OMAK – The Tonasket’ girls basketball team’s post-season hopes were finished, but an error on the part of their Tuesday, Jan. 29, opponents revived the Tigers’ chances at securing a post-season berth in a bizarre twist.
The Tigers, needing wins at Omak on Tuesday and at Quincy this weekend to secure a district playoff berth, came out flat and lost to the Pioneers 37-23, apparently ending that hope.
Less than 24 hours later, that result was reversed thanks to an Omak substitution error during the fourth quarter that resulted in Tonasket being awarded a forfeit victory. A Pioneer player that had played two quarters in the junior varsity game earlier in the afternoon checked in and played for a portion of a third quarter of action (for a total of five quarters played) during the varsity game.
WIAA rules stipulate that players may play in both the JV and varsity contests but are limited to a total of four quarters of action.
“It was brought to my attention and I relayed the information to the Omak athletic director (Joe LaGrou),” said Tonasket athletic director Kevin Terris. “He then notified the league of the violation and forfeited the game, which is the consequence for the violation. The league voted to accept the forfeit.”
Terris added that neither he nor LaGrou participated in the vote.
The result is that the Tigers and Omak are now tied for the sixth and final playoff spot heading into this weekend’s action, both teams with 2-11 Caribou Trail League records. Quincy is one game back at 1-12.
Tonasket plays at Quincy on on Friday, Feb. 1; the game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was moved up a day in case there needs to be additional games to break the tie. If the Tigers win at Quincy and Omak beats Cascade, Tonasket and Omak would need to play again Saturday to break the tie. A Quincy victory over Tonasket and a Cascade win over Omak would create the nightmare scenario of a three-way tie, for which a tiebreak scenario hasn’t yet been determined.
A Tonasket win and an Omak loss would propel the Tigers into the district playoffs with a first-round, loser-out game on Tuesday.
As for the game that ended up not counting, the Tigers struggled offensively, falling behind 17-7 at the half and not making headway after that.
Kylie Dellinger hit three 3-pointers to score nine points and Devan Utt added eight.