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CIF cancels state basketball finals; spring sports could be in jeopardy

In what could be a harbinger for high school athletics in the North State and across the country, the CIF announced today it canceled the state basketball tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision was announced this morning after the CIF Executive Committee met with teams and section officials on a conference call. This is a developing story and we will continue to update as needed.

Thursday, the NBA suspended its season, the NCAA announced its March Madness tournament would be played without fans in the stadiums, though conference tournaments were being canceled by the dozens on Thursday.

The Northern Section did not have a team playing in the basketball championships, with the West Valley girls and Pierce boys teams falling Tuesday in NorCal final action.

Liz Kyle, section commissioner, said, as of now, spring sports are going forward as planned.

“Until we get to Section playoffs again, it is a school/district/league decision,” she said in a text to Shasta County Sports.

A secretary for Shasta Union High School District Superintendent Jim Cloney said he, along with other school superintendents, are meeting with public health officials today to discuss the growing crisis.

A public health official said the meeting was a planning meeting and thus not open to the public, though Public Health plans to report “anything of significance.”

One North State athletic director said it’s business as usual for spring sports, but wouldn’t be surprised to see that change quickly.

Central Valley Principal Kyle Turner said the school and district have been meeting to come up with options and that “Student safety is always our first priority.”

He said sports and activities are things the schools and districts are “learning along the way,” adding “All we can do is try to be as prepared as possible and keep student safety in the forefront.”

Meanwhile, Shasta College announced its games will continue with only “essential personnel” present. The Knights also tweeted that their annual Celebrity Dinner Auction is being postponed and a new date will be announced at a later time.

Staff Reports is content produced by the Shasta County Sports team.

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