Martin County High School and Pike County Central High School often compete against each other in sports, and the two eastern Kentucky schools consider themselves rivals. But during a regional basketball tournament March 2, Martin County's team got unexpected support from Pike Central's band, the Washington Post reports. Because of a bus driver shortage, Martin County's band hadn't been able to travel to the tournament, so the basketball players had no band pumping up the crowd for them. The opposing team did. Pike Central's band, waiting to perform during their own basketball team's game later in the tournament, noticed the discrepancy and decided to step in.
The high school's band director gave students the OK, and, with the score tied and Martin County appearing to be the underdog, the band started performing. “The energy just skyrocketed,” recalls one Martin County basketball player. “The crowd’s energy just really pushed us to the end.” His team ended up winning the game in overtime, and is headed this week to the state tournament for the first time in four decades. This time, Martin County's own band will be there pumping up the crowd—and so will Pike Central's band, having been invited by the school to come along. "We are all Eastern Kentuckians and we all support each other," Pike Central's band director tells the Times-Tribune. (Read more uplifting news stories.)