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Shoot-Out still sees room for growth
By AARON MANAGHAN
Not even the weather could bring the Silverdale Shoot-Out down.
The second annual 3-on-3 Silverdale Shoot-Out hoops tournament finished its sophomore run as a success on almost every front Saturday and Sunday at the Slverdale Beach Hotel. While the tournament could have used more teams, almost every other aspect went according to plan.
"It went really good this year," hotel general manager and Shoot-out co-organizer Chris Koebelin said. "We didn't have the numbers and teams that we might have wanted, but we had more than last year. And we had great local support from our sponsors."
And while the number of participants wasn't as high as organizers would like, tournaments like Spokane's Hoopfest, the nation's largest 3-on-3 tournament with more than 25,000 players this year, were not born overnight.
"My only disappointment this year is the number of teams," Koebelin said. "Everything else was a huge improvement over last year. We're just gonna keep trying to build it up for next year. We're excited about the (fan) turnout. And the weather for the most part was good."
Although showers made for stutters in the action during Sunday's finals matches, clouds eventually parted, allowing the two-day tourney to finish under the sun.
The Men's Competitive division again provided the most intense on-court action, culminating in Sunday's final between Once Was and Burley Construction of Neah Bay.
Once Was, featuring Tacoma's Chris Chapman and Seattle's Dewayne Gillon, Michael Gurske and Kory Ioane, held on in a tight title match, winning 20-16 after being tied up at 16-16. Gurske said he and his teammates have ties to Olympic College locally.
"It's our first year (at the tourney)," Gurske said. "We missed last year. We're old guys. We just wanted to compete with all these young guys."
"A lot of those young guys thought we were too slow," Cooper added.
But after a physical day that saw players slipping during rainy stretches on the outdoor rubber court, it was Once Was last standing.
In women's play, however, just two registered teams showed up. After Team Down Under and Dream Team split their first two matches, Team Down Under won the rubber match and the Women's Competitive division title with it.
In the Men's Recreational division, which featured just as much hustle as the competitive group, team I Am The Shoot Button (IATSB) edged Shakers 20-18 in another thrilling match. A hard foul on Jeramy Fagen of IATSB allowed him to ice the free throw that set his team up for the win.
"The hard foul got me fired up," he said.
Fagen, of Des Moines, teammed up with Fircrest's TJ Clark, Trevor Lubereski of Milton and Nick Casanova of Federal Way. The group play together in a Monday night Federal Way church league.
With many competitors coming from out of the county, Clark said some of their opponents they'd seen and played against before.
"We know them pretty well, some of them," he said.
In the high school division, it was Pharcyde, made up of South Kitsap High schoolers Michael Longmire, Tre Haslom and Isaiah Davis, shutting down the Kitsap Ballers 20-8. The Ballers featured three players from North Kitsap and one from Central Kitsap.
"It feels really good," Longmire said of beating his county foes. "That was a good game."
While the high schoolers were expecting little more than a trophy for their win, they were shocked when handed new Nintendo DS handheld gaming systems.
"No, no. Get out of here," Longmire said as he was handed his. "No way."
"I didn't know this was coming," Davis said.
Not a bad investment, as Haslom's mom sponsored the team.
"It was kind of last-minute too," Haslom added.
A Bremerton squad won the 7th/8th Grade division, with Abraham Ferrell, Quintin Phillips, Michael Lawrence and Isaiah Wesby teaming up for a 20-13 win against Dream Team. With quick passing and cuts to the lane, the squad, called Bremerton Ballers, looked as though they'd played together for some time.
"We've all been playing back since were were real young," Wesby said.
"We just took it as it was," Lawrence added. "We haven't practiced, so it feels really good."
Lastly, it was the Eastside Ankle Breakers winning the 5th/6th Grade division against the South Kitsap Jazz.
Many of the competitors enjoyed the tournament, from its waterfront location to the food and services provided by sponsors.
"It's a fun tournament," Ioane said. "They did a good job."
That's what drives Koebelin and company to produce an even better tournament next year.
"We want to build it for year three," he said. "We keep wanting to build it each year."
Koebelin, who played on team SBH (Silverdale Beach Hotel), said he hopes his passion for hoops carries over to the community via the tournament.
"I loved it," he said of playing despite a quick exit. "This is the best game in the world. I just want to create for Kitsap as much passion as I have for the game."
The event was a benefit for the Navy Wives Club of America, the Central Kitsap Food Bank and the United Way of Kitsap County. Koebelin said the group should know later this week how much money was raised.