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Brian Johnson: Sports World almost comes to halt

Brian Johnson
Sports Editor

The Sports World has almost come to an abrupt halt.

Postponements and cancellations due to the coronavirus threat forced the postponement of the State Basketball Tournaments, which were set to begin Thursday and feature three area teams – the Shawnee Wolves in the Class 5A boys' bracket, Dale Pirates in 2A boys and Dale Lady Pirates in 2A girls.

Oklahoma Baptist University's first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament and the Central Regional in Maryville, Missouri was cancelled Thursday afternoon after the Bison made it all the way to Wichita, Kansas before being informed of the announcement that all NCAA basketball tournaments, men and women, at all levels are cancelled.

OBU was scheduled to face the top-ranked team in the nation and host Northwest Missouri State Saturday night.

A Facebook post Thursday afternoon by OBU head coach Jason Eaker read:

“NCAA Tourney just got cancelled. Our season is over. We are turning the bus around now in Wichita. The work, effort, belief and accomplishments this group gave us at Oklahoma Baptist University will honestly not be forgotten. Heartbroken for our players and staff. We are not gonna get the opportunity to compete vs. the No. 1 team in the nation in NCAAs but our health and the health of others obviously is way more important. Love our Team Love my Staff Love my school Oklahoma Baptist University Athletics Go Bison!”

The OSSAA says it will update its website once the state basketball tournaments have been rescheduled. The OSSAA also stated that local school districts have the discretion to determine whether or not any regular season contests (for spring sports) should be played or postponed.

On Thursday, a handful of area baseball and slow pitch softball teams played. However, many local school districts have cancelled classes for today and Spring Break takes place next week. Some school districts are expanding the break to two weeks.