By Steve Robinson | February 28, 2011 - 10:03 pm
Posted in Category: Heyworth Buzz

Steve RobinsonLike most high school freshmen, Hollie Sinn is a spirited young person ready to take on the world in whatever direction her lessons and her heart guide her.

During the basketball season, Sinn, a freshman at Heyworth High School, had taken on the task of trying to be a three-point champion on her first try.

Holly was among 32 girls who participated in a shootout semi-final for Illinois High School Association Class 1A and Class 2A players at Redbird Arena on Feb. 24, hoping to be a finalist who would go on to competing to be a three-point on her first try.

Giving it her all, and moving swiftly between the three shooting stations, Hollie looked to be concentrating intently with every throw. But of the 12 shots she took, only 4 swished through the net. Hope dashed with every miss, but although the outcome was disappointing, Hollie could still be found smiling at the end.

“It wasn’t how I wanted it to go, I guess,” Sinn said after it was all over. “But I had fun.”

For a coach, watching their player compete in a three-point shootout must be somewhat nerve-wracking. During games, a coach can yell instructions or plot strategy during a timeout. During a three-point shooting contest, a coach can do nothing more than join the rest of us in the stands and watch…and hope.

Heyworth High School head coach Tony Griffin was seen doing just that while Sinn was working through her turn on the floor.

After it was all over, Griffin had praise for his player for her effort the first time out at this event. “I wanted to see her do well,” Griffin said. “She represented us very well.

“I’m very proud of what she did,” Griffin added. “She got a lot of shots up in the last few weeks, and hopefully, it will carry over to next season when it really counts on the floor.”

I’ve been told by players who have had a similar experience that when a player goes from cozy hometown gym to large arena, there is an intimidation factor that sets in. At first, Hollie didn’t think the bigger stage contributed to her final score, but then, almost with her next breath, said, “I guess…A little.”

But then her youthful spirit blazed through when she added, “But I got here. That was my goal.”

I reminded her that her being a freshman, she would three more chances to try this again, and her optimism came through again: “That’s what’s good about it,” she said with a smile.

We should all take her approach when disappointment sets in. I have a feeling Hollie will be back for a future three-point contest…or two. Or three. No doubt that pride her coach has in her now will grow as she continues to mature as a player.

Sinn is an up-and-coming three-point shooter. I thought, were she and second-year reigning Class 2A three-point queen Allie Norton were to sit and chat, Norton could give her some pointers.

“She just needs to keep practicing,” was the best advice Norton offered to the young Hornets player coming up behind her. Norton, a senior at Bloomington Central Catholic, will compete in a “Queen of the Court” competition against the 3-point champions from Class 1A, 3A, and 4A next weekend at Redbird Arena, when the Class 3A and 4A girls State Championships will be back in town.

When I asked Norton if she was excited to be competing against the four other free throw Queens, she had her mind on business-at-hand. She said she was concentrating on winning a State Class 2A Championship with her Saints teammates first before even thinking about concentrating on the free throw finale.

As it turns out, Hollie is not the only Hornets player striving to succeed at making the most shots from behind the arc. In addition to Sinn, two Hornets boys’ basketball players – sophomore Nick Norton, son of Bill and Linda Norton; and Zach Quinn, a junior, son of David and Kim Quinn – are trying to find themselves in Peoria for the boys’ 3-point shooting finals when they take place next week.

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