Friday night popped off the opening night of the Saginaw Hoopfest and the teams did not disappoint by putting on a show. A few big name players reminded everyone who they are, like Jimmy Bell with his dominance for Arthur Hill, and there were a few surprise performances, most notably Sanford Meridian 2019 guard Lucas Lueder.
Below is a list from Friday night’s standouts in alphabetical order:
Jimmy Bell, Arthur Hill- the 6-11 junior has spent the last month working on his body and looked in great shape. He’s quicker, better conditioned, but still plays with that same edge of toughness. He showed the ability to finish with both hands, and hunted down board after board. Play of the night was Bell forcing a steal at midcourt vs an opponent trying to drive past him, then diving on the ground hustling to recover the loose ball.
Tevan Blackmon, Saginaw High- another rising junior that has a chance to play at the next level. Tough guard who goes 100 miles an hour. Great athletic guard that doesn’t mind rolling up his sleeves and getting a little dirty for his team. With Saginaw High graduating so many players Blackmon should be a key piece for the Trojans this upcoming season.
Isaiah Bridges, Midland- last time I saw the 2019 product he was an undersized center, he now is a big wing at 6-4. For Midland, Bridges even handles a lot of point guard duties with such a high basketball I.Q. to go with a nice stroke from beyond the arc. He scored from all three levels and looks more than capable to be Midland’s headliner the next two years.
Brian Booker Jr., Saginaw Heritage- Booker is one of my favorites PG’s in the 2019 class due to the toughness and competitive nature he plays with. He understands the importance of getting his team involved, floor spacing, and most importantly taking care of the ball. He got to the bucket and was able to finish with either hand, hit the open shot, all while being in full control and not forcing anything.
Lucas Lueder, Sanford Meridian- the 6-5 sophomore stole the show this evening and looked very much the part of a D-1 prospect. He’s long and knows how to use his length on both ends. He plays point for his HS team but also led them in rebounding tonight. He has a smooth handle, hit shots from all over the court, and attacked the basket fearlessly. Lueder just has a cool poise about his game and showed tonight that he is definitely a gamer!
Ty Rodgers, Saginaw- the 6-4 7th grader is playing for Arthur Hill this weekend and his performance looked like a seasoned senior. At 13 years old Rodgers made grown man moves vs. varsity teams. He played all 5 positions. Shot the ball well, showed off his toughness inside, and was a beast defensively. To some it all up Ty Rodgers is SPECIAL!!!!
Reggie Williams Jr., Arthur Hill- the junior to be looks like he is now ready to take over the reins as the Hill’s point guard and floor general. Pretty much what you expect out of a Saginaw guard- he’s as tough as they come and goes hard on both ends of the floor. At times he may be too unselfish, but when he took his shot it dropped most of the time.