Oneonta resident Angeline McGraw won a tight race for the girls 8-9 age-group championship during the New York State South Central District Elks Association Hoop Shoot Competition, which ran Jan. 12 at St. Bartholomew’s Recreation Center in Norwich.
Representing Oneonta Elks Lodge 1312, Angeline made 11 of 25 shots from just inside the foul line to edge Emma Lewis of Vestal by one basket. Cortland’s Autumn West made seven shots to place third, and Kalika Blake Hoffman of Homer hit two shots to round out the field.
Angeline advanced to the state semifinals, which are set for this Saturday in Oswego. Semifinal winners will move on to the March 2 state championships in Seneca Falls. Regional and national competition will follow.
Angeline is the second Oneonta youth to reach the state-semifinal round in the last two years. Tanner Russin made it to the state finals in the boys 8-9 age-group last winter and tied the state champion before falling in a shootout.
Tanner joined Angeline at the Jan. 12 districts and finished fourth after two tiebreaker rounds in the boys 10-11 age-group, which shot from the free throw line. Tanner went 18-for-25 to match Dylan Ferry of Binghamton. Each went 3-for-5 in the first tiebreaker before Dylan went 5-for-5 in the second to clinch third by three shots.
Jack Gutchess of Cortland hit 22 of 25 free throws to win the boys 10-11 district title. Tafari Carts of Vestal placed second in the seven-player field with a 19-for-25 effort.
Oneonta also received a third from Jocelyn Turley, who made 10 free throws in the five-girl 10-11 division. Nicole Jeffery of Norwich won the title with 13 makes, one more than Homer’s Ashley Lippart.
Sean Heegan contributed a fourth for Oneonta in the boys 11-12 division. Sean made 11 free throws to tie Cortland’s Josh Henry in the six-boy field. Noah Economides of Vestal won with 21, followed by Owego’s Dylan Evans at 20 and Norwich’s Garrett Thorton at 15.