High school notebook: Basketball playoff schedules in flux

The Georgia High School Association on Monday postponed the start of the state basketball tournament by one day. The tournament will start Feb. 19, on a Wednesday, to accommodate region tournaments that might run into next week because of bad weather.

Region tournaments statewide were scheduled to finish Saturday but now may be forced to hold championship games as late as Monday.

Berkmar boys basketball coach Greg Phillips, whose school is host of the Region 8-AAAAAA tournament, hoped against that possibility.

“Obviously if you make state, having an extra day to rest and get film is crucial,’’ Phillips said. “As long as everybody is on the same playing field, nobody gains an advantage. Your issue is just if one region finishes earlier and is able to scout.’’

Phillips’ region of Gwinnett County schools was set to play two first-round games Monday, but Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb and Atlanta city school systems canceled after-school activities, which delayed the start of several region tournaments.

GHSA associate director Ernie Yarbrough, who coordinates basketball, said he would moveback the deadline for finishing the region tournaments another day — until Tuesday — if several days were wiped out this week by bad weather. But there must be a scheduled day of rest between the end of region tournaments and the start of the state tournament, making Tuesday the latest possible play date for region tournaments.

Yarbrough noted that each of the first three rounds of the state tournament is a two-day event, one day dedicated to girls games, the other for boys games. Pushing the tournament back would not force a team to play two games in two nights, even if the first round was a Wednesday-Thursday format and the second round was Friday-Saturday.

“Coaches would still have that day in between games for practice and preparation,’’ Yarbrough said. “This time of year, coaches don’t like lot of time between games anyway.’’

Yarbrough also said that regions could elect not to complete a tournament and seed based on the regular-season finish if necessary. Each region sends four qualifiers to the state tournament except in Class A, which qualifies teams based on a power rating.

‘”We really allow the regions a lot of latitude in how they determine those top four seeds,’’ Yarbrough said. “A few region secretaries have already called and said they’re working on contingency plans.’’

Four football hires: Four Georgia teams have hired head football coaches in the past week.

Heath Webb got the job at Winder-Barrow. Webb had been quarterbacks coach last season at Peachtree Ridge and receivers coach in 2012 at Flowery Branch. He started North Paulding’s program and had a record of 17-23 in four seasons there.

Muhammad Abdellatif was the choice of Armuchee, his alma mater. Abdellatif had been the defensive coordinator at Region 8-AA champion Washington-Wilkes.

Cass promoted defensive coordinator Bobby Hughes. Hughes has been a head coach at Macon County and Howard of Macon.

Twiggs County re-hired Dexter Copeland, who was 73-32 at the Middle Georgia school from 2001 to 2009. Copeland had been head coach at Baldwin but was dismissed despite a 29-17 record.