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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 3 - 9, 2003


Carey boys have
a tough act to follow

New basketball season debuts tonight

Express Staff Writer

Expectations were high for last winter’s Carey School boys’ varsity basketball team—and the Panthers pretty much fulfilled all the hype, setting a handful of school records.

Carey (22-3) boasted an 18-game winning streak, limited opponents to a school-record 46.4 ppg and set all-time Panther marks for most wins (22) and best winning percentage (.880).

The Panthers won the Northside and Fourth District championships then went 3-1 at the State 1A tournament in Caldwell for third place.

It was a memorable season for coach Dick Simpson’s Carey program. Fittingly, Simpson earned the accolade of Northside Conference "Coach of the Year," for his efforts.

But it was also a winter in which Carey said a final goodbye to nine seniors, including top offensive player Shawn Hennefer (15.6 ppg, career 765 points) and the team’s leading defensive player, Destry Simpson.

Fortunately coach Simpson, seeking to build upon Carey’s 217-99 record in 13 seasons since 1991, has two returning starters to build around for the 2003-04 campaign. And they are good ones in 6-3 post Blake Surerus and 6-2 wing/post Ty Simmons.

Surerus (7.0 ppg, 49 blocked shots) is one of the best rebounders in the state of Idaho. Last winter Surerus and senior John Saili terrorized opponents on the boards, pulling down nearly identical totals of rebounds, 160/158.

When one of the two got into foul trouble, coach Simpson alternated Saili and Surerus so one was on the floor at all times. This year, with just nine players on varsity and many untested in varsity battles, the coach won’t have the same luxury of depth.

But Simmons, a deadly 3-pointer shooter, is a valuable player as well. Few will forget his 26-point performance including five 3-pointers that helped Carey hold off the Sho-Ban Chiefs 78-67 at state last March 6.

Simmons (11.7 ppg, 13.8 ppg at state) was Carey’s second-leading scorer and the All-Northside second-team selection also pulled down 131 rebounds for his Panther season.

Although Carey probably won’t be averaging 59.7 ppg on offense for the coming season, or out-shooting opponents 240-185 at the stripe, the Panthers will definitely score points with Surerus and Simmons leading the way.

"We had so much speed last year," said coach Simpson. "We’re not as fast this year, but we’ll try to run a little."

Three other seniors are 5-8 point guard K.C. Rivera, 6-2 post MaKay Neilson and 5-11 forward Bryson Ellsworth. Rivera ranked behind only Destry Simpson and Hennefer on the Carey steals and assists list last winter.

The only junior on varsity is 5-8 guard/forward Max Adamson.

Coach Simpson expects big things from three sophomores, but he also knows that it might take a while. They are 6-2 post/wing Tadd Green, 5-7 shooting guard/wing Tyler Cook and 5-8 point guard/wing Devin Simpson.

"The big thing is these kids can’t get into foul trouble. We don’t have the depth. But these seniors, when they were sophomores, went 18-3 and won the conference. So they have the potential," said coach Simpson, who added that many of the varsity players had a good summer playing ball.

Carey ran the table in the Northside Conference last winter, going 12-0 in the season then adding two wins in the Northside tournament including a 45-41 decision over The Community School in the championship game.

It was Carey’s first Northside title since 1999. The Panthers went on to capture only their second Fourth District title in school annals, 54-42 over Hagerman, and made their eighth state tournament trip in 11 years.

This winter, coach Simpson expects a close Northside race.

He said, "There is more parity in the conference than we’ve had in some time. It’s one of those years when if you don’t play up to your potential, you’re gonna get beat.

"Ketchum will be tough. (Jim) Fairchild is so tough inside. Larry (Messick) always has something at Shoshone. Dietrich has a pile of seniors." And Camas County won the Northside JV championship in 2003.

The combined Northside and Magic Valley conferences were limited to a total four State 1A berths last winter, which penalized an outstanding Community School team. This winter, the conferences have five.

Carey’s nine-player junior varsity is coached for the first year by 1999 Panther graduate Danny Simpson.

Team members are sophomores Brian Adamson, Bryan Hill, Luke Harmon, Ben Neilson and Nathan Foster. The freshmen are Cody Baird, Brad Hunt, Allen Peck and James Carlson.


Carey Holiday Tournament

After kicking off its 18-game regular-season schedule tonight with home non-conference games against Oakley, the Carey boys move into the four-school Carey Holiday Tournament.

The boys’ and girls’ tournament opens Friday, Dec. 5 in both Carey gyms. The Panther varsity plays Challis Friday at 8 p.m. in the new gym while the Carey JV goes against Challis at 6:30 p.m. in the old gym.

Consolation and championship games begin Saturday at 5 p.m. Last year Carey nipped Challis 59-57 in the first round and then lost 49-47 to Mackay in the Carey Holiday Tournament championship game.



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