While dunking a basketball may seem like a solo art, a little teamwork made the difference in Wednesday's Capital City Classic slam dunk competition.
North Kitsap's Ryan Young - with set-up help from teammate Jacob Gonzales - edged Juneau's Will Egolf in a "dunk-off" to claim the crown at the Juneau-Douglas High School main gym.
Young, who stands 6-foot-5, completed a number of crowd-pleasing dunks in the contest. One of most memorable started with Gonzales in the stands, rocketing the ball against the gym's side wall.
Capital City Classic
Today's games at the Juneau-Douglas High School main gym
1 p.m.: Nathan Hale girls vs. Chugiak
3 p.m.: Dimond boys vs. Service
6 p.m.: Juneau-Douglas girls vs. North Kitsap
8 p.m.: Juneau-Douglas boys vs. North Kitsap
The ball ricocheted out onto the court, where a running Young grabbed it from the air and slammed it through the hoop. It was a routine the two worked out earlier in the day.
"Today was the first time we really did anything," Young said of dunking. this season "I've played with Jake since seventh grade, so we've got good chemistry."
In Wednesday's 3-point shooting contest, Juneau's Mary Rehfeld won the girls title for the second straight year, while Dimond's Joe Moran won a shoot-off over Juneau's Norman Zura and North Kitsap's Jordan Henry for the boys crown. In the free-throw contest, Dimond's Justin Ore won the boys title and Nathan Hale's Julie Un claimed the girls crown.
The 14th annual Princess Cruises Capital City Classic concludes today with four games at the JDHS main gym. The Juneau girls (1-1 tournament) will play North Kitsap of Poulsbo, Wash. (1-1 tournament), at 6 p.m. and the Juneau boys face North Kitsap in a battle of tournament unbeatens at 8 p.m.
In today's early games, the Nathan Hale girls of Seattle (0-2 tournament) face undefeated Chugiak at 1 p.m., and the Service and Dimond boys meet at 3 p.m. as each seeks its first tourney win.
Wednesday's slam dunk competition featured the largest field in several years at the Classic. In addition to Young and Egolf - a 6-6 sophomore who was the top-finishing Juneau boy in the contest since Carlos Boozer in 1998 - the competition included Juneau's Mychal Hutcherson; Dimond's Andrew Conley and Justin Ore; North Kitsap's Eric Schippers; and Chugiak's Kelsey Griffin.
Griffin, who stands 6-1, will play NCAA Division I basketball at Nebraska next fall and was the only girl to enter the contest.
In the 3-point shooting competition, players got 20 shots - four each from five different spots around the arc - in one minute. Rehfeld made 10 to claim the girls crown over teammate Talisa Rhea (nine).
Rehfeld said she hopes to bring some of that success into tonight's game. The Crimson Bears were plagued by shooting problems in Tuesday's narrow win over Nathan Hale.
In the boys 3-point competition, Moran, Henry and Zura were tied at nine after the initial round. In a shoot-off, Moran hit 11 of 20 to win, while Henry took second (eight) and Zura was third (six). Juneau's Scott Lesh finished the initial round with eight.
The free-throw contest is open to anyone involved with the tournament, including players, coaches and cheerleaders, and starts as a long line winding around the gym. Shooters head for the bleachers if they miss.
Juneau boys basketball manager Lloyd Lewin won last year, but it was a player - Dimond's Ore - who won the boys title on Wednesday. Juneau players Tom Derbesy and Bryan Ryder were in the final trio.
In the girls competition, Un outdueled teammate Nicol Tran for the crown. Griffin also was in the final trio.
The Juneau Empire sports desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.