2016 All-Star Week

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The 2016 FBA All-Star Week is an exhibition series held by the Furry Basketball Association to be held during the weekend of March 10th through March 14th.

The weekend included 4 events:

  • 2016 FBA All-Star Game
  • 2016 FBA Rookie Challenge
  • 2016 FBA Slam Dunk Contest
  • 2016 FBA 3-Point Shootout

Participants in the events were voted in.

2016 All-Star Game

The starting lines and the 6th Fur of the FBA All-Star Teams were chosen by the fans, while the remainder of the bench was filled by choices by the GMs and HCs. The event itself will be featured on Sunday March 13th at a time to be announced later.

All-Star Results

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
West 23 22 29 22 96
East 22 28 27 27 104

   

Officials: Tim Young #16 , Esther Haines #36 , George Headstrom #8

Arena: Farigami Park - Albany, NY
Attendance: 17,732
Player of the Game: Rodger Umaechi (Husky, F) - 22 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 0 stl, 1 blk.

   

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Western All-Stars Boxscore

Name Pos Min FGM FGA 3PtM 3PtA FTM FTA Off Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
Lance Wildfyre PG 35 7 12 3 5 0 0 0 2 10 1 0 0 1 17
L.V. McDyess G 35 8 13 0 2 1 2 0 5 4 2 0 0 1 17
Yves Carbonneau SF 33 3 7 0 1 0 0 0 4 1 1 2 0 2 6
Scoonie Barrett PF 20 2 6 0 0 2 2 1 6 2 0 1 2 0 6
Jake Turner C 28 8 16 0 0 0 0 0 8 3 1 1 0 0 16
Barnaby Jazz C/F 19 4 7 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 8
Daniel Quvianuq C 16 3 3 0 0 1 5 2 3 0 0 0 2 2 7
Aditya Anggun G 14 1 4 0 0 4 4 0 2 4 1 0 0 1 6
Kevin Malka F 14 0 1 0 0 2 2 1 4 1 1 0 1 0 2
Luukas Hirvonen G 14 1 4 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 3
Zack Tate C 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 2
Aurora Goldshine G 11 2 4 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 6
Total   240 40 78 6 11 10 15 5 40 27 10 5 7 9 96

Eastern All-Stars Boxscore

Name Pos Min FGM FGA 3PtM 3PtA FTM FTA Off Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
Valencia Zeraus PG 35 5 13 0 2 0 0 0 1 8 1 0 0 1 10
Terrence Tolliver SG 35 3 5 1 2 0 0 0 3 2 1 1 2 0 7
Renee Fiora SF 32 4 11 1 3 0 1 0 3 4 0 1 0 1 9
Rodger Umaechi PF 34 9 15 0 0 4 6 0 6 4 1 0 1 2 22
Aisha Melbourne C 24 7 10 0 0 0 0 0 7 1 0 2 2 0 14
Travis Buckner F 11 2 4 1 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 6
Adam Tevela F 13 2 4 0 0 2 2 2 4 1 1 0 2 0 6
D'Angelo MacQuilkin G 14 4 7 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 8
Vera La Tiérra G 14 2 3 1 1 2 2 0 3 1 0 0 1 1 7
Hal Dufrain F/C 14 2 3 0 0 0 0 1 5 2 0 1 0 3 4
Raoul Kidane C 10 2 3 0 0 2 2 2 5 0 1 0 1 1 6
Crystal Davis G 11 2 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 5
Total   240 44 84 5 13 11 15 5 38 25 5 8 11 9 104

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All-Star Portraits

Western All-Stars Roster
Starters
Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
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34 Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) 0 L.V. McDyess (Black Panther, G) 95 Yves Carbonneau (Arctic Fox, G/F) 81 Scoonie Barrett (Otter, F/C) 33 Jake Turner (Red Fox, C/F)
Bench
Bigfur Center Guard Forward Guard
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69 Barnaby Jazz (Shark, C/F) 9 Daniel Quvianuq (Polar Bear, C) 11 Aditya Anggun (Balinese Civet, G) 3 Kevin Malka (Giant Pangolin, F) 57 Luukas Hirvonen (Cougar, G)
Reserves
Center Guard
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99 Zack Tate (Zorilla, C) 69 Aurora Goldshine (Yellow Cobra, G)
Eastern All-Stars Roster
Starters
Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
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28 Valencia Zeraus (Lioness, G) 8 Terrence Tolliver (Pronghorn, G) 27 Renee Fiora (Malamute, F) 9 Rodger Umaechi (Husky, F) 26 Aisha Melbourne (Mink, F/C)
Bench
Forward Forward Guard Guard Bigfur
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13 Travis Buckner (Grey Koala, F) 37 Adam Tevela (Linsang, F) 80 D’Angelo MacQuilkin (Lion, G) 10 Vera La Tiérra (Red Vixen, G) 74 Hal Dufrain (American Alligator, F/C)
Reserves
Center Guard
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14 Raoul Kidane (Ethiopian Wolf, C) 32 Crystal Davis (Cheetah, G)

2016 Rookie Challenge

The lineups of the FBA Rookie Challenge were chosen by the fans, along with three alternates in case of injury or withdrawals. The event itself will be featured on Sunday March 13th at a time to be announced later.

Rookie Challenge Results

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 F
West 22 19 22 22 85
East 23 21 17 31 92

   

Officials: Lawrence Law #1 , Diego Romero #3 , Rocco Williams #18

Arena: Farigami Park - Albany, NY
Attendance: 17,732
Player of the Game: Tryce Peter Mallark (Gelada Baboon, F) - 14 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast, 4 stl, 1 blk.

   

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Western Rookies Boxscore

Name Pos Min FGM FGA 3PtM 3PtA FTM FTA Off Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
Derek Kim PG 33 6 12 1 2 0 0 0 2 5 1 0 0 2 13
Misha Maxwell SG 28 1 4 0 2 0 0 1 5 3 3 1 0 1 2
Jonathan Lawyer SF 31 4 15 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 2 0 1 1 10
Sterling Bengtzing PF 34 2 5 0 0 2 2 3 12 3 0 1 0 1 6
Morgan McCarthy C 33 8 12 0 1 2 3 0 7 0 3 0 3 2 18
Matthew Silvius G/F 20 4 7 2 4 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 1 10
François Martineau G 9 3 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 6
Leroy Wyatt F/G 12 0 5 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Whitney Hawkins F 15 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Brian Delano Montgomery III C/F 16 3 4 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 2 1 7
Yesina Selas G/F 7 0 2 0 1 2 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Ryan Ottley G 9 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 6
Total   240 36 76 4 12 9 11 7 43 21 12 5 6 10 85

Eastern Rookies Boxscore

Name Pos Min FGM FGA 3PtM 3PtA FTM FTA Off Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
Erik Kijani PG 30 1 8 0 3 4 4 0 3 4 1 1 1 1 6
Christine Harfurd SG 32 7 17 0 0 4 6 0 3 3 0 2 0 0 18
Tryce Peter Mallark SF 33 6 13 2 3 0 0 1 6 2 2 4 1 2 14
Agundio Salvatore Atti-Morales PF 31 6 6 0 0 0 0 3 10 0 0 1 1 1 12
Harrison York C 32 3 9 1 1 2 4 1 5 0 0 0 3 2 9
Micah Davenport F/G 17 0 4 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Saga Ström F/G 16 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 1 2 0 0 2
Lindsey Morrison G 12 4 6 0 1 0 1 1 3 3 0 0 0 0 8
Randulf Mackenbach F 16 3 6 1 1 0 0 2 5 1 1 0 0 0 7
Samantha Canuteson C/F 12 4 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 8
Marcella Oliviera G 9 3 3 1 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 8
Hedvin Eklund C/F 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0
Total   240 38 83 5 14 11 17 8 40 19 6 11 8 9 92

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Rookie Challenge Portraits

Western Rookie Challenge Roster
Starters
Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
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7 Derek Kim (Kkachi, G) 44 Misha Maxwell (Cheetah, G) 4 Jonathan Lawyer (Meerkat, F/G) 57 Sterling Bengtzing (Marbled Polecat, C/F) 28 Morgan McCarthy (Bighorn Sheep, C)
Bench
Guard Guard Swingfur Forward Bigfur
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32 Matthew Silvius (Long-Tailed Weasel, G) 64 François Martineau (Golden Retriever, G) 51 Leroy Wyatt (Terrier Mutt, F/G) 79 Whitney Hawkins (Red River Hog, F) 3 Brian Delano Montgomery III (Dragon, C/F)
Reserves
Swingfur Guard Alternates:
* Christian Ashbury
* Niko McNamara
* Ousman Lee
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6 Yesina Selas (Ruffed Red Lemur, G/F) 22 Ryan Ottley (Eurasian River Otter, G)
Eastern Rookie Challenge Roster
Starters
Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
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2 Erik Kijani (Leopard, G) 1 Christine Harfurd (Puma, G) 91 Tryce Peter Mallark (Gelada Baboon, F) 33 Agundio Salvatore Atti-Morales (Cuban Black Hawk/Common Kestrel Hybrid, F) 34 Harrison York (Martial Eagle, F/C)
Bench
Swingfur Swingfur Guard Forward Bigfur
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26 Micah Davenport (Border Collie, F/G) 77 Saga Ström (Howler Monkey, F/G) 16 Lindsey Morrison (Border Collie, G) 21 Randulf Mackenbach (Wistar Rat, F) 33 Samantha Canuteson (Orca, C/F)
Reserves
Guard Bigfur Alternates:
* Robyn Moonnay
* Ginovani Bartolini
* Margo Bates
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15 Marcella Oliviera (Glass-Winged Butterfly, G) 8 Hedvin Eklund (Highland Cattle, C/F)

2016 FBA Slam Dunk Contest

Another new format is being used for this year's Slam Dunk Contest. Players interested in participating were required to pre-register prior to the voting period, and 26 athletes made the deadline and put their names on the ballot. Of those in the pool of dunkers, the 8 players with the most votes were invited to show off their skills during this event, with 4 alternates notified in case of injury or last-minute withdrawal. Players were not matched up against each other in an elimination bracket, but had to score in the top half each round or be eliminated.

Position Player Team Height Weight
F
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Adam Tevela (Linsang, F) Queens Pride 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 245 lb (111 kg)
C/F
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Hiroyuki Matsuura (Shrike, C/F)* Montana Howlers 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 231 lb (105 kg)
G
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Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) Arizona Whips 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) 178 lb (81 kg)
G
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Li Ho Fook (Red Panda, G) Las Vegas Wildcards 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 163 lb (74 kg)
F/G
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Micah Davenport (Border Collie, F/G) Queens Pride 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 240 lb (109 kg)
F
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Renee Fiora (Malamute, F) Williamsburg Minutemen 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 187 lb (85 kg)
F/C
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Scoonie Barrett (Otter, F/C) Hawaii Kahunas 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 262 lb (119 kg)
C/F
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Sterling Bengtzing (Marbled Polecat, C/F) Montana Howlers 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 243 lb (110 kg)
Winner
Runner-up
Third Place
Fourth Place
  • (*) On the day prior to the contest, Barnaby Jazz (Shark, C/F) declined his participation in the Slam Dunk Contest due to unknown reasons. Tryce Peter Mallark (Gelada Baboon, F), who'd gotten 9th in the public voting, gave up on the opportunity to take his place, so Hiroyuki Matsuura (Shrike, C/F), who'd gotten 10th, stepped up to take Jazz's spot in the roster.

Judges

In-World

OOC

First Round

The order of dunks in this round were determined by the player that received the most votes, Scoonie Barrett (Otter, F/C) selected the running order.

1. Hiroyuki Matsuura

The shrike headed out onto the court carrying a basketball in one hand, rolling his shoulders back. He stepped out in front of the net, turned away from it, and started walking, not stopping until he reached the 3-point line. Once there, he dragged his foot along the line, as if drawing a line in sand. He then held up his free hand, with one finger pointed in the air, and yelled out, “One flap!”

He then kept walking until he reached the center court line. Stopping there, the avian took a deep breath before turning back to face the net. After dribbling the ball once, Hiro then tilted forward in a hard run. His long legs tear along the court, and before he reached the 3-point boundary where the "line" was drawn, he tossed the ball high and long towards the net. It seemed he wanted to his foot to hit the 3-point line, but it landed a good few inches behind when he leapt up, throwing his entire body into the air. Those powerful wings of his rose once, and then come down in a buffeting flap. The combined force of the jump and the flap kept him sailing through the air, following the ball he’s thrown, which hit the backboard but bounced awkwardly in relation to the avian's jump. Hiro was still able to scoop it out of the air with his off-hand still down at his side. He brought his arm back and up to complete the windmill, slamming the ball against the inside of the rim and through the hoop.

A good dunk idea, which was marred by slightly off execution. I rather liked the fact you called where the jump would fall, but then you actually have to get there. Still, I'll take where you jumped: always better to undershoot such a thing than to overshoot it, after all! And really, I think catching a ball in any windmill like that is going to be hard. So I'll give you 8 points for trying. Didn't all come together, but it was still an impressive dunk!

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

Very Impressive!! Even though it was a little wild, this is exactly what I expect to see. Nice athleticism being able to jump a bit beyond the arc and catching it into a windmill slam. The fact that it was still successful even with the awkward bounce off the glass shows some real focus.

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

A complicated concept, maybe you bit off more than you could chew. But that leap! Wow! You do get an "A" for aiming high.

Samson St. James, Furballer

1st Round Score: 42.0

2. Micah Davenport

With teammate Corbin A. Li’Arci (Lynx, G) holding the ball in an outstretched paw at the top left corner of the paint, the dog started running towards the basket from the left side at a 45-degree angle outside the three-point line. Micah then jumped, snatching the ball from his helper’s hand with his left paw, spreading his legs apart while the ball transferred over to his right between his legs. The canid slammed the ball right through the hoop... and right on his own head after failing to grab onto the rim to reduce his momentum. His stance upon landing was also awkward, causing Micah to lose his balance and fall backwards hard on his tail.

This dunk shows a great level of vertical. Looks like it needs to be controlled a little bit, but it’s still impressive.

Johnny Hart

Great dunk and idea but they lose a little for nearly killing themselves and failing to grab to stick the landing.

Rich Smith, FSPN.com

Beautiful acrobatics, but have to deduct for that landing. Ouch!

Samson St. James, Furballer

1st Round Score: 36.5

3. Adam Tev-- no, Li Ho Fook

Adam walked out to the same spot where his rookie teammate had just started his dunk, carrying a basketball under his arm. He began to direct teammate Unknown FBA Player to get into position, when the wah seemingly appears out of nowhere. Fook surprised the linsang by poking the ball out of the crook of his arm and dribbling towards the hoop with it, much to the mixed reaction from the crowd and the judges. The red panda's long tail nearly got him caught as he spun around the large porcupine to avoid being grabbed or stopped. The wah then jumped from the middle of the key, wincing a bit as he spun around in a 180-degree turn. Without even angling his head to look back at the ball, Fook slammed the ball two-pawed cleanly through the hoop and behind his head, but landing gingerly as he hopped on one leg while holding his other one.

While the judges deliberated, the trainers took a look at Fook's leg and determined that he indeed pulled a muscle when he made that jump from the middle of the paint. They advised the wah against continuing in the contest if he were to advance.

Wait wait wait... So you don't get ready, you don't get prepped. You simply dash up to an unaware Adam, steal the ball and dunk? Really? Look there are rules, there are regulations. We have sponsors and cameras in place. You can't just show up someone else, and dunk the ball when we may have needed to go to a TV break. I don't care if he got the most votes, he specifically put himself before Lance and after Adam. No Rules, No Score.

Rich Smith, FSPN.com

I'm just going to say this now: I hate the fact that this threw us for a loop. I mean, we tend to judge things in a very particular order, and we don't really like getting that order disturbed. I mean, hell, for a second, I actually thought we were going to have another drop-out. That's not fun, and I'm saying this as a first-time judge of the dunk contest!

And to be honest, this dunk really could've been fun. It comes out of nowhere, is not at all what we expect, it plays into you as a player perfectly... But that execution... That execution and landing ruined the whole dunk.

So I'm sorry to say, but that wasn't worth the hassle it caused us.

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

Hey, I loved the theatrics. A very surprising entrance and an impressive no-look dunk. I'll give you props for that.

Johnny Hart

1st Round Score: 33.0

4. Adam Tevela

After Fook left the court, Adam once again set up for his dunk. Kiković took up a spot in front of the basket, standing as tall as possible while his quills were noticeably sticking out straight to make him look even bigger and more intimidating, not to mention more dangerous. Instead of having his arms up, however, they were aimed forward in a more feral-looking threatening position. The linsang hopped on his own feet slightly a few times before dribbling in a charge directly for his teammate. With a powerful leap, the sophomore barely cleared Stefan's quills, soaring over the tall porcupine Center (and his quills) while the ball was cradled in his paw. He grazed the right side of the rim as he dunked the ball against the inside left edge of the hoop and through the net, landing on his feet cleanly.

Very classy dunk. Even though the finish wasn't exactly the cleanest of the world the fact that it went in counts. Also the success of being able to jump over your teammate shows excellent athleticism. Nice start to the contest for you.

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

The attempt was a good start, and props for doing it one handed. Shows confidence in your abilities.

Johnny Hart

Impressive vertical. Straightforward concept that was well executed.

Samson St. James, Furballer

1st Round Score: 37.5

5. Lance Wildfyre

Lance took a running bounce off a springboard set up at the free-throw line, tossing the ball into the air before arching his back into a near backflip. With both paws the rabbit caught the ball, but bobbled it slightly while uncurling from his arc resulting in a #Korbering, though he did hang on the rim to reduce his momentum before dropping down. He holds up one finger to signify "wait", and motioned with his other paw to have the springboard removed. He repeats the dunk, the second time not relying upon the springboard, but instead using his natural ability to jump to the height he needs. While he doesn't arch backwards as far, the rabbit does shift his center of gravity much better without the springboard so as to accent the "flip". This time he catches the ball with both paws cleanly and stuffs the ball through the hoop successfully.

Ah, the old bait and switch. It actually does the Henn an Sheller thing they do with some of their magic tricks where they attempt something that goes kind of wrong, and then they do something you don't expect that makes the whole thing great. Intentional errors in the name of something more fascinating are always great, and you've pretty much pulled that off perfectly here. So yea, I really liked the dunk.

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

Love the idea, love the moves, adore the air. But you got to sink the basketball. The miss hurts.

Rich Smith, FSPN.com

Wait, two dunks? Is that in the rules? So, uh, let's say 3 for the first one - sorry, but a dunk without an actual, you know, dunk, is kinda lame. So are springboards. For the second, let's say 9 - I much prefer athletes to show off the abilities of their own unassisted bodies. That averages to 6.

Samson St. James, Furballer

1st Round Score: 38.0

6. Scoonie Barrett

The arena is mostly dark save for three fire barrels lit at odd places. Announced by a drum beater, Scoonie appears on the scene dressed in Hawaii’s home uniform and green leaf leis around his wrists and ankles, carrying a pink-and-teal glowing basketball under his arm. He’s flanked by three fire dancers in traditional Hawaiian warrior garb, performing a short dance routine with fire sticks. After the beat escalades to a halt, they throw their sticks in the air. Just as the two dancers on the sides catch their stick mid-air, Scoonie steps in and does the same with the stick belonging to the dancer in the middle – picking it up half-way with his right paw as he still holds the ball in the other. He lets out a huge scream, echoed by the roar of the crowd, before giving the stick back to the dancer and positioning himself just outside the three-point arc, at the right end of the court.

As the dancers douse their fire sticks, the arena goes mostly dark again – until the projection of a hibiscus flower, same as Scoonie’s chest tattoo, appears on the court approximately one foot outside the paint and ten feet away from the baseline. The lights brighten enough so that the audience can see Scoonie taking a running start from his position, though by the time he reached the projection the arena lights had made the flower less visible on the court. The otter takes off with his right foot almost in the exact center of the symbol, to conclude the dunk with a powerful one-hand tomahawk that rattled against the inside left edge of the hoop before dropping down through the net.

Was this cleared with the fire marshal? I hope the Alphas don't use a flammable floor varnish. As for the dunk itself, not very complicated, but well-executed.

Samson St. James, Furballer

Ah, team pride, it's a wonderful thing. I think it might've been too early to play that dunk, but hey: I'm sure Kahuans fans everywhere appreciate this dunk, so you get points for that. You get some minus points for a few kinks in the execution, but you can't help but love a good tribute, right? So good effort all around.

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

All that stuff in the beginning seems like more of a waste of time to hype up the crowd before the actual attempt. Seriously, what does it take to just show what you do with the dunk? No fancy dancers or flaming sticks being tossed in the air. And all that for a tomahawk? I'll give you props that the dunk itself was alright, but all this unneeded "kitty effects" does nothing but take away what could have possibly been a great dunk.

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

1st Round Score: 36.5

7. Renee Fiora

Renee paced in a circle to the left of the center line just past half court, dribbling as she warmed up her paws for her first dunk of the contest. It appeared that she wasn’t planning to add many trappings or theater to the contest for herself like some other dunk contest entrants; however, it seemed that she did have a plan as her teammate Crystal Davis (Cheetah, G) was nearby. The pair appeared to exchange a few words of encouragement or of blessing, but the exact words were inaudible over the sound of the crowd and the announcer declaring her dunk entitled "To the Greats". The exchange soon ended with a smile and a wink before the malamute returned to the center line with a few strides. With her exchange and warm up completed, Renee signaled her readiness to the judges with a nod and a thumbs up.

The canine leaned down and forward into her ready position. She set her left footpaw firmly onto the centerline, just left of dead center of the court while her right footpaw’s toes flexed, feeling the grain of the court as she set like someone ready to bolt. With a few final resounding dribbles to her right, Fiora charged forward keeping the dribble low and fast, her body set firmly above the ball as she rushed the key in a flurry of fluff. The sound of her claws against the floor resounded, nearly loud enough to be heard over the murmurs but not the rising cheers of the spectators. She quickly took five full rapid strides before she scooped up the ball in one hand as her left footpaw contacted the center of the free throw line, preparing herself for leaving the hardwood. Immediately after Fiora’s right paw contacted the center of the dotted semi-circle, she launched herself upwards with full force, moving her game to the next stage, from the ground and into the air. Within the short moment, Fiora’s fluffy mane rippled, her footpaws cycling as though attempting to run through the air for the momentum and airtime as she raised her right arm with the ball upwards towards the hoop. She shifted her paw back, taking the moment to double-clutch before shifting her paw again and launching it with the ball forward and to the goal of a one-handed jam. The malamute shifted her weight to land on her paws and finished with a few steps to slow her momentum. Fiora followed the moment to pause and flash a smile and a thumbs up to Crystal before she turned her attention to the judges.

Flawless execution.

Samson St. James, Furballer

Executed perfectly. Great air, and a single hand double-clutch straight through the rim is awesome.

Rich Smith, FSPN.com

THAT'S what I like to see!!! A player that shows nothing but power and strength. The speed and the length of the jump was stunning, and the double-clutch shows the impressive power in that fluffy female form. Love it when someone keeps it old school!

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

Talk about opening on a bang. *whistles* I mean, the fact that you coordinated your footsteps exactly where the court lines are? Absolutely brilliant. It's a subtle bit of theatre, but it makes all the difference in the world. And man, that dunk... that was perfectly executed. So I say, great effort! I can't wait to see what you do with the rest of the contest!

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

The double clutch was a nice touch, but something a bit more amazing would've really caught my eye. Good attempt.

Johnny Hart

Despite the cheers that rose from those in the crowd, and especially from the aficionados of the classic footage reels who could recognize the style of this dunk attempt was an apparent nod to one of the classic and historic contenders of past FBA dunk contests, Crystal’s father Healey Davis (Cheetah, G/F, Retired), the volume of booing that followed Mr. Hart's commentary was nothing compared to the groans and hisses that came when Renee's score for the round was revealed to be less than perfect.

1st Round Score: 45.0

8. Sterling Bengtzing

The lights once again dim as much as possible, focusing on a simple projector showing a sepia tone and washed out colors on a fabric screen opposite of the competition hoop (with the Jumbotron aiding the fans who couldn't see at a weird angle). When old footage featuring Ferdinand Bengtzing (Marbled Polecat, F) starts playing on the screen, sounds of alarms and tick-tocks countdown style also start playing (oddly appropiate for the last dunk in the running order) as the screen showcases the senior Bengtzing's best plays in both his local EFBL team and the Newark Pride. Narration plays.

"Tio...Nio...Åtta..."

English sounds over the Swedish countdown: "Only few furs have what it takes to make history..."

"Tre...Två... En..."

Silence. "...Today... The legacy carries on..."

As that phrase was left hanging in the air, the polecat tears through the fabric with a thunderous roar, decked head to toe as if he was Ferdinand Bengtzing himself: his hair in the retired player's signature bun, a dark blue and yellow sleeve and an appropiately-dated Newark Pride uniform, in an absolute mirror image. As the arena lights once again brighten, Sterling took his position swiftly (almost stumbling in his haste) and grabbed the ball sitting at the tip-off circle. He rushed at the hoop without any dribbles and launched upward for a clean-cut tomahawk dunk, though cocking his arm back only halfway. Simple, effective, and all wrapped up in a great tribute.

But then the judges weighed in.

And we're back with the circus act again? As much as I usually enjoy the blast from the past, I would prefer someone who is themselves instead of portraying someone else. Although the dunk was powerful, I just think these "kitty effects" take the power away and makes you into a show off.

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

Very straightforward but you made it. The movie beforehand is cool, but unless you're a 13 year vet and every image is about you: I don't care.

Rich Smith, FSPN.com

A lovely nostalgic presentation, but I would like to see more technical skills exhibited. We can't whistle you for travelling, but what's basketball without the musical sound of dribbling?

Samson St. James, Furballer

1st Round Score: 35.0

Results

Draw Contestant Points
1 Hiroyuki Matsuura (Shrike, C/F) 42.0
2 Micah Davenport (Border Collie, F/G) 36.5
3 Adam Tevela (Linsang, F) 37.5
4 Li Ho Fook (Red Panda, G) 33.0
5 Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) 38.0
6 Scoonie Barrett (Otter, F/C) 36.5
7 Renee Fiora (Malamute, F) 45.0
8 Sterling Bengtzing (Marbled Polecat, C/F) 35.0
Semifinalist

Second Round

The order of dunks in this round were determined by the player who scored the highest -- Renee Fiora (Malamute, F) -- in the previous round.

1. Lance Wildfyre

Much like his first dunk, Lance took a running start from the tip-off circle towards the basket and tosses the ball up as before. Unlike his first dunk, the rabbit performed a forward flip, but the ball was tossed too high for his intentions, and he had to restart. On his second toss which wasn't as high, Lance timed his forward flip properly and let his hind paws kick the basketball to the backboard while he completes his acrobatics. The direction of his kick made the ball BRICK off the front of the rim instead, and as Lance landed on his paws he immediately leapt up, intercepting the ball right as his feet left the court. The lapine extended his arm high above his head with his legs spread forward and back, the speed of the ricochet allowing him to maintain that "Air Healey" pose for a much longer timeframe as he stuffed the ball through the front of the hoop, landing right next to the goal's padded post.

This is probably the most athletic dunk I've seen tonight!!! The flip was very astonishing to see and the strength of the dunk is phenomenal. This one is going to be extremely hard to top!!

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

You're not making it easy for the judges this round. Soccer kicks? Sure, why not? And impressive posturing. That'll look good on the posters.

Samson St. James, Furballer

2. Adam Tevela

Adam stood at his starting spot at the top of the three-point arc carrying a basketball and a towel bearing the Queens Pride logo. With a smirk, he took off his jersey shirt, and once he's wearing just his basketball shorts, he wrapped the towel around his head, from top to neck covering his entire face (while hoping a certain pangolin didn't faint at the sight of this). With his vision mostly impaired due to the towel (he could barely see through the gaps but they're tiny), he used muscle-memory to dribble straight down the key to the basket, though after a few steps the towel shifted to make him completely blind. Despite this, the linsang continued their attempt and leapt slightly later than intended, shifting to move the basketball under one of his legs. He turned in the air sideways only 90-degrees and managed to stuff the ball two-pawed through the front of the hoop, hanging on the rim to ensure his bearings and momentum before landing. Raising his paws in victory, Adam removed the towel off his head with a smile.

So on the one hand, the dunk didn't totally go according to plan. The turn didn't look as complete, and I really don't think you exactly meant to get completely blinded by the towel. So this dunk did have a few technical glitches.

Now, all that said: you were completely blinded by the towel, right? I ask because pulling off a dunk with that amount of finesse while you're blindfolded? I'm actually frankly surprised you managed to do it at all. It takes an insane amount of concentration to do a dunk with your eyes open, but having to do it blind? Now that's a dunk. And it gets points from me for that fact. So I would say it's a very impressive effort, even despite the technical glitches.

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

Whoa! A blindfolded dunk on the first try. That is something you don’t see everyday. Pretty daring.

Johnny Hart

3. Hiroyuki Matsuura

The shrike made his way directly over to the hoop, unlike his last attempt. In addition, he wasn’t wearing the compression leggings that normally cover his long legs. When he reached the hoop, he stood in the key just in front of it, ball gripped with one of his wings before turning around and facing away from it. Again, he held his free hand up into the air with one finger pointing up and yelled out, “One flap!” Then, he gave the ball a hard toss up into the air.

Hiro waited a breath as the ball sailed upwards, noticing that his toss wasn't as straight as he'd liked, and waited to catch the ball before giving it another hard toss up into the air. This time, the angle of the throw looked much more controlled and straight, and as it began coming down the shrike raised his arms above his head, showing off all of his feathers. Then, keeping his legs perfectly straight and still to show that he isn’t jumping, he brought both of his arms down hard. The lift from that one flap launched him, and just before he reached the apex of his ascent, he turned his body 180+ degrees while scooping the descending ball out of the air with one of his wings. As he descended, it's close between the lift from his flap and his own height for the avian to bring his arm back and around with the ball in a windmill jam that's just able to slip through the hoop and swish the net as his feathered fingers brushed the front of the rim.

Simple dunk, sure. But hey, sometimes the simple dunks are the ones that work the best, right? It helps that you pulled it off almost flawlessly. You get one less point for having to do the dunk twice to really get it down pat, but the time you did do it it was pretty darn impressive. So good effort there.

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

I was constantly told growing up that no sport except ours was truly beautiful, but I always wanted to see beyond my blinders. This is what I love about the FBA, athleticism, bodies in peak condition - give or take a few pounds in this case - raw natural talent, species using their natural talents to their fullest potential.

Samson St. James, Furballer

4. Renee Fiora

After a short walk up to center court, Renee stroked her fluffy mane for a moment to consider her approach, slowly dribbling up and down the center line from the tip-off circle to the right side of the court, rolling a lock of fluff between her idle paw’s fingers. She stopped for a momentary pause and pulled her idle paw down to grip the ball in both paws before spinning it a little between them, feeling the texture of the ball against her paws while the speakers blared with the announcement of her dunk entitled "FBAdonka dunk". With a grin she shifted her position for a moment and restarted her dribble, then faced the judges to ensure their attention and raised her right paw in a fist with a whoop-whoop to indicate the initiation of her dunk to the cheer of the crowd.

Adding a final high bounce to her hard dribble, she spun around so her back faced the judges as well as the ball and hoop, while raising her left paw to join the first above her head. The ball descended and hit the floor once more, then Renee seized the moment to pop her hip and check the rebounding orange sphere down the court in a lazy but somewhat high arc. Before the ball hit the court again, Fiora continued her spin and turned to catch up to the ball before it could lose its bounce and momentum. The malamute managed to recover the dribble before too many seconds had passed and moved to continue her charge down the court along the right sideline in an arc along the baseline towards the hoop. Footpaw over footpaw fell, claws scraping and tapping against the floorboards, as she leaned into the turn to come parallel across the basket from the right. Fiora scooped up the ball underhanded and intended to make her leap before entering the key, but stepped right at the edge of the key. The canine’s arm windmilled clockwise with the ball while her body rose up from the right side and drifted under the rim with a counterclockwise spin. Her fluff rippled as she shifted her angle in the air so that her body and head were tilted enough to ensure that she was able to see the ball slammed down through the rim just behind her ears. With the swish of the ball going through the left side of the hoop and through the net, Renee’s momentum continued to push her even further to the left of the backboard. She counterbalanced and finished her 360° spin by working herself into aligning with her momentum and sticking her landing with a brief run of a few short strides. She then slowed her momentum and spun on her paws with a fist against her hip and her other arm raised above her head in a victory sign, adding a playful wink with her tongue sticking out in that cute malamute way.

Very interesting way to send the ball off!!! The way the dunker went in the air was extremely impressive and definitely shows the pure athleticism they have. Excellent creativity!! How can you not like it!

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

Very impressive skill shown here. The dunk was very amazing and showed a lot of skill.

Johnny Hart

Results

Unlike the first round where everyone's scores were announced after each dunk, the scores were not revealed until after all the totals had been calculated.

Draw Contestant Points
1 Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) 46.0
2 Adam Tevela (Linsang, F) 43.0
3 Hiroyuki Matsuura (Shrike, C/F) 42.5
4 Renee Fiora (Malamute, F) 42.0
Finalist

Final Round

The order of dunks was determined by the results of a coin flip called by the winner of the last round. Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) won the toss, deciding to perform after Tevela.

1. Adam Tevela

A long raised metal rod (cylindrical in shape), designed like a rail, was set up between Adam and the basket. The railing was greased for low friction, and Adam was holding the basketball and a surfboard done up in Queens Pride colors. To honor his college roots, he was also wearing beach trunks in the blue and yellow colors of UFLA. As loud surf rock music played in the background, the linsang dribbled toward the long railing and then leapt a short hop while dropping his surfboard like a skateboard onto the railing. His combined experience allowed him to properly multitask the ball dribble and the board toss, though his hop onto the board came a little late. Due to the grease, he slid along the top of the railing on his board with a surfer's stance, but had to visibly make a lot of corrections in order to remain steady throughout his railslide. Once he reached the end of the railing, he jumped off the surfboard and dunked the ball with both paws cleanly through the rim.

Holy $*!+ did Adam save the best for last. He actually 50-50 grinded on a GREASED rail. That's insane! I'm not a huge fan of props but that's how you do it. Take a style you're known for and use it to the best of your advantage. Not thrilled it was for a simple 2-pawed forward dunk, but that's typically a bigfur's power dunk for show. Would've liked to have seen a trick or two off the grind but maybe that's next year. Anyway, a breathtaking move!

Rich Smith, FSPN.com

Dude, that was wicked... right? People still say wicked... ah well, any way.

Johnny Hart

Okay, I for one would like to know how long this dunk took to practice. I mean, leaping off a surfboard that's on a railing? That's not something that usually happens in surfing, right? It honestly doesn't surprise me that you had to do a bunch of adjustments at the start: frankly, I think you probably would've had to adjust for balance no matter what the timing of your hopping onto the board is. And as for the dunk itself? Well, it was fairly simple, but given the fact you were leaping from an unsteady surface? That makes it pretty exciting. It's also a fun way to work something about your persona into a dunk. So I say it's a good effort all around. Turns out you had some really good dunks waiting around.

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

And again with the shirtlessness. You do know none of the judges are female, right? Never mind. It's an impressive- I've been using that word too much, let's go with exemplary exhibition, a unique combo of two sports rarely associated with one another. Things like this make me really jealous of toes. 'Hang two' doesn't exactly work so well.

Samson St. James, Furballer

I have to say, Tevela's athleticism and sense of balance is simply astonishing. This one takes the cake entirely in creativity and skills when it comes to an athlete. The use of the railing was very creative, I don't think anyone has come up with something like that. The concentration he had was amazing, being able to keep the ball within his grasp as he got the railing is too amazing or words. And the slam made it extremely sweet.

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

2. Lance Wildfyre

Lance took his position at the tip-off circle and dribbled the ball a couple of times, then heroic background music swells up and he looked a little confused. Alphas star Rodger Umaechi, his opponent in the 2013 Dunk Contest, rushed onto the court wearing a red cape, and he offered the bunny his own to match, much to the crowd's amusement. Instead, the bunny removed the Whips jersey he's wearing to reveal an Alphas jersey in the current style with his number, and the crowd cheered him on as he then ran towards the basket with the ball in his paw. He made a powerful jump from just slightly behind the free throw line, elevating above the rim with the ball extended up high in his paw, going for a more vertical angle than horizontal and remaining in the air for a full three seconds longer than his previous two dunks. Cocking his arm back, the rabbit then threw the ball through the hoop Superman style, the orange sphere hitting the back of the inside part of the rim as it rattled down and through the net.

Alphas pride! Bunny knows he's the former home town hero and he gets the biggest pop of the night for the Alpha's jersey! Lapine knows his roots. Yeah we've seen this dunk before but the theme of throwback is a great idea as long as you can improve on it. Lance is showing us why he's the most improved player in the league right now with a huge call back to his 2013 dunk that is significantly longer and higher then what he did 4 years ago. Great theme, insane dunk.

Rich Smith, FSPN.com

*checks his watch* Okay, for a second there I thought it was Thursday. *leans forward* On the one hand, I'm a little bothered by your show of loyalty to the Alphas there. I won't go too much into that, though, because I'm pretty sure those are issues only I've got. Because on the other paw, it was a nice throwback to earlier in your career. The fact you were in the air longer, though? That's pretty remarkable. How did your jump get to be so good, anyway? Either way, I think it was a nice reminder of old times, and... well, you've had a great run in the dunk contest thus far.

Will Steinberg, The Miami Trumpeter

The dunk itself was great, but the showmanship was fantastic. Well done.

Johnny Hart

On the one hoof this is a nice salute to the local fans, but on the other hoof this is like a kick to the face of the Arizona fans. But we're here to judge dunks, not fashion choices. And this dunk is a classic; pure, straightforward, and flawlessly executed.

Samson St. James, Furballer

As amazing as the little nostalgia trip is, It is something we have seen prior. The dunk was certainly a very powerful one, and as much as I love the bun and his efforts to impress... I do not think it's as exciting comparing to what Tevela has done. Amazing skills and athleticism though, given that he is still able to do it so flawlessly.

Marcus Baylor, SportsDen

If one thought the boos and hisses from the crowd were bad after the closing judges comments on Renee's tribute dunk to the Healer, the level of hatred aimed at the former Arctic were much worse.

Results

As with the previous round, the scores were not revealed until the totals were calculated. And even then, the scorers had to go back to the judges a couple of times for clarification. After a few more minutes of back-and-forth consultations, with both Marcus and Samson being rather animated with the scorers, there seemed to be a consensus and conclusion.

Draw Contestant Points
1 Adam Tevela (Linsang, F) 46.0
2 Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) 45.5
2016 SLAM DUNK CONTEST CHAMPION

Final Scores

Scores in bold represent the highest scoring player in the round.

Place Contestant 1st Round 2nd Round Final Round
1 Adam 37.5 43.0 46.0
2 Lance 38.0 46.0 45.5
3 Hiroyuki 42.0 42.5
4 Renee 45.0 42.0
5 Scoonie 36.5
6 Micah 36.5
7 Sterling 35.0
8 Li 33.0

Recent Slam Dunk Winners

2016 FBA 3-Point Shootout

Position Player Team Height Weight
G Aurora Goldshine (Yellow Cobra, G) Hawaii Kahunas 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg)
G Barton Rouge (Red Fox, G) Biloxi Voodoo 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg)
G Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) Alaska Arctics 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg)
G Derek Kim (Kkachi, G) Winnipeg Voyageurs 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 176 lb (80 kg)
G Jake Velox (Swift Fox, G) Tallahassee Typhoons 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 160 lb (73 kg)
G Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G) Hawaii Kahunas 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 170 lb (77 kg)
G Kasa Yalenchka (Snow Leopard, G) Plymouth Taproots 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 145 lb (66 kg)
G Kresta Renstill (Silver Fox, G) Montana Howlers 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 165 lb (75 kg)
G Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) Arizona Whips 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) 178 lb (81 kg)
G Luukas Hirvonen (Cougar, G) Edmonton Totems 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 186 lb (84 kg)
G Marcus Knight (River Otter, G) Texas Lone Stars 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 189 lb (86 kg)
G/F Matthew Silvius (Long-Tailed Weasel, G) Dakota Bikers 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 224 lb (102 kg)
G Misha Maxwell (Cheetah, G) Las Vegas Wildcards 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 210 lb (95 kg)
F/G Niko McNamara (Meerkat, F/G) Seattle Summit 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 190 lb (86 kg)
F Rodger Umaechi (Husky, F) Albany Alphas 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 222 lb (101 kg)
G/F Yves Carbonneau (Arctic Fox, G/F) Winnipeg Voyageurs 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 195 lb (88 kg)
Winner
Runner-up
Semifinalist (Top 4)
Quarterfinalist (Top 8)

Bracket

Opening Round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
            
1 Marcus Knight (River Otter, G) 15
16 Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G) 18
16 Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G) 14
(18)
9 Barton Rouge (Red Fox, G) 14
(14)
8 Rodger Umaechi (Husky, F) 15
9 Barton Rouge (Red Fox, G) 17
16 Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G) 18
5 Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) 20
4 Kasa Yalenchka (Snow Leopard, G) 16
13 Aurora Goldshine (Yellow Cobra, G) 18
13 Aurora Goldshine (Yellow Cobra, G) 13
5 Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) 15
5 Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) 17
12 Yves Carbonneau (Arctic Fox, G/F) 14
5 Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) 19
6 Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) 17
2 Kresta Renstill (Silver Fox, G) 19
15 Niko McNamara (Meerkat, F/G) 18
2 Kresta Renstill (Silver Fox, G) 21
10 Luukas Hirvonen (Cougar, G) 17
7 Jake Velox (Swift Fox, G) 15
10 Luukas Hirvonen (Cougar, G) 16
2 Kresta Renstill (Silver Fox, G) 21
6 Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) 23
3 Matthew Silvius (Long-Tailed Weasel, G) 16
(20)
14 Derek Kim (Kkachi, G) 16
(17)
3 Matthew Silvius (Long-Tailed Weasel, G) 16
6 Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) 19
6 Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) 15
11 Misha Maxwell (Cheetah, G) 13

Recent 3-Point Shootout Winners

Shootout Report

(intro by Jack Kanter)

For those new to the contest, each contestant gets 25 shots worth a point each, with the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th shot worth 2 points each. To signify these special shots, the balls were painted in a way to resemble a plush yellow bunny and have been referred to as the "bune bonus balls" or "money balls". Shots are divided into five racks positioned around the three-point arc, with five balls on each rack. Competitors may start at any rack they choose, but usually start at one corner and work their way up to the shoulder and the top of the arc before going down to the other shoulder and finishing in the other corner. Scores are tallied head-to-head based on buckets made within the 60-second time limit, and do not carry over into the following rounds.

Opening Round

Much like last year, 16 players were nominated for participation in an attempt to showcase more shooting talent in the league.

#2 vs. #15
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Kresta Renstill (Silver Fox, G) N Y Y N N Y Y N Y Y N Y N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
19 2.10 4.00 6.20 8.40 10.70 13.80 15.90 17.90 20.00 22.00 24.60 26.90 29.00 31.00 33.90 37.60 39.60 41.80 43.90 46.60 50.20 52.40 54.90 57.30 59.70
Niko McNamara (Meerkat, F/G) Y N Y Y Y Y N Y Y N Y Y Y N N Y Y Y N N Y N Y N Y
18 2.00 4.10 6.10 8.30 10.60 13.50 15.80 17.80 19.90 22.20 25.10 27.50 29.70 31.70 34.20 37.20 39.60 42.00 44.00 46.40 49.40 51.70 54.00 56.00 57.90

Pitting a rookie versus the player who arguably wants this title the most is a matchup that could end up in schadenfreude. Or could end up as very tightly contested.

The vulpine from Montana stepped in, eyes on the prize. Her first shot... not connecting. Fueled by this, her shots came rapidly and hastily to mixed results and only one out of three money shots sinking. But what came to her was exhilarating to say the least: a shaky first half gave way to a deadly finish, with every shot connecting in deadly precision, save for a treacherous one near the end who bounced way too much for her liking before not going in. Putting all the effort combined, Renstill managed to score a respectable 19 points, with the last shot going through the time camera to attest its good timing. But would this be enough this year?

The meerkat from Seattle came next. If you could describe Renstill's performance as "cold, then hot", then McNamara's would be "warm all around". That being said, the vulpine's scowl at his first shot going in was a treat for the cameras. She tried to remain stoic, as Niko managed to connect some crucial shots. But for every round of good shots in, there was the two-point shots that didn't want to get in. Alternating between good shots and the frustrating point-heavy ones just not connecting, his annoyance evident in the last stretch, eager to make one of those evasive two-point ones. When his last shot bounced into the hoop, he smiled in confidence... to see his total score of 18 points, redeeming Kresta and sending her to the next round. Is not the journey, is how you end it. -Z. Donovan

#7 vs. #10
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Jake Velox (Swift Fox, G) N Y Y Y Y Y N N Y N Y N N N N Y N Y Y N Y N Y N Y
15 1.93 3.95 5.92 7.95 10.11 13.28 15.28 17.24 19.20 21.33 24.11 26.07 29.51 32.89 35.42 38.24 40.54 42.46 44.51 47.49 50.79 52.80 55.28 57.18 59.47
Luukas Hirvonen (Cougar, G) Y N N N Y Y N N N Y Y N Y N Y N Y N Y Y Y Y N N N
16 1.93 4.13 6.24 9.49 13.38 16.40 18.38 20.54 22.69 26.64 29.39 31.36 33.47 35.86 38.99 41.71 44.21 46.51 48.57 52.00 55.07 57.64 59.96 62.25 64.24

The second matchup of the night featured last year's champ taking on another newcomer to the contest. Despite getting enough votes to be seeded higher, the swift fox was met with boos from the crowd as fans remembered his less-than-scrupulous antics in his matchups last year. The Finnish cougar met him at the tip-off circle for the customary media opportunity, though the Edmonton player remained stoic to whatever verbal jabs came out of the Dawgpack's loudmouth.

Opting to go first and set the tone, Velox came out somewhat hot with a chain of five in a row after missing his opening shot. In transition to the shoulder and the top of the arc, however, the vulpine managed to only sink two of his next nine balls and neither of them for the bune bonus. His final two racks saw a much better result, scoring six of the ten balls and one of the bune bonuses for a final score of 15 points.

Unlike the canid, the feline sank his opening shot but proceeded to miss the next three. Luukas did hit the bune bonus at the end of the rack and sank the first ball on the next rack, then repeated this triple-miss bonus-and-next cycle going into the third station with half the clock burned off. This time he nailed the middle ball along with the bune bonus, and the fourth rack saw him sink five of his last eight shots (including four in a row between the final two stations) for a total score of 16 points at the buzzer. Not only did the cougar leave two balls untouched on the final rack but a smug smirk was also aimed at the official ex-champion on the sidelines. -P. Suarez

#6 vs. #11
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) N N N Y N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N N Y N N N
15 1.90 4.00 6.19 8.33 10.25 13.41 16.91 20.48 22.74 25.34 28.34 30.69 33.30 35.70 38.37 41.34 43.59 46.37 48.77 52.52 56.64 59.64 62.09 64.61 66.61
Misha Maxwell (Cheetah, G) Y N Y Y N N Y Y N N Y N Y N Y N Y N Y N Y N Y N N
13 1.94 3.89 6.03 8.21 10.50 14.66 16.66 18.83 20.96 23.14 26.97 30.31 32.49 34.76 37.53 40.30 42.57 45.07 47.61 50.03 54.43 56.59 59.07 61.43 63.57

Two more newcomers to the contest squared off against each other in the penultimate matchup of the first round. The busy bunny looked very eager to get the match going, having missed out on all of the All-Star events last year but was voted in for every event this year. The lapine met his rookie counterpart at the tip-off circle and gave her the opportunity to go first after informing the judges of his decision to go second.

Misha kept up a very steady groove throughout her session, sinking five of her first ten shots but missing both of the bune bonus balls. The final three racks saw her alternating between hits and misses, scoring the bune bonus at the top of the woods. Her time management wasn't very good, however, as she left two balls on the final rack untouched for a final score of 13 points.

Lance opened up by rushing through the first rack and hitting only one shot, missing the bune bonus on his way to the second station. After missing the first two balls, the rabbit then hit ten shots in a row including the two bune balls, tying up the score with Misha. With eight possible shots to win, the former Alpha sank the fourth ball on the fourth rack and took his time with his remaining balls as he nailed his last shot before the buzzer. While he left three untouched on the final rack, his score of 15 points moved him into the next round. -A. Baradi

#3 vs. #14
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Derek Kim (Kkachi, G) Y N Y N N Y N N Y Y Y Y N Y Y N Y Y Y N Y N Y N N
16 2.05 4.32 6.48 8.56 11.79 15.37 17.43 19.35 22.31 24.31 27.67 29.88 32.34 34.84 37.81 41.20 43.26 45.76 47.88 50.52 54.88 57.24 59.66 62.06 64.01
Matthew Silvius (Long-Tailed Weasel, G) Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y N N Y Y Y N N N N N Y
16 1.96 3.87 6.07 8.31 10.56 13.53 15.60 17.85 20.01 22.14 24.61 26.80 29.32 31.38 33.80 36.27 39.67 42.17 44.62 47.51 50.45 52.69 54.99 57.09 59.86

Unlike last year where the two first-year players that were pitted against each other happened to also be teammates, this year's rookie-only match featured sharpshooters from divisional rivals. The one-time tennis player had the higher seed and chose to go second, forcing the avian to set the mark to beat.

Derek opened up with a swish, but ended up missing five of his next seven shots, including the bune bonus ball. The black bird took an extra moment to adjust his ninth shot, not only sinking that one but the next three in a row as half of his clock had burned off. He seemed to take a little extra time after each miss to make an adjustment, sinking 7 of his final 11 shots before the buzzer. With 16 points and two balls left untouched on the final rack, the Winnipeg rookie looked confident in his score.

However, Matthew came out smoking hot and nailed 8 of 10 from the first two racks, missing both bonus balls. His luck only dipped slightly on the third and fourth racks as he hit the middle three shots from each station, trailing his opponent by 2 going into the final rack. Then each ball rattled in and out for the weasel, and with time winding down he launched the final bune ball just at the buzzer, sinking the bonus and hoping to finish with 16 points as well. The judges ruled that the basket was good, so these two would meet again at the end of the round for a tiebreaker. -B. Holst

#1 vs. #16
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Marcus Knight (River Otter, G) Y N Y N Y N Y Y N Y N N N N N Y Y N Y Y N Y N Y Y
15 1.93 4.08 6.09 8.34 10.62 13.55 15.53 17.66 19.77 21.96 24.66 26.59 28.57 30.84 34.76 38.76 40.74 43.09 45.53 48.39 51.89 53.86 55.85 58.55 60.99
Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G) N Y N Y N Y N Y N Y N Y N Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
18 1.97 3.97 6.04 8.06 9.97 13.20 15.28 17.55 19.49 21.51 24.30 26.50 28.96 31.17 34.03 36.57 38.89 41.08 43.41 46.46 49.90 52.16 54.39 56.75 59.22

Last year's top-scoring sniper in the contest not only got the most votes this year but also made the decision to have this duel after all the others in the bottom half of the bracket. His opponent, the starting sophomore saluki for the Kahunas, looked a little determined after not only last year's defeat at the hands of his teammate but also the runner-up finish in last year's Dunk Contest. With the otter choosing when to have the matchup, the dog had the decision of who would go first in the shootout, and opted to take it himself.

Julian started off spotty, alternating hits and misses on the first three racks. But after missing the bune bonus ball from the top of the woods, the dog lit up the scoreboard on the final two racks, sinking nine shots in a row before the final bune bonus ball bounced harmlessly away off the rim. While not insurmountable, the slim saluki's score of 18 points was definitely challenging.

Marcus wasn't as spotty as the canine on his first two racks, and actually nailed both bune bonus balls heading to the center station. But then he went ice cold as every ball in the third rack ended up drifting to the left or to the right, scoring no points there. And unlike his counterpart, he wasn't able to string together a streak of more than two in a row in his final ten shots. Despite sinking both of the bune bonus balls on the final two racks -- the final one was waved off for being launched after the buzzer -- the otter's 15 points were not enough as he shook paws with JCK in congratulations. -P. Suarez

#8 vs. #9
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Rodger Umaechi (Husky, F) Y N Y Y N Y N Y Y N Y Y Y N Y Y N Y Y N N N Y N Y
15 1.96 4.01 6.26 8.28 10.56 14.85 16.85 18.83 20.94 23.33 26.13 28.12 30.53 32.64 35.46 37.97 40.35 42.58 44.95 47.96 51.57 54.26 56.53 59.04 61.51
Barton Rouge (Red Fox, G) N Y N N Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y Y N N N Y
17 2.02 4.67 6.60 9.08 12.62 15.87 18.25 20.95 23.22 25.63 28.53 30.62 33.77 35.89 38.42 41.42 45.01 48.54 51.75 55.47 59.83 62.80 66.05 69.65 72.63

When a player known more for their dunks gets voted in for the three-point contest and also beats out a former shootout champion in the tallies, one would think that the dunker would decline the invitation in favor of their preferred contest. But when the hosting city's husky didn't even make it on the dunk contest ballot, fans made this matchup the one to watch. Both former MVPs shook paws at the tip-off circle as the husky chose to go first over the handsome Cajun canid.

Rodger started off steady, though he couldn't hit either bune bonus at the end of the first two racks. Getting to the top of the woods proved to be his strongest spot as Dasher nailed 4-of-5 including the bune ball. Neither time nor his shot was on his side going into the last rack, however, with three misses in a row and his final bonus ball getting waved off for being after the buzzer. His 15 points was respectable, and the crowd cheered his efforts.

Barton seemed unfazed by all the misses in his first two racks, especially since he was going at a much slower pace than expected. But taking his time seemed to pay off when he chained six shots in a row between the second and third racks, hitting both bune bonus balls from the right shoulder and the top of the arc. With the clock winding down quickly, the fox sank the last three balls on the fourth rack, headed to the final station, and launched the first ball before the buzzer went off. And in true Guarantee fashion, he turned away and pointed to the crowd as it swished through the net. Rouge's 17 points was enough to send him to the next round. -A. Baradi

#4 vs. #13
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Kasa Yalenchka (Snow Leopard, G) Y N N N Y Y Y N Y N Y Y Y N N Y Y N Y N Y Y Y Y Y
16 2.05 4.02 5.92 8.15 11.38 14.41 16.60 18.65 20.77 22.95 25.74 28.01 30.35 32.78 35.36 38.25 40.51 42.78 45.14 47.68 51.70 54.23 56.58 58.94 61.09
Aurora Goldshine (Yellow Cobra, G) N N N N Y N N N N Y N Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y
18 1.93 4.04 6.16 8.41 10.60 14.83 16.89 19.06 21.15 24.40 26.90 29.04 31.26 33.37 36.29 39.04 41.18 43.41 45.57 48.29 51.34 53.39 55.56 57.91 59.97

While last year's pool of three-point contestants was half female, this year's representation was half of that, and half of those were represented in this shootout. After being ousted from last year's contest in the first round by her fellow Splash Sister, the veteran snep looked hungry for a win this year against the other sophomore sniper for the Kahunas. Were it not for a required tiebreaker, this matchup would have been the penultimate one of the first round as the feline took the court first.

Despite missing the middle three on the first rack, KY hit the bonus ball and the first two of the second rack. After missing the second bune bonus, another three in a row sank for the cat with half of the clock burned off. Kasa missed the bonus ball again at the top of the woods, but hit the first two again on the fourth rack. The fourth bune ball bounced in and out for no bonus points for Yalenchka, as she squared up at the final station and cleared the rack, though the final shot was waved off for being a full second after the buzzer.

It looked grim for Aurora when she only sank two shots from the first two racks, though luckily for her they were the bune bonus balls. When the snake got to the top of the woods she must have made some sort of adjustment and sank the middle three shots in a row. At the fourth rack, another adjustment was made and she cleared all five balls from that rack before heading to the final station. With time winding down, the yellow cobra nailed three of the four regular balls and fired off the final shot just as the buzzer rang. The ball swished through as the judges reviewed the replay footage to see if it would count. When the ruling came back that it was good, Aurora's final score of 18 points pushed her to the next round while Kasa's 16 points left her waiting for another year. -B. Holst

#5 vs. #12
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N N N Y Y Y N N N N
17 1.93 3.89 5.95 9.11 11.73 16.22 18.76 21.09 23.49 25.89 28.90 31.27 33.55 36.16 40.46 43.54 46.13 48.94 52.66 56.01 59.61 61.59 63.61 65.76 68.02
Yves Carbonneau (Arctic Fox, G/F) N Y N N Y N N Y N N Y N N Y Y N N Y N Y N Y Y Y Y
14 2.08 4.30 6.25 8.55 10.66 13.59 15.77 17.83 20.00 22.14 24.63 26.63 28.70 30.88 33.72 36.53 38.70 41.19 43.75 46.52 49.64 52.60 55.75 58.78 62.48

The penultimate duel of the first round featured the reigning Most Improved Player going up against a newcomer to the contest. The arctic fox and Canadian lynx shared a joke at the tip-off circle before agreeing that the higher-seeded newbie would go first in the matchup.

Cliff started off as cold as the Alaskan winters when his first three shots bricked off the side of the rim. After taking a little more time squaring his large paws on the court, the cat went on to sink eight in a row before the second ball from the third rack rattled in and out. His slower pace pretty much burned through most of his time after the third ball and the bune bonus both swished through from the third rack. Three more misses from the fourth rack were followed up by three hits in a row including the fourth bonus ball before time expired, leaving three untouched balls on the final rack.

Yves did not have the same luck on the racks as his counterpart in this shootout. Nearly every shot he sank on the first three stations was followed up by two misses, up until he nailed the bune bonus ball at the top of the arc. The fourth rack started off the same with a pair of misses, but sinking the third and the bonus balls left him little room for error on the final rack in order to tie Cliff's 17 points. But when the first ball bounced off the rim and out, the vulpine took his time with the remaining shots and sank all of them even though the final bune ball was well after the buzzer. The Winnipeg swingfur finished with 14 points and congratulated his opponent on a good match. -B. Holst

Tiebreaker for #3 vs #14
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Matthew Silvius (Long-Tailed Weasel, G) N Y Y N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N Y N Y N N Y N Y
20 2.10 4.00 6.10 8.20 10.10 13.20 15.10 17.50 19.60 22.00 24.50 26.70 28.90 30.80 34.80 37.30 39.80 41.80 44.20 47.00 50.60 53.20 55.10 57.50 59.60
Derek Kim (Kkachi, G) Y N Y N N Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N Y Y N N Y N
17 2.20 4.40 6.60 8.70 10.80 14.00 16.30 18.60 20.70 22.80 25.40 27.40 29.40 31.50 34.10 36.80 39.20 41.20 43.50 46.40 49.90 53.60 56.00 58.00 60.20

After finishing their first duel in a tie, these two became the most highly tipped players of this year's batch of sharpshooters. While arguably Derek is the rookie to beat for this season, it was clear that this event was the weasel's bread and butter, with a very strong showing from this game and from the Bikers overall. And for a second chance, the Frump Coliseum would see the fire these two had in order to snatch that spot in the next round.

With the bird having already gone first, Silvius now had to be the first player to step in. After some shaky first 10 seconds, the mustelid took charge, connecting every shot he could. Money shot, after money shot after money shot, including the two big bonus balls. Half the time passed and one could see the push was kind of starting to falter, but managing to snatch the remaining big two-point worth shots, squeezing all his opportunities on the timer, ending with a very impressive 20 points.

The kkachi had a similar start to the weasel, but the fans could see Derek was taking more time to think his shots through. Eventually feeling the timer's pressure, the avian began shooting up, trying to match Matthew's time, managing to start a small chain of his own. But unlike the weasel, Derek's money shots didn't fall through, costing him part of his score. The final stretch was part of a yes-no-yes-no slalom, with the avian's last failed shot not being in the time limit. Although managing to score an impressive 17, it was clear that Matthew Silvius was advancing to the next round. They both patted each other's back, as they were reported of being good friends in this occasionally cutthroat rookie class.

"Any other rook woulda been disappointing, good luck Matt." -Z. Donovan

Quarterfinals

One rookie remains among the league veterans, including a former shootout champion and last year's runner-up. Who will advance to the next round?

#2 vs. #10
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Kresta Renstill (Silver Fox, G) Y N N Y Y Y N Y Y Y N Y Y N Y Y Y N Y N N Y Y Y Y
21 2.00 4.06 6.13 8.04 10.25 13.50 15.85 17.76 19.71 21.75 24.47 26.65 29.06 31.49 34.28 36.71 38.81 41.11 43.21 46.18 49.22 51.76 54.38 56.53 58.60
Luukas Hirvonen (Cougar, G) Y Y Y Y N Y Y N N N Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y N N N Y Y Y
17 2.03 4.29 6.46 9.69 11.63 14.73 16.63 18.57 20.63 22.93 25.38 27.48 29.74 31.86 34.70 37.32 39.46 41.61 43.73 46.20 49.15 51.30 54.56 56.95 59.18

The first of many divisional rivals went up first. Although the season records state otherwise, would this be a chance for Edmonton to top the Howlers for once?

"Ladies First" said the chivalrous cougar, watching as the bandaged vixen took her position. And boy, what a position she took. Furs could tell she was eager to make a statement and, while each round had one or two fails, she found her way around the woods like Lewis and Clark, with most of the bonus balls sinking in flawlessly. While Renstill didn't manage a long string of swishes, her misses were never more than two in a row, closing out her session as the top scorer of the contest so far with an astonishing 21 points. Certainly a tall glass of sobering water for Luke to take.

Hirvonen took position. Hit. Hit. Hit. Hit. Missed the Bune Ball. It was a running occurrence that didn't manage to leave much for time, and while the cougar managed to fix his accuracy on the later racks, folks noted his two hat-tricks of fail, and no sign of any bune bonuses. By the time the last ball came from his paws to the net, snatching the final 2-pointer, the scores spoke loudly. While he managed to top his total against Velox by one, it was no match against the shadow vixen, who comfortably took her spot in the semifinals and her position as the one to beat this year. -Z. Donovan

#16 vs. #9
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G) Y Y N Y N Y N Y N Y Y Y Y N N Y N Y N N Y Y N N N
14 1.98 4.08 6.00 8.29 10.43 13.74 15.66 17.92 19.95 22.09 24.87 26.95 29.24 31.28 33.78 36.33 38.32 40.67 42.65 45.63 49.28 51.68 53.85 56.06 58.46
Barton Rouge (Red Fox, G) Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y N N Y Y N N Y N N
14 2.23 4.20 6.36 8.52 10.48 14.79 16.75 18.68 20.80 23.09 26.05 28.25 30.23 32.48 34.96 38.68 41.64 44.68 48.20 53.09 57.66 61.11 64.75 68.39 71.82

Despite what someone would think at first glance, JCK and The Guarantee have a lot more in common than just their genus. Both canines are huge fan favorites among their respective arenas, and both of them happen to share the same tendency to showboat. The vulpine is a legendary name in the history of the event, having entered it thirteen times in fifteen seasons of activity - three wins and two second places to his name between 2006 and 2011 marking his finest hour in the league. After his last win, though, Rouge has struggled to recapture the success of his better days – never making it past the 1st round in the last four editions of the contest. Having the Guarantee turned 35 the week before, everyone in the building knew this could be the last opportunity for him to make a run for the sharpshooting crown. His battle with one of the up-and-coming talents of the field, returning to the contest for the second time after losing to eventual runner-up Aurora Goldshine (Yellow Cobra, G) in 2015, was one of the most awaited match-ups of the night.

The saluki was hit-and-miss on the first two racks, sinking three from both the right corner and the right shoulder. After a string of three from the top of the key, though, he went on a cold streak – hitting just 4 of the next 12 shots and missing all of his bonus balls. He finished the last rack with two seconds to spare, but his grand total of 14 left an open door for the Cajun fox to work his way through.

Barton opened up strong hitting the first two balls from the corner, missing the next three but quickly finding his mojo back from the right shoulder – from where he sank all of his shots but the bune ball, mockingly rattling in and out of the hoop as the vulpine already made his way to the top of the arc. Fatigue started to settle in, but the Guarantee was able to stay afloat by nailing 6 of the next 10 – tying the saluki at 14 apiece as he cashed in the extra points provided by the 3rd and 4th bonus ball. To get those, though, he’d considerably slowed down his rhythm, to the point he could only shoot one from the fifth and final rack – the shot bouncing off the rim as the fox from Biloxi clutched his tired knees, wondering how he’d be able to endure the impending tiebreaker against the younger canine. -G. Whitewater

#3 vs. #6
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Matthew Silvius (Long-Tailed Weasel, G) N N Y Y Y Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y Y N N Y N Y N Y N N Y
16 2.25 4.49 6.75 8.72 10.74 13.98 16.09 18.18 20.35 23.56 27.24 29.18 31.25 33.38 35.89 38.48 40.57 42.83 44.76 47.81 50.89 52.81 55.16 57.72 60.25
Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) N Y Y Y Y Y Y N N Y N Y N Y Y N N Y Y Y Y Y N N N
19 2.25 4.27 6.54 8.74 11.99 14.99 16.99 19.31 21.33 24.37 26.87 28.90 30.90 34.24 38.17 40.81 43.13 45.37 47.37 51.25 55.61 59.21 62.38 65.87 69.25

After a harrowing tiebreaker in the first round, the lone remaining rookie sniper entered his next matchup against yet another one of his divisional rivals. Hoping to maintain his groove from the previous duel, he opted to hit the racks first and set the tone of the match. The lapine veteran took a seat while the weasel got in position at the right corner station.

Despite opening with a pair of misses, the mustelid was able to string together a pair of five-in-a-rows that were separated by three misses between the second and third racks. True to his nickname, Quicksand made sharp work of the first three stations, but became visibly winded by the time he sank the bune bonus from the top of the woods. His slightly slower pace didn't help his accuracy, going 4-of-10 on the last two racks; while both money balls sank, the last one was waved off for being launched after the buzzer and leaving him with only 16 points.

The rabbit opened up with only a single miss before nailing the next six balls. The Flash may have only gone 4-of-10 out of his next shots, but both of the bune balls rattled in for those extra points. And when he cleared the last three balls on the fourth rack to effectively give him the win, Lance took his time to get to the final rack and casually sank two more balls before the buzzer rang. His final score of 19 points ensured that a veteran would emerge as this year's shootout champion. -P. Suarez

#13 vs. #5
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Aurora Goldshine (Yellow Cobra, G) N Y N Y N N N Y N N Y N N Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N Y
13 2.25 4.21 6.12 9.32 11.47 14.71 16.71 18.79 20.90 22.97 25.80 28.10 30.38 32.77 36.44 40.31 42.29 44.29 46.44 49.01 52.09 54.09 56.57 59.04 61.35
Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) Y Y N Y N Y N Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N N Y N Y N Y
15 2.25 4.45 6.68 8.82 10.73 13.83 16.02 18.15 20.13 22.40 25.22 27.67 30.10 32.40 35.22 38.17 40.20 42.37 44.55 48.53 53.13 55.47 57.45 59.42 61.53

It came the turn for Fire vs. Ice, yet another divisional rival brawl, oddly commonplace in this installment.

The furred one was slotted to start, big lynx paws just behind the line. What followed two easy shots became a zig-zag of hits and misses. Even a six-string of flawless shots with a money shot sandwiched in between was followed by four which clanked heavily on the rim and bounced away, including a bune ball on those failed. The feline quickly scrammed to get some last second points, snatching the last one flawlessly, but time was not his pal and got anulled. With a halfway decent score of 15 points, he hoped it was enough to progress.

The Sunshine Serpent's turn came by. Unfortunately, her skills were heavily eclipsed in the first half. Like the lynx, her bonus balls didn't manage to get in, but she was notably missing several shots to aid her attempts at an early lead. At 40 seconds in, Goldshine tried her best to change that, scoring more with a seven-basket streak than on her first three racks. A very close last ball swished flawlessly... but, just like Matthiews, it got waved off to timing, closing her efforts at 13 instead of managing a tie and another run. Her chances were effectively frozen over as the Arctic Guard cinched a spot in the Top 4. -Z. Donovan

Tiebreaker for #9 vs. #16
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Barton Rouge (Red Fox, G) N Y Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y N N Y N N Y N N Y N N N Y Y
14 2.16 4.18 6.10 8.28 10.50 13.70 15.98 17.98 20.30 22.26 24.92 27.28 29.24 31.20 35.16 38.96 43.42 46.38 49.62 53.40 57.72 60.74 65.26 68.70 72.18
Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G) N Y Y N N Y N Y Y N Y Y N N Y Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y Y
18 2.21 4.16 6.07 8.33 10.36 13.40 15.50 17.67 19.64 21.69 24.43 26.48 28.66 31.02 33.72 36.48 38.91 41.41 43.53 45.97 48.97 51.19 53.28 55.33 57.24

After all was said and done, Cross-Kiraly and Rouge returned to the court for their tiebreaker. Despite icing his knees between one set and the next, the fox still looked quite worn out after his previous ordeal, but he still put on his brave face and got to the hardwood, accompanied by a thunderous cheer from the crowd.

As in the first trial, the Guarantee started off strong – hitting 7 out of the first 10, including the first two bonus balls. He was doing even better than in his previous attempt and many onlookers started to believe he could really recapture a shadow of his former self – but fatigue started taking its toll as he reached the third rack, from which he could only hit two out of five shots. The fourth rack was a true ordeal for Rouge, the vulpine taking even four or five seconds between a shot and the next, hoping to resist the age’s toll by means of his world class skill and accuracy. Two sunk shots (including the fourth money ball) brought the fox’s total up to fourteen before the time expired – as in his first attempt, Rouge could only fire a single attempt from the left corner, the ball bouncing off the hoop in a very similar fashion to what had happened twenty minutes earlier.

With the Guarantee’s performance being anything but unbeatable, the saluki should have felt confident to take him on, but it was clear his nerves and relative inexperience were starting to get the better of him. It was clear to everyone that the dog was dreading a repeat of 2015, when what should have been an easy tiebreaker round against team-mate Aurora Goldshine turned into a nightmare as he couldn’t better the snake’s disappointing score of 16 – having done a whopping 19 just a few minutes before.

Julian’s extremely fast start did not yield the expected results, with the saluki sinking just 5 of the first 10 shots and most importantly, missing the first two bonus balls – the same issue that had haunted him during his first try. He got marginally better at the third rack, nailing the first two shots and at last the first bonus ball – his score still being at 9, which the vulpine had managed to reach with one less rack. After chaining four in a row from the left shoulder, the saluki missed another bonus ball, getting to the left corner with twelve seconds to spare, but still one point behind Rouge.

It’d be hard to describe Julian’s look as he approached the final rack. A mixture of grit and determination, beneath which I could still read a certain amount of apprehension as the past failures undoubtedly came to haunt him. After missing his first shot, the young shooting guard proved to be stronger than his demons, sinking the two he needed to surpass the vulpine in rapid succession. The weight of failure lifted from his shoulders, he drained the final two shots – including the final bonus ball – in amazing fashion, ending the round with eighteen points to Rouge’s fourteen and earning himself a slap on the back from the once mighty sharpshooting legend. -G. Whitewater

Semifinals

A pair of young guns take on a pair of veterans in their prime. Which ones will advance to the last round and which ones will have to try again next year?

#2 vs. #6
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Kresta Renstill (Silver Fox, G) Y Y Y N Y Y Y N N Y N Y N Y Y Y N Y Y N N Y Y Y Y
21 2.15 4.15 6.33 8.28 10.40 13.60 15.70 17.70 19.90 22.20 25.00 27.20 29.50 31.60 34.20 36.60 38.50 40.60 42.60 45.20 48.40 50.50 52.50 54.80 57.40
Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) N Y N Y Y N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N
23 2.14 4.32 6.30 8.43 10.70 13.90 15.90 18.20 20.40 22.70 25.20 27.40 29.70 32.10 34.90 37.80 39.80 42.20 44.40 47.30 50.70 53.10 56.20 59.30 62.20

In the first of the two semifinal duels, the highest remaining seed from Montana took on the portly point guard from Arizona. After the customary photo op at the tip-off circle, Lance stepped off to the sidelines to have a moment with his young children Sage and Basil. Meanwhile, Kresta took to the racks first, just as she had in both of her previous rounds.

The vixen came out strong, stringing a pair of hat-tricks on the first two racks and nailing both bune balls on the way to the top of the woods. Another triple success would be centered around the third money ball and the shot preceding it as well as the one following it. Despite missing the fourth bonus at the left shoulder, the vulpine capped off her run with four in a row from the corner, the final bune bonus splashing through the net. Leaving more than a second to spare, she matched her previous round's total of 21 points, much to the delight of the fans.

The lapine gave his kids' footpaws a little tickle before getting in position, and when the clock started he seemed a little shaky. 3-of-5 from the corner including the bune bonus was followed by a pair of misses to start the second station. But then he cleared the remainder of the rack... and then proceeded to swish every ball from the top of the woods, earning increasing chants and cheers from the audience. His paws were on fire as ball after ball from the fourth rack sank through the hoop and the fans were spurring him on with his streak count. Two more from the last station rattled in before the third one bounced in and out, ending his run at 15-in-a-row. Taking his time with the last three shots and making only one before the buzzer sounded gave the former Alpha 23 points and a guaranteed spot in the final round. -P. Suarez

#16 vs. #5
Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Julian Cross-Kiraly (Saluki, G) Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y N N Y Y Y Y N N Y Y Y N N Y Y N Y
18 2.16 4.22 6.35 8.58 10.60 13.80 15.90 18.00 20.10 22.30 24.70 26.70 28.60 31.00 34.00 37.00 39.00 41.20 43.40 46.00 49.50 53.00 55.20 57.30 59.30
Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) Y N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y N Y N N Y N Y N N Y
20 2.18 4.26 6.23 8.33 10.40 13.50 15.70 17.60 19.90 21.80 24.60 26.70 28.90 31.00 34.90 37.70 39.90 42.40 44.50 47.10 50.30 52.40 54.80 57.10 59.30

Divisional rivals match up once more in the second semifinals duel as the underdog spoiler who knocked out the top voted Marcus Knight (River Otter, G) and former shootout champion Barton Rouge (Red Fox, G) took on the lynx from the north who knocked out his opponent’s fellow teammate Aurora Goldshine (Yellow Cobra, G) just a round prior. As Cliff was the higher seed he deferred to go second, perhaps hoping to test Julian's stamina after having come off a tiebreaker session.

Fatigued or not, the canine started strong by dropping his first four with ease. When the final ball of the first rack rimmed out, however, it would be the start of an unfortunate pattern for the saluki. Nailing the majority of the next three racks, Julian would fail each time to make the money ball. It was almost bittersweet that his final shot actually gave him his first and only bune bonus of the round; barring that, he put up an excellent score of 18 points.

All eyes then turned to the Canadian cat from Indonesia as he took the court, needing more points than he had earned in any of his previous rounds to beat out his rival. The first rack started off shaky for The Survivor with only one hit out of his first three, but the feline quickly caught fire by nailing his next eight shots, going perfect at the second station. Then the lynx went nearly ice cold in the last three racks, failing to string together any consecutive shots. However, he had kept himself in the match with the money ball sunk from each station, and with four balls left Cliff swished the second shot from the rack to tie Julian’s score. Nerves seemed to get to the lynx as his next two attempts bounced off the side iron, leaving it to the final bune ball. And like his previous four bonuses, he made the one that counted the most. Despite hitting fewer overall shots -- 15 compared to the sophomore’s 17 -- a final score of 20 points meant that the career Arctic player would move on to the championship round. -R. Eastman

Finals: #5 vs #6

After an exciting contest with many upsets and surprises, after the underdog and the top vixen were challenged and topped, we were left with only two. Two players impossible to match up more worthy of each other's competitive spirit. Two undraftees from 2010 who have now shot to stardom on their respective teams and in the league. Two players debuting in the Three Point Shootout, but only one would waltz away with the title. Was it going to be the international Arctic feline or the uprooted-Alpha now-Arizonan lapine?

As if by demand of the cheering crowd in Frump Coliseum for the former Albany guard, the lapine took on the challenge to set the mark that Matthiews would have to surpass once the higher-seeded lynx opted to close out the duel. Coming out as the top scorer of the event with a blazing 23 points in the previous round, the expectations were as high as the New York capitol's skyline. The first shot sunk like no one's business. Some fails didn't stop the rabbit, who managed to not only sink three in a row but also cleared the entire rack at the top of the woods, driving the crowd wild but gradually adding more and more weight to his shoulders. He was finally starting to show signs of fatigue on the last two racks, managing to nail only 3 out of 9 shots before the very last bune bonus went in flawlessly, much to the delight of the fans. The overall effort from The Flash resulted in a respectable total of 17 points. Would it be enough to seal the deal?

Coming off two successive victories against both entries from the Hawaii Kahunas, the feline's face was that of confidence and determination. Flawlessly sinking four of his five first shots, including the important money ball, what followed next could not have made this final more nerve-wracking. A shot went in, a shot went out. Bune ball in, bune ball bounced away. Lance watched in anticipation from the sidelines, emotions growing more visible with each of Cliff's alternating hits and misses. At 8 seconds left, the crowd volume dipped as the Alaskan Arctic once again swished the second ball from the final station to equal the challenge established by his opponent, guaranteeing at least a second go at the prize. Three shots were left to claim the title.

Point number 18... hit the front of the rim hard.

Point number 18, take 2... bounced high off the back rim and landed in the lap of a lucky fan.

The lynx took the last ball, the signature yellow bune from the rack, and with less than a second on the clock, Matthiews let the ball fly.

...bounce... bounce...

Player A1 A2 A3 A4 M1 B1 B2 B3 B4 M2 C1 C2 C3 C4 M3 D1 D2 D3 D4 M4 E1 E2 E3 E4 M5
Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G) Y N N Y Y Y N N Y N Y Y Y Y Y N N Y Y N N N Y N Y
17 2.08 3.99 6.18 8.28 10.40 14.60 16.60 19.00 20.90 23.10 25.60 27.90 29.90 32.10 34.50 37.10 39.40 41.40 43.60 46.60 50.10 52.70 55.20 57.80 59.80
Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) Y Y Y N Y N Y N Y Y Y N Y Y N Y Y N Y N Y Y N N Y
19 2.24 4.35 6.33 8.31 10.60 13.80 15.90 17.90 20.10 22.30 24.90 27.40 29.60 31.90 34.40 37.10 39.50 41.90 43.90 46.80 50.00 51.90 54.40 56.90 59.50

(swish)

The buzzer rang, and with 19 points, ​Cliff Matthiews (Canadian Lynx, G) emerged as the Three Point Shootout Champion of 2016. And the first to congratulate him was his opponent and fellow 2010 undrafted walk-on Lance Wildfyre (Rabbit, G). The feline basked in the applause from the crowd who cheered for his efforts, as well as the celebratory pats of his friends and competitors.

-Z. Donovan (edited by P. Suarez)

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