Having a basketball team which hums like a well-oiled machine has Carey boys' basketball coach Dick Simpson purring like a kitten these days.
Okay, that is a stretch, but Simpson sounded pretty happy talking about his undefeated team winning its third consecutive title at the Murtaugh Holiday Tournament Saturday.
"We played pretty well," Simpson remarked. "Of course, there is room for improvement, but we'll take it."
In their opening game on Friday, the 1A Panthers never trailed the Valley Vikings, and wound up winning 64-48, against a squad that plays in the 2A classification.
"Valley is a step above us and to beat them was really good," Simpson said.
Playing nearly error-free basketball (3 turnovers) in the first half, Carey led 31-22 at intermission. Utilizing a full-court press, Valley cut the deficit to five at one point, but could not capitalize from the charity stripe, shooting 3-of-16 from the line.
"They missed some shots, which allowed us to regain our composure," Simpson said.
Senior guard Tyler Cook sunk five 3-pointers in a game-high 28-point performance. Cook is currently dropping in 52 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Allen Peck nailed 18 points and was 2-for-2 beyond 19-9 feet.
The guards also had the comfort of knowing 6-3 senior Tadd Green was patrolling the inside to grab any misses. On Friday, Green picked up 19 of Carey's 39 rebounds. Peck pulled down seven boards.
Also in the point column: Cody Baird 8, Green 5, D.J. Simpson 2, Tyler Parke 2, and James Carlson 1.
In Saturday's championship contest against Murtaugh, Simpson said his team came out "playing really good defense," and they were not too shabby on offense either, outscoring the Red Devils 20-6 in the first frame.
"We created a lot of downhill for them and it was uphill for us," Simpson said.
Shooting a paltry 25 percent from the field, the Red Devils never posted more than six points in a quarter and Carey sprinted out to a 65-23 victory.
Guards Cook and Peck had the green light all night, and the pair popped for eight treys, Cook nailed six and Peck two.
"They (Murtaugh) never got the three's covered," Simpson said. "We like to play a little inside-out and if they give it to us we'll take it."
Carey outrebounded Murtaugh 32-21 with Green grabbing 10 and Baird six.
Three Panthers posted double digits: Cook 19, Green 18 and Peck 10. Baird scored 6, Tyler Parke 4, D.J. Simpson 2, Ben Neilson 2, James Carlson 2, and Bryan Hill 2.
Carey (5-0) faces its first conference opponents of the season with games against Camas County (2-1) and The Community School (1-3) this week.
The Panthers host the Mushers this Thursday, Dec. 15 and take on the Cutthroats at the Fish Tank on Friday, Dec. 16.