Corbett comes knocking, but Madras shuts the door
In recent memory, Madras and Corbett have been known to play each other tough.
Two games last season — both Corbett wins —were decided by a grand total of six points, and one of them went into overtime.
Friday night in Madras, their latest Tri-Valley Conference matchup produced yet another slugfest.
Trailing 61-59, Corbett got the ball with 19 seconds remaining after Chad Thurby hit 1 of 2 free throws for Madras.
Byron Patt then came up with a steal, and iced a Madras win once he hit two free throws at the 8-second mark.
"This is my second year of varsity and this is my first time beating them," said Patt, who finished with a team-high 23 points. "Honestly, last year, they were not a team to beat us, but they (still) beat us. We had to come out and get our revenge."
Corbett had gained a 34-27 edge at halftime, after a somewhat lackadaisical Madras effort early on.
"The first half, we did not play good basketball," Madras head coach Evan Brown said. "We felt like we were a little bit selfish, whether it was shot selection, whether it wasn't boxing out or whether it was just our effort. If everybody's doing what they're supposed to, everything flows pretty easily, but man, all it takes is one or two guys to be selfish and not do those things. That's what happened in the first half."
But Madras tied the game at 40-all with under a minute left in the third quarter. First, Kanim Smith found Patt, who finished with six 3-pointers, for a deep ball. Then Smith hit a pair of free throws, adding to his 18 points and giving Madras a 42-40 edge entering the final quarter.
That lead extended to as many as eight points during the final period, though Corbett didn't leave town without a couple late rallies.
The game was within three points for most of the final three minutes, at least until Patt's late free throws.
A Dylan Paintner layup cut the Madras lead to 56-53, and a couple buckets from Preston Horvath made the score 58-57 with 55 seconds remaining.
Some 20 seconds later, Patt saw a lane to the hoop, and while going up with the ball, drew a blocking foul against Corbett on a call that easily could've gone either way. Patt netted both free throws, and gave Madras a 60-57 lead.
Corbett was able to score on its next possession, a runner from Carter Larsen, but did no further damage afterwards. Paintner led all scorers with 25 points.
Madras only had eight guys dressed for the game, with Dapri Miller and Donnie Bagley sidelined due to injuries. Not only did that leave the Buffs shorthanded during the game, having to once again deviate from their preferred five-men-on, five-men-off substitution pattern, but also, Madras has been unable to run five-on-five drills in practice while being short on healthy players.
"Practice has been a little unusual these last couple of weeks," Brown said. "We're getting a lot of individual work done, but we're not getting much team stuff done. You can't go five on five with only five on four."
Its most recent win, combined with a 74-65 loss at Gladstone on Jan. 23, has given Madras a 3-1 league record, trailing only Gladstone.
Next up for the Buffs is an away game at Molalla on Tuesday, Feb. 6.