Providence (Fla.) high flier Allen wins dunk contest; Socastee’s Cutler 3-point champ

mmckinnon@thesunnews.comDecember 29, 2013 

— After Northland (Ohio) senior Derek McKeithan jumped over three 6-footers in the final round of the Beach Ball Classic Dunk Contest, Providence (Fla.) high flier Grayson Allen knew he had to step his game up.

So the Duke signee did just that.

Allen lined up four people, all of them 6-plus feet, and landed a dunk to top McKeithan for the first-place trophy Sunday night.

“I hadn’t planned that all,” Allen said. “I never did it before. The other guy jumped over three people so I figured I’d one-up him and jump over four.”

Said McKeithan: “[Allen] can dunk. I had fun, I tried jumping over my team but he got over a couple of 6-footers. I could have won it; it could have went either way.”

Just competing against other great players satisfied Allen.

“It’s something big,” he said. “There’s a bunch of great teams and athletes. To be in it with some great athletes is awesome.”

Socastee senior Koel Cutler put on a show to win the 3-point contest, marking a win for the area.

“It means a lot. Everyone was rallying around me,” Cutler said.

After Allen dunked over four people, McKeithen dunked over his whole team, but it wasn’t enough to impress the judges. Allen was awed by it, though.

“That was very impressive,” Allen said. “I’ve never tried jumping over a crowd, I don’t know if I’d want to; I’d be scared that I would hurt myself. But that was pretty cool.”

Allen said he didn’t want the dunk competition to be a distraction to his team’s goals.

“That’s our ultimate goal of being here is to win a championship,” said Allen, whose Providence team will play Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.) in the semifinals on Monday. “The dunk contest is fun but our first goal is to win [and] Monday I think we have a good chance to do that.”

Cutler edged Mullins freshman Jalek Felton, 15-14, in the final round of the 3-point contest.

“It really hyped me up to pull through,” Cutler said. “I didn’t think I could do very well at the very beginning and I heard everyone cheering my name and it really got my adrenaline going.”

Cutler and Socastee will meet Felton and Mullins at noon Tuesday in the final day of Beach Ball action.

“He’s a great player,” Cutler said. “It was good having two players from South Carolina in the finals. We’ll see what happens Tuesday.”

Contact MAX MCKINNON at 626-0302.

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