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Rangers end season with thrilling win


â-  Overtime home victory against Madras comes after a close contest

The Estacada High School boys varsity basketball team ended its 2012-13 season on a high note with a thrilling home overtime win against the Madras White Buffaloes.

Madras was the first on the board during the hard-fought Tuesday, Feb. 19 contest, scoring a basket in the first few seconds.

Rangers junior Alec Barstad responded with a lay-up to tie the game at 2, and senior Ryan Vauthier gave the squad its first lead with a pair of scores at 6-2.

That lead would change countless times throughout the game, as both teams were evenly matched and momentum swung back and fourth constantly.

Senior Jacob Lensch made the first of his several shots, putting the Rangers on top 8-4. Subsequent scores by senior Brock Miller and Vauthier padded that lead to 12-7, at which point a Madras slam dunk shrunk the gap to within three at 12-9. Lensch proved to be a powerhouse on the inside, scoring a couple more baskets before a Vauthier three-pointer boosted the Rangers to a 19-13 edge.

Madras fired back with the first of several three-pointers from its squad, fighting back to a 19-16 score. Another White Buffaloes three-pointer and a score at the buzzer ending the first quarter resulted in a 21-21 tie.

The White Buffaloes took the lead early in the second quarter, going up 23-21. Barstad rallied and put some more Rangers points on the board, putting his team back on top 27-23. Madras brought that back to within one with a three-pointer.

Lensch expanded that advantage before Madras tied the game at 27 with some free throw shots. Barstad gave the Rangers a 31-27 lead, which Lensch and junior Kyle Beguelin increased to 36-30.

Vauthier drove the whole length of the court for a score, then grabbed a steal and made another basket for a 42-35 Ranger lead. Barstad added to it with a three-pointer, but Madras did the same and made a two-pointer for a 45-42 score. A last-second shot beat the buzzer, bringing Madras to within one at the half, 45-44.

A three-pointer put the White Buffaloes up at the start of the second half, 47-45. Barstad made one of his own to put Estacada back in the lead. It was short-lived, though, as Madras made another three-pointer and two more shots to go up 54-48.

Free throws and a basket by Lensch, along with a Vauthier three-pointer, tied the score at 54. The White Buffaloes squad, with many of its members sporting Mohawks, went on a scoring run to recapture the lead at 58-54.

Despite free throws from junior Marshall Cantele and another Barstad score, the Rangers were down 60-58 at the end of the third quarter.

Vauthier sunk a three-pointer to put the Rangers ahead 61-60 before free throws brought the White Buffaloes back to a 62-61 lead. Barstad, Lensch and Beguelin all scored for a 67-62 Rangers edge. A Madras three-pointer closed that gap to two before Vauthier put his team back up at 69-65. The White Buffaloes answered with a three-pointer to shrink that lead to a single point, and tied the score at 69 with a free throw.

Estacada fought back, with a Vauthier three-pointer putting the Rangers back on top. Madras gained a 75-74 advantage before Vauthier scored again for a 76-75 lead. But the White Buffaloes rallied, going up 79-76 with two minutes left in regulation.

The final minutes of the game were riveting. Many Madras fans rode the team’s bus to Estacada along with the players, giving the visitors a sizable cheering section. Madras went up 81-76 before Lensch scored while being fouled. His free throws brought the score to 81-79 with just over a minute left. A Vauthier free throw with 55 seconds remaining had the Rangers within one point.

The White Buffaloes scored some free throw shots of their own, going up 82-80 with 20 seconds left.

Barstad scored a two-pointer to send the game into overtime, with both teams tied at 82.

Madras came out swinging and went up 87-82. Lensch drew a foul while grabbing a rebound, heading to the free throw line before scoring again to bring the Rangers to within two. Free throws by Vauthier tied the game at 87, and he scored again to give Estacada an 89-87 lead with 30 seconds left in overtime.

Junior Chris Smith and Lensch hit free throws for a 92-87 Ranger lead. Vauthier hit a few of his own for a final score of 95-89 and an impressive win for Estacada.

The victory gave the team a strong finish to a season filled with setbacks, as its overall record wasn’t enough to qualify the Rangers for any post-season play.