Height advantage too much for Celtic b-ball

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McNary’s Braden Taylor tries to muscle his way to the rim in the game with McMinnville High School Tuesday, Dec. 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

McNary’s Braden Taylor tries to muscle his way to the rim in the game with McMinnville High School Tuesday, Dec. 17. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity basketball team started the season with two blistering wins, but ran into some trouble last week with teams that had the one thing no amount of practice is going to change: a big height advantage.

The Celts faced off with McMinnville High School Tuesday, Dec. 17, at McNary. In the early going, neither team had a clear edge. It took nearly six minutes for the Grizzlies to pull away from the Keizer team and McMinnville had only an 11-8 lead at the buzzer.

“In the second quarter, their height really came into play,” said Ryan Kirch, McNary head coach. “Their tall guy [Vince Boumann] kept coming up with the defensive rebounds. They also did a good job of switching up their defense and we had trouble adjusting.”

The Grizzlies led 27-17 at halftime, but the Celts came out with a rejuvenated offense in the second half. By the end of the third quarter, McNary had closed the gap to 40-35.

“We picked up the pressure defensively and tried to get in stronger attacks to put us at the rim. That’s what we prefer to do, but it was difficult missing two starters,” Kirch said.

McMinnville outscored the Celts 19-17 in the fourth for the 59-52 final.

“We lost, but the boys fought all the way back. It came down to simply missing a couple of shots late in the game while McMinnville made theirs,” Kirch said. “I think if we were 100 percent healthy, that was a game we would have won.”

Senior Johnathan Doutt led the team with 15 points, Cade Goff had nine, Braden Taylor had seven, Hayden McCowan had six, Hayden Gosling, Austin Stone and Trent Van Cleave put up four apiece, and Drew McHugh had three points in the game. Doutt, Goff and Taylor hit treys.

The Celts took part in a tournament at Dallas High School Friday and Saturday, drawing Crater High School as their first-round opponent. The Comets start three 6-foot-7 players leaving McNary at another disadvantage. The Comets won, but didn’t dominate in a 56-52 loss for McNary.

A frustrating second quarter mostly accounted for the boys’ loss to Dallas High School in the follow-up game. A two-point McNary lead in the first quarter turned into trailing the Dragons 25-14 by halftime.

Despite better offensive output in the remainder of the game, Dallas held onto its lead for a 48-38 win.

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