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Full slate set for Saturday at St. Joe Invitational

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A large number of school closings caused by inclement weather means the St. Joe Invitational basketball tournament will be an almost non-stop affair Saturday.

Tournament officials were forced to scrap Fridays' games, and a girls contest between Huntington St. Joe and Eastern Meigs, not officially part of tournament play, was moved from Big Sandy Superstore Arena to the St. Joe gym on Sixth Avenue.

The revised schedule has the tournament resuming Saturday at Big Sandy Superstore Arena with middle school basketball at 11 a.m., and finishing with the Gold Bracket championship between Spring Valley and Fairland at 9 p.m.

St. Joe athletic director Shannon Lewis said two middle school games between the boys and girls teams from Guyan Valley and Enslow have been bumped to Wednesday, and will likely be played at St. Joe.

Lewis said the high school skits performed by students will still take place between games Saturday night.

The Boyd County girls team will also take on Eastern Meigs as planned, though the time has been moved up to 1:30 p.m.

"We were able to shift everything to Saturday, and that was something we had looked at doing before anyway, with a Thursday/Friday schedule (eliminating Wednesday) and then have games all day Saturday," Lewis said.

Lewis said he was unsure if scrapping Friday's slate of games will hurt the tournament financially.

"Obviously we have to pay labor, which is why we moved the girls game here, so we wouldn't have to hire anyone to come out," he said. "We'll have to see how it works out."

This is the SJI's first year at the downtown arena after Veterans Memorial Field House, which hosted the event for 35 years, was demolished last summer to make way for a Marshall University soccer complex.

"(Thursday) night was a little bit better, with Spring Valley and Chesapeake and Fairland playing," Lewis said, referring to attendance. "Of course, Wednesday is a church night, and there are a lot of other things going on. It wasn't bad, but we're hoping things will pick up a little."

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