They shot the lights out Friday and played great defense Saturday. The result was a second consecutive Murtaugh Tournament championship for the Carey School boys' varsity basketball team (2-3 overall).
Carey hammered Murtaugh 73-62 and surprised Valley of Hazelton 62-55 Saturday night.
"We had a good two days," said Carey coach Dick Simpson, whose Panther team duplicated its 2003 showing of back-to-back wins over the host Murtaugh team and Valley.
Friday, Carey secured its first win of the 2004-05 campaign by shooting 56% from the field (23-40 two-pointers, 7-14 three-pointers) in a 73-62 runaway victory over Murtaugh.
Leading scorer Tadd Green (21.8 ppg) equaled his season-best scoring total with 25 points and added 15 rebounds—13 on the defensive glass.
Green, a 6-3 junior, led four Carey players in double figures including Tyler Cook (14.4 ppg), who had a season-high 20 points including 6 threes. Cook posted a double-double with his 10 assists, plus 6 boards.
Allen Peck and Brad Hunt (5 rebounds), Carey sophomores, had season bests with 14 and 12 points. Devin Simpson added 6 rebounds.
"We just wore Murtaugh down," said coach Simpson. The Red Devil stars Bridger Ward (24 points) and Trent Cummins (18) got their points but Murtaugh couldn't match Carey in scoring depth.
In Friday's other game, the Valley Vikings pounded Dietrich 84-50, leading Simpson to believe that his Carey team would have a hard time matching up with the Viking size and ability in Saturday's title bout.
Simpson said, "Valley outsized us a little. But, like Rick Pitino says—if you have the desire and you can play above your level, you can beat a team with talent. We did know that we had all this week to rest.
"When we saw Valley play, they were very physical and up-tempo. I didn't think we could beat them. I just told the kids let's go out and have some fun. We played man-to-man the whole game and ran the floor hard. It helped we made the first four or five shots we took."
Although they shot just 37% from the field and 3-13 from three-point range for the game, the Panthers still came out strong and built a 31-20 half-time cushion. They almost put four in double figures again.
Green finished with 23 points, Allen Peck 13, Cook 10 and Simpson a season-best 9. Carey shot 11-for-18 at the charity stripe, a season high. Valley out-rebounded Carey 38-23, Green pulling down 7 boards, Cook 5 and Simpson 4.
But Carey's defense came up with 14 steals, Simpson (5) leading the way, and the Panthers also moved the ball well with 18 assists—Cook dishing out 7, Simpson 3 and Peck 3.
Devin Simpson's tough defense held Valley's Joe Miller, who scored 24 against Dietrich, to just 16 points. And Allen Peck was a tough defender against Valley's Chad Anderson, who had 14 against Dietrich and 5 against Carey.
One factor that showed Carey is still a young team: "We had 20-point leads in both games," Simpson said, and Carey settled for 11-point and 7-point wins. "But we are getting better toward the end of the games. We could be 4-1."
Carey visits Camas County Thursday, Dec. 16 for its first Northside Conference game of the season, then entertains The Community School Friday, Dec. 17 on the Panther floor. Clark County of Dubois arrives Saturday for a 6:30 p.m. contest.