McCullough wins Silver at state Hoop Shoot

Published 1:26 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

Salisbury Elks #699

GREENSBORO — Perhaps it wasn’t the result she wanted, but Rachel McCullough proved that winning a silver trophy feels almost as good as gold, especially when you overcome many challenges on and off the court.
McCullough, 13, from Salisbury, sank 20-of-25 free throws to earn second place in the
girls’ 12-13 year-old division at the state Elks Hoop Shoot contest held last Saturday.

New Bern’s Ali Zakariasen hit 23-of-25 free throws, including her last
15 shots, to earn first place and advance to the regional competition.
“The competition was really tough,” said McCullough, an 8th grader who plays varsity
basketball at Sacred Heart Catholic School. “I wanted to shoot a perfect score (25-of-25),
but it just didn’t happen on Saturday.”

McCullough didn’t make excuses.
“I’m very happy that I made it to the state Hoop Shoot finals … I did my best and it was
fun to be part of the event,” McCullough added, smiling. “And I got second place!”
McCullough congratulated Zakariasen and all the girls, then dashed off the court to travel for a school basketball tournament in Kernersville.
Liz Tennent, event coordinator for the Salisbury Elks #699 local Hoop Shoot contest,
watched McCullough in Greensboro.
“Rachel is a great athlete and person,” said Tennent. “Despite being sick and juggling
out-of-town travel to play in tournament games over the weekend, Rachel was all in for
the Hoop Shoot. She did great and we’re so proud of her second place finish. It’s definitely
a win-win for Rachel and for the Salisbury Elks Lodge.”