By MATT RAWLINGS
Of the Keizertimes
After losing their first two games at home by double-figures, the McNary High School girls basketball team finally found their stride on the road.
Leah Doutt and Abigail Hawley led the Lady Celts with 11 points apiece as McNary notched their first win of the season at Madison on Tuesday, Dec. 11, beating the Senators 43-38.
“It was a fun game to win and a fun atmosphere to play in,” McNary head coach Elizabeth Doran said. “We needed that (victory).”
Doutt and Hawley each knocked down a 3-pointer in the final minute of the opening quarter to give McNary the early 18-10 advantage.
The Celtics went through a cold streak in the second period, shooting just 2-of-17 from the field. However, McNary’s ability to limit Madison on the glass helped them retain the lead at 23-18 going into the break.
Rebounding had been a huge issue for the Celtics to begin the season, but McNary won the battle on the boards 34-31 and created numerous second-chance opportunities by grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.
“We are doing a better job on the boards,” Doran said. “Size-wise, Madison was just a better matchup for us.”
Even though they only clung to a 31-29 advantage to end the third quarter, the Celtics started to pull away in the final period after going on a 10-3 run.
Madison made it a one possession game late in the contest, but Doutt put the game on ice by sinking a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining.
Doutt, who missed the previous game due to illness, made a big difference for the Celtics in her return to the lineup as the starting point guard. The Celtics turned the ball over 25 times in their loss against Westview in Doutt’s absence. However, McNary only gave the ball away six times versus Madison.
“When your point guard is back, you’re just able to handle (defensive) pressure better,” Doran said.
McNary fell to Central Catholic last Friday by a score of 64-48, dropping their record to 1-3 on the season. The Lady Celts will travel to Southern Oregon tonight to take on North Medford at 7 p.m. and then play against South Medford at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.