SPOKANE — With his team making its first state-tournament appearance in nine years, Cedar Park Christian-Mountlake Terrace coach Scott Moe was concerned the Lions might suffer some early-game jitters.
As it turned out, the coach had nothing to worry about.
The Lions stepped on the floor with confidence Wednesday morning and it showed in their shooting as they hit eight of 11 shots from 3-point range in the first half en route to an 88-72 victory over Tulalip Heritage in a 1B Hardwood Classic opening-round game at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
Third-seeded CPC-Terrace (27-2) moves on to play No. 4 Yakama Nation Tribal at 9 a.m. Thursday. The loss ended the season for Tulalip Heritage (22-7), which was seeded 11th.
“We don’t have anybody with state-tournament experience,” Moe said of the Lions. “I told them after the game, I was very proud of the confidence they showed (early in the game).”
That confidence only grew as the Lions connected on their first few shots from the field. They led 23-6 after the first quarter and 49-26 at halftime.
Erwin Weary led the Lions with a triple-double: 29 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists, and teammate Jaide St. Lewis added 18 points and 19 rebounds.
After a regional-round loss to Odessa on Saturday, Moe challenged Weary and St. Lewis to be better.
“I told them big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games,” Moe said. “And that’s what they did.”
Wednesday’s contest marked the fifth meeting this season between the Northwest 1B League rivals. CPC-Terrace won all five.
Josh Miranda scored 18 points — on six 3-pointers — to lead Tulalip Heritage. Paul Shay Jr. added 17 points. The Hawks made 13 of their 33 3-point attempts.
“You have to give them credit,” Moe said of the Hawks. “They hit 13 threes to keep the game close.”