By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
McNary’s boys varsity basketball team, in a home game between teams fighting to enter the win column, prevailed 48-47 Friday.
The Celtics’ Johnathan Doutt, who easily led all scorers with 20 points, started the scoring with a three-point shot. McNary led almost all the time during the first three quarters, but points came slowly in the first period. The Bulldogs had only one lead in the quarter, when a free throw following a layin by Aleks Ruiz put them ahead 6-5. The period ended with the Celtics ahead 10-8.
To start the second-quarter scoring, Woodburn tied the score at 10-10 with an inside shot by Jacob Limas. Doutt put McNary ahead with another trey. The Celtics had a 17-12 lead when a three-point shot from Martin Ray cut the lead to two. McNary outshot Woodburn for the rest of the period, and at halftime the score was 22-15.
The Celtics stayed ahead all the way through the third quarter, thanks largely to two more threes from Doutt and one from Nick McDonald. McNary outperformed Woodburn in controlling the ball as well as shooting it during the period.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs got hot and stayed hot until their shooting fell off in the closing seconds. A flurry of steals and shots put them ahead 39-37 early in the period. Doutt then tied the score with two free throws, but thereafter Woodburn led most of the way. After the Celtics’ Dylan McHugh stole the ball and sank two throws from the line, the score was 46-46. Doutt got the rebound, but McNary let the ball get out of bounds. The Bulldogs’ Martin Ray sank one of two free throws with less than half a minute left, and Woodburn was back on top 47-46. With 9.5 seconds left, McHugh gave the Celtics the lead with an outside shot. The Bulldogs, taking the ball, could not find the basket.
“We’ve improved with each game we’ve played,” Celtics coach Ryan Kirch said. He added that he had talked to the players about playing the full 32 minutes and that “Johnathan Doutt really came into his own.”
“In the first half, we played well as a team,” Doutt said. “In the second, we had adversity to overcome. It was a big step up for our team.”