Nothing but net: Wareham contestants advance to the next round in free throw competition

Oct 28, 2018

Three of five contestants from Wareham will advance to the next round of the 2019 Elks Hoop Shoot competition in January following some stellar free throws at the Gleason Family YMCA on Sunday. 

The event was hosted by the Wareham-New Bedford Lodge of Elks No. 73 as part of the Order’s national Hoop Shoot program in which boys and girls ages 8 to 13 compete.

Founded by Grand Exalted Ruler Frank Hise in 1946, the annual competition gives children in different age groups the opportunity to compete against one another fairly while setting goals for themselves which are both athletic and community minded. 

Winning contestants have a chance to advance through district, state, regional and national free throw competitions with sponsorship from their local Elks lodge. One boy and one girl from each division will ultimately win a national title.

A total of 232,000 contestants took part in the 2018 Elks Hoop Shoot. 

Wareham’s first place winner in the boy’s division on Sunday was nine year-old Caden Gonsalves who scored a total of 21 baskets.

Last year, Gonsalves managed to make it through three rounds of the competition and said that advancing again felt “really, really good.”

“I’ve been practicing and playing almost every day,” he said. “I’m excited.”

Gonsalves will be joined in January by two winners from Wareham’s girl’s division, Natalie Morrison, 12, and Helena Morrison, 10, who scored 15 and 2 baskets respectively. 

“We’ve got some really good players,” said event organizer Barbara Morse. “I’m looking forward to watching them compete at the district level.”

To learn more about the Elks Hoop Shoot competition, visit