Lending a helping “band,” Pike County Central band plays for Martin Co. during sweet sixteen

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — “Tonight is first time in 40 years that that we’ve made it,” said head coach of Martin County high school basketball, Coach Jason James.

It’s a journey that many high school basketball teams across the bluegrass await for every year, the road to Rupp Arena.

“Everybody’s, you know, kind for each other, especially when you come down this way, like we always stick together. You know, I mean, I’ve been congratulated on our way in from just about anybody and everybody from that part of the state,” he adds.

For Martin County High School, playing their last regional tournament match was an unexpected but rewarding one.

When one of their rivals, Pike County Central learned the team from Inez would not have their pep band there cheering for them, they decided to lend a helping hand by letting their band cheer for the cardinals.

“We appreciate them, for coming to help with our band, support our band, support our team. They have an incredible band. They’re loud. They’re there. They’re great. So it should make for a great atmosphere,” he says.

The cardinals are grateful for the support, but more than anything the noble sportsmanship from Pike County Central, “I get along great with our coach. Some of their players on their team play youth basketball with our players. So it’s, we’re competitive with each other, but we’re also good friends.”

Coach James is just excited for their next challenge, facing the broncos, “gotta go be who we’ve been all year to get here and hopefully have fun and play great game.”

In the end, the broncos advance to the next round, with a final score of 73 to 53.

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