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BG, B-A on PIAA list to move up in class

On Tuesday, the PIAA announced that 15 of its high school basketball teams would be forced to move up in classification next season due to its new competitive-balance rule.

Two local teams, the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic boys and the Bellwood-Antis girls, were among those listed.

For the Marauders, the announcement wasn’t a surprise to the program and coach Chris Drenning. The Bellwood-Antis girls, however, were another story.

Teams who have accumulated six success points based off the past two seasons (2018-2019, 2019-2020) and have at least one transfer fall under the competitive-balance rule in basketball.

Bishop Guilfoyle and Bellwood-Antis both have the required number of success points due to both teams playing for the PIAA championship last season and making the PIAA quarterfinals this year before the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cameron Khoza, who transferred to BG from Saint Joseph’s this season and was ineligible for the postseason due to transferring, counted as a transfer for the Marauders, meaning they are subject to the rule.

The PIAA’s release incorrectly stated Bishop Guilfoyle had 14 transfers, something Drenning wanted cleared up, though the amount of transfers is inconsequential in this case.

“Rules are rules. I have always said if they move us up, they move us up,” Drenning said. “I don’t see us appealing it. We did contact them and try to get that 14 number corrected. That number is not correct. We had one. You have to appeal by Friday, but based off what I have read and what I have been told, the only way you can appeal is if you’re appealing the legitimacy of the transfer, and we have no grounds to appeal there.”

Tuesday’s announcement was a shock to Bellwood-Antis, which had outgoing senior Sakeria Haralson transfer into its program three years ago before the success factor was active.

According to B-A, the basketball team has had no transfers since. The Lady Blue Devils had until Friday to appeal a move from Class 2A to Class 3A and have already done so, but they had not heard back from the PIAA as of press time.

“I got an email from the PIAA that we had to bump up due to a transfer,” Bellwood-Antis athletic director Charlie Burch said. “It was a student that lived in the district her entire life, and it was simply a clerical error. I am positive it will be corrected. The principal and I attached her transcripts from middle school up, and we told them if they needed it from kindergarten up, we could send it in.”

B-A girls basketball coach Jim Swaney’s statement was similar.

“They listed a kid as a transfer on our team last year that was not a transfer,” Bellwood-Antis girls basketball coach Jim Swaney said. “She had been in our program ever since elementary school. So, basically it was a clerical mistake. The school district has appealed to the PIAA showing that it was wrong. We haven’t heard back about it yet.”

Bishop Guilfoyle, which has won the last three District 6 Class 2A championships, will play at Class 3A next season despite the fact this year’s state playoffs were canceled without finishing.

“Some schools were talking about appealing based off the state tournament never finishing,” Drenning said. “My understanding is that won’t work and you can only appeal on legitimacy of transfers.”

Schools moving up

Boys basketball

1A Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter

2A Bishop Guilfoyle

2A Math, Civics and Science Center

3A Lincoln Park

3A Trinity

4A Archbishop Bonner-Prendergast

4A Imhotep Charter

5A Archbishop Wood

Girls basketball

2A Bellwood-Antis

3A Delone Catholic

3A Dunmore

4A Bethlehem Catholic

4A North Catholic

5A Archbishop Carroll

5A Chartiers Valley

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