FALLON -- Hug's Wendell Ware led the West team to a 64-55 victory Saturday in the boys game of the Optimists Nevada Basketball Classic that was marked by its sloppiness.
It was easy to tell that basketball season has long been over; the game was filled with airballs, turnovers, ugly slam dunk attempts and missed opportunities for both teams.
"You could tell most of them were out of shape," said Dayton High's Rob Streeter, the coach of the East. "A lot of these guys have been playing baseball or track and don't have their basketball legs right now. I just tried to keep them organized and let their athleticism do the rest. It was fun, but I would've liked to have won."
Streeter pointed to the many missed free throws for his team as an indicator of his players' rustiness.
"I tell you what, if we would've hit some free throws we could have won this thing," he said.
Ironically, free throws also cost Streeter an opportunity to win the state championship - his team missed more than half their attempts from the line and ended up losing by one point in overtime.
"It continued tonight," Streeter said jokingly.
Of all the players, Ware was the most consistent, leading all players with 15 points.
Wooster's Julian Hatcher, the state's leading scorer in the regular season with an average of 29.6 points per game, was by far the flashiest player, leading the East with 14 points, including some dazzling layups, but seemed to be a little off of his game. Hatcher missed most of his three-point attempts and turned the ball over numerous times with his dribbling.
Carson High School's trio of Ricky Correlli, Ryan Henry, and Ed Jaquette were held mostly in check, scoring a combined 11 points including 8 from Correlli.
The game was a also a good opportunity for players from smaller schools to play with some of the big names from 4A competition. The East team alone had five players from the 3A level, including three from Streeter's Dayton squad.
"Coming from a 3A school, it was good to be a part of this game," Streeter said. "A lot of times only players from 4A schools are in these things, so it was nice to see our guys out there."
The Dust Devils trio of Nick McQueen, Brian Lahmann, and Jake Deen didn't seemed phased by the transition, combining for 13 points, including nine from McQueen.
David Padgett, the highly touted recruit from Reno who will attend Kansas in the fall, did not play in the game. He is still recovering from a knee injury during the basketball season.