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Tuesday was supposed to be one of the most exciting days of the season for the Tallassee boys basketball program as the Tigers were set to host Calhoun and the state’s top recruit in JD Davison. Instead, Tuesday brought some bad news for the team as coach Keiven Mixson confirmed all activities would be halted due to a COVID-19 case within the program.

The Tigers (3-2) were looking forward to the matchup with the defending Class 2A champions and Mixson said that made the last-second cancellation hurt even more.

“I think it does but you just have to put things into perspective,” Mixson said. “That’s what we tell our players. In the big scheme of things, missing a few games is a disappointment but there are lot of people going through a lot of worse things right now. That should be our focus right now.”

The program has also canceled games against Stanhope Elmore, Auburn and Homewood. Tallassee City Schools are shutting down all activities between Dec. 15 and Jan. 4 which means the Tigers will not return to the court for games or practices until the new year.

Tallassee had already dealt with a long layoff between games after it started the season on Nov. 10 against Hoover only to wait three weeks before its next game.

“You have to adapt and adjust,” Mixson said. “This is the hand we have been dealt. We talk a lot about mental toughness and this is part of that. We have to put the excuses behind us and not feel sorry for ourselves.”

Tallassee’s last game was Friday night as the Tigers suffered a blowout defeat to Auburn, its second loss to a 7A school this season. Mixson believes that game will serve as a blessing going into the long break as the team will still have something to work on even when they aren’t together.

“It’s a blessing we have those two games because that’s the level we have to play at if we want to make it to the state championship,” Mixson said. “Now we get to study film and show them the areas we have to improve on and what we have had trouble with. We can make those adjustments.”

Mixson said he believes his players will know how to stay on top of their game while at home but that does not make the challenge any easier.

“We hope the ones that are healthy are getting conditioned and working on their ball handling and their shooting,” Mixson said. “That’s how they can help us. They will need to come back in really good shape. The question is how many of them will do it.”

The girls team will also be taking an extended break from the court despite not having positive cases within its program.

“We’re trying to reschedule as many of the games as possible,” Tallassee girls coach Kuanda Alleyne said. “It’s more cost efficient to reschedule all three instead of having JV and girls now and having varsity boys later.”

As of now, the home game against Calhoun has been rescheduled for Jan. 14. The Tigers are still working on rescheduling the return trip to Auburn but nothing has been confirmed yet. The teams are set to return to action on Jan. 7 for the Elmore County Tournament at Stanhope Elmore.

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.