EVERETT — Most games this season Marysville Pilchuck coach Bary Gould would need to glance at his team’s scoresheet to determine who his leading scorer was. That’s a much different scenario than a year ago when Gould could bank on current University of Washington freshman RaeQuan Battle scoring 20-to-30 points each outing.
While the formula has changed from a season ago, the results haven’t. Another year, another Wesco 3A/2A league championship for the Tomahawks.
Needing a win Friday night on the road against Everett High School to lock up back-to-back league titles, MP eased its way to a 65-35 win over the overmatched Seagulls.
The win not only solidified another championship, it pushed Marysville Pilchuck’s league winning streak to 26 games, dating back to last winter when the Tomahawks went 13-0 during their league season.
“It feels good to see all the hard work we have put in through the season pan out,” said MP senior Aaron Kalab, who scored a game-high 24 points. “We know it’s just a start for us. We want to go further. Obviously, we aren’t done yet, but it was a nice to get a dub.”
The win over Everett sets up Marysville Pilchuck (17-2, 13-0 Wesco 3A/2A) with a tough test against Stanwood to end the regular season at 7:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at Marysville Pilchuck High School.
All year, the Tomahawks have won with their depth and veteran contributions from the likes of Kalab and fellow seniors Ethan Jackson, Luke Dobler, Cameron Stordahl and Brady Phelps.
That theme stayed true against Everett (6-12, 3-9), which was without its top player, junior Taras Fesiienko. The Seagulls’ lone senior, Daryl Milam, scored a team-high 14 points on senior night, but Everett put itself into a deep hole early and never recovered.
The 35 points Marysville Pilchuck held Everett to marked the Tomahawks’ second-best defensive performance this season and the third time MP has held a team in the 30-point range.
Dobler got the Tomahawks going early, hitting two 3s in the first quarter and scoring all of his 14 points in the first half. Kalab and Dobler combined for 16 of MP’s 19 first-quarter points, as the Tomahawks’ tough defense gave Marysville Pilchuck a 19-2 lead eight minutes in.
“It was nice to get going,” Kalab said. “Earlier in the season we kind of struggled starting, but our thing is starting out with a lot of energy, working, it doesn’t matter who we are playing. We are here to play.”
Everett kept the game within reach, outscoring MP during the second quarter and taking a 30-14 deficit into halftime, but a nine- and six-point quarter from Kalab and Phelps, respectively, extended the Tomahawks’ lead to 49-21 at the end of the third, and plenty of Marysville Pilchuck reserves saw playing time during the fourth.
“For sure another placard is going to go up in the gym, and this team is going to have a legacy and be remembered as back-to-back league champions,” Gould said. “… We have really, really good players and guys that have stuck together, and they play really hard together and they trust one another. So I would say 95 percent of the credit goes to the boys.”