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Gazette, Telegraph split All-Star Classic for first time

The trend stops here

Published: Friday, June 20, 2014 12:20 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, June 20, 2014 12:25 a.m. CST
Caption
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Oregon's Jesse McKinley Jr. slam dunks Thursday during the dunk contest at the SVM All-Star Classic. McKinley won in a dunk-off against Eastland's Dalton Shaner.

For as long as there has been both a boys and girls game at the SVM All-Star Classic, the same team has won both contests.

But for the first time in its 11-year history of two games, the Telegraph and Gazette sides split the outcomes of the games Thursday evening at Musgrove Fieldhouse.

After 10 outcomes following the trend, this year the Telegraph girls won 48-25, while the Gazette boys won 95-74. 

Cougar sweep: For the second straight year, an Eastland Cougar won the MVP of the boys game. 

Last year, Ty Hartman was the MVP as a member of the Telegraph team. This year, the award went to Skylar Paulson, who scored 22 points and hit six 3-pointers for the Gazette squad. 

A Cougar also took home the girls MVP award, as Hannah Hake scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Telegraph. 

It's been awhile: For many participants, the All-Star Classic was the first time they have played basketball since their respective teams were knocked out of the postseason – and at times, it showed. 

Between both teams and games, there was a combined 41 air-balled or bricked shots that did not touch the iron. However, the bank was open for Eastland's Courtney Walker and Oregon's McCahl Sanders, as they both banked in 3-pointers. 

Home, sweet home: Former Golden Warrior Kaitlyn Bauer has already moved on with her life, as she resides in Missouri, where she will attend the University of Missouri.

But she drove back specifically to play in the All-Star Classic.

"It wasn't a tough decision at all," Bauer said. "I just lost out on some hours at work, but when I knew [Julie] Schroeder was coaching, I knew I was coming. One last game with Kiarra [Harris] and Kayleen [Terrock] was great." 

The 5-hour drive was quickly forgotten when she stepped onto the Musgrove Fieldhouse court one final time.

"When I walked back into the fieldhouse, I said, 'Oh my gosh,' because it brought back so many memories," Bauer said. "I definitely miss it already, even though I just played."

Big-game problems: The All-Star Classic is the final hurrah for high school games on the school year. Similarly, the Super Bowl is the game that caps off the NFL season. 

That's not the only similarity, at least not after Thursday. In the second quarter of the girls game, Musgrove Fieldhouse lost power, just as the Superdome lost power during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. 

"We were just all on the bench, and when it started storming, Schroeder said, "the power is going to go out soon,'" said Bauer. "And a few seconds later, it happened."

While the outage at Musgrove was short-lived, it did not change momentum for either team, and the power stayed on for the rest of the night. The passing storm also cooled down the very hot gym.

Lane violation: With 2:10 left in the first quarter, Newman's Mary Alice Oswalt stood at the free-throw line, ready to shoot, when a whistle was blown to call a lane violation. 

"I had the ball in my hands, and two girls switched spots," said Oswalt. "I didn't get to shoot it, and I was kind of upset, because I would have had a three-point play. But it all worked out."

This did not throw off her shot, as Oswalt proceeded to make eight 3- pointers in the 3-point shootout. That tied former Dixon standout Brooke Bailey, and the two went into a shoot-off. 

Bailey went first, and made five shots from the corners. Oswalt then took her turn, and made her last shot for a total of six, to take the crown. 

"I didn't want to do [the contest], but I said I would do it if I had to," Oswalt joked. "I just came out hoping I was on, because if I'm on, I'm on ... and I guess I was on tonight, so that was good. I didn't get a chance to really practice, and I surprised myself." 

Teammates tangle: The boys dunk contest started with five dunkers, and after one round, it was weeded down to only two: Jessie McKinley Jr. of Oregon, and Dalton Shaner of Eastland. 

"I had a feeling it was going to come down to me and Dalton," McKinley said. "I wasn't really prepared, and didn't have anything planned out until today."

Shaner used alley-oops to himself to make it to the final round, while McKinley used Newman's A.J. Sharp to generate an alley-oop off of the backboard. 

All three had been AAU teammates.

"I kept looking over at A.J. and did whatever he told me to," McKinley said. "Shaner, A.J. and I all played on the Illinois Magic together."

In the end, McKinley had the better dunk than Shaner. After three rounds of missed dunks, McKinley finally got one down, and Shaner threw in the towel and ended it by surrendering a layup. 

It was also the second straight year that an Oregon Hawk won, as Alex Cain took home the dunk crown last year. 

Nothing girly about it: Matt Dail did what he does best in the boys 3-point contest. Formerly a Fulton sharpshooter, Dail made his first five shots and didn't look back. 

He went on to make 10 shots, and the next closest competitors made only seven; four different players did that. 

"The no time limit helped me a lot, to be honest." said Dail. "I like to take my time and shoot it. Once I got into a rhythm, I didn't miss many."

The last rack threw Dail a surprise. 

As he hoisted up a shot that went long off the iron, he realized it was because the ball he had shot turned out to be a smaller, girls ball. 

"I picked it up and thought, 'Hey, this is a girls ball,'" explained Dail. "I shot it and knew immediately it was going off. There's no excuse to miss it, but oh well, it worked out."

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