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SOMT's Tornadoes and Helena Capital girls basketball team scrimmage ahead of State Tournament

SOMT's Tornadoes and Helena Capital girls basketball team scrimmage ahead of State Tournament
Posted at 3:18 PM, Oct 28, 2022

HELENA — As Special Olympics teams from all across Montana prepare for SOMT State Basketball Tournament that starts on November 10, the Helena Tornados got a special surprise from the Helena Capital Bruins in the form of a scrimmage.

The Tornadoes are made up of Special Olympics athletes that are around high school age setting up a perfect tune-up scrimmage against the Bruins. The Tornadoes won the scrimmage handily, arguably the best part of the night for Tornadoes athlete Nick Hall.

“The fact that we showed no mercy and a bit of mercy all at once,” said Hall.

This November will be the first time since 2019 that athletes from all across Montana will get the opportunity to gather for the state tournament, an exciting prospect for Tornadoes athlete Ben Swift because he’ll be able to see and meet athletes from all over the state.

“I would just say, being with everyone who's competing," said Swift.

Alongside the Tornadoes athletes, there are unified partners, who are people of similar age who do not have an intellectual disability that work and compete with the teams. Alexis Levengood is a senior for the Bruins this year and said she picked up the opportunity and looks forward to coming out every time the team meets.

“Last year I did unified PE at Capitol and I've just been obsessed with working with the special needs kids and everything. So I decided to join this," said Levengood. "I really love it. It's my favorite like activity.”

For Bruins athletes who don't normally get the chance to compete against or with Special Olympics athletes, the scrimmage was a refreshing way to look at basketball.

“Seeing how excited they got, when they like stole the ball or something, they would go nuts and it was just an amazing time,” said Bruins Basketball player Megan Swanson

Opening ceremonies for the SOMT State Tournament are on November 10, and concludes on November 12.