By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
The McNary High School girls varsity basketball team took an early lead and fended off a ferocious third quarter attack by the Dallas High School Dragons to win their opening game of the season Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Senior Ashlee Koenig put up the first Celtic points of the season with a lay-in and McNary soon led the game 6-4. McNary went on an unanswered 15-point run – highlighted by a Madi Hingston and Cammie Decker three-pointers – to end the quarter up 21-6.
The Lady Celts capitalized on opportunities at the foul line, and scrappy defense that kept Dallas out of the hoop, to run up a 30-15 lead going into halftime.
The Dragons came into the third quarter breathing fire on offense and defense. A six-point Dallas run was interrupted by Reina Strand hitting one from the foul line to put the teams at 33-21. It took the better part of six minutes for the Lady Celts to regain their composure.
Aside from an early two-pointer from the paint, Strand accounted for all Celtic scoring in the third quarter and the teams headed into the final eight minutes with McNary leading 43-27.
Hingston hit another three-pointer midway through the fourth to give McNary a comfortable 49-32 lead. The Dragons sank a buzzer beater for the final 57-41 score.
McNary travels for its next two games against Lebanon and Parkrose. The team returns for a home stand against North Medford Friday, Dec. 20.