By Chris Parker
The MSHSAA Class 4-5 state basketball championships are still for this weekend at JQH Arena and Hammons Student Center according to MSHSAA Communications Director Jason West.
The event has been shortened to two days with semifinal games happening at 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Friday. Class 5 will play in JQH and Class 4 will be in Hammons Student Center. Saturday’s title games will be in JQH along the same time schedule as the semifinals.
Each school will be limited to 100 wristbands per team to distribute to fans to watch the game in person. The fans of each team will be given opposite sides of the arena to sit on.
“We are going to recommend that they allow enough space between them and their fellow patrons as they are comfortable with. What we will be doing is each school will have a side of the arena. In the past where we may have had two sections reserved for fan seating, (this weekend) one side will be on the scorer’s table side and one will be on radio row side,” West said.
Last weekend, every player’s temperature was screened upon arrival to the arena. Those screenings will expand this weekend.
“We will continue that for the players, but will expand that to anybody that has floor access. So anybody that comes in at event level will be screened. That includes MSHSAA staff, cheerleaders and anybody with a media credential,” West said.
St. Louis County and St. Louis City have closed schools from Mar. 18-Apr. 3. That includes canceling extracurricular activities. Several schools scheduled to attend the final four are included in those cancellations, but they are all still planning to attend as of 8:45 p.m. on Sunday night.
“We actually talked to all of the schools this evening. We wrapped up our last call a few minutes ago. We are still planning on playing basketball. We have not been informed of any schools not being able to come,” West said. “That could change as soon as we hang up, but as of right now we are still going full steam ahead to be there Friday and Saturday.”