Attendance: 1

Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

Player to watch: Arroyo Grande freshman guard Kathleen Hutchens 12/31/2017

Menlo plus Atherton HS beat Menlo of Atherton School 64-57 to win the Coaches vs. Cancer championship game Saturday in … East Palo Alto.

Arroyo Grande beat Capuchino of San Bruno 55-44 to win the consolation game at Menlo (Eastside Prep hosted half the games, Menlo School the other — I imagine it was intended that if Menlo reached the final, it would be played at the neutral site.). For me, that was the main event because Arroyo Grande has a freshman guard who will be exceptional.

Kathleen Hutchens has court vision beyond her years. She completes passes short and long to teammates that most players will not recognize as possible, and goes to the basket when it’s the correct option. She’s a calm ballhandler in fast break traffic and when (seemingly) trapped by defenders.

She’s the coach’s daughter, which is not surprising at all. Coaches’ kids typically have a higher ‘basketball IQ’ than others.

The basketball somehow finds players with instincts like that. Against Capuchino, she gathered nine rebounds — maybe as many as 11 if the scorer was inclined. I recorded her line as 3-for-5 FG, 0-for-4  3FG (in two games, I didn’t see her make a shot from further than 15 feet, but there’s a shooter in there — she has two 20-point games so far — and shooting can be practiced, whereas court vision like hers is a natural talent), nine rebounds (2 off / 7 def), one assist on a long lead pass over the pack, one steal, one block, three turnovers (one skip pass landed in the seats, which in the case of excellent playmakers is a feature, not a bug), three personal fouls.

Before Hutchens, the two players who made a brilliant impression on me in just a few trips across the floor were Kendall Kenyon, who rewrote Pacific’s record book, and Marissa Janning, who was Big East player of the year. I figure Hutchens will be at least as good as that, if my judgment is still reliable.

Arroyo Grande HS plays in the league with Righetti HS, which produced two all-Big West players for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo a few miles away. Kathleen Hutchens is probably on Coach Mimnaugh’s radar already. Cal Poly and Fresno State are 200-mile drives, and that’s as far as I’ve been willing to travel for a game without staying in town overnight. It might be too much to consider that trip for a high school game, but I’ve got four years to think about it.

Categories basketball

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *