Update: Change of plans for state community college basketball championships as officials cancel state tournament

Updated 4 years ago By Ed Martin, Editor
WHC Lemoore hosts the men's and women's Community College State Basketball Championships March 12 though 15 at the Golden Eagle Arena.
WHC Lemoore hosts the men's and women's Community College State Basketball Championships March 12 though 15 at the Golden Eagle Arena.

The California Community College Athletic Association decided today (March 12) to cancel the men's and women's basketball championships scheduled for this weekend, March 12 through March 15 at West Hills College Lemoore.   

Earlier this week, state officials opted to prohibit spectators from attending the event due to concerns about the coronavirus, but still planned to hold the championships. But all that changed with Governor Gavin Newsom's directive to limit public gatherings to 250 people or less, and due to growing concerns over COVID-19, community college athletic officials decided to cancel the event.

The CCCAA released a statement today stating, "The 2020 CCCAA Men's and Women's Basketball State Championships, which were scheduled to begin today at West Hills College Lemoore, have been canceled due to concerns over COVID-19. Eight men's and eight women's teams were scheduled to begin competition today and Friday at Golden Eagle Arena."

It was earlier this week that West Hills College officials, responding to a recommendation from the Kings County Health Department and its concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19), made the difficult decision to prohibit spectators from attending this weekend's (March 12-15) men's and women's community college basketball championships in the local college's Golden Eagle Arena. 

College officials said that no spectators would be allowed for the duration of the tournament. It wasn't an easy decision, but perhaps a necessary one, according to school and health department officials.

"Based on a recommendation from Kings County health officials, we've made the difficult decision to limit attendance at the CCCAA State Basketball Championships at West Hills College Lemoore," said Dr. Kristin Clark, the school's president earlier this week. "We truly regret having to make this decision, and we understand how disappointing it is for the participating colleges, coaches, staff, spectators, and most importantly, the student-athletes. We share in the disappointment, but we look forward to hosting top student-athletes from around the state. We are committed to providing a high-quality event for the participating teams, and I sincerely apologize to everyone who has been impacted."

Dr. Stuart Van Horn, West Hills Community College District chancellor, emphasized that the health and well-being of the community and the student-athletes is a priority.

This week's event was the first time West Hills College Lemoore had ever hosted a state championship tournament, and it may have been the biggest sports event ever held in West Hills Golden Eagle Arena.

The women were scheduled to play Thursday, March 12, 14, and 15 while the men were to play March 13, 14, and 15.

The women were set to kick off the tournament with Chabot (24-6) vs. Mt. San Antonio (23-7) at 1 p.m. in the Golden Eagle Arena. Game two was Ventura (21-7) vs. Diablo Valley (23-5) at 3 p.m. while Sierra (22-7) was set to take on Moorpark (27-1) at 5 p.m. Palomar (27-3) was scheduled to lay San Joaquin Delta (29-1) at 7 p.m.

For the women, the semifinals were scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The women's championship game was scheduled for Sunday, March 14, at 1 p.m.

The men were set to begin on Friday, March 13 as Santa Rosa (23-7) played East Los Angeles (29-1) at 1 p.m. Riverside City College (21-9) was slated to take on City College of San Francisco in (30-0) in a 3 p.m. game, while College of the Sequoias (24-6) was meant to play Santiago Canyon (28-2) at 5 p.m.

The nightcap was to feature Los Angles Valley (25-5) against Fresno City College (27-3) at 7 p.m.

The men's semifinals were scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The men's state championship game was scheduled for Sunday, March 15, at 3:30 p.m.



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