COVID-19 continues to throw wrenches into the plans of high school sports with basketball district tournament formats changed while some have been canceled.
The 7-1A Conference, which Mount Ida and Oden are a part of, have decided to forego both Junior High and Senior High District Tournaments this year due to the virus. The only effect this decision has on Junior High teams is a loss of games. However, this has a major impact on the way the conference is represented in the Senior High Regional Tournament.
Due to the cancelation of the District Tournament the Top Four teams at the end of the conference schedule will advance to play in the 1A Region 4 Tournament to be held at Emerson. In a tournament format the Top Two teams in a conference are guaranteed a spot in the regional tournament with the rest of the conference playing their way in to the final two spots. Seeding for the regional tournament is determined in the final rounds of the district tournament.
The loss of a district tournament robs teams like Oden from a second chance at moving on to the Regional Tournament. However, it prevents a third or fourth place team from being eliminated during a tournament. It also prevents a lower seeded team from improving their position going into the regional tournament.
At press time Mount Ida’s Lady Lions are ranked in Fourth Place with a shot at Third Place. The Lions are also in Fourth Place on the Boys’ Side with a couple games left to play.
Caddo Hills Junior Indians and Junior Lady Indians have suffered the same fate as Mount Ida and Oden’s Junior High teams. Their season will end without a post season tournament.
The Senior High teams, who compete in the 7-2A Conference, will compete in a District Tournament this year. However, there will not be a “Tournament Location” to host all the games. Instead, home teams will host all tournament games.
The 7-2A District Tournament will begin next week. The Senior Boys finished their season in 2nd Place and will play their first game Friday, February 19 at Caddo Hills. Tip off will be at 6 p.m. They will play the winner of the Magnet Cove vs Cutter Morning Star/Mountain Pine game. If the Indians win they will more than likely travel to Dierks to play for the District Tournament title. If Dierks were to lose Caddo Hills would host the final game of the tournament.
The Lady Indians will play Tuesday, February 16, at home against the winner of the Horatio vs Cutter Morning Star/Mountain Pine game. If the Lady Indians win they will travel to Poyen to face the 7-2A Conference Champions in the semifinals of the tournament.
Caddo Hills will host the 2A South Regional Tournament set to begin February 22.