Carey School boys' and girls' basketball teams knew they'd have a couple of tough games Tuesday night when they traveled for Northside Conference games to the always-tough gym of the Dietrich Blue Devils.
They were right on.
Dietrich's boys (17-for-25 free throws), led by 22 points from senior Jaren Stoddard, overcame a 26-18 halftime deficit to nip the Panther boys 58-55.
The #3-ranked 1A Division 2 Blue Devils (4-1, 3-0 league) outscored Carey by seven points in the final eight minutes to set up tonight's home clash against top-ranked Richfield (5-0, 3-0) on the same Dietrich floor.
Coach Dick Simpson's Panthers (3-2, 1-2) put three players in double figures with Trevor Peck a season-high 15 points, Brett Adamson 12 and Dillon Simpson 11, but they couldn't hold the lead against Dietrich.
The Panthers hosted The Community School (2-2, 2-0) Thursday and finish up their pre-Christmas schedule tonight at Valley (3-3), a 63-50 home loser to Kimberly Wednesday.
In Tuesday's girls' varsity preliminary, Carey was the team that stitched together the late rally but the Panthers fell to Dietrich 40-37. Coach Lane Durtschi's Panthers trailed 33-20 entering the fourth period and outscored the Devils 17-7 in the final eight minutes—eventually tying the game 37-37.
Jessica Parke (14 points), Amy Ellsworth (10), Kelsey Green (6) and Kayla Bailey (5) were the top Carey scorers. Dietrich's Jesse Dill (15 points) led all scorers for the night.
Carey (4-4, 3-2 league) faces another tough test at Valley (8-3) tonight, Friday in a rematch of the Carey Holiday Tournament title game won by the Vikings 45-41 Dec. 6. Meanwhile, #4-ranked Dietrich (6-2, 3-0 league) hosted top-ranked Richfield (9-0, 3-0) Thursday night to settle the top league spot.