AURORA | The Overland boys basketball team is currently into a 14-day quarantine that will end its regular season, but could return for the Class 5A state tournament if it qualifies according to athletic director Karl Buck.
Stemming from a positive COVID-19 test within the program at the beginning of the week — when the quarantine period began — the program won’t be able to practice or play until the morning of March 8, which is two days after the end of the regular season, but prior to the opening round of the postseason.
The Trailblazers have a 6-3 record (5-3 in the Centennial League) and passed the Colorado High School Activities Association’s criteria of seven games played to be eligible for the state tournament, which has been reduced to 32 teams this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Buck said he confirmed with CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Bert Borgmann — who oversees basketball for the state’s governing body — that the team’s quarantine would expire in time for it to play in the first round of the 5A state tournament, which is scheduled for March 9. State brackets are seeded and released March 8.
Coach Danny Fisher’s Trailblazers currently sit No. 34 in the 5A RPI standings, which is one-fourth of a qualifying formula that also includes CHSAA’s Coaches Poll, MaxPreps Rankings and Packard Rankings.
Overland has made the state playoffs for the past 12 seasons — which included back-to-back championship seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16 — and last missed the postseason in 2008.
The Trailblazers will miss their final five regular season games, which included Wednesday night’s game against Arapahoe and Friday night’s scheduled contest at Mullen.
The Trailblazers’ March 2 home game against Cherry Creek is also off — however the Bruins will play in Overland’s gym against a new opponent, Mountain Vista — while away games with Smoky Hill (March 4) and Grandview (March 6) also won’t happen.
Those opponents may be able to replace Overland on their schedules, though a limited number of officials makes that difficult.
Among Aurora girls basketball teams, Regis Jesuit went into quarantine as well — due to the possible exposure to an opponent with a positive test — but can return in time to play its last game on March 5.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports