Thursday, February 10, 2011; 7:12 PM
The big one in the WCAC is Sunday at Gallaudet, where Gonzaga meets DeMatha in the first of two matchups on successive Sundays between the boys' rivals. The first game was originally scheduled for earlier this month but weather forced the postponement to Sunday at 5:30 p.m..
School officials expect the game to sell out and tickets will not be available at the door. They can be purchased at either Gonzaga or DeMatha for $10.
A starter since he was a freshman, Lewis will guide Sidwell (14-6, 5-2) into their Friday showdown at perennial MAC power Flint Hill (12-9, 7-0), Lewis's play will be as much about his own growth as that of the program.
The 6-foot Lewis is averaging 16.25 points per game, but as a junior he has done a better job of finding teammates when needed. Sophomores Josh Hart (16 ppg.) and Matt Hillman (12.7 ppg.) have developed a strong rapport with the Division I recruit who has drawn offers from Boston College, VCU, William & Mary and LSU.
"We lean on him a lot," Sidwell Coach Eric Singletary said. "The ball is in his hands a lot, and he has freedom to run my team. He knows what we need, when to pass, when to score, when to push the gas pedal. He's gotten a lot better at taking games over."
Sidwell dropped its last game with Flint Hill, 48-45, but has since won seven of its past eight games. With just two games remaining in the regular season, Singletary said this game could have a tremendous impact on the postseason and on his team's confidence.
"Flint Hill has a lot of tradition, those kids play with that confidence," Singletary said. "We shared the title last year and our confidence is high as defending champs. It's important to beat them, we want that torch to be passed. We have no apologies for wanting to be considered if not the top team in the MAC then as one of the top teams in area. I preach that to the kids. And we can only do that by beating Flint Hill."
After a tough start to the season in which it dropped eight of its first 11 games, the Huskies have since won nine of 10, including seven straight. The lessons learned during the early portion of the season that saw games against several top teams has contributed to the recent success, Flint Hill Coach Rico Reed said.
"We had some tough games," Reed said. "I thought our effort was always there. As a result we're battle-tested. We still refer to those games, we haven't forgotten about those games."
On Friday night, the two teams - considered to be among the favorites in the Virginia AAA Northern Region race - will meet with the Concorde District regular season title on the line. A Chantilly win would give the Chargers a share of the title, while Herndon can win the championship outright and take the No. 1 seed in the tournament.