MASSENA - The temperature outside was chilly, but there was plenty of heat inside Jefferson Elementary School on the last day of school before the Christmas break as students tried to outdo each other on the basketball court during the annual Hot Shots competition.
The one-on-one competition between students is an annual tradition that takes place on the final day of school before the holiday break. A field that starts out with eight students - two each from grades three through six - is narrowed down to a winner through a series of one-minute competitions on the schools basketball court.
They have one minute to score as many points as they can, physical education teacher Patrick Henrie told the student body who filled one end of the basketball court to cheer on their fellow classmates on the other end of the court.
With the 60-second clock ticking, players have a choice of five spots on the floor to stand and shoot. The closest spot, which some players use to rack up the easy shots, earns one point for each shot made, while the most distant spot at the foul line gets five points for each successful basket.
They can stand on any disk as long as they want. Closer to the basket, this is a one-pointer if they make it here. A foul shot receives five points. The people you see will have a different strategy, Mr. Henrie said. They are the only one who are allowed to touch the basketball at that time.
While the foul shot would earn more points, it was also more of a disadvantage if the player missed, according to the physical education teacher.
If you miss, you have a long way to go to retrieve that ball, as the seconds tick down on the clock, he said.
Mr. Henrie encouraged plenty of crowd participation during the competition.
We love crowd participation. Cheer them on and do it in a positive way. Lets hear some noise to help them out, he said.
Students who participated in Fridays competition had already come out on top in their classroom competition, earning them a spot on the floor in front of their classmates.
The male competitors included third-graders Zachary Wells and Ethan Newcombe, fourth-graders Amos OHara and Holden Hewlett, fifth-graders Lucas Corrigeux and Trenton Thompson and sixth-graders Garrett Engstrom and Jaylin Roberson.
Ethan and Holden won their initial competition, along with Trenton and Jaylin. The finals pitted Ethan against Jaylin, with Jaylin emerging as the top male shooter.
The female competitors included third-graders Chyler Richards and Hailey Humiston, fourth-graders Aliyah Bullock and Mya Burk, fifth-graders Savannah Gauthier and Joey Baillie and sixth-graders Lindsay Montroy and Novaleigh LeGrow.
Hailey, Aliyah, Joey and Lindsay won their first-round competition, with Aliyah and Lindsay advancing to the finals. Lindsay came out as the top female shooter.
Every participant received a certificate from Mr. Henry for their participation in the competition, which dates back more than two decades and is modeled after a similar program former physical education teacher Robert Wanke had started.
Mr. Wanke had held a basketball-shooting competition during his tenure as physical education teacher, but unlike Hot Shots, it wasnt a school-wide event.
That began after Mr. Henrie watched a basketball-shooting competition on television and decided to localize it at Jefferson, starting with his class and then later expanding into a school-wide assembly thats held at the end of his basketball unit, the final day of school before breaking for the holidays.