Basketball – Top Stars Shine at Senior All-Star Game, Dunk Contest
TOMS RIVER - Thursday night at Pine Belt Arena was a chance for the top seniors in the Shore Conference and a handful of high-flying underclassman to strut their stuff in front of a crowd from all over Monmouth and Ocean County. By the end of the night, three of the brightest stars stood out the most.
Manasquan guard Stella Clark, Toms River North swingman Jaden Rhoden and Ranney standout Scottie Lewis stole the show Thursday night to highlight full slate in Toms River.
Clark led the East All-Stars to a 93-84 win over the West to open up the night, scoring a team-high 16 points while earning the game's Most Valuable Player award. Clark capped her night with a pair of three-pointers, including one from just a few feet inside of half court.
The East and West teams traded runs, with the West getting off to a fast start thanks to St. Rose senior Jen Louro. Louro also hit a three-pointer just inside mid court during the first half to whip the crowd into a buzz and was the fuel behind the West team's runs while she was on the floor. Louro finished with a team-high 17 points thanks to five three-pointers, while St. Rose teammate Alex Pendergrass poured in 16.
Ashley Tutzauer of host Toms River North poured in 10 points in her home gym, including a pair of three-pointers, to aid Clark in leading the East. Red Bank Catholic guard and Manchester forward Dejah Adams each scored nine points and Point Boro forward Ally Lassen netted eight.
Adams hit the biggest shot in Manchester history when she buried a three-pointer to win the South Jersey Group II championship game and scored all nine of her points Thursday night on threes.
Rumson-Fair Haven forward Hannah Scanlan pumped in 10 points in defeat and Holmdel guard Sydney Coffaro dropped eight for the West squad.
Rhoden scored a game-high 24 points on his home floor to lead the East side to a win over the West. Manasquan wingman Devin Jensen added 17 points and the two All-Shore picks were on the same page when on the floor together. During the second half, Jensen laid a pass off the backboard that Rhoden slammed home with two hands and Rhoden returned the favor with a lob that Jensen slammed home later in the half.
The West squad pulled within two points on a three-pointer by St. Rose guard Billy Frost with 20 seconds to go but the East ran off most of the remaining clock before Jensen put the game on ice with his third three-pointer.
Rhoden and Jensen were two of six East players to reach double-figure scoring. Red Bank Regional guard Nasir Williams and Point Pleasant Beach forward Steve Flanders each finished with 12 points while Central senior Denis Corbin and Manchester guard L.J. Robinson each poured in 10, with Corbin also hauling in double-digit rebounds.
Mater Dei senior Elijah Mitchell and Marlboro senior Dan Weiss opposed each other in the Shore Conference Tournament final, but both helped lead the West team Thursday. Mitchell led the way with 21 points while Weiss knocked down four three-pointers for 12 points. Lakewood's Adi Palmer also scored 13 points, including a pair of dunks.
Ocean guard Darius Brown scored 11 points, Southern guard Mark Valeriani poured in 10 and Toms River North point guard Darrion Carrington netted nine.
At halftime of the boys game, Ranney sophomore Scottie Lewis successfully defended his I'm Possible Slam Dunk Contest championship with a pair of hammers. After cupping the ball and going up and under the rim for a one-handed finish to qualify for the championship round, Lewis donned a Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey took off for a dunk just inside the free-throw line to clinch the championship.
Lewis beat out runner up Nasiem Brantley from Howell. The junior won a dunk-off against Toms River North junior Travis Holland to reach the final. Neptune junior and Ranney sophomore Bryan Antoine both made dunks up against the 30-second time limit after missing three attempts, while Rhoden did not complete a dunk.
St. Rose guard Ellyn Stoll won the three-point shootout at halftime of the girls game by knocking down 18 three-pointers in a minute. Stoll beat out Red Bank Catholic guard Josie Larkins for the three-point title and joined Louro and Pendergrass to give the Shore Conference Tournament champions plenty of representation.
Video Courtesy of Adam Tormollan, Stretch Videos
Secondary angles shot by Matt Manley