October 24, 2014

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Boys basketball all-star game: Clearview’s Gerrell Williams, EC’s Jacob Kuchta win skills contests

Clearview’s Gerrell Williams shows off one of his moves on the way to the dunk title Sunday night. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

Clearview’s Gerrell Williams shows off one of his moves on the way to the dunk title Sunday night. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

OBERLIN — After making jaw-dropping and crowd-pleasing slams a major part of his game at Clearview High School, it was only fitting that Gerrell Williams won the dunk contest Sunday at the annual Gene Legeza Cage Classic at Oberlin College.

Williams, Rashod Berry of Lorain and Vermilion’s Kyle Nader advanced to the finals from a field of seven that also included Forrest Boyd (Vermilion), James Tirbaso (Elyria Catholic), Braylon King (North Ridgeville) and Matt Bastock (Keystone).

Williams’ two-handed slam earned perfect 10s from a panel of five judges in a dunk-off against Berry to win the title.

“I was having fun out there just doing what I like to do,” said Williams, who also took part in the all-star game later in the evening. “I wanted to practice for the dunk contest, I really did, but I could never think of what I wanted to do. When I got here I just took some suggestions from a couple people on what I should do and I tried it.”

Berry, Williams and Nader all received perfect scores for their second of two dunks in the preliminary round to make it to the finals.

The judges were WEOL play-by-play man Tim Alcorn, former Avon coach and current WOBL analyst Jim Baker, veteran basketball officials Al Ivey and Ed Dohanos and The Chronicle-Telegram’s Tim Gebhardt.

“I thought I had a good chance of winning,” Williams said. “But I also knew I had to do something special to beat Rashod. When I pulled off that final dunk it really felt good.”

Elyria Catholic’s Jacob Kuchta shows the focus required to win the  3-point contest.

Elyria Catholic’s Jacob Kuchta shows the focus required to win the
3-point contest.

Sophomore Jacob Kuchta stole the show in the 3-point shootout contest, defeating Elyria senior Isaiah Walton in the final. Kuchta made 19 of 25 shots from designated spots along the 3-point arc while Walton made 17.

“I practiced a lot for the 3-point contest,” Kuchta said. “Three-point shots are really my thing so I was confident coming in. I was pretty nervous though when it got down to me and Isaiah in the final. He was probably the person I didn’t want to see in the finals. He’s really a great player and a great shooter.”

Eighteen players took part in the 3-point contest. Walton made 20 shots in the opening round to advance to the final while Kuchta was second in the opening round with 17.

Midview’s Grant Overy, the defending champ, just missed advancing to the finals with 16 3-pointers made in the preliminary round. Wellington’s Dylan Kidd was the only other participant to make more than 50 percent of his shots, going 14-for-25.

“I’m just out here to have fun tonight,” Walton said. “Jacob is a really good shooter so I could not have lost to anybody better. I feel like I could have made more in that last round but I had a great time tonight. That was what I really came here for.”

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.