Lackey junior Kelvin Henry and senior Eric Wood aren't brothers, although they both agree that is the kind of bond they share. They aren't cousins, either, although they frequently tell people that they are.
Even their high school basketball coach, Bubby Burroughs, said he believed the two were related.
"They say they are," Burroughs said, "and they sure act like it."
In reality, though, they are simply teammates. And best friends. "We say we're cousins because we're just so close," said Wood, a three-year starting forward and three-year captain for the Chargers. "It feels like I've known him my whole life. We do just about everything together."
That includes leading the Chargers' team. Although Lackey is just 4-11, it has been outscored by its opponents by a margin of only 893-823. It's a credit to Henry, Wood and front-court teammate Joe Young that the Chargers have proved to be not only competitive, but good enough to put a scare in some of the area's top teams.
Against No. 17 Southern Maryland Christian (19-3) on Jan. 14, the only thing that prevented the Chargers from pulling off a dramatic upset was a controversial ruling on a three-pointer as time expired.
"It has definitely been an interesting season," Burroughs said. "Our guard play has kind of been by committee this year, and that's hurt us. But those three inside guys are as athletic a group as I've had at Lackey. I expect a lot from them."
The 6-foot-2 Wood, who excels more as a spot-up shooter, leads the Chargers with 13.5 points and almost two steals per game. The 6-foot-3 Henry, also a forward, is a slasher who prefers to penetrate the lane. Henry, in his first season as a starter, ranks third on the team in scoring behind Wood and Young (11.4) with 11.2 points per game.
Both are averaging about eight rebounds per game as well, second only to Young.
"Eric probably has the best hands I've ever been associated with," Burroughs said. "He gets his hands on a lot of balls, and if he doesn't make the steal, he certainly changes the direction of the play. And he has a leadership ability that I'm not even sure he fully realizes yet. The kids look up to him.
"And Kelvin, he's really just come into his own this past year. He's very athletic. I think he's probably been living in Eric's shadow a little bit on the court, but that is starting to change. They complement each other very well."
They say it comes from their close relationship. Wood and Henry met in fifth grade at Indian Head Elementary School and were inseparable by the time they had reached General Smallwood Middle School. Once in high school it was movies, malls, AAU basketball and -- always -- shopping together for school clothes.
"We have to go school shopping together to make sure both of us are on point," Wood said, smiling.
Their families live in the same Woodland Village community, a two-minute walk from one door to the other.
"We keep each other out of trouble," laughed Henry, the more outgoing of the two. "Anything we do, it doesn't even matter what it is, we always have fun."
Especially on the court.
"My senior season wouldn't be the same if he weren't on the team with me," Wood said. "We may not be blood-related, but he's more like a brother to me than just a friend. When things are down we're always there to pick each other up, and when things are good we're there for that, too. It's the best."