Clovis News: Sports

More Saturday high school basketball games?

An unintentional jackpot has Tri-River Athletic Conference coaches and administrators expanding their scope regarding future scheduling in basketball.

The thought of more Saturday specials has suddenly gathered steam after host Clovis East defeated Buchanan 72-63 before a turnaway, record crowd of more than 3,000 in a Central Section's showdown of top-ranked boys teams.

That involved an 11th-hour bump from Friday to Saturday because of a gym conflict involving a band-review competition.

There's no doubt the normal Friday date would have drawn a large crowd as well, but there was also no question the Saturday slot drew more students from the competing schools as well as many neutral fans.

"I've talked to a lot of people who think it would be a great idea to take a couple top games each year and move them to Saturday," Timberwolves athletic director Pete Price said.

"It brings a lot of people who wouldn't normally get the chance to see the games because they would be at other games on Fridays. I've heard nothing but positive feedback from people who attended the game."

He certainly did from his own coach, Tim Amundsen, whose program coffer was boosted by $1,200 in snack bar sales alone. That's to say nothing of gate revenue, which likely reached the $7,000 range.

"The atmosphere was phenomenal," Amundsen said.

The losing coach, Buchanan's Eric Swain, found it to be a winning idea as well: "Absolutely. What a great experience for the players and, as a basketball fan in general, I could get out and see a marquee game not in my league."