McNary boys basketball was unable to find its rhythm and flow in the home opener against David Douglas High School on Friday, Dec. 9.
Maybe it was the familiar and overly-comfortable environment. Maybe it was the different schedule with no classes that day. Maybe it was just the way the ball bounced. But something was different for the Celtics (2-1) in the 82-72 loss.
It was easily the most points that McNary had allowed all season, after opening the season with wins against Reynolds High School and Aloha High School where they only allowed 29 and 32 points respectively.
David Douglas (2-1), the No. 4 OSAA-ranked team following the win, was a different level of opponent than McNary had faced to start the season.
“We knew they were a good team, they’re physical and strong,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said. “The first couple games everything came so easy, I was excited for the challenge and seeing how our guys would respond. We knew they’d come out and punch us, and they sure did.”
The Scots hit seven 3-pointers in the first quarter, closing out the opening frame on a 14-2 run to take a 25-12 lead.
They hit another five from beyond the arc in the third quarter as they again pushed the lead up past double digits.
“They were really well scouted against our pressure,” Kirch said. “We didn’t do a very good job containing the ball and they put their shooter in the deep corner against our press. We did a better job once we got out guarding the 3-point line, but they drove well, scored at-will inside.”
But the Celtics never gave up, fighting back into the game on multiple occasions.
“I was really proud of the way we fought back,” Kirch said. “But you spot a team 13 or 14 points combined with a number of mental errors in certain situations.”
Late in the second quarter Jando Gonzalez hit two 3-pointers to help close the deficit to six at the half.
Gonzalez hit two more 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter as the Celtics clawed back into the game and cut it down to a 74-69 game. The Celtics point guard and four-year starter finished the game with 12 points and 4 assists.
Brody Roth and Jabol Balos-Mesey each had 16 points on the night for McNary. Roth also led the team with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Steven Adams, the team’s leading scorer through three games, had 13 points.
The Celtics’ slow start put them in a hole they weren’t able to climb out of.
Offensively, their numbers were right around where they had been in the previous games. They actually hit at a higher percentage both from the field and 3-pointers.
But they were unable to take advantage of the opportunities they had.
In both halves, McNary had David Douglas in foul trouble. But both some missed opportunities at the line and not getting to it enough cost them.
“I didn’t think we were aggressive enough off the bounce, we shot the ball too early in possessions and we didn’t give the defense an opportunity to make a mistake,” Kirch said.
The Celtics are back in action on Tuesday, at home against Forest Grove High School at 7:15 p.m.