On a night where all eyes came to see the stars of this year’s City of Palms Classic, two of the bigger names did not disappoint as Glens Falls guard and Syracuse signee Joe Girard ran away with the Joe North Three-Point Shootout while consensus top-five senior Cole Anthony stared down stiff competition to win the Edison National Bank Slam Dunk competition.
Girard and his teammates flew in to Southwest Florida Wednesday morning after the 6-foot-2 senior set the all-time high school scoring record in the state of New York by scoring 45 points in a Glens Falls’ victory to surpass Caryn Schoff’s mark of 3,548 points. The first round of shooting only consisted of three racks of five shots and Girard advanced to the finals after a score of 11 points. It was in the championship round where the sharpshooter found his range with 24 points to take home the title.
“We had to get up at 3 a.m. this morning, had a game last night after getting home at 11 and got here around 10 a.m.,” Girard said.
“My legs got going as I started getting warmed up a little bit. Getting in there was a bit tough. This was my third 3-point competition I’ve ever done and I’m now 3-for-3. This is the biggest and best one I’ve won so far.”
Girard has already exploded for a 53- and 57-point game early in his senior season for Glens Falls, who will take the court at 5:30 on Thursday against Petal (Miss.) in a Signature Series matchup. Having gained steam as a nationally-known commodity leading Glens Falls to a state championship in football as its quarterback on top of his scoring prowess, Girard is anxious to get on the floor in high school basketball’s biggest showcase.
“This is the best tournament I’ve been to other than the Peach Jam, this is like the Peach Jam of high school basketball,” Girard said.
“I’m really excited to be here and play and compete and I’m looking really forward to getting out there tomorrow.”
The dunk contest turned into a three-horse race as Oak Hill’s Anthony, fellow Warrior teammate Darrick Jones Jr. and Sarasota Riverview’s Malachi Wideman all registered first-round scores of 100 to set up a dunk-off with the top score out of two dunks deciding the winner.
Jones Jr. set a mark of 90 that Wideman could not top, leaving it up to Anthony. Having already scored 18 points and dishing out eight assists in Oak Hill’s 96-59 demolition of Olive Branch (Miss.) to put the Warriors in the tournament semifinals hours earlier and also shooting in the 3-point shootout, the 5-star guard needed a score of 42 or higher on his final dunk to win the championship outright.
Anthony went off the backboard and hammered home a reverse windmill jam to his third perfect score of 50 to upstage his teammate and claim the title.