A new rule change in Oregon high school sports forced a high school boys basketball team to take one of the longest single-game road trips in recent memory, flying to Hawaii and staying for a full week to play just one game.
According to the Portland Oregonian, the Oregon Schools Activities Association has a 25-game cap on the amount of contests a team can participate in during a regular season. For the first time, two play-in postseason games, which have been added to the OSAA Class 5A playoffs, will count toward a team's 25-game total.
Those two additional games meant that Wilsonville (Ore.) High was forced to clear two games off its scheduled season slate, lest it risk not being able to compete in the play-in games because it had maxed out its 25 regular-season games.
With little room for other cancellations, Wilsonville had to trim games from its scheduled trip to Hawaii, which had been planned and booked before the new OSAA rule had been finalized. The Wildcats had scheduled three games on the island, yet eliminated the second and third matchups to clear space for the play-in games to be the team's 24th and 25th games of the season.
"It was a great trip. We had a good week of practice, and it worked out fine from a basketball perspective," Wilsonville coach Chris Roche told the Oregonian. "It probably wasn't ideal to play one game instead of three, but it worked out fine."
The lone game Wilsonville did play was a thorough rout: a 40-point, 68-28 win over Le Jardin (Hawaii) Academy.
The Wilsonville players themselves might have been thrilled with the revised schedule, which gave them plenty more time to travel and beach-sit on the island, even if it did erode some of the original purpose of the trip.