Monday, May 20, 2013
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First-year Falls City boys basketball coach Sean Burgett, center, helped make Monday's contests against North Clackamas Christian at the Rose Garden a reality.
January 30, 2013
FALLS CITY -- Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.
That sense of unfamiliarity -- yet excitement -- should be shared by every member of the Falls City High boys and girls basketball teams when they take the court Monday for a pair of games at the Rose Garden in Portland.
It's not every day that the Class 1A Mountaineers play on the same floor as an NBA team.
"I really don't think they have a clue what it's going to be like as far as the vastness of the Rose Garden," Falls City boys coach Sean Burgett said. "We're so used to playing in small, little gyms. Even for me, there's going to be quite the `wow' factor in it."
Both squads will face North Clackamas Christian, with the girls tipping off at 3:30 p.m. and the boys to follow at 5:30 p.m.
It's an event that NCC has participated in for the past several years, but this will mark Falls City's first trip after Burgett saw the opportunity on a coaches' online message board.
"I looked it up last summer, contacted North Clackamas Christian and the ball kept rolling from there," Burgett said.
In order to attend the game as a spectator -- as well as serve as a fundraiser for the schools -- fans must purchase a ticket to a future Portland Trail Blazers game.
The two choices are a March 16 contest against the Detroit Pistons or the Blazers' game vs. the Brooklyn Nets March 27. Ticket prices range from $20 to $97, but part of that cost will go back to Falls City athletics.
The players, though, aren't worried too much about the details of everything.
They're just plain excited.
"It's a larger space and something I'm not used to at all, but I think it will be a good feeling," Mounts senior Ethan McConnell said. "But I'm definitely going to have the butterflies."
Burgett said around 100 to 150 tickets have been sold thus far, but fans can buy tickets through Friday by contacting FCHS Athletic Director Dennis Sickles.
The main reason for Falls City's involvement in the experience, said the first-year Mounts coach, was to build for the future.
"What I wanted to get going was kind of a state tournament atmosphere, getting some excitement in the basketball program so that we can get every kid we can participating," Burgett said.
Although the Falls City girls team has yet to play NCC this season, Monday's boys game will mark the second meeting between the two teams. North Clackamas won, 64-30, back on Dec. 2.
The Mounts hope for a better outcome this time.
"I think we've gotten a lot better as a team, so it might be a better game than it was the first time," sophomore Tristan Yeager said.
BATTLE AT THE ROSE GARDEN
What: Both the Falls City varsity boys and girls basketball teams will take on North Clackamas Christian on the same court the Portland Trail Blazers play their home games at the Rose Garden.
When: Monday. Girls game starts at 3:30 p.m.; boys follow at 5:30 p.m. Doors will open at 3 p.m.
Tickets: In order to attend the game, you must purchase a ticket to a future Blazers home game: Portland vs. Detroit Pistons March 16 or Portland vs. Brooklyn Nets March 27. Cost ranges from $20 to $97 per ticket. Order deadline for tickets is Friday. To order tickets or for more information: Dennis Sickles, 503-930-0378 or firstname.lastname@example.org.