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Division champion Thunderbirds are playing for a lost friend


Marvin Dale Doney had recently returned from a junior high basketball tournament in Idaho, where he was named the Most Valuable Player. His team had glided through the tournament without a loss.

Like Doney, Nathan Martin, his best friend and teammate, could not get enough of basketball. On that April afternoon in 1998, Martin called Doney to play some hoops on a nearby outdoor court in Hays.

Doney wasn't in the mood.

"I called him 20 minutes before it happened," said Martin, a junior guard on Hays-Lodge Pole boy's basketball team. "I asked him if he wanted to play basketball. He kind of see...

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