December 30, 2013

Lewis, Marysville making noise

Kevin McCarthy

Five minutes into talking with Marysville High's Danny Lewis and you'll be able to perceive he is a thoughtful, well spoken young man. View tape of his 40 points, including nine three-pointers, versus Wheatland and it's quickly assessable the 6-footer is one serious basketball player. That's an attractive combination to recruiters.

photo of Danny Lewis

Danny who? Marysville where? Yes Virginia, there is some quality roundball being played 40 miles north of Sacramento on East 18th Avenue this season as the Marysville Indians have come out of the proverbial gate to post an 8-1 record, choreographed by a newish coach at the helm in Stan Easter and with Lewis running the show on the court.

Easter has effusive praise for his protege.

“Danny is a special kid and he works so hard. He transferred from the Sacramento area (Elk Grove's Franklin High) to Marysville and you could see he had a lot of talent. He shoots really well. Danny was hesitant early on because he didn't want to be seen as a ball hog but I told him to just play his game.”

Lewis' 40 point, nine trey outburst came in the seventh game of the season and he had no idea of his scoring total or number of threeballs.

“I was thinking my shot is really going in tonight” but that was the extent until a day or so later “Coach said 'Danny, you had nine threes.'”

What made Lewis' night is the actual victory -- 85 to 50 -- because of there being of the rivalry, there being “a lot of animosity between Wheatland and Marysville.”

But with all these hallelujahs about points and close to a three pointer for every finger on each hand comes Lewis with his response to a query about his best skill: “It's attacking the basket although my shooting has been improving.”

He's looking to play more of a role as a playmaker for Marysville and compile assists but understands that his prolific scoring “can allow me to set up my teammates with passes.”

What's interesting and critical to Lewis' future is his move to the one spot this season as he was a two guard during his twin seasons at Franklin. That was because “my coach felt I wasn't ready to have all that pressure on me yet.”

Both Lewis and Easter understand that playing the point is his calling at the next level, barring some stupendous growth spurt.

The son of a former Triple AAA baseball player, Lewis played on the diamond as well as the football field and basketball court when he was younger. But basketball won out -- “it drew my attention the most” with the speed of the game being a mitigating factor in his choice.

So why is Marysville, which finished 5-22 last season, doing so well thus far?

“We have so many right pieces and good players,” Lewis offered, adding, “a good coach too as Coach Easter has really helped with our mindset.”

Lewis sees his duty as “necessary for me to provide leadership because I'm the point guard.” He believes he has drawn the respect of his teammates “by my play and because I offer encouragement on good plays” and that allows him to also speak up when the flow of the game isn't in favor of Marysville.

Lewis already is eyeing on majoring in physical therapy at the next level and he is looking for “a school with my major and a coach who is involved with his players.”