Madras girls grind out road win
Buffs erase 10-point halftime deficit against Mountain View, pull out 53-50 win.
Trailing by 10 points at halftime on the road Friday against Mountain View, the Madras White Buffalo girls could've harped on what wasn't going their way.
The Buffs only had two field goals in the first half, with 13 of their points coming from the foul line. With their shots not falling, the Buffs found offense hard to come by. But they knew they were taking good shots, and simply had to stay the course.
"Our girls did everything right in the first half," head coach Zach Lillebo said. "There wasn't one bad shot taken; they just didn't go in. That was the biggest thing. That was the 10-point deficit going into halftime."
In the second half, Madras got its offense going with 12 field goals across two quarters and a whopping 49 free throw attempts for the game. Lillebo said in the last couple years, he's stressed the importance of running through defenders while attacking the basket. On a night when the team couldn't hit shots early, it helped tremendously to get points from the line.
Lynden Harry had 17 points for the Buffs, which trailed by five heading into the fourth quarter before pulling out a 53-50 win. Jiana Smith-Francis added 15 points and Jackie Zamora had 14 points.
Despite having an off shooting night, Lillebo lauded the defensive effort of Kaliyah Iverson, as well as Jalaney Suppah off the bench. As a whole, however, he believes the defense can improve as Madras heads into Tri-Valley Conference play.
"I think we can always improve," Lillebo said. "Like I told the girls postgame, 'I think we still have a couple more steps within us and where we can reach on the defensive end … We play 32 minutes of solid defense, we're unstoppable. A poor shooting night is going to happen to every good team. That's when you win it on the defensive end."
Although they aren't content with where they are at, the Buffs should feel confident with an 8-4 record as they open their league schedule with a home game against Molalla next Tuesday at 7 p.m.
"Do we want to be better? Yes," Lillebo said. "That's one thing that the girls will take to heart and challenge themselves not to go backwards."
Contact Will Denner at madraspioneer.com
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