Friday, March 3, 2006

Genesee Bulldogs burst Carey's state bubble

Fourth District teams take tumble at state hoops

Carey's Tadd Green rises above Genesee's Warren Booth in the first round of the State 1A boys' basketball tournament in Caldwell on Wednesday. Photo by David N. Seelig

This week's State 1A boys' basketball tournament is being staged in the growing southwestern Idaho city of Caldwell, but northern Idaho teams played like Caldwell was home-sweet-home Wednesday.

Genesee, Post Falls Christian, defending State 1A champion Troy and Lapwai all earned first-round victories in the 16-team small-school tourney being played through Saturday at Vallivue High School gym.

Throw in a couple of first-round wins by eastern Idaho squads Mackay and Sho-Ban, and two by southwestern Idaho powers Cascade (24-0) and Notus (23-2), and you start wondering what happened to the five Fourth District teams at state.

Check the consolation bracket.

Starting with Carey's 63-38 loss to Genesee in Wednesday's opener at Vallivue, all five Fourth District teams lost in their all-important first games—Richfield 54-41 to Post Falls Christian, Hagerman 63-55 to Lapwai, Oakley 67-28 to #1 Cascade and Castleford 67-42 to Notus.

The average loss differential? 22 points. Ouch.

Carey's 25-point loss to Genesee (21-4) was particularly painful, since the Panthers (22-2) entered the double elimination tournament with a 14-game winning streak and seemed poised to make some noise led by seniors Tadd Green and Tyler Cook.

You could safely say that Carey was well scouted, though, since one of Genesee's coaches is Josh Uhrig, who played for coach Larry Messick in Shoshone and is the nephew of Wood River High School coach Fred Trenkle. Uhrig is the son of former Wood River cage player Scott Uhrig.

Genesee, conqueror of #2-ranked Nezperce in Saturday's state play-in game at Lewiston, came out like gangbusters against Carey. The Bulldogs shot 55% from the field in the first half including 6-for-12 from 3-point range and grabbed a 40-20 half-time lead over stunned Carey.

They did it with a Shoshone-like four-corners deliberate offense that was calculated to find the open man on cuts and on kick-out passes to the perimeter shooter. Carey initially tried its zone defense. That didn't work. The Panthers went to man-to-man. And that didn't work either.

Genesee was on fire offensively and the Bulldogs (16-1 second chance points) crashed the offensive boards. For the game Genesee out-rebounded Carey 36-21 and piled up a heady total of 18 assists.

Defensively, the Bulldogs threw a trapping full-court press at Carey from the outset. The press was one thing that greatly concerned Panther coach Dick Simpson. His team, lacking a true point guard in its considerable arsenal, hadn't seen many presses and had cruised unbeaten through its conference and district.

Suddenly, Genesee was in Carey's face. The sight wasn't pretty. The Panthers committed five turnovers in the first quarter, eight in the initial 12 minutes. Final totals for points-off-turnovers favored Genesee 19-6. Carey (0-for-11 from 3-point range compared to 30% for the season) never got in its offensive rhythm.

The saving grace for Carey was senior post Tadd Green, who played very hard, wire-to-wire. Green (18.1 ppg) finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-for-14 field goal shooting plus 4 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.

In the first half alone, Green scored 16 of Carey's 20 points. For the game Cook (15.3 ppg) was held to 7 points (0-for-8 from 3-point range) while Allen Peck (1 point, 4 assists), Bryan Hill (2 points, 2 steals) and D.J. Simpson (2 points, 3 boards, 2 assists) also contributed.

Meanwhile, the deep Genesee squad put four players in double figures led by 6-4 junior Ray Stout (21 points, 10 rebounds), junior guard Justin Udy (13 points, three 3-pointers, 3 assists), senior Andrew Quint (10 points, 3 boards) and senior Jesse Ford (10 points, 3 assists).

Wednesday's outcomes set up several dandy winner bracket match-ups for Thursday night, including Genesee against the Sho-Ban Chiefs, Lapwai meeting Mackay and undefeated Cascade going against Notus.

Carey tried to stay alive against Horseshoe Bend (13-10) Thursday afternoon. By winning that game, Carey would have earned a match-up against the Richfield-Council winner today, Friday at 10 a.m. at Vallivue High School. The best Carey can do is make the consolation championship Saturday at 9 a.m. at Vallivue.

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