Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Two Northside wins secure state for Carey girls

Panther JV takes Northside title

Courtesy photo by John Peck Carey School senior Kayla Bailey gets in the middle of things during the Panther tournament victory over Dietrich Friday.

It's not easy for a Blaine County girls' basketball team to earn a berth in the state basketball tournament. And making the state trip for two straight years—that's pretty unprecedented in the county.

But that's what the #3-seeded Carey High School girls' varsity squad achieved Friday with a 48-36 victory over host Dietrich in the semi-final game of the six-team Northside Conference tournament, on the Dietrich court.

Carey (13-7), winning for the ninth time in its last 11 games, outscored #2-seeded Dietrich 26-15 in the middle quarters and earned a ticket to the Northside championship game against unbeaten Richfield.

Junior Jessica Parke (13 points) and senior Kelsey Green (12) led Carey, supported by Amy Ellsworth (8), Shelby Hansen (7) and Kayla Bailey (4). Carey, a 44% free throw shooting team, shot a season-best 14-for-21 (67%) from the charity stripe.

Twice a winner over Carey this season, Dietrich was a wounded team, playing Friday without its senior star and former Carey student Jesse Dill (rib injury) and junior Halie Stoddard (knee). Both were injured during Dietrich's 53-33 season-ending road loss at Richfield Feb. 2.

Since the top three Northside squads go to the eight-team State 1A Division 2 tournament Feb. 19-21 in Nampa, Carey and Richfield earned automatic state berths—Carey (13-10 last season, 1-2 state) securing a second straight state berth for the first time in school history.

"We were so excited. It was a lot of fun. The girls got me totally wet," said Durtschi about the traditional celebration.

Two-time defending Northside champion Richfield (21-0), a 55-24 winner over #4-seeded Camas County earlier Friday, will square off against Carey for this year's Northside bragging rights Friday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. on the Dietrich floor.

Whichever team wins the Carey-Richfield clash will take the top District 4 seed into the upcoming state meet. The loser returns to Dietrich Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. to play the survivor of Friday's loser-out game between Dietrich (16-6) and Camas (11-8). Saturday's game will be played for state seeding purposes.

Carey, seeking the fifth state berth in Panther annals, opened Thursday with a 53-22 win over #6 Magic Valley Christian. There were seven scorers—Parke and Green with 12 points apiece, Ellsworth 8, Kelsey Reynolds 8, Hansen 8, Chelsey Hunt 3 and Bailey 2.

Carey JV wins tourney

Coach Ron Martinez's #3-seeded Carey girls' junior varsity (7-6) won the Northside JV tournament Saturday at Dietrich with a 27-23 victory over top-seeded Richfield.

Martinez said, "The girls played incredibly well. They never gave up. It was a team effort, and they put together a great game against Richfield."

Wing Micaela Adamson (12 points) and Candace Hennefer (10) led Carey, helped by point guard Nicky Gomez (4) and Aimee Rodriquez (2).

In Friday's semi-final game, Carey nipped #2-seeded Community School of Sun Valley by a 28-27 score. Panther scorers were Adamson 12, Gomez 4, Hennefer 4, Shurresa Rodriguez 2, Aimee Rodriquez 2, Gabby Mares 2 and Darby Northcott 1. Other Carey players were Kelly Patterson, Taylor Castle, Ashley Durtschi, Jaide Parke, Erika Zarate and Charmaine Kirkland.

Check the Feb. 18 Local Life for a Carey JV team photo.

WRHS girls make progress on the hardwoods

A season of progress came to an end Thursday for the rebuilding Wood River High School girls' varsity basketball team during the four-team Great Basin West tournament.

Coach Mendy Benson's youthful Wolverines got off to a slow start trailing 14-4 in the first period of its loser-out game at Rupert against #3-seeded Minico. Wood River rallied to force a closer contest before Minico won 42-37.

Wood River (5-16) ended its 2008-09 campaign with more than twice as many wins as its previous year. More progress: Offense was up two points, defense was eight points stingier and free throw shooting was an impressive 58%, up 4%.

Leading scorer Kaitana Martinez (10.8 ppg, 13 games in double figures) finished with 12 points in the loss to Minico. Another promising freshman and one of the team's top charity shooters, Cheyanne Swanson, came up big with 11 points in the 48-32 loss to Burley.

Coach Benson said, "Our teams made huge strides this season. For the first time in many years, the program was able to have three levels of competition. Kevin Stilling's junior varsity team had a 17-3 season and J.C. Nemecek's freshmen team finished 8-8.

"What makes the freshmen and JV seasons even more impressive was the fact that there were two freshmen on varsity and two on JV. So the future is definitely bright for Wood River girls' basketball.

"The improvements on the varsity team were tremendous. The girls were a joy to coach.

"They sacrificed in practice, learned a new system of fundamentals, learned how to communicate on and off the floor and developed life skills that will make them successful in their chosen endeavors. Their 'buy-in' to a new coach and her philosophy was greatly appreciated and will be the building blocks for further success."

Wood River's team banquet is Wednesday, Feb. 18.

Second-seeded Jerome (19-4) repeated its GBW tournament title Monday with a 62-33 championship game victory over top-seeded Burley (18-6). Burley eliminated Minico (10-13) by a 47-33 score Saturday.

Final WRHS statistics—Overall record: 5-16 (3-6 home, 2-10 away, 0-6 league). Offense: 702 points (33.4 ppg). Defense: 860 points (41.0 ppg). Individual scoring: Kaitana Martinez 226 points (10.8), Grace Lagodich 130 (6.2), Monica Garceau 107 (5.1), Cheyanne Swanson 66 (3.2), Alex Lindbloom 48, Sam Engel 48, Taylor Hayes 30, Angela Coleman 28, Tristin Bowers 8, Madison Gove 5, Brooke Bowers 3, Jade Glenn 3. Free throws: 146-254, 58%; opponents 193-335, 58%.

WRHS boys look ahead to GBW tourney

It's been a rough regular-season assignment for the Wood River High School boys' varsity basketball team, but coach John Radford is hopeful the Wolverines can put their lessons to work in the Great Basin Conference West tournament starting Feb. 17.

Wood River (2-13, 0-5 league) has four games in its final week including the "Senior Night" Valentine's Day 5 p.m. home engagement with Mountain Home (7-9) Saturday,

Feb. 14 in Hailey. Saluted will be Michale Brunker, Greg Wakefield, Sean Bunce, Bryan Tidwell and Brent Hope.

The Wolverines dropped a 56-35 GBW game at Burley Friday night. Tidwell (10 points), Brunker (8), Hope (6), Wakefield (6), Stone Sutton (3) and Kevin Jensen (2) were the Hailey scorers. Burley led 41-18 after three and cruised to the win, then dropped a close 59-55 road game to #1-ranked 3A Fruitland Saturday.

After battling Pocatello (6-11) Tuesday night and trying to narrow the gap from its 27-point home loss to the Indians Dec. 10, Wood River finishes its GBW league slate Thursday, Feb. 12 in a make-up game against Minico (7-11, 2-3) at Rupert.

Next Tuesday, fourth-seeded Wood River will open the GBW tournament at Idaho 4A #2-ranked Jerome (17-2, 6-0 league). Two-time defending league champ Burley (8-11, 3-3) and Minico will face off the same night in the other opening-round contest. The state-qualifying GBW tournament continues Thursday, Feb. 19.

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