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EDITOR, Daily News:
No one likes losing their first game at the regional basketball tournament. Not only does it mean that you are one step closer to elimination, it can also mean you have to play the first game of the day in the loser's bracket, at 8 a.m.
With little to no crowd willing to get up that early, it can make for a too-quiet, unstimulating game.
That was hardly the case early Thursday as the Craig Lady Panthers faced off against the Haines Lady Glacier Bears during 2A level Region V competition. While players stayed busy on the court, there was a lot of downright neighborliness happening off-court as well.
Cheerleaders from Craig and Haines led their small but brave early morning crowds, side-by-side in the bleachers. Fans from both communities cheered as one very young Haines' cheerleader did seemingly endless cartwheels and backflips across the floor during time-outs and half time.
Meanwhile, at one end of the court, Craig's Drumline and Haines' Pep Band shared the stage, taking turns and jamming together at times. Cheerleaders danced to their own and the other school's bands. The lines of competition blurred if not dropped away.
Except for when cheer squads, drumline and bands all joined in for a friendly banter: “We got spirit yes we do, we got spirit how 'bout you?”
The fun continued into the morning's next game, as the boys squads from Craig and Haines faced off, as well.
It's nice when we can enjoy one another's company and talents and not make it all about the competition. Thanks, Region V.