BG unified basketball advances to state tourney after narrow win in districts


In a basketball tournament filled with smiles and positivity, the Tigers still needed a lot of emotion and competitiveness to advance to the state tournament in unified basketball.

The Battle Ground Tigers unified basketball team overcame a couple of close games during the district tournament at Prairie High School on Saturday, Feb. 10. The team earned its trip to the state Special Olympics basketball tournament happening in March after beating the Prairie Falcons, 39-38.

In a game against Evergreen High School, Battle Ground unified athlete Jayden Beachell earned the Tigers the win after scoring a basket in the final second.

“It was good. I honestly never thought I was going to make that shot,” Beachell said.

Battle Ground football star and unified partner Jacob Champine said he wanted the athletes to be the only ones to score during the game, but he was fouled late and made a couple of free throws, which set up the Tigers to be down by only one against Evergreen. Champine then stole the ball from one of Evergreen’s partners to pass to Beachell for the game-winning shot.

“I knew he was wide open, and Jayden [Beachell] doesn’t usually miss as much as he did today,” Champine said.

The 2024 State Winter Games of the Special Olympics of Washington will take place in Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Mission Ridge March 1 through March 3 and will feature numerous other sports, such as alpine skiing and figure skating, as well as basketball.

To learn more about the Special Olympics of Washington, visit