by Steve Fryer
The sounds of balls bouncing and shoes squeaking on the hardwood have returned to Orange County high school gyms.
Servite played Calvary Chapel on Thursday, March 18 in the first boys basketball game of this long-delayed season. Both schools went through COVID-19 testing this week with no positive results.
The contest details were finalized Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. Then Servite coach John Morris went to work on the school’s gym.
“I was here until 1 a.m., taping off areas to get the physical distancing set up,” said Morris, who also spaced the players’ seating accordingly, NBA-style.
There are 25 more games on the Servite schedule after the Friars’ 72-50 win over Calvary Chapel. They are missing a couple of their better players from last season: Tajavis Miller, who moved to Texas with his family; and mega-athletic Tetairoa Miller, who is sticking with football. He is a top college prospect as a receiver.
Morris is confident, though, that this year’s Servite basketball team will be one of the better ones in years.
Servite did not play offseason club basketball under an assumed name, which several county teams did. Morris is grateful that the players’ families did not object to that.
“Our families trusted me to do it the right way,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s wrong that other teams went ahead and played, but for me, this was how we would do our part to make sure we could have a high school basketball season. And I promised our families that if we got a season, then I would give them as many games as we could.”