Look out, Northside Conference opponents—the reigning State 1A Division 2 boys' basketball champions from Carey High School are heating up just as they're about to launch their Northside title defense.
Carey (4-6) made it two straight wins for the first time this season Monday night with a resounding 66-39 non-conference road triumph over the No. 2-ranked 1A Division 1 team, the Glenns Ferry Pilots.
Coach Dick Simpson's Panthers trailed 12-7 after one quarter to a Pilots team (7-4) that won the Nov. 29 season opener at Carey 62-50. The rest of the game was another story.
Shooting 45% from the field for the game, Carey warmed up with nine 3-pointers (9-for-18) and 15-for-19 at the free throw line for a season-high 66 points and the 27-point victory. Carey out-rebounded a very good Glenns Ferry squad 39-35. The ice-cold Pilots shot only 21%.
"The kids shot the ball very well," said Simpson. "If we had played like that, we would have won three or four more games in the first half of our season."
In each of Carey's four victories to date, the Panthers have drilled seven or more 3-pointers. Monday night, the hot outside shooting supplemented the lunch-pail work close to the basket by seniors Baley Barg (21 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals) and Dillon Cenarrusa (16 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists).
Top scorer Barg (16.3 ppg) has scored in double figures each game. He shot 8-for-17 from the field and 5-for-6 at the line Monday. Cenarrusa has been a monster on the boards lately including 15 boards in a 53-41 home non-league loss to Butte County (8-2) Friday night.
Other contributors Monday at Glenns Ferry were Chance Chavez (14 points, 4-for-7 in 3-pointers, 4 assists, 2 steals), Jordan Dilworth (7 points, 3 boards, 4 assists), Sheldon Hansen (5 points), Jack Cenarrusa (3 points, 3 assists) and Charlie Rivera (3 rebounds).
Monday's big road win came on the heels of Saturday's 58-47 home victory over the Challis Vikings (5-7) that gave Carey the season sweep. The Panthers shot 36% from the field including 7-for-21 from beyond the arc. They out-rebounded Challis 41-28 led by Barg (16 boards).
Dillon Cenarrusa (9 rebounds) scored a season high 19 points on 9-for-15 shooting against Challis. Chavez (14 points, 2 steals, 2 assists) canned four 3-pointers. Barg (11 points, 5 assists, 3 steals) added a fine all-around effort.
Others were Patrick Baird (4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks), Poncho Gamino (4 points, 3 boards), Dilworth (3 points, 4 assists), Jack Cenarrusa (4 rebounds, 2 assists) and Hansen (3 points). Carey's defense limited Challis to 29% shooting.
The two wins represented a big turnaround from Carey's 25% shooting (1-for-22 from 3-point range) in Friday's 12-point loss to Butte County. Barg (22 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals) led the way in that one followed by Dillon Cenarrusa (8 points, 15 boards, 4 steals).
Another contributor against Butte was Rivera (3 points, 5 boards, 3 steals, 4 assists). It was the first game back for junior point guard Dilworth, who broke his collarbone in the Nov. 18 State 1A Division 2 football championship game.
Dilworth's return has been a boon for Carey's ball distribution on offense and, according to coach Simpson, "if nothing else it helps us mentally."
Eight of Carey's final 10 games are Northside Conference outings starting Thursday, Jan. 12 against the Community School in Sun Valley. Carey entertains the Castleford Wolves (3-4) next Tuesday.
Devils sweep Carey girls
Coach Lane Durtschi's Carey Panther girls have seen enough for now of the defending State 1A Division 2 champion Dietrich Blue Devils.
Dietrich (12-0, 4-0 Northside) won its second straight game over Carey (4-3, 1-2), this time by a 63-34 score Thursday on the Blue Devils floor. Moriah Dill (20 points) and Charley Bingham (16) led the champs.
Playing for the first time in nearly three weeks, Carey made a better offensive showing against the Devils topped by Morgan Parke with a career-best 14 points and Michaela Adamson with 9. Nicole Gomez added 5 points, Jessica Parke 4 and Darby Northcott 2.
Carey hosted another tough league squad when the Richfield Tigers (7-3, 1-3) came to the Panther court Tuesday. Richfield, the 2009 and 2010 state girls' champion, finished second to Dietrich last year at state. Next Tuesday, Carey entertains Castleford.