E.A. Sports Today

JCA game moved for bats

Pests invade Cedar Bluff gym, force area games to Centre; JCA falls

By AHSAA Staff

MONTGOMERY — Gary McGriff thought he had heard it all – that is, until Thursday.

Cedar Bluff High School basketball coach Joe Carpenter called McGriff, the AHSAA District Director for Basketball, to tell him the site of Thursday’s Class 1A, Area 13 boys basketball tournament semifinals — that involved Jacksonville Christian — was being moved.

Because of bats.

“He told me that more than 200 bats had gotten inside the Cedar Bluff gym,” McGriff said. “He was obviously flustered about the situation.”

McGriff was called to let the contest officials know the site was being changed to the 3,000-seat Gadsden State Community College’s Cherokee Arena in Centre.

Once the games got underway, Cedar Bluff beat JCA 86-50 and Coosa Christian edged Spring Garden 53-48 in overtime.

Carpenter said the bat problem surfaced as the Cedar Bluff girls’ team finished up practice Wednesday.

“The bats were all over the place,” he said. “I’ve been coaching for 33 years. I didn’t think anything could surprise me, but this has.”

As for McGriff, a long-time AHSAA basketball official before taking the role of district director, he said, “I have heard a lot or reasons for moving games, but not bats.”

The school plans to have the problem eradicated by Saturday’s finals.

“The gym is being sealed and should be ready to go on Saturday night,” said Carpenter, who also will be coaching the girls’ team Friday night in the area finals at Spring Garden.

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