McNaryÕs Tregg Peterson and the Celts take on McMinnville in a Greater Valley Conference game on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.
KEIZER — The McNary High School boys basketball team broke open a tie game at halftime Friday against the visiting McMinnville Grizzlies and ran away in the second half for a 57-42 victory.
The win keeps the Celtics (19-3, 13-1 Greater Valley Conference) tied atop the conference standings with South Salem and also means they can’t finish worse than second, ahead of the third-place Grizzlies (14-7, 9-4).
Devon Dunagan and Harry Cavell each scored 13 points for McNary with Cavell netting 10 in the final two quarters.
Matthew Long tallied a game-high 15 points for the Grizzlies, but only four of those came in the second half.
McNary led 11-7 after the first quarter on the strength of five points by Dunagan but McMinnville clawed its way back to tie the score 21-21 with 1:30 remaining on six straight points by Long and a put-back by Walter Stahl.
The Celtics never trailed from there and opened up a six-point lead midway through the third period on four points by Matthew Ismay and three more by Cavell.
With McNary holding a 33-29 advantage, the Celtics went on an 11-1 run through the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter with Tregg Peterson scoring all seven of his points for the game while Cavell added the other four.
By the time the Grizzlies broke the run the Celtics held a 44-30 lead that was never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
“I think in the second half we limited our turnovers, played better defense and communicated better,” said Dunagan of the Celtics’ second half success.
Cole Thomas added eight points for McNary, including six points in the second quarter.
The Celtics play the remaining two games of their schedule at home, starting with Sprague next Friday before finishing against McKay.