Last Modified: Monday, January 28, 2013 7:47 PM
Things are slowing down and picking up at the same time for the Hamilton Christian Warriors, who took some early lumps against a tough schedule but have taken charge of the District 5-1A race with six straight wins.
The Warriors will look to maintain sole possession of first place when they host Elton tonight. Oberlin trails the Warriors by a game, and Elton can get back in the title chase with a win.
Hamilton Christian (11-13, 6-0) won first game between the teams 48-45 on Jan. 11.
Hamilton head coach Dexter Washington said that win was a big one.
“It is a rivalry game and we had not beaten them in two years,” Washington said. “We fell behind early but came back. We played a possession at a time, did not get into a lot of transition. We just worked the ball around.”
The Warriors look to work the ball inside to 6-3 center Isaiah Wheeler.
“He has been a man among boys lately,” Washington said. “He is able to post-up and use that wide football body. He has learned how to position himself around the basket and is a great rebounder. Guard Chris Elly has been steady and point guard Seth Edwards has been doing a great job running the offense for us.”
Washington said the Warriors win with defense.
“We are not a great offensive team, but we play defense,” he said. “We will man you up and wear you down.”
Elton (12-8, 4-2) is led by their own two-sport start, Micah Lavan.
“Micah Lavan and more Micah Lavan, how he goes, their team goes,” Washington said. “He got into foul trouble in the first game, but the other guys stepped up. We have to keep him out of the lane.”
The Warriors were 5-13 in predistrict play, but Washington said the losses helped the Warriors prepare for the big district games.
“Everybody was jumping on me for playing so many games, but we were playing high-caliber teams,” Washington said. “That taught us how to compete. We competed hard against Leesville, Ville Pltte, Crowley, DeQuincy. We were tied with Tioga at halftime. We learned that we can play together. Things don’t seem as fast as they did in the preseason.”
Washington said he wants his team to close with a bang over the last two weeks.
“Every game for us is a big game,” he said. “Basketball is getting better in this district. We are still humble and are not taking anyone lightly. We have to protect our home court.”