West Salem Rallies Past McNary 68-63

By Jeremy McDonald


KEIZER, Ore.–  The McNary Girls Basketball team had the West Salem Girls Basketball team on the ropes Tuesday night at McNary High School with the hometown Celtics leading the Titans 45-36 with 2::30 left in the third quarter.  Putting pressure on West Salem and their undefeated Central Valley Conference record to the test.   

This second meeting between the two squads were a polar opposition of their first meeting back on January 19 where the Titans won 60-30.  The energy was there, so was the intensity.  But overall, with one more loop through CVC league play coming up Friday, this game mainly serves as a taste of what’s to come for playoffs.

West Salem would respond.  Cutting the deficit down to one going into the fourth quarter before eventually taking a 49-47 lead 90 seconds into the final eight minutes of the contest.

“We were all playing together there at the end.  We all knew what was going through each others heads and it was tough because they were hitting their shots compared to last game,” West Salem’s Braeli Martin said.  “It definitely made us realize we need to work on more pressure.  The caliber of teams that we’re going to play in playoffs…it makes us notice how much more pressure  we need to handle in practice and getting ready towards playoffs.”
And this game felt like the playoffs have arrived as each team traded the lead.  Neither could push their lead out as McNary did a few minutes earlier.  Nonetheless, a good eye-opener going to the playoffs as West Salem manage to lunge forward just enough at the final buzzer to escape with the win and improve to 8-0 in CVC play. 

“We needed this to know that we can play with anyone in our league.  We stuck with them the whole game and that definitely kept our confidence up and hitting some shots, finishing better helped us.  That was something we struggled with earlier in the season,” McNary’s Aubri Cabral said. .  “It was just a fun game.  It was fun to stay in it, so we jsut had to stay calm and stay with it and it just happened all on it’s own.”

Cabral led the Celts with 17 points, Ava Rubio and KJ Custer contributed 17 and 16 points respectively in the 68-63 defeat.  Emma Zuniga led the Titans with 19 points, Mady Diaz added another 16 points and Martin contributed 14 points for West Salem.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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