Smith-Francis from deep ... Buffs win!
A deep game winning 3-pointer made by senior Jiana Smith-Francis gave Madras a 58-57 victory over the 6A Mountain View Cougars at home Jan. 10.
The Lady Buffalos came out swinging at home to start the game, taking a 12-2 lead. The Cougars made back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Madras lead down to four.
Madras was missing several players in the game and did not run a full-court press like they normally do. Jayden Davis drove hard to the basket to put Madras up 14-8, but Mountain View went on a 13-0 run before Dominique Walker stopped the run with a deep jump shot.
Davis made a left-handed floater at the end of the first quarter, but the Lady Buffalos were still down 23-18.
Madras went on a 14-0 run to start the second quarter. The run was ended by 5-foot-11-inch Bailey Dickerson, who was the main offensive player for the Cougars. Madras was able to take a 36-30 lead at the end of the first half.
The Lady Buffs made four free throws in a row to start the third quarter and take a 10-point lead. DaRia White scored on a putback for the Buffs, and a few plays later head coach Jerin Say called a timeout with 4:16 left in the quarter.
After the timeout, Mountain View came out hungry and focused on fighting hard for rebounds. The Cougars were able to get several offensive rebounds and score on putbacks or free throws to close out the quarter. Madras was holding onto a 47-44 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
Walker hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter, giving Madras a six-point lead. The Cougars responded with a quick basket of their own, and Mountain View was still able to fight hard for offensive rebounds and get to the free throw line.
The Cougars made seven of eight free throws while keeping Madras scoreless on offense, taking a 53-50 lead over Madras with short time left in the quarter.
ChaCha Ramirez was able to make one free throw for the Buffs, but Mountain View drove hard to the hoop for a score, and the Buffs called a timeout with 1:44 left in the game, down 55-51.
The Cougars missed six free throws in a row and Ramirez was able to go 2-for-2 from the stripe after drawing a foul, cutting the lead down to two points with 32 seconds left.
Madras decided to run their full-court press, and a defensive trap forced the Cougars to turn the ball over. The Lady Buffalos executed an inbound play perfectly, finding Ramirez wide open at the hoop for an easy basket, tying the game at 55.
Madras was called for a blocking foul with around seven seconds left in the game, and the Cougars headed to the free throw line again. Mountain View missed both free throws again, but Dickerson was able to grab an offensive rebound off the miss and scored on a putback to give the Cougars a two-point lead with 5.7 seconds left in the game.
Madras called a timeout to draw up a play and to receive the ball around half court. The Buffs had to scramble to get the ball inbounds and found an open Smith-Francis around half court. Smith-Francis had to take a deep 3-pointer as time expired, and the ball hit nothing but net.
The crowd roared and teammates swarmed Smith-Francis as the Lady Buffalos were able to beat the 6A Mountain View Cougars 58-57.
"We were trying to get a layup, but we really just winged it after that," Smith-Francis said. "I knew I had to shoot because there was only like two seconds left, so if I did not take a shot we would have lost. The shot went in and it felt great to hear the crowd cheer and my teammates surround me.
"This game was really hard because most of our girls out here were hurt or sick, so it was difficult," Smith-Francis said. "I feel like we played really well overall, even with the fouls. We need to work on that, but other than that, a good game. This game was really important. We didn't play very well last year and we lost to them. Beating a 6A school is always big."
Smith-Francis led the way for the Lady Buffs with 16 points.
"At the end, we had a play that we like to run at any given point, whether full court, half court, sideline, anywhere," Say said. "We drew it up and we were going to run a double screen up high after we got the ball in to Jiana, but the way she was getting defended and held, she had to freelance it because we were all scattered trying to get her open. She just had to do what she had to do."
"We were trying to attack them down hill because we were in the bonus and could have gotten to the free throw line," he said. "The way it unfolded with Jiana getting the ball in the backcourt with a long way to go, as soon as that shot went up, we all watched the ball, hoping it had enough range, and it went in."
Davis ended the game with 11 points for the Buffs, and White added nine points. Dickerson was the leading scorer for the Cougars with 27.
Madras moved to 8-5 on the season, ranked No. 6 in 4A, while 6A Mountain View moved to 7-3 on the year after their loss to the Lady Buffs.
"Mountain View pretty much returned their whole team from last year, so they have a lot of confidence and continuity on their team." said Say. "We knew who their shooters, go-to players were from last year's game. We came out on fire, but due to being shorthanded due to injuries and illnesses, we only had two people come off the bench. We got a little sluggish, they got tired, we got tired, and we really got away from being fundamental when it comes to rebounding, jump stopping, bad passes, travels, too many turnovers."
"Aside from that, the girls were gritty, tough, they stayed together, were positive and when the game wasn't going our way, we found a way to at least give ourselves a chance to win."
The Madras Lady Buffalos took care of business defeating the Sisters Outlaws in a 59-26 away game victory Jan. 7.
Madras did not waste any time as they took a 15-0 run to start the game, which led to a Sisters timeout.
The Outlaws were able to hit a 3-pointer after the timeout, but the Lady Buffs quickly jumped out to a 23-6 lead after a 3-pointer by Jonissa Scott.
Near the end of the first half, Walker sank a shot from behind the arc to give the Buffs a 34-14 lead heading into the third quarter of play.
Davis made back-to-back shots at the end of the third quarter and Madras had a huge 50-17 lead at the end of three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter was even at 9-9 to close out the game, and Madras moved to 7-5 on the season, while Sisters dropped to 2-10.
The scoring was even for Madras as Sha'Rita Johns and Walker led the way with nine points each. Smith-Francis and Davis added eight points apiece.
Madras has a home game against No. 7-ranked Valley Catholic at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17.
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