Lawrence High School assistant girls basketball coach Greg Chesley saw a budding point guard in senior Dominique Lewis when she was in the fourth grade.

Chesley coached many of this year’s current varsity members in youth ball, including Lewis, center Nia Irving and his daughter Hunter. In Lewis, he saw a natural point guard who already had a feel for the game, but more importantly a bundle of energy who made her teammates play up to speed.

“She has another gear all the time,” Chesley said.”The biggest asset she has is she is a competitor. That drive to win is just incredible.”

Lewis arrived in high school ready to play. She started her first game at point guard and has been there since, leading the team in 3-pointers, steals and assists in each of her four years. She opened Tuesday night’s game at Brewer with of pair of 3s to reach 1,000 points for her career. She’ll be honored Thursday night at Folsom Gymnasium in Fairfield prior to the team’s game against Camden Hills.

“Not everyone has a chance to do that,” Lewis said of her milestone. “It means everything to me.”

More important to Lewis is winning a second straight state championship. The Bulldogs are 17-0 entering Thursday night’s final regular season game and have won 35 in a row at home. Lawrence will be heavily favored tonight as well as in the Class A North regional tournament. Should it reach the state final, it’ll face a strong opponent from the South.

“The hardest part is staying there,” Irving said.

Irving and Lewis have been inseparable on and off the court since third grade. Irving, a 6-foot-1 center, accepted a full scholarship to Division I Boston University last year and is considered by many the best high school girls basketball player in the state. Some may overlook the 5-foot-4 Lewis, but not Irving. Many of Lewis’ assists are finished by Irving. When she’s double- and triple-teamed in the post as she often is, Irving finds Lewis at the three-point line.

“We’ve just always been so close,” Lewis said. “We just love to play basketball together. We can read each other’s minds.”

Lewis, Irving and the rest of the team have grown together. They lost three games as freshmen and were knocked off in the tournament, then two as sophomores where they were upset in the tournament by rival Messalonskee. And one game last year when they upset Bangor in the regional final.

“We weren’t ready our freshman year,” Lewis said. “Our sophomore year, that’s when we got ready.”

Chesley calls Lewis one of the best true point guards in the state. The numbers — 15 points, 6.5 assists and 2.6 steals per game — bear that out. But it’s doubtful anyone enjoys the position more than Lewis does.

“She has the point guard mentality,” Messalonskee coach John Donato said. “She wants to run the show and win.”

Lewis admits she thrives in the spotlight in front of big crowds and that’s usually when she’s at her best. It helps, too, to have an engaging personality.

“She’s really outgoing,” Irving said. “She’ll talk to anyone. We kind of balance each other out on and off the court. We’re both pretty loud.”

The Bulldogs like to press and play up-tempo basketball and that’s when Lewis is really at her best in finding an open player or spotting up for three-point shots (she has 51 this season). Donato says Lewis’ greatest asset in the open floor is her quickness, intensity and decision making.

“She knows who to give the ball to,” he said. “And she adjusts her passing skills to the players around her.”

Lewis is also an outstanding field hockey player, using her speed to her best advantage, but basketball has always been her sport. She credits her dad for lighting the fire in her and teaching her fundamentals of the game growing up. She’s unsure what she’ll do next year but knows she wants to play basketball somewhere.

Lawrence dropped down a class this year with the Maine Principals’ Association’s reclassification and has cruised through its schedule. It did get a couple of needed tests at the end of the season against Class AA teams Bangor and Edward Little and feel ready for another title run.

“She has a knack for winning,” Irving said of her friend and teammate. “She doesn’t like losing.”


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