February 21, 2015

Septimo's got next

Kevin McCarthy

At 6-foot and 170 pounds, Michael Septimo may not be the tallest or the widest but the senior Montgomery High point guard's play on the court is huge.

photo of Michael Septimo

A prime example: after suffering a right knee MCL sprain at Christmas time and with just a few practices under his belt, Septimo returned January 28 and scored 32 points in Montgomery's 50-40 win over Cardinal Newman. He tallied 29 of his team's initial 36 points. Minus Septimo, the outcome when these two teams met three weeks earlier was a 55-35 loss.

That particular game is also what Septimo selected as his best basketball moment. But in contention could have been his scoring seven of his 16 points in the fourth quarter in a 50-43 victory over Casa Grande on February 11. Early or late, he effects games.

Here's Montgomery Coach Tom Fitchie who knows a thing or two about basketball after being in that position since 1984: “Michael's a great kid who loves the game and puts in a lot of time to get better. He's a terrific shooter with a great crossover -- he's as good at handling the ball as I've had.”

After participating in the May 2014 Nor Cal Spring Showcase, Septimo's game was described: “Very good 3 point shooter. Deceptively quick first step, solid decision maker, high basketball IQ. Can also play 2-guard.”

At times, it appears Septimo is playing with the ball on a string and that's something he has ferociously worked to develop. “My best skill is my ballhandling. I work on it everyday, something with one basketball, sometimes two.”

As for developing his court IQ, “I watch as many games as I can—our own, college, NBA and take pieces from what I see.”

He's also grateful just to be on the court offering, “I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love.”

Whether it be with Montgomery or the Sonoma County Cagers, Septimo see his roles as “facilitating offensively and defensively and being a coach on the floor.”

Asked what has changed for him since his freshman season, he responded, “The biggest difference is processing the game a lot quicker. It's slowed down for me.”

Influential in the development of his game are a numnber of individuals. “Probably first my Dad as a coach has always been there for me and also Coach Fitchie and Zac Tiedeman.” The latter is a Montgomery alum and assistant coach who later played the point at Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Clara University and Humboldt State.

Plus, he added these: “My first two AAU coaches for the Marin Ducks, Tom Roach and George Roach.” They are the father and grandfather of Marin Academy's Kyle Roach, an AAU teammate of Septimo.

Septimo's academics are in order to move to the next level.

The Santa Rosa/Sonoma County area is known for producing guards, especially shooters, moving on to the next level. Septimo should be next.