LONGMONT --While the Skyline boys basketball team was winning an epic triple-overtime thriller against Northridge on Jan. 6, careful observers might have noted a bubble beginning to appear out of the floor in the corner of Skyline's gym.
By the following Monday that boil exploded, scuttling the schedules for the Falcons' boys and girls basketball teams.
After fixing buried water damage in the floor over the 2010 holiday hiatus, the problem returned this year with interest, forcing Skyline to enact immediate repair work on the ruined surface. Both basketball teams finally will end two weeks of road games when the repaired floor is unveiled during a hoops doubleheader on Tuesday against Fort Morgan.
During the repair work, each team played three road games that originally were slated as home dates.
"The only headaches were trying to get the dates down," Skyline athletic director Michael Green said. "Fortunately we were still in the first round of the home-and-away games in the league, so it was just a matter of flipping them around. If it had happened later in the year, it might have been a bigger problem.
"It really expanded overnight after that (Northridge) game. A lot of it already was under the bleachers where it couldn't be seen. Last year, we fixed it over Christmas, but this was double the space that happened before. It expanded rapidly."
Green said school officials believe the guilty party was a drinking fountain in that corner of the gym. It has been dismantled and removed, leaving the Falcons' basketball teams with a glut of home games on their revamped floor for the season's stretch run.
"It's ready to go and it will be good to have our teams playing at home again," Green said. "I know it was a tough deal for them, but hopefully we can do well with all the home games we will have in the final part of the season."
The unexpected damage control forced the Skyline hoops teams to play the role of road warriors for the bulk of the month, though Green noted the school caught a break as no wrestling matches needed to be rescheduled. One wrestling meet was held in the middle of the floor away from the damaged area in the corner.
Yet the fate of the wrestlers certainly wasn't any solace for the basketball teams, which had home games against Frederick, Roosevelt, and Niwot rescheduled as road dates. Because of the various scheduling quirks, both teams had to suffer through a slate that was uniquely draining.
Skyline's girls team played three road games last week, winning at Frederick before losing consecutive Tri-Valley League games on consecutive nights at Roosevelt and Niwot. That's not to mention a "home game" against Skyview at Mead High School.
The Falcons' boys squad endured a similar stretch, losing a heartbreaker at Frederick before rebounding the next night with an impressive win at Roosevelt. The Skyline boys ended the hectic week with a loss at Niwot on Saturday.
"I'm not going to use that as an excuse, but it's hard to win on the road," Skyline boys coach Michael Peterson said. "Especially when you're not a powerhouse program and you're trying to turn a corner, it's very difficult to do that. I'm not an excuse-maker. We should have won the close games that we have lost on the road. You have to overcome adversity."
Pat Rooney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org