All of the youth who participated in the annual Mesquite Elks Lodge #2811 National Hoop Shoot Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Mesquite Recreation Center, were winners in the eyes of the their parents and other friends who were in the audience.
Boys and girls ages 8 to 13 years gathered at the basketball courts to demonstrate their free throw skills. The youth completed in three age groups: 8 & 9 years; 10 & 11 years; and 12 & 13 years. The competition was close as the contestants each attempted 25 free throws. Several brother/sister pairs participated with two of the pairs producing first or second place finishes.
In the girl’s matches, 10-year-old Evia Toone won in the 10 & 11 year old event. Victoria Tausinga came in second. Amanda Leavitt, 13, won in the 12 & 13 year old event followed in second place by Lydia Wakefield.
In the boy’s matches, 8-year old McKay Mulitalo won in the 8 & 9 year old event. Mason Montoya came in second. Drake Wakefield, 10, won in the 10 & 11 year old event, followed by Kurt Felix. And, 13-year old Matthew Boyd won the 12 & 13-year old event, closely followed by Bridger Toone. Boyd, a repeat winner from two years ago, made it through to the State competition in his previous attempt, said he “really hopes to make it to the Nationals this time.”
Each of these winners will now advance to the Nevada South District competition that will be held at the Boulder City Recreation Center in January 2016. Winners of that event will then move on to the State competition in Hawthorne, NV. Those winners will then complete in the Regional competition in Las Vegas that includes winners from Hawaii, California, Nevada and Utah. From there the finalists will advance to the National Hoop Shoot Competition.
The Elks Lodge extends their thanks to the youth who participated in this annual event and to the parents who supported their children. They also thank the City of Mesquite Recreation Center for their ongoing cooperation and support of this worthwhile program by making the basketball courts available for the event.