Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the Virginia High School League announced on Thursday afternoon that it was canceling the remainder of the state basketball championship games at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Only the Class 2 state title games took place on Thursday. The Class 1 games were scheduled for Thursday night and the games for the other four classifications were scheduled for today and Saturday.
Each of the finalists in classes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are declared co-state champions.
“After continuing to assess the impact of COVID-19 and the recent cancellations throughout the sports world, we felt it was in the public interest to cancel our championship finals ... ,” said VHSL executive director Billy Haun in a news release. “While we understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our teams, we feel this decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of, most importantly, our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, families, and fans.”
Haun’s statement was released shortly after 1 p.m. on Thursday. At the time, the VHSL still planned on holding the Class 1 boys’ and girls’ state finals on Thursday night, but two hours later the VHSL canceled those games after Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia.
The following are the state co-champs:
Boys — Class 6: South County and Centreville; Class 5: Green Run and Norview; Class 4: King’s Fork and Woodrow Wilson; Class 3: Cave Spring and Lakeland; Class 1: Auburn and Mathews.
Girls — Class 6: Thomas Edison and James Madison; Class 5: Highland Springs and Princess Anne; Class 4: Hampton and Monacan; Class 3: Lord Botetourt and Spotswood; Class 1: Honaker and Surry County.
In the only contested games on Thursday, Gate City beat Luray 64-54 for the Class 2 girls’ title and John Marshall beat Gate City 75-57 for the Class 2 boys’ title.
NCAA cancels championships;
local high schools still on schedule
The NCAA announced on Thursday that it was canceling all winter and spring championship events because of COVID-19 concerns.
The NCAA’s decision does not mean regular-season competition is canceled. Schools and leagues make their own determination on regular-season competition. In the case of Shenandoah University, Hornets associate athletics director Scott Musa stated on Thursday that the ODAC will have a conference call today to discuss how to move forward.
Several local athletes will not get to compete in winter NCAA championship competition as a result of Thursday’s announcement.
Millbrook graduate Dylan Wisman (University of Missouri) and Sherando graduate John Borst (Virginia Tech) each qualified for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships that were scheduled for March 19-21 in Minneapolis. A redshirt senior, Wisman was 19-8 this year and was seeded 22nd in the 33-man bracket at 184 pounds. A redshirt sophomore, Borst (21-9) was seeded 18th at 285 pounds.
Winchester resident Alex Limoges and the Penn State men’s hockey team were likely going to qualify for the NCAA Division I tournament, which was scheduled to begin March 28. (The Big Ten Tournament was supposed to continue this weekend, but the rest of it has been canceled.) The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten regular-season championship with a 12-8-4-1 record for 41 points (Penn State is (20-10-4 overall). Limoges, a junior forward, finished sixth in the Big 10 in scoring with 32 points.
Shenandoah University senior Elijah Morton qualified in the 60-meter dash for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship that was scheduled for this weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C. Morton was the first male in SU history to qualify for the national championships. Morton, who has a top time of 6.90 seconds, was seeded 16th out of 20 qualifiers.
As for high school athletics, multiple scrimmages involving local schools were canceled on Thursday because of decisions made by school districts from outside the area. No other measures or schedule changes have been announced, but Clarke County baseball coach Mike Smith said in a phone interview on Thursday that the Eagles will not be traveling to compete in a tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., that was scheduled for April 6-9.
Salisbury 9, Shenandoah 7
SALISBURY, Md. — No. 10 Salisbury rallied from a three-run deficit to hand No. 11 Shenandoah University its second loss of the season on Thursday.
Keegan Woolford’s massive homer off the parking deck behind the right-field fence in the top of the sixth had given the Hornets (10-2) a 6-3 lead. Salisbury rallied with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and four more in the seventh.
Woolford’s RBI double in the eighth got the Hornets to within 9-7, but they left the bases loaded to end the inning.
Woolford now has 29 career homers, one short of the school record. Grant Thompson had three hits to lead the SU offense. Former Sherando standout Pearce Bucher, Henry Delavergne and Woolford had two hits apiece.
Justin Meekins had two hits and drove in three for the Sea Gulls (8-3).
Shenandoah 9-3, Mary Washington 6-1
WINCHESTER — Shenandoah swept a doubleheader against Mary Washington on Thursday to up its winning streak to seven games.
The Hornets (7-5) scored five times in the first inning and never trailed in the opener. Arlene Miller’s two-run double highlighted the inning. Sammy Amateau and Nikki Stone led SU with two hits each, while Morgan Henley plated two runs.
In the nightcap, Henley (4-2) tossed a six-hitter, with one walk and one strikeout. Amateau and Meghan Stout each had three hits.