By HERB SWETT
Of the Keizertimes
The McNary High School girls basketball team went into high gear after a close first half to win 66-39 on Dec. 14 over a visiting Century team that had come in with a 5-0 record.
The victory evened the Lady Celtics’ record at 3-3.
Teresa Peterson led the way with 19 points, followed by Reina Strand with 12. No Lady Jaguar scored more than Chantal Castaneda’s nine.
Both teams had trouble finding the basket early in the first quarter. The Hillsboro school had a 4-0 lead before Strand sank two free throws three-and-a-half minutes into the game. Late in the period, a layin by Strand gave the Celtics their first lead at 8-7. An inside shot by Lauren Hudgins made McNary’s lead 12-7 at the end of the quarter.
Shooting improved on both sides in the second quarter. The Jaguars gradually gained on the Celtics until an inside shot from Emily Ellis tied the score at 18. After a quick exchange of steals by McNary’s Aerial Rice and Century’s Breanna Weber, field goals by Peterson and Jessica Darras put McNary ahead 22-18 at halftime.
Century started the third quarter scoring with a three-point shot by Castaneda, but then McNary took over, with Peterson making two treys within a minute. The Celtics had a 39-21 lead before Castaneda sank an outside shot. The score was 41-26 when the period ended.
The Celtics scored 10 points in the fourth quarter before the Jaguars got their first two points of the period on a layin by Castaneda. Century had ball control trouble during the last quarter but found the basket a few times toward the end. Kalie Flores came off the bench to score five of McNary’s last seven points.
Celtic coach Paul Pickerell said his girls had been working on pushing the ball, making the easy baskets and man-to-man defense to improve their record. At halftime, he said, he talked to the players about half-court offense and execution.
The McNary JV girls won 53-35.