By MATT RAWLINGS
Of the Keizertimes
McNary’s girls basketball squad was able to be competitive in the early stages, but turnovers and poor shooting kept them from staying close.
The Lady Celts turned the ball over 22 times in the contest and shot under 20 percent (6-of-32) from the field in the second half in their 75-43 loss to Westview on Friday, Dec. 7 at McNary High School.
“We need to cut down on the turnovers and start valuing every possession,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “We did not do a good job taking care of the basketball and when that started to go wrong, everything just went downhill from there.”
Abigail Hawley was the only McNary player in double-figures with 12 points.
After falling behind to start the contest, Hawley knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 6-6 early in the opening period.
Mackenzie Proctor then got in on the action with a triple of her own, as well as a tough lay-up to give McNary the 14-11 lead.
“We knew that we could run on them and get ourselves into open space,” McNary guard Sabella Alfaro said. “One of the advantages of our team is that we’re quicker than a lot of teams.”
But late in the quarter, Westview put on a full-court press that the Celtics weren’t prepared for.
McNary’s starting point guard Leah Doutt was forced to miss the game due to illness, and Westview took advantage by swarming the Celtics with intense defensive pressure in the backcourt. McNary turned the ball over on four straight possessions, which allowed the Wildcats to go on a 9-0 run and take a 20-14 lead.
Without their best ball-handler, the Celtics greatly struggled to get into their half-court offense for the majority of the game.
“With Leah out, we had some players in positions they’re not used to,” Doran said. “Leah usually runs our press-break, so we were asking a lot of kids to step up tonight.”
Transition buckets by Isabella Walker and Rebekah Grimmer gave McNary the momentum to begin the second period, but three straight triples from Westview’s Nicole Flennaugh put the Wildcats up by double-digits.
Flennaugh torched the Celtics for a game-high 30 points.
“(Flennaugh) is a really good player and we didn’t do a good enough job communicating on screens to be able to get a hand in her face,” Alfaro said.
After going to the locker room trailing 41-27, Alfaro and Kennedy Buss each got easy hoops in the opening minute of the second half to cut the lead to 10. But a 20-7 run by Westview made it impossible for the Celtics catch up.
“We have to stop the bleeding when a team goes on a run,” Doran. “That has been one of the themes of our first two games.”
McNary will travel to Central Catholic tonight for a 7 p.m. contest.