State trophy the climax of Carey’s
Panthers (22-3) capture third place at
By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer
Carey School boys’ basketball players
could hardly have wished for a better season than the one that ended Saturday
with the third-place trophy at the State 1A tournament in Caldwell.
Hard work and team unity turned Carey’s
wishes into a reality—a trophy at state.
The Panthers set a school record for most
wins (22) and best winning percentage (.880). They came within nine points of a
perfect 25-0 season. They came within one point of making the State 1A
championship game for the second time in three years.
It’s always sweet to win your final game,
and coach Dick Simpson’s Panthers (22-3) convincingly won their finale, a 61-49
runaway over Third District champion Cascade (21-5) Saturday in the third-place
game of the 16-team tournament in Caldwell.
This year’s Carey School boys’
basketball team poses for a photo last Tuesday in the Panther gym, one day
before they left for Caldwell to begin the 2003 State 1A tournament. From left,
Shawn Hennefer, K.C. Rivera, John Saili, Sean Cenarrusa, Robbie Ellsworth, Ty
Simmons, Seth Adamson, Destry Simpson, Blake Surerus and Kole Peck. Not shown
are Stephen Jurgensmeier and Joseph Patterson. Express photo by David N.
Along the way they won the Northside and
Fourth District championships, put together an 18-game winning streak, scored
nearly 60 points each game and limited opponents to a school-record 46.4 ppg.
"I felt the kids played great defense all
year," said coach Simpson. "They supported each other real well and were just a
great bunch of kids."
Carey opened the state tourney with a
gut-check 50-44 win over upset-minded Council last Wednesday. The Panthers
staked their claim to a trophy Thursday by prevailing in a 78-67 track meet over
the Sho-Ban Chiefs. It was easily the most entertaining game at the state
At 145 points of flash and gas and running
and gunning and yelling and screaming, it was also the highest-scoring game of
all 70 played by 48 schools at the state tourney.
Facing off against Nezperce Friday, Carey
had the ball and a one-point with time ticking away in a hard-fought contest,
but the Indians (21-6) plucked away a turnover and hit the offensive boards in
the closing moments for a 53-52 triumph.
It was a heartbreaking loss for Carey.
Afterward, coach Simpson told the downcast kids that they could show that they
were true champions by coming out strong in Saturday’s third-place game against
Simpson said, "I told them, you don’t win
this last one for the coaches or the fans, you win this last one for yourselves
and all the hard work over the season. And I think they did."
John Saili, Carey’s warrior in the paint
for four seasons, had perhaps his best game with a season-high 20 points (14-15
free throws) and 14 rebounds as the Panthers built a 35-21 halftime lead and
breezed to their 61-49 victory. Leading scorer Shawn Hennefer (15.6 ppg) added
"I was glad we came back ready to play on
Saturday," said coach Simpson. He summed up the season saying, "We had a pretty
The Castleford Wolves, the team Carey
wanted to play in the championship game to settle some old debts from football,
ended up as this year’s State 1A champion.
Castleford (25-3) beat Genesee by 13
points, Mackay by 7, Cascade by 11 and, in Saturday’s championship, Nezperce
64-59 for its first state title since 1990 and third overall. Senior star Elvis
Medina had 25 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists in the finale. In four games at
state he scored 83 points to average 20.8 ppg.
Not often does the Fourth District succeed
at state hoops. But this region had two state champs for the first time since
1986 when Declo (21-2) whipped Preston 70-46 for the 3A title behind 26 points
by senior Marc Christensen.
It was only the seventh time since 1964
that the Fourth District came away from the state basketball tournament with two
championships. Centennial (5A), Bonneville (4A) and Grace (2A) were the other
Scores and stats at state
Helping your teammates, picking up the
slack—stepping up when you’re needed—that’s what made Carey’s season and state
For instance, when sickness and the tough
box-and-one defense of 6-5 guard Jeremy Stoker hampered Carey’s 5-9 guard Shawn
Hennefer in the opener against Council, other Carey players came up big.
"Destry stepped up in the first half and
Ty in the second half," said coach Simpson.
Simpson scored 8 of his 16 points in the
second quarter when Carey built a 23-20 lead. Then Simmons scored all 17 of his
points including four 3-pointers after the half and Carey held off a very big
Council team 50-44.
"Council made a run at us in the second
half but our defense made the stops when we needed them," the coach said. Saili
pulled down 11 rebounds and did a fine job defending Council’s 6-6 Nick
Having watched Sho-Ban’s come-from-behind
60-52 victory over Shoshone, coach Simpson knew the Chiefs profited from their
defensive pressure and their ability to run and gun and freelance.
"We figured they would get us into a track
meet—they move the ball well and have a lot of weapons—but we also figured if we
took care of the ball against their press, we felt we could win," said Simpson.
Six different Panthers scored in the first
as Carey rallied into a 20-16 lead. In a game featuring 17 3-pointers, Simmons
showed he was on the mark with three 3-pointers in the second and Carey went
ahead 38-29 at intermission.
Foul-plagued Chiefs guard Alex Graves
returned to score all 14 of his points in the third as Sho-Ban made a run—but
Carey held off the Chiefs with rebounding (a 43-20 advantage), free throws and
team scoring. Six players scored in Carey’s 24-16 fourth quarter.
Simmons finished with a season-high 26
points. Hennefer (five 3s) bounced back with 17 points and 11 boards. Saili
dominated the paint with 13 points and 10 boards. Surerus added 8 points, 8
rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks.
Sho-Ban’s lefty forward Skyler Dixey had
18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 assists.
Although Carey shot 52% from the field in
the semi-final against Nezperce, the Panthers were hurt on the offensive boards
and there were some costly turnovers. Surerus led the way with 13 points and 11
rebounds. Simpson added 13.
Star for Nezperce was 6-2 senior wing Kyle
Rose with 23 points (4-9 3s) and 6 boards.
The finale against Cascade was a
resounding success. Carey out-rebounded the Ramblers 43-31 and held Cascade to
26% field goal shooting. The Panthers shot a season-best 20-of-25 from the free
throw line in their final game.
Stats and more:
Council game: Points—Simmons 17,
Simpson 16, Surerus 8, Hennefer 3, Ellsworth 3, Rivera 2, Saili 1. Rebounds
(31)—Saili 11, Hennefer 6, Surerus 5, Simmons 5, Simpson 4. Assists—Saili
4, Simmons 3, Simpson 3. Steals—Simpson 4, Hennefer 4. 3-pointers—Simmons
4, Simpson 3, Ellsworth 1. FG—42% (opponents 46%). Free throws—8-19
Sho-Ban game: Points—Simmons 26,
Hennefer 17, Saili 13, Surerus 8, Simpson 6, Ellsworth 6, Stephen Jurgensmeier
2. Rebounds (44)—Hennefer 11, Saili 10, Surerus 8, Jurgensmeier 5,
Simmons 5, Simpson 5. Assists—Simpson 8, Saili 3, Surerus 3. Steals—Saili
3, Hennefer 2. 3-pointers—Simmons 5, Hennefer 5. FG—45% (opponents
43%). Free throws—10-14 (6-14).
Nezperce game: Points—Simpson 13,
Surerus 13, Hennefer 12, Simmons 8, Saili 4, Rivera 2. Rebounds (22)—Surerus
11, Simpson 4. Assists—Hennefer 3. Steals—Rivera 3, Simpson 3.
3-pointers—Hennefer 2. FG—52% (opponents 42%). Free throws—6-11
Cascade game: Points—Saili 20,
Hennefer 18, Simpson 8, Ellsworth 5, Simmons 4, Rivera 2, Seth Adamson 2,
Surerus 2. Rebounds (43)—Saili 14, Surerus 8, Simmons 6, Simpson 5.
Assists—Ellsworth 3. Steals—Simpson 3, Hennefer 3. 3-pointers—Hennefer
3. FG—36% (opponents 26%). Free throws—20-25 (17-24).
Hennefer finished the season with 389 points (15.6 ppg) and 765 career points in
four years, good for #10 all-time….Saili (526 points in four years) and Simpson
(423 three years) also had fine Carey careers…Saili (179 points season, 8.1 ppg
average) averaged 9.5 ppg at state….Nezperce won the 1A Sportsmanship Trophy at
Second-leading scorer Ty Simmons ended 292
points (11.7 ppg) and averaged 13.8 ppg at state. Simpson (211 points for 8.4
ppg) also averaged a couple of points better than his season mark at state, at
10.8 ppg….Other Carey season scorers were Surerus 174 points for 7.0 ppg,
Ellsworth 76 points, Jurgensmeier 66, Rivera 47, Kole Peck 33, Seth Adamson 12,
Sean Cenarrusa 11 and Joseph Patterson 3….Carey is 217-99 in 13 seasons since
Remarkably, only twice in 25 games did
Carey trail at halftime—and Carey won both of those games going away, by 11 and
8 points…..The Panthers shot 240-451 (53%) for the season at the free throw
line, compared to 184-345 (53%) for Carey’s opponents. So Carey shot 106 more
free throws and made 56 more. At state Carey shot 64% free throws….Of Carey’s 95
3-pointers, Hennefer had 49, Simmons 29, Simpson 12 and Ellsworth 5….
Carey shot 43% from the field for the
season (32% 3-pointers) and opponents 34% (29% 3-pointers). The Panthers
outrebounded foes 844-714 led by Saili 160 (75 offensive), Surerus 158 (70
offensive), Simmons 131 and Hennefer 86….Surerus had 49 blocked shots…..Steals
leaders were Simpson 81, Hennefer 62 and Rivera 43….Assists leaders were Simpson
79, Hennefer 57 and Rivera 46….Carey averaged 14.8 turnovers a game, to 17.2 for
Panther boys, ‘Throats make All-Northside
Dick Simpson is top coach
Dominating the 2003-03 All-Northside Conference squads were
Carey School’s boys’ basketball team (22-3), third place in the State 1A
tournament, and The Community School of Sun Valley.
Carey’s Dick Simpson was named "Coach of the Year."
On the first team:
Shawn Hennefer and Destry Simpson of Northside Conference king
Carey; John Hayes of The Community School; and Tony Pereira and Mike Fitzgerald
of Northside runner-up Shoshone.
On the second team:
Ty Simmons of Carey; Dylan McIlhenny and Jim Fairchild of The
Community School; Flint Dill of Dietrich; and Victor Vasquez of Richfield.
Earning honorable mention were Blake Surerus and John Saili of
Carey; Ethan Weston of The Community School; Phil Royal of Shoshone; Tyler Brown
of Dietrich; Paul Ward of Richfield; Travis Kramer of Camas County; Jeff
Norstebon and Sam Bray of Bliss.
In other news:
Destry Simpson, Shawn Hennefer and John Saili were named to
the 1A/2A North-South All-Star game played Tuesday night at Valley in Hazelton.
Coach Dick Simpson was the coach for the game.
Hennefer also made the roster for the East/West All-Star
contest scheduled for Monday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Twin Falls High School.