Gabrielle DePatsy placed first in her age group at the Jan. 31 Maine Elks Association State Hoop Shoot competition at Brewer High School. The Waldoboro resident will continue onto the regional event in March.

The state competition, hosted by Elks Lodge 244, included 18 youngsters to determine the six state champions. Those six will advance to the regional competition Friday through Sunday, March 26-28 in South Portland.

Three Midcoast youngsters competed in the event, including DePatsy, representing the Rockland Elks Lodge, who placed first in the 8-9 age group.

Also for the Rockland Lodge, Emily Gould placed second in the 12-13 division and Brianna Dugan third in the 10-11 group.

After the competition, the contestants were treated to lunch at the Bangor Elks Lodge where they met Maine Elks Association Drug Awareness Mascot “Elroy the Elk” who provided them with Drug Awareness materials.

Following lunch, the awards were presented to each contestant by State Hoop Shoot Director Mark Inman, assisted by MEA State President Michael Powers of the Houlton Elks Lodge, First Vice-President Wayne Cotterly of the Lewiston Elks Lodge and Second Vice-President John Nicholson of the Millinocket Elks Lodge.

Two special awards were presented to the highest scoring boy and girl. The awards went to Abby Pyne, who made 24-of-25 free throws, and Marcus Christopher, who made 20-of-25 shots. Pyne represented the Bangor Lodge and Christopher the Skowhegan-Madison Lodge.

Since its inception in 1946, the Elks National Hoop Shoot competition has grown to include more than three million participants annually, making it the largest non-profit co-educational sports program in the country.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.