(After games of Dec. 19)
Here the ESPNHS Players of the Week. One high school boys basketball player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.
Boo Lathon, Wheeling Park (Wheeling, W. Va.)
The 6-foot-2 senior wing is off to a fast start for West Virginia's top-ranked team after the Patriots finished as Class AAA state runnerup the last two years. Lathon, a third team all-state choice as a junior and contender for state player of the year honors, scored 53 points and had 21 rebounds in two big wins for the 3-0 record team. He outscored city rival Wheeling Central Catholic (Wheeling, W.Va.) with 29 points, and 10 rebounds, in a 95-25 blowout of the Maroon Knights, the widest margin of victory in the 35-year history of the series. In an 80-61 romp over previously-unbeaten North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.), Lathon was 11 of 17 from the floor with 24 points -- including three dunks, 11 rebounds and five steals. He averages 21 points and nine rebounds per game.
Josh Cuthbertson, West Craven (Vanceboro, N.C.)
The 6-foot-5 junior forward connected for 36 points on Saturday to lead the Eagles to their ninth straight win to start the season as they defeated New Bern (New Bern, N.C.) 106-70. Cuthbertson also tossed in 33 points the night before against Washington (Washington, N.C.) as is averaging nearly 28 points per game. He also is contributing 11 rebounds and four assists per game. Last year as a sophomore, Cuthbertson posted averages of 20 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
Tyus Jones, Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.)
The highly recruited 6-foot-1 sophomore point guard scored 53 points in two wins last week and leads the Minneapolis area in scoring with a 29.5 per game average for the 3-1 record team. Jones, who scored 37 in a season-opening loss to Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie, Minn.), connected on 12 of 15 goal attempts and scored 32 points in a 80-62 win over Henry Sibley (Mendota Heights, Minn.), and netted 21 points in a 91-87 victory over St. Louis Park (Minneapolis, Minn.). In the other game this season, Jones scored 28 points and dished off eight assists in a 79-69 win over Tartan (Oakdale, Minn.) with Minnesota coach Tubby Smith in the crowd.
Cody McCoy, Fossil Ridge (Fort Collins, Colo.)
In the semifinals of last weekend’s HealthOne Holiday Tournament, McCoy suffered a head wound that knocked him out the game and required three staples to close. The junior guard, though, was cleared to play for Saturday’s tourney final and the Sabercats are glad he did. McCoy pumped in 33 points and led Fossil Ridge past Denver South 75-55. McCoy is averaging 16.5 points and 3.3 assists per game so far this season.
Michael Washington Jr., Oak Harbor (Oak Harbor, Wash.)
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior guard netted 41 points to lead his team to a thrilling 66-62 double-overtime victory over Everett (Everett, Wash.). His scoring outburst tied the second best single-game performance in school history, which was set in 1953 by Pat McGreevy (49 points). Some poor free throw shooting by Oak Harbor helped keep Everett in the game, but with the score knotted at 55 after one overtime, Washington scored 10 points in the second extra period to ice the game. His performance helped raise his season scoring average to 22.6 per game after five games for the 2-3 Wildcats. Washington averaged 18. 2 points as a junior and is headed to Princeton next fall.