Final minutes make the difference in boys’ losses

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McNary’s Johnathan Doutt goes up for a shot in the game with Sprague High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

McNary’s Johnathan Doutt goes up for a shot in the game with Sprague High School. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

For those who attended the varsity basketball game between McNary and Sprague high schools Tuesday, Jan. 15, the most memorable part of the game was the four minutes before the half when, quite literally, nothing happened.

With Sprague on an offensive run and the Celtics down by seven points, McNary players were directed to stay out of the paint and avoid confronting the team. The choice was jeered by parents of the opposing team, but there was a reason for it, said Ryan Kirch, McNary head coach.

“They’re a community college team in terms of size and strength. We thought it was to our benefit to get the last shot in and, in the worst case, it would be a seven-point deficit and maybe as little as three or four,” Kirch said.

The game ended in a relatively low scoring 44-30 as the Celtics took their third loss of Central Valley Conference play.

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