Brody Roth went off for a career-high 26 points, but it wasn’t enough as McNary fell to Bend 64-54 (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
Despite a career performance from Brody Roth, the McNary boys’ faltered in the final period against Bend after leading for nearly the entire game.
Roth poured in a game-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, but the Celtics were outscored 20-5 in the fourth quarter and fell by a score of 64-54 on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
“We were gassed three quarters of the way through the game. We just got tired,” Roth said.
Celtics forward Tyler Copeland added 11 points in the loss.
Roth’s seven first quarter points helped give McNary the 15-14 advantage after the opening period. Bend proceeded to begin the second quarter by going on 11-3 run to go up 25-18, but McNary responded in resounding fashion.
Roth hit his second triple of the night to make it a two-possession game. Moments later, McNary guard Steven Adams cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer of his own.
But the Celtics didn’t stop there. Back-to-back hoops in the post by Copeland and Roth, followed by a deep triple from Jando Gonzalez, put McNary up 31-25. A nifty move in the paint from Roth, plus another trey by Gonzalez completed McNary’s 18-0 run, which gave them a double-digit lead.
“We pass-advanced the basketball in transition and got a lot of in-rhythm shots. It’s something we have struggled with in the past but we did it at the right time tonight. We took advantage of their defense not being set,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said.
Bend cut the lead to six to open the third quarter, but consecutive buckets by Roth brought McNary’s lead back up to 10.
“The opportunities were there and I just took them. I took some shots that I wouldn’t have taken other times and it paid off today,” Roth said.
“Brody has always had a scorer’s mentality, which we appreciate. In the past he struggled a little defensively, but to his credit, he has really worked hard to defend. He not only scored for us tonight, but caused deflections and was really active on that end,” Kirch added. “He was more balanced on his shots today and did a good job of spacing and recognizing when to be aggressive. He certainly carried us offensively tonight.”
Despite Bend going on an 8-0 run in the period, McNary still clung to a five-point lead at the end of the third quarter. But in the fourth quarter, the Celtics appeared winded on both ends of the floor, and the Lava Bears took advantage.
Bend scored the first 10 points of the period to take a 54-49 lead. The Celtics briefly stopped the bleeding thanks to a triple from Roth, his fourth of the game, but it was McNary’s only field goal of the quarter.
“We just didn’t play for 32 minutes. The quality of possessions they had earlier in the game affected our defense in the fourth quarter because we were tired. We played well in transition and we passed the ball well, but when we have shorter possessions they don’t have to work as hard.”
Along with shooting just 1-of-6 in the final quarter, McNary also missed six straight free throws down in the closing moments, allowing Bend to go up by 10 points and complete the victory.
With a playoff spot still in their grasp, Kirch hopes that his team can find a way to finish strong in the final stretch of the season.
“Some of the things we did tonight were really good, we just have to find a way to stretch that for the whole game,” Kirch said.