Cairo had not won a game in the holiday tournament before its coach pulled his team off the court and forfeited the remainder of his team’s games.

By Justin Tierney

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and cheerfulness.

But after a confluence of injuries and other frustrations during Saturday’s action at the 27th Annual Charleston Girls Holiday Tournament, Cairo Lady Pilots coach Alvin Wiggins had apparently lost what remained of his holiday spirit. 

According to fans and tournament officials, in the third quarter of a Saturday game against Tri-County, Wiggins –– with his team trailing by a wide margin –– elected to forfeit the game after his team was given a technical foul for a second delay of game warning for failing to exit their sideline huddle in a timely fashion after a timeout. 

The timeout that precipitated the technical foul on Cairo was called by Tri-County to recognize guard Tayler Berry’s 1,000th career point. 

In addition to forfeiting Saturday’s game, Wiggins also informed tournament officials that the Lady Pilots would not be returning for a game schedule for 10 a.m. on Monday.

That game, scheduled to be played against Charleston, will also result in a forfeit because, according to Charleston coach Jeff Miller, the Lady Pilots will fail to meet the obligations of their tournament contract. 

“They notified us they were not coming back on Monday,” said tournament director Jim Davis.

Charleston had defeated Cairo, 55-35, on Friday.

Both Davis and Miller speculated that Wiggins frustration may have been a combination of things, including the score of Saturday’s game, injuries to two players, and having to play in back-to-back games.

“I think he was upset about the scenario of having to play back-to-back games.  But, in this format, without a break, you have to do that,” said Miller. “It’s hard, but we’ve had other teams that have had to do that as well.” 

With Monday’s 10 a.m. game now cancelled, tournament play will begin with the fifth-place game at 11:30 a.m.