>Seniors driving force behind streak
The Madras White Buffalos boys basketball prides itself in tough defense and an explosive transition offense.
   The past three games, including a 51-43 victory against the Sisters Outlaws on Dec. 11 in Sisters, the Buffs have been able to force turnovers, which have resulted to easy buckets on the other end.
   "We've been doing a better job defensively," Madras head coach Allen Hair said during the team's three-game winning streak. "We've been turning teams over and getting out into transition. The fact we can rely on defense to turn into easy offense helps us out quite a bit."
   Against the Outlaws in the team's last outing before the Pioneer's press deadline this week, Madras outscored the Outlaws 17-7 in the third period, and was led by Steele Haugen's 16 points. Jhaylen Yeahquo pitched in 14 while Jered Pichette scored 10.
   Hair said his seniors - Haugen, Yeahquo and Rodney Mitchell - have been showing their leadership skills better lately.
   "Those guys have picked it up scoring wise and have more confidence," Hair said. "We need that kind of leadership from them."
   Not only are the upperclassmen performing well, Hair is convincing his team that no matter who they are playing, they can play with anybody if the effort is there.
   "I've been talking to the guys, and everything is predicated on how hard we play," he said. "If we play hard, we're a tough team to beat."
   The Buffs open the Seaside Holiday Classic against Newport on Thursday, then will take on either Astoria or Elma, Wash. on Friday.
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