McNary guard Grace Carr looks to find an open teammate after picking up her dribble. Carr had seven points in the Celtics 43-30 win over Madison on Tuesday, Dec. 17 (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings)
The return of Leah Doutt did not disappoint for the McNary girls basketball team.
Doutt, who missed the first four games of the season due to injury, made her season debut on Tuesday, Dec. 17 and had 13 points to go along with four steals, three assists and two blocks in the Celtics 43-30 victory over Portland’s Madison for their first win of the season.
Kennedy Buss also added nine points and eight rebounds in the win.
“Once Leah came back on the court, it was like everyone played a lot more relaxed,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “This junior class has been playing together for so long, it’s a little weird when Leah isn’t out there with them. Things were clicking once everyone returned to their usual roles.”
After falling behind early, the Celtics scored 14 of the next 17 points, taking a 14-7 lead into the halfway mark of the second period.
Madison’s Ava Arias knocked down a 3-pointer — which was Madison’s first hoop in a 10-minute stretch — to cut McNary’s lead to four. But the Celtics got consecutive hoops from Kennedy Buss and Kylie Nepstad to stretch their lead to eight.
McNary maintained their eight-point lead for the remainder of the quarter as they went into the half with a 24-16 advantage.
But in the third quarter, the Celtics broke the game open.
Buss scored seven points in the first three minutes of the period, helping McNary go on an 11-0 run to start the second half.
“We had talked at halftime about the importance of coming out in the third quarter and setting the tone for the rest of the game. They did a really good job of that,” Doran said.
One of the big points-of-emphasis for the Celtics during this early season stretch has been to improve on the glass. McNary had 36 rebounds on the night — which was a season high — and also got 11 offensive boards.
Rebekah Grimmer led the Celtics with 11 rebounds.
“(Grimmer) is doing a great job for us on the boards. She is doing what she needs to do down low,” Doran said. “We need to get her more touches on offense so that will be something we will focus on in the future.”
McNary will return home to take on North Medford on Friday, Jan. 3 at 5 p.m.