Two Madras boys got a good taste of quality basketball in late July in Reno, Nev.
Josh Roth and Nick Brown were members of Oregon age group all-star teams playing in the AAU West Coast National Tournament at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
Roth, who will be a sophomore at Madras High, was a member of the 15-and-under state team. His squad won the age-group title, going unbeaten. Their only loss came in the open high school division, when they faced older players and lost in the championship.
Roth's team was headed by Stayton coach Jamie McCarthy, and they represented the state very well. They were made up primarily of boys from what are now 5A and 4A schools, including three from Central and two from Stayton.
Playing against mainly competition from urban areas, Roth averaged 6.2 points per game, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
"The 15-and-under team was very good," said Evan Brown, Madras High School head coach.
Brown was also the head coach of the 13-and-under team, which included his son, Nick. That squad finished 3-3 in the tournament.
Two of those losses were against the Los Angles Quick Shot, which dominated the tourney. They beat the Oregon boys 73-41 (a rude opener for Oregon) and 73-46 later.
"They (the Quick Shot) went 6-8 and 6-4 and our guys were a bit intimidated," said Brown. Oregon inside players were 6-0 and 5-10, sizes more common to 13-year-olds. "They also had a couple of guards that could shoot."
Outside of those games, Brown's teams played very competitive ball. They beat the East Bay Bulls 72-65, then slaughtered the San Francisco Ballers 66-18, and the Inglewood Hoops 64-45. After a second thrashing at the hands of the Quick Shots, Oregon lost their final contest 57-48 to the San Diego Clippers.
Brown, who will be an eighth-grader at Jefferson County Middle School, had his best game against Inglewood, shooting four for five from the field and two for two at the line to finish with 10 points.
Coach Brown played all his players about the same minutes, roughly 15 a game.
"Nick had a great time," said the coach. "(The Oregon) kids were outstanding, and they all got along wonderfully."
Roth and Brown made the team after being nominated by a group of high school and college coaches. About 30 boys were nominated for the 13-and-under team and about 60 tried out for the 15-and-under squad.