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Graduation exam mucks schedule

The Alabama High School Graduation exam wreaked havoc on several of Tuesday’s high school basketball games.

The most notable was the Dallas County-Southside matchup. The game was cancelled on Friday so players on both teams could focus on the exam.

“It was a scheduling oversight,” said Southside coach Cecil Brown. “It really didn’t affect us too much. We could’ve played this week. We get to play this week.”

Southside’s contest on Friday with Central Hayneville is expected to take place as scheduled. Dallas County is scheduled to play Greensboro on the same day, but the game’s status is unknown at this time

“Because we’re under (adequate yearly progress), we’re trying not to schedule more than two games a week,” said Dallas County coach Willie Moore. “Our schools are trying to improve academically, and we just want to make sure the general public knows we’re supporting education.

“We really don’t want the folks to be on a basketball game. We want the folks to be on academics because they’ve got to have that to go off to college.”

The Southside-Dallas County game has been rescheduled for Jan. 7, one day after classes resume at both schools.

“I think it’s going to put the focus on academics,” said Moore. “When the kids do well, the system is doing well.”

Southside and Dallas County are not alone in game cancellations. Wilcox Central had to call off its game with Sumter County as well.

“We just didn’t look at that when we scheduled the game,” said Wilcox Central coach Mark Dukes. “With our schedule like it’s been, we’ve mainly been playing on weekends.”

Dukes thinks the energy that would have been exhausted on basketball should aid his players as they take the graduation exam.

“I really don’t see it as being a distraction,” he said. “I really think it’ll be motivation for them.”