Boys Basketball – Sanor, Lewis Rep Ranney on Senior All-Star Night
*Watch the Replay of the Senior All-Star Game at the bottom of the post*
TOMS RIVER - The Ranney boys basketball team already has more hardware than any Shore Conference boys basketball program ever during a single season.
On Thursday night in Toms River, two of its top players earned a little bit more to close out the season.
Scottie Lewis won his fourth straight I'm Possible Slam Dunk Contest and senior teammate Ahmadu Sarnor was named game MVP in his West All-Star's 136-110 win over the East in the Shore Coaches Senior All-Star Game Thursday night at RWJ Barnabas Health Arena.
"A lot of us out here are friends so getting to play with each other is just a good time," Sarnor said of the All-Star experience. "At Ranney, when we go out on the court, it's a war every time. Out here, we have a good time playing with everybody. It's a lot of fun."
PHOTO GALLEY: Boys Senior All-Star Game by Paula Lopez
Lewis said he flew home from Miami - where he was working out with Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo - and made it to the arena in time to successfully defend the slam dunk title he has held since his freshman year.
After winning another slam dunk title, Lewis and teammate Bryan Antoine will play in the McDonald's All-American Game in Atlanta on March 27.
"From here on out, everything is a business," Lewis said. "McDonald's practices, (Nike) Hoop Summit in April - I'm just getting prepared to knock down open shots and make winning plays in front of those NBA scouts and GM's to make sure my stock keeps rising."
This year's format pit five challengers against one another with the top dunker earning the right to face Lewis in the final. Wall junior Quinn Calabrese beat out Manasquan senior Brad McCabe, Raritan junior Jaylen Smith, Lacey senior Carl Swensen and Ranney senior Alex Klatsky to get a shot at Lewis.
With three chances to complete two dunks, Calabrese and Lewis each missed their first two attempts and Calabrese could not convert his third either. That meant Lewis just had to complete one dunk to win and he capped his fourth title with a soaring, one-handed windmill that earned him a perfect score of 40.
Lewis also served as a prop for his younger brother, Smith, who attempted to dunk over his older brother and Raritan teammate Tim Hayes. Smith completed a reverse dunk on his first try but could not put down the dunk after leaping over his brother and teammate.
Last season, Lewis clinched his third title by leaping over Smith for a reverse dunk, so Lewis returned the favor in an effort to help his brother reach the final.
Calabrese advanced with a pair of dunks off the bounce, one a windmill and the other a reverse dunk - the second of which earned a 37.
After Lewis finished defending his title, Sarnor helped his West All-Stars take the game over in the second half. The 6-2 Ranney senior scored 20 points during his MVP effort, teaming up with Christian Brothers Academy guard Stephen Braunstein to lead the game-breaking run that stretched the lead from 10 to 26.
Braunstein finished with a game-high 25 points to wrap up a standout career, during which he became the 20th player in the storied history of CBA's basketball program to reached 1,000 career points.
Sarnor was a three-year starter at Ranney and was limited to only 18 games during his senior season due to an NJSIAA rule that limits the amount players who played high school basketball in eighth grade while out of state can play. Sarnor played 16 games as an eighth grader and had to sit the first 16 of this year.
"It was tough but surprisingly, it went by pretty fast," Sarnor said. "It's like it was just yesterday I was sitting out and now we're at the All-Star Game. It's been a helluva journey and to be here right now is great. It's wonderful."
Once eligible, the Ranney point guard finished fourth on his own team in points per game but contributed across the board with 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.4 steals. He also proved his worth in Ranney's biggest games, scoring 18 points in the Shore Conference Tournament final - 16 in the second half - and scored all 13 of his points against Bergen Catholic in the Tournament of Champions final in the second half as Ranney captured the Shore Conference's first ever T of C title.
"Playing with (Antoine and Lewis) every day in practice made me better and it made them better," Sarnor said. "Coming to this school made me a better player."
Miss the all-star action on Thursday night? Want to re-watch it? Check out the replay of the boys Senior All-Star Game and I'm Possible Slam Dunk Contest below.