Youngsters thriving for Metuchen girls’ basketball

Kathy Glutz used the word “very” twice when describing the youth of her Metuchen High School girls’ basketball team.

Glutz, Metuchen’s coach, starts a freshman, two sophomores, a junior and a senior in her lineup. There are only two seniors on the entire squad.

The coach is trying to develop her young talent and win in the future. Metuchen is 3-14 this winter. But its two best players are a freshman, Molly Malague, and a sophomore, Chase Klavon.

Both players look like future varsity standouts.

Malague, a speedy creator, is scoring 17.7 points per game. She has drilled 57 three pointers, 46 field goals and 39 free throws.

Klavon, a silky shooter, is averaging 10.7 points per contest. She has scored 105 of her 183 points on threes.

“We have a very, very young team. We haven’t played a full 32 minutes,” Glutz said. “But we’ve shown signs and that’s due in large part to Molly and Chase.”

“It’s been fun,” Malague said. “Chase is great. We’ve been working together and it’s worked out where our coach has helped us run some good plays.” 

Malague and Klavon clicked instantly in high school because they established chemistry at Edgar Middle School. The two were teammates there two years ago, when Malague was in seventh grade and Klavon was in eighth.

Playing similar roles as they are now, Malague and Klavon led Edgar’s girls’ basketball team to a one loss season.

Glutz was the principal of Edgar Middle School at the time, and she watched those games. She noticed the chemistry between Malague and Klavon right away.

“They were dynamite,” Glutz said. “The first thing that stood out was their passion for the game. They played so hard.”

“As soon as we started to play together, we played off each other. Hitting a lot of threes,” Klavon said. “Most of our offense comes from sharing the ball and looking for each other.”

“That chemistry has carried over,” Malague added. “It helped a lot.”

Glutz retired from her principal post in 2017. But she is not planning on stepping down as Metuchen’s girls’ basketball coach any time soon. The future is too bright with Malague and Klavon leading the way.

The coach fully expects more victories to come in future seasons. She even used the double “very” again, only this time to describe her vision.

“I see a very, very bright future. I think we’re on the verge of something big,” Glutz said. “We just have to be patient through this season.”

Most freshmen aren’t scoring double figures in 13 of 15 games, like Molly has. Even good freshmen usually just play roles and get their feet wet,” Glutz added. “Molly has had to take charge out there. And Chase is a tremendous outside threat who can handle the ball.” 

Metuchen’s talent is not limited to Malague and Klavon, either. The Bulldogs’ leading rebounder and shot blocker, Sam Antin, is only a junior. The team’s third starting guard, Noelle Leaf, is just a sophomore.

Deeper in the program, Glutz’s junior varsity team is 10-3. Even the Edgar Middle School team is still quite successful, with an undefeated record so far this winter.

Metuchen has a strong foundation. It is just sacrificing a few victories this year for many more in upcoming seasons.

“The next few years we’ll be on the rise. We have a lot of potential,” Klavon said. “I know we’ll be able to run on teams because we have a lot of girls who are more athletic. There’s a lot of potential to grow and expand.” 

“It’s only going to go up from here,” Malague said. “We’ll all keep improving individually and together.”