Lewis building on a winning moment Floor leader: Troy Lewis lifted Randallstown to a state title last year, and he's looking for a return trip to the finals.

February 16, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Every high school basketball player dreams of making the winning shot in a championship game. That became a reality for Troy Lewis last year.

Seventeen seconds remained in the state 3A championship game at the University of Maryland with Randallstown trailing Thomas Johnson when Lewis stole the ball and went in for a layup, giving Randallstown a 58-57 victory and its first state title.

Nearly a year later, Lewis hasn't rested his laurels on that moment because he's finally getting the opportunity to be a starter.

And he's making the most of it.

Lewis, a 5-foot-10 senior point guard and co-captain, is averaging a team-high 16.7 points and 6.8 assists for the No. 12 Rams (14-4), and has made his mark as the premier floor leader in Baltimore County.

"He has been our lead player," said Randallstown's second-year coach Kim Rivers. "He's our captain and leader on and off the court."

One of three players back from last year's 26-1 title squad, Lewis has had to present the challenge of repeating as state champions to the newcomers and being able to accept limited roles.

"It's something I've been waiting for for almost three years," said Lewis. "I've paid my dues and the time arrived for me to shine."

It's obvious that Lewis is the leader when he's on the court. Not boisterous, Lewis has an air of confidence when he aggressively drives to the basket or when he shoots free throws.

"You have to stay calm on the court and set the example," said Lewis. "It's the role of the point guard to keep things calm and in place."

Though he didn't attend any summer camps, Lewis' off-season training began daily at 6:30 a.m., swimming to help improve his endurance and spending three hours in the evening in the gym working on his shooting and dribbling skills.

"He's just so mature for his age," said Rivers, who is in his second season. "He's really into himself and challenges himself to do better. He doesn't know how good he can really be."

Rivers made Lewis a co-captain last season, but Lewis has become a starter because of his work in practice. Five weeks before the start of last season, Lewis dislocated his shoulder, but he diligently worked his way back into the rotation.

His hard work has carried into the classroom, where Lewis carries a 3.75 grade-point average and a score of 1,000 on the Scholastic Assessment Test. Lewis has attracted the attention of schools like Colgate, William & Mary and Mount St. Mary's.

Lewis doesn't think much about last season's magical moment. After waiting for three seasons, he would prefer to be remembered for helping Randallstown to a second straight state championship.

"We don't try to dwell on what happened last year," said Lewis. "Right now, we have to understand the concept of team unity. If we have unity and everybody understands their roles, we can be successful."

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