Local High School Team Drives to Orlando


The Lady Indians basketball team managed to find three passenger vans for rent and embarked on more than 16 hours of driving for a road trip to Florida. | Image by Lipan Lady Indian Basketball, WFAA

After more than 60% of Southwest flights were canceled at the airport for the second day in a row, many travelers had to figure out new plans. Thousands of flights were canceled across the country.

Lipan High School’s basketball team, from Hood County outside of Fort Worth, were listed among the travelers who had to make a quick change of plans.

The Lady Indians basketball team was scheduled to play in a holiday tournament in Orlando, but their Monday Southwest Airlines flight was unfortunately cancelled.

“We were like oh, this is just our luck, because we’ve been planning for this for about a year. Fundraising non-stop to raise enough money to get here, and of course the day that we’re leaving everything has to go wrong with how we’re going to get there,” said senior Chelsea Lott.

After some quick thinking, the team decided that the best course of action was to hit the road. They managed to find three passenger vans for rent and embarked on more than 16 hours of driving for a road trip to Florida.

“Like, wow we’re driving all the way to Florida for a basketball tournament. We’re sitting in three white vans just trucking on down the road,” said Lott. “We all agreed it was a better experience for us to be in and having to go through all of that together as a team was really fun!”

The team’s head coach Amber Branson told Fox that her players took the unexpected travel change in stride.

“We drove all night, and we didn’t get here until 5:30 the next morning,” said Branson. “The girls never complained. Every time we stopped they were laughing smiling just, it’s been enjoyable. I can’t say enough about them.”

The team posted their journey on social media, tweeting a photo of their lodgings captioned: “We made it.”

Currently, the Lady Indians are putting up great stats at the tournament in Florida.

“The first [game] it was 87-12 and then 57-37,” said Lott. “I think we were super happy to be there. We were like yes, we’re finally getting to play. We weren’t sure if we were going to make it at all so we were pumped and ready for that game.”

Their coach has been nothing but impressed by her players.

“It wouldn’t matter what they did on the basketball courts. I’m proud of them as people and kids. It’s just amazing,” said Branson.

The Lipan High School Lady Indians have progressed to the championship game, which takes place Thursday.

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John Leaman
John Leaman
2 months ago

I was born in Gatesville Texas at a very early age😀 now live in Orlando, Fl Go Indians 👍 win win enjoy the experience. Have safe journey home.