By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’ll be a unique year for the McKay Girls Basketball team as they went to practice Friday morning. A retooling year of sorts as they’ll rely on their senior leadership, led by Beverly Bathery, but also turn to their youth with freshman swinging up to the Varsity level.
“Our freshman group is pretty solid, but we need Bev out there because she has the most Varsity experience. She played with Skye (Miller) and all of those guys, the other seniors had minutes here in there. Many played JV, so Beverly has the most experience out of everyone coming back… she has the most Varsity experience out of this group,” Head Coach Jim White said of Bathery.
The Scots lone win of the season over the Spring season came way of a 47-29 win over Dallas, but of their 12 losses, four were within ten points or less to Sprague (35-26), Lebanon (45-42), Central (46-36) and North Salem (49-40).
The Vikings and Scots kick-off the 2021 season Wednesday at McKay High School. White pointed towards McKay’s first two games against North Salem and The Dalles as good games for the squad and to see where they’re at from the get-go.
But White has been driving home to his team at this point of the early season, taking it one-game at a time. Don’t think too far ahead and see where they’re at by the end of them.
“That’s what we told them. I said ‘our first game is against North and that’s the only one we’re worried about’. We got a game against The Dalles Friday after we play them and to me, those first two games are huge for us because it’ll tell us where we’re at. I think it’ll be a competitive game, I think those first two games are going to tell us where we’re at,” White said.
“It’ll be really big (to come out strongly) because everyone overlooks McKay and no one really worries about us because of our past. So it’ll be really cool for us to show everyone what we got this year,” adds Brezlyn Schwalm. “It’ll be cool for when I’m a senior how we’ve come in and grown from the lower classes.”
Schwalm, Lela Truong and Patricia Mike are the three freshmen on the Varsity roster. Alongside sophomore Madelyn Mullins, White has high expectations of them to step up when called upon this season and moving forward to help out the squad.
“I’m really leaning on the freshmen; they know the game. They’re game smart and they love to play the game and we’ll see how that goes,” White starts. “We also got a couple of JV girls that are freshman and sophomores that have a lot of potential. We may swing them up a couple of times this year depending on how things go with Covid and stuff.”
The season starts Wednesday December 1 for McKay when they tip it off against North Salem at McKay. Tip-off is slated for 7:45. December 3’s game against The Dalles, also a home game, is scheduled for a 7pm tipoff.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald