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Daniel Horton Trip Report #3: Late Kansas City night ends in a tough way

Montana State University-Northern sophomore Mike LaValley relaxes in the locker room prior to Wednesday night's NAIA national tournament game against Columbia College in Kansas City.

Lights players tretch out before Wednesday night's game against Columbia College in Kansas City.

Montana State University-Northern head coach Shawn Huse writes instructions in the Lights' locker room prior to Wednesday night's game with Columbia College at the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City.

MSU-Northern's LaVon Myers (left) and Joe Simpson watch an NAIA national tournament game earlier on Wednesday afternoon.

The MSU-Northern men's basketball team gets ready to go out for the March of Champions during the NAIA national tournament Wednesday night at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY — After all of the anticipation, preparation, and festivities that come with being a National Tournament team, the Montana State University-Northern Lights mens' basketball team was finally able to get back on the basketball court for their much anticipated first round game.

The Northern Lights have been running non-stop since they arrived in Kansas City, MO on Monday. But never losing sight of what they were in town for, everything the Ligts did led up to their first round game against the Columbia Cougars at the Municipal Arena at the NAIA DI Mens' Basketball National Tournament. Wednesday was mostly filled with watching other games and resting, and unfortunately for the Lights, there won't be any more days like this ahead of them this week.

MSU-N played a great game Wednesday night, but the Cougars ended the Lights' run, 58-52, coming from behind to knock of the Lights.

Lights in Kansas City

Day Three

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. — Lights have breakfast and breakdown game film at the hotel.

12:00 p.m. — Go to the Municipal Arena to watch part of the Shorter/Life game.

2:00 p.m. – Order NAIA shirts at the arena vendor.

2:10 p.m. — Return to the hotel for lunch and much needed rest before their game. Lights enjoyed Olive Garden for lunch before settling in for the afternoon.

6:30 p.m. — Return to the arena. Lights watched part of the current game being played, but also prepared for the Parade of Champions.

7:00 p.m. — Met in the lockerroom to get dressed for shoot around.

7:30 p.m. — Shooting warm up.

7:40 p.m. — Return to the lockerroom just prior to the Parade of Champions.

8:35 p.m. — Parade of Champions.

9:05 p.m. — The tournament is running behind schedule, but the Lights finally returned to the hardwood to warm up for their game against Columbia.

9:20 p.m. — Finally Northern gets to play. The Lights game was scheduled to tip off at 8:45 p.m. (7:45 p.m. local time), but got off to a late start after all of the games and festivities.

11:00 p.m. — Horn has gone off; Ligts suffer a 58-52 loss to Columbia.

11:45 p.m. — Back to the hotel for the night.

I loved being in Kansas City, with the team, but I hate how the 2012 season had to come to an end.

Being so close to the Lights team for the last couple of days, there was a feeling in the air. A good, positive feeling, and it only grew stronger as the opening tip grew closer. I couldn't help but feel the Lights were going to win Wednesday night, and that was due to the confidence the Lights were exuding.

And it wasn't because of a lack of trying, or because of an over confidence issue Northern didn't come away with the win. As a madder of fact, the Lights played outstanding against Columbia, and unfortunately things just didn't go in favor of the very talented MSU-N basketball team.


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