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PATTONVILLE, Texas — The Maud boys basketball team is in the playoff after a 15-year hiatus.

Under first-year head coach Duncan Hudson, the Cardinals earned their first playoff berth since 2006 after placing fourth in District 16-2A.

Maud (13-13) takes on No. 1 seed North Hopkins in a Class 2A bi-district playoff game today at 6 p.m. at Prairiland High School's gym.

"North Hopkins won its district and is on an 11-game winning streak," Cardinals head coach Duncan Hudson said. "They shoot a lot of 3-pointers, are really good on defense and are led by two guys. One of them is a guard and one is a freshman post. Those guys take about 75-80 percent of their shots."

Maud finished behind McLeod, Rivercrest and Linden-Kildare, respectively. The Panthers are the District 15-2A champions and were undefeated at 10-0.

"We are going to have to play harder than them," Hudson said. "We haven't gotten to do anything all week. A lot will depend on how the kids come in and how well mentally prepared they are. The team that plays the hardest and wins the paint will win.

"We are bigger than them, so if we can win the rebound war, dominate the paint and get some fouls, then that will be big. We're battle tested, but I don't know how battle tested the other team is. The schedule I made for this group was a hard one. We were 12 points away from our record being 18-8. We are right there. We talked about making the playoffs all year. We have 11 on varsity, and I have one senior. I have a good younger group, so there is a window here in which we are confident that we can make Maud known for basketball.

"The kids are excited, and this group is really fun to be around. I am a different kind of coach than what the kids are used to. I keep preaching to them that they can start a basketball tradition; that is what we're trying to do."

The winner will player either Wolfe City or Muenster in the area round later this week.

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