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Smith carries Celts to victory

Star center pours in 24 points in McNary’s win over Westview

By MATT RAWLINGS

Of the Keizertimes

With a relatively inexperienced roster, the McNary boys basketball squad needed someone to step up for them in their first game of the season.

Boston Smith was the one who answered the call.

The 6-foot-7 inch senior post had a game-high 24 points and was a perfect 11-for-11 from the field as McNary took down Madison 71-61 in their season opener on Friday, Dec. 7.

“It was definitely an ugly first game where things didn’t always go as planned, but I was really proud of our guys and how they made the adjustments that they needed to,” McNary head coach Ryan Kirch said. “Boston was really dominant for us on the inside.”

Nate Meithof was also double-figures with 15 points in his first varsity game.

Madison was able to keep the game close in the first half in large part due to key Celtic players getting in foul trouble. Smith and senior wing Griffin Oliveira each picked up a pair of fouls in the opening quarter and had to sit for the remainder of the first half.

But McNary was able to weather the storm and score 23 points in the second period to take a 36-34 lead into halftime.

The Celtics still clung to a two-point lead as the game entered the fourth quarter.

That is when Smith asserted his dominance.

Smith completely took over the game in the paint and scored 14 of his 24 points in the final period, allowing McNary to pull away for the 10-point win.

“We really struggled to get the ball inside to (Smith) early on due to a lot of unforced turnovers in transition. But we slowed the ball down quite a bit in the fourth quarter and got Boston the ball down low,” Kirch said.

“Boston did a really good job of getting in the post and taking advantage of his height difference.”

McNary returns to the hardwood on Saturday for an away contest against Hillsboro at 3 p.m. The Celtics play their home opener on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Mountainside.