<
>

Parker hits front of rim

3/31/2004

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oh, for another few inches.

Two days after beating a group of All-America boys in an
all-star slam dunk competition, Candace Parker hit the rim on a
dunk attempt in her West team's 91-66 loss to the East in the
McDonald's All-American girls game Wednesday.

Parker broke free on a fast break and slammed the ball into the
front rim with one minute left in the first half.

I just didn't get my footing right," Parker said.

Earlier in the half, the crowd let out an "ooh" as the
6-foot-3 Tennessee recruit called for an alley-oop, got the ball
and ended up missing a two-handed layup.

Parker, who led the West with 19 points and 10 rebounds, didn't
get any fast-break chances in the second half. She repeatedly
pointed at the rim when she flashed open for a moment.

Alexis Hornbuckle, the South Charleston, W.Va., guard who has
committed to Tennessee, scored a record 22 points to lead the East.
She broke the record held by Shanna Zolman, now at Tennessee, and
Ann Strother, who plays for Connecticut. Both scored 21 in the 2002
game.

Hornbuckle also helped disrupt her future teammate's dunk try.

"If my team is playing and I'm on the court, I don't want to be
the one who's dunked on," Hornbuckle said.

After her miss, Parker turned and looked for Hornbuckle.

"I was just, 'Gosh, why did you have to break it up?"' Parker
said.

Wanisha Smith, a Duke recruit from Upper Marlboro, Md., scored
10 of her 15 points during a 15-2 that put the East ahead 74-47
with seven minutes to play. Hornbuckle hit a 3-pointer to cap the
run.

Hornbuckle scored seven straight points later in the half to
extend the East lead to 85-55 with four minutes left.

The West trailed by 17 at halftime and cut the deficit to 59-45
with nine straight points, capped by a 3-pointer from the top of
the key by Mel Thomas, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Cincinnati who
is headed to Connecticut.

The East took over the game late in the first half with a 15-4
run to build a 39-22 lead. Eleven different girls scored for the
East in the first half.

Charde Houston, a San Diego forward headed to Connecticut,
finished with 10 points for the West.