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Boys' basketball: Southern Section to blame in sold-out game fiasco

If there were any Etiwanda fans who drove 60 miles to Tuesday night's Southern Section Division 1AA semifinal against Long Beach Poly and were turned away from the sold-out gym, I advise sending your gas bill to Rob Wigod, commissioner of the Southern Section.

What in the name of common sense is the 1AA semifinal being held at a gym that seats a little more than 1,000 spectators?

The member schools of the Southern Section voted to allow schools to host semifinal games at their home sites instead of a neutral site. I hope Wigod or somebody else figures out that when there's great interest in a particular playoff game, it is in the best interest of fans and schools to move the game to a larger location.

Poly's gym was filled to capacity 30 minutes before game time. Outside, there were so many people trying to get in that a Poly official refused to allow news photographers to enter. Eventually, someone made the decision to let the photographers in just before tipoff. 

Blame doesn't fall on Poly. The school followed the rules and also wanted to maintain its home-court advantage. What a game it was, going to overtime before Etiwanda prevailed, 59-55.

Anybody who wanted to come should have been able to get in. And at a time where schools are hurting financially, more money could have been made at a larger venue.

It's just something to think about next year when Etiwanda and Poly meet in their annual semifinal showdown.

-- Eric Sondheimer

 
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