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    Needham’s Thomas Shaughnessy takes a parting shot for life

    8.4.2753990505_Sports_05schshooters Last year's winner and heavily favored to repeat this year Thomas Shaughnessy of Needham, Mass., lines up a shot during the Shot For Life Challenge featuring the top high school basketball players in the state at the Starland Sports Plex, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 in Hanover, Mass.. The event is a fund raiser for the Cancer Center at Mass General Hospital. (Robert E. Klein for the Boston Globe)
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    Needham’s Thomas Shaughnessy, who will be headed to Brown University in the fall, defended his title in “A Shot for Life Challenge” connecting on 87 percent of his shots while Braintree High’s Adriana Timberlake won the girls’ competiton with 75.3 percent.

    HANOVER — Just before leaving high school basketball for good, Needham’s Thomas Shaughnessy left no doubt on Saturday as to who still reigns as the state’s best schoolboy shooter.

    Grinding through two-hours of sweat and fatigue, Shaughnessy kept his crown as “Best Shooter in Massachusetts” with his second consecutive victory in “A Shot For Life Challenge” in Hanover. He made 87 percent of his attempts on free throws, mid-range jumpers, and 3-pointers over the event’s two-hour shooting frenzy.

    “There’s always going to be stuff to miss about high school basketball for sure,” said Shaughnessy, who made over 90 percent of his shots in last year’s event. “Coming out here as my last big event, it’s nice to win it and it feels good to move on to Brown.”

    Thomas Shaughnessy required a little body English to get this shot to go down in the ASFL Challenge Saturday in Hanover.
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    Thomas Shaughnessy required a little body English to get this shot to go down in the ASFL Challenge Saturday in Hanover.
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    Danny Yardemian, a rising senior at Belmont High School, finished second at 85.2 percent while Woodstock Academy’s Noah Fernandes was third at 84.4 percent.

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    Every year, ASFL gathers twelve of the top girls and boys high school shooters to determine Massachusetts’ best. All 24 shooters must raise $1,000 for ASFL’s cancer research initiative. ASFL sends proceeds to the Dr. Curry Research Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    This year, the sixth annual ASFL Challenge set a new event record with over $45,000 raised.

    Braintree’s Adriana Timberlake (center) poses with the hardware after finishing ahead of Waltham’s Lauren Sampson (left) and Weston’s Christina Costa (right) in the girls’ competition.
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    Braintree’s Adriana Timberlake (center) poses with the hardware after finishing ahead of Waltham’s Lauren Sampson (left) and Weston’s Christina Costa (right) in the girls’ competition.

    In the girls’ event, Braintree’s Adriana Timberlake earned first place honors after shooting 75.3 percent. Weston’s Christina Costa finished in second place at 74.4 percent while Waltham’s Lauren Sampson finished in third at 74.2 percent.

    “My arms are killing me but I was lucky that I didn’t get any blisters,” said Timberlake, a rising senior guard. “It’s huge helping kids who are suffering and who can’t come out here to play like we do.”

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    Timberlake, who received a formal offer from Assumption College earlier this year, hopes her new title as “Best Shooter in Massachusetts” attracts more offers and visits from college coaches across the region. In the meantime, she prepares herself for Braintree’s state title defense after her All-Scholastic junior season.

    The best of the best came together for a worthy cause Saturday in Hanover, as the top sharpshooters in the state — boys and girls — raised a record $45,000 for the Cancer Center at Mass General Hospital in “A Shot For Life Challenge.”
    Robert E. Klein for the Globe
    The best of the best came together for a worthy cause Saturday in Hanover, as the top sharpshooters in the state — boys and girls — raised a record $45,000 for the Cancer Center at Mass General Hospital in “A Shot For Life Challenge.”

    Mike Slonina, founder and president of ASFL, took pride in the on-and-off-the-court qualities of the shooters recruited for this year’s event.

    “We scout the player for ASFL, but we pick the person,” said Slonina, who proudly entered ASFL into a partnership with Under Armour this past year. “Everyone who’s wearing an ASFL Challenge jersey represents a lot of great values off the floor.”

    Hingham’s John Gates, a rising senior, raised over $6,000 during his first year competing in the challenge. Tilton Academy’s Cassie Caldwell, competing in her third ASFL Challenge, raised over $3,000 across her three years. Both athletes, motivated by their own parents’ cancer diagnoses, raised money through friends, family and social media initiatives.