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By Dan Rudy 

Local kids drop rocks at Elks annual shoot


Dan Rudy/ Wrangell Sentinel

Winners of this year's Hoop Shoot receive their trophies Friday at the Community Center gym. Held by the Elks Lodge for the past 34 years, winners compete statewide for the opportunity to represent Alaska at the regional level.

With the extended Thanksgiving weekend in full swing, the local Elks' annual Hoop Shoot had a reasonable turnout on Friday. Eighteen girls and 11 boys between the ages of 8 and 13 came down to try their hands at the best-of-25 free throw.

The kids took their shots at the Community Center gym in the morning, with 8 and 9 year olds throwing from 11 feet out and the rest shooting from the free throw line.

Every participant received a new basketball and were treated to a hamburger lunch at the Elks Lodge. The top placers for each age and gender bracket then were presented with trophies after the Petersburg-Wrangell middle school boys game at 6 p.m.

For 8-9 year old girls, Alisha Armstrong placed first with 4 shots; Mindy Meissner scored 6 and Della Churchill 2, but were unable to compete for first because they arrived to the shoot late. For the boys, Jack Roberts placed first with 8, Kirk Davidson second with 8, and Devlin Campbell came in third with 7.

For 10-11 year old girls, Renee Roberts took first with 10 shots, followed by Jamie Early with 9 and Grace Miller with 6. For the boys, Jason Hay placed first with 8 shots, followed by Tyson Messmer with 6 and Randy Churchill with 3.

And for the 12-13 year category, Kaylyn Easterly took first for the girls with 19 shots, followed by Helen Decker with 14 and Elizabeth Armstrong with 12. Among the boys, Trevor Miller took first with 20 out of 25 shots, followed by Logan Ritchie with 12 and Jonah Comstock with 8.

Easterly also broke a 23-year old record for her bracket for Wrangell's Hoop Shoot, netting 19 for 25 throws. The record was previously held by Trista Bloom, who shot 18.

"I think she did really good," said Jeff Jabusch, who organized this year's shoot.

The best finalists from each of the state's Elks Lodges' Hoop Shoots get to represent Alaska at the regional level, competing against kids from Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Easterly had been the 8-9 girls champ for Alaska in 2012 with 14 throws, and had gone on to Regionals in Vancouver, Wash.

"I would say she has a really good chance (of going)," said Jabusch. He expects state-wide results will be known by around the middle of January.


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