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A-State Player Positional Profiles: Primary Ball-Handlers

November 9, 2020

JONESBORO – As the 2020-21 women’s basketball season nears, will provide fans with a weekly positional preview. Today, focusing on the primary ball-handlers – Jireh Washington, Hilani Cantone, Jada Stinson and Mattie Hatcher.

Jireh Washington – Junior – Memphis, Tenn.
A Third Team All-Sun Belt Conference performer as a sophomore, Jireh Washington enters her junior season looking to build on a standout season where she led Arkansas State in scoring (13.0) and assists (111). She ended her sophomore campaign having scored double digits in four straight games and 10 of her last 11. Washington was pivotal in A-State’s 21-point comeback over South Alabama on March 5, scoring 18 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter. She also hit the buzzer-beating shot to defeat Coastal Carolina on Jan. 25 to make ESPN’s “Late Game Heroics” feature on Sportscenter later that night.

Entering this season, the Memphis native is 298 points shy of cracking the 1,000-point threshold, currently at 702. She needs 102 assists to tie for 10th all-time at A-State, currently at 185.  

Matt Daniel on Washington: “Jireh was an all-conference player for us last year and good things happen when the ball is in her hands. A good word for her is ‘playmaker.’ She is really good at creating for herself and for her teammates.”

Hilani Cantone – Freshman – Apopka, Fla.
Hilani Cantone enters her first season of college basketball after playing her senior season at Apopka High School. She led the Blue Darters to a 24-4 overall record in 2019-20, notching 13.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists. She helped AHS to a Florida 7A District 3 Tournament crown and a Region 1 semifinal finish in the Class 7A state tournament.

Matt Daniel on Cantone: “Hilani is a smooth point guard. For a freshman, she plays very under-control and the game moves slower for her than it does for most freshmen. She’ll be good at getting us into the right things, creating when she needs to and getting others involved as well.”

Jada Stinson – Redshirt Junior – Elizabethtown, Ky.
Jada Stinson is entering her first season of action at Arkansas State after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Stinson came to A-State following two seasons at Memphis in which she started 30 contests and averaged over 25 minutes per game. A threat both to drive and shoot, Stinson can be deadly from deep, knocking down 62 threes in her two seasons as a Tiger, including 33 as a sophomore. As a freshman, she led all UM freshmen in points (6.8), assists (73) and steals (24).

Matt Daniel on Stinson: “Jada is very versatile. Offensively, she can play on or off the ball and good things are going to happen. She is a threat to drive or shoot. Defensively, she’s a versatile defender and can match up with most people on the floor.”

Mattie Hatcher – Freshman – Little Rock, Ark.
Hattie Hatcher is entering her freshman season of basketball despite being a sophomore academically, as she spent her freshman year as a student at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Hatcher was a three-time all-state performer and four-time all-conference guard at Pulaski Academy. She also stood out on the soccer pitch, holding the Arkansas state record for goals scored and was two-time Arkansas Soccer Player of the Year.

Hatcher is also an accomplished equestrian, winning gold in the mixed country team event at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and placing fourth in the individual jumping final. Her brother, Layne, is a quarterback on the A-State football team while her father Greg (wrestling, soccer, baseball at Alma College), her sisters Kelsey (basketball at Arkansas), Haley (soccer at Ouachita Baptist) and Larking (soccer at Harding University) all competed collegiately.

Matt Daniel on Hatcher: “Mattie is an incredibly hard worker. She’s the prototypical gym rat. She is extremely competitive and her desire to win, whether it’s a sprint or a shooting competition is incredibly valuable.”

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Original article source: | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

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