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For the week of February 14 through 20, 2001

Carey JV (22-0) finishes unbeaten in 58-55 thriller

Hennefer’s hits 15-footer winner, in a crowd

All season long, sophomore Shawn Hennefer (16.7 ppg) has been the go-to player for the Carey School boys’ junior varsity basketball team.

So there was no reason to doubt that Carey would put the ball in Hennefer’s hands when the Panthers needed a basket to preserve the school’s first-ever unbeaten season.

Carey (61.9 ppg), winner of most of its games by double-digit margins this winter, trailed 55-54 to the upset-minded Community School JV in Saturday’s thrilling championship game of the Northside Conference JV tournament.

Given possession after Robbie Ellsworth’s clutch steal, Carey carefully set up its offense and found Hennefer with 30 seconds left. Hennefer went up for the 15-footer, surrounded by Cutthroat defenders.

It went in, nothing but net.

Carey (22-0) got one more clutch steal by Destry Simpson (79 steals season) to survive 58-55 and put a dramatic exclamation point on an unblemished season by capturing the Northside JV tourney at Shoshone.

"It’s hard to maintain the intensity level every game when you haven’t lost," said Carey JV coach Dick Simpson. "But they found a way to win and I’m proud of them."

Hennefer finished with a game-high 26 points including 8 in the fourth quarter. The Panthers were 8-for-8 at the free throw line in the second half including two big charities by Destry Simpson (6 points) that sliced the Cutthroat lead to 55-54 with a minute left.

To battle back from an 11-point third-quarter deficit and give themselves a chance to win was also a tremendous accomplishment for coach Mike Wade's Cutthroats (15-7).

Leading the way were freshmen Adrian Charbonnet (9 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth) and point guard John Hayes (6 steals plus 6 of his 16 points in the fourth).

Junior wing Josh Stanek was all over the floor with 11 points, 11 rebounds (5 offensive), 4 assists and 5 steals.

Wade said, "The second half of the championship game was the best defense we played all season. That’s why we were in it until the end."

Losing their top scorer and rebounder Jimmy Fairchild in Friday’s semi-final game against Shoshone made The Community School’s final effort more remarkable.

Fairchild, a 6-1 freshman post, dislocated his kneecap in the first quarter of Friday’s 38-29 win over Shoshone. When 6-1 post Charbonnet fouled out of the same game in the third, the Cutthroats didn’t look like they’d even make the finale.

"If you had told me beforehand that we would have beaten Shoshone without Jimmy and Adrian, I wouldn’t have believed it," said 18th-year coach Wade, who has seen most of the 110 wins and 277 losses in Cutthroat cage annals.

Both teams were special, though—Carey for its undefeated year, and The Community School for putting together only the fourth winning season of 22 Sun Valley cage teams.

And they put on a special championship game.


Down to the wire

Carey took it to the hole from the get-go, getting Charbonnet in foul trouble in the first. The lead would have exceeded 19-13 if Simpson’s top-seeded Panthers had done better than 5-of-13 from the free throw line in the first period.

Senior wing Jason Hanley (5 rebounds, 2 assists) came off the bench in the second and gave the Cutthroats a big lift with 7 points that prevented Carey from pulling away. Carey led 30-25 at intermission.

The Panther lead grew to 11 points three times in the third quarter as sophomore Flint Dill (12 points, 7 rebounds) got into the mix and Carey successfully hit the offensive boards.

It was a fierce battle in the fourth featuring two great match-ups between point guards Hayes and Simpson and wings Stanek and Hennefer.

Vocal Cutthroat fans factored as sixth men as their boys went on a 9-0 run turning a 44-33 Carey lead into a 44-42 game.

Cutthroat freshman Luc McCann (5 assists, 2 steals) kept lobbing the ball into Charbonnet, who kept banking it home. McCann’s steal and outlet pass to Hayes gave the Cutthroats their first lead since the opening minute, at 51-50.

Hennefer made two free throws. And so did Hayes. Stanek grabbed a defensive rebound, was fouled and made two for a 55-52 Cutthroat lead. A Destry Simpson drive turned into a one-on-one free throw situation with a minute left. Simpson made both.

Ellsworth made his all-important steal on the next Cutthroat possession, setting up Hennefer’s game winner. Then, one final lob pass on the last Cutthroat possession went a little too far, into Simpson’s hands, and Carey hung on.

For Carey, Blake Surerus had 6 points and 3 blocks, Ty Simmons 4 points and Ellsworth 2 points. Simpson added 3 assists and 6 rebounds, Sean Cenarrusa 3 boards.

Surerus (6.0 ppg) was Carey’s top rebounder (106 boards) and leader in blocked shots (22). Simpson (8.0 ppg) had 101 rebounds and led the way with 78 season assists.

Other Cutthroat scorers in the finale were Bret Watson and McCall 2 points apiece. Charbonnet had 4 boards, 2 assists. The Cutthroats, losers to Carey 60-45 and 67-33 during the season, had only 16 turnovers and managed to pile up the most points Carey’s defense (39.1 ppg) allowed all season.

And they nearly captured the school’s second JV tourney title. The other was in 1997, when the Cutthroat JV (15-3) beat Camas County 43-41.

In last week’s semi-final games, Carey downed Richfield 51-42 and the Cutthroats nipped Shoshone 38-29.

Hennefer tallied 15 of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter when Carey surged ahead of #4-seeded Richfield 17-6. Ellsworth had 10, Surerus 8 and Flint Dill 7.

In the win over Shoshone, Stanek scored 15 points, Charbonnet 9, Hayes 4, McCann 4, Logan Koffler 2, Watson 2 and Hanley 2. Leading Shoshone with 12 points apiece were Kyle Bingham and Wes Kerr.


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