PIAA BASKETBALL: Hazleton Area Game Moved To Saturday
Wasn’t it Tom Petty who sang about the waiting being the hardest part?
The PIAA Class 6A boys basketball semifinal between Hazleton Area and Abraham Lincoln high schools was postponed from tonight to 1 p.m. Saturday because of the winter storm that has impacted travel throughout eastern Pennsylvania.
The game — which originally was scheduled for Tuesday night — will be the opener of a state semifinal doubleheader at Freedom High School in Bethlehem.
“We always tell our players that we must control the things we can control: limiting mistakes, rebounding, hitting free throws,” Cougars head coach Mike Joseph said. “Snow? Not so much. It’s out of our control. We just have to go with the flow.’’
By now, Joseph and the Cougars are accustomed to their schedule being changed by inclement weather. No less than six of this season’s games had to be rescheduled. In addition, the District 2/4 subregional final against Scranton was played the night after a winter storm forced the shifting of other district finals at Mohegan Sun Arena. Also, fans had to drive through snow squalls to get to the PIAA second-round game against Pocono Mountain West in Wilkes-Barre.
Now comes two postponements of their semifinal showdown with Lincoln.
“We just try to handle it the best we can,” Joseph said. “We had a good practice (Tuesday) ... trying to keep the kids loose and confident.’’
Meanwhile, the PIAA has postponed its entire schedule of 2018 basketball championship games and rescheduled them to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
“With 10 semifinal contests that remain to be played and poor weather conditions, it is in the best interest of the schools and their communities that we afford them safe travel conditions and ample turnaround time before the championship games,” a news release on the PIAA’s website states.
All championship games originally scheduled for today will be played Monday, all Friday games will be Tuesday and all Saturday games will now be played Wednesday. All respective original tickets will be honored on the new dates.
The games will be played at the Giant Center in Hershey.
If the Cougars win Saturday’s semifinal, they would play for the 6A state championship at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The championship finals schedule includes:
• Monday: 2A girls, noon; 1A boys, 2 p.m.; 3A girls, 6 p.m.; 4A boys, 8 p.m.
• Tuesday: 1A girls, noon; 2A boys, 2 p.m.; 6A girls, 6 p.m. 5A boys, 8 p.m.
• Wednesday: 4A girls, noon; 3A boys, 2 p.m.; 5A girls, 6 p.m.; 6A boys, 8 p.m.
Holy Cross, Abington Heights impacted
Holy Cross had its PIAA Class 2A semifinal against Constitution, originally scheduled for Tuesday, then reset for tonight, moved to Saturday at 2:30 p.m., still at Bethlehem Freedom High School.
Abington Heights, which reached its first PIAA Class 5A final, will play Mars High School at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night at the Giant Center in Hershey.
The winner of the Holy Cross-Constitution semifinal game will play Our Lady of Sacred Heart, a 70-68 winner in overtime over Sewickley Academy, last year’s state champion. That final will be Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Giant Center.
WYLN to broadcast audio of Hazleton game
Hazleton Area basketball fans who can’t attend the Cougars’ can “listen” to it on television.
WYLN-TV 35 has received permission from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association to do an “audio broadcast” of the Class 6A state semifinal boys basketball playoff.
Earlier in the week, the PIAA denied WYLN’s request to televise the game. The organization said the game would air on NFHS Network, an online service of the National Federation of State High School Associations. The PIAA is a member of the NFHS.
The network charges a $9.95 monthly fee to watch sporting events. The PIAA was a charter participant in the network when it launched Aug. 1, 2013.
On Wednesday, WYLN announced on its Facebook page that after learning it could not televise the game, it immediately submitted for the rights to do the audio-cast.
“You will hear the game and see the score on television and see our advertisers on screen who are making this possible,” WYLN’s Facebook post states.
WYLN is on channel 7 on Service Electric Cablevision and other cable TV providers.