CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) — For the first time since their village was turned upside down, the East Palestine boys’ basketball team took the floor. A sense of normalcy for a community that hasn’t seen that since the Feb. 3 train derailment.

“It was amazing,” said senior Landon Price. “It gave me chills.”

“It is definitely bigger than basketball,” EP head coach Tristan Reynolds said. “So to see all the boys and to see them all together again and seeing them have a good time and enjoying themselves, that was just awesome. Seeing the smiles again, seeing the faces again.”

East Palestine battled Southern on the floor of the Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The team told First News that being back together has been a long time coming for the Bulldogs.

“It was great after everything that happened, it was just crazy,” Price said. “It was a great time, the Cavs letting us come down here, and it was a nice time with the team.”

“Getting to be with my second family, you know, it was good,” senior Ryan Rosen said.

Rosen said when teammates and their families were evacuated from the village, they leaned on each other to make sure everyone was all right.

“You know, when people were getting displaced and stuff we were texting each other, checking up on each other and making sure everyone was okay,” Rosen said. “When we got to practice with each other the other day it was great, brought a lot of smiles to people’s faces.”

The Bulldogs are hoping as they are getting back to their normal, that the village can follow and slowly do the same.

“It gives everyone some happiness,” Price said. “Just being able to watch the team perform. Give them something to do besides sit in the house.”

“We can get through it,” Rosen said. “We went through a rough year all year, not just with what happened but record-wise. But we stick together, that goes to show what East Palestine is: we stick together.”