Gwinn’s Tucker Taylor, Miners’ Jason Waterman earn all-state Division 3 boys basketball honorable mention

Gwinn’s Tucker Taylor, left, follows through on a slam dunk in the MHSAA Division 3 district tournament championship game against Negaunee played at Lakeview Memorial Gym in Negaunee on March 1. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

FLINT (AP) — Flint Beecher has been a state basketball powerhouse for years, but the last decade has seen the Buccaneers become just as well known for the individual talent they have produced, the latest of which is junior guard Jalen Terry.

Terry was named The Associated Press Division 3 boys Player of the Year after voting by a panel of nine sports writers, giving a Beecher player the award for the fifth time in nine years. He joins three-time winner Monte Morris and Malik Ellison as Players of the Year from Beecher since 2011.

That’s an unprecedented run of success for a school that also produced the likes of Carl Banks, Roy Marble, Courtney Hawkins, Marquise Gray and Cedric Moten.

Two area players earned honorable mention status from the AP — 6-foot-4 senior forward Tucker Taylor of Gwinn and 6-foot junior guard Jason Waterman of Negaunee. Each of those players was named to the West PAC Dream Team and Mid-Peninsula Conference First Team.

Several other Upper Peninsula players also earned Division 3 honors. Sophomore Foster Wonders and junior Marcus Johnson of state finalist Iron Mountain were part of the First Team All-State squad, while Mountaineers coach Harvey “Bucky” Johnson and player Matt Ojala of Calumet made Second Team All-State.

Gwinn's Tucker Taylor, right, drives to the basket as Negaunee's Drew DuShane defends in the third quarter of their MHSAA Division 3 district tournament championship game played at Lakeview Memorial Gym in Negaunee on March 1. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

The 5-foot-11 Terry reminds Beecher coach Mike Williams of several players that include Morris — the 2013 Mr. Basketball Award winner who is a rookie with the Denver Nuggets — as well as Allen Iverson and former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves, who honed his skills at Flint Northern.

Those are lofty comparisons for sure, but Williams obviously knows what top talent looks like after leading the Bucs to five state titles and two more quarterfinal appearances since 2012.

Terry was a reserve on the 2017 championship team when he was a freshman.

It wasn’t uncommon to see him throw down a 360-degree dunk or an alley-oop on the fast break, but he can also shoot mid-range jumpers, 3-pointers and has enough moves around the basket to get an open shot, draw a foul or twist and for a reverse layup if covered by an opponent.

He’s also an outstanding free-throw shooter.

Negaunee’s Jason Waterman, left, puts up a short jumper in an MHSAA Division 3 district tournament game against Westwood at Lakeview Memorial Gym in Negaunee on Feb. 27. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Terry made all 13 of his free throws while scoring a game-high 24 points in the Division 3 quarterfinals vs. Edison and sank all eight he attempted in the second quarter of a 40-point district tournament win against Flint Hamady.

Erie-Mason’s Kevin Skaggs was named The AP Coach of the Year for Division 3 boys basketball.

Negaunee's Jason Waterman, left, drives the lane as Westwood's Zach Niemi defends in the second quarter of their high school boys basketball game played at the Patriots' gym on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)