Craig athletes in line for success at Elks Hoop Shoot
A game with three rounds of overtime is rare but not impossible for high school, college or pro basketball. To see a contest on a smaller scale go that far is a little more unusual but no less an indicator of strong competition.
Elks Lodge No. 1577 hosted its annual round of the Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest Saturday morning at Sandrock Elementary School with basketball players ages 8 to 13 ready to bring their A game.
For the third consecutive year and for her final year of eligibility, Jacie Evenson won her age division as the top shooter of 12- to 13-year-old girls. Her younger brother, Jayden, also repeated as a first-place finisher, this time among boys 10 and 11.
Cort Murphy also defended his title for Craig’s boys ages 12 and 13, but it wasn’t without some pressure.
After 25 free throws, Murphy was tied with Easton Briggs, a teammate in Craig Middle School basketball, leading to a shoot-off of five throws.
And then another.
Altogether, the two of them each had 40 free throws on the day, both hitting four of five throws in the first two extra rounds.
A third round saw Murphy outlast Briggs with three successful shots to two.
“It was kind of scary being up there that long,” Briggs said.
Craig organizer Frank Sadvar said he admired the two of them being able to last as long as they did and stay focused.
“They were just as cool as could be,” Sadvar laughed.
Winning for 8- and 9-year olds were Adrian Profumo for girls and Brodie Wooden for boys.
Taking the title for girls 10 and 11 was Teryn Carter, who’s already looking forward to the district round.
“I really think I can be successful,” she said.
The district round of the Hoop Shoot takes place Jan. 13 in Glenwood Springs, with winners progressing to the February state contest in Salida.
Sadvar said he was pleased with a turnout of 18 kids, a decrease in numbers from last year but a respectable outcome with some scheduling difficulties.
He added that he is working to get Craig elementary schools to involve Hoop Shoot practices and contests during gym classes to get even more young athletes involved.
“Having those in the physical education classes will be a real neat deal,” he said.
The National Junior High Finals Rodeo will be bringing in the top cowboy and cowgirl athletes from June 23 to 29 in Huron, South Dakota.