Hoop Shoot winners advance

Four local youths took home first place trophies and a trip to the next phase of the Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Contest.
That phase, the District Contest, will be held on Jan. 5, at Fairfield Warde High School, where town champions from the district will convene to crown state finalists.
The local winners, who will compete in that contest, took top honors on Dec. 7 at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in the initial phase of the nationwide contest.
Shooting in the boys’ 8-9 age group, Matthew Vivona of Osborn Hill School bested Riverfield’s Brandon Carney with a 12 of 15 second round finish.
In the boys’ 10-11 bracket, Redding’s Richard Cottrell took home the prize to his John Read Middle School, following in the family success, his sister having advanced last year to the New England finals after winning in the four lower levels, being only one step from national finals.
Former state finalist Alexander Vlandis was just two shots shy of Cottrell.
In the senior grouping, 12-13, Christian Homa of Tomlinson Middle School repeated his performance of two years ago, by outshooting Westports’ Nicholas Perry and Fairfield Woods’ Kyle Nagy by one shot.
Nagy took second place in a tiebreaker shootoff with Perry.
In the girls-only division, 10-11, Tricia Carey bested her sister, Kathleen in a tiebreaker shoot after having ended in a tie for first place.
Nationwide, three million youths compete at the local level, with winners advancing through district, state, regional contests for a chance to reach the national finals which are held in Springfield (Mass.) in April.

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