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Madras boys in middle of hoop hysteria

Logjam at top of league standings includes the Buffs, headed into final games

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   Blending defense with offense, as in a 70-43 Feb. 12 home win over Estacada, was one goal Coach Evan Brown said the Madras High boys basketball White Buffalos would be working on in preparing for the final week of the regular season.
   Madras started the week with a trip to Wilsonville on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Madras won the teams' first battle but Tuesday's game started too late to include in this edition.
   Madras hosts Valley Catholic Feb. 21 to end its regular season. Besides being Senior Night for Madras the game will effect the Tri-Valley League playoff picture as the Buffs seek revenge for an earlier loss.
   Dominique Easterling's 20 points and Jacoby Ellsbury's 17 led Madras against Estacada in a widespread attack. More scoring came from Joey McConnell, with nine, Isaiah Tewee, with eight, and others.
   Jon Adams and Tim Kirsch added four each to the Madras total. Three more from Jeff Barnes, two points each from Colter Barnes and Curtis Conway plus a single point on a free throw by Pat Boyle capped the Madras scoring in a win Jeff Davis and Guy Reynolds aided without scoring.
   The Buffs were ahead eight by the end of the first quarter, at 17-9, but couldn't pull away until the third quarter.
   Missed shots and steal attempts after a quick start by Madras which included a couple of Easterling layups left Estacada in a tailspin that resulted in Madras winning the third quarter, 16-8, and fourth quarter, 20-10.
   A state tournament berth can be assured by Madras in its home finale Thursday, if it won Tuesday at Wilsonville.
   But four teams, including Wilsonville and Valley Catholic, besides Madras and La Salle, began the week with seven wins.
   Should Madras push its record to 9-3 in the league it will be in no worse than a tie for the league title with La Salle. However, a 7-5 mark, which Madras could also finish with, would leave the Buffs in fourth.