Video: Reinstated Sheldon win gritty win
Huskies beat Dublin in a NorCal semifinal thriller.
The strains of getting through the California Interscholastic Federations' 40th Basketball Championships was taking a toll for more than a week.
Three teams — defending Division 2 state girls champion Menlo School (Atherton) and a pair of San Francisco boys' teams, Riordan (top seed Division 1) and Lincoln (second seed Division 4) — were forced to withdraw by it school communities due to concerns over the coronavirus.
A fourth team, the Sheldon (Sacramento) boys juggernaut, was forced to withdraw by its school district for the same reason but the top-seeded Northern California Open Division squad, trying to be the first to win three straight crowns, was eventually reinstated due to a public outcry and political pressure.
The CIF somehow made it through, playing 23 of 24 regional championship games. But on Wednesday, the sporting world, amidst a pandemic, began to collapse.
The NBA suspended its season.
A game Wednesday night where the CIF championships games were to be played — The Golden 1 Center in Sacramento — was cancelled when New Orleans Pelicans players refused to take the court due to coronavirus concerns with a referee.
The NCAA Tournament was canceled.
March 11 was sheer Madness.
As school communities voiced concerns to make the trek to Sacramento — in some cases six hours away — CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti knew the gallant effort to see the tournament through was done.
Thursday morning, the CIF canceled the 12 state championship games and one Northern California Open semifinal game between Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) and Sheldon (Sacramento).
it went from a day-by-day concern to hour-by-hour we felt for the
health and safety of our school communities the decision we made was the
right thing to do," Nocetti said. "It was absolutely an incredibly
difficult decision to cancel an event our student athletes have been
looking forward and working to since the start of the season."
According to Cal-Hi Sports, this was the first CIF state championship canceled because of outside influences since the 1945 track meet due to World War II. The CIF cancelled the 2018 Northern California water polo regional due to wildfires.
That history perhaps made the decision Thursday morning even more difficult.
"Telling a team that its season won't be determined on the field, whether a girls water polo team or Division 6 basketball team or an Open Division squad, is incredibly tough and in a lot of ways not fair. That said, we're not going to put a student-athlete's health in danger in favor of playing for a championship."