When you're dealing with the highly regarded Valley Vikings girls' basketball team, you've got to deal with its strong senior 6-0 post player Katie Hall. But Valley showed Saturday night in Carey that it isn't a one-dimensional squad.
The Vikings have numbers.
Valley (6-1) stormed back from an eight-point halftime deficit to slip past Carey 45-41 in the championship game of the Carey Holiday Tournament, at Carey School gym. It was Valley's first title in the Carey Holiday Touranment.
In foul trouble, Hall (10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) didn't score as Valley out-pointed Carey 18-10 in the fourth. But Hall tallied six points in the third when Valley started to make its move.
Valley also got plenty of production from senior Camelle Sizemore (8 points, 14 rebounds) and junior Alyssa Henry (10 points, 3 boards, 3 steals, 2 assists). They scored nine of Valley's 18 points in the fourth, Sizemore had six huge boards in the stanza and Henry sank 4-of-5 at the charity line.
Coach Lane Durtschi's well-balanced and deep Panthers were hurt by too many turnovers (27 to Valley's 18) and too few trips to the charity stripe (Carey was 6-for-12 and Valley ended up 17-for-36). But 1A Division 2 Carey made a good run at upsetting a solid 2A squad.
Leading the way was senior Kelsey Green (12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals).
And the board duties were well distributed. Carey out-rebounded Valley 36-28 thanks to five boards by Amy Ellsworth (7 points, 5 steals) and four rebounds apiece by seven different players.
Ellsworth made three straight free throws in the final minute of Saturday's game as Carey tied it 40-40 and trailed by 42-41 with 23 seconds left. But Valley's Ashley Kraus made a huge steal on a Carey inbounds and Henry pulled down a rebound to preserve it.
Carey stats were Chelsey Hunt (two 3-pointers, 3 rebounds), Jenni Murphy (5 points, 4 boards), Jessica Parke (5 points, 4 rebounds), Taylor Whitby (4 points, 4 boards), Shelby Hansen (2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals), Kayla Bailey (4 rebounds, 2 assists) and Kelsey Reynolds (4 boards). Three Panthers fouled out—Parke, Ellsworth and Bailey.
In the end, Carey settled for its seventh runner-up finish in the 13 years the tourney has been contested.
Friday, Carey advanced into the championship game with a 43-38 win over Hagerman. Eight Panthers scored with Parke (10 points) leading the way. Others were Whitby 7, Ellsworth 7, Green 6, Hansen 6, Bailey 3, Hunt 2 and Murphy 2. Kaitlyn Nebeker (8) led Hagerman.
While Carey was beating Hagerman, Valley was taking care of. Challis 51-42 Friday night—Katie Hall scoring 20 points for the winners.
Taking third place was Challis with a 53-37 win over Hagerman Saturday in the old Carey gym. And, in the girls' JV tournament, Valley won over Hagerman. Challis beat Carey in the consolation final.
Carey (3-2, 2-0 league) played at Fairfield against Camas County (3-1, 1-1) on Tuesday night, then the Panthers visit unbeaten Richfield (4-0, 1-0 league, averaging 73.0 ppg) on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.
Adding two forfeit wins because Murtaugh dropped its girls' basketball program, Carey's season mark improved to 5-2 and 4-0 league—but all the other league teams improved with two wins as well.