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Players and coaches adjust to playing with limited attendance

“When these guys are making plays, they kind of just overexaggerate the plays and they just have fun”
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 11:34 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Only about half of U.S. states are playing high school basketball right now. Idaho is one of them.

But with Idaho in Stage 2 of reopening, there is no student section, no band, and in most cases, limited attendance to a few parents.

“The student section feeds you, fans feed you, the cheerleaders feed you, and that gets you going,” said Burley girls basketball coach Amber Whiting.

“Without them and without the fans and the band, we definitely have to try harder to get ourselves hyped up,” Canyon Ridge boys basketball senior guard Brody Osen said.

Canyon Ridge Head Coach Daren Van Hofwegen says hearing your community and friends cheering, is something that is dearly missed. His program now has to focus on making their own energy.

“When these guys are making plays, they kind of just overexaggerate the plays and they just have fun,” Van Hofwegen said. “We kind of just try to just tell them to just have fun.”

Despite the drowned out atmosphere, communication is a little easier on the floor.

“It’s a lot easier to hear our coach when she’s screaming on the sideline,” Burley girls basketball sophomore guard Kelsie Pope said. “We can call out our plays, our defense, a lot better.”

Coaches say face coverings may muffle things from time to time, but you can hear almost everything, even from the other side.

“I can hear their plays being called and so we can echo their plays if we know them and play them one more time,” Amber Whiting said.

Overall, game time is game time, and competitive spirit still reigns.

“It’s definitely different, but when we get on the court I feel all of us are just so focused in on getting the win, that it doesn’t really matter,” Burley girls basketball sophomore guard Amari Whiting said.

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