The Maryland State Private School Championship tournament has been cancelled due to a lack of teams. Tournament director Keith Veney said that both DeMatha and McNamara declined their invitations this past weekend, leaving too few schools to fill his three-round, eight-team bracket.

“With us trying to put this together in just the last few weeks, a lot of the teams we had in mind already had their players entering spring sports,” Veney said. “And with the WCAC schools, it seemed like there were some conference rules that wouldn’t allow them to participate.”

DeMatha Coach Mike Jones said Friday that the tournament’s short notice along with potential scheduling conflicts led the Stags to decline. Jones added, however, that the school would be open to considering an invitation next year.

The inaugural field announced by Veney last week was expected to include DeMatha, Lanham Christian, McNamara, Pallotti, Princeton Day and Riverdale Baptist.

Veney, a McNamara alum who has trained several NBA players under his Shot Doc Nation organization, still plans to create a 16-team tournament next year with hopes of including Maryland teams from the Interstate Athletic and Mid-Atlantic conferences, among others.

Nick Ashooh fills in for B.J. Koubaroulis to run through the top plays from high school basketball games in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. (Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC/The Washington Post)

“I’m going to start planning in January so we have enough time to get everything together,” Veney said. “I still feel like this is something we need to do and that people want to see.”

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