Mike O'Lare

Mohawk coach Mike O'Lare during a PIAA second round game against Carlynton at North Allegheny High School.

 The waiting continues around Pennsylvania regarding high school sports.

Spring sports have yet to begin. Winter sports — swimming and basketball — were put on hold. All of it from the coronavirus outbreak.

The PIAA announced March 12 the postponement of the swimming championships as well as the boys and girls basketball playoffs. The basketball playoffs were at the quarterfinal stage.

The Class 2A boys and girls swimming and diving championships were scheduled for March 13 and March 14 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg.

The Mohawk High girls basketball team is the lone Lawrence County basketball team still alive. The Lady Warriors (24-3) would oppose Cambria Heights (25-3) if the playoffs resume.

"It really hasn't been that long. It feels like an eternity to all of us going through it," Mohawk girls basketball coach Mike O'Lare said. "It's only been three weeks. The problem now is it doesn't seem to be slowing down.

"I do think that they're doing the right thing taking it week by week. We're running out of time pretty quick, though. I think for many reasons, you're going to go by the governor's call. Why run the risk of making your own decision when you don't have to. The PIAA doesn't have to make the tough call, it will be made for them."

Finding venues to hold state basketball games are tougher than most might think in any year. This year, the difficulty could be magnified.

"The two key things are schools to open up and the school allowing its facility to open up for other schools to play in. There are two liabilities there," O'Lare said. "It's kind of hard.

"If it's another couple weeks or couple months, it will be hard. The kids will be graduating at the end of May and taking summer courses."

President Donald Trump extended the social distancing period last week through the end of April and Gov. Tom Wolf announced all Pennsylvania schools are closed indefinitely.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced recently it was canceling the remainder of its winter sports. But winter sports athletes in Pennsylvania continue to cling to hope of completing the season they competed at since as far back as November.

"I think everybody is doing the right thing in Pennsylvania, going day by day," O'Lare said. "It's trickling down with different things all the way down to sports being a little more on the back burner.

"Maybe that's one of our biggest weaknesses is coaches and athletes being patient. Basically your only communication is by online right now. The good news is we're only 23 days out since when we were supposed to have played last. The next two weeks will be the worst."

rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com

Sports Writer

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is a sports writer at the New Castle News. Email him at rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com.

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