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One player forces Falcons, Tide to forfeit games

One player forces Falcons, Tide to forfeit games
Messenger Sports Editor
A bizarre case of an area boys’ prep basketball player who suited up for three different schools this season has resulted in several forfeitures and a shake-up of the District 14A standings.
The TSSAA has ruled that Devonte Hill, who started the season at Dyer County and then was enrolled at Trenton and Lake County was ineligible at Peabody and LC because his parents reportedly did not truly establish a change of residency in those school districts.
As a result, the state’s governing athletic body for prep athletics said LC would forfeit the seven games Hill played for the Falcons since Christmas, and two more when he played for Peabody in December of 2012.
Lake County High School was to receive an official letter today, notifying them of the TSSAA’s actions.
LC went 4-3 in those designated games, beating Liberty and Middleton along with District 14A foes Halls and Trenton. Those contests now will be listed as 1-0 forfeits, though all individual statistics will stand.
Trenton split a pair of games with Hill playing, beating Bradford and losing to Lake County — both league games. The Bradford game will now become a 1-0 forfeit loss, as will the Tide’s first of two meetings with LC this season.
Ironically, Trenton will gain a forfeit win over the Falcons in the second game when Hill took the court for the Green and Gold.
Lake Coach head coach Dawn Barger said both her school and Trenton followed the proper protocol and filled out the required paperwork when Hill enrolled at those schools.
Allegedly, though, the family never had a change of residence for any of the moves.
“The TSSAA told us both us and Trenton had followed the proper procedures … I’m not sure what else we could’ve done,” Barger told The Messenger Wednesday night. “It’s a lesson learned, and we’ll move on.”
The altered District 14A standings dropped LC to 3-9 in league play and to seventh place in the eight-team circuit with district games left Friday against Bradford and a Monday night makeup game against Union City. The Falcons will now be listed at 4-17 overall.
Via the forfeit, Bradford and Halls — both 6-6 — move up and into a tie for fourth behind 14A leader Union City (10-1), Greenfield (9-4) and Humboldt (7-4).
South Fulton is sixth (5-6), followed by, LC and Trenton (1-11).
The District 14A Tournament is set to begin Feb. 11.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at Published in The Messenger 1.31.13

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