By Paul Honda
After 32 exhausting minutes — and he played every second — of a 95-88 win over Lutheran (Calif.), Yates (Texas) senior Brandon Peters had every reason to take a pass on the ‘Iolani Classic slam-dunk contest.
The competition began within 10 minutes after the game, which was a run-and-gun affair from the opening tip. Peters had a tremendous game — 23 points, including several alley-oop dunks that electrified his team and a capacity crowd — but showed no inclination to sit out the dunk contest.
Not only did the 6-foot-2 guard participate, but he wowed the audience and one of the toughest fields in the contest’s history with a repertoire of dunks that bordered on Josh Smith territory. Smith won the contest in style, but without much competition three years ago.
This time, Peters used an array that included a dunk over two teammates and an assistant coach and the winner, a self-lobbed bounce pass for a 360 dunk to earn a perfect score from the panel of five judges. The dunk came just in time to beat the 45-second clock.
“Ronnie Lewis said, ‘Do the 360,’ ” Peters said.
His best dunks came after he missed several times on a behind-the-back-while-airborne try that took the crowd’s cumulative breath away.
“I couldn’t really get it. I was kind of tired out there. I’m just exhausted,” Peters said between autographs for fans. “I haven’t been in a dunk contest since eighth grade in Las Vegas.”
Peters edged Terrence Ross of Montrose Christian, whose dunks included an alley-oop off the side of the backboard (from a teammate). That dunk came just before the 45-second period expired and was delivered with significant force. It wasn’t enough, however, to beat Peters.
Another Montrose Christian dunker, 6-6 sophomore Justin Anderson, had the most jovial dunk. Anderson’s standout dunk was a leap over five youngsters — all in the 7- to 10-year-old range. After missing on his first try, he slammed home the second, well over the shorties, and fell on his back (purposely) under the basket. On cue, the kids piled on Anderson, who finished third.