Meneghetti wins 3-point shootout

Hannah Pittman and lakecentralnews

On Jan. 1, Matthew Meneghetti (12), traveled to the Hammond Civic Center for the annual Region Roundball Rumble, and came home the Boys Champion.

Schools from around the region participate in this event. Coaches nominate one player from their team to represent their school, with a total of 16 participants. This year, Lake Central was represented by Meneghetti, a 3-point shooter on the varsity basketball team. The shooters each have 45 seconds per round to shoot 15 balls, one of which is a money ball that equals two points instead of one, from the 3-point line.

At 3:45 p.m., the 3-Point Shootout’s first round began. Meneghetti was the last to go and made seven of the 15 balls the first round, and seven the second round, combining to a score of 14.

“I was nervous the first couple rounds because I was last and already saw what my opponent’s score was,” Meneghetti said.

But that was just enough for Meneghetti to advance to the final round, along with only four other competitors.

The final round only took the top five of the 16, those with the highest scores. These boys had to wait until half time at the Kouts vs. Pioneer 7 p.m. game, to compete in the final round. The points from the first couple rounds did not carry over, and the boys all had a clean slate, but only one chance to win the competition.

“I had the advantage of going first, and I knew I could set the bar high, putting the pressure on my other opponents,” Meneghetti said.

Meneghetti made 13 of the 15 balls into the basket, but he also made the money ball. His score equaled 14 out of 16 possible points. This score was the highest the boys competition had seen all day.

“I knew the best my opponents could do was about 10 points, and the pressure was high knowing they could only miss one shot in order to beat me,” Meneghetti said.

His competitors then went on to shoot, but none of them got more than seven points in this final round. With a score of 14 points, Meneghetti doubled what his opponents’ scores were. This made him the region’s 3-Point Shootout Boys Champion.

“I was really excited to win the competition because I have wanted to be in this since I was a freshman. It felt good that all my hard work really paid off,” Meneghetti said.