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JCMS eighth-graders finish up two perfect seasons

A 19-point win finished off a two-year unbeaten streak by the eighth-grade team at Jefferson County Middle School.
   The Buffalos went 10-0 this season, after completing a 10-0 season as seventh graders. The JCMS schedule included games against both Redmond Middle Schools (Obsidian and Gregory).
   "These guys were an extremely confident team," coach Casey Claus said. "I think I was more concerned about the unbeaten streak as the season went along than they were."
   This was a very unselfish team, the coach added.
   "They'd rather get an assist than score," Claus said.
   That didn't mean the Buffs didn't score. The team played an up-tempo game, averaging 55 points in the 24-minute games with six minute periods.
   "That's equivalent to 80 points a game in a high school game (of 32 minutes)," Claus said. "Sometimes, they played a little too fast and then they heard from me to slow it down."
   Other teams tried to slow the game down though. That didn't work against the JCMS defense.
   "Defense was the area this team improved the most during the season," Claus said. "They played a strong man-to-man defense, forcing more than 20 turnovers a game."
   The Buffs were particularly dominant in home games, winning by an average of 20 points a game. The season lasted from early November to Dec. 19, beating Gregory 57-36.
   The closest game this season was a 60-55 win at Burns early in the season. The Buffs dominated the rematch by a 45-24 margin, jumping ahead of Burns 27-8 at halftime.
   JCMS opened its home season with a 46-24 win against Crook County. The home season followed with a 48-21 win against Gregory, beating Burns and then a 49-31 win against Sisters.
   Members of the eighth-grade team were: Anthony Stacona, Michael Fracasso, Kyle Palmer, Drew McConnell, Jordan Brown, Edward Zacarias, Dimitri Dillard, Kendall Main, Sloan Bush and Bobby Ahern. T.J. Foltz, now coaching the Madras High junior varsity, coached the team as seventh graders.