>Mountain View's height hard to overcome
Its week before Christmas started well for Madras High's boys basketball team.
But a good start only survived the first half of a game against Mt. View High of Bend.
Blitzed by the visiting Cougars, 24-10, in the third quarter, the White Buffalos never recovered as Mountain View won the non-league game 69-56.
The contest was Madras' third with an area 4A team this preseason, but it couldn't match its feats of beating Crook County and Summit in earlier games. The Buffs' non-league record fell to 5-2 headed into a Dec. 27-29 tournament.
Despite a game-high 21 points from Jacoby Ellsbury, Madras was caught and passed in the third quarter. Mountain View ran into the lead it never surrendered on the strength of a series of three one-shot possessions by Madras. Coach Evan Brown said the Buffs were limited by missing their chances at offensive boards along with Mountain View's rebounding.
Two three-point field goals sandwiched around a driving layup after a rare Buff turnover launched Mountain View toward victory.
Madras pulled within five points in the middle of the fourth quarter, though, on the strength of a personal foul against the Mt. View bench.
Skyler Ashbaugh led a balanced Mt. View attack with 17 points.
While trailing by a dozen after three quarter, the Buffs worked their way back into contention with a spurt that had them back within five baskets with five minutes left, before Mountain View responded.
A combination of shots by Joey McConnell and Ellsbury helped rally Madras after it fell behind 62-45 at one point in the second half.
Ellsbury disected Mt. View's defense and tossed in a jump shot from about eight feet which officials said he was fouled on with close to six minutes left. That combination drew enough ire from Mt. View's coach to land the team a technical foul. The two free throws for the technical were added to the attempt Ellsbury had coming to him. By making all three free throws, Ellsbury brought Madras to within seven with an inbound pass coming to it. But the Mountain View defense kept the Buffs from drawing within five on that play and came up with timely enough shots down the stretch to stretch out the victory margin.
Just as Madras will begin its Tri-Valley League play with a Jan. 4, 2002, game, Mountain View will tip off its league play in the 4A Inter-Mountain Conference during the first week of January.