CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- First, snow. Then, cold. Now, water. If this keeps up, basketball teams in the Kanawha Valley will have a hard time fulfilling their 22-game regular season schedules.
Some area high schools haven't been able to play now for up to two weeks because of myriad problems, and several have had sporadic practice time.
Initially, it was because of snowfall and hazardous travel conditions. Then came the below-zero deep freeze that settled over the entire state of West Virginia. This week, it's the water emergency that has closed nearly every school in Kanawha and Putnam counties.
Seldom have so many obstacles to playing games surfaced so close together. The uncertainty of the current water situation in the Kanawha Valley halted about a dozen boys and girls games on Thursday and Friday, and has already forced postponement of at least two more boys contests tonight - Capital at Winfield and Riverside at Nitro.
Two of the hardest-hit boys programs are Riverside and George Washington, neither of which has been able to play a game since the calendar flipped to 2014.
The last game for the unbeaten Warriors (3-0) was Dec. 28 at Chapmanville. For GW (4-2), it was Dec. 30 at home against Wheeling Park.
Riverside so far has lost one game to snow, one to sub-zero temperatures and one to water, including a somewhat-strange scenario Thursday night when Winfield made the trip to Quincy. The junior varsity game between the schools was actually played, but after deliberation, school officials made the decision to call off the varsity contest because of the water situation.
Meanwhile, across Kanawha County, South Charleston played its boys varsity game at Capital without interruption, as did Charleston Catholic's girls in a home game against Parkersburg Catholic.
Ryan Carter, Riverside's first-year boys coach, hopes to get his team back on the floor Monday against SC at the South Charleston Community Center. If the Warriors do play, it will be their first game in 16 days.
"I was talking to another coach,'' Carter said, "and I told him I felt like a baseball coach, not a basketball coach, rescheduling all these games.''
Also problematic for the Warriors is the fact they haven't been able to practice on days when Kanawha County schools called off classes.
"We're a young team,'' Carter said. "I've only got one senior [Tyus Wood], and we're trying to get used to each other, trying to get used to everything. We were on a roll and won our first three games, but we still have a ton of work to do.''
Rick Greene, GW's veteran coach, said his team has been able to practice just four times since its last game on Dec. 30, also losing two games to snow and one to water.
The Patriots are scheduled to play tonight at Cabell Midland. GW floors a relatively inexperienced team, which is trying to mesh with senior transfer Jon Elmore, the leading scorer in the Mountain State Athletic Conference at 32.5 points per game.