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Madras Lady Buffalos girls basketball team beats Crook County Cowgirls at home 71-40, Holiday tournaments next.

STEELE HAUGEN - Jayden Davis uses her left hand to finish at the rim while contested.
The Madras Lady Buffalos basketball team took care of business Dec. 10, defeating the 5A Crook County Cowgirls at home 71-40.

Before the action with the Cowgirls, Madras started the season 1-2 and was working for a big win against a bigger school.

The Lady Buffs put the pressure on the Cowgirls from opening tipoff, using a full court press to force Crook County to turn the ball over 40 times. They also forced the Cowgirls to shoot an extremely low 26% from the floor.

"It was our defense and our turnovers," Crook County head coach Heidi Lea said. "They just caused way too many turnovers. We just have to learn to take care of the ball and not panic when people put a full-court press on us."

The contest started out close, but back-to-back baskets by Jiana Smith-Francis gave Madras a 13-9 lead, and Crook County head coach Heidi Lee called a timeout to regroup.

After the timeout, Madras started to pull away, finding success with their pressure and stellar defense. Near the end of the first quarter, Smith-Francis made a lay-in off a steal and a pull-up jumper, giving Madras a 21-11 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

Madras' pressure on defense was leading to open lay-ins and jump shots for the Lady Buffs, and Madras took a huge 42-19 lead at halftime. Smith-Francis was leading the Buffs with 16 points at the halfway break.

Early in the third quarter, Crook County was able to find some success in the form of offensive rebounds, outscoring Madras 7-4 to start the second half. Madras' Jayden Davis took the momentum away from Crook County with some good offensive plays.

Davis found DaRia White at the top of the key and White buried the deep shot. Davis drove straight to the rim for a score on the next play. She then stole the ball from Crook County and found an open Smith-Francis for a floater.

The Madras run forced the Cowgirls to call a timeout with 3:20 left in the quarter; Madras had a 54-26 lead. Dominique Walker found an open Kathryce Danzuka for a fast break to end the third quarter widening the Lady Buffs' lead to 62-30.

Madras put their second unit in the game in the fourth quarter and the Lady Buffs were outscored 10-9 in the final quarter of play, but still came away with a 71-40 victory.

Madras was outrebounded 45-32, and the Cowgirls center Liz Barker grabbed 14 rebounds and scored 11 points.

Smith-Francis led the Buffalos in scoring with 24 points, and behind her was White with 10. Davis added 10 points for Madras and Rachita Johns contributed 9.

"I think we did really good," Davis said, comparing the matchup to last week's 55-42 loss to Astoria. "Going off on how we played Saturday, this was a good game. Our intensity was up, we communicated better, which led to us playing better as a team. We are more motivated and pumped up."

Madras travels to Seaside, playing in the Seaside Holiday tournament Dec. 19-21.

"We played good team basketball, and we were comfortable with ourselves in the game," she said. "I think if we play like we did tonight, we can come together and beat these upcoming teams."

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