Covering the Norfolk-Omaha Burke basketball doubleheader Saturday night, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of Panthers’ fans who made the two-hour trip to the games.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been.
I remember covering Norfolk at the state tournament in recent years and it seemed as though the entire city was at the Devaney Center. On Saturday night, the Panthers fans loudly cheered both of their teams on to victory.
That support isn’t lost on the players, who obviously appreciate seeing so many familiar faces at road games.
“The fans always try to make it seem like a home game, no matter where we play,” junior Tyler Hagedorn said. “I know our teams feed off of it.”
Hagedorn certainly fed off of it, scoring a game-high 18 points in the seventh-ranked Panthers’ 72-62 win over eighth-ranked Burke.
Get ready for the invasion next Saturday night, Lincoln East. You’re the next stop on the Norfolk road show.