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Comeback wins give Buff boys tourney title

Using big scoring spurts, the Madras boys' basketball team heads into Intermountain Conference play with a six-game winning streak.
   Half of those victories were part of taking the championship trophy of the Wilsonville Invitational. The three victories give the White Buffalos a 7-3 nonleague record.
   Madras opens IMC play with a pair of road games. The Buffs travel to The Dalles-Wahtonka on Friday and then to Bend on Tuesday. A pair of home games follow, against Crook County on Friday, Jan. 11, and a rematch against Pendleton (Thursday, Jan. 17).
   At Wilsonville, Madras rallied from double-digit deficits in the final two games -- against host Wilsonville in Friday's semifinals and IMC rival Pendleton in Saturday's title game.
   The common denominator in all the wins, said Buff coach Allen Hair, was all the players being available starting with the first win against Sisters (on Dec. 11).
   "We've played much more consistently since then," Hair said. "All the guys are growing accustomed to their roles."
   The result is a diversified offense, Hair said. Madras had at least four players score nine or more points in each Wilsonville tourney win.
   "We're making it tougher for other teams," Hair said. "We have so many guys who've shown they can score."
   Robert Main led the Buffs in scoring throughout the Wilsonville tourney. The senior averaged 22 a game with 27 in the comeback victory against Pendleton.
   Madras 88, Pendleton 83: The Buffs trailed by eight at the end of third period and by as many as 12 in the fourth.
   Then came an offensive explosion as Madras put together a 33-point fourth quarter.
   Main led the way with 14 points that quarter. He hit a pair of 3-pointers (two of his five in the game). Main also had a basket while being fouled, draining the free throw.
   "Robert likes to have the ball at the end of the game," Hair said. "He wants to take the big shots and he knocked them down against Pendleton."
   Fellow seniors Albert Adams and Darrell Ceciliani added big shots. Adams had eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Ceciliani hit a pair of treys, as he finished with 17 points.
   Ironically, the Buffs started and ended the tourney with 33-point quarters (the first in Thursday's victory against the South West Roos of Australia.
   "After the game, the guys said they weren't that tired. That's a real good sign," Hair said. "This tourney was a chance to see how we would handle playing three games in three days."
   A sidelight of playing Pendleton, the coach said, was "not wanting to show another IMC team too much. We were going to be playing them two more times this season."
   That factored into the Buckaroos leading for most of the game, including a 25-19 edge in the third quarter.
   "They were playing really well, being the more aggressive team," Hair said.
   Wings Spenser Sundin with 25 points and Codi Warner with 22 led the way. Pendleton advanced to the title game with a 64-61 win against Crater.
   Madras 76, Wilsonville 73: The unbeaten Wildcats jumped ahead 21-6 at the end of the first quarter with an aggressive man-to-man defense.
   "It was a hard man defense and we backed down early," Hair said. "We stopped moving around like we need to."
   That changed as the game went on. The Buffs scored 21 in the second quarter and 22 in the third to trail by nine going into the fourth (58-49).
   Madras owned the fourth quarter by a 27-15 margin. A key part was penetrating to the basket to create open shots.
   "We were able to dictate the tempo," Hair said. "That helped us get open shots. So did our pressure. By the end of the game, they were missing jumpers they made earlier."
   Main scored 18 while Austin Say added 13 and Albert Adams eight. For Wilsonville, senior post Jordan Fritzler (6-foot-4) had 32 points.
   Madras 96, South West 61: The Buffs jumped ahead of the club team from Bunbury, Australia quickly on the way to scoring a season high.
   Madras followed 33 points in the first quarter with 30 more before halftime.
   Five Buffs scored in double figures. Main had 22, Turner Gill 17 while Ceciliani and CJ Easterling scored 13 each. Albert Adams added 11.