The Warren County boys basketball team will forfeit a region tournament game to avoid playing Hancock Central.
The decision ends Warren County’s season and eliminates the Screaming Devils from the possibility of state postseason play. Region 7-A teams must reach the semifinals of their tournament to reach the GHSA state tournament.
On Oct. 14, the schools’ football teams fought in a postgame brawl, with each team saying the other started the fight.
“This is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions we have ever made,” Warren County Schools Superintendent Carole Jean Carey said.
At 6-4 in its subregion, the Warren County boys basketball team grabbed the No. 3 seed. With Hancock Central going 4-2 in Region 7-A’s other subregion and getting a No. 2 seed, the two teams would have met in the tournament Wednesday.
Instead, Hancock Central is scheduled to play Taliaferro County, which came in fourth place right behind Warren County. Wilkinson County — the No. 1 team in Hancock Central’s subregion — received a bye.
The decision to not play Hancock Central had to do with safety, Carey said. The superintendent said the worries weren’t over the players but instead about a hard foul or controversial play possibly igniting a problem.
In the girls tournament, according to the bracket, Warren County and Hancock Central would be positioned to play one another on Friday in a semifinal if both schools won on Tuesday. Carey said Warren County would also forfeit that game if the teams met. However, the team would have already qualified for the Georgia High School Association’s Class A state playoffs by reaching the region semifinals.
The Region 7-A Tournament semifinals and championships will be held at Aquinas. The championship games are Saturday.