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Basketball boys defeat The Dalles

Ellsbury, Easterling, Adams triumvirate make Madras 1-0 in league

   Madras High's boys basketball White Buffalos were height- handicapped in their Tri-Valley League opener Friday against The Dalles but made that disadvantage not matter. Using quickness to attack before The Dalles got set up on defense let Madras claim a 46-39 win.
   Coach Evan Brown said being outrebounded by The Dalles was balanced out by solid play from Madras in other areas.
   Madras limited Dallan Labrum, The Dalles' 6-10 center, to 10 points, even though he was the leading rebounder. Parker Jones, a 6-3 junior forward, flew to the ball most often for The Dalles, but could not offset the quickness of Madras.
   Jacoby Ellsbury and John Adams were two parts of a Madras triumvirate rounded out by Dominique Easterling against The Dalles. Ellsbury's 15 points were added to by 13 each from Adams and Easterling. A strong start did not hurt Madras.
   Jeff Barnes proved a spark in the attacks which led to some of Ellsbury and Adams' points.
   "Jeff (Barnes) did a great job on him," Brown said of the Buffs' keeping Labrum from more rebounds and points than he did. (Barnes) frustrated him so much he wound up with that technical in the fourth quarter," Brown noted of the Buffs under-sized post men, led by Barnes, getting the best of The Dalles inside.
   While Labrum scored 10, there were no more than eight points from any other Indian, with Jones getting eight.
   Rushes to points by Madras visibly frustrated the coaches for The Dalles at various times in the Friday fray.
   Lucas Conway drew recognition from Brown for helping the Madras offense at point guard. The Buffs' head coach said Conway was not needed as much as a scorer as a director of the Madras offense and he did his job without scoring.
   A number of other Buffs got into the act in keeping The Dalles from assuming too much of a lead at any point as they provided examples of a strength the coach noted.
   "Part of our quickness was chasing down long rebounds and tipped balls before they did," Brown said.
   Easterling tracked down a number of balls for Madras on his way to his 13 for the Buffs. He snared a handful of rebounds for Madras which tended to shutoff runs by The Dalles at least a couple times.
   Madras assumed double-figure leads a couple of times in the first half, only to have The Dalles trim them.
   A 23-14 Madras lead that was reached on a three-point play by Tim Kirsch, was quickly chopped to 23-18 by The Dalles.
   Using some more quick plays, Madras resumed its dashes to the basket and assumed a 26-18 lead that then fluctuated.
   Pushed to 40-29 by a rally capped by consecutive baskets by Easterling, the Buffs' lead dwindled in the middle of the fourth quarter. Yet, the closest which The Dalles came to regaining the lead was when it cut the Buffs advantage to 42-36 with just under three minutes remaining.
   Pushing the ball ahead before its opponent could foul, but not while unprepared, helped Madras beat The Dalles too.
   A pair of free throws in the closing moments kept its lead intact for the Buffs. Getting a tied up ball defensively also helped the Buffs use up seconds.
   "We did a better job of keeping them off the offensive glass in different parts of the game. We needed to be more consistent about it," Brown said.
   The other Buffs' added just five points to the scoring of the top trio's but their contributions were consistent in other areas. Tim Kirsch had three points and Joey McConnell two to cap Madras' scoring but McConnell and Kirsch both picked up some rebounds and those who played but were kept out of the scoring column -- Conway, Jesse Davis, Pat Boyle and Barnes -- each had assists, rebounds, steals or other statistical contributions.
   The defense of both the non-scorers and scoring Buffs limited The Dalles to a lone double-figure scorer, in Labrum. Jones had eight points and Sam North seven to give the Indians a trio which also accounted for nearly 70 percent of their scoring as well.
   A 26-18 lead the Buffs enjoyed at halftime shrank slightly for moments in the second half, but Madras maintained a lead over The Dalles for the rest of the game.