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BOONE LIFE: Tough loss brings team closer

February 25, 2009
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It’s a classic sports moment when the underdog stares at a daunting task squarely in the face with cautious gusto. Freshman basketball player Josh Grove makes a gesture with his hand and eyes, in a motion resembling something between a pious Catholic and a land surveyor.

BY Zachary Siebert

ASHLAND - It’s moments before tip-off of the Hallsville junior varsity boys basketball team’s last road game of the season and emotions are tense.

Coach Philip Dunkel goes over some last-minute strategies in the bleacher wings while the JV Indians prepare to take the court against Boone County rival Southern Boone High of Ashland on Thursday night. Although these boys are familiar with their Southern Boone opponents-having lost twice to them already this season-they’ve never been in this position before: playing on their rival's home court near the end of a disappointing season.

“(The team's) the only thing you guys got to play for right now. You haven’t come within 20 points of these guys in your career. Period,” coach Dunkel stresses. “You got a chance to step up and start setting the tone for next year. You got a chance to come out, play hard, have fun and be a team. If you do that, we’ll let the chips fall where they are.”

To read the rest of the story and see the land surveyor-like jesture, click here .

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