Dombrowski leads Jets’ attack

Prep Basketball

Avery Bundgaard | Daily Press North Central’s Lucas Dombrowski, right, performs a special hand-shake with teammate Griffin Johnson during team introductions Wednesday against Rapid River.

POWERS — When the final buzzer sounded in last year’s boys’ basketball Class D state final, the North Central Jets felt elation finishing off another undefeated season and their third straight championship.

That team was well known for its five senior starters that included U.P. co-players of the year in Jason Whitens and Dawson Bilski.

One of the few underclassmen who saw some playing time off the bench was junior Lucas Dombrowski, and for him, it was an experience of a lifetime.

“That was an amazing feeling,” said Dombrowski. “To have those guys ahead of us who could lead us and teach us their way it taught us a lot. It was a great feeling to have and I will keep that with me for the rest of my life.”

So when the Jets lost those five starters to graduation nobody knew what kind of team they would be and Dombrowski embraced a leadership role in his senior season and became one of North Central’s best players.

“Of course we lost about 95 percent of our scoring from last year’s team so we looked at who needed to score for us this year,” said North Central coach Adam Mercier. “Lucas stepped in and he’s been aggressive. I think he’s still maturing as a player and he’s a coachable kid who wants to win.”

It’s a tall task to replace five guys who earned three state titles, but Dombrowski is doing his best to become that leader for a young, inexperienced team.

“Getting to interact with them and see how they did things, I could take that into this year,” said Dombrowski.

“Me and my fellow seniors just watched what they did and it taught us all we needed to know.”

It was a question mark coming into the season on how the Jets would perform. They are 10-4 and are still trying to find an identity going into the later part of the season.

“Mostly chemistry,” said Dombrowski when asked the biggest challenge this season. “Just getting to know each players’ specialty is the most hard thing I’d say. We’re starting to figure that out right now and it’s coming along.”

Dombrowski has shined for North Central this season averaging 13.6 points per game. He plays a very aggressive game which sees him drive the lane while only being 5-feet-8 where he can finish or set up his teammates.

“He’s an undersized kid at 5-8 and 135 pounds soaking wet,” said Mercier. “But he tosses bails and he brings that mentality and that edge into every sport he plays.”

Dombrowski also plays football in the fall and golfs in the spring and credits his father, Marty Dombrowski, who graduated from North Central in 1983, for his love of sports.

“That’s all I really hear is my dad telling stories about himself,” said Dombrowski. “He tells stories about football and he was a good football player I hear.”

Off the court Dombrowski just likes to enjoy high school life hanging out with friends, watching movies, playing video games and doing his homework of course.

“He’s a normal high school kid who’s really improved in the classroom the last couple of years,” said Mercier. “He’s really upped the communication not just with the varsity players but with the jayvee players as well. All those things were needed this year and he’s stepped up in that role.”

After high school Dombrowski is still undecided what he wants to do and is weighing his options.

For now he’s focusing on the basketball season as he’s trying to lead the Jets into the later part of the season and into districts where he hopes his team can make a run.

“All the guys are starting to get along and are starting to work together in this mid-season,” said Dombrowski. “We started a little slow but everybody’s making it work and getting along.”