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Swampscott boys’ hoop going to state tournament after all

What a difference a day makes. Big Blue boys? basketball captain Chris Myette thought he had played his last game for Swampscott in Monday night?s 72-62 win over Amesbury. Myette, head coach Dave Born and the members of the Big Blue basketball family were told by athletic director Jon Flanagan they would not be going to the state tournament, even though they had qualified under the Sullivan Rule in January.
The Sullivan Rule states that if a school plays 70 percent or more of its schedule against schools in a higher division, that school needs only to play .500 or better in games in its own division to qualify for the state tournament. Swampscott, a Division 3 school, went 7-13 overall, 6-2 against other Division 3 schools to qualify.
The initial decision, however, was that the team wouldn?t go to the tournament.
But, after a flood of emails and phone calls to the high school, from folks upset with Flanagan?s decision, principal Ed Rozmiarek reversed the decision. So Myette and his teammates don?t have to put away their sneakers just yet.
?I feel great for the kids,” Born said. “Chris thought (Monday) night in Amesbury would be his last high school game, and now we?re going to get ready for practices and scouting possible opponents. I was very proud of how the team played Monday, under the circumstances, and needless to say, we?re pretty happy right now.”
Rozmiarek said since the team qualified under the rules it should be allowed to go into the tournament.
?I spoke with (Flanagan), and he had concerns about our record, concerns about our preparation for going to the tournament, and he felt that not going was the thing to do,” Rozmiarek said. “The MIAA makes the rules, and Swampscott qualified under their rules, so we feel it?s a great opportunity for our kids to take part in the tournament.”
Myette was floored when he got a text from his coach late Tuesday afternoon telling him of the principal?s decision.
?I really can?t tell you how excited am right now,” Myette said. “We gave it everything we had Monday night, thinking that was going to be our last game. This is great. We can’t wait to show everyone in the state tournament what type of team we have.”
Born said he was proud of the way his team played the last two games of the schedule, a loss to Saugus and a win over Amesbury, after hearing Friday that they would not be going to the playoffs.
?It was very emotional for everybody, a very good team win in Amesbury,” Born said. “Now we?ll prepare for the tournament.”
?I understand what Jon was saying, and what he told me about not going to the tournament,” Rozmiarek said. “But in the end, I think it?s an opportunity for our kids to participate. If you?ve made it this far and you?ve played by the rules and you?ve qualified under the MIAA?s rules, there?s no reason to take away an opportunity from our students.”
With the decision behind them, Born said he and his players can now prepare on getting ready for the tournament.
?We?re all glad this is over with and now we can focus on the tournament, competing and playing good basketball,” Born said.
Born texted all his players with the news late Tuesday afternoon, and he enjoyed doing it, he said.
?We?re excited,” Born said. “Now we have to work as hard as we can to get ready for the state tournament.” The Item made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Flanagan.

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