1A TEAM CAPSULES (BOYS)

A new champion will be crowned in 1A boys, as last year’s title team, Peetz, was eliminated in the regional finals by Haxtun. Those Bulldogs are the #4 seed and find themselves in the same half of the bracket as #1 De Beque, considered by many as the prohibitive favorite to claim the top hardware this year. Those two squads, along with the rest of the field, are profiled below.
Individual statistics quoted below are courtesy of MaxPreps. Teams are listed in bracket order.
 

#1 DE BEQUE DRAGONS (22-0)

COACH: Jake Higuera
STATE TITLES: 1998
LEAGUE: Won Western Slope title (12-0), won District 1 title
REGIONALS: Beat Genoa-Hugo/Karval 78-34
STREAK: Won 22 straight and 25 of last 27
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-0
Wins: None
Losses: None
TEAM NOTES: 36 wins over the last two seasons, 33 combined in previous 12 — first appearance since 2004 — only unbeaten team in the class — outscored opponents by 680 points on the season — only one game decided by single digits (64-60 over Vail Christian) — next closest game was 13-point win over Plateau Valley

NAMEPTSREBSASSTSSTEALS3-POINT
Brennan Rigsby22.58.83.22.691
Wes Ryan19.26.43.02.024
Dillon Bumgardner9.46.81.01.07
Jaden Jordan5.43.63.72.712
Nando Candeleria4.82.92.51.710
Garrett Jenkins4.25.90.91.21

 

#8 PRAIRIE MUSTANGS (17-7)

COACH: Amber Whitlock
STATE TITLES: None
LEAGUE: Tied for North Central title with Peetz (7-1), 2nd in District 4
REGIONALS: Beat Arickaree/Woodlin 73-65 and Mile High Academy 62-48
STREAK: Won 2 straight and 10 of 12
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-2
Wins: None
Losses: Merino (2)
TEAM NOTES: Program includes players from Pawnee (could not field own team) — won two games on buzzer beaters – first appearance since 2015 (0-2), first winning season since then — 16 combined wins over last three seasons — outscored opponents by 317 points on the season — 4-5 in games decided by single digits

NAMEPTSREBSASSTSSTEALS3-POINT
Devin Littlefield16.94.23.11.424
Jade Cass10.28.43.41.42
Logan Cacciola8.75.01.82.225
Trey Moore5.82.71.41.315
Mitch Dollerschell4.93.72.11.112
Andy Long4.62.81.51.013
Wyatt Schnug4.15.11.10.3

 

#4 HAXTUN BULLDOGS (16-7)

COACH: Grant Edwards
STATE TITLES: 2005
LEAGUE: Tied for 3rd Lower Platte (5-3), won District 5 title
REGIONALS: Beat Peetz 62-50
STREAK: Won 4 straight and 7 of 8
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 2-2
Wins: Merino, Kit Carson
Losses: Yuma, Merino
TEAM NOTES: Lost to Yuma 68-63 in 2OT — first appearance since winning title in 2005 — most wins since 2012-13 (17) — outscored opponents by 299 points on the season — 4-5 in games decided by single digits — 0-3 in OT games
Full team statistics not entered on MaxPreps.
 

#5 EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN EAGLES (19-3)

COACH: Bob Wingett
STATE TITLES: 2005, 2004
LEAGUE: Won Black Forest title (6-0), won District 7 title
REGIONALS: Beat Ouray 48-25
STREAK: Won 14 straight and 14 of 15
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-0
Wins: None
Losses: None
TEAM NOTES: First appearance in 1A — first appearance since 2007 (1-2) — only one loss to 1A team (52-28 Cornerstone Christian) — outscored opponents by 387 points on the season — 2-0 in games decided by single digits
Full team statistics not entered on MaxPreps.
 

#2 SANGRE DE CRISTO THUNDERBIRDS (21-1)

COACH: Ryan Mortensen
STATE TITLES: 2001
LEAGUE: Won Southern Peaks title (9-0), won District 6 title
REGIONALS: Beat Kim/Branson 69-42
STREAK: Won 16 straight
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-0
Wins: None
Losses: None
TEAM NOTES: 2nd consecutive 20+ win season, third in five years — second straight appearance (1-2 last year) – 3rd place in 2015 — outscored opponents by 639 points on the season — 2-1 in games decided by single digits

NAMEPTSREBSASSTSSTEALS3-POINT
Cole Christensen17.95.55.23.328
Jake Slane16.35.01.91.99
Manuel Lopez11.13.63.11.339
Jared Sinclair7.41.61.63.09
Kevin Enriquez5.63.72.11.213

 

#7 KIT CARSON WILDCATS (15-9)

COACH: Damon Dechant
STATE TITLES: 2007, 2004
LEAGUE: 3rd in High Plains (3-2), 3rd in District 2
REGIONALS: Beat Creede 73-70 and Springfield 41-35
STREAK: Won 3 straight and 5 of 6
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 0-4
Wins: None
Losses: Limon, Walsh, Holly, Haxtun
TEAM NOTES: First appearance since 2017 (3rd place) — sixth consecutive winning season — coach was a senior (Player of the Year) on last title team — outscored opponents by 78 points on the season — 8-3 in games decided by single digits

NAMEPTSREBSASSTSSTEALS3-POINT
Jayden McCombs-Farmer12.96.42.73.026
Sullivan Farmer9.43.41.01.442
Cordell Farmer8.54.31.91.815
Brayden Bogenhagen7.52.70.80.756
TJ Conaway6.36.30.81.41
Chris Bryan5.14.80.81.610

 

#3 WALSH EAGLES (18-5)

COACH: Josh Wittler
STATE TITLES: 1972, 1971. 1968
LEAGUE: Won Ark Valley title (4-0), 2nd in District 3
REGIONALS: Beat Sierra Grande 48-35 and Cheraw 57-53 (OT)
STREAK: Won 2 straight and 12 of 13
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 1-1
Wins: Kit Carson
Losses: Holly
TEAM NOTES: First appearance since 2012 (3rd Place) — most wins in a season since that year (23) — won 3rd place in 2011 — four losses to out of state opponents — outscored opponents by 266 points on the season — 4-1 in games decided by single digits
Full team statistics not entered on MaxPreps.
 

#6 MERINO RAMS (14-10)

COACH: Chase Debus
STATE TITLES: 1980, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1970, 1969
LEAGUE: 6th in Lower Platte (2-3), won District 4
REGIONALS: Beat Stratton/Liberty 60-56 and Front Range Baptist 61-54
STREAK: Won 8 straight and 10 of 12
RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: 3-3
Wins: Haxtun, Prairie (2)
Losses: Haxtun, Yuma, Limon
TEAM NOTES: Tied for sixth-most state championships (7) — finished second in 1999 — took third in last appearance (2003, 2A) — outscored opponents by 42 points on the season — 7-4 in games decided by single digits
Full team statistics not entered on MaxPreps.
 

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