Two days after its cancellation, the All “A” Classic has been revived.
The board of directors of the tournament called a special meeting Thursday afternoon and decided to play the 2021 statewide basketball tournament with an alternate format.
The new format will consist of a sectional game followed by a semi-state game. The final four teams in both girls and boys divisions will advance to Eastern Kentucky University on March 5-6.
Five Northern Kentucky teams qualified for the tournament by winning their regional tourneys.
The new brackets are based on geography as much as possible. Home teams for the sectional games and the semi-state games were determined by a coin toss.
As a result, Walton-Verona will host two games next week that are local showdowns in the sectional round of 16.
The WV girls team will host Newport Central Catholic Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m., and the WV boys team will host reigning All “A” state champion St. Henry Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
The Bishop Brossart girls team will travel to West Carter for the round of 16. The game hasn’t been scheduled yet and needs to be completed by Feb. 25.
The WV/NCC winner on the girls side will host the Brossart/West Carter winner in the quarterfinal round, which must be completed by March 3.
The WV/St. Henry winner on the boys side will travel to the winner between Robertson County and West Carter.
The girls semifinals are scheduled at noon and 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 5, with the final at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 6. The survivor of the pod with the three local teams and West Carter will play in the second semifinal at 2:30.
The boys semifinals are set for 5 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 5. St. Henry or Walton-Verona would play in the second game. The final is 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 6.
The tournament had initially been canceled Tuesday because of bad road conditions throughout the state as a result of Monday’s snowstorm, and the threat of more snow in parts of the state on Thursday.
EKU has four home games for its basketball teams at McBrayer Arena beginning Monday, so pushing back the tourney to next week wasn’t an option.
A groundswell of support from schools in the tournament drove the committee to come up with an alternate solution.
The same COVID health plan will be instituted with 300 tickets allotted to each school, no cheerleaders, no bands, no cheering sections, no concessions, mask requirements, and social distancing guidelines. Each school will need two school administrators to assist with tickets and seating sections.
Schools will be responsible for all travel expenses as the All “A” Classic will not provide any reimbursement for this year’s Final Four tournament.