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MHS runs to strong half against Bend

Waiting for a day didn't slow down the Madras girls' basketball team, at least in the first half.
   Especially when Bend tried out its full-court press on the White Buffalos in the Wednesday game. The Intermountain Conference contest was delayed a day due to a snowstrom in the Bend area.
   Madras treated the Bend press like they were on skis and the Lava Bears were wearing snow shoes. The Buffs broke the press enough times for a 21-all halftime tie.
   Then Bend went to a more conventional defense in the second half, winning 66-46.
   A trip to Crook County was just the opposite as the hosts ran out to a big early lead, winning 80-43.
   The IMC season continues with the longest road trip and a home game. Madras (0-3 IMC, 1-13 overall) travels to Pendleton on Thursday and hosts Mountain View on Saturday. The Buffs are back on the road on Tuesday, Jan. 22, with a trip to IMC co-leader Hermiston (along with The Dalles-Wahtonka, although those teams met on Tuesday, Jan. 15).
   Bend 66, Madras 46: When the Lava Bears pressed, the Buffs were ready. Madras beat the defense down the floor to create open shots.
   Senior post Krista Haugen scored all 11 points in her first half on close-in shots after the press was broken.
   "Our guards did a great job of getting the ball down the court," Madras coach Becky Burchell said. "Then we were able to score lay ups. We did so well, they called off the press."
   On defense, the Buffs fended off passes to the Bend posts. Burchell credited Klesia Plazola and Marissa Ahern for solid work on defense.
   Everything changed in the second half. Bend was able to get the ball inside, busting loose for 22 points in the third quarter and 23 more in the fourth.
   At the other end of the court, the Lava Bears went to a zone defense in addition to backing off the press. Madras was limited to an eight-point third quarter.
   The Buffs were back on track with 17 in the fourth quarter. Plazola scored a majority of her team-high 15 points in the second half.
   Crook County 80, Madras 43: The Cowgirls showed why their are the highest scoring team in the IMC (averaging 65.4 points a game).
   Crook County raced out to a 23-9 lead and kept scoring. It was the third time this season the Cowgirls scored 80 or more points.
   The addition of freshman point guard Danni Severance is the key difference from last season, Burchell said.
   "She's a very good ballhandler and very good at finding the open shooter," Burchell said.
   Jessica Lea led the host's offense with 23 points.
   Four Buffs scored six points each: Ahern, JoElla Smith, Cheyenne Wahnetah and Sarah Leutwiler.