By Nick Curcuru
---- — The Gloucester girls basketball team needed to gets its game in Tuesday against Marblehead at the Benjamin A. Smith Fieldhouse.
With Monday’s game against Manchester Essex postponed and rescheduled for Friday of last week, a home game on Thursday and a boys home game on Wednesday, Tuesday was the only open night left on the schedule.
With above freezing temperatures following winter storm Nemo last weekend, the nearly two feet of snow began to melt on the fieldhouse roof causing it to run through the cracks of the leaky fieldhouse roof.
Tuesday’s leaky roofed called for desperate measures, as athletic director Kim Patience and athletic trainer Mary Ellen Zielski stood at the leaky end of the floor and wiped up the falling water with dry towels as play was on the other end of the floor. Disaster averted for one night at least.
As a result of Tuesday’s leaks city officials were up on the fieldhouse roof the following day surveying damage and putting together a plan for repairs according to Patience.
“(City officials) were up on the roof Wednesday looking at where the leaks are coming from and how to fix them,” Patience said. “It looks like we are getting close to some answers.”
The roof has been leaking all winter causing inconvenience amongst the local basketball and track teams. Although no games or meets were postponed due to the leaks, practice times have been effected.
Gloucester boys basketball coach Bill Cahill and girls coach Brandon Lewis were forced to hold a practice on half of the court due to leaks last month. Tuesday was not the first time Patience was forced to mop up dripping water in the middle of the game as she was forced to do the same thing during the BankGloucester Holiday Tournament in December.
Gloucester may be out of the woods in terms of cancellations for the remainder of the winter season. The Gloucester girls basketball team was the only Gloucester team to qualify for the state tournament, and with a 10-10 record a home tournament game is highly unlikely.
Next month, however, spring sports begin and early season tryouts are normally held in the fieldhouse because outdoor playing fields are rarely ready to be played on.