Carey School boys' varsity basketball players took some consolation from their effort in the final two games of last week's State 1A Division 2 tournament in Caldwell. In fact, they took home a trophy.
The youthful Panthers (21-6), shrugging off a poor shooting performance in Thursday's 20-point first-round loss to Nezperce, bounced back with 72-66 and 56-52 wins over Dietrich and Summit Academy of Cottonwood Friday and Saturday.
So, after three straight years of losing its final game at state in the 1A consolation game, coach Dick Simpson's Panthers came home with only the second state consolation championship in school history. Carey also won consolation in 1993.
Not bad for a slow-starting Panther group that came off an undefeated state championship eight-man football season and started its basketball campaign 4-3—only to win 17 of its final 20 games including the final basketball game of the year.
Led by Idahosports.com "Player of the Game" Trevor Peck (18 points, four 3-pointers), Carey clinched its fourth consecutive 20-win season with Friday's 72-66 semi-final victory that evened the season series with Dietrich (16-9) at two games apiece—all settled by six points or fewer.
The Division 2 champion was something of a surprise.
Twice a loser to Carey by 11-point and 14-point margins during the season, the Cinderella Mackay Miners (18-6) won the championship Saturday at The Idaho Center in Nampa with a 54-50 win over top-ranked Garden Valley (21-4). Mackay also beat Summit Academy 42-41 and Richfield 61-60 in overtime.
Nezperce (15-11) defeated Northside Conference champion Richfield (20-5) by a 65-51 score for third place Saturday.
In Thursday's opener, Carey shot 25% from the field (3-for-23 from 3-point range) compared to Nezperce's 43% field goal shooting. That told the story of Nezperce's 64-44 win. Trevor Peck and Brett Adamson scored 14 and 10 points apiece. Heith Adamson (8 points, 11 rebounds) excelled on the glass.
Win-or-go home was the theme of Friday's grudge match against Dietrich. And Carey did it as a team, putting four players in double figures—Trevor Peck 18 points, Dillon Simpson 15, Brett Adamson 13 and Wacey Barg 13. The Panthers also made a season high 19 free throws, outscoring Dietrich by six at the stripe.
Trevor Peck (4-for-5 from 3-point range) killed Dietrich from the arc, while Simpson (10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) and Barg (9 rebounds) played key supporting roles. Jaren Stoddard (21) led the Devils.
Carey started and finished strong in Saturday's consolation final against Summit Academy (18-12). It was close all the way, but Trevor Peck (20 points, 3 assists, 3 steals) was on his game. So were Heith Adamson (10 points, 10 boards) and Simpson (7 points, 6 boards, 5 assists, 6 steals).
In post-season All-Star games, Heith Adamson, Kelsey Green, Kayla Bailey and Shelby Hansen were on the rosters for Tuesday's 2A/1A classics at Shoshone, and Adamson and Wood River's Bryan Tidwell will play for the East in the District Four All-Star game Thursday at Twin Falls High.
Other state results: Genesee (25-0) won its second 1A title in three years 54-41 over Prairie (19-7) with Hagerman (23-5) third; Firth (22-4) captured its third consecutive 2A title 49-42 over Aberdeen (21-6), with Glenns Ferry (21-7) in third;
Shelley (17-11) earned its second 3A title in three years 49-39 over defending champ Fruitland (22-3); Skyview of Nampa (26-0) won a thrilling 59-58 overtime game over Pocatello (14-15) in 4A, with Jerome (24-3) third; and Lewiston (22-4) took its first basketball crown since 1948 in 5A, 60-51 over Madison (17-10).
Final Carey season statistics: Record 21-6 (13-2 home, 8-5 away, 11-3 league). Offense: 1503 points (55.7 ppg). Defense: 1220 (45.2 ppg).
Individual scoring: Brett Adamson 363 points (13.4 ppg, 22 games in double figures); Trevor Peck 358 (13.3, 16.8 ppg at state); Heith Adamson 211 (7.8); Wacey Barg 175 (6.5); Dillon Simpson 165 (6.1); Jacy Baird 84 (3.1); Tyler Chavez 51; Jared Cenarrusa 40; Gonzalo Zarate 18; Tyler Willis 15; Brad Peck 14; and Todd Peck 9. Free throws: 237-459, 52%, opposing teams 240-461, 52%. 3-pointers (102-354, 29%): Trevor Peck 50, Brett Adamson 38, Dillon Simpson 9, Gonzalo Zarate 4,Tyler Willis 1.
Rebounds: Barg 210, Heith Adamson 170, Simpson 130. Assists: Simpson 110, Brett Adamson 68, Trevor Peck 45. Steals: Simpson 85, Brett Adamson 50, Trevor Peck 46. Blocks: Simpson 35, Barg 14, Baird 14.