PARKER, Colo. (CBS4)– Fans packed the house for a basketball game on Thursday night that is now a highlight at Legend High School in Parker. It’s an event that is less about rivalry and more about friendship.

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“Let’s go Unified!” Taylor Mathewson chanted.

The battle on the hardwood is one the senior looks forward to all season.

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“’It’s really fun mainly because I’m really tall and I’m good at defense and I’m also good at making hoops too,” she said.

It’s now the third year in a row the Legend Unified made up of students with special needs and partners, take on the men and women of the Parker Police Department.

Taylor Mathewson (credit: CBS)

“We might win this is feeding a little fuel to the fire,” Parker Police Officer Dan Britton said.

He isn’t just an opponent, he also the school resource officer. A few years ago he and Unified teachers at Legend High School teamed up to get the ball rolling on an annual charity game.

Dan Britton (credit: CBS)

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“Last year was amazing and each year we are just trying to get it bigger and bigger,” Britton said.

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Going in he and his teammates had a simple, but solid game plan.

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“Not to get hurt so we are all kind of old and getting up there,” he laughed, “We are going to try and rotate out about every two minutes so we stay somewhat fresh.”

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In the end, it wasn’t enough to get the win. Parker police would fall to Legend High School 70 to 49.

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While the winning team may have been wearing the Unified name across their chest, it’s the game, Mathewson says, that brings everyone together.

“Even though we are different we are still normal people and we are really good at basketball and we really love the community,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

All proceeds from the game go back to supporting the Legend Unified basketball team.

Karen Morfitt

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