Carey coach Sears takes top All-Idaho honor

Carey School girls’ varsity basketball coach Merrilee Sears was named All-Idaho Girls’ 1A Division 2 “Coach of the Year” in the Idaho Statesman’s poll published in the March 31 edition of the Boise-based daily newspaper.

The leading scorer for the Carey championship team, sophomore guard Kylie Wood, made the All-Idaho first team. She averaged 16.6 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

On the Statesman’s All-Idaho second team were Panther seniors Athana Versis (8.3 ppg, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists) and Kodi Green (7.7 ppg, 10.6 rebounds, 2.6 blocks). “Player of the Year” was Salmon River senior Chevelle Shepherd.

Coach Sears guided the Panthers (23-1) to the school’s first-ever State 1A Division 2 girls’ tournament championship with a 56-48 victory over Salmon River of Riggins Feb. 16 at Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.

Excelling on defense, Carey ended its 2018-19 season with 21 consecutive wins and held opponents to 32 points per game.

Merrilee Udy-Sears was born and raised in American Falls and was named “Player of the Year” as a senior for the 2000 American Falls State 3A girls' basketball championship team. She played two seasons at Ricks College in Rexburg before finishing her college career at Pocatello’s Idaho State University.

At Ricks she averaged 7.6 ppg and 4.3 assists and started for the 2002 national qualifying team and was a Region 18 All-Tournament player. She led the ISU Bengals to a NIT appearance in 2004 and ranks third all-time in career assists.

Sears graduated from ISU with a secondary education degree. Working mainly with guards, she coached at the College of Southern Idaho for three years under Randy Rogers and was instrumental in academic advising. She married Brian Sears and moved to Carey.

Seventh-year Carey head coach Sears (81-75) returned to coaching with the Carey girls as an assistant to Lane Durtschi during the 2009-10 season, when Carey appeared in its only other state title game, losing to Richfield.



Bradford Cup giant slalom returns to Baldy on Sunday

The Sun Valley Ski Club will stage its 35th annual Robert and Rosemary Bradford Memorial giant slalom race Sunday, April 7 on Baldy’s Lower Warm Springs run.

The family-friendly race is free and open to the public as a way to celebrate spring in Sun Valley before the mountain closes for the season.

Format is two-person teams, with costumes encouraged. The classes are, in running order: Parent/Child, Married Couple, Siblings (both under 14), Siblings (Open), Friends (both under 14) and Friends (Open).

Pick your category and sign up Sunday from 8:30-10 a.m. at Warm Springs Lodge. Racing starts at 10:30 a.m., best single run of two giant slalom heats. Awards will be given after the race on Warm Springs Plaza.



Durtschi captures biathlon pursuit bronze at nationals

Ketchum’s Max Durtschi, 27, placed third in the 15-skier Men’s class for the 12.5-kilometer pursuit event Saturday, March 30 at the U.S. Biathlon Association National Championships in Jericho, Vt. He was 1:36 behind winner Sean Doherty. In Sunday’s 5k mass start super sprint, Durtschi placed eighth.

The 6-2, 165-pounder from Lake Placid, N.Y. and Dartmouth College competed for the first time in the biathlon world championships this winter. He was one of five men and four women on the American team. Durtschi has also been a competitive racer in cross-country skiing and road cycling.



Call goes out for high school soccer officials

Give soccer officiating a shot with training provided at no cost by calling 4th District soccer commissioner Van Parker at 208-421-2718.

No experience is required, but being a soccer fan is a big plus. You can support local high school sports.

Idaho High School Activities Association candidates must be at least 18 years old, although soccer officials may certify for junior varsity games at age 16. All officials are required to attend a state rules clinic. Visit and click on the link “Officials” to begin the process.

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