Campers run wild at 4-day clinic
Since she's a post player, Emma Stilgenbauer didn't find any trouble in one event at last week's youth basketball camp at Tonganoxie High.
"I liked the layup contest because I've always been a post, so it's kind of easy for me," said Stilgenbauer, who will be in sixth grade at Tonganoxie Middle School this fall.
Stilgenbauer won the layup contest.
She was one of 45 participants at the camp, which lasted Tuesday through Friday. Tonganoxie boys basketball coach David Walker led the camp and had help from THS basketball players Tyson Letourneau, Ali Pistora, Tracie Hileman and Jeremy Carlisle.
This marked the camp's eighth year.
Stilgenbauer said she hoped to play for the TMS basketball team next season. She's been working on her game this summer. Aside from attending the camp, Stilgenbauer plays 3-on-3 in Lawrence on a regular basis. Her favorite part of the camp was the 5-on-5 games.
Walker and his staff stressed fundamentals -- shooting, passing dribbling, footwork and defense -- all week. Stilgenbauer said the camp improved her dribbling skills.
"I wasn't good at dribbling very much," she said. "I'm only good with my left hand, but I'm right-handed. They showed us behind-the-back and between-the-legs dribbling, too."
Stilgenbauer said she also learned from Pistora, whom she's known for two years. Stilgenbauer said Pistora taught her not to worry if she missed shots.
The coaches made the camp fun for the campers as well. For instance, campers participated in a dribbling race with an oversized bouncing ball. They dribbled the length of the court and had to circle an orange cone on their way back. Walker also had the youngsters participate in several games of knockout, which he said was the fan-favorite.
"We find out that as the week progresses, they get a little tired, and we get a little tired, so we try to throw some fun in there to keep the energy level high," Walker said.
Walker also organized layup and hot shot contests. Each camper received a basketball, courtesy of First State Bank and Trust.
Last week was the first time Letourneau volunteered his time at the camp.
"I did layups with them and worked on pivoting," Letourneau said. "On defense, I worked with them on getting into the right position. The little kids were a lot of fun. They're always full of energy."
The following campers won the layup and hot shot contests:
Third grade layup: Madison Meitler, Logan Williams.
Third grade hot shot: Madison Meitler, Logan Williams
Fourth grade layup: Kaitlin Hall, Tyler Novotney
Fourth grade hot shot: Kaitlin Hall, Kyle Fain
Fifth grade layup: Tressa Walker, Gage Laster
Fifth grade hot shot: Tressa Walker, Kyle Caldwell
Sixth grade layup: Emma Stilgenbauer, Eric Tate
Sixth grade hot shot: Kara Banks, Eric Tate
Third-grade campers: Drew Cook, Brayden Cox, Nick French, Brett George, Garrett Sloan, Britany Wiles, Mykah Wingerter.
Fourth-grade campers: Emily Eberth, Dawson Jones, Kennedy Morey.
Fifth-grade campers: Jordyn Carlin, Ben Clark, Garrett French, Sinjan Gergick, Justin Patrick, Lauren Harrell, Michael Stevens.
Sixth-grade campers: Hunter Cook, Shelby Fatherley, Annabelle Frese, Leah Miller, Elizabeth Patrick, Evan Stilgenbauer, Allison Thompson, Wyatt Weeks, Tyler Wehmeyer, Shelby Letourneau, Alissa Donnelly, Andrew Sandburg, Zeke Kissinger.