The remainder of the UIL boys basketball state tournament at the Alamodome in San Antonio has been suspended until further notice due to growing concerns over COVID-19, the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, according to a Thursday news release from the organization.
Previously, officials had said the tournament would take place with limited attendance. The decision to suspend the tournament, which will be effective following the conclusion of Thursday’s Class 3A games, impacts two teams from Fort Bend County.
Hightower was scheduled to face Lancaster in a Class 5A semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, while Stafford was slated to face Argyle in a Class 4A semifinal at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
The UIL said it will continue to follow the direction of local officials to monitor the situation and make additional announcements as needed. High school basketball fans can check the UIL website and social media accounts for further updates.
“After much consultation with government and health officials, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the remainder of the UIL State Basketball Tournament,” UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt said in a news release. “Our number one priority remains the well-being of our student-athletes and spectators and we are taking every possible precaution to keep them safe.”
FBISD baseball teams start strong before UIL stoppage
The sports stoppage halted the momentum that was being built by two area baseball teams. Ridge Point, which
reached the Class 6A state-title game last season, raced out to one of its best starts in school history this year.
Led by senior catcher Will Pendergrass, the Panther offense was averaging about 7.5 runs per game while winning 13 of its 14 games.
Ridge Point’s pitching staff had also carried its weight, combining to hurl six shutouts while allowing no more than four runs in a single game.
The Panthers were ranked 10th in 6A in the Texas High School Baseball Top 25 rankings released March 9, sparked by a nine-game winning streak that included a win over 20th-ranked Katy. Their only blemish in was a loss to San Antonio Reagan, which is ranked second.
Kempner also had gotten off to a strong start, boasting an 11-1 record when play was suspended. After winning just 13 games over the past two seasons, head coach Eric Folkerts and the Cougars was using a heavy-hitting offense to clobber opponents.
Kempner was outscoring opponents 108-52 through the season’s first month, highlighted by a 21-run outburst against Houston Furr High School on March 6.
Following a loss to Alief Hastings on Feb. 28, the Cougars reeled off eight consecutive wins prior to the stoppage, including a 7-6 victory over Katy Taylor on a walk-off grand slam by Phillip Garcia.