LARGO — It was only fitting that Quincy Ford would steal the ball toward the end of the Pinellas County Senior All-Star Game and swoop in for a dunk to score the final basket Friday at Largo. The Gibbs 6-foot-7 standout finished with a team-high 17 points as the South earned a 121-113 victory over the North.
"I've reflected on everything that's happened this season, the playoffs, my whole high school career since I barely played as a freshman on the (junior varsity) team," said Ford, who will play for Northeastern next year. "It's been a special year with us making the state semis and to just be a part of these all-star games is an honor."
Clearwater's Jon Hogan led the North with 24 points and Tarpon Springs' C.J. Mackey added 21. Gibbs' Devante Miley and Boca Ciega's Josh McCree each had 14 for the South.
The South was electric in the first half and held a 40-13 lead just eight minutes into the game. But over the next 12 minutes the North worked its way back into the game and finished the half with a 17-2 run to go into halftime down by a 60-48 score.
The North caught up midway through the second half when three made free throws by Clearwater's Joey Nungester after being fouled on a 3-pointer finished off a 17-2 run. The South scored the next 10 points, though, highlighted by two dunks by Ford and two jumpers in the lane by Boca Ciega's Kyonn Smith and would not trail the rest of the game.
"This is my first all-star game ever so it's amazing to think I was always the smallest kid who got picked last in most of the pickup games when I was younger," Mackey said. "Just to be in something like this is a huge accomplishment."
The 6-foot-5 Mackey won the dunk contest at halftime on his final dunk when he came flying in from half court and soared over South teammates Hogan, C.J. Bargman (Tarpon Springs) and Marques Hall (Largo). The final dunk beat Miley, who attempted a dunk by tossing the ball against the wall behind the basket, but ball hit the back of the backboard and he made a simpler dunk for a lower score.
East Lake's Ricky Strawter won the 3-point contest with 15 makes in a minute to beat Gibbs' Deion Miley, who had 13.