Team has to win remaining games to have postseason shot

Following a 56-50 win over Molalla on Friday, the Madras High School boys basketball team is still in the hunt for a postseason spot.

While they won’t be able to catch North Marion for the third spot and an automatic berth, if they run the table the next three games, they could earn one of the last spots based on its power rating.

However, winning all three games remaining is easier said than done, especially since the Buffs play the league’s top two teams this week, La Salle Prep and Gladstone.

“Looking at the games we played last time (against La Salle Prep and Gladstone), we were in them late,” Madras head coach Allen Hair said. “We just have to shoot the ball with some confidence, and I think we can get (to the playoffs) if we can do that.”

The Molalla game marked the return of junior forward Brent Sullivan, and Hair said that gave the team a boost not only on the floor, but mentally as well. He has been recovering from a badly sprained ankle, for which he had to wear a walking boot on for a couple weeks. Hair said his 6-foot-7 post looked good in his first action in about three weeks.

“He was chomping at the bit to come back; if it was his choice, he would have played Tuesday,” Hair said. “He gave us some energy and stability down in the block area. It was definitely nice to have him back.”

Sullivan scored eight points against the Indians, and helped anchor a rarely used 1-3-1 zone defense by the Buffs. That was one of the big adjustments defensively Hair decided to make to keep Molalla’s smaller lineup of outside shooters in check.

“It frustrated them,” Hair said. “Our guys got hands in the passing lanes, and we forced them to take some tough shots.”

The Buffs held Molalla to 37 percent shooting with the 1-3-1 defense, but on the other side of the ball, Madras dropped jumpers at almost a 60 percent clip.

“We had some guys step up and hit shots for us,” Hair said. “Molalla couldn’t focus all of its attention on Jered because our other players were knocking down shots.”

While Pichette led the Buffs with 18 points, Reshaun Holliday and Austin Rauschenburg each netted nine. Sullivan followed with eight and Voshaun Bryant chipped in five.

The Buffs will head to Gladstone on Thursday to take on the Gladiators.

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