Dunks rule Senior All-Star Game

Chance to sky, say goodbye

Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2002

Webster's definition of the Seventh Annual Senior All-Star Game was the same as his definition of any other basketball game.

"I came out here to win," Kenai Central senior Marcus Webster said after leading the Dark side to a 143-121 White-washing Friday at Skyview High School. "It didn't matter that it was a senior all-star game.

"I wanted to go out right."

The Senior All-Star Game is normally the Senior All-Star Games, but this year there was no girls contest because not enough players could be found.

Webster, who finished his career by being named to the Class 4A state all-tournament team this year, poured in 36 points to lead all scorers in the game. The senior also had six of the Dark side's 15 3-pointers.

"Once Marcus gets on fire, you can't stop him. You can only hope to contain him," said Ninilchik senior Buck Kvasnikoff, who dumped in 25 points for the Dark side. "He's the man."

Dark actually trailed at halftime, 63-54, but Webster hit five of his 3-pointers in the second half and White simply couldn't keep up.

Skyview senior Mark McGarry, whose career included all-tourney selections at the SoHi Tipoff and the Grace Invitational, also had a big second half. After several ill-fated forays to the hoop that passed as dunk attempts in the first half, McGarry went back to the reliable layup in the second half and dropped in all of his 16 points.

Of course, not every player at the game shared Webster's definition of the event. To many, this game is not about winning, but about dunking. In that category, Skyview senior Josh Rowell was the unquestioned king.

"I showed my full (vertical leap of) 41 inches tonight," Rowell said.

Rowell, who led White with 28 points, did more stuffing than a pillow factory Friday. The senior, who was named all-region this year, dunked 10 times Friday.

"I don't think winning was as important as giving the fans in the stands something to cheer about," said Ninilchik senior Jesse Hostetter, who had 11 points for White. "The best part of the game was Josh Rowell."

Hostetter, a key cog in the Wolverines' District 3/2A title this year, said his favorite Rowell dunk came with 14 seconds left in the first half. Soldotna and Skyview aren't exactly known for working together on the basketball court, but SoHi senior Adam Kiffmeyer, an all-region second team player, managed to hook up with Rowell for a swooping two-handed alley oop.

"The dunking was nice -- real nice, especially the oops," said Webster, who can dunk but didn't have any send-it-ins Friday.

Rowell also had a nice reverse and threw down another two-hander late in the second half when Kiffmeyer set him up with an alley oop off the backboard.


Nikiski's David Holloway shoots the ball in front of Skyview's Mark McGarry while Ninilchik's John Matson and Community Christian's Joshua Veldstra (42) look for the rebound during Friday's Senior All-Star game at Skyview High School.

Photo by M. SCOTT MOON

Kvasnikoff said his favorite Rowell maneuver on the evening was one that didn't even go in. After a foul, Rowell was awarded a pair of free throws. After missing the first, the referee said he could take the next one from about 4 or 5 feet from the basket. Rowell tried to dunk from the line, but his attempt came up just short.

Rowell wasn't the only one to show off dunking exploits Friday. Kvasnikoff ripped home the first dunk of the game -- a one-hander -- with 13:35 left in the 20-minute first half. Kvasnikoff had another one-hander, this time with a little more authority, in the second half.

He said he likes showing what players from small schools like Class 2A Ninilchik can do.

"It's nice to show the players from small schools can run with the 4As," Kvasnikoff said. "I think they underestimate us sometimes."

Kvasnikoff said the only disappointment of the night was he had to wear his dark jersey. The last time he had worn that jersey, he had scored 43 points and yanked down 22 rebounds in an upset of top-ranked Point Hope in the state semifinals.

"I just kind of wanted to leave this jersey how it was," Kvasnikoff said.

Kvasnikoff was one of three players from Class 2A schools to score in double figures. Besides Kvasnikoff and Hostetter, Shiloh Seymour of Community Christian School had 10 points.

The other person to dunk on the evening was Nikiski senior David Holloway, who was voted first team all-district three times in his career. Holloway's dunk, a nifty, leaning one-hander, came with 7:10 left in the first half.

He went for a similar dunk just minutes into the second half, but his attempt was thwarted by the front of the rim.

"I started losing control of the ball around half court," said Holloway, who finished with 21 points for White. "I never really felt like I had control of the ball, and I went up for the dunk and it was like, 'Whoa.'"

A number of players finished in double figures for both teams in a game in which the defense deteriorated faster than a pink salmon once it enters fresh water.

The Dark side had seven of its nine players in double figures. In addition to those already mentioned:

Kenai Central senior Caleb Schooley had 19 points. Schooley is a two-year letterman who said on his pregame bio that his postgraduation plans are to live in a van down by the river and play basketball.

Soldotna's Ben Richman had 15 points. Richman is a one-year letterman for the Stars who will graduate from high school a year early and enroll at the University of Pittsburg.

Kenai Central senior J.D. Pault had 12 points. Pault, who has a 4.0 grade point average and will attend Colorado State University and study engineering, rolled his ankle with 17:16 left in the second half.


Kenai's Marcus Webster takes it to the hole between Skyview's Josh Rowell and Skyview's Tony Lewis.

Photo by M. SCOTT MOON

After the game, he was not sure how bad the injury was or how it would affect his status for the soccer team.

"My soccer coach is going to kill me," Pault said.

Skyview senior Eric Malmquist had 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

Others contributing to Dark's win were Community Christian School senior Joshua Veldstra, who was voted first team all-district three times, and Cook Inlet Academy senior Justin Franchino, this year's Class 1A/2A Player of the Year.

White had five of its 10 players in double figures. In addition to those already mentioned, Skyview senior Tony Lewis had 15 points. Lewis has a 3.9 grade point average and will attend Montana State University.

Others who said their goodbyes Friday for the White side were Seward senior Victor Miller, who has a 3.2 grade point average and will travel in South America next year; Seward senior Brandon Davis, who has a 3.71 grade point average and will attend Portland State University next year; Ninilchik senior John Matson, who carries a 3.09 grade point average and will attend Washington State University next year; and Kenai Central senior Joel Dunn, who wants to join the Air Force and fly fighter jets.

DARK 143, WHITE 121

WHITE (121) -- Miller 3 0-0 8, Davis 2 0-0 4, Lewis 7 0-0 15, Kiffmeyer 3 2-8 8, Seymour 5 0-0 10, Holloway 8 1-1 21, Matson 3 0-0 6, Dunn 4 1-1 9, Hostetter 5 0-0 11, Rowell 14 0-4 28. Totals -- 54 4-14 121.

DARK (143) -- McGarry 8 0-0 16, Pault 5 0-0 12, Malmquist 4 0-0 10, Richman 7 1-2 15, Webster 15 0-0 36, Schooley 8 2-2 19, Franchino 2 0-0 4, Veldstra 3 0-0 6, Kvasnikoff 11 0-2 25. Totals -- 63 3-6 143.

3-point goals -- White 8 (Miller 2, Lewis 1, Holloway 4, Hostetter 1); Dark 15 (Pault 2, Malmquist 2, Webster 6, Schooley 1, Kvasnikoff 4). Total fouls -- White 2, Dark 1. Fouled out -- none. Halftime score -- White 63, Dark 54.

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