By CRAIG GIFFORD
Daily Record Staff Writer

MILLERSBURG — The Sandusky Perkins girls basketball team traveled to Berlin this weekend for a pair of basketball games as part of the Classic in the Country.

However, Saturday’s loss to Cincinnati Princeton and this afternoon’s match-up with Cincinnati Oak Hills was the farthest thing from the players’ minds on Sunday morning.

On their day away from the basketball court, the Pirates’ players and coaches spent several hours with residents of Sunset View Nursing Home, in Millersburg. It was a day they won’t soon forget.

“It’s nice to be down here for the basketball tournament,” said senior Emily Lowe. “It’s also nice to get to come (to Sunset View) to meet with all these people. It’s not something I would normally do, but it’s definitely something I’m glad we had the opportunity to do.”

Lowe said visiting the nursing home was something of a learning experience.

“We’ve been talking (with the residents) about where each of us is from. We’ve learned a lot about Amish Country. For the younger girls, I think it has opened their eyes to see different people. It’s nice for us to have the chance to come here and talk with them.”

Lowe’s teammates felt the same way about their visit to the nursing home to chat with its residents.

“It’s a good experience for us to come here to play basketball, but it’s a great experience to be able to come here. We’ve put basketball behind us, for now, to visit these people.”

While the players were thrilled to visit the nursing home, Sunset View’s residents were just as pleased to have the visitors.

“I think it’s just wonderful,” said Dot Bendel. “It’s inspiring to see them here.”

Perkins coach Ray Neill said it was a no-brainer to make the visit when Classic in the Country organizer Tom Jenkins asked him if his team would be up for it.

“I thought it would be a great idea,” Neill said. “Now that we’re here, I think it was a super great idea. It’s good to see the girls having fun and getting a reality check on what life is really all about.”

Neill added that visiting the nursing home is as good an opportunity as his team will have through the course of the season.

“This is as good as winning a big conference game on a Friday or Saturday night,” he said. “It’s neat seeing the happiness, love and joy that is being spread around.”