state tournament

A small crowd watches the 3A boys quarterfinals between Vanguard and Sterling Thursday, March 12, 2020, at Denver University in Denver. CHSAA Wednesday banned all spectators from the tournament because of the coronavirus but later in the evening allowed each player to invite four people to attend their basketball games. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Citing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, the Colorado High School Activities Association has pulled the plug on the 2020 state basketball championships  and canceled remaining games of all classification tournaments. 

The announcement posted to CHSAANow.com at 11:03 p.m. Thursday, just 11 hours before state semifinal games were scheduled to begin. 

According to a release, the University of Denver informed CHSAA Thursday night the school would no longer be able to host the 3A basketball tournament presumably due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The state of emergency declaration by the City of Denver led CHSAA to the decision to cancel the remaining tournament games. 

"Everything we've done up to this point was to try and keep the experience of a state basketball tournament for our student participants and high school communities," said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green via the announcement. "In the face of this unprecedented public health emergency, we are compelled to discontinue play in all tournaments."

The Pikes Peak region had three local teams competing Friday. The Classical Academy boys' team was set to compete in the program's first appearance in the 4A final four, and St. Mary's girls were scheduled to play in the 3A semifinal in hopes of a third straight state championship. Evangelical Christian Academy boys' team was also scheduled to play in the 1A state tournament. 

Wednesday CHSAA announced it would limit spectators at the state tournament games to essential team personnel and media only, then later amended the decision to allow each player up to four guests. 

As state tournament games played Thursday the NCAA canceled its March Madness basketball tournament and a number of state associations canceled winter championships and postponed spring seasons.