High school basketball team eliminated from playoffs following positive COVID-19 case

AMBRIDGE — Due to a case of COVID-19, students from the Ambridge Area school district will not be participating in this year’s WPIAL basketball tournament.

”It was so abrupt. I wasn’t expecting it to end like out of nowhere,” said Sofia Chickos, student athlete.

“We had been exposed by another school when we played them and they had notified us and I asked the girls if they had any symptoms,” said Nikki Santiago, Ambridge girls’ basketball coach.

Santiago tells Channel 11 one of her players developed symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

The team is now in a 10-day quarantine, which forces them to forfeit Saturday’s game against Burrell, and eliminating them from this year’s playoffs.

”In my three years of playing, we never got to the playoffs. This was our once chance to actually be in it,” said Chickos.

Seniors on the team are devastated they will never step on the court again to represent their school and community.

“I’ve been playing since I was in the 2nd grade. So, never putting on the Ambridge jersey again hasn’t really hit me yet,” said Rachel Guthrie, student athlete.

With the WPIAL recently mandating that an equal number of fans from both teams be able to attend playoff games, Santiago wishes her players were able to experience the competitive environment.

“I think with the atmosphere of more fans and then with us being able to compete with this team, I thought it was a win win for seniors,” said Santiago.

The WPIAL basketball playoff tournament starts Saturday.