By Jeremy McDonald
BEAVERTON, Ore.– Losing two major starters is no easy task at any classification. For McNary, they’re entering this summer’s basketball action with the departure of Abbi Hawley and Sabella Alfaro to graduation as the Celtics look for the next floor leader for them entering this Winter.
“It’s very key for us in order for us to have a good season, everyone will need to step up and contribute,” said Leah Doutt. “Just working on playing together as a team and getting use to not having those two leaders on our team because they were the vocal leaders for us on-and-off the court. I think once more people start to step up, it’ll be a good season.”
McNary opened the ‘Battle on Bull Mountain’ at Mountainside High School against Central Catholic Friday evening and jumped out to a 30-20 halftime lead on the Rams behind good ball movement and an aggressive defensive presence on CC’s offense.
Just as a good experience as it was to come out strong against the Rams, seeing some adversity helped as well. Runs are going to happen, it’s basketball. But as Head Coach Elizabeth Doran said to the team after the game, the 17-0 run that Central Catholic went on to start the second half should have ended a lot sooner than it did.
“I think it’s a good learning experience that we can’t give up and that we have to adjust better because we let them go on a run. We have to take control of ourselves and our emotions and stop that sooner than we did,” said Rebekah Grimmer of adjusting to the other team’s runs.
Grimmer was a force down in the post, grabbing rebounds and pushing it up court to Doutt and the team. And slowly, the Celtics found that second wind as shots began to fall and the defense began to comeback around as strongly as it did in the first half.
McNary got a deficit that was pushing ten at one point in the second half, down to 50-45 in the final minute. But the Celtics weren’t able to complete the comeback, falling to Central Catholic 54-47 to open this weekend’s games on the road.
“It felt good to get the team all together and get on the same page and stop worrying who we’re guarding. Getting into the flow of things again and it felt good to get back even though we couldn’t win the game,” said Grimmer. “We got up pretty close and that felt pretty good.”
McNary closed out Friday’s doubleheader against Clackamas, a 50-43 victory for the Celtics and will have a doubleheader Saturday at Mountainside against Sherwood (2:20pm) and Tualatin (5pm) both in the Main Gym. The Celtic JV plays at 3:40pm (Tualatin) and 6:20pm (Sherwood), also in the Main Gym.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald