Celts no match for Tigard

McNary guard isabella Walker tries to get by her defender in a game against McKay earlier this season.

Saying that the McNary girls basketball team had a roller coaster season would be an understatement.

After losing eight of their first nine games to start the year, the Celtics rattled off seven straight victories — six of them coming against league opponents — and sat in first place in the Mountain Valley Conference midway through league play.

McNary then endured a five-game losing streak and was on the brink of not making the playoffs.

With their postseason lives hanging in the balance, the Celtics got two wins against Sprague and Mountain View to sneak into bracket play.

But on Thursday, Feb. 28, McNary’s seesaw season came to an end, as second-ranked Tigard defeated the Celtics 52-24 in their first-round playoff game.

It was the first time all season that McNary failed to score 30 points in a game.

“We struggled offensively all night,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “Part of it was Tigard played really good defense.”

“I was still proud of the way the girls played. We fought hard.”

McNary guards Leah Doutt and Abigail Hawley have been the two best scoring options for the Celtics this season, both averaging more than 12 points per game.

But both players were completely shut down in this game. Hawley’s only point of the contest came via foul shot, while Doutt was held scoreless.

“Tigard obviously had their focus on Leah and Abbie coming into the game,” Doran said. “Every game it’s been either Leah or Abbie leading us in scoring. But they weren’t able to have their normal production.”

The Celtics got a hoop from Annie Leigh Besa and a 3-pointer from Mackenzie Proctor in the opening period, but Tigard was able to jump out to a 17-5 lead by the end of the quarter.

McNary, however, outscored the Tigers 8-6 in the second quarter, with all eight points coming from senior guard Sabella Alfaro — who led the Celtics with 10 points.

But McNary couldn’t keep pace with Tigard in the second half as the Tigers went on a 16-6 run in the third period to extend their lead to 39-19.

The Celtics shot just 4-of-22 from the field in the second half.