By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
Back at full strength, McNary did what it does best—score in transition.
With four players in double digits, the Celtics routed West Albany 78-47 at home on Friday, Feb. 3.
The Bulldogs scored the first basket of the game but McNary, using a 1-3-1 zone defense, responded with a 15-2 run.
“We intended to come out strong and respond differently than others games because we were in a slump,” said McNary senior Adam Harvey, who finished with 15 points. “We wanted to come out with a lot of energy and play to our strengths. On defense, we were really getting a lot of deflections on the ball and getting a piece of it and getting on transition for easy layups.”
After West Albany knocked down a 3-pointer, the Celtics ended the first quarter with a 15-7 lead.
McNary then continued to dominate in the second period, opening with a 14-5 run, capped off by a 3-point play and then 3-pointer by junior Lucas Garvey off the bench.
Garvey finished with 13 points but Celtics coach Ryan Kirch was just as impressed with his defense.
“He really set the tone,” Kirch said. “You look at guys like Matt (Ismay) and Adam (Harvey) and you expect them to do those things all the time but Lucas’ development to where he was at at the beginning of the season to where he’s at now, he’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s a really good player. He makes us really, really tough.”
After McNary entered halftime with a commanding 37-14 lead, West Albany began to show some life on offense, scoring 12 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Kirch then called time out, switched to man-to-man and the Celtics continued to clamp down on the Bulldogs. McNary outscored West Albany 23-7 in the fourth quarter.
The win came after back-to-back losses to Sprague and Forest Grove, in which multiple starters were either injured or sick.
“Our guys are mature,” Kirch said. “I think they were more frustrated that we weren’t at full strength for those games. They came out and we talked about playing angry early on and getting back to how we play. We haven’t really been guarding as well as we’d like the last couple of games so we kind of challenged them a little bit and they had a heck of a response. We’re proud of them.”