By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
McNary High School’s girls varsity basketball team didn’t reclaim its winning ways last week.
The Lady Celts chalked up losses to West Linn and Beaverton high schools, 56-51 and 73-38, respectively.
Of the two games, players and coach all thought West Linn represented the better Celtic basketball.
“We played a pretty good game, but they were hitting their threes, especially the unexpected ones,” said McNary’s Deven Hunter.
“We played great and we played together as a whole, but there was an emotional letdown going into overtime,” added Molly Gehley, McNary head coach.
The Lions hit a three-pointer in the final seconds to knot the game 47-47. Once the team got back to the bench, Celt Averi Wing could see the writing on the wall.
“It was like we were already beat. You could tell just by people’s attitudes. We need to focus on coming together and looking at the positives,” Wing said.
West Linn outscored McNary 9-4 in overtime for the win.
Hunter led the team with 20 points, Stacey Titchenal put up 10, Baili Keeton added nine, Teresa Peterson had six, Jessica Darras put in four, and Wing had two.
To recapture some of the unity the Celts experienced early on, the team is planning more team bonding events, Peterson said. However, it’s likely nothing would have prepared them for the onslaught Beaverton brought to McNary’s court Friday, Jan. 6.
The Beavers poured in 22 points in the first period and bottled up McNary’s offense preventing more than 11 Celtic points in any quarter.
“Beaverton is really, really good,” Wing said. “But we stayed strong through the frustration and we still played as a team.”
Hunter had 18 points in the game, Wing added seven, Darras put in five, Peterson had four, and Titchenal hit one from the foul line.
In their first game of league play, the Celts faced a reloaded West Salem High School team. The Titans were the only team to defeat the Celts in league last year, but McNary finally beat them in the seeding tournament at the end of the season.
Gehley hoped the tough teams McNary faced in the preseason had prepared them for the tougher Central Valley Conference opponents.
“I just hope that we come out and we’re mentally and physically tough,” Gehley said.
Peterson said it was a matter of fixing small things.
“We’re working on shooting and breaking the press, those have been our issues lately. Once we get those things fixed, we’ll be good,” she said.