Six young basketball enthusiasts will be returning to Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston this weekend for the district round of the Elks Hoop Shoot after winning their divisions in the local competition on Jan. 21.

The Elks Hoop Shoot is a nation-wide free throw shooting competition for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 13 hosted by local Elks lodges, with the best shooters working their way on to the next round and eventually the national finals in Springfield, Mass.

In the 8-9 age category, Sam Schwirse and Bethany Tolman won the boys’ and girls’ round respectively, both coming from Highland Hills Elementary. Schwirse sunk 21 of his 25 free throws, tops on the day in any age bracket.

The boys’ winner from the 10-11 range was Andrew James of Rocky Heights Elementary while Jada Burns of Stanfield Elementary was the girls’ best shooter. Connor Lafferty won the boys’ 12-13 division out of Clara Brownwell Middle School and Lillie Wheeler defender her home turf to win the girls’ division at that same age from of Armand Larive.

Second-place finisher Kairy Escobedo will take Wheeler’s place at the district shoot this weekend as the alternate.

The district competition begins Saturday back at Armand Larive at 1:30 p.m. with shooter registration at 12:30.

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