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First Sagebrush Shootout Ever With No Fans

By Jordyn Faulkender


This past week both the girls and boys Indian basketball teams competed in Brewster in the Sagebrush Shootout tournament. The boys team finished second and the Lady Indians finished fifth. The tournament started on Tuesday afternoon for both of the teams. No spectators were allowed for the whole tournament. This was the first time that the majority of these student athletes had ever experienced not having any fans at their game.

“To me it feels like the games go way faster and you can control the tempo better without fans,” said Colton Neitzel, 12. “Also, you don’t have people yelling at the refs that may sway them to call certain fouls.”   

Tuesday started off a little rough for the Lady Indians as they lost their first game to Leoti, 40-37. This put them on the backside of the bracket so the best they could do is get fifth. 

“Although our first game didn’t go as planned, it was much needed to get all of the nerves out so that we could come back and win the next game,” said Mia Morrow,11.

The boys started off on a better note winning their game against Weskan 35-33. They advanced to the winning side.

On Friday, the ladies played Cheylin and won 35-23. They would now play the next day for 5th or 6th place. The guys defeated Logan 53-38 which advanced them to the championship on Saturday. 

The final day of the tournament was Saturday. The girls played well and beat Logan 61-28. This made them finish 5th in the tournament. The boys finished with a fight, but ended up losing in the championship in overtime to Cheylin, 57-51. Preston Witzel, 10, won the free throw contest that is held every year. Jesse Baxter, 12, was also selected to the All-Tournament team. 

“We did not start it the way we would’ve wanted to, but I think we finished it very well,” said McKenna Poling, 11.

All athletes worked hard this last week and showed a lot of passion for the game as they played tough even though they did not have their normal amount of support.     


McKenna Poling, 11, and Rian Zimbal, 10, play one-on-one before the start of the second half of the game at the Sagebrush Tournament. Photo by Hadleigh Hilt

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