Xavier Prep games mark return of Palm Springs area hoops, indoor sports

As February became March and outdoor high school sports were beginning to return to action in fits and starts, the outlook remained glum for indoor sports. 

There was a real possibility that the squeaking of sneakers on hardwood would be a sound we wouldn’t hear again until November. But in the last three weeks, everything changed, and the end result was on display at Xavier Prep High School on Tuesday night — real live basketball games. 

The Saints hosted Aquinas in a boys’ and girls’ basketball doubleheader, the first basketball games or indoor sports of any sort since the pandemic began last March. 

“It was surreal, to be honest. Kind of like a foggy blur,” said Thaddis Bosley, the Saints’ girls’ coach, who this year is also coaching the boys’ team. “I know for the players and for myself too, there was definitely a time when it was like ‘This is never going to happen.’ So to be back out there, you really just feel thankful and appreciative.”

More:Xavier Prep freshman wins third Desert Empire League cross country meet

More:After first game of football season is canceled, Desert Hot Springs AD schedules new game in 36 hours

Baylee Davis of Xavier Prep goes up for a basket against Aquinas in Palm Desert, Calif., on March 30, 2021.

The return to play for indoor sports like basketball and wrestling became possible when the CIF — thanks to pressure from a lawsuit and advocacy groups — lessened the severity of its restrictions. Originally, counties had to be in the yellow tier, which meant only 1 coronavirus case per 100,000 residents, before basketball could be played. 

But the CIF relented and said indoor sports could happen if they were held to the same high standard of testing and protocols used for college and pro basketball teams in the state. That means more frequent testing, and fan restrictions, that outdoor high school sports like football and soccer don’t have to contend with. 

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