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A lot of students and fans missed a good show

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Apparently, there are a lot of people who don't care to watch athletes perform unless they think they're going to win. A mostly empty gym on Saturday morning proved that point to me. 

Oh, there were some dedicated parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles in the stands of Glacier High School that morning. But at 9 a.m. the student and fan sections for Ronan High were pretty thin.

It was the last day of the Northwestern A Divisional basketball tournament, held in Kalispell. After two emotional days of basketball games, the Saturday session of three sets of boys and girls games started with the loser-out contest at the wee hour of 9 a.m. 

I know some high school students who don't believe chickens get up that early. So, making the trip from Ronan for a 9 a.m. tipoff in Kalispell meant you had to get up by at least 7, brush your teeth as your threw on some clean clothes and drove at safe speeds up U.S. Highway 93 to Glacier High.

The Ronan Maidens were all there early, taking the court at 8:30 a.m. to warm up before the 9 a.m. tipoff against Whitefish's Lady Bulldogs. And as I walked into the gym that morning I realized that the one-win Maidens didn't exactly draw out the college recruiters, much less a crowd. 

But records aren't necessarily a measure of athleticism or heart. And those Maidens proved that with a hard-fought, nobody-thought-they-could-do-it victory over Whitefish that vaulted the Maidens into the consolation championship later that night.

But few people other than the most dedicated Ronan Maiden fans would witness the emotional win. 

And for those of you who didn't see it, you missed a lot of courage, determination and spunk as a dedicated group of young athletes never gave up on themselves or their teammates.

In the stands, six girls joined eight cheerleaders to do what the vast majority of their fellow students wouldn't do. They got up early on a Saturday morning without anybody telling them to do it. 

They cleaned up, fueled up and cowgirled up to cheer on the team that nobody else, except parents and a few other dedicated adult fans, bothered to come support.

Ronan High student Shelby Fisher, RHS exchange student Anzhela Movsisyan, and RMS students Jordyn Clairmont and Casadi Wunderlich were joined by former Ronan student (now in Whitefish) Amanda Folsom and friend Sarah Cazier. 

They and the parents and few dedicated fans who turned out got to see something special, something they may remember for a long time as a group of young basketball players showed perseverance and dedication and hard work really do pay off.

I'll be those players also learned a bit about who supports you when it really counts and who is willing to go the extra mile for you, even when it does cut into Saturday morning cartoons.

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