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Ivins wins free throw contest

By: Ray Hacke, Journal Sports Writer
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It's a good thing for Eric Ivins that he doesn't get psyched out easily by his competition. The Bowman School seventh-grader watched one of his competitors make bucket after bucket Feb. 10 at the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Contest at Colfax High School. Ivins made his share of shots when it was his turn, sinking 15 of the 25 free throws he attempted from behind the 2-inch line located 15 feet from the center of the basket. Still, he didn't quite think he'd made enough. When the results of the contest's 13-year-old boys division were announced, however, Ivins was pleasantly surprised. The other guy was swishing one after another ” I thought I'd come in second, Ivins said. But when I heard the announcer say, ˜The winner is Eric Ivins,' I was excited. Now Ivins will participate in a regional competition March 1 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in El Dorado Hills. Should he out-shoot the 17 other district winners he'll compete against at El Dorado Hills, Ivins will advance to the state contest in Fresno. The district-level win at Colfax High might seem unlikely for someone who attempted just two foul shots all season for the Bowman School basketball team. Still, Ivins said he took a relaxed attitude into the contest. In a game it's harder because the entire game (could be on the line), and it's all up to you to make the free throw, Ivins said. In the contest, it doesn't really matter because it's all for fun. I still tried to do my best in the contest, but if you make it through, great. If not, better luck next year. A right-handed shooter, Ivins begins each shot by staring at the back side of the rim and concentrating on making his shot. He doesn't have a specific practice regimen. I just practice for whenever I can for an hour, maybe an hour and a half at home, at school or at the Auburn Recreation Department, he said. Ivins hopes to play for Placer High one day. I really just want to go as far as I can ” make it (on the team in) high school, college if I get that far, and keep going with it from there, Ivins said.