Grand Rapids, MI: The Clash of the Clubs offered just one more chance for teams to tighten things up before the year's 1st evaluation period. Teams from all over the Midwest descended on Grand Rapids, Michigan for the tune-up. LBI was on hand to see some good basketball as there where great individual and team performances that would help all parties involved feel good about moving into next week where college coaches will be out taking notes trying to find the missing pieces to their team’s puzzles.
West Michigan Drive BSTTL (Copeland)
2020 Kaylee Bakker 6’2” PF (Committed to Grand Valley State)
2021 Allison AJ Ediger 6’2” PF
These two big girls together in the paint for the West Michigan Drive group are incredibly dominant. Both standing at a formidable 6 feet 2 inches tall, can contest, altar and block numerous shots during the course of a game. Bakker and Ediger both were able to switch out on the perimeter players and comfortably defend without skipping a beat. Bakker’s length and mobility served her well on the offensive. She caught the ball nicely in transition while running the floor with ease-and then finishing plays with good variety around the rim. Ediger, on the other hand, scored from all over the court. The power forward was frequently involved in pick and roll situations, but AJ mixed it up with hard rolls and sneaky pops for the three ball too. She managed to score in the paint with relative ease because of her high skill set and sturdy frame. These two frontcourt players are a match made in heaven.
Michigan Crossover 15U EYBL
2023 Amiyah Reynolds 6’ PG
2022 Taylor Anderson 5’7” G
Everyone loves a good, well put together peanut butter and jelly sandwich with just the right amount of jelly to peanut butter ratio! That’s what I think about when seeing two players that compliment each other so nicely like Reynolds and Anderson. At 6’ tall, Reynolds mixes it up inside with the trees nicely and tends to find Anderson streaking up the floor. Taylor Anderson has very nice jumping ability and is unafraid to get physical in the paint. Her silky touch around the rim allowed her to finish on the offensive end pretty efficiently too. When Anderson and Reynolds are in the backcourt together, it becomes increasingly difficult to contain those two. Reynolds has controlled the pace with amazing quickness that is a headache to deal with alongside Anderson’s toughness, that makes them a dynamic duo you’ll want to keep tabs on for sure.
Michigan Premier 2022 Blue
2022 Gabrielle Lutchka SF 5’11
2022 Hillary Griffin SF 5’11”
When scouting a team from a coach's standpoint, it’s never fun when you have multiple players that you need to address and contend with. Michigan Premier 2022 Blue have two very nice small forwards that keep you busy. 5’11” Lutchka plays much bigger than her frame says, she is strong yet mobile on the interior. I watched her defend quick guards and rebound over tough bigs all in the same game. Her partner in crime holding down the other block inside, Hillary Griffin was a great compliment to Lutchka. Griffin has a nice well-rounded game to her; she defends well against other post players, has good footwork inside and finishes nicely in the paint. Michigan Premier team utilized all that Griffin and Lutchka has to offer this weekend as they took home “the gold” in the 15u bracket.
LBI Most Wanted
2024 Kendall Braden 5’5” PG 03 Elite
Once you start watching Kendall, believe me, it’s tough to stop! She’s a player that makes you throw around words like; swag, smooth and saucy. She is very skilled for her age, but still possesses a rawness about her that is exciting because you know she has more in there. She has quickly become one of my favorites to watch.
2021 Riley Davis 6’ SG Jackson Jets
When I settled in to watch the Jackson Jets, the first thing I noticed was that Riley Davis has the length to die for. She uses that length as a tool to be a versatile defender and to finish over the top of helpless defenders. Also, evident was her jumping ability. A few times, Davis attacked the basket and seemingly attempted to jump over would be help defenders. Her explosiveness was shocking at times. Davis has a guards skill set and a developing game worth keeping an eye on.
2021 Nika Dorsey 5’9” SF Michigan Storm Elite 2021 UAA
Nika Dorsey has attributes people love to talk about when evaluating players. Extraordinary length, which she used to cause havoc on the ball and in passing lanes. High motor, which allowed her to push opposing teams to play a pace they were not comfortable playing. And finally, a soft shot that she used to score on all three levels. Dorsey is improving and must watch for college coaches wherever she goes.
2024 Devin Hagemann 5’5” PG Michigan Crossover (Brown)
Ok, the score is Jackson Jets 29 and Michigan Crossover......8. These two squads have met and fought several times previously, but the score has never been, so one-sided. The Jets gave the Crossover girls all they could handle early. Crossover had quite the little weapon of their own-Devin Hagemann, and she was the absolute necessary spark that the Crossover girls needed to swing back. Devin, aka, Pooter was virtually unstoppable for them. She hit long threes, controlled the game's tempo, drove fearlessly to finish and always defended the best player. She led the Crossover’s comeback victory over the Jackson Jets by one.
2023 Amiyah Reynolds 6’ PG Michigan Crossover 15U EYBL
After the conclusion of the Michigan Mystics and Crossover 15u game “I” was exhausted. The tempo that the Mystics tried to put on the game was unbelievable. They frequently rotated in fresh legs in hopes of wearing out the guard play of the Michigan Crossover girls. Point guard Amiyah Reynolds was a stabilizing presence under that very pressure thrown at them. Possession after possession she managed to split the double, blow past the trap or muscle her way to the rim. Reynolds had the right recipe for success for sure. She drew numerous fouls on over-aggressive defenders that afforded her 15 free throw attempts. CO’s point guard took control over the job of not only breaking down the pressure but of maintaining the efforts to get points for her squad. Amiyah’s performance sealed the deal for Crossover’s win over the Mystics during Easter weekend.
2022 Maya Pierce 5'6" PG 1 Nation 15U UAA
1 Nation was short-handed all day long and widely at the guard position, but it seemed to be no from Pierce who had to carry the reigns for most of their run to a championship trophy. Her range was clicking from the mid-range and beyond and she’s improving while creating off the bounce. Defensively she had the task of guarding the opposing PG’s of each team and did an excellent job of applying pressure.
2020 Xeryia Tartt 5'10" SF 1 Nation 17U UAA
Tartt is the only returning player for the 1 Nation Elite team, so naturally, she had to step up and be a leader for her group vocally and by example. In her first action of the travel season, she showed that she is much improved on the perimeter and at the helm of the offense as well as the capability of playing four positions on the floor at any given moment.
Michigan Storm Elite 2021 UAA Team
So we’ve all heard the infamous phrase, “defense wins championships.” Well, in this case, that’s exactly what this team accomplished. The Michigan Storm Elite 2021 UAA team took home the bragging rights of a first-place finish, and they managed to do it because of their big-time play on the defensive end. Nika Dorsey terrorized the backcourt with her length and athleticism on the point of their press. The Storm has a one-woman wrecking crew as well in Saniaa Walker. At times she completely shut down specific players in the half court. There’s no point in talking about high impact defenders if you’re not going to mention Emaia O’Brien. Her on-ball tenacity and fight is on a level all her own. 5’9” guard, Makyiah Finley also used her extraordinary length to get numerous deflections and steals for the Storm as they cruised their way to a championship