The Carey Panthers are going to have to settle for just one state championship this year, after falling to the Genesee Bulldogs in the opening round of the state 1A high school basketball tournament Wednesday in Caldwell.
The Bulldogs, who now post a season record of 23-1, were the state's top-ranked 1A team going into the tournament. They showed why in dominating the 20-5 Panthers by a score of 61-38.
"Genesee's a good team," said Carey coach Dick Simpson. They had a big kid inside and we couldn't stop him—and we didn't shoot the ball too well."
Simpson was referring to 6-6 senior post Ray Stout, who scored 29 points for the Bulldogs and pulled down 16 rebounds.
"We worked hard, we hustled hard, but we just couldn't get the ball to fall," Simpson said.
The Panthers, who won a 1A eight-man state football title earlier this school year, were able to connect on only on 13 of 48 field goal attempts against Genesee. Senior Brad Hunt scored 16 points to lead the Panthers and senior Allen Peck followed with 10. Junior D.J. Simpson added seven points to the Panther effort.
The Bulldogs took the game over early, leading 15-3 at the end of the first period. A valiant second quarter drive by the Panthers narrowed the gap, but they still trailed 25-17 at half.
But the third period was the Panther's undoing, when the Bulldogs outscored them 25-8 to lead 50-25 at the end of the frame.
Carey was one of four Magic Valley Conference teams that qualified for the 16-team 1A tournament held in Caldwell at Vallivue and Caldwell high schools. Of the four, the Hagerman Pirates were the only winners, staying in contention for a state title by beating the Tri-Valley Titans 63-58. The Richfield Tigers fell 64-51 to the Greenleaf Friends Grizzlies and the Murtaugh Red Devils lost 72-65 to the Coeur d'Alene Charter Panthers.
In other opening round games Notus defeated Mackay 52-39, Council defeated Troy 58-56, Sho-Ban defeated Clark Fork 58-46 and Cascade defeated Lapwai 60-38.
Tournament play continued Thursday with second round matchups. In the consolation bracket, Carey played Clark Fork, Richfield played Mackay and Murtaugh played Troy. On the other side of the column, Hagerman took on Cascade
Third round games are set for today, with finals scheduled for Saturday. The latest tournament results can be found at www.idhssa.org.