CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's been a rough couple of weeks for the Riverside High School basketball programs.On Tuesday, the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission began looking into why the girls team overscheduled games. Two weeks ago, Warriors boys head coach Dusty Herscher and his staff were suspended indefinitely.The Riverside girls (7-17) had already played 23 games heading into Monday night's Class AAA sectional, but schools are only allowed to play 22 games before the postseason begins per SSAC rules. Riverside escaped with a 40-39 victory over visiting Ripley and advanced to face AAA No. 9 George Washington at 7 tonight in the semifinals. "We're talking with the SSAC and we're waiting on them to get back with us,'' said Riverside first-year athletic director Jon Veazey. "They just told us to explain to them where the mishap was and go from there.''
"We'd have to address that with that school and see what's going on,'' SSAC executive director Gary Ray said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon when he first learned of the overscheduling issue.Veazey, who took over as Riverside's AD in late October, said the scheduling snafu occurred when he and first-year Riverside girls coach Scott Garretson believed the Mountain State Athletic Conference place-winner game counted as a postseason event and not toward the regular-season total of games."The schedules were handed down to us,'' Veazey said. "We were under the impression the MSAC was a postseason game. We didn't even think to check [the schedule]. It was just an honest mistake.''
"I sent an e-mail this evening to Gary Ray telling him what occurred,'' added Garretson. "At the beginning of the year I was handed a schedule from [former Riverside athletic director] Tiffany Anderson and I just assumed the correct amount of games were on there. I just went with it. I never had one reason to doubt what she had given me to be accurate and correct.''Veazey also said that Chad Metten was named the interim boys coach last week. Metten, who was part of Herscher's staff, played at Davis & Elkins from 2000-03. Metten's first game as head coach was Riverside's 60-59 loss at Nitro in the MSAC sixth-place game Friday.When Herscher and his staff were suspended, Garretson and former Warriors boys coach Danny Hill stepped in for two games."He was not considered to be accused of anything,'' said Garretson of Metten's reinstatement. "They were allowed to bring him back. I think the rest of the way through, I'm going to help him out a little bit. He's doing it by himself. I'm going to help him as much as I can.''Riverside Principal Valery Harper didn't return phone calls from the Gazette seeking comment on Tuesday. Harper also would not elaborate two weeks ago on the reason for the suspension of Herscher and his staff or the likelihood of how long the suspension would last.Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.