>Buffs still in playoff picture after beating Valley Catholic

   Its early aggressiveness helped Madras High's girls basketball team romp toward a 43-36 win against Valley Catholic in Friday's Tri-Valley League game.
   Coming off a 57-38 loss at league-leading Wilsonville (now 5-1) on Jan. 22, Madras needed the win to stay in third place, at 4-2. Madras trails Wilsonville and The Dalles. It beat The Dalles but lost at La Salle in earlier games.
   Stampeding from an 8-8 tie into a 17-8 lead, Madras inspired Valley Catholic's first time out with 1:58 showing on the first-quarter clock on Friday.
   The 11-point lead Tara Prow's 13-foot shot had given Madras shrunk, but the Buffs maintained the lead.
   Tosha Wilson's 11 points led Madras as Nicole Main, Tarah Sweeney and Natalie Mitchell added eight each for the Buffs.
   Sarah Youkin's layup for Valley Catholic with more than five minutes left in the half cut Madras' lead to 21-16 but two more Madras baskets reopened a lead which reached 33-21 by halftime.
   Youkin was the game's top scorer, with 16 for Valley Catholic, but Madras allowed only three of her teammates -- in Janelle Duyck, with 12, Mary Haener with 6, and Michelle Coussons, with 2 -- to score.
   Wilsonville lost at The Dalles one game after Madras began first-round play with a win 48-42 at The Dalles.
   Sweeney, among the team's seniors, put in an offensive rebound while Wilson turned a Mitchell pass into a driving layup for Madras in the middle of its second-quarter run. By game's end the Madras effort also included four points from Prow, three points from Jaylyn Suppah, two points from Jare Retherford and Elise Hawes plus playing time by scoreless Michelle Manion.
   While steals and fast breaks in the third quarter helped Madras push its lead to 42-24, Coach Mike Osborne said he was satisfied with the defense so wanted to work on the Buffs offense for a while at that point.
   "Keeping care of the ball was something we wanted to be working on. I wanted them to be patient," Osborne said. "I told the girls if we shoot quick and it's a shot that is too easy to miss, it takes away all the advantage that using the clock with the lead can give us."
   Playing team basketball and eliminating any selfish play is one of the Buffs' keys to continuing to win as they embark on the second round of league play Friday at home, against The Dalles, Osborne noted.
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