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MHS girls' hoop loses games, player

by: Photo By Gary Lindberg - Early in the third quarter against Summit, Madras sophomore Merima Made found herself trapped by a pair of Storm defenders. Made finished up the quarter by draining a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

In more ways than on the scoreboard, Madras girls' basketball suffered losses.
   The White Buffalos were beaten by Summit and then Mountain View in Intermountain Conference games last week.
   The other loss is senior post Krista Haugen leaving the team. Haugen was in her fourth season on the Madras varsity, starting throughout this season. She was the program's lone returning senior varsity player and a team captain.
   Haugen averaged 6.0 points a game (7.2 in IMC play) with a season high of 16 against Pendleton on Jan. 17.
   Madras coach Becky Burchell did not comment on Haugen, except to say the senior "announced to the team she was leaving on Thursday (Jan. 24)."
   The Buffs have two home games this weekend with IMC leader Hermiston coming Friday and Pendleton at 2:45 p.m. Saturday. Hermiston is ranked fifth in the AP 5A poll and owns a nine-game winning streak. Pendleton is on a three-game losing streak (going into a Tuesday, Feb. 6, home game against The Dalles-Wahtonka, played after press time).
   Mountain View 65, Madras 44: The Cougars took control by jumping ahead 19-4 in the first quarter Saturday by utilizing a full-court press.
   "We were going east and west instead of north and south against their press," Burchell said. "We needed to understand how long 10 seconds really is when teams press us."
   As the game wore on, Madras was more aggressive against the Mountain View defense.
   Both Klesia Plazola and Penny Danzuka scored career highs. Plazola had 20 including a 3-pointer. Danzuka scored 15.
   The sophomore Plazola was one of just two Buff posts, along with freshman Cheyenne Wahnetah, as fellow sophomore Marissa Ahern was out with an injury.
   "Klesia was smart about staying out of foul trouble," Burchell said. "She was aggressive on offense and played defense without getting those reaching fouls which hurt us in earlier games."
   Danzuka scored her career high by driving to the basket. She also drained free throws, part of the team hitting 19 of 29 for the game.
   "Penny started going north and south, instead of east and west," Burchell said. "When she went to the basket, she was getting fouled and converted free throws."
   Summit 73, Madras 44: A 10-0 spurt gave the Buffs optimism after trailing by nine points late in the first half (29-20) in the Tuesday, Jan. 29 game.
   Sarah Leutwiler started and finished the spurt by twice draining a pair of free throws. The final two came with just over two minutes left in the half.
   "We were playing as a team, said Leutwiler, the team's lone four-year senior player. "We really pumped ourselves up with the way we were playing."
   JoElla Smith followed Leutwiler's first two free throws with a pair of baskets. The freshman converted a layup and then a rebound basket. Merima Made then added a rebound basket.
   "We really didn't want the half to end," Leutwiler said. "We just wanted to keep playing."
   Summit put a slight damper on the Buffs' optimism by hitting a 3-pointer just before the buzzer for a 32-20 lead.
   Given time to adjust, the visitors stormed out in a full-court press for most of the third quarter. Summit forced 14 turnovers in the third quarter, part of going ahead 59-29.
   Madras had that quarter's last highlight as Made banked in a trey at the buzzer, the team's lone trey of the game. Made finished with seven points.
   Eight Buffs scored, led by Plazola with eight points. Smith and Wahnetah added six each. Wahnetah also pulled down a team-high five rebounds.