Two youngsters from the Diocese of Trenton took the top spots in their respective age divisions during the 39th annual statewide Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship March 26 in Our Lady of Victories Parish, Sayreville.
Eleven-year-old Sean O’Donnell of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square, sank 24 free throws, while Noelle Frost of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, hit the net 20 times to top the 14-year-old girls division. Both competitors had advanced to the state finals after being among 10 sharp shooters to come out on top of the Diocesan Free Throw Tournament finals held March 19 in St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel.
For a gallery of photos from this event, click here.
A field of 77 competitors ages 10 through 14 took to the court for the diocesan finals, hoping to rise a rung on the ladder to the state championship. They had each advanced to the diocesan finals after outshooting fellow competitors in local free throw events, all of which are organized by Knights of Columbus councils.
Five girls and five boys representing seven different parishes sank a combined 214 free throws in their quest for diocesan honors. In the 10-year-olds division, winners were Ariella Kaplan, St. Thomas More, Manalapan, who scored 18 baskets, and William Bruno, St. John Neumann, Mount Laurel, with a score of 25.
The 11-year-old winners were O’Donnell, with 23 baskets, and Mia Garcia, Holy Family, Lakewood, also with 23. Topping the 12-year-olds were Christina Lebron of St. Thomas More, Manalapan, with 17 and Zachary Evans, Holy Eucharist, Tabernacle, with 23.
Trophies in the 13-year-old division went to Jessica Sipili, Holy Family, Lakewood, who scored 19 baskets and then 11 more in three shootout rounds to take the top spot; and to Austin Baron, St. Thomas More, Manalapan, who sank 24.
Frost took the 14-year-old girls division with 20 successful free throws, while the boys title went to Ryan Werthmuller, St. Aloysius, Jackson, with 22. All 10 competed in the state finals, against four other competitors in each division, one representing each of New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses.[[In-content Ad]]