Madras goes 2-1 at SCTC Holiday Classic

After a dismal offensive performance in the opening game of the SCTC Stayton Holilday Classic, the Madras High School girls basketball team did more than just respond.

The White Buffalos scored two double-digit wins to finish as consolation champions, pounding Hidden Valley 56-22 and topping Scappoose 54-42 on Friday and Saturday.

On Thursday in the tournament opener, Madras shot just 22 percent in a 36-25 loss to Seaside.

“Our shots just weren’t falling against Seaside,” Madras co-coach Zach Lillebo said. “We played great defensively and held them under 40, and Seaside is a top 10 team.”

For the Buffs, when they hold their opponents under 40 points, they typically win. Of the six wins the Buffs have, four of them ended with the opponents’ score south of 40. In their four losses, the only time Madras’ opponent scored less than 40 was on Thursday.

“Holding teams to less than 40 is always our goal,” Lillebo said. “I was just real proud of the girls with the way they fought and responded to having such a poor game shooting the ball.”

On Friday against Hidden Valley, the Buffs led 17-0 after the first quarter, and then 37-5 at the half. Lillebo said the team needed that game to restore some confidence and give them a nice boost in morale.

“You could tell the game against Hidden Valley brought the girls’ confidence back to where it should be,” Lillebo said. “Our demeanor and body language was much better. We had our heads up, shoulders back … you could tell it brought something back for us.”

Mariah Stacona, Kalan Wolfe and Vanessa Esquivel each scored 12 points to lead Madras to the blowout victory.

On Saturday, the Buffs beat Scappoose, but suffered a loss in freshman guard Shareya Scott. Diagnosed with a broken wrist, Scott will be out indefinitely. Lillebo spent most of the game getting Scott into the emergency room to get Scott’s arm X-rayed to see if her wrist was broken.

Stacona scored 20 points to lead the Buffs to the win, and Lillebo said the team was able to get some steals and easy buckets early on, which dictated the game.

“After we went up early, we were able to maintain it,” Lillebo said. “That’s kind of how the game went for us.”

With the 2-1 tournament record, the Buffs move to 6-4 on the season with four more nonconference games before the Tri-Valley Conference schedule begins. The Buffs won’t play until Jan. 10, however, so Lillebo and co-coach Rory Oster have decided to give the girls a week off.

“They deserve some time away from the gym,” Lillebo said. “I’m going to open the gym up a couple times if some girls want to go down and shoot around, but that will be about it until we start practice again on Jan. 6.”

Hopefully the Buffs can continue the dominance they showed in their final two games in Stayton, Lillebo said.

“After the Seaside loss, we talked bringing our ‘A’ game and playing with heart and attitude,” he said. “We were able to do that after the Seaside game.”

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