MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota State High School League announced that it will limit fan access at state tournaments starting on Friday afternoon.
This decision was made Thursday afternoon with fans still in attendance at Williams Arena for a Class 3A semifinal game between DeLaSalle and Simley.
“We love having our Islander Nation there,” DeLaSalle coach Tanysha Scott said after her team earned a 74-52 win to advance to the Class 3A final. “They are like our sixth man, so it will be an adjust. That’s on us. I bring the energy. You can tell because my voice is gone right now. If I have to bring it myself, I will do that.”
While the plan is for state championships and section championships to be played out this weekend, according to the MSHSL, plans for events held after this weekend are still being developed and will be decided upon at a later date. Meanwhile, consolation championships and third-place games for state tournaments in girls basketball and adapted floor hockey have been cancelled.
“Just with all the sickness going around it’s exciting that we got to have a crowd like that come out and watch us play for the last time,” Simley senior Tiwaah Danso said, knowing her team won’t get to play in a third-place game. “I’m not going to cry over it because I know all of us battled out on the court today and I know when I look back on this season it’s going to be one to remember.”
As of Friday morning, attendance at the state tournament will be limited to rostered participants, coaches, event staff, TV network partners, credentialed media and a small number of school-approved spectators of each participating team. “While the changes in our tournaments are unfortunate, we recognize that a collective community response is critical to supporting the health of our communities and mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” MSHSL executive director Erich Martens said in a release. “The MSHSL intends to do everything possible to allow participating students who have earned the opportunity to compete in these special tournaments to do so.
“We will continue to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, The Centers for Disease Control and the State of Minnesota, and will work with League member schools to finish this winter season in the best way possible. We appreciate the partnership with our venues who have gone above and beyond in preparing their venues with additional cleaning and appropriate disease prevention.”
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