Weather nearly led to forfeits

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - An afternoon of uncertainty ended Thursday evening when the Georgia High School Association postponed the Glenn Hills/Northeast-Macon girls basketball game until noon today.

The second round matchup, along with the Central-Macon and Northside-Columbus game, came into question early Thursday when the Bibb County school system decided not to send its teams to Columbus because of inclement weather.

The schools were saved from forfeits when the weather between Macon and Columbus turned bad. Tornadoes were spotted in a number of Middle Georgia counties. The GHSA decided that the weather posed imminent danger and postponed the games until today.

"This was the best decision the GHSA could have made," said Glenn Hills coach Bernard Bowman, who brought his team to Columbus on Wednesday. "We came to play Northeast, and we get to play Northeast. Everything worked out."

But for about four hours Thursday, Central coach Andre Taylor and long time Northeast coach Alvin Copeland believed their teams wouldn't be allowed to travel to Columbus for the Class AAA basketball sectionals.

Bibb County Deputy Superintendent Sylvia McGee determined the inclement weather was too dangerous to drive in and mandated that the two county schools wouldn't be allowed make the trip to second round games which would result in a forfeit.

But it was the bad weather that ultimately saved the Central and Northeast seasons for at least one more day.

To GHSA associate director Ernie Yarbrough's knowledge, no team had ever forfeited a game because of a decision not to travel because of inclement weather.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said when he thought the teams were going to forfeit. "You feel bad for the seniors on those teams, but we can't make concessions for one county. Glenn Hills is in Augusta and they are here. The Bibb County schools could have left earlier in the day or last night."

Northeast was less than an hour away from forfeiting before the weather turned bad in Columbus.


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