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Not all wins created equal in Section 3 tourney

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Each year at this time when the Section 3 boys basketball committee attempts to seed teams strictly according to records, there is always plenty of heated discussion and wrangling about where certain teams belong.

Should a team with a great record that plays inferior opponents be seeded higher than a team with a lesser record that plays a more demanding schedule?

Today, when the committee meets to select the 2013 Section 3 tournament field, seeding teams will be a lot easier due to a point system established this season to select brackets.

Teams from Class AA down through Class D will be placed according to a formula which awards or subtracts points for wins and losses based the class of a team’s opponent.

For instance, when a Class AA team plays another AA team the game is worth plus-5 points and minus-5 points for the winner and loser, respectively.

When a Class A team plays a Class AA team (plays up) then a win for the Class A team is worth plus-6 points and minus-4 points for a loss. The AA team earns plus-4 points for the win and minus-6 for the loss.

This scale “slides’’ up and down through the classes. The seeding index is tabulated by taking a team’s total points and dividing it by the total number of games. For example, 82 points divided by 18 games gives a 4.556 seeding index.

Carthage coach Jeff Ventiquattro, a member of the Section 3 basketball committee whose team is 17-1 and should be a high seed in Class A, said the system was put in place to “reward teams that play a tough schedule and try to improve against better competition.”

South Jefferson coach Fred Piche said, “It is good for balance in the section. Teams in Syracuse that play an almost exclusive B schedule complain that other leagues play too many C and D games which inflates their record.”

For South Jefferson, which is 17-1 with its only loss to Class A Carthage, it worked to the Spartans’ advantage. They won five of six games against Class A teams, giving the Spartans a plus-26 points. They also played five games against Class C teams, winning all five.

“The negative side is right now there are seven teams all within one game of each other in Class B,” Piche said. “I have no idea who we’ll be playing.’’

Beaver River, at 17-1 in Class C, is in the same boat as South Jefferson. The Beavers are rewarded for playing three Class B teams (beating two), but don’t gain as much for playing and beating six Class D teams.

General Brown coach Brian Nortz, another local committee member, said, “We did some research from last year’s tournament and it barely affected anyone. This year, it could be a little different. But the teams with the good records are going to be up high no matter what.”

One of the sticking points for the Frontier League is Immaculate Heart Central. They are a C school by classification numbers, but the Frontier League makes the Cavaliers play in the “A” Division against all Class A schools.

Said Nortz: “When Carthage, WHS and Indian River play IHC (twice a season), they can only earn three points with a win, but they may lose seven with a loss. IHC, on the other hand, can gain seven and lose only three. This is a delicate part, how to deal with the private schools who may play up in the regular season but down in the sectionals.”

Neither IHC nor Watertown qualified for sectionals this season.

Seitz Honored in N.C.

A recent Charlotte Observer article on former Indian River boys’ basketball coach Denny Seitz brings back fond memories of his time in the north country and details the loss of his wife of 49 years, Janice, who died last October of breast cancer.

After retiring from coaching in 2009 following a nine-year stint at Indian River and 137 wins, Seitz and his wife headed back to North Carolina in the winters to be closer to sons Jamie and Denny.

Seitz, 69, has helped Jamie coach the Lincoln Charter varsity boys’ basketball team for the past three years.

Janice was originally admitted to the hospital last September for what doctors thought was pneumonia. However, tests revealed that she advanced stage lung and breast cancer.

Janice died at age 68 on Oct. 23. A week after the funeral, Denny was back in North Carolina, and on the basketball court helping coach the Lincoln Charter team.

Called “Papa Seitz’’ by the Lincoln Charter players, they decided to do something special for Seitz. They put together a night to honor Denny after Jamie decided to “donate” three of his own career victories to bring his father’s total to 500.

Video tributes poured in from all over the country and were made into a seven-minute video.

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