By Matt Rawlings
Of the Keizertimes
Although McNary looked like the superior team in the early stages, they couldn’t keep the momentum going in the second half.
The Celtics were outscored 35-15 in the final 16 minutes as they fell in their season opener 69-57 to Roosevelt on Thursday, November 29.
“Overall, I was happy with our performance, but we have a young team that needs to learn to fight when a team goes on a run,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “Basketball is a game of runs and we need to be able to punch back when that happens.”
Abigail Hawley led the way for McNary with 25 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the field. Mackenzie Proctor was also in double-figures for the Celtics with 10 points.
McNary couldn’t have started the game much better on the offensive end. The Celtics shot 9-of-12 from the field in the opening period to score 23 points. Roosevelt, however, kept with them stride for stride as McNary only held a two-point lead at the end of one quarter.
But the Celtics continued to put the pressure on Roosevelt with their scoring ability and took a 42-34 lead into the break.
“We did a lot of good things in the first half. We broke (Roosevelt’s) press really well and we looked good offensively,” Doran said.
To try and slow down McNary’s potent offense, Roosevelt came out in a zone to start the second half. And this young Celtic team wasn’t prepared for it.
After outscoring McNary 19-10 in the third quarter, Roosevelt was able to take a 53-52 lead into the final period.
The Celtics offensive woes continued into the fourth quarter as they struggled mightily to find the bottom of the net. McNary went 1-of-15 from the field in the fourth quarter, allowing Roosevelt to go up by double-digits and never look back.
“This game was a learning experience,” Doran said. “We got a little passive against the zone. Roosevelt is a good team and they took advantage.”
The Celtics return to their home floor tonight for a 7 p.m. contest against Westview.
Westview will have a definitive size advantage in this one with three players listed over six feet tall, so the Celtics will put a lot of their emphasis on team rebounding.
“Our game plan will be focusing on team defense and trying to keep them off the boards,” Doran said. “All five on the court need to buy into rebounding. We don’t have a lot of size, but we make up for it with hustle and effort.”