King Philip head boys basketball coach Sean McInnis expressed surprise when speaking with ESPNBoston.com this afternoon, regarding the MIAA's decision this morning to move the Warriors' first round home game to a larger venue.
The 17-3 Warriors, the No. 4 seed in Division 2 South, will host No. 13 seed Whitman-Hanson on Tuesday night at Taunton High School, nearly 20 miles from their home gymnasium in Wrentham.
"This came out of the blue this morning," McInnis said. "My A.D. called me at noon today to let me know he'd been contacted by the MIAA and they moved the site."
McInnis admits he had "a strong feeling" that should they win their first-round game, the MIAA would have moved their next scheduled home game to a neutral site. The Warriors' gym is among the smallest in the 10-team Hockomock League. This season -- perhaps due in part to the star power of Maryland signee Jake Layman -- fan interest was at an all-time high, with the gym routinely reaching capacity more than an hour before tipoff.
McInnis understood, and said he would fully support, a second-round matchup getting moved, and is pretty much assured to happen following today's venue change. But getting the Warriors' first round matchup moved comes as a surprise.
"It's a shock to us," McInnis said. "Now we need to explain to all our seniors they've officially played their last home game, which to a high school senior that's a pretty big deal."
He added, "The theory is, hey, if we're going to win it all, we've got to be able to in any gym, anywhere, anytime. Now, we've been given that opportunity. But to take a 17-3 record into D2 South and to lose a home game, that's very tough."