Students compete at hoop shoot event
Students from the local area put their basketball sharpshooting skills to the test on Saturday during this year's hoop shoot free throw competition.
Hosted locally by Mountain Home Elks Lodge 2276, the competition required participants to sink free-throws baskets with the hoop distance shortened for younger participants.
"This is important to our kids to keep them active and involved in this type of sportsmanship," said hoop shoot chairman Larry Fincher.
Fincher also thanked all the teachers that help get the program initiated in their schools before the Christmas break.
"Their participation is so very appreciated and a valued partnership," he added.
Fincher added that the weather conditions over the weekend could've put a damper on this year's event. However, parents wanted to ensure their children had a chance to participate this year.
"All of these kids and their families were hero winners in my book," Fincher said. "They all made the early trek to the junior high school this past Saturday to represent their schools and communities and should be very proud of themselves."
Fincher also credited the teachers of the participating schools in Mountain Home for their help in sharing information on the hoop shoot to their students. He then thanked all the local elks that volunteered their time and provided supplies that morning "to provide a program for our local community youth and families."
Providing these types of activities for local youth promotes sportsmanship and healthy lifestyles, which takes a village to accomplish, Fincher said. But most important is the support of these participants by their parents.
"It is heartwarming to see the family support and participation as parent and family members attend to cheer on their athletes," Fincher said.
On the court, these students display a variety of skills that highlights their effort and determination. While they may face disappointment when they miss a basket, their spirit always shines, Fincher added.
Those placing first locally this year will advance to district-level competition, scheduled for Jan. 21 at Timberline High School. Those six finalists will then move on to the state finals, scheduled for Feb. 11 in Grangeville in hopes of moving on to this year's regional and national hoop shoot championship.
"Give these kids a shout out and the encouragement they each deserve," Fincher said. "They are all winners in our books, and we congratulate and thank them all."
This year's winners and participants in each age category are as follows:
Eight to nine year-old category
Girls -- Abigail Malone, North Elementary School, first place
Boys -- Cyrus Wetherell, North Elementary School, first place; Zane Rielins, participant
10 to 11 year-old category
Girls -- Aaliyah Morris, Hacker Middle School, first place; Ava Johnson, participant
Boys -- Keller Hunter Wetherell, Glenns Ferry School, first place; Elijah Huffman, Jacob Christiansen and Nickolaus Herboldt, participants
12-13 year-old category
Girls -- Regan McDaniel, Mountain Home Junior High School, first place; Addie Hiler, participant
Boys -- Sean Jackson, Hacker Middle School, first place