No State B boys basketball

With more than 30,000 fans attending each year, the Class B Boys State Basketball Tournament is without a doubt one of the biggest annual sporting events in North Dakota.

Thursday was to be the beginning of the "B". We all know it's not happening and we all know why.

In 1933, Fairmont beat Cando 32-to-30 in overtime to claim the first Class B title.

Thompson beat Shiloh Christian by 10 in overtime last year in the championship game.

In 2020, the record will show "Did Not Play".

On Monday, we heard from Skyhawks head coach Brad Miller and my goal is to hear from the other Region Champions in our area to acknowledge their accomplishment in qualifying for the "B".

Let's start with Ryan Farrell: "LT it was just last Friday I was heading into Beulah when it was announced that the Class B Tournament would be suspended. So instead of seeing a fired up Beulah team in the Miners Gym, they just found out their tournament dreams were put on hold."

Jeremy Brandt, Beulah head coach: "It feels good anytime you can get out of a region and qualify for the state tournament. I mean its an exciting thing especially for our kids, our school, our community for an old guy like me its still exciting as well, never gets old that feeling winning a region title."

The thrill of sinking a buzzer beater to win the region title, followed by a season cut short because of the coronavirus less than 24 hours later.

For senior Jonah Larson, his childhood dream of winning a state championship... over.

Larson, Beulah senior: "Its everyone's goal when you start playing basketball in fourth and fifth grade that's the ultimate goal is to one year get to state, get there in front of the big crowds and play for a chance to represent your town."

The Miners will lean on each other to get through the disappointment of not fulfilling the season.

Larson: "We got together along like a family, everybody. There was no fighting. Everybody every night came out and gave their best effort and worked really well together this year, its one of the best teams that I have been on."

Trey Brandt: "I think time will pass and eventually, you know, we have to get over it and this isn't the worst thing that happens to us in our life, there are a lot more things that can be worse. So I think eventually we'll get over it and we are always going to remember this as we are that team that could of won, could have lost you never know."

Farrell: "Beulah was slated to play Edgeley-Kulm-Montpelier in the first round of the Class B State Tournament. Greg was at the region title game last week."

Greg Beesley: "Thank you Ryan, E-K-M beat Strasburg-Zeeland one week ago in the Region 3 title game. We caught up with the Rebels before they found out about the suspended Class-B Tournament."

Kevin Strobel, EKM head coach: "It feels unbelievable guys have been working for this all year long, actually even longer for our juniors and seniors and they had those goals set and the reached it its just unbelievable. I just don't even know if it has quite sunk in yet."

Jace Hanson, EKM senior: "It feels really good. We lost our junior year and Strasburg/Zeeland was the only team we didn't beat this year in the region. So it feels good to finally get to state and beat them."

Alex Huber, EKM junior: "It feels great. I am glad we did it for our coaches and our community they were behind us the whole season and I just love to give it back to them. There is only eight teams in the state that get to win the region title and we are one of them and it just feels great."

Beesley: "It's odd to be standing here in an empty parking lot that should be filled with cars bringing fans from all corners of North Dakota here to the Event Center for the Class B Tournament, but the building behind me is empty and quiet."