Bucs make statement on Day 2 of Gamepoint Fall Showcase
Marshawn Cherry has heard the "R word" at least four times since taking over as head coach at Mission Bay in 2016 -- rebuilding.
The first was after the graduation of Justin Moore. The second time was after the graduation of Boogie Ellis and a senior quartet that led them to the program's first Open Division title. The third time was following the departure of the talented Gonzalez brothers after a year in the program.
And this upcoming season, with the transfer of program standout Angelo Gil to San Ysidro.
Two of the previous three times, the Buccaneers bested expectations, remaining one of San Diego's top programs.
If Day 2 of the Gamepoint Fall Showcase is any indication, this will be the third time the Bucs haven't rebuilt - they've reloaded.
The Bucs opened Day 2 by registering an impressive 42-37 win over Balboa School. Led by 6-7 junior forward Charlie Hutchison - who scored 7 of the team's final 9 points, the Bucs used a 9-2 close to erase a late 2-point deficit in the final 90 seconds to win.
Hutchison scored 15 points in the win over a Balboa team that boasts high-major center recruit Cedric Lath. The Bengals got solid contributions from 6-6 junior Bambi Moïse, 6-5 senior wing Brandon Noythanongsay and senior guards Kalik Sharpe and Loren Daniel.
But the Bucs countered with standout efforts from its ever-improved 6-4 senior swingman Thomas Metcalf, who carried the Bucs through a critical second half stretch in which the Bucs stayed connected to the Bengals while Hutchison was on the bench, and its guard trio of Marcos Korch (6-2 junior), Isaah Whitehurst (6-1 junior) and Atreju De La Cruz (6-1 sophomore).
Hutchison, though, is emerging as one of San Diego's top players for this upcoming season, as his combination of size and skill make him a matchup nightmare even against the athletic Balboa wings and bigs.
Mission Bay followed up its victory over Balboa with an impressive 47-35 win over Vista. The Bucs led by 12 early in the 2nd half before Vista used a 14-6 run to cut the lead to 4 at 34-30, but the Bucs responded with a 10-1 run to regain control.
Saint Augustine, Mission Bay's Western League counterparts, also had a strong two games in their one day at the showcase, notching a 60-59 win over the same Balboa team the Bucs beat hours earlier, and a 68-58 win over La Costa Canyon in a game they led by as many as 20 points before pulling its starters.
The Saints accomplished this without two starters (senior guard Jaden Matingou was taking an official visit to UC San Diego and junior guard Ian De La Rosa was injured) and two key reserves, Vincent Ricchuiti and MJ Jackman.
Senior guard Jurian Dixon scored 30 points in the win against Balboa and Lolo Rudolph and recent Arizona Christian commit Derrius Carter Hollinger also impressed.
Montgomery, Torrey Pines, San Marcos and Canyon Crest also impressed with unbeaten days. The latter, which is rebuilding after the graduation of leading scorer Miguel Yniguez scored a surprise 41-32 win over Del Norte.
Montgomery wasn't challenged in impressive wins over Carlsbad and El Camino in the evening session, San Marcos defeated Ramona and Mission Vista and Torrey Pines netted wins over Murrieta Mesa, which had earlier beaten San Ysidro, and Poway,
The shorthanded San Ysidro squad (no Mikey Williams, freshman Ty Ingram and sophomores Steven Evans-Glynn or Miles Anderson) beat La Costa Canyon in a potential Open Division preview game.
Games resume today at 9 am at the Gamepoint-USK facility with Southern Section power Rancho Christian featured in two showcase matchups.