>Girls basketball senior seeking college opportunity too
A budding psychologist on Madras High's girls basketball Buffs is one who would probably not be among most observers' main suspects.
Yet, Nicole Main has her mind made up. If everything falls into place she wants to try to continue her basketball career while studying psychology at the University of San Diego. The senior was named to the all-state tournament team and later listed as an all-state performer for Madras last year. She is among those being recruited by the University of San Diego's coaching staff.
She has communicated as allowed under N.C.A.A. rules but hearing that Main would do much talking would be a bit of a surprise to her present coach.
"Nicole is actually a quiet person. Yet, she's still a leader," Madras Coach Mike Osborne says of the senior. She falls into the mold of a leader by example the Madras coach said of the senior who had one of her top scoring games so far when Madras lost at Mountain View of Bend, a 4A school compared to Madras's 3A classification.
Main patrols a guard post for the Buffs with both defensive and offensive flair. She forces opponents into mistakes or turnovers on a regular basis and will often post both five or more steals and at least five assists in a game.
"I like handling the ball," said Main.
As the eldest daughter of Robert and Sandra Main, Nicole Main enjoys having younger sister Jayleen on the Madras High team plus getting to watch younger brothers Aaron or Robert Jr. play, when their schedules don't conflict.
She said Coach Mike Osborne keeps reminding her to take her shot, when open, but that he has also stressed "being more defense minded."
During her first couple of seasons in the program she tried to be more defense minded, said Main, to follow the coach's wishes. In Osborne's first season at the helm, last year, she found herself doing a lot of driving to the basket, but now he is asking her to shoot more, Main explained.
Racing toward the basket or passing the ball to teammates when she has the chance is just part of Main's many goals.
But, one goal has a bit more intensity associated with it.
"We have a team goal that we set during the summer league we were in. Our goal is to win the league," Main said. Doing that will require both beating highly regarded Jill Noe and Wilsonville and avenging one defeat to Estacada.
"We've got a kind of grudge against Estacada," said Main.
But the steps to the Buffs goal of a Tri-Valley League title will come one at a time, Main mentioned. There is enough balance in the league that the coalition of soccer and volleyball players on the Madras roster can't afford to overlook The Dalles, La Salle, Sherwood or Valley Catholic, let alone Wilsonville or Estacada.
She respects all the players in the league she goes up against and knows she needs to work hard to get open for shots no matter who she's up against, Main pointed out.
While Madras can beat everyone she knows it can't afford to take any league teams for granted, said Main.
Adjusting to be ready for each Tri-Valley team will amount to modifying some lessons she picked up a couple of summers ago at a camp she was invited to in San Diego.
Main explained that there were players from throughout the western states and some states even further away attending the camp.
"It was kind of hard adjusting to having all-around players at every position, but it helped make you ready for higher levels," Main said.
Such preparation paid off for Main in the form of her selection to both the state tournament's all-tournament team and a statewide all-state roster a couple weeks after the tournament in March 2001.
Competing with multi-skilled players at the camp helped Main's skills enough that she has an interesting favorite play that she likes to make.
"We call it Saturday Morning Breakfast, because it's so rare for most of us to have breakfast on the weekend," Main explained of her looking to block shots on the rare times she gets a chance.
"If I try to take a shot I try to get them off balance first (before going up to release the shot)," Main explained of her own method of not getting blocked herself.
She said that while she doesn't notice it very often, she is pretty sure Coach Osborne is probably trying to use psychology on the Buffs at times. But whether she has been exposed to it or not, Main is still considering psychology as her first coach of major, unless something sways her mind. Given the arts community in San Diego, it may happen.
"I'm really fond of my art class. I find it's really soothing," Main said of the escape from some of the stress of competing on the court and in the classroom. She said she expects her interest in arts to be something she continues for years beyond college.
Working on basketball has her focus when she is in the game, but Main is not averse to coming out, when Osborne decides to replace her. She said she and the other players usually don't ask to be subbed for, the coach can tell when they're tired or need a break to regroup.
When she does regroup, said Main, the Buffs are in good hands with the assortment of substitutes available. Without naming Jare Retherford or Michelle Manion or Jayleen Main, the Buffs' main Main said "I really do have a lot of confidence when I go out. We have a really good back up at all positions."
Being the eldest in her family has helped her communicate within the team, even though Main herself admits to being "kind of quiet." She said that she feels it is easier for anyone to talk with someone younger more than peers.
Maybe that has something to do with Main's coaches observing that she lets her play do most of the talking for her.