Butte College's Men's Basketball takes to the court for first time since Camp Fire

ByKate Larsen via KGO logo
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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Butte College has been closed because of the fire. Tuesday night, their men's basketball team hit the court, not just for a win, but for their community.

OROVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- A few seconds after tip-off and the Butte College Roadrunners were the first to score in their basketball game against Fremont's Ohlone College.

It's just the second game for the Butte College men's team since the Camp Fire destroyed parts of their community.

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"We are always motivated and give 100%. We came out here to play," explains team captain Eric Boose.

The Roadrunners dominated play, taking and early lead and holding most of the night a tough Ohlone home team, in a very physical game.

Coach Critchfield says none of his players lost their homes, every player knows someone who did. "This is a good little escape but it's never out of our minds," he says.

The school made the decision to let the players play, even though school is closed until next week. The team still doesn't even have a gym to practice in, having to scout locations since the Camp Fire erupted.

"Normally we play for ourselves, our family our school, but now we have a whole county behind us. And it really fuels us to play as hard as we can," say guard Noah Zoppi.

And they had many local fans out to support their hard work.

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"It's pretty tragic and them being out of school. And (too) still be able to come in a play a game tonight, that's a big deal," says Meghan Keleta, an Ohlone sophomore.

Then came the final buzzer-- and final score of 86 to 83. A win for Butte College. And they will take home to Butte County.

"It's a lot bigger than basketball. It's fun for us to come out and play our best, but reality is people have it harder than us. We have to do everything in our community to help," says Zoppi.

That puts Butte College record at 3-3 for the season.

See more stories, photos and videos on the Camp Fire in Butte County.