The status of Herbert Hoover’s Wednesday game against Shady Spring in the boys basketball state tournament was up in the air Monday evening due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
The Huskies are scheduled to play the Tigers at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Class AAA quarterfinals at the Charleston Coliseum. Hoover (13-3) is seeded sixth in the AAA field and Shady (12-2) is the No. 3 seed.
Rumors circulated Monday that the Huskies were already ruled out of the tournament, but Herbert Hoover Principal Mike Kelley said Monday evening those rumors were incorrect.
“It’s premature to say that,’’ Kelley said. “We have not been disqualified for the state tournament. We have been communicating with the [Kanawha-Charleston] Health Department, so it is premature to say we have been disqualified at this point.’’
Kelley said he expected to hear something from health officials on Tuesday morning.
“I almost feel like we have to know by [Tuesday],’’ Kelley said, “given that the game is the first game on the docket for Wednesday.’’
If Hoover isn’t able to compete, Shady Spring will advance in a no-contest to the semifinal round.
Herbert Hoover qualified for the boys state tournament for just the second time since the Elk River school opened in 1963. Kelley still hopes the game can go on as scheduled.
“We’re not going to do anything unsafe,’’ Kelley said, “or not do anything to put anybody at risk. We’re going to exhaust all of our options, but in the end, we’ll do what the health department tells us to do, which is what we’ve done from the start.
“We want to give our kids every chance to play without putting anybody at risk.’’
In a basketball season full of stops and starts due to the ongoing pandemic, the girls state tournament was completed last week without a hitch, as all 28 games were played in four classes. However, some postseason games in both girls and boys did not get played due to COVID.
Among them were Tug Valley’s Region 4 co-finals boys game against Gilmer County, which was ruled a no-contest, with Tug advancing to the Class A state tournament. Greenbrier East’s girls had a positive case on their team, ultimately resulting in the Spartans not being able to play either their Class AAAA sectional finals game against Woodrow Wilson or their regional game with George Washington.