PUEBLO, Colo. - Pueblo West and The Classical Academy's basketball teams both practiced Wednesday at an empty CSU-Pueblo's Massari Arena.
Little did they know, that atmosphere would be eerily similar to Friday's normally raucous Final Four.
CHSAA announced fan restrictions for the remainder of all state basketball tournaments, limiting students and family members into the Cyclones and Titans final four matchup Friday at the Denver Coliseum. The decision comes as part of a massive nationwide response to COVID-19, better known as the Coronavirus. According to CHSAA, each player will be allowed a maximum of four guests to attend their basketball games, and schools will communicate directly with CHSAA officials for logistics. Aside from team staff and other event personnel, no other fans or spectators will be allowed.
The Titans (20-5) and Cyclones (20-6) are set to meet in the semifinals of the 4A state basketball tournament Friday, and the players reacted to the possibility of a fan-less Coliseum at practice before the news became official.
"It's definitely going be a bummer if our classmates can't support us, because they've come to every game," Titans senior forward Kade Walker said. "Their support definitely helps, but either way we're just going to play our game."
Cyclones senior guard Zachary Reid was less concerned about a lack of fandom at the Coliseum, saying "We're just here to win a state championship. We don't really care who's watching, who's there. We're just there to take care of business."
The Cyclones and Titans will tip off at at 4:00 p.m. Friday, with the winner facing either Mead or Northfield in the 4A championship game.