The arctic blast set to hit the area this weekend has prompted earlier tipoffs for two sets of Lowcountry basketball teams, with May River and Beaufort agreeing to start Saturday’s slate two hours earlier to avoid potentially icy road conditions.
The four-game set at May River will begin at 1 p.m. with junior varsity games, with the girls’ varsity to tip off at 4 p.m. and the boys at 5:30.
“It was the safe call,” said May River athletics director Brett Macy. “If we can get our fans and the Beaufort kids home before it gets really cold — hopefully it doesn’t freeze. Hopefully, the roads aren’t slippery when they’re leaving.”
Overnight rain is expected to let up by noon Saturday, though that could leave treacherous conditions when temperatures start to plummet down to freezing. Forecasts call for lows in the high 20s Saturday night.
The National Weather Service in Charleston has issued a warning that drivers could face black ice on roads this weekend.
“That’s the worry,” Macy said. “That water isn’t going to go anywhere. The sooner we can get them home before the ice starts, the better. Just err on the side of caution.”
The remainder of Saturday’s schedule remains unchanged, including Whale Branch’s visit to Bluffton that stayed on the usual evening timetable of a 6 p.m. tipoff for girls’ varsity and 7:30 for boys.
Hilton Head Island and Battery Creek, meantime, looked prophetic after agreeing weeks ago to slide their games into an afternoon time frame.
“We actually moved them earlier just because it was a Saturday, as opposed to a Friday night,” Seahawks AD Joe Monmonier said. “Get them played and let everybody move along with their weekend. It just happened to be (this weekend).”