by: Photo By Christina M. Crockett - Susan Ahern, 35, is fouled by an Astoria opponent as she attempts to make a shot last Friday night during the Buffs' 63-34 victory in the Christmas tournament. Madras slipped to No. 1 Burns on Saturday afternoon to place second in the tournament.

Madras was on top of it in the first half against La Grande last Saturday night in the Buffalo Dome, but a sloppy third quarter gave way to the Buffs falling behind and losing, 63-48.
   The story ended a similar way last Tuesday on the road against The Dalles, as Madras took the lead more than once but lost, 46-44, in overtime.
   "They (La Grande) outscored us 21-5 in the third quarter and that was the difference in the game," said Madras head coach Evan Brown, "And mostly it was due to our lack of rebounding. They out-rebounded us 48-22 and they had just as many offensive rebounds as we had total rebounds."
   While the Buffs were ahead 26-22 at halftime, La Grande stepped it up in third quarter with a solid comeback effort that left the Buffs struggling to catch up after falling behind in the third.
   "We fundamentally broke down. When a team gets you like that, and the way we gave up offensive rebounds -- we'd come down and had some pretty bad shot selections and just dug ourselves deeper into a hole," noted Brown.
   In the final period, after La Grande established a 43-31 lead by the end of the third, Madras couldn't get it together to close the gap.
   Kevin Hernandez led Madras with 15 points, while Luke Telfer put up 12 and Ivan Alonso had 11. Tyler Ellsbury had seven, Jordan Say, three and Larry Switzler added two for the Buffs.
   Battling against The Dalles
   Though Madras held a 32-25 halftime lead against the Eagle Indians, The Dalles went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter to establish a nine-point lead by the fourth quarter. However, the Buffs laid on the pressure in the final period in a defensive battle to come back into the game and force overtime.
   "We were up in that game at halftime, but they put that big run on us in the third," noted Coach Brown. "We had a good battle at the end of the game to bring it into overtime, but we had poor free throws."
   In overtime, Madras managed a five-point lead, but missed crucial free throw shots when sent to the line late in the extra period.
   The Eagle Indians were quick to grab offensive rebounds late in the game for the final rally.
   Hernandez led the Buffs by pouring in 25 points, while Telfer added 12. Ellsbury contributed eight points, followed by Say and Matt Zistle, who each had six. Switzler added three, while Alonso had two for Madras.
   The Madras White Buffalos played Sisters at Sisters on Tuesday. However, results were not available at press time. On Friday, the Buffs play host to Molalla at 7:30 p.m.
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