Twenty-four hours after being spanked by undefeated and top-ranked Richfield in the Tiger den, the Carey School boys' basketball team dished out some punishment of its own to the visiting Oakley Hornets on the Panther hardwoods.
Senior D.J. Simpson (22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, three 3-pointers, 3 blocked shots) enjoyed another big game as his Panthers (9-2, 4-1 league) snapped a two-game losing skid with a come-from-behind 58-51 non-league win to sweep the season series with Oakley (4-5, 55.9 ppg).
Carey, starting quickly after being pounded 56-41 at Richfield Friday, built an 11-point lead over Oakley in the first quarter but couldn't make it last. Oakley took over on the boards in the third and ended the period with a 46-41 lead over #4-ranked 1A Carey.
Fortunately for coach Dick Simpson, the Panthers patiently attacked the Hornet zone defense and ran off an 8-0 run starting the fourth. Oakley went cold and Carey slowed down its offense effectively—icing it with a clutch Blake Whitby 3-pointer from the top of the key breaking a 51-51 tie with two minutes left.
They were Whitby's only points in a hard-fought game featuring seven ties and 13 lead changes.
"We picked up the intensity in the fourth quarter and finally got some rebounds," said coach Simpson. "We worked hard last night at Richfield and I think we let Oakley back into this game tonight. Still, it's our goal to win all our home games and half our road games so we're on track."
Carey improved its homecourt record to 5-0 and needed a Northside Conference win at Bliss Tuesday night to make it five road wins. The Panthers host Shoshone (4-6, 2-2 league) Friday, Jan. 11 in Carey.
Other Carey contributors were Trevor Peck (9 points, three 3s, 3 boards), Tyler Parke (10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists), Kade Peterson (9 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists), Heith Adamson (3 points, 3 boards), Whitby (3 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists) and Dillon Simpson (2 points).
Leading Oakley were Mitch Bedke (15 points, 11 boards), Payson Bedke (all 14 points in the first half) and Colton Bedke (10 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists). Carey outscored Oakley 17-5 in the fourth.
Thursday at Richfield, the #1-ranked host Tigers (10-0, 5-0 league) outscored the Panthers 18-9 in the fourth quarter for a 56-41 league victory. It was the lowest-scoring effort so far for Carey (53.8 ppg). D.J. Simpson had 14 points and Parke 11.