By Ray Hamill — Western Sierra has informed St. Bernard’s that the school’s girls basketball team will not be making the trip to Eureka for a scheduled NorCal game on Tuesday night.
The forfeit means the No. 1 seeded Crusaders will now play either University or Notre Dame in Thursday’s Division-V second round.
The reason Western Sierra gave for not traveling is that the school could not secure transportation from Rocklin.
The Wolves are seeded No. 16 and were seen as sizable underdogs going up against the Crusaders.
“It’s disappointing,” St. Bernard’s head coach Mark Gardner said. “Because you get to this point because you want to compete.”
Western Sierra’s decision was immediately heavily criticized locally on social media, with several calls to suspend the program from future playoff appearances.
It certainly seems like a bizarre decision, taking away their own players’ opportunity to play in the NorCals.
Especially, when so many teams battle so hard to qualify.
The Crusaders, who won a fourth North Coast Section title in five years on Saturday, will now turn their attention to Thursday’s game.
“It’s disappointing, but we’ll go back to practice tomorrow and get ready for either University or Notre Dame on Thursday,” Gardner said.