BY HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
McNary’s boys focused on the strong start coach Ryan Kirch wanted but ended up losing to Dallas 64-51 Dec. 8 at home.
The Celtics led early and were ahead 14-8 late in the first quarter thanks to two three-point shots by Isaiah Montano. Then the visiting 5A Dragons got hot, with Landon Hattan contributing a trey, and at the end of the period they led their 6A hosts 17-16.
Dallas’ Brady McKinley, who was to lead all scorers with 20 points, started the second-quarter scoring with a layin. The Celtics’ Dylan McHugh then hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 19-19. Both sides continued to play the fast-break game, with the Dragons slightly ahead most of the way, but Johnathan Doutt, McNary’s leading scorer with 17, followed a trey with an outside shot for a 29-29 score. Grant Bollman of Dallas then stole the ball and sank a free throw, and a moment later teammate Kelton Chapman was successful on two throws from the line. The halftime score was 32-29 in favor of Dallas.
The third quarter was close, but the Dragons maintained the lead. A steal by Montano was followed by another three from him, cutting the Dallas lead to 37-36. The Dragons outshot the Celtics for the rest of the third and at the end of the period led 49-40.
McNary ran into foul trouble in the fourth quarter, with Dallas making its shots both from the line and from the field. The Celtics were behind by only four points for the period, but they had been outscored in the other quarters and ended up 13 points short.
“We’re a little young and a little inexperienced,” Kirch said. “Tonight, we focused on getting a great start, and we did.”
Jim Boutin, the Dragons’ seasoned coach, attributed the win to defense but said Kirch “did a nice job of coaching.”
The McNary JVs beat Dallas 48-44.
DALLAS: 17-15-17-15: 64
MCNARY: 16-13-11-11: 51
Dallas – McKinley 20, Chapman 13, Hattan 12, Schmidt 10, Locke 6, Bollman 3.
McNary – Doutt 17, Montano 10, Burgess 7, Fletchall 7, McHugh 6, McCowan 2, Robinett 2.