No. 1-ranked Wilsonville was good enough in the first half to withstand a determined Madras squad Friday.
The Wildcats got 22 points from Jeremy Wilson and 18 from Trevor Axelrod in beating the Buffs 54-46. Luke Telfer's 15 led the Buff attack.
The loss came after a Tuesday defeat at the hands of Gladstone, which is tied with the Buffs for second place at 5-5 in Tri-Valley action. Wilsonville is 10-0 in league, 21-1 overall. MHS is 13-9 overall.
Wilsonville was hot early and late in the first period, getting out to a 6-0 lead, then after Madras cut the lead to 10-9 on a Larry Switzler three-pointer, they hit the final five points -- on an Axelrod three and a Wilson jumper at the buzzer -- to finish the period up 15-9.
Coach Evan Brown's Buffalos had energy and effort throughout the game, but just weren't on offensively. In the second period, Madras missed several shots at point-blank range.
Wilsonville, meanwhile, extended its lead to 25-13. A Telfer inside hoop made it 25-15, but then Wilsonville closed the quarter strong, including converting a tip-in at the buzzer to take a 29-15 lead at the break.
A scoring burst midway through the third put the Wildcats up 44-25. At the end of the period, Wilsonville had a comforable lead of 17, 47-30.
It looked even more bleak for Madras when their floor leader and leading scorer, Kevin Hernandez, went down with a knee injury early in the fourth quarter.
The game was essentially over. But someone forgot to tell the Buffalos.
A Marcus Zacarias three cut the deficit to 12 at the 5:25 mark. Then Telfer scored on a feed from Zacarias. Tough defense rattled Wilsonville and Madras managed two steals. Zacarias turned one into a hoop, cutting the lead to eight. The second led to Telfer being fouled with 3:13 left. Hoping to cut the lead to six, Telfer couldn't get either free throw to fall.
But on the defensive end, Jordan Say coerced an offensive foul. Telfer was again fouled, and this time hit one of two, cutting the deficit to seven.
Hernandez toughed it out and got back into the game, and hit a big two from the corner to bring the Buffs to within five, 49-44, with 1:09 left. Brown immediately called a timeout.
Madras again forced a Wilsonville turnover, grabbing a steal. But on the offensive end, Madras was whistled for an illegal screen and gave the ball back. Wilson hit two free throws, putting his squad up by seven, and putting the dagger into the Buffs.
The Buffs entertained La Salle (4-5) on Tuesday (results too late for presstime) and travel to Estacada (1-8) Friday to end regular season.
The top four teams in the league make post season; second-, third-, and fourth-place teams compete in a district playoff while the league champ automatically qualifies for the state playoffs.