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LARGO — High school all-star basketball games are typically an offensive exhibition.
Friday’s game between Pinellas County’s best public school senior players did not disappoint.
As soon as the game tipped off, there was a series of high-flying dunks, clever passes and intentional goaltending plays. After all, all-star games are more spectacle than basketball.
The North County all-stars outgunned the South in a 104-98 victory that featured a few pockets of individual brilliance.
East Lake’s Balazs Orzo was as efficient around the perimeter as he was on the rim, his rapid evolution on full display. Orzo scored 17, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range. His outside shooting, particularly in the second half, helped the North pull away.
“We didn’t have an MVP, but if we did (Orzo) would have been one of the guys we would have considered,” said Northeast coach Dave Redding, one of the game’s organizers. “He really got them going with his shooting.”
Largo’s Chris Skukalek was the North’s top scorer with 19 points. Three other players for the North — Clearwater’s Steven Bradford (13 points), Countryside’s Ryan Vince (14) and Dunedin’s Peyton Bock (10) — reached double figures in scoring.
Highlights also were provided from the South team, particularly St. Petersburg’s David Jones and Gibbs’ Gary Simon. When the two gave themselves a bird’s-eye view of the basket, they rarely missed.
Whether taking off from outside the paint or spinning along the baseline, Jones and Simon dunked and scored on layups with abandon and artistry, helping their team stay in the game.
Simon had a team-high 20 points and Osceola’s Jake Ward had 16 for the South.
Other players who double figures in scoring for the South were Northeast’s Patrick Mitchell (12 points) and St. Petersburg’s Devann Owens (11) and Jones (10).