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DECATUR — There's a first time for everything, even for Amir  and Armon Brummett.

When the twins heard that SkyWalker International Sports Complex would be hosting an all-star game complete with a dunk contest, Amir started brainstorming plans for a dunk for Armon to throw down.

On Friday, in the third round of the dunk contest, Armon summoned Amir from the stands. They stood in a single file line with Amir in front and Armon behind him on the baseline.

They ran forward, Amir threw the ball off the side of the backboard and Armon was supposed to flush it home.

The first two attempts failed. Finally on the third, Armon hammered it down.

It was the first time they ever tried the dunk.

Rodney Walker, who rents the complex and was the emcee of the evening, had four words.

"Wonder Twin powers activate."

The twins were certainly powerful all night. 

Amir, committed to Northern Illinois University for football, won the boys 3-point shootout, warding off Clayton Marquart of Mount Zion, then was named MVP of the boys all-star game behind a 43-point effort.

His night included a pair of 3-pointers in the face of Armon.

Armon, who is committed to play basketball at Bradley University, had 30 of his own on the other team.

“It was fun," Armon said. "Playing against him for the last time, I enjoyed it a lot. He’s hard to stop and nobody could stop him tonight. I wouldn’t expect anything less from him."

Amir's team won 109-106 in overtime, and down the stretch the twins drew the task of guarding each other.

"My last time playing against him, I had to go at him a few times," Amir said of guarding Armon. "It was a great experience to come here.

"I’m thankful for Rodney Walker. This is where I started playing basketball, and at the Boys and Girls Club. This is the first gym I ever played in. This is a great feeling to end it here, too."

Robinson unguardable...again

The Drury University-bound senior posted a triple-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for her team on the way to a 47-40 win in the girls game.

Robinson also won the 3-point shootout, beating Pana's Aubrey Funneman in the finals.

“Playing against bigger schools, you never really get to do that playing in the regular season," Robinson said. "Mixing up teams of course is really cool. Playing with some of the best players in the area was a neat experience."

Tough assignment

Robinson has seen opposing players struggle against her teammate Hope Ruppert.

Ruppert was a defensive ace for the Wolves on the way to a Class 1A fourth-place finish in state.

But on Friday, Ruppert was on the opposing team and had the challenge of defending Robinson.

“She guards me a lot in practice but playing in a game is totally different," Robinson said. "I feel for the other players now who Hope guards. She’s a great defender. Props to her."

Though Ruppert held her own against Robinson, she was a bit fearful entering the game.

“I was more scared she was going to break my ankles," Ruppert joked. "I was trying to stay up with her. It was an honor to be able to say I played against her."

A fine farewell

Seven Sassano finally got her wish.

For the first time in her basketball career, the Eisenhower senior who is committed to play rugby at Dartmouth College, finally attempted, and hit, a 3-pointer.

It was fitting to happen in her final basketball game.

“I’m pretty proud of myself," Sassano said. "I did really good this year. I’ve left a legacy and I’m waiting for someone on my team to step up and carry the team like I had to. I’m ready to move on."

Bond beats the buzzer

For all of the Brummett extravaganza, St. Teresa's Isaiah Bond dropped the shot of the night.

Trailing by three with seconds winding down in the game, Bond pulled up and nailed a 3-pointer to force overtime.

Bond poured in 16 points, with nine coming in the second half, but none bigger than the buzzer-beater.

“It felt like I couldn’t make anything else the whole night," Bond said. "It felt pretty good to hit that one."

Small schools show up

There was more than enough Central State 8 talent on display, but the small school players did more than hold their own.

LSA's Ezra Schaal had 11 points, Taylorville's Jordan Moates had 12 points and Cumberland's Tyson Magee had 11 points.

Funneman scored 12 in the girls game.

Start of a tradition?

SkyWalker was the perfect host.

But Walker was quick to credit MacArthur girls basketball coach Michael Williams for being instrumental in the process.

It was a refreshing change to see a girls basketball all-star game in the area, and Williams was happy to see city-rivals play with, and against, each other.

“It was really cool to see the Mac girls against the E, Southeast against Lanphier and Okaw against some of their rivals," Williams said. "I have a big heart for girls basketball and women’s basketball. I’m going to do all I can with everything in me to make sure this happens every year while I’m still in Decatur."

Sassano was happy to highlight girls basketball in the area.

“It gives us a lot of attention and it shows girls basketball is a lot tougher than boys basketball, for sure," she said. "I think our game is a little more entertaining and pushing around each other a little more."

Decatur players shine

Along with the Brummetts, Bond and Schaal, Decatur had a fine showing Friday.

Eisenhower seniors Quylan Young (14 points) and Yansyn Taylor (11 points) were key in the boys game. So was MacArthur's Ray Neal (13 points, including a dunk in traffic.)

In the girls game, MacArthur's Courtnee Riley had eight points and Stalexxus Bradford had three.

No posters here

There were a few instances where one twin could have risen up to dunk on the other.

In each case, the defender moved out of the way.

No posters were getting made at SkyWalker.

“I knew if I would have dunked on him or he would have dunked on me, it would have been all over the news,” Amir said with a laugh. “I didn’t want to make my brother look bad and I didn’t want him to make me look bad."

Armon echoed the sentiment.

“Even though he’s not a dunker, I know what he’s capable of," he said.

Unexpexted

Maroa-Forsyth's Daanish Mahmood didn't much expect to be in the finals of the dunk contest, let alone staring at a Division I basketball player.

But that's exactly where he was, and he hammered home a monsterous dunk where he bounced the ball off the floor, off the backboard and flushed it home.

Armon closed the contest with a monster windmill dunk, a favorite of his, but Mahmood gave him all he wanted.

"I’ve been practicing that all year and I never really got it," Mahmood said. "I figured it was my last chance to show it off."

 

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Sports Writer

Sports writer for the Herald & Review.

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