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Day: April 10, 2018

Lady Celts remain undefeated

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s girls tennis team improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in league play on Monday, April 9.

Sweeping all four singles matches, the Lady Celts defeated West Salem 5-3.

At No. 1 singles, Hannah Childress barely broke a sweat and didn’t lose a game, defeating Miranda Brewen 6-0, 6-0.

Katherine Perez only dropped one game, topping Katie Harrington 6-1, 6-0 at 2 singles.

Helena Gools, a foreign exchange student from Belgium, won 6-4, 7-6 at 3 singles.

After not winning a match last season, sophomore Avery Haymowicz won 6-0, 7-5 at 4 singles to remain undefeated.

“My serves have improved over the summer quite a bit,” Haymowicz said. “Last year I would lose game after game because I just couldn’t serve. This season has been a big improvement and I’m really happy with the way the whole team has been.”

Haymowicz has also worked at being more consistent this season.

“I’ve got to be the wall that keeps hitting it back,” she said.

McNary’s fifth point came at No. 1 doubles. After losing the first set 2-6, Natalia Gonzalez and Sofia Zielinski stormed back to win the second set 7-5 and the third 6-1.

“Last year we didn’t win many matches, except for like two, and West is a pretty good school, so it was nice winning,” Gonzalez said. “I think we just had the momentum going with us, as soon as we won a set. They kept hitting it to us at the net and I think both of us play really well at the net so it was easy shots.”

West Salem won at 2, 3 and 4 doubles.

The Lady Celts defeated McKay 7-1 on Wednesday, April 4 in its first league match.

Childress again won 6-0, 6-0. Perez captured a 6-3, 6-3 victory and Tanveer Sandhu came from behind to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 at 3 singles.

McNary then swept doubles action with Gonzalez and Zielinski winning 6-4, 6-1 at 1 doubles and McKenna Sieg and Taylor Walker winning 6-4, 6-1 at 3 doubles.

The other two doubles matches both went three sets with Ainoha Zorzo and Gina Munguia coming back to win 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 at 2 doubles and Haymowicz and Joyce Yu holding on for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 victory at 4 doubles.

McNary opens league play 0-4

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning Monday.

West Albany hit a walk-off two-run home run Friday.

That was the difference as the Bulldogs took two games from the Celtics, winning 7-5 on April 6 and 4-2 on April 9.

“We’re having a difficult time coming up with a big hit in the big moments when we have guys in scoring position,” McNary head coach Larry Keeker said. “A lot of times we’re in those positions with two outs and we just haven’t been able to produce a two-out RBI. And then the flip side of it is the opponents seem to be getting some base hits with two outs. That ends up being the difference.”

Down 3-0 entering the bottom of the fifth Monday, McNary drew three consecutive walks to load the bases with one out. Lance Becktel grounded out to second, scoring David Allen from third, to get the Celtics on the board. But Jacob Jackson then struck out swinging with runners at second and third, ending the inning.

McNary drew two more walks in the sixth and Ryan Thompson scored on an errant throw while stealing third to get the Celtics within 3-2.

After West Albany added a run in the top of the seventh, McNary loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning but Thompson grounded out on a bang-bang play at first, ending the game.

“When it happens game after game after game, then you tend to tighten up a little bit and the confidence level is probably not where it needs to be,” Keeker said. “We need something to go right to reestablish our confidence in those situations.”

The Celtics finished with just three hits. Jackson and Becktel were both 1-for-4. Ty Covalt was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Carl Rumbaugh got the start on the mound, allowing three hits, four walks and one earned run over three and two-thirds of an inning. Allen pitched the rest of the game, giving up one run on three hits and a walk.

Freshman Ian Martin started at second base in place of senior Collin Wentworth, who was suspended for running over West Albany catcher on Friday.

“He stepped in there and the moment hasn’t been too big for him,” Keeker said. “He lets his instincts go to work. He’s practiced well from day one. He got our attention from day one so we knew the skill set was in place.”

On Friday, Covalt hit a double to center field, scoring Thompson and Jackson, to give McNary a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth. Devon Bedoya then added a RBI single to score Martin.

But West Albany answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-4 lead.

The Celtics tied the game at 5-5 with a run in the top of the seventh. However, West Albany sophomore Porter Phillips hit a walk-off two-run home run to left field.

Jackson was 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs. Covalt went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

“If we can just keep plugging away and keeping our heads down and keep pushing forward, all these close games that we’re having and the emotions that go with it should help us,” Keeker said. “But at some point we’re going to have to find a way to get a victory, feel good about it. The mental status of everybody we have is going to be a little bit better because of a victory or a big hit in a big moment, something that breaks the ice and we get going. But right now, we haven’t been able to come up with the big play on defense or the big play on offense to make the difference.”

Lady Celts ‘make it happen’ versus South Salem

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

On a quote board in McNary’s dugout were the words “Make it happen.”

Against South Salem, the Lady Celts did just that, scoring seven runs in the first inning and seven more in the second to run-rule the Saxons 14-3 in five innings on Monday, April 9.

McNary’s first five hitters reached via single in the bottom of the first.

“That first inning the girls came out on fire,” McNary head coach Kevin Wise said. “We just kept finding holes.”

Haley Ebner drove in the first run of the game, scoring Nadia Witt on a line drive single to right field.

“That’s something that we want to keep working on,” Ebner said of getting off to the fast start. “Obviously, if you score first you control the momentum of the game. We’ve been talking about it a lot and I’m glad that we lived up to it today.”

The Lady Celts had eight hits, all singles, in the bottom of the first, and finished the game with 16 hits.

Emma Kinler had McNary’s only extra base hit on a double to center field to score Alexa Cepeda and Ebner to give the Lady Celts a 14-0 lead in the bottom of the second.

“I felt like I wasn’t really hitting all that well so I just went up and there and I was like I’m just going to hit it hard, I don’t even care where it goes and it happened,” Kinler said. “I just really wanted that hit.”

Kinler was 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs and three RBIs. Witt was 4-for-4 with a run and RBI.

McNary stole five bases in the game. Kate Ronning swiped two.

“We have a lot more speed than probably what we’ve had in the past. Not that we haven’t had fast girls but now as a whole we’re a pretty quick team,” Wise said. “We’ve talked to the girls a lot about being aggressive and they’re stepping up and doing it. It puts a lot of pressure on defenses. I love it. I hope they keep doing it.”

South Salem scored all three of its runs in the top of the third, taking advantage of two infield errors.

“We had a little communication problem in the infield, just being young,” Wise said.

Faith Danner pitched all five innings for McNary, allowing just two hits.

South Salem played without Maygen McGrath, a senior who has signed with the University of Montana. McGrath sprained her ankle last week.

“She’s a phenomenal player,” Wise said. “Not to take away from the rest of their girls but that kid she’s really, really good.”

McNary defeated North Salem 20-2 on Friday, April 6.

The Lady Celts scored 13 runs in the top of the first and five in the second.

McNary had only 10 hits but drew 18 walks in five innings.

Witt was 2-for-4 with a triple, three runs and two RBIs in the rout. Ebner was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBIs. Taylor Ebbs scored four runs and drove in five. Kinler and Cepeda each scored three runs.

The competition is about to get much tougher for the Lady Celts. McNary plays at West Albany on Friday, April 13 and then hosts McMinnville Tuesday, April 17. Both games begin at 5 p.m.

“I think we’re definitely hitting our stride,” Ebner said. “We still have a little bit of work to do but we are adjusting well and playing together well. I’m excited.”

Celtics set PRs at Titan Track Classic

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—McNary senior Paige Downer took last track season off to play AAU basketball.

She’s returned looking like she never left.

After setting a 1-foot personal record of 10 feet in the pole vault at Forest Grove to open the season, Downer cleared 9-08 on Friday, April 6 to place fourth at the Titan Track Classic at West Salem.

The 10-foot jump is the best in the Greater Valley Conference this season and would have been good enough for second at last year’s district meet.

“I knew I was going to come back and vault but I didn’t know it would be like this so far. It’s exciting,” Downer said. “I have hope for myself and I think that if I can keep working and putting in time during practice then I can achieve great things. I’m kind of the underdog.”

Three Bend girls tied for first, vaulting 10-08.

“They vault all year long so they have an advantage but they’re very good athletes as well,” Downer said. “It makes me want to work harder. If I want to get up top, I have to look like these athletes. I watch them to see what I can work better on, what they’re doing right and that I can critique and fix.”

Last season’s GVC champion, West Salem senior Alyssa Premo, tied for fifth at 9-02.

Downer also ran on McNary’s girls 4×100 relay. Seeded ninth, Downer, Kailey Doutt and freshmen Ashlin Samples and Leah Doutt finished fourth in 51.44 seconds.

“We knew we had some young girls but they come out and compete and they’re good athletes,” McNary head coach Franklin Gauntz said. “It was nice to see the time they put down and they’re only going to get better. It was really exciting.”

Kailey Doutt won the 800 in 2:27.36. Freshman Kennedy Buss placed sixth in 2:31.74.

Kailey, Leah, Buss and Haley Hughes teamed up to finish seventh in the 4×400 relay in 4:24.32.

McNary senior Victor Zavalal set a goal to throw 160 feet in the javelin. He’s almost already there. At West Salem, he made it 157-07, a 6-foot PR, to place fifth in the event.

A knee brace might have been the difference.

“In the back of my head, I just have that thought of hyperextending my knee so I wore a brace and it gave me a little bit more confidence,” said Zavalal, who has the second best throw in the district this season.

McNary junior Sabella Alfaro placed second in the girls javelin with a throw of 110-07 in just her second track meet ever.

“I came here from softball so I thought that would be an easy transition into track for me,” Alfaro said. “It seemed really fun, too. It’s pretty technical and it’s also slightly different from throwing a softball or throwing anything really. I picked it up very quickly, obviously. The coaches have been really great, too. They put a lot of focus on technique with me because they knew I was new to this. A lot of the other throwers help me out, too.”

Senior Brian Gragg had a PR of 41-08 to finish eighth in the shot put. His previous best was 39 feet last April.

“This year I hadn’t been able to break 40 and it was really making me mad,” Gragg said. “It was just frustrating. My two teammates, Tim (Kiser) and Bo Rahm), they were breaking 40 on first meet and I was just getting really fed up with it.”

Gragg described the feeling of finally breaking 40 as “pure bliss.”

“I was very amped up about it,” Gragg said. “I was very excited. My teammates, Tim and Bo, have been really supportive of me. They’ve been really on me about things I’m doing and just making sure I’m being the best that I can be and coaches, too. Mr. (Shawn) McCarthy, it’s amazing what he does, just making sure I’m staying motivated and sure of myself.”

Gragg wants to break 50 feet next.

“That’s going to be really hard to do but I think I’m capable of it and I’m certainly going to put in the time and effort to do that, too,” Gragg said.

Kiser placed fourth in the discus in 130-11 and Rahm took seventh in 124-06.

After tying his PR of 16.93 seconds in the 100 hurdles, McNary senior Casey Toavs set a new mark in the 300 hurdles, finishing sixth in 42.50.

“I felt like I was going at a good clip,” Toavs said. “I got into the corner and I felt like I was going strong and when I came out of the corner I felt really good. I think it was just a mindset thing. After having a race under my belt already, I was telling myself I’ve got to go, this is my senior year, every race I’ve got to throw it out there. I think that definitely helped contribute to my success in that race.”

McNary freshman Ella Repp finished sixth in the girls 1500 in 5:14.41. Lucas Garvey placed eighth in the boys 400 in 53.38.

With 151 points, Bend won the girls championship. West Salem took the boys title with 132.5. McNary’s girls finished seventh out of 13 teams with 36 points. The Celtic boys placed 10th.

McNary is competing in the Willamette Falls Invitational at Pioneer Memorial Stadium in Oregon City on Saturday, April 14.