Despite dropping a 66-62 double-overtime decision to Kennedy Catholic in the District 10 Class A boys consolation game last Friday, Eisenhower has been awarded a PIAA state playoff berth for the second-straight season.
It was ruled on Monday that Kennedy Catholic had used an ineligible player in its victory over the Knights, and the Golden Eagles were forced to forfeit their third-place win as well as a spot in the state tournament.
"I know little to nothing about it," said Eisenhower coach Dave Allenson. "It seems like everyone else knew before I did. All I heard was that it was a kid they had on the bench who they put in towards the end of the game without thinking about it."
There were no clear details on what caused the player to be declared ineligible or if Kennedy Catholic would be forced to abandon any of its regular season wins. The Golden Eagles posted an overall record of 13-10 (including the forfeit loss to Ike) and a Region 1 record of 8-0.
Kennedy Catholic president Pete Iacino told Youngstown-area news station WFMJ that the school proactively reported the violation to the PIAA.
The Knights did not practice on Monday due to the short notice, but Allenson plans on having his team back on the court as early as Tuesday.
"We met after school to talk about it," said Allenson, whose team now sits at 15-9 overall. "It was late notice, so some of the kids had plans. We have one guy who's in Tennessee right now; he'll be back on Wednesday."
The forfeit gives Ike the number three seed out of District 10 for the state playoffs. Only the top three Class A finishers in the district tournament advance to states. Cochranton and Erie First Christian hold the one and two spots, respectively.
The Knights will take on District 9-champion Ridgway at 7:30 p.m., Friday, at Clarion University's Tippin Gymnasium. Tickets will be available at Eisenhower Middle High School beginning Tuesday afternoon.