TOMS RIVER - Anyone who has heard the name or has seen the game knows Scottie Lewis has a special talent for dunking a basketball.

On Monday night at the RWJ Barnabas Health Arena in Toms River, the Ranney junior showed he can dunk in the clutch.

Defending his title for the second consecutive year, Lewis authored two perfect dunks, according to the judges, when he needed them most and slammed his way to a third straight I'm Possible Slam Dunk Contest championship in the third ever installment of the event.

Lewis overwhelmed the competition as a freshman and sophomore the past two years but got a stiff challenge from three other contestants on Monday night. In round one, both Jared Kimbrough of Neptune and Nick Silvia of Toms River East scored higher than Lewis and Christian Brothers Academy senior Rob Mahala matched him to force a dunk-off between the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals opponents.

Mahala executed a through-the-legs dunk for a perfect score of 40, but Lewis delivered a 40 of his own by leaping over four of his friends for a one-handed slam.

Lewis, Mahala and Silvia all advanced to the final round and after Mahala and Silvia completed their turns, Lewis sealed the victory with a windmill dunk and by jumping over yet another human being - this time his younger brother, Jalen Smith - grabbing the ball between his legs and hammering a double-clutch reverse dunk. Needless to say, Lewis's final dunk earned him a 50.

Monday's arsenal of dunks by Lewis was similar to the show he put on when he won the dunk contest at the City of Palms Classic in Florida in December, which featured some of the best players and athletes in the country.

Kimbrough earned a perfect score with his first dunk, beating Scottie Lewis to the punch and jumping over three of his Neptune schoolmates, including 6-foot-9 Mekhi Moore.

Silvia came up one point short of a 40 with an authoritative 360 dunk on his second story, which propelled him into the final.

Both Yasin Pretlow of Mater Dei and Travis Holland of Toms River North completed first-round dunks despite not getting into the second round.

Lewis will have the opportunity to be a four-time champion next year when he is a senior, but should he get a chance to participate in the McDonald's All-American Game - a strong possibility for a consensus top-15 recruit in the Class of 2019 - it's likely that Monday was the last dunking exhibition Lewis will put on in Toms River that's not in the flow of an actual game.


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