JEROME — At the District 4 senior all-star basketball games, the best of the Magic Valley put on a show for the crowd.
Both East boys and girls teams won their respective games by double digits, and players from the East side took home the 3-point and dunk contest titles.
Oakley’s Rachael Mitton led the game with 23 points for the East, followed on her side by her Hornets teammate Brittany Hardy with 16. Canyon Ridge’s Cailtin Crist scored 19 points for the West.
Dietrich’s Slade Dill outpaced the field with 29 points, but he didn’t come in trying to run up the score.
“Just perform, make it worth the fans’ time and have fun,” he said.
Burley’s Andrew Ferrin added 21 points for the East team. Canyon Ridge’s Logan Ahlquist and Kimberly’s Trey Garey tied for West-leading scorers with 16 points each.
At halftime of the boys game, the guys put on a show with a dunk contest, and the Burley boys threw down the most spectacular of the dunks.
Both Ryan Bagley and Jackson Hill earned perfect scores in the four-man final round, which included Dill and Ferrin, and they faced off in a one-dunk tiebreaker. Bagley’s rimmed out, while Hill earned his fourth perfect score of the night with a double-clutch reverse dunk.
Hill said he came into the event with a bag of tricks to pull from.
“I had a couple I was going to do, and it got to be close, so I’m glad they worked out for me,” he said.
Hill had windmills, double-clutches and reverses all on hand, and he said he had some competition coming in by nature of playing every day with Bagley and Ferrin.
“Whenever we get a chance, after practice or whenever, we’ll throw it around to each other and try some dunks,” he said.
He and Ferrin also showed off in the all-star game with a handful of dunks, similar to how they showed off their hops at the 4A state tournament, where Burley lost to Preston in the title game.
“It was a great experience to have in my senior year,” Hill said. “We came up one game short of the ultimate goal, but that’s okay. It’s great to look back at.”
And even though Dill has a few inches on Hill, he said it was hard to follow up Hill in the finals of the dunk contest.
“He’s got like a 48-inch vertical,” Dill said. “I don’t know how you beat that.”
The Mini-Cassia connection came through in the girls 3-point contest.
Minico’s Maura Merrill and Burley’s Sydney Pilling started off the contest by sinking nine 3s in the minute to set up a finals matchup against Buhl’s Sage Eckert and Wendell’s Robin Moreno. Moreno scored all six of the pair’s total baskets to reach the finals.
Merrill and Pilling went off once again for nine 3-pointers in the finals, and Pilling hit a streak of five straight long balls in the process.
“When I make one, I just try to do the same thing,” Pilling said. “Just try to keep the same movement. When I miss a lot, it’s all because of mental mistakes.”
Burley and Minico teamed up twice in the contest, with Hallie Cook and Saydi Anderson competing together, as well. Despite the heated rivalry between the schools, Pilling said away from those games, there aren’t any hard feelings.
“I’m really good friends with all the Minico girls,” she said. “When we’re on the court, we get competitive, but I’ve been playing with them since I was little.”
Pilling wasn’t too concerned about missing. She was more worried that people would start singing “Happy Birthday” to her after they announced it was her birthday following the game.
“It’s awkward, you never know what to do when they’re singing,” she said.