By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
After a third place finish in the Central Valley Conference, the McNary High School girls varsity basketball team was set to take on the West Salem High School Titans in the second round of a tournament to decide state playoff seeding.
The Friday, Feb. 21, game will be the third meeting of the two teams this season. In their first contest, the Lady Celts (7-3 CVC, 11-12 overall) came out on top with a 57-51 win, but the Titans (7-3 CVC, 12-10 overall) topped McNary 55-35 just five days prior to the start of the tournament.
McNary finished regulation play in the CVC with a 59-40 win over McKay High School Monday, Feb. 17. The Lady Celts bounded onto the court to take a 25-12 lead after the first frame and expanded their lead to 44-24 as the teams went into halftime.
McNary spread the offense around with Madi Hingston scoring a team-leading 12 points; Reina Strand had nine; Baili Keeton and Kaelie Flores put up eight each; Jasmine Ernest had six points; Emma Jones and Sydney Hunter notched five each; Ashlee Koenig had 4 and Alyx Peterson had two.
The Titans got the best of the Celts three days prior as McNary struggled to sink shots throughout the first half. By the halftime buzzer, McNary had only managed to put 10 points on the board to West’s 21.
Baili Keeton led the Keizer team with nine points; Hunter had eight; Strand had seven; Flores had four; Ernest had 3; and Jones and Hingston had two each.
In a contest with Sprague High School Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Lady Celts turned in a dominating 64-39 win as three players – Keeton, Flores and Hingston – recorded double-digit offensive numbers.
Despite a lackluster six-point second quarter, McNary stormed back onto the court in the third frame to put up 30 points.
Keeton poured in 15 points; Flores had 14; Hingston had 12; Koenig had nine; Cammie Decker and Strand had five points apiece; and Hunter put in four. Hingston recorded all four of the Celtics’ three-point goals and the Celtics combined for 34 rebounds (Koenig led with seven).