By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
McNary regained a lead to defeat Lebanon 64-55 at home in boys’ basketball Dec. 7.
The Celtics scored the first eight points of the game, which was a seesaw contest in the third quarter, but regained and extended the lead in the fourth period. Johnathan Doutt led McNary with 16 points, followed by Isaiah Montano with 13.
McNary shot well at the start, dominated the boards and controlled the ball better than the Warriors through the first quarter. Lebanon showed an effective zone defense during the period. The Celts led 11-2 at one point, but their defense faltered late in the quarter, which ended with a 12-6 score.
Lebanon’s Jacob McConnell stole the ball in the opening minute of the second quarter, and the Warriors shot well enough to narrow the lead to 14-11. McNary’s answer to Lebanon’s improved offense included two three-point shots, by Doutt and Nick McDonald. The first half ended with a 27-22 Celtic lead.
In the third quarter, Lebanon’s Ian Smith cut the McNary lead to one with a free throw. Seconds later, a layup by McConnell put the Warriors ahead 34-33. Lebanon held the lead until a trey from Montano tied the score at 38 late in the period. Tim Maddox, who was to be the Warriors’ scoring leader with 13, responded with an inside shot just before the buzzer sounded, and the visitors were ahead 40-38.
Doutt tied the score with two free throws to start the fourth quarter, and Lebanon’s Kolson Shanks made a three for a 43-40 Warrior lead. The Celtics grabbed the lead back with four successive free throws, two by Connor Goff and two by Montano. The lead quit changing hands when a layin by Doutt put McNary ahead 46-45. The Celts expanded their lead to 57-47 when Jon Kiser sank an inside shot, and at the end they were ahead by nine.
“We’ve talked a lot about learning to win games,” McNary coach Ryan Kirch said, “keeping our composure when things go south.”
The Celtic JVs won 62-34.