Buff basketball keeps on winning
Streak at seven with big IMC showdown loomingTwo streaks continued when Madras won at The Dalles-Wahtonka to open the Intermountain Conference boys' basketball season Friday.
The White Buffalos won their seventh straight game and the Eagle Indians lost their seventh straight in the 82-74 game. For Madras, it was the sixth straight on the road.
"Since our goal is to make the (state) playoffs, this is a road game we had to win," Buff coach Allen Hair said.
Madras is back home for the first time in nearly a month on Friday. The Buffs host Crook County, a team projected to qualify for the playoffs (by finishing in the top four).
The Cowboys are back to full strength with 6-foot-9 post David Reeher playing for a month. He missed the summer season and part of December due to a knee injury.
The senior keyed Crook County's 51-48 victory at Pendleton by scoring 10 of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. He also had 11 rebounds and six blocked shots.
The Cowboys fell at Hermiston on Friday (62-50) despite Reeher's 24 points and 14 rebounds. The host Bulldogs put the game away with a 22-10 advantage in the fourth quarter.
The Madras coach said the Buffs need to be as concerned about the game's pace as much as they are about Reeher.
"Our game is about forcing the tempo, forcing the other team to play at a faster pace," Hair said.
Before hosting Crook County, Madras traveled to Bend on Tuesday, Jan. 8 (played after press time).
Madras 82, TDW 74: The Buffs took an early lead and kept building on it in the IMC opener.
Madras used a 10-0 spurt to go up 16-6 in the first quarter. That was part of scoring 24 points in both the first and second quarters. The Buffs hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter and six more in the second.
"It wasn't just one guy, but a lot of guys hitting 3s," Hair said. "That was big for us, having so many guys hitting shots. We had open shots and we were hitting them."
The Buffs led 48-31 at half when Turner Gill hit a trey at the halftime buzzer. Madras continued to lead by 17 into the fourth quarter as both teams scored 20 points each.
"That was an emphasis, to keep our lead," Hair said. "After we built it up in the first half, we needed to keep doing what we were doing in the second half."
Then the Eagle Indians cut into the visitor's lead. TDW scored the opening 10 points in the fourth quarter. Gill's trey with just over four minutes left broke the string.
The hosts whittled the deficit down to 78-74 with 33 seconds left. Then Albert Adams was fouled. The senior hit both free throws.
Seconds later, Adams added a driving layup for the final margin to finish with 10 points. He was one of five Buffs scoring in double figures, led by Gill with 16 points.
Robert Main added 14, including a team-high four treys. Darrell Ceciliani added 12 and Austin Say 11.
Guard Damian Telles led TDW with a season-high 32 points and post Quinn Macnab (6-5) had 26. The two combined to hit just 4 of 15 free throws, part of the Eagle Indians making just 12 of 28 for the game.
Macnab also pulled down 18 rebounds, six on the offensive end as TDW owned a 61-32 rebound advantage.
The hosts committed 22 turnovers, with 17 in the first half.