On Sunday, Tanner Griffith,12, of Jane Lew, placed first in the Knights of Columbus State Free Throw Competition for the fourth consecutive year, making 16 out of 25 baskets, in the 12-year-old boys’ division of the competition.
Griffith has been playing basketball for six years, and this year he played basketball for the Robert L. Bland Middle School Junior Varsity Patriots.
Also competing from Lewis County was Lillie Cayton in the girls’ 12-year-old bracket, she made 12 out of 25 baskets, but did not place. She has competed in the free throw competition for three years now, but this was her first time making it to the state level.
Cayton has played basketball for four years and played for the Robert L. Bland Middle School JV Lady Patriots this past basketball season.
This is the tenth year that St. Pat’s gym has been the location of the state competition and organizer Joe King, of St. Alban’s, said that the location works well, due to the central location of Lewis County, within West Virginia.
King has been the Knights of Columbus Youth director for the last 28 years and said that normally between 30-40 children in the age range nine to 14 compete at the state competition. Once the state competition is over, King submits the scores of the kids to the international chapter of the competition.
Competitors were given three practice shots, then 25 free throws and whomever in the age division garnered the most baskets won that age division.
The first-place winners in each age bracket, were awarded a trophy and a basketball, and the runner-up in each division received a trophy.
First place winners were: Aiyana Williams, nine, of Kiser; Alexis Boroas, 10, of Wheeling; Macy Helmick, 11, of Hendricks; Mya Griffin, 12, of Martinsburg, Bella Ramsey, 13, of Clarksburg; Nevaeh Nichols, 14 of Davis; Brody Graome, nine, of Wheeling; Wyatt Jefferson, 10, of Wheeling; Andy Bailer, 11, of Wheeling; Tanner Griffith, 12, of Jane Lew; Nathan Stryker, 13, of Wheeling; and Zach Long, 14 of Hendricks.