WESLEY CHAPEL — Erik Thomas couldn’t keep his streak of 40-plus points alive.
So the North Suncoast’s most prolific scorer had to settle for nearly outscoring Anclote by himself.
Thomas finished with 34 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Wildcats to their eighth consecutive win with Friday’s 66-35 victory over Anclote.
“We’re having great momentum right now,” said Thomas, who added four blocks and three steals. “We’re playing great together.”
Especially on defense. Anclote (5-5) entered the night averaging 64 points over its past five games, but struggled against the Wildcats, missing seven of its first 10 shots.
The Sharks’ 35 points tied their season low, and Wesley Chapel (8-2) held them to five first-half field goals while forcing nine turnovers.
“Anclote’s a good team,” Wildcats coach Doug Greseth said. “They came in with a good record. We really got a lot of offense off our defense tonight.”
And most of that offense came through Thomas, the 6-foot-5 senior who exploded for 45 points against Gulf on Tuesday and dropped 41 on Fivay last week.
Thomas had a pair of three-point plays in the game’s first minute and a half and had already secured his ninth double double of the season with a 27-point, 15-rebound first half.
“The thing of it is, he really doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses,” Greseth said. “He’s taking the ball strong to the basket. He’s playing well with his back to the basket and facing the basket. He’s just a tough matchup for a lot of teams.”
Even when Anclote appeared to stop Thomas, he still found a way to score.
Thomas missed a layup midway through the second quarter on the left side of the basket. But he fought off a defender, rolled to the right side and put the ball back up and was fouled. With that three-point play, Thomas had outscored the Sharks 22-9.
He had plenty of help in one of Wesley Chapel’s biggest wins of the season. Center Marcus Hayne added six points and nine rebounds while controlling the post, and junior Carson Emery drained three 3-pointers.
“We’re looking good right now,” said Thomas, who is receiving interest from Saint Leo and a handful of Division II and III schools.
Tymere and Shymere Carter were bright spots for the Sharks. They combined for 16 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.