Ogallala looks to capture first boys state hoops title
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The undefeated 26-0 Ogallala Indians will make their way to Lincoln for another go at the Boy’s Basketball State Title.
In the District Finals, the Indians defeated Adams Central 66-30 to claim the C1-2 crown and punch their ticket to state.
Ogallala will be the second seed in the tournament and will play Central City who is the seventh seed in the first round. Central City defeated Wayne in the C1-7 District Final to earn their spot in the tournament. The Bison will bring a confident team to next week’s tournament with a core group of seniors.
“They’ve got a really good guard 20 points a game guy, a solid big guy, and they’re all seniors and they play well together. So we have our work cut out for us, they are a man-to-man team it looks like, so they only have three losses for a reason, they are a good basketball team we’ll have to be ready,” says Ogallala Assistant Coach Jeremy Smith.
Central City holds a 24-3 record so far this season.
But the Indians will bring their own strengths to the table, one of those being experience. Ogallala has been to the State Tournament five out of the last six years including this one. Not only have most of the players on Ogallala’s Team been to the tournament as participants, but they have also been going for many years as spectators.
“These kids have been going to state tournaments since the fourth grade, every year we go down and watch. Then, making it five out of the last six years they’ve all been either watching or playing. So I think they kind of know what the deal is just from being there so much, I mean that was kind of why we started taking them just to see what it’s like and then later be playing down there. I think it’s a huge deal to have already been down there,” says Smith.
Despite their several recent trips to the State Basketball Tournament, Ogallala has never won the Boy’s Basketball State Title, but they hope to change that very soon.
Senior, Ryder Smith, says it would not only mean a lot to the team but to the fans and the entire town of Ogallala as well.
“It would mean everything, it’s always kind of been our dream. Obviously, we have a lot of support and we know what it would mean to them and it means everything to us,” says (Ryder) Smith.