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Big South cancels women’s tourney, SCHSL weighs options

The Big South Conference announced Thursday that it will cancel the remainder of its women’s championship basketball tournament due to the spread of the coronavirus and is considering whether to continue spring sports seasons at the present time.

“Given concerns related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the rapidly escalating developments nationally, the Big South Conference Executive Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining rounds of the Hercules Tires Big South Conference Women’s Basketball Championship,” said Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander. “While we were hoping to protect these important opportunities for our women’s basketball student-athletes, we feel this is the prudent course at this time. Conference leadership is currently discussing the status of spring sports seasons and will provide updates as they become available.”

The “Power 5” conference – ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and PAC 12 have also cancelled their respective basketball tournaments. The NBA and NHL have suspended their seasons, while the NCAA is weighing its options with the NCAA championship basketball tournaments. The NCAA’s current stance is to play the games without fans in the arenas.

The Big South had initially decided to play its women’s tournament with game-essential personnel only , but shifted to the cancellation when other conferences stopped play.

The Presbyterian women’s basketball team won its first-round game in the Big South tournament Tuesday night with an 82-73 win over Longwood in Farmville, Virginia. The Blue Hose were to travel to Campbell in Buie’s Creek, North Carolina Thursday night for a second-round game.

“Proud of this team and the growth that we made this year! We were playing our best basketball at the right time,” PC head coach Alaura Sharp said in a Twitter post. “We would love to have kept playing but respect the tough decisions that were made. Love this group of young women and excited about the future of @bluehosewbb.”

The South Carolina High School League also announced it is “meeting with health care professionals in an effort to address concerns about the COVID-19 virus and the spring sports season.”

Statewide high school games are currently being played as scheduled. An update from the SCHSL is expected later Thursday or Friday.

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