Coach Brown, seniors get one last win
The Madras White Buffalos boys basketball team ended the season with several great things to look back on.
On Senior night, and Coach Evan Brown's last game coaching, Madras beat Estacada 95-79, and senior Byron Patt broke the record for most 3-pointers in a season record.
The White Buffalos started all five seniors, Byron Patt, Chapin Grote, Amial Rhoan, Kahne Herkshan, and Kobe Jorgensen. The squad started well, kicking it off with a 3-pointer at the top of the key that gave the Buffs a 8-6 lead. As the quarter continued, the Buffs had a small two-point lead, before Estacada was able to beat Madras in transition and go on an 8-0 run, forcing the Buffs to call a timeout with 2:30 left in the quarter.
A few plays after the timeout, Herkshan scored on a low post move and made a deep 3-pointer to pull the Buffs within one. The Rangers closed out the quarter with two easy baskets and Madras ended the period down 26-21.
A inbounds play to Patt led to an "and-1" and senior Grote found Patt for a fast break to start the quarter and the Buffs tied the game.
The quarter play continued back and forth. The Buffs were down by five before Rhoan found Herkshan open from behind the arc and Patt found Grote in transition. Estacada called a time out with 4:47 left in the half, with the game tied at 35-35.
A 3-pointer by Miller gave Madras the lead for a while, but the Rangers fought for the lead back before an offensive rebounds led to another three by Patt.
Near the end of the quarter, Miller made a great spin move to get to the rack and Derrek Main found an open Donnie Bagley for three. Madras went into halftime with a 50-46 lead.
The game remained close to start the second half before Main hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Madras a nine-point lead. Estacada called a timeout a few plays later, down by 10 with 3:30 left in the third.
Patt hit another three, this time a the top of the key, and Madras hit a couple free throws to head into the last quarter of play up 69-59.
Before the fourth quarter started, it was announced that Patt had broken the most made 3-pointers in a season record.
Patt made 96 3-pointers in the season, passing Derek Metcalf's record of 94. Patt was also just short of breaking the record of most 3-pointers in a career. He made 178 career 3-pointers and Metcalf still has the record of 182 career made 3-pointers.
"It felt great," said Patt about breaking the 3-point record. "The great knew what was going on, I knew what was going on and my arms became a little shaky when I was shooting that last three."
Patt later stole the ball and laid it in, giving the Buffs a 12-point lead, but the Rangers were in the bonus with 6:22 left in the game. Estacada took advantage with several free throws, cutting the Buffs' lead down to six.
A few plays later, Madras was up by eight points before Miller went 4-for-4 from the free throw line and drove hard to the hoop, going on a 6-0 run by himself and giving the White Buffalos a 12-point lead.
Patt stole the ball and pulled up for a three. Patt's three was the dagger that sealed the White Buffalos' 95-77 victory.
"It is always nice to end your season on a win," Brown said. "If you are in the postseason you don't always have that opportunity. It is awesome for those seniors to get a win and awesome for those younger kids to end the season with a win. Hopefully it will fuel some fire for them to keep improving, getting better and get ready for next year."
Six White Buffalos scored in double digits, with Patt leading the way with 28 points. Miller scored 16 points, Herkshan 12, Grote 11, and Bagley 10.
"Last chance, last chance to put a show on for the crowd," Patt said. "There was nothing to lose, so we just went out there to have fun, get everyone shots, and get an opportunity on their last night."
"It's weird because it felt the season went my too fast," Herkshan said about senior night. "It's pretty sad I will not be able to play in the Buffalo Dome anymore. It was a cool experience, with great fans and a great community."
"This group of guys have been a great group of guys all year long." Brown said. "We haven't had any internal drama, no big egos on the team and have been very accepting of everyone on the team. It is one of those few years as a coach, where everyone just gets along really well. It has been a joy all year. Those five seniors are going to be missed."
The boys finished the season the season with a 10-14 overall record and a 5-5 Tri-Valley conference record. The played a tough preseason schedule with nine out of their 14 pre-league games against teams above the 4A classification.
"We got off to a rough start and played shorthanded pretty much the entire preseason," he said. "On top of that, we had a lot of adversity in the (pre-league) that we had to overcome and the guys did a great job of dealing with whatever came our way, putting their nose to the grindstone."
"We had injuries, illness, it was chalk full of different line-ups and groups and once league came, we finally were able to settle in," he said. "It probably slowed our development because we didn't get that preseason time together, especially with our style."
Brown coached in his last game on Tuesday night. Brown started coaching during the 1992/93 season and this was his 18th year coaching for Madras. He had some years elsewhere, but ultimately returned, becoming the winningest coach in MHS boys basketball history.
"We all signed a basketball and gave it to him (coach Brown) as a tribute to coaching and having to deal with us," Patt said. "He is probably the best coach I have ever had and he is always there for us. He keeps us in line and makes us better people for the future."
"I love the coach (Brown)," Herkshan said. "Great coach, best coach I have had. The four years here has been great, all the coaching staff is good, and like I said earlier, the community is great, with amazing fans. This was my last year and it was my favorite one here. For the underclassmen, just keep working and don't be stupid."
"It is always an emotional night when a group of kids are playing in their last games as a high school athlete," Brown said. "It is alway been emotional for me to see those kids on their court for that last time. The last game of my career did not really come to play at all because we were all so focused on the kids and those seniors. I don't think that (end of coaching career) will sink in for me, for a while."
"We will return those six guys who played a lot of minutes this year," Brown said about next year's team. "There was a lot of good development this year especially with those sophomores. They really improved throughout the season. The future of Madras basketball is going to come down to the work in the offseason."
"Our younger kids really need to work on their individual skills," he said. "We need to do a better job developing our youth and getting back to a place where Madras basketball once was. Which was a pretty feared place, 10, 15 years ago.
"People didn't really want any part of us and I still have coaches always say that don't want to play us in the postseason," Brown said. "Which was a complement to us and our program. The kids need to still work on skills to keep us in that position."