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Hoop Shoot winners move on
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With 67 elementary school students showing their stuff from the free-throw line, Sunday's Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot was a fierce competition with 10 participants moving on to the district level.

Three shoot-outs went into overtime with the 8- and 9-year-old boys division going into three overtimes to determine the second-place finisher.
Justin Gotel came out on top of the third of three five-shot overtime periods after going 15 for 25 in the regulation session.

Three divisions went into shoot outs providing what Hoop Shoot director Jeff Dial called the closest contested Hoop Shoot.

The most prolific shooter from the event, which drew an estimated 200 spectators was the winner of the boys' 8- and 9-year-old division, Andre Williams of Live Oak. Williams made 19 of his 25 opportunities to advance to the district level.

He will join Gotel, first place girls' finisher Shay Aikens of East Newton and second-place finisher Jessie St. Louis of Porterdale in the 8- and 9-year-old division.

From 10 and 11 girls, Amanda Bethea of Fairview finished first and Destiny Hewell of South Salem was second. In the boy's division of the age bracket, Christian Davis of Flint Hill was the first-place finisher and Jackson Watts of East Newton, the second.

Aaliyah Neal of Livingston was the first-place winner in the 12 and 13-year-old girls bracket and Newton County Theme School's Greggory Odom was first for the boys in 12 and 13.

"Everything went real well," Dial said. "We got kids from different schools going to the next level."

The district competition will be at Newton High on Feb. 9, starting at 8 a.m. and will feature seven Elks' locations with 45 participants.

The district reaches from Augusta west on the I-20 line to Atlanta north I-75 to the Tennessee state line.

Following the district Hoop Shoot, the state competition will also be held at Newton, followed by the region competition in Valdosta.

See 2B for pictures of all the Hoop Shoot county winners, who will move on to the district contest on Feb. 9.