Players show skills at jamboree
At Monday night’s Sevier County jamboree, the area’s top 3-point and free throw shooters and slam dunkers competed head-to-head to stake their claim as the county’s best.
The four contests — girls free throw shooting, boys and girls three-point shooting, and slam dunking — are always the most eagerly-anticipated events on Jamboree night, and the drama Monday did nothing to end that trend.
The girls’ 3-point competition was the most contested of the four events, as it took a shot in the final seconds to decide the champion.
The shootout came down Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Karsen Sims and Pigeon Forge’s Callie Clabo.
Sims had made nine shots in the first round to reach the finals, while Clabo had gunned in 10.
In the final round the competitors were given 45 seconds to see how many buckets from long range they could make, with each taking an opposite end of the court.
The pair traded hoops nearly shot-for-shot, until Clabo drilled a go-ahead basket just before time expired to take the title 10-9.
The boys 3-point shooting was not as close.
Sevier County’s Trent Pope was on fire, hitting a round-best 11 in the first go-round, and toppling G-P’s Raj Bhula 14-8 in the championship round of shooting.
Both shooters came out of relative obscurity, as neither played many varsity minutes last season. Both Pope and Bhula should see improved playing time this season, however, after vast off-season improvements.
In the girls’ free-thow contest, Sevier County’s Kelsey Wypych, G-P’s Haris Price and Pigeon Forge’s Mindy Brackins were the last three girls standing.
The event, in which a line of competitors alternate free throws with missers leaving the line, was quickly decided after Price clanked one of the iron to leave just two shooters.
Just seconds after Price missed, so did Brackins, leaving the door open for Wypych, who calmly knocked down the contest winner.
In fan-favorite competition — the slam dunk contest — Sevier County’s Devin Schmidt and defending champion D.J. Griffin of Seymour went head-to-head for the crown.
Only one other first-round dunker actually made a slam — Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Davis Soehn.
But Schmidt’s dunk and Griffin’s were deemed better, landing the pair in the finals.
With the title on the line, Schmidt’s degree of difficulty resulted in him missing both of his attempts.
Griffin was quick to take advantage.
Leaping over teammate Douglas Maples, Griffin brought the crowd to its feet with a monster jam. As an encore he rocked a thunderous off-the-glass jam.
The two dunks were more than enough for him to win the competition for the second-straight year.