By the closing moments of the game Friday, Madras had two players on the sidelines with injuries and four who had fouled out — leaving coach Evan Brown with only the five White Buffaloes who were still on the court.
“We had to overcome some adversity down the stretch,” Brown understated.
Madras did so by sinking a pile of fourth-quarter free throws and hanging on for a 90-80 boys basketball win over Ridgeview in a meeting of two Central Oregon teams at Bend’s Mountain View High School on the second day of the Les Schwab Oregon Holiday Hoopfest.
The White Buffaloes forced a furious pace that contributed to 27 Ridgeview turnovers — many of them in the second quarter, when Madras put up a stunning 36 points for a 59-36 halftime lead.
“They were a much more aggressive team than we were in the first half,” said Ravens coach John Nelson. “That’s how they play — and they just outhustled us, to be quite honest.
“We gave up 36 points in the second quarter. How does that happen? Credit to them, they made a lot of shots. And we were in their face on a lot of them.”
Ridgeview made a lot of shots too, led by senior wing Alex Nadermann, whose 11-for-18 performance from the field fueled his game-high 29 points. But the Ravens struggled mightily from both 3-point range, where they were just 1-for-16, and the free-throw line, where they went 19-for-35 (54 percent).
Yet despite the shooting and turnover issues, Ridgeview managed to carve into Madras’ big halftime lead.
“The second half, my gosh, the whistles started coming, and we had a couple injuries,” said Brown, whose depleted squad found itself leading by only three points late in the game.
“That up-tempo style is not conducive to (having only) five guys,” said Brown. “Fortunately, we knocked down some free throws down the stretch.”
Indeed they did. In the fourth quarter, Ridgeview committed 12 fouls, and Madras went 13-for-18 on free throws in the period to hold on. For the game, the Buffs were 23-for-34 (68 percent) from the foul line, and the teams combined for 54 fouls and 69 free throws.
Senior post Kanim Smith led the Buffaloes (3-7 overall) with 20 points, and Dapri Miller, who made 10 of 13 free throws, finished with 17 points. Also for Madras, Chad Thurby scored 13 points and Byron Patt added 10.
For the Ravens, Payton Davis backed Nadermann with 15 points, John Wright scored 13, and Bryce Olson finished with 11. Davis also had 13 rebounds for Ridgeview, and Nadermann grabbed 10.
The Ravens (3-7) close out the three-day tournament today with a 9:45 a.m. game against Putnam.
The Class 4A White Buffaloes, after facing 5A teams in their first two games of the tourney, today face Class 6A Grants Pass at 1:15 p.m.