Showy slam caps dunk contest victory for 'Vido'
Hedges captures 3-point shootout
Jim Moore/The Dominion Post

Morgantown High's Justin Vidovich soars in the slam-dunk contest.


The Dominion Post

Justin Vidovich's dunking impression of Kenny Smith on Thursday, at Morgantown High, was crowd-pleasing, stunning and award-winning.

Taking a page from the former NBA point guard's "jamology" book, Vidovich capped his dunk contest victory during halftime of the NCAC all-star game with a jaw-dropping slam.

"It was just a last-second thing," said the cool Vidovich, one of four MHS seniors playing in the game. Teammate Nick Hedges won the 3-point contest with 17 points.

"I never tried it before," Vidovich said. "My friends were over there saying just stand there, put it between your legs and just dunk. So why not try it?"

Translation: Standing on the right end of the free-throw line with his back to the basket, Vidovich bounced the ball between his legs off the floor.

The ball hit off the backboard and Vidovich leaped, caught the ball with his right hand and dunked it.

The five judges gave Vidovich a 49 on the dunk. Ryan Lindsay, a former MHS player, gave him a nine. Vidovich finished the three rounds with 132.5 points.

"That was a nice dunk by Vidovich," said Fairmont Senior's Cornelius Dillard, who finished third behind Vidovich and East Fairmont's Donell Stevens. "He shocked me. It was nice."

Unlike Dillard, Ronnie Shaver was not surprised by Vidovich's effort. Shaver claims Vidovich has an even better dunk, called "Let's Go Home."

Translation: "Every time he does it, we all just go home," Shaver said.

Vidovich didn't need that dunk to win Thursday.

"Vido is like my brother, we play every day and I knew he could do it," Shaver said. "I had a few friendly bets with some friends out there and a couple of guys on the team. I know Corny has hops, but Vido has some hops, too. He can get off the ground."

Before Vidovich pulled out his dunking heroics, Hedges proved big men can shoot from the outside.

Those who saw MHS play this season shouldn't be surprised Hedges won, considering he was one of the team's best 3-point shooters from the center position.

"When you're a 6-foot-2 center, you're supposed to win," a smiling Hedges said. "I've never been a center. I've always been doing both inside and outside since 10th grade. I was comfortable with it all year."

Hedges made the his final three baskets, the last counting for five points. He watched North Marion's Rocky Manchin and Shaver come close to surpassing him by scoring 15 and 14 points, respectively.

"I could barely stand up at the beginning," Hedges said. "I'm so out of shape. I started feeling good coming down the end. Just got hot, but I was surprised some of the other guys didn't do well."

Two of the conference's top shooters -- Preston's Thomas Hooton and Morgantown's Bobby Prim -- managed 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Luckily for Hedges, Prim hit his 3-point shots in the game -- four straight in the third quarter and seven overall.
"I just couldn't find the stroke in the 3-point contest," Prim said. "I guess I was just trying to save them for the game and help the team. It's the only explanation I can think of."

3-point contest
10 shots in 37 seconds. First nine worth three points each, last one worth five:

Nick Hedges (MHS)17
Rocky Manchin (NM)15
Ronnie Shaver (MHS)14
Thomas Hooton (PHS)14
Bobby Prim (MHS)11
Chris Hartley (PHS)11
Matt Smith (UHS)9
B.J. Ralphsynder (EF)6
Adam Burnside (B-U)6
Slam-dunk contest

Score is an accumlation of three rounds, three dunks in each round with the top dunk counting:

Justin Vidovich (MHS)38, 45.5, 49--132.5
Donell Stevens (EF)43.5, 37, 38--118.5
Cornelius Dillard (FS)42.5, 25, 37.5--105.0