West Jessamine Honors Fallen Student in Sweet 16 Game

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West Jessamine High School defeated Hazard in the first game of the Boys' Sweet Sixteen State Basketball Tournament, but to the group this game was about more than just basketball.

West Jessamine High School played in their first ever state tournament on Wednesday, defeating Hazard 51-40.

The Colts were down 11 points in the second half, but had a comeback to defeat the Bulldogs, who also made an appearance in the Sweet 16 last year.

"We got to be here last year. It's a big achievement for a small school to play in a tournament like this", said Chase Engle, a Hazard fan.

"This is a dream come true for high school players to be at this stage in their career", says former Hazard basketball player Michael Campbell.

However, the Bulldogs didn't pull off a win against the Colts, who seemed to be on a mission.

"We've been the underdogs all season long and we're ready", said West Jessamine student David Deyer.

The fans were also cheering a little louder today for a fellow classmate. 17-year-old Ryan Robinson died last week from MRSA.

"A really emotional game because it's pretty much for him", said student Alex Lester.

"Ryan's mom came today because she wanted him to be here, so she came in spirit for him", says student Haylee Walters.

Ryan's initials were worn by the cheerleaders on their uniforms, and by the basketball players on their shoes.

Robinson's girlfriend, Sydney Sisler, says many of the basketball players were friends of Ryan's, a soccer player at West Jessamine High School.

"All the guys are playing for him. They want to win it for his mom and show their respect for Ryan", says Sisler.

So, during this tournament, the team has a new mission. Not only winning, but making sure their former classmate isn't forgotten.

"It means a lot. Everybody misses him and we're just taking this day by day and hoping they win this kinda for Ryan", says Sisler.

The Colts will play the winner of Grayson County and Adair
County on Friday at noon.

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