A trip to the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball tournament is often a momentous occasion, regularly celebrated with classmate send-offs and police escorts out of town.
Langdon-Edmore-Munich junior Kaitlynn Scherr doesn't know any different.
The Cardinals' second-leading scorer will be making her fourth-consecutive appearance in the state tournament at 1 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals against Kindred.
Kaitlynn's dad, Rob, is the L-E-M head coach. He and Kaitlynn went to state when she was an eighth-grader and freshman at Park River/Fordville-Lankin before the Scherrs transferred to L-E-M.
"It's just so special," Kaitlynn said. "It's something that connects my dad and I together now that we've gone to that many in a row. I guess it never really gets old. It would be weird to not go and just sit and watch it."
Kaitlynn hopes the Scherrs' experience can be a useful tool for the Cardinals.
"If we get in a tough situation, I feel like I'll know how to handle it," Kaitlynn said. "I think I have more basketball IQ from those experiences."
Said Rob: "You hope to bring experience and you're trying to keep the kids from not getting caught up in the moment. It's easier said than done with asking 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds to play composed. Doing our best, that's the main thing. They have to come in and remember who they are and what got them here."
Any extra experience is welcome for the Cardinals, who don't have a senior on the roster. L-E-M advanced to state a year ago, losing by three to Thompson in the first round.
L-E-M is led by junior Callie Ronningen, who averages 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds. Scherr adds 12.7 points and freshman Morgan Freije averages 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds.
"You talk about a team that was good the year before and needing to reload ... we reloaded," Rob said. "We not only lost four good seniors and one who was first-team all-state, but we also lost two key members of the team that would've been in our top seven. It really hurt our depth. We had girls who had been exclusively junior varsity move up and become better players and improved immensely from Day 1.
"It was a very pleasant surprise as a coach. They work hard to do it."
Kindred, 20-3, won a state championship in 2017 with an undefeated season. The Vikings are led by freshman Abby Duchscherer, who averages 22 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
"We get a tough draw," Rob said. "It's not like we're playing a typical draw team because I thought Kindred could be a two, three or four seed. It's a tough matchup."