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State Catholic boys and girls basketball tournaments canceled

Canisius and Bishop Timon-St. Jude each were one win away from attaining seasonlong goals of being state champions in boys basketball until their quests got derailed by coronavirus.

Pete Schneider, the executive director of the Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association, confirmed to the News on Thursday that the state Catholic High School Athletic Association has canceled the boys and girls basketball tournaments because of the outbreak.

The boys finals that had been initially scheduled for Saturday at Erie Community College, featuring Manhattan Cup champion Canisius in the Class A final and Richard Wojciechowski Memorial Cup champion Bishop Timon-St. Jude in the Class B title game, had been pushed back a week but have now been canceled.

"I've assumed this was coming," Crusaders coach Kyle Husband said. "At one point I'm disappointed just from a basketball standpoint. The players have worked hard, but in the bigger picture this isn't about basketball. This is a world issue affecting so many of us. ... I totally understand why everything is happening the way it is."

Canisius ends the season with a 23-3 record, while Timon, which was one of the few to beat the Crusaders this year, finishes 17-9.

The girls tournament had been scheduled for various sites downstate and then postponed when those sites were not available because of the outbreak. Alternate sites were found but now those games will not be played.

Cardinal O'Hara (Class AA), Sacred Heart (Class A) and Buffalo Seminary (Class B) were scheduled to represent the Monsignor Martin.

“It’s a tough call,” Schneider said. “I feel really bad for our student-athletes who have worked so hard but due to the unforeseen circumstance  (won’t get a chance to compete).”

The CHSAA winner was scheduled to take part in the state Federation tournament but that event remains in limbo. It was scheduled for Fordham University March 27-29, but Fordham initially postponed all athletic events. The school said Tuesday that the event could be held but without spectactors.

Earlier Thursday, Section VI officials announced the Far West Regionals scheduled for Saturday at Buffalo State will go on but without any spectators.

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