Saturday, Feb. 10 saw the West Regional Hoop Shoot take place in Elmira as youngsters from the Southern Tier, West, West Central, and Southwest gather at St. Mary’s gym for some awesome free throw shooting.  When it was over, the two local youngsters from Penn Van were both eliminated, but not before both gave an excellent accounting of themselves and showed why it was that they were there.

Horseheads’ Jackson Cavalier, who advanced through our District  here in Penn Van two weeks ago, won again in the boys division, ages 8-9. Jackson was on fire as he made his first 10 shots, hit shot 11 on his second swing through, missed shot 12, and then made his next 13 in a row to finish with 24 of 25 on the day.  He outlasted Caden Carey who was 8 for 10 and 12 for 15 to finish second at 20 of 25. 

In the same bracket on the girl’s side, the winner  was Madison Ribble of Horseheads, a young lady who also won here in Penn Van. Madison  went 17 for 25 from the stripe to capture top prize with second place going to Alexa Hennessy with 8 of 25 for the day.

Moving back to regulation free throw line and using the regulation basketball certainly didn’t bother  Miles Sherman in the boys bracket ages 10-11.  Miles fired in 8 of his first 10 shots, and 12 of his next 15 to walk off with the top prize in this category.  

Second place went to Logan Demember, who managed to drop 16 of his 25 chances through the cords.  From the girls in this age group, we saw another  fine effort with Mia Tyndell and Enma Kamas, each going 6 for their first 10 shots. Kamas then popped in 13 of her remaining chances to Tyndell’s 9 for 15, and thus finished with a 4-shot victory.

The final division boys and girls ages 12-13 saw the day’s fine shooting get surreal as Kaylee Krysztof, fresh off her own ritual of warming up, showed why she was here for the day with a 9-10 start, followed by a 14-15 second stanza to walk away with a 4-shot win in this group.  Kaylee missed shot number  6 and didn’t miss again until shot number  24 to outlast  Kyleigh Chapman, who went 19 for 25. Penn Yan’s Kaylee Griffin  finished third with 14 of 25. The only sure thing about the day was that a girl named “Kaylee” in one form or another  was going to finish on top.  

All can say is “WOW” on the boys’ side. Penn Yan’s Brigham Hansen and Giovanni Schillaci locked horns.  Hansen made his first 10 and Schillaci went 9 for 10. Hansen went to line, missed his first two, and then made 13 in a row- 23/25.  Schillaci had one chance. He needed all 15. He makes all 15. Like I said -”WOW.”