CALDWELL – It wasn’t until late in the second quarter of Friday’s state semifinal game that Carey started feeling the effects of a state quarterfinal victory over Council from the day before.
When that wall hit, it struck hard.
The Panthers ran out of gas early in a 68-33 loss to Genesis Prep in the 1A D-II state semifinals Friday afternoon at Caldwell High School.
“Give them credit, they’re a good ball club,” said Carey head coach Dick Simpson. “We played them really tough for about 13 and a half minutes. We used a lot of legs (Thursday) to get that win, and it caught up to us.”
“We didn’t use our bench as much yesterday because it was a tight game,” said Carey junior guard Houston Hennefer. “Today we were strong, but in the second we lost it.”
Through the first quarter Carey was able to play neck and neck with the Jaguars. Derrick Baird buried a three-pointer for the first points of the game, and the Panthers were feeling good.
Hennefer later hit back-to-back 3-pointers that put Carey up 14-11. Genesis Prep got one more bucket before the period ended.
Carey led 14-13 after one, and the Jaguars took it from there.
Carey led 20-19 early in the second quarter, then Genesis Prep outscored the Panthers 49-13 the rest of the way.
“It’s grueling when you get to state,” Simpson said. “We’ll on be on the same page in the morning when we get up. We all have the same things working against it. It’s all about showing up and playing.”
Genesis Prep, a private school from Post Falls, runs its offense through two athletic guards and Stephane Manzi, a 6-foot-9 post player. Those three combined for 46 points as Carey was unable to find an answer.
When the Panthers crashed inside to stop Manzi, it left the perimeter open for Junior Williams and Jonny Hillman to hit uncontested 3s. When they defended the outside, Manzi went to work down low.
Carey went into the half trailing 33-20.
Hennefer, Baird and the rest of the Panthers did their best to fight their way back, but Genesis Prep had too many horses. It didn’t help that they weren’t hitting shots that had gone down the day before.
“We needed some shots to fall that didn’t,” Simpson said. “That’s the breaks of the game. I’ve always said that when you get to state you need three things; some luck, the ball to roll your way and the ball has to go through the little orange thing there. Today we didn’t get any of that.”
Carey was behind 56-31 entering the fourth quarter and was unable to muster a run to get back in the game.
“We played a good team,” Hennefer said. “They were awesome. Give them credit.”
Genesis Prep was paced by Manzi’s 17 points. Williams added 15 and Hillman had 14.
Baird led the way for Carey with 12 points, while Hennefer had 10 and Toby Whitworth had 5.
The Panthers still have a chance to take home some hardware as they face Rockland in the third place game today at 11 a.m. at Caldwell High School.
“We lost to a good team, but we gave a good effort for quite a while,” Simpson said. “Now this one is out the door. We have to take the court (today). If we win, then chances are we may have lost to the state champion, and that’s okay.”
“Rockland got us last year,” Hennefer said. “We can’t hang our heads about losing (Friday). We have to get out there and get to work. We’ll be looking for a little bit of revenge.”
Genesis Prep 68, Carey 33
Genesis Prep; 13; 20; 23; 12;-68
Carey; 14; 6; 11; 2;-33
Hennefer 10, Baird 12, Wayment 4, Whitworth 5. Thompson 2 Totals 11 6-11 33.