LARGO — As Boca Ciega forward Norman Williams lined up at halfcourt in preparation for his final attempt in the Pinellas County All-Star dunk contest, the thought of his very first dunk back in middle school came to mind.
"I was only 5-foot-10 at that time and the dunk was ugly, to say the least," Williams said. "It was the most uncoordinated thing you've ever seen."
Flash forward to Friday night and things have definitely changed. Williams pulled off a high-rising 360-degree dunk to easily beat Countryside's Dino Tabakovic, who almost pulled off a spectacular toss off the back wall alley-oop dunk to himself.
Williams went on to cap his stellar night with a game-ending slam on a pass off the backboard from St. Petersburg's Jerry Poindexter-Brown as the South County All-Stars defeated the North team 106-98.
Lakewood's Ladarius Barnes led the South with 18 points. Ke'Owen Walker (Gibbs) added 16 and Allen Wilson (St. Petersburg) chipped in with 14.
The North team had two players score 20 points, Tabakovic and Seminole's Chris Whiting.
The game was tight for the first half and most of the second half until the South went on a 20-5 run to take a 92-77 lead, its biggest of the game.
"It was an honor just to be invited and to play with all these great players," Barnes said. "I remember coming to watch (former Lakewood stars) Anthony Dorsey and Ed Nixon and I wanted to raise my game to the next level like them."
Pat Kearney (Largo) won the 3-point contest with 17 shots made.
The players selected to play in the Pinellas County-Hillsborough County All-Star game next week at Hillsborough County Community College include Williams, Barnes, Tabakovic, Walker, Wilson, Whiting, Kearney, Gabe Moton (St. Petersburg), Dominic Lane (Lakewood), and Kyle Kinnear (Countryside).
Cory Carden (Clearwater) will play in the FACA All-Star game.
. fast facts
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