Buffs up, down in openers
In the span of 22 hours, fans of the Madras boys' basketball team saw the best and worst of the White Buffalos.
Madras opened the season with a 69-59 comeback win against Columbia River (of Vancouver, Wash.) in the Buffs' opening game of the Bob McKenzie Memorial Tournament Friday. A 106-67 loss to Skyview (also of Vancouver) finished up the tourney Saturday.
Madras finished its early home schedule by hosting Hood River on Tuesday, Dec. 5 (played after press time). The Buffs are at Estacada on Friday and Sisters on Tuesday before a Dec. 15 home game against Mazama.
Skyview 106, Madras 67: This game will be remembered by the opposing teams for different reasons.
Buff coach Evan Brown hopes his team uses the game as an example of what not to do.
"We didn't come out with the kind of intensity we need," Brown said. "We have to be ready to play at full speed. That means pressuring the ball, diving for loose balls and playing with energy. We didn't do any of that tonight."
Brown added the loss should be a lesson for later games.
"It's not so much the score but the kids not coming out and playing hard," Brown said. "This program is built on aggressive play and we didn't do it tonight."
Meanwhile, Skyview had energy, scoring 33 points in both the first and second quarters for a 66-31 lead.
Many of those points, 34 to be exact, were by Storm senior guard Brady Wilkerson. He hit 17 of 24 shots in the first half, nearly all layups by beating Madras defenders to the basket.
Wilkerson finished with 52, making 26 of 34 field goals but missing all four free throws. It was a career high.
"I scored 50 in eighth grade," said Wilkerson who also had six assists in the first half. "I knew I was scoring a lot of points, but I didn't want anybody to tell me how many."
The all-league guard added seeing Madras' style the previous night helped the Storm.
"We know they'd be running and pressuring us, so we had to plan for that," Wilkerson said. "Yes, I was tired at the end, but coach (Bob) Benson does a great job of conditioning us."
Wilkerson was one of two Skyview players named to the all-tournament team. Anson Ricks, who had 17 points and seven rebounds against Madras, was also on the all-tourney team.
Derrick Metcalf led the Buffs with 20 points, hitting four 3-pointers. Jansen Harrington, an all-tourney selection, added 12.
Madras 69, Columbia River 59: The treys weren't falling in warm ups for the Buffs before their opening game.
The trend continued through the first quarter. Then A.J. Adams drained a trey at the end of the first quarter for a 12-11 deficit.
"That shot relaxed everybody," fellow senior Jansen Harrington said. "That shot got us going."
Specifically, Harrington drained treys on consecutive possessions early in the second quarter. It was part of his 22 points with six 3-pointers.
"I wasn't worried about our shooting," the Buff coach said. "We were getting open shots, but they just weren't going in. Last year we tended to shoot in spurts and we did tonight."
Those spurts came in scoring the final five points of the first quarter and the last six of the second quarter. Ethan Adams had a rebound basket and Albert Adams a trey to move Madras to a 32-29 deficit.
"Fatigue can be a factor for the other team at the end of a quarter," Brown said. "It might have been tonight. That was a young team we were playing."
A 19-point third quarter with four treys wiped out the deficit. Ethan Adams started the rally with a trey. Harrington added two more, including the final one of the quarter for a 48-43 lead.
Notes: The McKenzie all-tourney also included Jordan Poyer of Astoria and Kyle Thurston of Columbia River. ... Skyview defeated Astoria 72-50 in the tourney opener. In Saturday's opener, Columbia River beat Astoria 55-44. ... Two Skyview scoring records fell Saturday. Wilkerson eclipsed the individual high of 33 by Jon Bond against Kelso in 2003. The Storm's previous team high was 85 against North Salem last season.