CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For the second time in a week, a Kanawha Valley basketball team has played too many regular-season games.Capital's 55-48 boys win at Logan Thursday night marked the 23rd game for the Cougars - one over the SSAC-mandated limit for the regular season. Last week, Riverside's girls played a 23rd game before competing in their sectional opener.Gary Ray, executive director of the West Virginia SSAC, said on Friday he's looking into both instances."We'll talk to Capital and see what took place,'' Ray said. "Without knowing all the details, I can't say [what will happen]. We haven't finished looking into all our Riverside information yet."There are various things that we can do. Nothing's etched into stone. We have to look at each case individually and determine how it happened, why it happened and who allowed it to happen. The sanctions will be based upon what I can find there.''Ron Wilson, Capital's athletic director, was unaware of the situation until a reporter pointed it out Friday morning.After he talked to Cougars coach Carl Clark later in the day, Wilson said he was preparing a statement for the SSAC explaining "our understanding and interpretation of the schedule.''Unlike Riverside, which thought that the late-season Mountain State Athletic Conference place-winner game was counted as a postseason contest (in going over its 22-game limit), Wilson said Capital's problem stemmed from a Dec. 28-29 trip to Greenbrier East's Spartan Holiday Tournament.
"There were a couple of games that were not on the original schedule at the beginning of the year,'' Wilson said. "Those games at Greenbrier East were scheduled very late in the year, perhaps a week or so before they actually occurred. That's where the error occurred. I thought we were going to play one [game] and we ended up playing two.''Capital lost to host Greenbrier East 73-62 and beat Trinity 80-52 in East's tournament.Incidentally, Capital was nearly in the same dilemma in 2004.The Cougars discovered in early February that year that they'd scheduled 23 regular-season games, but were able to work out a last-minute deal with MSAC rival Ripley to avoid playing too many games.The culprit that time was Capital's visit to the Coal Classic in Beckley (since renamed the Big Atlantic Classic), where it played three games."We used to have a rule,'' said Pete Meszaros, Capital's AD at the time, "that not every game in a tournament would count as one game. But they changed that rule, and we probably got lost in that situation.''Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.