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Defense behind 6-0 start

Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—McNary (6-0) continued to crank up its defense at Sprague on Friday, Dec. 15, holding the Olympians to just two field goals in the first half and under 23 percent shooting for the game in a 48-24 Greater Valley Conference victory.

“Going into every game, we’re just really focusing on defense and how we are going to defend and the girls are doing a great job of executing what we’re trying to get them to do,” Lady Celts head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “They play really hard defensively and that’s what we’ve got to keep doing.”

McNary jumped out to a 20-6 lead in the first quarter as Kailey Doutt, Leah Doutt and Paige Downer each had six points in the period.

Holding the Olympians to only a free throw in the second quarter, the Lady Celts led 31-7 at halftime.

Leading 46-17, McNary started its four freshmen, Leah Doutt, Mackenzie Proctor, Kennedy Buss and Annie-Leigh Besa, to begin the fourth quarter.

McNary junior Sabella Alfaro scored the only points of the period, knocking down two free throws.

Kailey Doutt led the Lady Celts in scoring with 17 points to go with six rebounds. Leah Doutt added 10 points and three rebounds. Downer finished with nine points. Abigail Hawley had seven rebounds and Buss added four assists.

Through six games, McNary is averaging more than 52 points per game while allowing 31.5.

“A lot of our offense is coming from our defense right now,” Doran said. “We’re getting steals. We’re executing in transition very well. We did do a pretty good job against their zone, moving it around and being patient and looking for openings and getting some high percentage shots and we’re shooting well from the outside, too. That always helps.”

The Lady Celts had eight steals against Sprague.

Doran would like to see McNary get more rebounds.

“Once I said something in the first quarter, we did do a better job offensively crashing the boards but still we can do a better job defensively,” Doran said. “That’s an area we’re looking to improve in.”

The Lady Celts are taking a break from league play to host David Douglas (3-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. McNary is then playing in the Lake Oswego Nike Shootout Dec. 27-30. The Lady Celts open the 16-team tournament against Clackamas (3-0) on Dec. 27 at 4 p.m.

“It’s a fun atmosphere up there,” Doran said. “They have good teams usually in that tournament.”