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Quarantines leave some Bend-area HS basketball teams in limbo, week before season starts

(Update: adding video, new information, comments from coaches at Bend Senior High School)

50 new COVID-19 cases reported across the district last week, more than half (27) coming from high schools

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A delayed, shortened high school basketball season finally begins next week in Central Oregon and across the state. But there are some widespread COVID-19-related issues that could have an impact on the ability of some schools to participate in games.

"I feel like it's an endless game of whack-a-mole," said Allison Garnder, head coach for the girls' varsity team at Bend Senior High School. "I can never win. They keep popping up."

Bend-La Pine Schools told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday that more than 500 students across the district are still quarantined. On top of that, 50 new COVID-19 cases were reported last week, 27 of whom are high schoolers.

As a result, several basketball programs are left in limbo.

Aaron Johnson, head coach for the Bend High boys' varsity team, "I literally think we are one phone call away from being the next program that gets shut down for multiple weeks."

Four high school basketball programs in the district feeling the impact: The boys’ and girls' teams at Bend Senior High School, the girls’ team at Summit High, and the boys’ team at Mountain View.

Each of them has a handful of players in quarantine, most of whom are likely to miss the first few games.

“We will, almost guaranteed, be taking the court without a full team,” Johnson admitted Tuesday.

Gardner echoed that concern, saying, “I can't take five kids and go play two away games.”

She added, “If games don't happen, then they don't happen, and we'll try to get to as many of them as we can. At this point, it's hard to say."

Right now, all six of Gardner's returning varsity players are under quarantine. She told NewsChannel 21 tryouts and practices are postponed, and she'll review her options on a day-to-day basis.

Even if she is able to put a team on the court for their first games next Thursday, Gardner said other problems may arise.

“I don't really worry about getting all the offenses in and stuff that I normally do, but getting them physically ready does concern me, for sure,” she said.

When the season does begin, all players are required to wear masks, and fan attendance currently is capped at 10%.

Bend / Central Oregon / Coronavirus / Local News / News / Top Stories
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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. children playing basketball should be the very least of anyone’s concerns right now. What I mean is, their seasons for high school sports are not important right now. The world has temporarily changed, deal with it. Your child and their sports season is not more important than human life.

    1. According to you GG. Fortunately you are not in charge. The kids need to play a little bit. The policies are correctly keeping the teams quarantined that should be. The others will get to play. And you are wrong, it is very important to kids who have practiced for many years to finally get their chance to play high school sports.

        1. So you were a great player in high school and earned a college scholarship but now want to deny today’s young men and women the same opportunity? How sweet.

  2. Sports are actual human life. Doing normal things. These kids missed all of their spring seasons in 2020 and are not getting to compete for league or state championships this year. Their chances of getting college scholarships are lower because of the limited schedules. Their mental health is affected by not getting to play as much.

    I am sorry that you don’t see the value of sports any more as you did in the past.

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