By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

OREGON CITY—McNary got Oregon City out of its full-court press early but the Lady Celts couldn’t make enough shots to pull off the upset, falling to the Pioneers 51-41 on Tuesday, Feb. 27 in the first round of the 6A girls basketball state playoffs.

“We knew that one of the keys to winning was beating their press,” McNary senior Kailey Doutt said. “We watched film on it and they destroyed teams with the press. They got their hands everywhere. They jump the ball a lot and get a lot of turnovers out of it.”

In a game that featured 10 guards on the floor for much of it, the Lady Celts kept up with Oregon City’s fast and aggressive play in the first half.

After the Pioneers went on a 8-0 run at the end of the first period, McNary senior Paige Downer knocked down a jump shot at the top of the key and then a 3-pointer from the corner to get the Lady Celts within 14-13 with 6:27 remaining in the first half.

When Oregon City immediately answered with a three-point play, Abbie Hawley made a 3 and Sabella Alfaro hit two free throws to tie the game at 18-18 with 2:55 remaining.

Alfaro, who led the Lady Celts with 11 points, including eight in the first half, tied the game again at 20-20 on a layup with 1:53 left to play.

Oregon City answered with a 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining and went into halftime leading 23-20.

Kailey Doutt, who was voted Greater Valley Conference Player of the Year, made her first basket with 5:12 remaining in the third period to get the Lady Celts within 27-26.

“There was a lot of help if Kailey was attacking the basket to force it out of her hands,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said.

The Pioneers went on an 8-0 run to stretch their lead to 37-28 but Alfaro made a three-point play and Doutt found Mackenzie Proctor, who knocked down an open jump shot to get McNary within 38-34 heading to the final period.

Oregon City went on another 6-0 run in the fourth to finish off the Lady Celts.

“A couple of times on their dribble drive, we were trying to switch it and there was just some miscommunication and they were getting to the basket on us,” Doran said.

McNary made just two field goals in the fourth period, a basket in the paint by Kailey Doutt with 7:19 remaining and a 3 from Leah Doutt with 36 seconds to go.

“Second half, offensively, we needed to be a little bit more aggressive,” Doran said.

Oregon City went 12-for-21 from the free throw line. The Lady Celts were 7-for-12.

“They’re just a little bit more physical than us on the inside,” Doran said. “They are finishing in to us instead of we were more finesse on the finishes, which is tough to draw fouls and get to the free throw line.”

Hawley and Leah Doutt each finished with nine points. Kailey Doutt was held to five.

“I think we showed that we deserved to be here and deserved to play teams of that caliber,” Doran said. “On a given night, I think it could have gone either way. It slipped away from us there at the end there in the fourth quarter.”

The Lady Celts finished the season 17-8.

“I had a great group to coach,” Doran said. “They were a joy to coach. They bought into what I was saying. They played really hard for me and they are great girls to be around.”