HANOVER — While there is nothing that fully prepares a high school basketball player to shoot for two hours straight against some of the best competition in the state, Rivers School rising senior Jay Dieterle found out on Saturday that experience and family support can really help.
The Franklin resident took home the boys’ championship trophy in his second A Shot For Life Challenge at Hanover’s Starland Sportsplex after hitting 89 percent of his shots over the two-hour marathon session of free throws, mid-range shots and 3-pointers. Wellesley High rising senior Brooke Guiffre earned the girls’ crown at 85.7 percent in her first time in the contest.
“Just how hard it was,” Dieterle said of the lessons learned from last year’s event. “Just how sore you get. You have to just keep fighting through it.”
Among the adjustments Dieterle said he made was having a second rebounder – his sister, Meghan – to go along with his father, Len.
“If I missed they could both be there to get it,” he said. “Then it was just the support. It was a whole family event. When I felt tired, I looked at them and they said, ‘Keep going. You’ve got it.’ That helped me in the long run.”
Scituate’s Jack Poirier was second and Philips Academy’s Dallion Johnson third in the boys’ competition. Pembroke’s Jayne Howe was second and Rivers School’s Fiona Finn third in the girls’ showdown.
Guiffre’s plan was to be a volume shooter both leading up to, and during, the event.
“That’s what I always do,” she said. “I am mainly a shooter so part of my workout is getting up as many shots as I can in a day. I’ve been continuing to do that [in the summer] and trying to get my arm ready for two hours of doing this.”
The endurance shooting contest is the brainchild of Michael Slonina, who seven years ago developed A Shot For Life Challenge to benefit the Dr. Curry Research Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital after his mother received a cancer scare.
“The roster has gotten a lot more high-profile the past few years,” Slonina said. “We’ve had some really good players win and people want to be grouped in with some of those players. They take it much more seriously.”
Players are selected through a nine-month scouting process and agree to raise money for MGH brain cancer research.
“I was super excited because I’d heard about this program for so long,” the Colby College-bound Guiffre said. “There have been so many great players in it. I was really honored to be a part of it.”