Small school looks for Hollywood ending after fairy tale season

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SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- It’s been a fairy tale season for one of the smallest schools in our area. There are 55 boys at Glenwood High School in New Boston, Ohio. More than one in four is on the basketball team.

But if they get their Hollywood ending, it will be a movie we've seen before.

We caught one final pep talk for the Glenwood Tigers at the school before the biggest game of the season.

Months ago when the season began, no tryouts were needed.

"As soon as you sign up, you're on the team," said sophomore Kyle Sexton.

"We're more or less just trying to get enough to play," said junior Malachi Potts.

The entire New Boston school district fits inside a single building. There are 118 students in the high school, which is a small number even in its own division. There are just 28 in this year's graduating class, boys and girls.

There’s not a large talent pool to choose from.

"No, but we got enough," said Head Coach Adam Cox.

Enough to go 20-6 so far in a season that started slowly. Now, they’re just three wins away from a state title.

As the team walked out Friday afternoon to the cheers of the school, it brought to mind another small school: Hickory High from the movie Hoosiers, a 1986 movie starring Gene Hackman that is based on the true story of Milan High School in Indiana.

"It's a very fair comparison," said Cox.

Many players have heard the comparison, but Sexton is the only one we spoke with who has actually seen the film.

"I watched that movie for the first time two nights ago,” he said. “I was just laying in bed ready to play again at 12 o'clock at night."

"I think it's pretty special, like a team like us that's this small," adds senior player Tyler Caldwell.

In many ways, it’s a movement bigger than basketball -- a town rallying around a team.

"It's something this area needed. Southern Ohio, northern Kentucky -- we're all the same,” said Cox. “Doesn't matter if you cross the river into Huntington, you know what we deal with daily here... all kinds of epidemics."

So wherever you're from, it's okay to cheer for this team, the smallest school left playing basketball in Ohio. But if they are victorious one more time, they may need to find a new coach.

"We win this game tonight, I think I must just retire from coaching and sell the rights to this story to a big movie producer,” said Cox with a laugh.

New Boston Glenwood is taking on Berlin Hiland, a squad with a 26-1 record.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Ohio University. The winner will need two victories next weekend to be the state champion.

This fairy tale may not be a one-year thing either. Of the 15 players, only two are seniors with Caldwell the only one who starts.

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