Small Town Teams Converge At Arena For State B

SPOKANE, Wash. - The much anticipated State B high school basketball tournament rolled into Spokane Thursday along with thousands of players, family, and fans.

The schools at State B are among the smallest in the state vying for a shot at the championship title.

Many of the schools are so small, the players on the basketball teams make up a big chunk of the schools, which perhaps makes the pressure to perform that more intense. Especially when you're playing in front of almost everyone you know.

"The whole town is literally here. Anyone who could get off work is here so I think that's amazing," Almira Coulee Hartline parent Carrie Isaak said. ACH has about 100 students, so when State B comes around, people get pretty excited.

"They just get so amped up and riled up with us and they expect everyone is going to be there," ACH parent Dawn Baergen said.

From moderate fans to the hooligans, people come from all across the state to support their student-athletes.

When asked why he was excited to be at State B, Tacoma Baptist student Scott Peterson said it was, "just the whole experience, getting to cheer your team onto state."

While the whole city of Tacoma didn't show up for Tacoma Baptist's game Thursday it was still a community reunion and a chance to see their alma mater in action.

"We all graduated from Tacoma Baptist 30 years ago," Tacoma Baptist parent Gil Teobaldo said.

"The families are very involved, you come back, you see the same people. You see children of people you played with way back in high school," Tacoma Baptist parent Joelle Neufeld said.

When the horn sounds, it doesn't matter how tall you are or how big your school is. All that matters is the final score, where you came from and who's there in the bleachers to support you.

"When you live in small towns you just do sports so everyone is used to being out there and having the community behind them. I think they're just really excited," ACH parent Erin Correia said.

This is the second year of the consolidated bracket from the WIAA where only eight teams from each classification come to the tournament instead of 16.

And each of those teams say they're just happy they made it.