Versatile freshman Schwartz helps key Doherty turnaround

February 28, 2014 Updated: February 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm
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Doherty freshman D'Shawn Schwartz (13) stealing the ball away from Vista Ridge junior Malik Roberson (23) on Friday, December 20, 2013 at Doherty HIgh School. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography

At 6-foot-4 - and still growing - Dshawn Schwartz certainly stands his ground against opposing big men. He also does quite well in the backcourt, too.

The Spartans freshman has been asked to fill many roles and hasn't disappointed as Doherty returned to the top of the Metro League standings. After receiving a first-round bye in the 5A playoffs, the No.?4 Spartans (16-7) host No.?5 Legend (16-8) at 6 p.m. Saturday.

"He's a very versatile kid," Spartans coach James Lane said. "He can play four positions, and it depends on the game. He's run the point and also had to play in the post. He's the jack of all trades."

Not bad for a kid fresh out of Russell Middle School.

And after not quite one season, he's already drawing rave reviews.

"Dshawn is a smart player, and he will go far," Spartans senior Zach Young said. "He does anything he needs to do to help the team. He's just one of those players, like a younger LeBron (James) or Kevin Durant that is tall, but skilled enough to play at any position."

Schwartz has started all 23 games as the Spartans finished the regular season by winning nine of 10 Metro League games and 10 of 12 overall.

At the onset of the season, Schwartz wasn't sure where he'd be utilized. That's good, because he learned that his spot on the floor would be built around the opposition.

"I knew I'd come out and defend and do my part to help the team win," Schwartz said. "I consider myself a small forward. If I'm playing center, I don't care. I just want to do whatever I can for the team."

Schwartz's averages 9.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, along with 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals.

Don't forget, this production is coming from a freshman.

"That confidence and poise just comes from all the time and work in the offseason," Lane said. "He's done pretty special things as a freshman. Even off the court, when you talk to his teachers, they tell you he acts above his age."

After the season, Lane will start the wheels moving toward next season. With senior starters Shane Fox, Eli Peterson and Jason Anderson all standing 6-5 or taller and graduating, look for Schwartz to be a force down low.

"We're already talking about it, and we know we'll have to switch things up," Lane said. "Every year, you have to adjust. Hopefully we won't have to start thinking about that right away."

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