By Leroy Hammond
Heath Wattenbarger, 8, son of Russell and Leslie Wattenbarger and second grader at North Cumberland Elementary School, won first place in the State Elk's Hoop Shoot Contest in Franklin on Feb. 1.
He made 19 out of 25 free throws while representing Cumberland County. Finishing second was Jake Smith, representing Knoxville Lodge #160.
Jordon Barr, 13, and a seventh grader at Crab Orchard Elementary finished third in the 12-13 year-old age group, making 17 out of 25. He is the son of Hattie Barr.
Gracee Dishman, 13, daughter of Bryan and Nancy Dishman, and a seventh grader at South Cumberland Elementary, was not able to partcipate; however, she made a good choice and helped her teammates win a state championship in Murfreesboro on that same day, which was the same day as the Hoop Shoot competition.
Wattenbarger will advance to the four-state regional, held in Paris, TN, March 8. The regional will have the winner from Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennesese in each groups 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13, both girls and boys.
The winners of each group at the regional will advance to Springfield, MA, at the Men's Basketball Hall of Fame in April for the national finals.