By Ed Bailey

The Lyman Ward Military Academy basketball team has been removed from the AISA basketball playoffs.

“The AISA gave us a ruling that we would not be able to play this year and the reason for that is we have a player who is academically eligible but we did not report that by the AISA’s deadline,” LWMA athletic director Joe Watson said. “They have a very hard and fast rules about  reporting these things.”

The Rangers defeated Eastwood in the AISA Region 1 title game but with LWMA removed from tourney play, Eastwood now takes the no. 1 seed.

“We didn’t try to sneak anyone in to play,” said LWMA basketball coach Dwayne Thomas. “He’s (the player) been on the books all year.”

Watson said LWMA is saddened that the Rangers would not be able to participate in the tournament.

“It’s a tough break and a tough loss for the kids,” he said. “This is an issue that we reported to them and it’s got to be that way.”

“It wasn’t anything that the AISA did wrong and it wasn’t anything that Lyman Ward tried to sneak and do wrong,” Thomas said. “It is what it is.”