TULALIP — Erwin Weary is one of Snohomish County’s top scorers, averaging nearly 30 points per game with a smooth outside shot, rangy athleticism and impressive ball handling.
“I’ve been a varsity coach for 20 years, and he’s the most skilled player I’ve ever had by far,” Cedar Park Christian-Mountlake Terrace coach Scott Moe said of his 6-foot-4 star point guard.
But the unbeaten Lions are more than a one-man show.
Weary, Jaide St. Lewis and Ryan Maxwell combined for 48 points and 36 rebounds Friday night, each recording a double-double as visiting CPC-Mountlake Terrace remained perfect with a 62-45 win over Tulalip Heritage in a showdown between the Northwest 1B League’s top two teams.
“At this level, not too many teams have that,” Moe said of the senior trio.
The Lions (12-0 overall, 6-0 Northwest 1B) were without second-leading scorer Jacob Schley for Friday’s small-school showdown, which pitted two teams that entered the night with numerous blowout victories and only one loss combined.
But CPC-Mountlake Terrace dominated from the start, rolling to a 34-13 halftime lead in front of an energetic crowd packed into the Tulalip Heritage gym.
The Lions have outscored opponents by 35 points per game this season, winning all but one contest by 16 points or more.
“Coach doesn’t even talk about (our record),” Weary said. “He just talks about getting better every day. We focus on winning practice. And if we can do as well as we do in practice every day, I think we can go a long way.”
Weary scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the second and third quarters and grabbed 11 rebounds. St. Lewis, a 6-foot-2 forward, added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Maxwell, a 6-foot-3 forward, chipped in 10 points and a team-high 14 boards.
“Those guys are big and strong,” Moe said of St. Lewis and Maxwell. “It helps to have some size inside, and then combine that with a point guard like Erwin who’s 6-foot-4 and can handle the ball.”
Weary, an ultra-talented senior, is remarkably playing just his second season of high school basketball. Cut twice from the Edmonds-Woodway basketball program during his freshman and sophomore years, he briefly considered giving up the sport.
But after moving with his family and enrolling at CPC-Mountlake Terrace, Weary enjoyed a breakout junior campaign last season. The versatile lefty standout averaged 30 points per game — including a 54-point performance Dec. 22, 2017, against Rainier Christian — and led the Lions to the Class 1B state regionals.
Weary is putting up massive numbers again this season, yet more efficiently.
“He’s scored the same as he did last year, but on far fewer shots,” Moe said. “He’s letting the game come to him and really understanding what it means to make his teammates better.”
Despite the loss, Tulalip Heritage (11-2, 6-1) has already surpassed its win total from last year, when the Hawks went 10-13 in their first losing season since 2007-08.
The biggest difference this season has been a commitment to defense under first-year coach Cyrus Fryberg, who previously coached the girls basketball program. After allowing 52.1 points per game last year, Tulalip Heritage is holding opponents to 43.2 points per contest this season.
“We’re trying to play harder defensively than we’ve ever played,” Fryberg said. “And (it’s) been working. We’ve been really, really focused on what we’re doing defensively and just letting the offense come to us.”
Paul Shay Jr. had a team-high 13 points for the Hawks, who heated up after the halftime break with 32 second-half points.
The two teams meet again Jan. 26 at CPC-Mountlake Terrace.