By MATT RAWLINGS

Of the Keizertimes

With a win over Sprague in their previous contest, McKay’s girls basketball team broke their 37-game conference losing streak and came into their game with McNary beaming with confidence.

But last Friday night, the Lady Celts brought McKay back down to Earth. 

McNary got 15 points from Abigail Hawley and 12 points each by Sabella Alfaro and Mackenzie Proctor as the Celtics led from start-to-finish and defeated the Royal Scots by a score of 56-30 on Jan. 18.

“We came focused and ready to play. That was apparent in the first half,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “We played with a lot of confidence.”

With the Celtics leading 6-5 in the early minutes of the opening quarter, Hawley got loose for an easy layup after a beautiful feed from point guard Leah Doutt.

Hawley knocked down a pair of jumpers later in the period, which was then followed by a trio of baskets by Alfaro, helping the Celtics go on a 14-1 run and end the period with a 20-6 advantage.

“We did a good job of getting out in transition to get easy buckets,” Hawley said. “Our defense gave us a lot of opportunities to score.”

Even though they went through an offensive lull to begin the second period, McNary’s defense completely stifled any chance McKay had to get back into the game.

Playing a combination of man-to-man and 2-3 zone defenses throughout the game, plus the occasional full-court press, McNary kept the Royal Scots on their heels for all 32 minutes — 30 points is the least McNary has allowed an opponent to score so far this season.

“These girls just buy in on defense,” Doran said. “We all jump on board and play team defense.”

Midway through the second quarter, Proctor finished an easy layup after coming away with a steal. Moments later, the sophomore guard knocked down a pair of 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, giving the Celtics the 30-10 advantage at the break.

“Mackenzie hit some big shots,” Doran said. “It was good to see her step up.”

“I was just shooting with confidence,” Proctor added.

McKay got the lead down to 16 before the seven minute mark in the fourth quarter, but McNary made sure that they thwarted any type of comeback attempt. 

Four quick points from Hawley and a corner triple from Alfaro allowed McNary to open the period on an 8-0 run to go on top 49-25.

McNary returns to the hardwood on Saturday to host Mountain View at 6:30 p.m.