By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Editor
Quincy Notre Dame athletic director Bill Connell and Southeastern AD Cyle Rigg didn't have many options.
So they went with the one that made the most sense.
After being informed the Knox County and Kirksville boys basketball teams would be limited to playing just three games this week during the Gully Transportation QND/Suns Classic Tip-Off Tournament, Connell and Rigg altered the schedule of the crossover games scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
"We tried to do what was the most fair thing for everyone," Connell said.
Instead of playing four crossover games Friday at Southeastern and Saturday at QND, three games will be played each night.
Friday, the third- and fourth-place teams in the Suns Classic pool will square off, while the No. 1 team from QND's pool faces the No. 2 team from Southeastern and vice versa in the final game.
It sets up a true championship game on Saturday night as the winners of Friday's final two games will meet at 8 p.m. at The Pit.
The move was necessitated after tournament organizers were informed at 5 p.m. Monday that Knox County and Kirksville were in violation of Missouri State High School Activities Association bylaws.
According to Bylaw 3.18 in the official MSHSAA handbook, "no team may compete in more than three games except in a holiday or conference tournament ... where the limit is four games."
However, MSHSAA executives were willing to give both schools a one-time waiver to play at least four games this week.
"This is a one time allowance to allow them to play in this tournament and not screw the whole tournament up," said Jason West, communications director for MSHSAA. "In the future, that option isn't going to be there."
The caveat was when Knox County and Kirksville met in pool play Wednesday night, it would have to be a junior varsity game. The schools chose against playing the JV game and finishing the tournament.
According to Knox County coach Zach Summers, he was told by the administration the Eagles would play only three games.
The issue came to light when a school administrator, who was a former coach, picked up on the rule violation Monday.
"It is certainly not an everyday occurrence," West said. "Everyone in Missouri knows the rule, but when you cross state lines, things will sneak up on you."
Hannibal found itself in a similar situation in the Pittsfield Thanksgiving Tournament, and Pittsfield officials altered the five-game schedule, scaling it back to four games. The Pirates were still going to have to play a junior varsity game.
However, MSHSAA also gave Hannibal the one-time waiver, meaning Wednesday's game against Pittsfield will feature both varsity teams.
"As long as it's only four contests, then we're OK with that as well," West said. "That's a one-time deal as well. That option won't be there in the future."