Ten boys and girls from Groton and surrounding towns, ages 9 to 14, were named local champions of the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship and have earned the right to compete at the District level.

Sister Lydia Longley Madeleine, Council No. 13140 in Groton, sponsored the local competition held at the Peter Twomey Youth Center on Jan. 26.

Each contestant was allowed 15 free-throw attempts in the contest, with extra rounds of five free-throws held in the event of a tie.

On the boys' side, the high score for the day was 12 baskets, attained by Jeremy Keast and Timothy Stark in the 12-year-old bracket and Connor Estes in the 13-year-old bracket. On the girls' side Gillian Lindquist had the top score, making 10 of 15 free-throws in the 14-year-old bracket.

The girls champions were Kayla Talbot in the 10-year-old bracket, Hannah Wynn in the 12-year-old bracket, Jordan Wynn in the 13-year-old bracket and Gillian Lindquist in the 14-year-old bracket. Hannah, Jordan and Gillian were all repeat winners from last year. Runners-up for the girls in the 10-, 12- and 14-year-old brackets were Sierra Wynn, Alexandra Grant and Brielle LeClerc, respectively.

The boys' winners were Andrew Grant in the 9-year-old bracket, Christopher Smith in the 10-year-old bracket, Jon Eisenklam in the 11-year-old bracket, Jeremy Keast in the 12-year-old bracket, Connor Estes in the 13-year-old bracket and Patrick O'Reilly in the 14-year-old bracket. Runners-up for the boys in the 10- through 14-year-old brackets were Kyle Plausse, Sam Smethurst, Timothy Stark, James Willson and Drew Bernard.

This year offered many close and exciting competitions, with 38 young boys and girls competing. Four of the boys' brackets (10-, 11-, 13- and 14-year-old) were decided by a single basket.

Similarly, in the girls' competition, both the 10- and 12-year-old competitions were decided by one basket.

The closest battle took place in the 12-year-old boys' bracket, where Jeremy Keast and Timothy Stark were tied at 12 after the first round. In the first shoot-off tiebreaker, Jeremy sank four of five shots to edge out Timothy for the win.

The Knights of Columbus would like to thank all participants and their parents for making our 11th annual competition a successful one.

Congratulations and good luck to our winners as they move on to the District level of competition to be held in Lancaster on March 1, with an eye toward moving on to the Massachusetts Central Region competition to be held in March.

VINCENT PINQUE

for Groton Knights of Columbus