Friday night's Verona-Purdy basketball game has been moved to Aurora High School.
"Our gym is able to accommodate every basketball contest we play," said Verona Superintendent Bill Sweet. "Except, for the game against Purdy. Last season we had such a large crowd we ran out of room for people to stand. My office has received several calls from individuals asking 'When would the gates open and could we save them seats?' We even had a school 350 miles away call to tell they were coming to scout the game. We knew we had to do something."
According to a sign posted by the fire marshal, Verona's gym occupancy is 387 with a maximum 446 if the addition seating is added on the stage.
The answer came from five miles away in ther form a gym that seats over 1,200.
|"We were able to reach an agreement with Aurora High School to host the game," said Sweet. "Aurora has been wonderful to work with and very accommodating. From our initial conversations, Aurora's Athletic Director Kanin Rook and Superintendent Dan Decker have been very supportive."|
"For the last couple of years we have hosted Verona's district playoff games," said Rook. "When Superintendent Sweet contacted and asked if it would be possible to host this game, I didn't see a problem with it. It's a way we can be a good neighbor."
The game, for the girls, who are both state ranked has conference title implications, leading some to question if giving up homecourt advantage is worth it for Verona.
"There are a lot of basketball fans in this area," said Verona Athletic Director Brad Stewart. "We have an opportunity to expose more people to our teams and this rivalry. I think it's good for all involved."
Verona Lady Wildcats Coach Ryan Yates shares that view.
"Every district and playoff game for our teams is going to be on a neutral court," said Yates. "What a great way for us to prepare for district playoff atmosphere. I think it's important to allow anyone who wants to attend this game that opportunity."
|The Verona girls have already won a share of the Ozark 7 Conference title and can clinch the championship outright with a win over Purdy.||The Lady Wildcats defeated the Lady Eagles 65-64 earlier this season.|
Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m at Aurora