GOSHEN — At the the start of the dunk contest, Michael Durr Jr. was merely a spectator.
By the end of it, he was slam dunk champion.
After only one player — Laz Miller — signed up to compete in the dunk contest before it started, two others — Durr and Caleb Schrock — joined in. The two late entries ended up going to sudden death, with Durr’s final dunk scoring a 29/30 was good enough to win the contest at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Thursday.
“My friend Laz, he was the only one signing up. He won last year, and he was saying he wanted me to do it but I didn’t come prepared,” Durr said, wearing a Johnny Cash t-shirt and black jeans. “I saw that he was missing some dunks, so I just decided to come in and I ended up winning.”
Durr Jr., 17, is a student at Clinton Christian High School. He realized when he was a freshman in high school that he could dunk.
“I was pretty tall, I was like 6-1, 6-2,” Durr said. “I was in the (physical education) gym and I ended up dunking.”
Being able to dethrone his friend, Miller, was a great feeling for Durr — especially because of Miller’s dunking skills.
“He’s got more dunk abilities than me,” Durr admitted.
Durr wasn’t the only champion crowned at the basketball courts on the Elkhart County Fairgrounds Thursday. Seven 3-on-3 teams claimed victory, as well as a three-point contest champion.
The latter was won by Levi Sawatzky, who sank nine 3-pointers in one minute. Austin Pearson, the last contest to shoot, had eight made ‘3’s’ with just seconds to go, but his last shot rimmed out.
As for the 3-on-3 competition, the most compelling game came from the 16-and-over women’s division. There were only two teams in the entire bracket, meaning neither team had to play a game on Monday-Wednesday to advance to the age group’s final.
After the 25 minute time limit elapsed, team Miller and team K. Miller were tied at 16. Per tournament rules, the game went into sudden death, meaning the next made basket won the game.
After a couple of defensive stops, Libby Lapczynski made a driving layup to give team Miller — Lapczynski, Mariah Miller and Karina Kern — a 17-16 victory.
“I knew that first person to score wins, so I just drove as hard as I could,” Lapczynski said. “I think it was a lot of fun getting to play with my friends. I get to play with a bunch of different people I know and that I look up to because they’re all different ages.”
While winning a tournament that featured only two teams in their bracket was different, Lapczynski was ok with only having to play one game.
“It’s a little weird, but it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it,” she said. “One (game) is fine with me. I’m a little out of shape, so one is good.”
Austin Hough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-533-2151, ext. 325. Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinHoughTGN
3-ON-3 BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT RESULTS —THURSDAY
(all finals unless noted otherwise)
10-12 boys: Team Shinder def. Team Cline, 13-8
10-12 girls: Team L. Shindler def. Team Horn, 13-2
13-15 boys: Team Zmuda def. Team Chuppp, 13-10
13-15 girls: Team Cross def. Team Mattix, 14-4
16-18 boys: Team A. Miller def. Team Erekson 20-17 (semifinal); Team Stoltzfus def. Team B. Miller 18-12 (semifinal); Team Stoltzfus def. Team A. Miller 18-16
16-over girls: Team Miller def. Team K. Miller 17-16 in sudden death
19-over men: Team Emerick def. Team Martin (semifinal); Team DeShone def. Team Randolph 19-9 (semifinal); Team Emerick def. Team DeShone 18-11
3-POINT CONTEST RESULTS (in order of shooting, winner in bold)
Ryan Diaz 2; Brice Willard 5; Bryson Mattox 3; Obie Musk 2; Levi Sawatzky 9; Mason Pearson 3; Braxton Cline 2; Hayden Johnson 3; Blake Bojanich 1; Reggie Miller 7; Luke Swinhart 2; Moises Becerra 0; Austin Pearson 8
DUNK CONTEST RESULTS
Michael Durr Jr. — 87 (29/30 on sudden death dunk)
Caleb Schrock — 87 (27/30 on sudden death dunk)
Laz Miller — 83