The West Central District added a rule Thursday morning because of what transpired before Wednesday night’s 4A first-round high school boys basketball game between Todd Beamer and Olympia that will allow home teams to practice in their gym as long as it ends an hour and a half before the start of that night’s game.
Beamer coach Brent Brilhante said he alerted district officials that his team arrived at Olympia’s gym to find the Bears practicing. The rule had stated “no practice at the game site prior to and during the tournament.”
Olympia coach John Kiley denied that his team held an organized practice, but said players were simply in the gym shooting and that he quickly ended it.
District basketball commissioner Tim Thomsen, the athletic director for the Sumner School District, said the rule was intended for neutral-site locations, and not for teams hosting first-round games. The sites switch to neutral courts after the first round.
“The first round site is both the game court and the practice court for the home team,” Thomsen said in an email to district coaches and athletic directors. “Often times the opposite gender team has a practice right after school leaving a short window for the home team playing the game to get a shoot around/walk through practice. In most cases the visiting team probably had a walk around/shoot around practice before getting on the bus, so in fairness the home team should have one, too.
“As the WCD Basketball Chairman, I will take responsibility for not thinking about the need for this clarification at the first round home sites. I apologize for any real or perception of inequity that this might have caused at last night’s sites.”
Olympia won the game, 70-50, and will not be penalized for holding its pregame practice. It will play Kentwood in a winner-to-state game at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Auburn Mountainview.
Beamer heads to an elimination game against Emerald Ridge at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Stadium.