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Payne aims to be big shot, just like mom

January 27, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

As Maggie Payne's mother viewed the Elks-sponsored West District Hoop Shoot at the St. Maria Goretti Saturday, she could relate to the pressure her daughter was going through.

After all, Amy Weetenkamp was a pretty fair hoop shooter in her day, advancing to the 1978 national finals at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo.

Now, 30 years later, Payne hopes to follow in those footsteps.

First step taken. The 13-year-old Payne, of Mt. Airy, Md., representing Westminster, Md. Lodge No. 2277, won the 12-13 age bracket with a three-overtime victory over Hanna Carl, representing Frostburg Lodge No. 470. The event was sponsored by Hagerstown Elks Lodge No. 378.

The pair hit 19-of-25 foul shots in regulation before matching baskets in the first two overtime sessions.

Payne won out in the third extra session by hitting all five of her shots, while Carl missed her first shot in the overtime.

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In the other divisions:

·Brian Flatter (Frederick Lodge No. 684) won the boys division and Ashley Nicolson (Westminster) won the girls division of the 8-9-age group.

· Michael Livingston (Frostburg) was the boys champion and Jasmine Whims (Frederick) won the girls title in the 10-11 division.

· Paul McLister (Frederick) won the boys division for the 12-13 group.

Washington County was represented in all but the 12-13- boys division.

Kasayus Ferguson (Potomac Heights) finished third in the boys division and Sydney Hockensmith (Fountain Rock) finished third for the girls in the 8-9 age group.

Jeremy Cooper (Conococheague) finished fourth in the boys division and Kayla Huntzberry (Old Forge) finished second for the girls in the 10-11 age group.

Elyse Koterwas finished third for the 12-13 girls group after having the misfortune shooting in the same bracket with Payne and Carl.

"I was a little nervous," Koterwas said. "I try to practice foul shooting as much as I can."

The other Washington County were in the same boat. Each prepared for the event by working on their foul shooting at school and at home to prepare for the difficult competition.

Payne was delighted with her hard-earned victory and sets her sights on doing well in the state finals on Feb. 16 at Whittier Elementary in Frederick, Md.

"This is my third year in the Hoop Shoot," Payne said. "I won the states in 2006 and then was third at the regionals in Charleston, W.Va. I finished second in the states last year. I practice foul shooting almost every day. It was really tough out there. I was nervous. There was a lot of pressure."

Payne plays basketball for St. John of Westminster, a team coached by her dad.

On Saturday, she missed a few shots midway in the opening round before finding a groove that left the competition behind as mom and dad looked on.

Weetenkamp finished third nationally in the 10-11-year-old division, reminding her of the tough road to the finals.

"I represented the Catonsville, Md. Lodge," she said. "I think I advanced through qualifying at the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the Bordontown, N.J. The nationals were in Kansas City that year. It was a great experience."

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