A successful season came to a sudden end for the Shenango High girls basketball team.
Positive COVID-19 tests in the program forced the Lady Wildcats to forfeit their game WPIAL Class 2A playoff game Tuesday against Carlynton. The Lady Cougars (9-9) advance and will meet Serra Catholic at 6 p.m. Friday at Serra Catholic.
Shenango (14-6) was seeded seventh and slated to host the first-round matchup.
“I truly believed we had a legit shot to make a run at a WPIAL championship,” Lady Wildcats coach Kevin Zona said. “It really hurts not having a chance to compete for it. It’s such a great group of kids. I feel bad for them.”
The Lady Wildcats closed the regular season by playing three games in as many days. The stretch culminated in a 65-41 home win over Ambridge on Feb. 20. The Lady Bridgers also had to forfeit their WPIAL Class 4A playoff matchup because of positive COVID-19 tests.
Zona said he tested positive for the virus on Feb. 22 and he went into quarantine.
“We shut things down temporarily within the program,” he said. “One of our players tested positive five days after me.
“The school met Friday and they were keeping the game on. They said one more case and it gets canceled. I would have had to miss Tuesday’s game. Monday at practice, a girl’s brother tested positive. She got tested and it came back positive.”
Zona was in quarantine and away from the team when the squad was given the bad news. Principal Dr. Joseph McCormick delivered the news to the girls, according to Zona.
“The girls were heartbroken and crying,” Zona said. “I’m still trying to process everything. It’s a terrible way to end the season.
“It’s just so unfortunate. You feel bad for the girls. It’s really bad timing.”
A positive for Zona is Shenango doesn’t have any seniors on the rosters. Only two players are juniors — Isabella DeVivo and Kassidy Peters.
“We’re definitely going to be back and better,” Zona said. “Things are trending in the right direction for us. I’m definitely proud of the season.”