Three has been the magic number for Hamilton Christian, which has used a trio of guards to make three straight state semifinal appearances.
Two-time all state selection and UL-Lafayette commit Michael Thomas is the headliner of the trip, but backcourt mates Adrian Brown and Dakori Lewis bring a lot to the table as well. Brown made his mark as the team’s best long-range shooter, while Lewis has been the defensive ace for the Warriors.
Both players are working on rounding out their games as the Warriors seek their first state championship. The Warriors lost to Lafayette Christian in the Division IV championship game last season.
“It was a good experience, we worked hard to get there,” Brown said. “Nobody was selfish, nobody kept the ball too long. Whoever had the hot hand, we got the ball to them.”
Brown said he worked on getting to the rim last year.
“I shoot the ball well, so I knew a lot of teams would come out on me pretty hard, so last year I worked on putting the ball on the floor,” Brown said. “This year I’m working on my explosiveness, rebounding and on defense. I want to be a better teammate and do more for my team.”
Hamilton coach Dexter Washington said Brown sets the tone for the rest of the team with his intensity.
“From day one he has been one of the most competitive kids to put on a Warrior uniform,” Washington said. “His desire to leave it on the court is second to none.”
Brown said Washington, known for his animated sideline demeanor, has helped him grow as a player.
“He’s loud and he will get on you, but he always tells you right and won’t tell you wrong,” Brown said. “He’ll tell you what you need to hear.”
As the Warrior’s sixth man last year, Lewis made things happen at both ends of the floor after hearing his name called. Despite not starting, he played a majority of the minutes.
“I feel I was a good team player last year, did a good job of distributing to my teammates,” he said. “Next year I want to score better, improve from mid-range. I want to be a better shooter and be a better leader in my senior season.”
Defense is the calling card for Lewis, who spearheads the Warrior pressure defense.
“I just love to go after the ball,” he said. “You can turn defense into offense and get some easy points.”
Lewis said Thomas makes things easier for the rest of the Warriors.
“His IQ is very high,” Lewis said. “He simplifies everything for us. If we’re in a clutch situation, he’s the guy you want with the ball.”
Washington said that Lewis provides a jolt whenever he steps on the court.
“He has always been the quiet sniper for us, a kid that is humble and coachable,” Washington said. “He brings the energy off the bench that electrifies his teammates. He may start this year, we will see, but the great part is that he plays 26 minutes per game whether he starts or not.”
Before starting the title chase on the hardwood, the duo will attempt to help get the football program back on track after a 1-9 season. Brown doubling as a receiver on offense and safety on defense while Lewis plays running back and cornerback.
“I like football because its physical, you get to hit somebody,” Brown said.
“(New head coach Jules Sullen) is very smart, a good coach,” Lewis said. “He has playing up-tempo like Coach Washington does in basketball.”