TAMPA — The Hillsborough girls ended a six-year drought before the Pinellas boys halted a five-year skid in all-star basketball games between neighboring counties Friday night at Hillsborough Community College.
"It's pretty awesome, especially since Hillsborough hasn't won it in six years," said Tampa Catholic's Sarah Brennan, who scored a game-high 20 in a 67-59 win and was named most valuable player. "It's really cool playing with the best from around here."
Countryside's Dino Tabakovic, who scored 19 in a 107-97 victory, offered a similar refrain.
"I just came out feeling good because we haven't beat Hillsborough in five years," said Tabakovic, who also won a 3-point contest during halftime of the boys game.
Tabakovic had a shot at a triple victory of sorts, but declined to enter the dunk contest. He placed second last week in a dunk contest during a Pinellas All-Star game.
Even if he had entered, Tabakovic might not have defeated Michael McFarland. The Blake forward donned a mock cape a la Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and pulled a cell phone out of his sock for what some teammates jokingly called a "long-distance dunk."
In the high-scoring boys game, Pinellas led 53-50 at halftime before pulling away in the second half. Hillsborough was no match for the run-and-gun style of Pinellas, which had six players in double figures.
Aside from Tabakovic, Gibbs' Ke'Owen Walker scored a game-leading 20, Largo's Pat Kearney and Lakewood's Dominic Lane each had 14, Lakewood's LaDarius Barnes 13 and Gabe Moton of St. Petersburg 12.
Four Hillsborough players, led by team MVP Lecarlton Nelson of Tampa Bay Tech, reached double figures. McFarland added 14 with Tampa Prep's Jamal Cherry and Damien Dixon of Wharton each contributing 10.
In the girls game, Leto's Rachel Reid chipped in with 15 and TBT's Jasmine Rodriguez 13 in Hillsborough's winning effort.
Boca Ciega's Latavia Dempsey netted 11 points to earn MVP honors.