Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, March 13, 2015, Image 8

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Lady Celt Jaylene Montano guards against a Sprague player in a game earlier this season. Mon-
tano is one of several players who will return for the Celts next season.
Girls’ early lead crumbles in
fi nal minutes at Clackamas
McNary’s Cade Goff shoves past a Sprague defender in a game earlier this season. The Celtics
lost to North Medford High School 63-56 in the second round of the state playoff tournament
Friday, March 6.
Boys ousted in Medford
Of the Keizertimes
The McNary High School boys varsity bas-
ketball team ended its season with a 63-56 loss
to North Medford High School Friday, March
The boys duked it out with the Black Tor-
nadoes until the fi nal minutes of the game.
“It was a one-point game with two minutes
to go,” said Ryan Kirch, McNary head coach.
“In the end, we just missed a few shots that we
normally make and North Medford didn’t. We
missed 10-foot shots by our better shooters and
North was 14-of-16 in the fourth quarter.”
Kirch said the hardest aspect of the game,
in which the teams traded leads for much of
three quarters, was that it ended what had been
a restorative season for the Celtics.
“They are a tough team and our guys were
well-prepared and fought hard. It was a good
high school basketball game by two very good
teams,” he said.
In the four years since Kirch took over the
program, McNary notched its fi rst wining sea-
son last year. This year, they exploded onto the
scene of an expanded Greater Valley Confer-
ence. The Celts took a loss in early December
to Tualatin High School and another to Leba-
non High School later that month, but didn’t
lose a conference game until late January.
Earlier in the season, McNary took down
the South Salem Saxons 67-62 in their own
house for the fi rst time in years. South bounced
Please see BOYS, Page A9
Of the Keizertimes
The Lady Celts began their
fi rst round state playoff game
with a 13-6 lead, but a scoring
drought in the fourth quarter
led to a 56-43 loss to Clacka-
mas High School in girls var-
sity basketball.
“We were up fi ve at half-
time and were able to stretch
it to nine in the third quar-
ter. Starting the fourth quar-
ter we had a fi ve-point lead,”
said Derick Handley, McNary
head coach. “It was a 2 to 6
point game for most of the
fourth quarter, but when we
had to start fouling they made
their free throws.”
The loss ended the girls
season, but Handley said the
confi dence the team entered
the game with wavered in the
fi nal four minutes, giving the
Cavaliers the victory and an
advance to the second round.
While the game didn’t fall
in favor of the Celts, there
were many good things hap-
pening for McNary in the
early going. Sophomore Syd-
eny Hunter had 12 points by
the half and fi nished the game
with 16. Junior Madi Hings-
ton wasn’t far behind with 14
“Lauren Hudgins did an
amazing job on the Clacka-
mas post, Peyton Carroll. She
was their leading scorer this
season, and Lauren held her to
9 points, most of which were than-rocky beginning. The
free throws at the end of the season started with four losses,
game,” Handley said.
the last one to West Albany
Handley, a fi rst-year head High School, which moved
coach of the program, was up to the 6A Greater Valley
most disappointed that the Conference this year. Since
season closed just as the Mc- then, the team had six-win
Nary girls were reaching their and four-win streaks in con-
full potential. He is the third ference competition to fi nish
head coach of the program in third in the GVC. The team’s
four years.
four losses were to eventual
“They’ve bought in, and league champs South Salem
there is a lot of confi dence High School and second place
in this group
West Albany.
moving for-
ward that we “They’ve
said losing the
can be a com-
petitive team at bought in …
seniors is likely
the state level. there’s a lot
to be a blow
For the coach-
next season.
es, we really of confi dence
had the chal- in this group
Ernest has de-
lenge of get-
veloped into a
ting each girl moving forward.” fl oor general
to fully under-
and a great de-
— Derick Handley, fender. Emma
stand their role
McNary head coach
on the team.
Jones was one
of the hard-
girls, like Kaelie Flores and est, if not the hardest working
Madi Hingston, we changed players I’ve ever had the op-
their role from what they were portunity to coach. And Lau-
used to in years past. Without ren was really starting to fi nd
Reina Strand, we needed both her groove again after sitting
of those girls to become scor- out as a junior. We’ll defi nitely
ing threats, and they defi nitely miss her size,” he said.
did that for us,” Handley said.
While those key roles will
Strand has been sidelined be vacated, the long win
with injury since last summer streaks allowed most of the
and was a powerful presence up-and-comers ample time
for McNary as a freshman and on the court. Not to mention,
the team’s leading scorers –
The team had a more-
Please see GIRLS, Page A9
Celt ‘Garbage Man’ is
league’s top defender
Celt sophomore Mathew Ismay was named the Greater
Valley Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year last
week. He was also an all-league honorable mention.
Of the Keizertimes
Earlier this season, Ryan
Kirch, McNary’s head basket-
ball coach, was watching fi lm
with the team and let it slip
that sophomore Mathew Is-
may was the squad’s “garbage
“He gets offensive rebounds
and put backs, easy lay-ins at
the rim, gets to the free throw
line. He does all the little
things to put himself in those
situations and he’s incredibly
smart. He’s just a blue collar,
hard working player – like a
garbage man,” Kirch said.
His teammates laughed, but
the nickname stuck. From here
on out, it might just be the
nickname other players begin
striving for. Ismay was named
Defensive Player of the Year in
the Greater Valley Conference
last week.
Ismay’s name is infrequently
mentioned among the team’s
top scorers, averaging a little
less than six points per game.
Take a look a little further
down the line and the big pic-
ture becomes clearer. Ismay
had 88 rebounds this season,
38 assists and 24 steals.
Ismay said defense has been
his focus since joining the
Celtic ranks.
“It’s the part of the game
that’s overlooked. If you let the
person you’re guarding score
more than you do on offense,
it’s all for nothing,” Ismay said.
“Part of it is athleticism, but
most of it’s effort. One slip up
and that’s it.”
His approach and attitude
have bred respect among team-
mates and opponents, even
though his role on the team
could easily be overlooked.
“The older players appreci-
ate how he competes. Coach-
es in the league consistently
commented on how tough
he is and how hard he works,”
Kirch said.
Ismay was also an honor-
able mention in all-league se-
lections, but he had his sights
set on the defender award.
“It means a lot to me. It
was a surprise, but if there is
an award I wanted that was the
one,” Ismay said.
As far as the future goes,
he’d like to win it again, but
he remains focused on being
part of the team.
“Being league champions
again is more important right
now,” he said.