Freedom girls basketball coach Laurie Pacholke believed Tuesday's game at East Bay, the team's second-to-last regular season game, was as an important game as any this time of the season -- another important test to prepare the Patriots for next week's district tournament.
She also heard word that college scouts were going to be at the game to watch both teams, giving players a opportunity for exposure.
But it didn't happen. The Patriots never made it to Gibsonton. In fact, they never made it out of the parking lot. Their team buses never showed.
The Patriots were forced to forfeit Tuesday's non-district game because they weren't able to arrive in time for the 6:30 tip. The teams could reschedule, but it likely wouldn't happen until Saturday.
"It's definitely a letdown, especially when you're trying to prepare for districts and you only have so many games," said Pacholke.
This season, Hillsborough County changed basketball schedules to make varsity girls basketball games begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by boys games at 8.
The Indians were disappointed they weren't able to play as well, especially since senior Shytina Harley entered the night just three rebounds shy of 1,000.