Madras boys basketball ends on a victory
The Madras boys basketball team ended the season on a high note, beating the Estacada Rangers 61-50 in their last game of the year.
After the victory, Madras moved to 10-13 overall, 5-5 in the Tri-Valley conference, ranked No. 22 in 4A. The team finished third in the TVC behind North Marion (9-1 TVC) and Gladstone (9-1 TVC).
Near the start of the game, Donnie Bagley made a 3-pointer to give the Buffs a 6-0 lead, and a few plays later, Dapri Miller also hit a 3-pointer, and Madras took a 10-0 early lead.
Bagley made another 3-pointer, extending the Buffs' lead to 13-1, but the Rangers went on a quick 6-0 run to close out the quarter, cutting the Madras lead to six points.
Nico Snyder hit a 3-pointer for the Rangers to start the second quarter, and Estacada was only down 13-10. Bagley was able to score, and Miller hit two free throws to put Madras up by seven points.
Miller and Bagley hit their shots, and the Buffs took a big 25-12 lead before the Rangers scored five unanswered points. Madras went to the locker room ahead 25-17 at the halfway break.
Nathan Hagel scored for the Rangers to start the second half, as Estacada narrowed the Buffs' lead to five. A few plays later, Miller hit back-to-back 3-pointers, giving the Buffs a 32-20 advantage.
Derek Main was able knock down another shot from behind the arc for the Buffs, and Jordan Mitchell scored at the end of the third quarter. The Buffs ended the period up 43-25.
The White Buffalos outscored the Rangers 18-8 in the third quarter.
Estacada went on a 6-1 run to start the final quarter, but the run was stopped by a basket from Miller. The Buffalos were outscored 25-18 in the final quarter but held off the Rangers for a 61-50 victory.
"With our last two games against Molalla and Estacada, it was a great way to end the season," head coach Nick Brown said. "We played really well on both ends of the floor for both games and just played so hard. It was a great way to end the season on a positive note."
Miller led the way with 23 points, while Bagley was right behind him with 19. Jordan Mtichell ended the game with 12 points and Isiah Cochran four.
Since Madras was not one of the top two teams in the TVC or ranked in the top 20 in 4A, it did not make the postseason.
"I think overall the season went really well," said Brown. "Obviously we would have loved to have a couple more games in the win column to get in the playoff hunt, but overall I think it is a positive season for us. I think we did some really good things developmentally, both on and off the floor with guys doing a great job developing character in our program, but also putting in the time to get better on the floor as well."
Madras is losing three seniors — Dapri Miller, Donnie Bagley and Alex Smith-Morales — due to graduation, but Brown sees the potential in the younger kids in the program.
They also saw two big men go down with season ending injuries.
Tall shot blocker Dylan Heath and big man Jacob Hulsey both suffered season ending injuries.
"The senior class is one that we will definitely miss," Brown said. "Alex, Dapri and Donnie did just such a good job, not only this year, but the past three to four years. We had Donnie and Alex for four years and Dapri for the last three, so just all of their work and contributions to our program have been so valuable, not only for them, but for our program and the rest of the guys that have been surrounding them. Their leadership and ability to push their teammates in ways they did not know their teammates could be pushed, which is so valuable for us, and our program appreciates everything they have done for us."
With the season coming to an end, coach Brown and the basketball program are focused on working hard in the off-season.
"Obviously the three we are going to lose is going to hurt, but at the same time, we are only losing three," Brown said. "That means we have a lot of guys coming back with some varsity experience as well with some other freshman and sophomore guys coming up that we are excited about."
"We are excited to get to work this spring and summer both, to continue to work individually on our game," he said, "to continue getting better and better as basketball players, and when that time comes in November, get better as a team. We really focus in the spring, summer and fall to get each individual player better and continue to develop them in the off-season."
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