Local wins third free throw title

defeat and the pressure of a gut-wrenching situation are just a few of the feelings John Strahan felt before he captured his third Elks Club National Hoop Shoot title last week.

Strahan, 10, experienced the pressure of being a repeat champion as he headed into the basketball free-throw shooting competition. And it showed in his opening round. The pressure got to Strahan, and he made a dismal four of 10 baskets.

"It was pretty high pressure," Strahan said. "I felt a little more relaxed the second time out shooting."

Strahan was able to put the negative energy of his first round behind him to outshoot his five competitors in the 10-11 year-old age group. He swished 10 out of 15 in the second round, making him the champ.

The shooting ability must be genetic because Strahan's older sister, Julie, 14, was a two-time champion of the Hoop Shoot.

"If it is genetic, they got it from their mom's side," joked Strahan's father, Jerry.

Strahan will compete next in the district competition in Rangely. If he does well enough there, he will advance to regionals and then to nationals. If he makes it to nationals, Strahan will be shooting to win scholarship money.

Strahan may have come into the local competition a little too confident, and he may have learned his lesson. Strahan said he didn't practice at all before the competition.

He plans on spending some time shooting on the hoop outside his house before the district competition.

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