Young basketball players from throughout the Mountain Area showed off their sharpshooting skills Jan. 29 during the annual Knights of Columbus Free Throw Contest at the main gym at Yosemite High School.
The free throw contest, for boys and girls age 9 to 14, provided medals and certificates to those making the most out of 15 shots from the free throw line, 15 feet from the basket.
All the boys and girls competed in the Free Throw Contest by age range and gender. The top shooters from the Free Throw Contest will advance to the district competition on Feb. 25 in Fresno.
The winners were:
☆ 9 year-old boy: Robert Kyle Marmon (9 of 15).
☆ 10 year-old boy: Shootoff required between Ian Brooks and Noah Graffigna (13 of 15).
☆ 11 year-old boy: Bryce A Rutty (9 of 15).
☆ 12 year-old girl: Elsa Smock (9 of 15).
☆ 13 year-old girl: Jenna Kurz (9 of 15).
☆ 13 year old-boy: Drake Airey (10 of 15).
“I am truly excited for these youngsters,” said Tony Tucker, Free Throw and Three-Point Contest Chairman for the Knights of Columbus Bishop Steinbock Council of Oakhurst. “I anticipate a strong showing from them as they advance, and I am convinced we have a state champion or two in the group this year.”
The Oakhurst Area Knights of Columbus council has produced three state free throw champions - Alyssa Sayre (2002), Katie Menton (2003) and Samuel Burnheimer (2011).
3-Point contest new this year
New this year was a three-point shot competition for boys and girls in three age divisions, 12 and 13, 14 and 15, and 16 and 17 years old.
This year’s top 3-point shooter from designated points 19 feet, 9 inches from the basket was Noah West, who made 15 of 20 shots from behind the arch in the boys 16-17 year-old division. Second place went to Christian Rold with 11 for 20.
Noah Graffigna, 10, a fifth grader at Coarsegold Elementary School, won the 12-13 year-old division with 13 of 20. Second place was Holden Eames with 6 of 15.
Noah’s sister, Lilly Graffigna, is varsity starting point guard on the Yosemite girls basketball team.
Britney Allen, 13, won the 12-13-year-old girls contest by hitting 6 of 20. Second place went to Elsa Smock.
YHS player Sophie McGoldrick won in the 14-15 girls division (4 of 20).
Yosemite High School basketball player Tristan Eames served as coordinator of the three-point contest as his senior project.
Bill Kammerer, the Grand Knight of the Oakhurst Council, said it was really great to see how the the parents and their kids enjoyed the tournament. “It really is a family affair and it was fun for us to serve the community with this exciting event.”
Details: Tony Tucker, (559) 760-7406.