EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Fresh off the program’s first sectional title in four years, the Reitz boys basketball team will be preparing for an unusual obstacle in its Class 4A regional semifinal game over the weekend.
In wake of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, IHSAA officials announced on Thursday that upcoming state tournament games will only be open to essential staff and players’ families.
After Reitz (17-7) defeated Castle last weekend to punch the team’s ticket to the regional semifinal, the Panthers will make the trek to Seymour to face Greenwood (19-6) in the opening game.
With only 75 fans allowed to attend for each team and no cheerleaders or student section, many players say it will definitely be different, but their ultimate goal is just the same.
“It’s the same mindset," Reitz senior guard Mar’Quon Givens. “It’s still a game. Nothing’s changed really. We’re still playing them and we’re still win or go home.”
“I feel like we’ll be able to get prepared for that atmosphere," Reitz junior guard Khristian Lander. "I feel like if we just stay on the court like we’re supposed to and not worry about the outside stuff, we’ll be alright.”
“Obviously everyone is disappointed because you want to go watch and be a part (of the game) - students, family, fans - so that will be strange,” Reitz head coach Michael Adams." “It’s uncharted water for all of us, but it’s still a game that’s going to be played between the lines, and that’s what we’ve got to sell them on - we’ve got to get it done.”
As of now, Reitz will face the Gators in the Class 4A regional semifinals at 9:30 a.m. CST on Saturday morning.