Two girls take honors om Elks free throw contest
There’s an adage in basketball, “free throws win games.”
Players and fans alike can probably remember more than one occasion when the difference on the scoreboard at the buzzer was attributable to the winning team’s success at the charity stripe.
The annual Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest gives young competitors an opportunity to show off their free throw shooting skills with the winners at each level advancing to a higher level of competition.
This year, the Paris Elks sent two local athletes to the Feb. 24 state competition in Decatur. If free throws truly win games, the future looks bright for Paris girls basketball.
Kailey Young, a third grader at Crestwood School, is the daughter of Matt and Danette Young of Paris. Young took first place in the 8-9 year old division at both the local contest held in Paris and the district contest in Pana. At the state competition in Decatur, she shot 9 for 25 from the line, earning a fifth place finish in her age division.
Kate Littleton, daughter of Jamey and Karen Littleton of Paris, is an eight grader at Mayo Middle School. She competed in the 12-13-year-old division. At the state competition, Littleton shot 20 for 25 in the first two rounds, landing her in a two-way tie for third place. A shoot-off commenced with Littleton shooting 5 for 5, her opponent shot 4 of 5, solidifying Littleton’s claim to third place after sinking a total of 25 of 30 free throws.
Competition in the 12-13-year-old division was fierce. The shooter earning first place and advancing to the regional championship, shot 27 of 30 and the second place shooter made 26 out of 30.