still alive in the playoffs:
Boys Class 3A: Lancaster Mennonite vs. Hughesville at Martz Hall, Pottsville, Thursday, 5 p.m.
Boys Class 6A: Hempfield vs. Williamsport at Martz Hall, Pottsville, Thursday, 8 p.m.
Girls Class 1A: Lebanon Catholic vs. Faith Christian at Tulpehocken, Thursday, 6 p.m.
Girls Class 1A: Linden Hall vs. Pottsville Nativity BVM at Tulpehocken, Thursday 7:30 p.m.
Girls Class 4A: Lancaster Catholic vs. Forest Hills at Chambersburg, Thursday, 6 p.m.
Girls Class 4A: Northern Lebanon vs. Mifflinburg at Shamokin, Thursday, 6 p.m.
There could, of course, still be travel issues on Thursday and beyond. With the revised Thursday-Saturday schedule, the PIAA retains the additional option of playing all second-round games Friday and all quarterfinals on Saturday, if necessary.
The state semifinals are set to begin on Monday.
Locally, L-L League basketball officials have announced the postponement of the boys and girls all-star games, which were set for Thursday at Hempfield.
Those games will be pushed back to March 23, also at Hempfield, with the girls game at 6:30 p.m. and the boys game to follow at 8 p.m.
The four-day state meet will now begin on Thursday afternoon at Bucknell and follow a compressed schedule.
Class 2A swimmers will compete on Thursday and Friday, with the Class 3A championships being held on Saturday and Sunday. Diving will now be held March 25 and 26 at Bucknell.
The biggest change is the elimination of the preliminary heats. Swimmers will now compete in only one, timed round before the presentation of medals to the top eight finishers.
In the traditional format, swimmers would compete in morning prelims before the top 16 finishers returned in the evening for the consolation and final heats.
Girls will swim before the boys on all four days, with the meet starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday and ending with the boys swimming from 7:30-10 p.m.
Competition will run from 3:15 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, while swimmers will be in the pool from 10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Sunday.
Fifty-one area swimmers have qualified for the PIAA championships.
LNP sports reporters Diana Pugliese, Jeff Reinhart and John Walk contributed to this story.
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