>Buffs hosting Capital Conference's third seed on Saturday
Tosha Wilson's 19 points and a fourth-quarter flourish let Madras High School's girls basketball White Buffalos close the regular season on a two-game winning streak.
Beating Valley Catholic, 35-30, on Feb. 21 at Valley Catholic, behind a 17-5 fourth-quarter rally, let Madras finish the Tri Valley league season 9-3. La Salle, which finished just 4-8 in the league, swept Madras.
Beating Wilsonville, which had clinched the league's top seed and a trip to the state tournament when Madras lost to La Salle a second time, delighted Madras Coach Mike Osborne.
He told listeners to radio station KWSO (which broadcasts Buffs home games) that mixing up defenses and keeping up with as talented team as Wilsonville would help the White Buffalos headed into the playoffs.
But Thursday's game at Valley Catholic was, as Osborne had said some 46 hours earlier, "No easy victory."
Shutting down Elise Hawes, who had led Madras against Wilsonville with 17, and Nicole Main, left Valley Catholic in strong position, had it not been for Wilson's scoring binge. Main and Hawes had just four points each Thursday.
The balance of Sarah Younkin, with nine points, Mollie Haener, with seven, plus Jacque Duyck and Katie Meyers with six each, kept Valley Catholic in the final league game until the fourth-quarter. Storming from behind, the Buffs raced to layups and set up plays steadily enough to erase all of the 25-18 deficit they began the last quarter facing.
The Tri Valley League playoffs are underway for three teams. A Tuesday game at Sherwood was deciding who will visit The Dalles on Thursday to compete for the third seed from the league in the state tournament. The "winner-in" games as they have been commonly dubbed, will take place Saturday at the home of each league's second-place or second-seeded team, including Madras.
Elise Hawes' 17-point outing ignited the 52-46 Madras win of Tuesday, Feb. 19, against Wilsonville's Wildcats.
Highly publicized Jill Noe kept Wilsonville ahead early in the game but pressuring other ball handlers enough to keep Noe from doing more damage than her 23 points helped Madras make its way back into contention. The rest of her team could only double Noe's 23 while the Madras balance in back of Hawes' 17 plus 11 from Nicole Main and nine each from Jare Retherford and Wilson helped the Buffs buck the Wildcats. A rematch of the two teams will have to wait until sometime during the state tournament, at least, as Madras and Wilsonville have secured spots opposite each other in the bracketing the 3A tournament that will begin March 5 but tip off March 6 for Madras, as long as it gets there.