Knights of Columbus crowns free throw champions
Dylan Durlov picked a great time to get hot.
The Grapeview Elementary School student hit 13 of 15 free throws Saturday morning at Holy Cross to win the age 12 boys division of the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition.
“I just had a really good day today,” the 12-year-old St. Catharines resident said. “I practice every day and it just pays off, I guess.”
The under-13 Pelham Panthers travel player agrees that he doesn’t generally shoot that well from the line in his league games.
“No, never,” he said, with a smile.
On Saturday, it was a different story.
“I just had the rhythm today and I was feeling it,” he said. “I told myself that today I would make this many shots.”
Dylan is a point guard/shooting guard on his Pelham team which plays in Ontario Basketball League X play.
“We are doing pretty good,” he said. “We have one win and we play today (Saturday) and should get a couple of wins.”
The top five finishers in each boys and girls division advanced to the district competition Feb. 10 at Holy Cross.
The gym at Holy Cross was packed with parents and competitors Saturday and Kevin VanLeeuwen, the event’s co-chairman, was delighted with the turnout.
“I am very impressed with the numbers and they are extremely healthy,” he said. “We worry every time we organize this event how many schools are going to get wind of it and this year is great.
“We are maxing out at our numbers.”
Each of the five age groups of boys and five age groups of girls had 20 competitors.
“That means 20 schools sent competitors in each division,” VanLeeuwen said.
Saturday’s participants had to win at their school to move on. Five Knights of Columbus councils were represented Saturday drawing from schools in St. Catharines and Thorold. The next event will have eight councils taking part and it will draw from schools from Grimsby to Niagara Falls. Winners there move on to the regional event Feb. 25 in Waterloo. Scores in Waterloo are compared to others across Ontario to declare provincial champions.
The Knights of Columbus has been running the free throw competition across North America since 1972.
“It is not a fundraiser. It is just an event that we run and part of the goal is to get the youth involved,” VanLeeuwen said.”If we can have any of these students become future Squires (teenage Knights) or Knights, that is a goal as well.”
There were about 25 Knights on hand Saturday to make the event run smoothly along with nine high school volunteers.
“My favourite part is the competition,” VanLeeuwen said. “A lot of these kids already know each other from school or being on teams and it’s a friendly competition.
“They see each other every year and and it also gives some kids who aren’t involved in travel or sports, or might not even be on their school teams, a chance to come out, participate and be successful.”
Following are the top five finishers in each age category with their scores out of 15 shots:
Girls age 9: Leah Briscall, Assumption 12; Emma Kuthy, Canadian Martrys 8; Emma Sparkman, St. Ann 7; Sydney Miele, St. Peter’s 6; Dina Mathkour, Lockview 6.
Boys age 9: Dylan Rawson, Port Weller 10; Jayden Brisebois, SMB 10; James I Ryan, St. Alfred’s 10; Shawn Vanscoy, Canadian Martyrs 10; Benjamin Sanecki, St. Peter’s 9.
Girls age 10: Syenn Pylypiw , St James 11; Morgan Barker, Jeanne Sauve 10; Emily Gouck, St. Christopher 9; Cate Bobinski, Monsignor Clancy 7; Heaven Ernest, St. Denis 6.
Boys age 10: Isaac Dilts, Lockview 10; Ben Arnold, St. Anthony 10; Joshua Sanecki, St. Peter 9; Andre Crecco, Canadian Martyrs 9; Trevan Higgins, Assumption 8.
Age 11 girls: Kassidy Clemmensen, St. Peter 12; Mairead Newhouse, Assumption 10; Tessa Vahrmeyer, Canadian Martyrs 9; Cedrina Moseley, Jeanne Sauve 8; Mya Pupek, Richmond Street 8.
Age 11 boys: Luca Rescigno, Mother Theresa 15; Nathan Wan, Jean Sauve 14; Nathan Sansaet, St. Anthony 14; Owen Corcoran, Assumption 13; Brandon Judd, Carlton 10.
Age 12 girls: Kori Zukowsky, St. Denis 11; Brookelyn Keltos, Richmond Street 11; Ava Verrcui, Canadian Martyrs 9; Julia Diemer, Assumption 9; Emma Hemphill, Lockview 9.
Age 12 boys: Dylan Durlov, Grapeview 13; Campbell Hastings 12; Declan Whittard, St. Peter 10; Elliot Culp, St. Ann 10; Kevin Ducuara, Mother Theresa 9.
Age 13 girls: Rylee Bolton, Canadian Martyrs 11; Megan Barker, Jeanne Sauve 11; Althea Directo, St. Nicholas 10; Abby VanBakel 9; Brooklyn Sneath, St. Anthony 8.
Age 13 boys: Michael Rinaldi, Monsignor Clancy 13; Matteo Canzoneri, Mother Theresa 13; Conner Thomson, St. James 11; Cole Pearson, Port Weller 10; Joshua Matthew, St. Peter 10.