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YOUTH BASKETBALL: Ten area youths earn trip to K of C State Free-Throw Championships

ADRIAN -- More baskets were made than missed at the 2013 Knights of Columbus Regional Free-Throw Shooting Championships on Sunday at Adrian High School.

Shooting 25 free throws each, a trio of sharpshooters -- who had earlier claimed local and district championships -- locked horns in each of 10 age and gender divisions. They were seeking advancement to the 2013 Knights of Columbus-sponsored state finals at St. Cloud Cathedral High School on April 6.

There was some outstanding shooting in Adrian on Sunday, especially in all five of the boys divisions. Three age-groups had a tie for first place after the original 25 shots, and a fourth was decided by just one basket.

In the girls 10-year-old division, the contest was also very close. Ainslie Robinson, of Luverne, edged Kylea Baartman, of Ruthton, 14-13.

Kallie Chapa, of Ellsworth, sank 21 of 25 shots to capture the championship in the girls 11-year-old group, while Brooke Thorsen, of Tyler, was the runner-up with 19 free throws.

Competitors in the 10- and 11-year-old age brackets took shots from 12 feet, while shooters in the 12-, 13- and 14-year-old divisions took their 25 attempts shots from the regulation 15-foot line.

Gracie Bosch, of Luverne, made 15 of 25 from 15 feet to win the girls 12-year-old group, while Brandi Spies, of Dundee, placed second with 12 makes.

Alexia Kemper (12 free throws), of Lismore, and Diana Ness (seven free throws), of Slayton finished in the top two spots of the girls 13-year-old division, while Brooke Grussing, of Rushmore, won the girls 14-year-old bracket by sinking 14 of 25 shots.

Robinson, Chapa, Bosch, Kemper and Grussing each earned trophies and qualified to shoot at St. Cloud in April.

Everson's 29 free throws tops quality boys field

There was plenty of great shooting in each of the boys divisions, with ties in the 10-, 11- and 13-year-old groups.

Ten-year-olds Nathan Rake, of Lismore, and Brandon Cooper, of Pipestone, each made 19 of 25 shots and, then, both made all five attempts in the first shootoff. In the second five-shot playoff, Rake made four shots and Cooper sank three, giving Rake the title by one basket (28 of 35 to 27 of 35).

In the 11-year-old boys division, Nathan Everson, of Slayton, and Cody Kramer, of Ellsworth, both made a remarkable 24 of 25 shots. In the shootoff, Everson made all five shots, giving him Sunday's best total of 29 of 30 and a trip to St. Cloud. Kramer made three in the playoff, finishing 27 of 30.

As in the girls divisions, the 10- and 11-year-old boys shot from 12 feet.

Kobe Lovell, of Windom, took top honors in the 12-year-old boys division, making 23 of 25 shots from 15 feet. Riley Longstreet, of Pipestone, finished a strong second, making 20 free throws.

A double-playoff was needed in the 13-year-old group as both Brandon Winter, of Slayton, and Luke Gilbertson, of Windom, each made 20 of 25 shots. After they both made all five attempts in the first shootoff, Winter again sank five straight, while Gilbertson made three shots, giving Winter the title (30 of 35 to 28 of 35).

In the 14-year old division, the top two spots were claimed by Christopher Christians, of Adrian, and Logan Knutson, of Heron Lake, with 21 and 20 free throws, respectively.

Rake, Everson, Lovell, Winter and Christians will represent the region at the state free throw contest at St. Cloud in April.