Fifth-year Carey High School girls' basketball coach Lane Durtschi (58-37) will have to live without all-time Panther top scorer Jessica Parke in the backcourt for the first time.
But Durtschi, who has guided the Panthers to third-place and second-place state tournament finishes the last two seasons, has another Parke ready to take charge on a very young Carey team in 2010-11.
Sophomore Jaide Parke (6.8 ppg as a freshman) is back on the 13-player Panther varsity that debuted its 18-game season Tuesday night at Oakley. In all, there are 15 players on the combined varsity and JV for Durtschi and second-year assistant coach Merrill Sears.
On varsity there is only one senior plus five juniors, four sophs and three freshmen.
Carey and The Community School of Sun Valley are in the new-look Northside Conference that in 2010-11 features five schools in the North Division and three schools in the South.
It's an eight-team conference that will settle its two automatic State 1A Division 2 tournament berths during the league tourney Feb. 5-10 at Dietrich. And it's definitely the premier small-school conference in the state of Idaho.
Other North Division teams are Richfield, Dietrich and Camas County of Fairfield—all legitimate contenders—plus Lighthouse Christian of Twin Falls, Murtaugh and Castleford from the South Division.
For instance, the Richfield Tigers (23-4) won their third straight state tourney title in four years 41-35 over runner-up Carey (19-7) in last year's championship game at The Idaho Center in Nampa. It was Carey's first-ever trip to the state girls' basketball final.
Durtschi shared the Northside "Coach of the Year" honor with Dietrich's Acey Shaw last year. En route to third place at state, Dietrich (20-5) won its first Northside tournament title since 2002 over Richfield last February, then Carey bested Richfield 42-40 to guarantee its state tourney trip.
From last year's team Carey graduated hot-shooting guard Jessica Parke (16.5 ppg, 1,129 points in 4 years) as well as tough rebounding forward Amy Ellsworth (8.2 ppg).
The good news is Carey returns its 3-4-5 scorers in 5-7 junior post Micaela Adamson (8.0 ppg), speedy sophomore Jaide Parke and junior guard Nicky Gomez (3.6 ppg). Gomez had a great championship game against Richfield with a season-high 11 points at Idaho Center.
Other Carey players: Senior—Lorene Andrews. Juniors—Darby Northcott, Charmaine Kirkland, Sarah Purdy, Adamson and Gomez. Sophomores—Jaide Parke, Jessica Richardson, McKayla Mecham and Morgan Parke. Freshmen—Daphne Kirkland, Lilly Rivera and Ashley Durtschi.
In addition to several swing varsity/JV players, other Panthers on junior varsity this year are sophomores Hailey Willis and Isabel Martinez.
2010-11 Carey girls
A total 18 games on the schedule for the 2010-11 Carey girls' varsity; 10 home and 8 away. Home games at Carey School gym. Of the 18 varsity games, 11 are Northside Conference match-ups (the 8 North Division games identified with an *, and the 3 South Division games with **). Home varsity games are listed in bold. In general, starting times are 6 p.m. JV and 7:30 p.m. varsity. When the girls and boys play on the same night at Carey, the girls' JV starts at 4:30 p.m. and girls' varsity 6 p.m.
DATE, DAY OPPONENT LOCATION
Nov. 9, Tuesday Wood River/Hagerman jamboree Carey, 6:00
Nov. 16, Tuesday Oakley Away, 6/7:30
Dec. 2, Thursday Lighthouse (V)** Home, 6:00
Dec. 3, Friday Hagerman Home, 4:30/6
Dec. 4, Saturday Challis Away, 3:30/5
Dec. 6, Monday ISDB (JV) Gooding, 5:00
Dec. 9, Thursday Bliss (JV) Home, 6:00
Dec. 10, Friday Oakley Home, 4:30/6
Dec. 14, Tuesday Murtaugh** Away, 4:30/6
Dec. 16, Thursday Castleford** Home, 6/7:30
Dec. 18, Saturday Butte County Arco, 4:30/6
Jan. 4, Tuesday Community School (V)* Home, 4:30
Jan. 6, Thursday Richfield* Home, 6/7:30
Jan. 8, Saturday Challis Home, 4:30/6
Jan. 11, Tuesday Butte County Home, 4:30/6
Jan. 14, Friday Dietrich* Away, 3/6
Jan. 17, Monday ISDB (JV) Home, 5:00
Jan. 18, Tuesday Camas County (V)* Home, 6:00
Jan. 20, Thursday Richfield* Away, 6/7:30
Jan. 25, Tuesday Comm. School (V)* Sun Valley, 4:30
Feb. 1, Tuesday Dietrich "Sr. Night"* Home, 4:30/6
Feb. 3, Thursday Camas County (V)* Fairfield, 6:00
Feb. 5, Saturday Northside 1A Div. 2 Dietrich
Feb. 10, Wednesday Northside 1A Div. 2 completion Dietrich
Feb. 12, Saturday State play-in game American Falls, 3:00
Feb. 17, Thursday State 1A Division 2 tournament Nampa High School
Feb. 19, Saturday State 1A Division 2 championship Idaho Center, Nampa
NOTES—The 2011 4th District 1A Division 2 girls' league includes 5 teams in the North Division—Carey, Camas County of Fairfield, Community School of Sun Valley, Richfield and Dietrich—along with an additional 3 teams in the South Division—Castleford, Murtaugh and Lighthouse Christian of Twin Falls......The 4th District 8-team single elimination consolation bracket tournament is scheduled for 5 nights at Dietrich High School, Feb. 5-10......In opening round match-ups based on final regular-season records, it's #1 North vs. #5 North, #3 North vs. #2 South, #2 North vs. #3 South, and #1 South vs. #4 North.......The conference gets 2.5 seeds to state.....The top 2 teams automatically qualify for the state tournament in Nampa, and the 3rd-place District 4 team has a play-in game Saturday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. in American Falls against the eastern Idaho (Districts 5/6) runner-up team.......At the state tournament, the Northside champion plays the Boise-area runner-up in the first round, while the Northside runner-up goes against the northern Idaho (District 2) champion.