District champion teams ready for playoff runs

District Champion Teams.jpg

The high school boys' basketball playoffs began Monday night, and two Big Country teams have their sights set on long post-season runs.

The Stamford Bulldogs and Jim Ned Indians both won their respective districts, putting them in good position in the their brackets.

"We set a bunch of goals, but number one was definitely district champions because that gives us the easiest round in the playoffs," Stamford senior Noah Horn said. "That was always our main goal."

The Bulldogs finished 11-1 in District 8-2A with the lone blemish to second-place Albany. It's Stamford's first district title since the 2013-14 season.

"The intensity has to be picked up," senior Caden Mathis said about the changes now that the playoffs are here.

"We can't have any goof-ups in one game. It's not a three-game series. If you lose one, you're done so we've really got to pick it up and make sure it's perfect."

The Bulldogs, who face Miles in the bi-district round on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Coleman, are known for their penchant to shoot three-pointers and are led by Horn and Zach Duran.

Jim Ned claimed its second straight District 5-3A title, and its third district championship in the past four years, last week.

The Indians are 20-12 overall with a 9-1 mark in district.

"I think our team goal was to win district, so now we need to create some new goals and see how far we can go now," senior Coalby Rives said.

Jim Ned will face Coleman in the first round on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Winters.

The Indians defeated the Bluecats in early January, 66-44.

"We play really disciplined basketball. Coach Phelps preaches that a lot," senior Jackson Hanna said. "We play fast and hard.

"As long as we do that we can play with anyone."

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