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Braymer High bags basketball for month, due to pandemic

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News

BRAYMER — The first major 2020-21 area high school basketball domino toppled by COVID-19 came late last week. Whether its felling tips others horizontal from vertical time will tell.

While multiple area schools have announced postponements of individual planned playing dates or non-participation in early-season tournaments in which they intended to compete, Braymer C-4 School officials last Thursday made what BHS athletics director/girls’ basketball head coach Joe Mallory understandably termed Saturday the “difficult” decision to postpone all of the school’s scheduled December basketball games.

That encompasses BHS’ intended action in this week’s Gallatin Invitational Tournament, which itself already had been transformed into a four-schools round-robin event, and a handful of regular-season girls’ and boys’ doubleheaders.

Mallory indicated in Friday’s public announcement that an effort will be made to find suitable playing dates in January or February for each of those non-tourney outings, although doing so might not be possible.

He confirmed to the C-T during this past weekend that priority in rescheduling will be given to the three Carroll-Livingston Activity Association outings – at home against Mendon: Northwestern and at Norborne and Tina-Avalon – which originally had December playing dates.

BHS is in its first school year of being a member of the CLAA, a now-10-programs (11 members with Hale and Bosworth co-oping) loop in basketball which plays a single round-robin format for determining its regular-season champions.

In what might become commonplace as the conference, which is due to welcome Higbee next school year, continues to expand, Braymer already had one of its league games due to take place after the traditional conference tournament in early February (this season from Feb. 6-13), for which seedings traditionally have been set by the final conference standings. Presumably, now – and perhaps in the future – they’ll be determined based on in-progress standings at a predetermined date in late January or early February.

The Braymer decision (which also affects a game at western neighbor Polo and a home meeting with Winston) followed, by about a week, word from Trenton that the North Central Missouri College Foundation’s “High School Holiday Hoops” event, which was to have extended from a few days before Christmas through the holiday season, would not take place.

While that erases a planned game or two from many area teams’ schedules – some, like Chillicothe, already have moved to replace the lost game(s) they’d have had at NCMC, they aren’t games that schools technically will “need” to make up, since they are not conference contests. For that reason, the cancellation didn’t have the same potential “ripple” effect the month-long Braymer shutdown and any other similar moves which might be forthcoming in response to the current surge in COVID-19 cases and quarantines across the state.