Student-athletes snowmobile to school to get State B Basketball Tournament

Student-athletes snowmobile to school to get State B Basketball Tournament
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The biggest basketball weekend for small town high schools tipped off Wednesday, as 64 teams descended on Spokane for their shot at the State B Basketball title. There was a chance some of those teams wouldn’t make the tournament because of the snow — so they went to great lengths to make sure they’d have a shot at state.

The snow and the roads were so bad Wednesday, classes were canceled at Oakesdale and Liberty High Schools. Usually, when that happens, after-school activities are canceled too — but when you make it to State B, you make an exception.

Players at Oakesdale took a bus to the arena a little bit earlier than expected in anticipation of bad road conditions.

“Jokingly my superintendent said, even if we have to use bobsleds, we’ll get ’em here,” said tournament co-director and Oakesdale athletic director Ken Lindgren. “Who knows how they’ll get here? I know in the past, I’ve known teams to use snowmobiles to get kids into the town so they can at least get on the bus and go.”

And that’s exactly what Ava Budde did.

“Me and our neighbor, who is also playing here on the boys team, we snowmobiled to the school and once we got here, it’s just been so great so far,” said the freshman guard for Liberty. “It takes a village to have a small school like this.”

When Budde and her teammates heard school had been canceled, they were anxious to see what would happen next. This year marked the first time since 2009 the girls made it to state and the first time since 1994 both the boys and girls made it to the tournament in the same year.

“It still really hasn’t like, kicked in yet that like, oh my gosh we’re going to be out there on those courts,” said freshman post Annika Tee. “For however many years, we’ve been sitting in the stands watching our boys play here and now it’s like, that’s gonna be us.”

The Liberty boys fell to Lake Roosevelt by four points, but the Liberty girls are moving on to the next round. They’ll play Davenport Thursday.

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