Cold-shooting first quarter dooms Buffs in final home game

Rory Oster never expected to see what he did Friday night. Especially in his own gym.

But with the biggest game of the year under way, Oster could only watch as his White Buffalos missed shot after shot after shot. It was so bad, that easy layups were finding ways to not fall.

And that resulted in a 44-29 loss to Gladstone, a loss that will most likely send Madras on the road for its first playoff game this season.

“It digs at me a little bit. We would have rather have played here,” Oster said. “The biggest factor is what I told those girls, we are dealing with 15-year-old kids and that means streaky. And if you are on the low end, you aren’t going to beat a good team like Gladstone. You can’t do it.”

With the loss, Madras dropped to 14-9 overall and 5-4 in Tri-Valley Conference. The Buffs closed out the regular season Tuesday night at Estacada.

While a playoff spot was already secured, getting that game at home was important to Oster. Now that it seems that a road trip is in order, he said the key now is to keep the girls focused on the task at hand.

Having completed the first hurdle of getting into the state tournament, anything can happen once they are there, Oster said.

It was evident that once the shots didn’t fall early Friday evening, the Buffs' emotional state wavered. The poor shooting led to a quick 16-4 deficit and Madras found itself down 31-12 at the half.

“They weren’t feeling good about themselves; they were missing shots they knew they should have made,” Oster said. “If we make those shots … who knows what will happen.”

But things would change in the second half. The Buffs starting making a few shots and competed like Oster knew they could.

“I’m not disappointed, they made the adjustments at halftime and they did well,” Oster said. “We only gave up 44. (When we do that) we should be competing and have a chance to win those games.”

Vanessa Esquivel paced Madras with 13 points while Mariah Stacona added six and Leah Suppah netted five. Gladstone’s Molly Webster burned the Buffs for a game-high 21.

LaSalle 68, Madras 40

Stacona netted a game-high 17 for Madras, but La Salle had six players score at least eight points in a game played Feb. 18.

Esquivel scored seven for the Buffs while Cirelle Frank added six.

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