MIAMI — A positive case of COVID-19 has led to the shutdown of the Miami High School boys’ basketball team through the end of the fall semester.
The Wardogs were to play at Oologah Friday night, in the Seneca Tournament Dec. 10-12 then what was supposed to be their home opener with Jay on Tuesday, Dec. 15, but those have been scrubbed.
Oologah and Jay will be made up since they are Verdigris Valley Conference games.
MHS boys coach Rusty Mercer said he got the news in the middle of Wednesday’s practice.
“It was bound to happen at some point,” Miami athletic director Chad Davis said. “We have a confirmed positive case on the high school boys’ basketball team that was confirmed state department of health. Going back with contact tracing, it was determined that the entire boys’ basketball team (including coaching staff) would need to go into a 14-day quarantine, which went into effect Thursday and runs through Dec. 17.”
It will not affect the Lady Wardog program.
Miami’s girls still will play at Oologah Friday and Jay on Dec. 15. Start times for both will be 6 p.m.
The Lady Wardogs will also be in the Vinita Big Dawg Shoot-out Dec. 10-12 at Vinita.
MHS opens against Claremore at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Others in the girls-only tournament are Quapaw, Tulsa McLain, Tulsa Cascia Hall, Tulsa Lincoln Christian and Tulsa Hale.
Nor does the quarantine affect the seventh, eighth and freshman boys’ teams since they practice separately.
“In contact tracing with our freshman bunch, it was determined that they were not around the person with the positive case no more than 10 to 15 minutes,” Davis said.
Veteran assistant coach Rick Simpson will pick up duties for the middle school teams. He normally heads up the seventh- and ninth-grade programs.
Davis said middle school games with Jay on Dec. 14 also would be rescheduled.
“We really played well that first half (in Tuesday’s season opener at Verdigris),” Mercer said. “It was 26-22 at half. It just kinda got away from us in the second half because we couldn’t make shots.
“It’s a team that excites me a little bit. I think our ceiling is pretty good. It hits us at a bad time because you take two weeks off because of quarantine, then you’ve got Christmas break. Conditioning is a concern.”
“We were fearful that when we got into the indoor sports it was going to be much more difficult,” Davis said. “We do feel like we are taking the right steps to minimize the spread as much as possible, even this week making the decision to go to a ticket allotting system through the end of December. This way we can keep our head down count in the gym.
“We feel we are doing the right things — it’s just very difficult to completely avoid it.”