COVID-19 contact tracing prevented a pair of Michigan high school basketball games from getting anywhere on Tuesday.
The Watervliet and Martin junior varsity boys basketball teams tipped off and played 36 seconds before the game was called off. A member of Watervliet’s varsity team had tested positive earlier in the day. While he wasn’t present, contact tracing canceled both the junior varsity and varsity games.
“We did not hear any of it,” Martin coach Brad Moelker said. “It was literally an hour bus ride down there; our JV team warmed up, and then we had a possession, and they had a possession, and it was about 36 seconds into the JV game when they blew the whistle, and we were all kind of confused.”
“We just go to our protocols, and our protocols are to contact the kids and do contact tracing, and we go from there,” Watervliet athletic director Ken Dietz said, noting the test wasn’t administered by the school. “I mean, there’s never a good time for this to happen, and certainly, this isn’t the best, either, but we got the kids on quarantine right now that have to quarantine, they’ll test after the time limit or whenever they tell them to test, and if they test negative, then they’ll come back.”
Watervliet’s Thursday game has also been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. Michigan is scheduled to start district playoffs March 23, while the state championship is set for April 10. Watervliet has a first-round bye and hopes to return March 25. The school is following 10-day quarantine protocols for individuals in close contact with someone who tests positive test, meaning those deemed close contacts likely won’t be able to play in Watervliet’s first playoff game.
“We’ll have to follow the guidelines and see what the timeline is, but I think we should be fine,” Dietz said of Watervliet’s postseason prospects. “Everybody’s going have to do their protocols, but timewise, I think we should be OK, but again, just like in this whole COVID situation, we’ll wake up tomorrow morning and timelines and things can change, so we’ll just wait and see. The plan is to still be involved, absolutely.”