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Danielle takes her best shot

February 01, 2004|by TAMELA BAKER

Youngsters from all over Western Maryland competed Saturday in the annual Elks Club Hoop Shoot at St. Maria Goretti High School.

Boys and girls ages 8 to 13 competed in three divisions. Danielle Harbaugh, 9, of Smithsburg was Washington County's only winner, taking first place in the girls' 8- and 9-year-old division.

Youngsters from Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties comprised the West District competition, according to West District Director C. Walt Miller.

Participants were given two chances at 15 free throws from the foul line, with those making the most baskets winning. The first round included five practice shots and 10 that counted.

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Danielle made seven of her 10 shots in the first round, and 10 of 15 in the second round to defeat three other girls in her division.

"It's frustrating doing it because you get nervous and don't put enough energy into it and it's hard to make the shot," she said.

But Danielle has a technique.

"I bounce the ball twice and then shoot," she said.

Danielle, the daughter of Steve and Carmen Harbaugh, said she's been playing basketball for two years.

Though she has three brothers, none of them plays basketball.

"She picked it up playing with kids on the street," Carmen Harbaugh said.

In addition to basketball, Danielle is a cheerleader for the Smithsburg Patriots of the Washington County Junior Football League.

She will compete in the state Elks Club Hoop Shoot on Feb. 21 at the Whittier Recreation Center in Frederick, Md. From there, she could advance to regional and national competitions.

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