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Head coach Nick Brown says the team will be focusing less on Xs and Os in the coming days and more on attitude and effort.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Madras forward Dru Boyle is among the White Buffalo players making strides in the early season. Boyle registered a double-double against Trinity Lutheran on Dec. 7, racking up 16 points and 11 rebounds.Following a listless 1-3 start to the season, Madras needs to find a spark to kick things into gear.

"We've had some good things during the season, but we've had some not-so-good nights as well, like tonight," head boys basketball coach Nick Brown said after Saturday's 59-32 loss to Woodburn. "Our effort and our attitude was lacking tonight, which is frustrating."

While the White Buffalos did secure a win on the road over 1A Trinity Lutheran last week, they have struggled against tougher competition to this point. The Buffs followed up their 73-66 win over the Saints with losses of 15 points to Ridgeview and 27 points to Woodburn.

For Brown, the answer lies in increased effort.

"It's got to be something we hit on in practice," Brown said on Saturday. "It's going to be less Xs-and-Os focused and more attitude-and-effort focused in the next few days."

That said, it has not been all bad for the Madras boys. The team is displaying a growing IQ on the defensive end of the floor — with the growing pains to match.

"There have been some spots where we've been solid defensively with our rotations and forcing the ball where we want it forced," said Brown, "but it's just not consistent enough right now."

As for the offense, Brown noted that he was happy with the team's ability to get open looks in the early going.

"Offensively, when we're knocking down shots, we're pretty good," he explained. "We play confidently, we're lighter. But when we're not making shots, we kind of let that affect us in a multitude of ways."

While the offense continues to flow through point guard Seneca Ball, others are beginning to stand out for their contributions so far.

Dru Boyle logged a double-double against Trinity Lutheran with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and he has showed improved finishing and positioning in the post.

Brown also noted that sophomores Skytus Smith and Gunner Wallulatum have impressed with how they have each picked up the game in just their second year at Madras High.

Despite the slow start, Brown is not nearly ready to give up on this team.

"I still think we have a ton of potential," he remarked, "We'll continue to grow. This is part of having a young team. You'll go through some bumps. We've got to learn to get through those bumps a little better and fight through some adversity."


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