New Haven High School's Romeo Weems (1) pushes around Goodrich's Aiden Rubio in the MHSAA District 2 basketball regionals Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at Imlay City High School. (Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)
It was another amazing boys basketball season.
Year in and year out, the Blue Water Area continues to produce upper-echelon boys basketball players.
This year would prove to be no different as New Haven phenom Romeo Weems returned for his senior season with a bulls-eye squarely on his back as the top player in the area.
With that being said, let's take a look at the top basketball talents in the Blue Water Area, starting with the reigning Mr. Basketball, himself.
1. Romeo Weems, New Haven: Any conversation about the best basketball player in the Blue Water Area or state, should start with Weems, and for good reason. Weems isn't just talented. He's a dominant force at the high school level. There isn't a position that Weems couldn't play on offense or defense for New Haven; and that showed when teams tried to devise plans to guard him or slow him down. He still averaged 26.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 3.5 assists while leading New Haven to a 24-2 record.
New Haven guard Ronald Jeffery III (right) defends against Richmond High School guard Drew Davis during the MHSAA Division 2 Boys Basketball District Finals Friday, March 1, 2019 at New Haven High School. (Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)
2. Ronald Jeffrey III, New Haven: When Weems wasn't terrorizing defenses, it was likely Ronald Jeffrey III was going off for the Rockets. He averaged 21.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.1 steals as a senior and was an honorable mention all-state selection. He had the ability to score points in bunches and also the focus to step up defensively for a big block or steal.
3. Drew Davis, Richmond: It was a hard decision to pick between Jeffrey III and Davis at No. 2 because both players were just that good this season. Davis averaged 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals for Richmond, while being named honorable mention all-state. He was clutch in big moments, while leading his team to a 21-2 record and back-to-back Blue Water Area Conference championships. He will surely be missed.
4. Daveyon Henderson, Richmond: The Richmond High School junior will be the highest returning player on this list next year. At 6-foot-6 inches tall, you can't miss him if you were to walk by him. His basketball skills stand out about as tall. He's talented on and off the ball and in the paint and on the perimeter. In short, it's not much Henderson can't do.
Players from Marysville attempt to block Port Huron Northern's Braiden McGregor (5) during their basketball game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at Marysville High School. (Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)
5. Braiden McGregor, Port Huron Northern: The hype was real. You might have showed up wondering what type of basketball player McGregor would be. And then his athleticism likely wowed you. McGregor was a physically imposing player on the court that not many teams could slow down. He was dominant on the glass and a force to be reckoned with in the paint. If this was his final high school basketball season (he is expected to early enroll for football next year), it was surely a season to be remembered.
6. Hunter Soper, Croswell-Lexington: The Pioneers big man led his team in points, rebounds and blocks and was second on the team in assists and steals. He showcased an overall game, from altering shots on defense to setting up teammates on offense. Along with Henderson, Soper will be a player to watch next season in the BWAC.
7. Johnny Mistretta, Marine City: The Marine City boys basketball team enjoyed one of its best seasons in recent memory this year. In large part, that was due to the junior guard Johnny Mistretta, who was a driving force in controlling tempo, for the Macomb Area Conference Broze Division champions.
8. James Delong, Port Huron Northern: The Port Huron Northern junior guard can get hot in a hurry and stay hot all game long. Late in the season Delong got into a groove for Northern and teamed with McGregor to present a humongous challenge to defenses trying to slow the Huskies' offense. His outside shot and also his ability to maneuver through the lane will make him a player to watch going forward.
9. De'Ovion Price, Port Huron High: Price paced Port Huron High in scoring as a sophomore and appeared to progress as the season went on. The Big Reds guard was voted first team all-conference and has the ability to be a good two-way player going forward. He averaged 14 points per game and scored 28 points against Marysville.
Players from Richmond High School defend against St. CLair's Ryan Zimmer (center) during the first round of the MHSAA district basketball tournament Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at St. Clair High School. (Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)
10. Ryan Zimmer, St. Clair: The St. Clair big man provided a nice spark for the Saints this season. The Saints won their first five games and seven of their first eight under a new head coach. After the season went into a mid-season funk, Zimmer helped the team earn a big victory over Croswell-Lexington down the stretch and will be a player to watch next season. He's strong, athletic and an overall good athlete.
11. Trevor Boers, Capac: The Chiefs 6-foot-9 center became an overall versatile player for the program. He led the team in points (17.1 per game), and also set a new school record for rebounds (847) and blocks (277) for a career while also leading the team in assists this season. His overall contributions will surely be missed.
12. Jackson Allen, Richmond: It wasn't a surprise that Richmond enjoyed one of its best seasons in school history, considered they normally had two point guards on the court in Davis and Allen. With two intelligent ball handlers in the game, Richmond was able to keep its turnovers to a minimum. Allen was also a tough, gritty player that made life uneasy on opposing players.
Mark Donnellon, Yale (Photo: JEFFREY M. SMITH, TIMES HERALD)
13. Mark Donnellon, Yale: Throughout his four years in the program, Donnellon always seemed to be ahead of the curve. Donnellon averaged nearly 20 points per game for Yale, while keeping them in the thick of the BWAC conference race for most of the season. His versatility on offense showed as he was able to score from inside the lane or from 3-point range.
14. Jamir Farrior, New Haven: The Rockets 6-foot senior guard had plenty of success breaking the press and finding his teammates for easy scores. He proved to be a great game manager as he consistently established a tempo for the Rockets to thrive in.
15. Brent Wiles, New Haven: New Haven coach Tedaro France II said Wiles could be the next big thing that comes out of New Haven. That's saying something considering the products the Rockets have produced. But Wiles is a 6-foot-4 wing player that is already starting to show off an inside/outside game.
Nolan Julio, Cardinal Mooney (Photo: JEFFREY M. SMITH, TIMES HERALD)
16. Nolan Julio, Cardinal Mooney: The Marine City Cardinal Mooney junior is a point guard that seems to make the game easier on everyone around him. His ball handling and court vision continue to improve as he concluded his third year as a starter as an all-catholic league first-team selection.
17. Stephen McClelland, Yale: The Bulldogs senior guard would control games in stretches. He proved to be a good, overall shooter and leader, and also had a presence inside as a rebounder.
18. Matthew Kerrigan, Croswell-Lexington: The Pioneers senior guard seemed to always be in command. As one of the best ball handlers in the Blue Water Area Conference, Kerrigan was able to get most of the shots he hoped for. He was also adept at setting up teammates for scores and had plenty of success breaking the press.
19. Brian Butler, Marysville: The Vikings struggled at times this season, but Butler was a consistent performer throughout the year. He carried the offense in stretches and also provided outstanding defense for the Vikings.
20. Angelo Patsalis, Marine City: The Mariners enjoyed a breakout season, due to talents such as Patsalis. After enjoying a standout season on the football field, he took off his cleats and used his athleticism to enjoy a breakout year on the hardwood floor, where his speed and quickness allowed him to take his game to another level as a small forward.
21. Larry DeDalis, Cardinal Mooney: The Cardinal Mooney sophomore was only in his first year as a varsity player. But it didn't show on the court. He was a first-team all-league selection after leading the team in scoring (14.3) and rebounding (8.1).
Richmond High School guard Daveyon Henderson (5) defends against St. Clair's Sean Donaldson during the first round of the MHSAA district basketball tournament Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at St. Clair High School. (Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)
22. Sean Donaldson, St. Clair: The Saints junior guard missed a few games midway through the season, but got in a groove late in the year. He's known for his above average defense and his versatility to defend several positions. He teamed with Zimmer to give the Saints a nice inside, outside presence.
23. Carter Stoner, Port Huron Northern: The Port Huron Northern junior is a tremendous shooting talent from 3-point range. When he gets hot, he brings the Northern offense a different dynamic that was difficult to stop. It will be interesting to watch the back-court of Delong and Stoner going forward.
24. Nijere Finney, Port Huron High: The Big Reds sophomore guard is one of the most explosive athletes in the area and will surely be a player to watch going forward. He was at his best in the open court and could team with Price to give the Big Reds one of the top backcourts in the area in future seasons.
25. Matthew McClelland, Yale: The Bulldogs sophomore is part of a long list of McClelland brothers that have left their stamp on the area. Matthew is currently known for his upper echelon defense and started to play with confidence after suffering a tough injury early in the season.
New Haven High School player Romeo Weems (1) jumps to dunk the ball during the MHSAA Class B basketball semifinals against Grand Rapids Catholic Central at the Breslin Center in East Lansing Friday, March 23. (Photo: Brian M. Wells/Times Herald)
1. Romeo Weems, New Haven, Sr.
2. Ronald Jeffrey III, New Haven, Sr.
3. Drew Davis, Richmond, Sr.
4. Daveyon Henderson, Richmond, Jr.
5. Braiden McGregor, Port Huron Northern, Jr.
6. Hunter Soper, Croswell-Lexington, So.
7. Johnny Mistretta, Marine City, Jr.
8. James Delong, Port Huron Northern, Jr.
9. De'Ovion Price, Port Huron, So.
10. Ryan Zimmer, St. Clair, Jr.
11. Trevor Boers, Capac, Sr.
12. Jackson Allen, Richmond, Sr.
13. Mark Donnellon, Yale, Sr.
14. Jamir Farrior, New Haven, Sr.
15. Brent Wiles, New Haven, So.
16. Nolan Julio, Cardinal Mooney, Jr.
17. Stephen McClelland, Yale, Sr.
18. Matthew Kerrigan, Croswell-Lexington, Sr.
19. Brian Butler, Marysville, Sr.
20. Angelo Patsalis, Marine City, Jr.
21. Larry DeDalis, Cardinal Mooney, So.
22. Sean Donaldson, St. Clair, Jr.
23. Carter Stoner, Port Huron Northern, Jr.
24. Nijere Finney, Port Huron High, So.
25. Matthew McClelland, Yale, So.