Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Carey?s in the hunt with Murtaugh tourney win

Big weekend for Brad Hunt in tournament

Brad Hunt didn't score much in Carey School's first three boys' basketball games of the season, but he made up for lost time during the four-team Murtaugh tournament.

Hunt, a talented Panther senior who has struggled with injuries the past two seasons, erupted for 41 points in Carey's 66-64 and 66-44 victories over Dietrich and Valley that gave Carey its second consecutive Murtaugh tournament title.

The 5-10 senior wears #2 on his uniform jersey but he was #1 to Carey faithful Friday and Saturday at Murtaugh, where Hunt nearly equaled his entire 49-point output achieved during Carey's 24-3 state tournament season of 2006.

Hunt scored only 12 points in Carey's first three games, although he started warming up with a gritty 10-point effort in Carey's 66-59 title game loss to the #2-ranked Challis Vikings Dec. 2 in the Carey Holiday Tournament finale.

At Murtaugh, however, Hunt was on fire from the field, hitting 20 of his 33 shots (61%).

No one was happier for Hunt that coach Dick Simpson, who wanted to come out of his team's early-season tournament stretch with a first place to go with the second at Carey.

But a championship game berth almost didn't happen.

Simpson's Panthers had a tough back-and-forth game against Dietrich (1-5, 0-1) Friday yet hung on for the two-point triumph behind 20 points by Hunt, 11 by Allen Peck, 10 by D.J. Simpson, 9 by Cody Baird, 8 by Tyler Parke and 8 by James Carlson. Dietrich's Dakota Norman had 17.

Carey shot 38% from the field including 14% from 3-point territory. Parke (15 rebounds) was big on the boards helped by Carlson (7 rebounds) and Simpson (4 assists, 3 blocks) did well off the ball.

Simpson's squad drew Valley (1-3) for Saturday's title game after the Vikings handled Murtaugh (2-2) by a score of 63-51 Friday. The Panthers had the hot hand early, shooting 50% in taking an overwhelming 39-13 halftime lead.

Hunt ended with 21 points and 16 rebounds against Valley. Peck (four 3s weekend) added 18 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals, 3 assists in a fine overall effort.

Other Carey contributors were Simpson 10 points, 9 rebounds (7 offensive), 3 blocks and 3 steals; Parke 7 points and 6 rebounds; Kyle Brooks 3 points; Carlson 3 points and 4 rebounds; Kade Peterson 2 points and Blake Whitby 2. Valley's Jordan Bruning scored 13.

Murtaugh beat Dietrich 63-48 for the consolation title.

Its early-season tournaments done, Carey (4-1, 0-0) opens its Northside Conference title defense with games Thursday, Dec. 14 against Camas County (1-4, 0-2) in Fairfield and at home Friday, Dec. 15 hosting The Community School (3-2, 0-1 league).

Home games against familiar Murtaugh tournament opponents Dietrich and Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 19-20 finish the pre-Christmas schedule for Carey.

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