By AARON MANAGHAN
When Megan Spence gets going, she’s tough to stop.
After the King’s West senior forward proved that all season long against SeaTac and B-level competition around the state, she proved it again Wednesday at the 2008 West Sound Senior High School All-Star Basketball Games at Olympic College’s Bremer Student Center.
Spence not only paced the Puget Sound team with 16 points in a 52-47 win against Cascade, but she also lit it up from behind the arc, knocking down 16 three-pointers in the final round to claim the three-point contest.
“Once I hit a few, they just go,” Spence said.
The Warrior standout, who will continue her basketball career for Lewis and Clark College in Portland, said there were lots of things she enjoyed about the all-star contest.
“Just getting to see everyone playing together,” Spence said. “And testing my abilities against the top players in the area. And winning.”
While Spence was the only Warrior in attendance (teammate Megan Morris was honored but unable to attend), she said it was fun to play against girls she’s formerly teamed up with.
“I know a lot of girls from select teams or whatever,” she said, particularly referring to a core of players from Central Kitsap. “But it’s nice to play with them.”
Naomi Abad and Jennifer Smalley hit the hardwood as Bremerton’s representatives. The Knights also had all-stars Jacki Hill and Gina Ogazi, but both were unable to attend.
“It’s a great way to go out,” Abad said of her final high school-level contest. “Especially with a win.”
Abad, who will compete for OC in both soccer and hoops, scored seven for Puget Sound while Smalley, bound for Eastern Oregon University to play soccer, added five. Like Spence, Abad too said it was fun to team up with and go against girls she’s played with over the years.
“Some of us have played together before,” she said. “It’s nice to play together again. It’s like back in the old days.”
In a physical girls contest, both teams went back and forth until a late run by Puget Sound sealed the win. South Kitsap’s Kaileigh Westermann scored 16 to lead the Cascade squad.
In terms of the physical aspect of the game, Spence said she was glad to bang it out in the paint one more time.
“There’s no reason to come out here and just go through the motions,” Spence said. “Might as well make a statement.”
In the boys game, Cascade topped Puget Sound 92-75. Cascade opened the game on a 17-3 run before Puget Sound battled back within one at 35-34. Another late rally however put the game out of reach, securing the win for Cascade, paced by 17 from Jake Pappuleas of Gig Harbor. Puget Sound was led by 13 from Bainbridge senior Mike Walsh. Central Kitsap duo Andrew Braun and Andrew Shearer each scored 11, as did Port Townsend’s Aaron Gifford. Bremerton’s Eli Olson added seven while teammate Johnny Olwell had some solid defense and rebounds despite not scoring.
Olson said it was particularly nice to have a teammate on the floor in more ways than one.
“It’s nice to have a teammate out here,” Olson said. “Just someone you know how they play. And it’s nice having Andrew Shearer and Braun out there. I played baseball with them back in the day.”
Even though Puget Sound lost, Olson said the game was still enjoyable all around.
“It’s a nice way to get everybody out here,” he said. “It’s a good atmosphere. I just like everyone getting together to play the game.”
Spence agreed, saying it was the perfect way to put a wrap on the high school season.
“It was just awesome to get out there and play with those other people,” she said. “And just having this last game. It was awesome.”
Olympic’s Pepper Fanua won the girls hot-shot shooting competition, won by Jake Madison of Port Angeles on the boys’ side. Shearer took the win in the boys three-point contest while Braun, despite standing four inches shorter than the closest competitor at 6-feet flat, won the dunk contest.