Westport's Sarah Looby drives to the basket against Moriah's Caitlin Pelkey and Lauren Cross earlier this season. Westport and Moriah now face off as Division II foes in the new Northern Basketball League.
Something looked different when players and parents received their 2013-14 basketball schedules.
As was the case with soccer in Section VII, the Mountain and Valley and Champlain Valley Athletic conferences have gone away in basketball, being replaced with the Northern Basketball League.
The league has been separated into three divisions, mixing teams from Class A, B, C and D based partially on geography and competitive balance.
Division I of the NBL includes Class A Peru, Class B schools Northeastern Clinton, Beekmantown, Plattsburgh High, Saranac, Saranac Lake and AuSable Valley along with Class C’s Northern Adirondack.
The remainder of the Class C schools - Seton Catholic, Lake Placid, Moriah and Ticonderoga - will play in Division II, joined by MVAC staples Chazy, Willsboro, Elizabethtown-Lewis and Westport.
Division III will include the southern Class D schools: Crown Point, Keene, Schroon Lake, Minerva/Newcomb, Indian Lake/Long Lake, Wells and Johnsburg.
Teams will still break up into their respective classes for the Section VII playoffs to earn a berth into the state tournament.
A post-season change comes with the senior games, where the MVAC All-Senior game and CVAC Exceptional Senior Game will be replaced with a NBL senior game. Each team will be given one automatic player on the senior teams, while the remainder of the rosters (40 players total for boys and 40 for girls) will be voted on by the coaches. The seniors will then be broken up into four teams of 10 to play in senior games at AuSable Valley Middle/High School at the end of the season.
Rules have also been changed for modified teams that played in the MVAC. Formerly, modified teams were only allowed to play half-court, man-to-man defense for the majority of the game, being allowed to press in the final two minutes of the game. Under new league rules, modified teams will be able to press and play zone defense for all 28 minutes of the game starting Jan. 1, allowing time for MVAC coaches to teach their players zone and press defense and offense.
Along with rule changes, there will also be some custom changes. While most MVAC schools are known for silence when it comes to players shooting free throws, CVAC schools are known for keeping the fan noise up when opposing players go to the line.
Several CVAC schools also have two sites for games. In Division II, Ticonderoga plays modified games at the Ticonderoga Middle School starting at 5:30 p.m., with junior varsity games also starting at 5:30 p.m. at the high school, followed by the varsity contest. In Moriah, all games are held in the same building, with modified games played in the elementary school gym at 5:30 p.m. and junior varsity and varsity games played in the high school gym, also starting at 5:30 p.m.
All other Division II games played at a single site start with modified competitions at 4:30 p.m., followed by the junior varsity and varsity games. Games involving Seton Catholic and Elizabethtown-Lewis will only have modified and varsity games, with first tip set for 5:30 p.m.
For those attending basketball games at a new venue for the first time, most school websites have a listing of away game locations and directions. Here is a brief list for Division II:
Chazy - all games played at CCRS, starting at 4:30 p.m.
Elizabethtown-Lewis - all games played at ELCS, no JV, starting at 4:40 p.m.
Lake Placid - all games played at Lake Placid High School (next to Olympic Center) starting at 4:30 p.m.
Moriah - all games played at MCS, modified games starting at 5:30 p.m. in the elementary gym, junior varsity games at 5:30 p.m. in the high school gym
Seton Catholic - all games played at Seton Catholic School (former air base) with modified starting at 5:30 p.m.
Ticonderoga - modified games start at 5:30 p.m. at the Ticonderoga Middle School; junior varsity games start at 5:30 p.m. at the high school
Westport - all games played at WCS starting at 4:30 p.m.
Willsboro - all games played at WCS starting at 4:30 p.m.
Note: 4:30 p.m. starts for three game nights; 5:30 p.m. for two game nights.