East Lansing, MI: Although there was an intense buzz surrounding the epic matchup of the men's Michigan State vs. Michigan basketball game this weekend, young girls teams from all over the midwest came to find their own rivalry in the Spartan Classic tournament on the campus of Michigan State University. Familiar foes met and fought. While some new faces emerged and shined. However, through it all, these are a few of the players that earned a standing ovation.
Spartan Classic Bangin Bigs
2023 6’1” Zoie Bamm C Jackson Jets
When I think of a midwest, back to the basket center, Zoie Bamm absolutely fits the mold. She has a frame that’s capable of absorbing continual pounding and banging that comes from playing on the block. There’s nothing too flashy about her shot-blocking ability, but she is a definite and legit rim protector with her long arms and sturdy stance. On the offensive end, Bamm can eat up space and get deep post position. She also uses her sound footwork to create easy buckets for herself.
2025 6’ Darriana Alexander SF Indiana Blaze Onyx
While most low post players choose to go through the defense, Darriana will most definitely go over the top of them! Her jumping ability is off the charts for her age. This 6’ youngster possesses extreme athleticism that allows her to exploit weak and undersized opposition. Her knack for locating and snatching the ball off the rim is at times startling, to say the least. Alexander uses her elite speed to push the ball in transition for numerous uncontested layups as well. Even though she is young, she shows tremendous potential alongside her very talented team.
2024 5’11” Coco Courtright SF 03 Elite
Stable, consistent and composed. All these words describe forward Coco Courtright. This front court player showed off her high IQ in terms of knowing when to post, what position to get and where to do it from. Coco’s understanding of posting and sealing was second to none this weekend. She is a player that can create her own shot once the ball finds her with her outstanding footwork and soft touch near the basket. Game after game she gave her team extra possessions with the hard work she put in on the offensive glass. Coco was an impact player for O3 Elite and one of the reasons for their run to the 7th-grade championship final.
Spartan Classic Sharp Shooters
2025 5’6” Maddie Bernard SG Michigan Crossover
Mom’s advice on not judging a book by its cover remains true. Maddie Bernard may deceive you at first glance, but once that shot goes up, everyone in the gym knows we have a real shooter on our hands! Bernard has one of those short memories coaches love from their clutch shooters that let her forget misses and focus on makes. Her confidence shines when she’s behind the arc. Good footwork combined with a quick and straightforward release allow her to get off multiple shots throughout a game when defenses seem to key in on her.
2025 5’6" Nyah Mullins SG Glass City Fury
When teams feel the need to completely change their defensive schemes in attempts to contend with a sharpshooter like Nyah Mullins, then you can rest a sure she is a true threat. If you’ve ever seen Mullins play, then you know long range threes come quick and in a hurry for this Fury guard. Deficits never seem to phase this young shooter because she knows a comeback is merely a few shots away. From the first shot of the game to last second threes, Nyah Mullins never shies away from the moment to hang three more on the scoreboard.
2024 5’6” Allie Caldwell SG Indiana Flight North
It didn’t take long for my husband (@LBISteve) and I to give Allie Caldwell a nickname: “Quick Draw Mcgraw.” As we snickered about our catchy phrase, she continued to show off her quick release on her three ball. Caldwell’s form and consistency were there for sure. Allie did a phenomenal job of moving without the ball along the perimeter, and sure enough, the ball seemed to find her in the end. This shooting guard was a perfect compliment to the inside presence the Indiana Flight team leveraged throughout the tournament.
Spartan Classic Sister Act
2024 Summer Davis 5’8” G Michigan Storm/ 2024 Indya Davis 5’8” G Michigan Storm
I’ve seen my fair share of twins, but Summer and Indya Davis of the 2024 Michigan Storm team are incredibly similar. When watching these two ballers play together, it’s hard at times to distinguish their game from one another! Both, however, possess the ability to score the ball in bunches at a level most players cannot even get to. From Summer’s running one-handed shot, that is entirely consistent, to Indya’s lights out long three’s, these sisters will get hotter than hot at the blink of an eye. The Davis girls have an edge that can’t be taught. Taking last-second shots, pressuring other teams best players or starring down a deficit, these sisters don’t shy away from big moments. If anything at all, they seem to welcome the pressure. With the Davis sisters possessing a ton of grit and moxie, combined with the fact that they are merely terrific basketball players, this sister duo will be a heavyweight 1-2 punch for years to come.
2023 Amiyah Reynolds 6’ PG Michigan Crossover/ 2025 Kira Reynolds 6’1” G Michigan Crossover
Although some might mistake them for twins, they most certainly are not. 2023 Amiyah Reynolds and 2025 Kira Reynolds from Michigan Crossover, are a duo that may soon be a household name. Amiyah’s game is full of quick crossovers and ankle snatching in-and-outs. With a 6’ frame and length to go with it, she creates mismatches all over the floor. She possesses the rare ability to play positions 1-4 because of her size and elite skill set. Amiyah is a stud that requires constant attention. Little sis, Kira, is anything but little. In fact, she is taller and able to play all positions on the court. Kira is capable of taking anyone, I mean anyone, off the dribble for a bucket. Kira is a complete matchup nightmare! I’m talking freaky Freddy Kruger from Nightmare on Elm Street scary. Game in and game out Kira overwhelm teams with elite skill, size and desire to impose her will upon them. These Reynolds sisters are so good and fun to watch that it makes you wish there were more of them.
2024 Isabelle Poehein 6’1” SF and Sophia Poehein 6’1” PF Indiana Flight North
Size matters and the Poehein sisters have it! Both offer versatility, however, Isabelle seems to be a little more comfortable using her size to get to the basket on the offensive end. Both run the floor well and catch in traffic as they were both dominant at times around the basket in Flight’s win over Michigan Crossover. Sophia was able to alter and block shots. Her ability to do so was a huge difference maker. The Poeheins are skilled and just scratching the surface of their potential to be one of Indiana’s top tandems.
7th Grade Championship game 03 Elite vs. Michigan Storm
The 2024 Michigan Storm team is no stranger to the championship game atmosphere. With numerous titles and plenty of battles under their belts, the scene was set for another blowout and comfortable ride to the top. However, the up an coming 03 Elite girls were ready to spoil the Storms early celebration. With balanced scoring and an inside-out game plan working like a well-oiled machine, the 03 team got out to an early lead. With the solid backcourt duo of Emma Arico and Kendal Braden, they seemed to weather the “storm” of the full-court pressure. 03’s Coco Courtright was a big-time presence throughout the entire game. She managed to give her team a lead at the half as well as head coach Simpkins of the Michigan Storm a massive headache. The leadership play of Storm’s Summer Davis kept them within striking distance with a constant barrage of running floaters and long threes. In the midst of Summer catching fire in the second half, she managed to change the momentum entirely with a single acrobatic shot to tie the ball game up with just under 4 minutes to go. With obvious momentum shifting towards the Storms way, 03 counters with a huge rebound and put back from Coco Courtright to take back the lead. Mounting pressure from the numerous athletic players the Storm have in the end too much for the 03 Elite team to overcome. The Michigan Storm took home yet another championship after a hard fought comeback in the Spartan Classic. As they raised their trophy in victory and it was all said and done, head coach Simpkins poetically states, “now we can be tired.”
LBI evaluator Marcy Reynolds is really coming into her own as a scout and evaluator, follow her on Twitter: @LBIMarcy.