Bekah Grimmer drives to the hoop in transition (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
With leading scorer Leah Doutt having an off night, Bekah Grimmer was there to pick up the slack for the McNary girls basketball team.
The senior post led the way for the Celtics with a game-high of 19 points as McNary defeated McKay by a score of 51-36 on Wednesday, June 2.
“Bekah did a really good job of posting up down low and was also hitting some outside shots for us as well. (McKay) really didn’t have an answer for her,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said.
Despite surrendering 28 points to McKay star Skye Miller, McNary held their opponent under the 40-point threshold for the fourth time this season.
“(Miller) is a great player. She is good in literally every position. We have to focus our defense on her because she can make it from a lot of different places,” Grimmer said.
Despite not having a win on the season, McKay proved to be a pesky opponent in the early going. After Doutt scored the first hoop of the game, the Royal Scots went on a 7-2 run to grab the lead.
McKay held the advantage for the majority of the opening period, but a three-point play by Grimmer late in the quarter tied the game at 9-9.
At the start of the second period, the Celtics began to pull away after turning up the defensive intensity.
“We have to play at the same level of defensive intensity, no matter who our opponent is,” Doran said. “We have to control what we can control, and we can always control our effort and intensity.”
“Once we got in the huddle we started talking about how much intensity we needed to have,” Grimmer added.
The defensive effort led to more offensive opportunities for McNary, as Grimmer scored six of the Celtics next eight points to give her team the 17-11 advantage.
“We just realized that they didn’t have a strong post defender, so I just went hard on the inside and Leah was always able to get me the ball on the inside. She is an amazing passer who can see everything on the court,” Grimmer said.
McKay cut the deficit to three at 19-16, but McNary rallied to end the half on a 6-0 run, capped off by a short jumper by Anne-Leigh Besa at the horn to put the Celtics on top 25-16 at the break.
Grimmer continued her dominance in the second half, hitting her first two shots of the third quarter to put the Celtics on top by double-digits. Back-to-back layups by Kylie Nepstad and KJ Custer increased the advantage to 33-18 and forced McKay coach Jim White to burn a timeout.
But the Royal Scots still couldn’t slow down Grimmer, who scored twice in the post on consecutive trips, then knocked down a jumper from the outside to give McNary their largest lead of the game at 39-18.
“I knew that I needed to step up,” Grimmer said.
McNary travels to South Albany on Friday, June 4 for a 6:30 p.m. contest.
“We just need to keep our focus on the defense end and have our offense continue to feed off of that,” Doran said.
Matt Rawlings: [email protected]