GROTON -- Eleven boys and girls from the local community, ages 9 to 14, were named Council champions of the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship and earned the opportunity to compete at the Regional level.
Sister Lydia Longley Madeleine, Council No. 13140 for Our Lady of Grace Parish, sponsored the local competition held at the Peter Twomey Youth Center recently. 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 girls side, the high score was attained by Allegra Gutermann, who sank 8 of 15 baskets. Connor Buchmann was the high scorer on the boys side, making 12 baskets.
The girls champions were Sophie West in the 9-year old bracket, Emily Kolak in the 10-year old bracket, Allegra Gutermann in the 11-year old bracket, Mariella Greenan in the 12-year old bracket, and Aurora Gutermann in the 13-year-old bracket. Allegra and Aurora are now "three-peat" winners.
Delia Buchmann was the runner-up in the 9-year-old bracket. The closest competition of the day was in the 9-year old girls bracket, where Sophie edged Delia by a single shot in the 3rd tiebreaker.
The boys winners were Jace Callahan in the 9-year old bracket, Bobby Evans in the 10-year-old bracket, Jonah Gaboriault in the 11-year-old bracket, James Kolak in the 12-year-old bracket, Connor Buchmann in the 13-year-old bracket and Finn Willis in the 14-year old bracket.
Runners-up were Elijah Couto, Murphy Trimper, Bronson Solomon and Liam Solomon.
On March 23, six of the local winners traveled to Nichols College to compete in the Central Massachusetts Regionals.
At the regional level, each contestant is allowed 25 free-throw attempts in the contest, with extra rounds of five free throws held in the event of a tie. The local contingent shot well, rising to the occasion against the higher level of competition.
Jace Callahan was the high scorer on the boys side, making 16 of 25 shots to earn the 2nd place trophy in the 9-year old boys bracket. Closing out the boys side was Bobby Evans placing 6th and James Kolak finishing 7th in the 10 and 12-year old brackets respectively. On the girls side Allegra Gutermann was the high scorer making 15 of 25 shots to earn 3rd place in the 11-year old girls bracket, while Aurora Gutermann placed 5th in the 13-year old girls bracket and Emily Kolak took 7th in the 10-year old girls bracket.
The Knights of Columbus would like to thank all participants and their parents for making this 16th annual competition a successful one.