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White Buffalos boys basketball beats Molalla 47-34, loses to Gladstone 72-41; needs to finish season strong.

STEELE HAUGEN - Alex Smith-Morales hand the ball of to Derek Main.The Buffalos boys basketball team traveled to Molalla (4-13) Jan. 31 and beat them 47-34. Madras moved to 7-10 overall, 2-2 in the Tri-Valley Conference after defeating Molalla.

Senior Donnie Bagley scored the first seven for the Buffs, and Madras took an early 7-4 lead over the Indians. Near the end of the first quarter, Madras' Derek Main hit a 3-pointer, but it was matched by Molalla's Mason Simpson.

The Buffalos had a small 16-15 lead over Molalla at the end of the first quarter. Bagley scored nine of the Buffs' 16 first quarter points.

Main hit a 3-pointer to start the second quarter, and Bagley continued his hot start, making another basket to give Madras a 21-15 lead early in the second quarter. A few plays later, Bagley sunk a shot from behind the arc, giving the Buffs an eight-point lead.

Simpson hit another 3-pointer to end the first half, and Madras had a 26-19 lead over the Molalla Indians at halftime.

Bagley's good shooting continued after halftime as he hit his third 3-pointer of the night to give the Buffs a 10-point lead. Main and Isaiah Cochran both scored after the Bagley 3-pointer and Molalla called a timeout to regroup, down 33-19.

The Buffs ended the third quarter with a 37-26 lead. Madras outscored Molalla 21-11 in the second and third quarters.

Madras' lead was too much for Molalla, and the Buffalos were able to beat the Indians 47-34.

Bagley was the leading scorer for the Buffs with 19 points. Main added 10 for Madras, and Dapri Miller ended the game with eight points.

"We really played well defensively in the second half," head coach Nick Brown said. "We gave up 15 points in the first quarter, and they finished the game with 34 points total. We only gave up 19 points for the second through fourth quarters. We stepped up defensively those last three quarters and did a good job of playing hard."

The Madras White Buffalo boys basketball squad traveled to Gladstone to face the No. 12-ranked, 12-4 Gladiators and lost 72-41.

Miller scored the first points of the game, but Gladstone quickly took a 5-2 lead before baskets by Bagley and Mitchell gave the Buffs a 6-5 lead.

Miller scored five points in the quarter and Bagley four, but the Buffalos were down 14-11 to the home team Gladiators.

In the second quarter, Madras and Gladstone continued to battle, and a basket by Miller made the score 22-18, with Gladstone still in control. The Gladiators went on a 7-0 run to close out the first half, and Madras was down 29-18 heading into the third quarter.

Gladstone scored more points in the second half of the game than Madras did all four quarters, as the Gladiators outscored the Buffalos 43-23 in the third and fourth quarters.

"We were with them for most of the first half," Brown said. "It was a four-point game halfway through the second quarter. They just went on some runs to end the first half and it continued in the third quarter. That put us in a hole that was tough to come out of. They are a big, physical team and did a great job of executing their stuff. It was kind of a wake-up call for us in the middle of league."

The Buffalos lost two of their big men, Dylan Heath and Jacob Hulsey to season ending injuries this season.

Miller was the leading scorer for the White Buffalos with 14 points, and Bagley was right behind him with 11 of his own. Gladstone had some even scoring with Jeremy De Voe and Sabastian Pieffer both scoring 12 points, while Brandon Wanlass added 10 points.

Madras is ranked No. 21 in 4A and, depending on league standings, the top 20 or top 19 make the postseason. The White Buffalos travel to Corbett to face the Cardinals at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and host North Marion, the No. 1-ranked 4A team in the state at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.

"Every game from here on out is of the utmost importance for our playoff chances," said Brown. "If we are going to make a run at the second seed in league we are going to have to win four of our last five to give us a chance down the stretch. With us being in the three seed (Tri-Valley Conference) right now, that is no longer a guaranteed play-in game like a few years ago. It depends on where we are ranked, and right now we are on the borderlines of the rankings."

"We will continue to work on our consistency defensively," he said. "That really helps us on both ends of the floor. We are going to continue to improve execution-wise offensively. Improve the little things on both ends of the floor will be huge and just continue to play hard for this second half of league."

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