Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Carey boys are targets on the court

Northside foes aim for two-time champ Panthers


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

Coach Dick Simpson's Carey School boys' varsity basketball team has been bulletproof the last two winters in the Northside Conference.

The Panthers have run off a 28-0 streak against league foes and won two straight Northside and Fourth District titles.

But things could be different during the 2004-05 cage campaign because the Panthers have no seniors out of the 27 boys practicing in the ninth through 11th grades. And seniors mean plenty, especially in the post-season.

Fourth-year varsity coach Simpson (68-11), the Northside Conference "Coach of the Year," for two years running, said, "We're a little short on experience—we have all juniors and sophomores on varsity—and we're not real tall."

That puts Carey at a disadvantage when compared with the 2004 state qualifier Richfield Tigers, with seven seniors including the conference's top player, Victor Vasquez. Camas County has height, senior leadership and motivation from its state football run.

You might as well throw the ball up for the opening tip-off, let it rip and let the chips fall where they may.

Carey opens its 20-game schedule tonight, Wednesday with home non-conference games against the Oakley Hornets, and then has two more games this weekend in the Carey Holiday Tournament Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4 on Panther floor.

It's not like Carey has nothing back, even though the Panthers graduated a great shooter in Ty Simmons (483 points, 19.3 ppg, 775 points two seasons) and a great rebounder in Blake Surerus (10.2 ppg). They led Carey to two straight 22-3 campaigns.

Carey, which averaged 64.9 ppg on offense last winter and 50.4 ppg defense, returns its second-leading scorer in junior Tadd Green (12.7 ppg and 17.0 ppg during the state tournament) and its fourth-best scorer in junior Tyler Cook (10.1 ppg, 64 3-pointers).

Simpson (71-9 as coach the last four years including an undefeated JV season in 2001) said, "I do have pretty good shooters. Tadd and Tyler both have good outside shots. But we're so short, I think we'll have to play more up-tempo than in the past.

"We're looking at some real run-and-gun. I'm hoping we get 60 to 70 shots a game. If we do that and shoot 40% we'll be in the ball game."

That is, until Carey comes up against Shoshone and coach Larry Messick's disciplined slowdown offense. Simpson acknowledged that the slowdown tends to frustrate an up-tempo team, and Carey might be lucky to score 40 points.

Further challenges will come from Richfield and Camas County.

Simpson said, "Probably the dominant horse in the league this year is Richfield, with Victor Vasquez and a decent JV from last year. Camas has a new coach and they played a little summer ball and they will improve.

"We do have a problem with tall kids when we come up against a big team like Camas and Richfield. We'll probably have to go to zone defense in games like that, but the kids are playing pretty good defense right now."

Reigning Northside varsity and JV champion Carey, Richfield, Camas County and JV runner-up Shoshone aren't the only threats in the seven-team Northside league this winter—although The Community School will be down after its school-best 21-7 year.

Simpson said, "Bliss will be in there. They didn't really lose anyone. Really, on any given day anyone can get beat in our league. It's harder this year because you have to be #1 or #2 out of the conference to get to state. Last year we had three at state.

"We have two goals—win all our home games and half of our road games. When it comes down to it, all we can hope for is we play our best."

Besides 6-3 post Green and 5-9 wing Cook, Carey's seven juniors include 5-9 point guard/post Devin Simpson, 5-7 guard Bryan Hill, 5-11 forward Luke Harmon, Nathan Foster and 6-3 post Ben Neilson.

Devin Simpson is one of Carey's most versatile players, since he can handle the point and he's also a strong kid who can jump. He'll share the point with 5-6 sophomore Allen Peck.

The other sophs, and they're good ones, are 5-7 guard/forward Brad Hunt, 5-6 guard/forward Cody Baird and 5-8 forward/wing James Carlson. They helped Carey's JV beat Shoshone 52-46 in the championship—after a heart-stopping 46-45 win over Camas.

One thing's for sure—Carey will win more games than it loses. The Panthers, who had a 19-game winning streak last winter that approached the school-record 21-game winning streak of 1999, are 239-102 in 14 seasons since 1991.

Carey's junior varsity is coached for the second year by 1999 Panther graduate Danny Simpson. On the team are D.J. Simpson, Connor Rivera, Blake Whitby, Tyler Parke, Tyler Wilde, Jordon Surerus, Moj Broadie, Paul Murphy, Kade Peterson, Josh Neilson, Scott Ellsworth and Nathan Lichuck.

Carey holiday tournament

After kicking off its 20-game regular-season schedule tonight at home against the Oakley Hornets, the Carey boys move into the four-school Carey Holiday Tournament.

The boys' and girls' tournament opens Friday, Dec. 3 in both Carey gyms. The Panther boys' varsity plays Challis Friday at 8 p.m. in the new gym while the Carey JV boys tip off against Challis at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the old gym.

Mackay and Hansen are the other teams at the invitational. Carey's girls take on Challis at 5 p.m. Friday in the new gym.

Last year Carey's varsity defeated Challis 67-52 in the first round but, for the second straight year, Carey fell to Mackay in the championship game, this time by a score of 71-58. The Carey JV boys won their tourney 51-48 (OT) over Mackay, and Hansen nipped Carey's girls varsity 50-43.


2004-05 Carey Boys Basketball Schedule

A total 20 games on the regular-season schedule for the 2004-05 Carey boys' varsity cagers; 10 home and 10 away. All home games at Carey School gym. Of the 20 games, 12 are Northside Conference contests. All home varsity games in bold. In general, starting times are 6 p.m. JV and 7:30 p.m. varsity. When the girls and boys play on the same night, the boys' JV starts at 4:30 p.m., the girls' varsity at 6 p.m. and the boys' varsity at 7:30 p.m.

DATE, DAY...OPPONENT...LOCATION

Dec. 1, Wednesday...Oakley...Home, 6:00/7:30

Dec. 3, Friday...Carey Holiday Tourney (JV/V)...Home, 6:30/8:00

Dec. 4, Saturday...Carey Holiday Tourney (JV/V)...Home, 6:30/8:00

Dec. 9, Thursday...ISDB (JV)...Gooding, 7:30

Dec. 10, Friday...Murtaugh tournament (V)...Murtaugh, TBA

Dec. 11, Saturday...Murtaugh tournament (V)...Murtaugh, TBA

Dec. 16, Thursday...Camas County*...Fairfield, 4:30/7:30

Dec. 17, Friday...Community School*...Home, 4:30/7:30

Dec. 18, Saturday...Clark County (V)...Home, 5:00

Dec. 21, Tuesday...Dietrich*...Away, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 4, Tuesday...Bliss*...Away, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 7, Friday...Richfield*...Away, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 8, Saturday...Oakley...Away, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 11, Tuesday...Bliss*...Home, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 13, Thursday...ISDB (JV)...Home, 7:30

Jan. 14, Friday...Shoshone*...Home, 4:30/7:30

Jan. 15, Saturday...Hansen...Away, 4:30/7:30

Jan. 21, Friday...Camas County*...Home, 4:30/7:30

Jan. 25, Tuesday...Comm. School*...Sun Valley, 6:00/7:30

Jan. 28, Friday...Dietrich*...Home, 6:00/7:30

Feb. 1, Tuesday...Richfield*...Home, 6:00/7:30

Feb. 4, Friday...Shoshone*...Away, 6:00/7:30

Feb. 10, Thursday...Northside 1A Sub-District (V/JV)...Shoshone

Feb. 14, Monday...Northside 1A finals...Shoshone

Feb. 24, Thursday...Fourth District 1A finals...Shoshone

March 2, Wednesday...State 1A tournament...Caldwell


NOTES— At the Carey Holiday Tournament, Carey's varsity plays Challis the first night, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. in the new gym, with the winner going against the winner of Hansen and Mackay for the championship Dec. 4. The Carey JV starts off against Challis Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the old gym....The 2005 Northside 1A Sub-District boys' BB tournament is Feb. 10-12 and Feb. 14-15 at Shoshone High School, followed by the state-qualifying Fourth District 1A finals Thursday, Feb. 24 at Shoshone. The combined Northside/Southside gets four berths to state, with the Northside assured of state berths for its top two teams....The 16-team 1A boys' tournament is March 2-5, 2005 at Vallivue (March 2-5) and Caldwell (March 2-3) high schools in Caldwell.




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