The Highline men’s basketball team was forced into a 10-day isolation period due to a positive COVID test result.
The team will now head into an isolation period where they will have to cancel two games, meaning COVID will take five of their 15 games. Highline was to play Pierce last Friday, and Tacoma on Tuesday. Friday’s game against Centralia also has been cancelled.
“We knew we were going to deal with some games being canceled due to COVID, it’s the chance we were taking to be able to play this year,” said sophomore forward Jalen Fayson.
The team is just focusing on the next game and what they have, rather than the games and season that they’re missing out on, Fayson said.
Head Coach Che Dawson has been preparing the team for the adversity that the season would bring due to the pandemic.
“The guys understand that this is an unusual time and dealing with adversity and unpredictability is a life skill,” said Coach Dawson.
Due to the unusual season, the NWAC followed the lead of the NCAA and extended an extra year of eligibility for all players. Most sophomores now plan on returning to Highline to recover what has been lost and take advantage of the extra year, said Jalen Fayson.
The Thunderbirds’ current record stands at 5-1, with a five-game win streak. The team is just coming off of a win in overtime against Grays Harbor on Tuesday, April 27 by a final score of 81-72.
The T-Birds battled back and forth throughout the game, but it was their focus and aggression on defense that saved them in overtime, said Fayson.
“We knew we could win that game but the challenge of that was staying locked in through the remainder of that game,” he said.
Highline currently has the best record in the NWAC West. There will be no championships this season, however.
After isolation and negative COVID test results, the Thunderbirds will play at Lower Columbia at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11.