Lady Buffs blow out Rangers, playoff bound
The Madras girls basketball team played their last regular season game on Tuesday and traveled to Estacada, where they showed complete dominance in a 80-18 victory.
The Lady Buffs started the game on fire as both Monika Stacona and Jayden Davis hit 3-pointers. Vanessa Culps scored quickly and Jiana Smith-Francis hit a three to give Madras a 11-0 lead, forcing the Rangers to call a timeout.
The Rangers were able to score after to short break, but Culps and Smith-Francis kept their hot shooting from behind the arc and the Lady Buffs had a quick 15-point lead.
Near the end of the quarter, Davis found her way to the rim and Culps scored the last four points. Madras ended the period with a 25-4 lead.
The second quarter was similar to the first, as the Lady Buffs went on a 11-2 run with only two minutes left in the half.
The Rangers scored six unanswered points near the end of the half, but the Buffalos answered with a 6-0 run themselves. They went into halftime with a 42-12 lead.
Madras outscored Estacada 38-6 in the second half and came away with their largest win of the season.
The Lady Buffs hit 10 3-pointers as a team, and held the Rangers to zero made 3-pointers.
Culps was the leading scorer for Madras with 16 points and Jiana Smith-Francis hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points. Zamora-Heath and Kalise Holliday both ended the game with 10 points for Madras.
"We hit a couple three's and made a handful of lay-ins right off the get go," head coach Jerin Say said. "The girls were just ready to play, and really focused. All of the girls were, not just one or two of them, but all of them were making great plays, making their shots and setting each other up. It was fun to watch in that regard."
"After the first quarter, we dropped back into a zone," he said. We didn't press anymore and we just tried to work on things that we are not accustomed too. The girls would get a rebound, make an outlet pass and it was one of those games where everything we have been working on in practiced showed up."
The Lady Buffs finished with a 7-3 Tri-Valley Conference record. They lost to a very good North Marion (19-5 overall, 10-0 TVC) team twice and were upset by Gladstone (11-13 overall, 5-5 TVC) near the end of the season.
"I feel good going into the postseason," Say said. "Even though we lost that game to Gladstone, we were going through some adjustments with our line-up. Being short handed, being in foul trouble with a different group coming off the bench made things tough."
"We made some adjustments in practice, have some games under our belt now, and with the new line-up, the girls are super positive, working super hard and coming into practice ready to play," he said. "We have the right mindset to start dealing with our playoff game Saturday and the girls are really ambitious to get in the game and try to get the win."
The girls will play at Philomath for the first round of the state playoffs on March 2. The Lady Buffs will look to avenge their loss to Philomath earlier in the year and tip off will start at 6 p.m.