Other type of Twister threat alters 7A slate

Other type of Twister threat alters 7A slate
That Big Sandy school officials were proactive rather than reactive, kept the Lady Red Devil basketball team out of harm’s way Thursday night.
Concerned over forecasts of inclement weather that ultimately did sweep rural West Tennessee, BS informed Union City principal and athletic director Wes Kennedy Thursday afternoon it would not risk putting student-athletes on a bus for an opening round Region 7-A Tournament game at UCHS.
Liability concerns kept Union City officials from forcing Big Sandy’s hand and issuing a ‘come-and-play-or-forfeit’ ultimatum.
The contest was rescheduled for 4 this afternoon at the Tornado gymnasium.
The Union City boys will still play their first round game tonight — at Dresden — though the starting time has been moved back 30 minutes to 7:30 to allow game referees ample time to make the trip to and from the different venues.
Thursday’s girls’ game postponement will alter the remainder of the tourney bracket, though the other three first round games were played — but not without delays due to tornado warnings at two of the three.
In order to keep today’s UC-BS winner from having to play on back-to-back days, the Region 7-1A girls’ semifinals will now be played on Monday, instead of Saturday. That’ll push the boys’ semis to Tuesday, with the girls’ championship game set now for Wednesday and the boys’ on Thursday.
Bradford, which upset District 13A Tournament and regular season champion Gleason 34-27 Thursday, awaits the winner of today’s Union City-Big Sandy game in Monday’s first semifinal at 6 p.m.
No. 1-ranked Lake County, a 59-35 victor over McKenzie Thursday, and Dresden, which beat Greenfield 41-36, will face off in the second semi at 7:30.
The two winners will not only advance to the regional championship, but also earn a berth in next Saturday’s sectionals.
The widespread heavy rains, high winds and multiple tornado warnings affected games throughout Weakley County Thursday night.
Everyone got sent into the hallway twice at UT Martin’s men’s basketball game with Eastern Kentucky.
A pair of delays — due to dual tornado warnings issued in the Martin area — forced fans, statisticians, university officials, radio broadcasters, newspaper reporters and numerous people from other walks of life into a hallway of the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center designated as a safe spot if a twister would have hit.
Luckily, one did not, but damage was done to the tune of a delay of one hour and 22 minutes.
Thus, it took three hours and 17 minutes to complete the Ohio Valley Conference contest.
The women’s game followed and was played without delay.
There were also stoppages of play at both the Greenfield at Dresden and Bradford at Gleason games with game personnel and fans reportedly ushered to the school hallways from the respective gymnasiums.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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