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McCullough advances to state Hoop Shoot

Elks Hoop Shoot

Rachel McCullough shoots during last Saturday’s sectional Elks Hoop Shoot. She qualified for the state competition on Feb. 10.

Elks Club release

Rachel McCullough, representing Salisbury Elks Lodge 699, advanced to the state
Hoop Shoot contest, sinking 22 of 25 free throws and winning the girls’ 12-13 age group district division in Winston-Salem last Saturday.

The state competition is slated for Saturday, Feb. 10, in Greensboro.
“The event was great,” said McCullough, an eighth-grader at Sacred Heart Catholic School. “Once I got into the rhythm, I couldn’t miss.”
McCullough started playing basketball in the second grade and is now a key player for both the middle school varsity team and the AAU Carolina Express. She credits her neighbor, Sam Moir, for helping to hone her basketball skills.

Moir, of course, coached basketball at Catawba College from 1960-1994, is the most successful basketball coach in school history and has been inducted into eight halls of fame, including the state of North Carolina’s.
“Coach Moir would watch me practice in the driveway from across the street and give
me advice,” McCullough said. She added that she is grateful for his help and instruction from other great coaches and trainers.
Along with McCullough, four local players achieved impressive results, including Kimmy
Kelly, who sank 15 of 25 free throws to earn second place in the girls’ 8-9 division;
Knowledge Lawson was 12 of 25 in the boys’ 8-9 age group; Simon Mueller drilled
19 of 25 in the boys’ 10-11 age group; and Dasia Elder sank 12 of 25, winning second place in the girls’ 10-11 age group.

Elder was competing in her second district contest. “The process of the competition was easier than last year, because I had been through it before,” said Elder. “I am looking forward to next year!”
Liz Tennent, event coordinator for the Salisbury Elks local Hoop Shoot contest,
watched the participants overcome their nerves.
“Our group did a super job,” said Tennent. “The competition was tough, but our youth
rose to the occasion. I think the parents, family and friends were more nervous than the
players were. I know I was.
“We’re so excited for Rachel,” continued Tennent. “She will be a strong competitor at the
state contest. I don’t want to add any pressure, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see
Rachel win state and advance to the regionals and even to the nationals in Chicago.”

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