Pine River all-stater wins state 3-point shooting contest
EAST LANSING — Her high school career ended in district action last month, but Kassy Nelson was still able to show her talents at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.
The Pine River Class C all-state basketball player won the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) 3-point shooting competition and was third in free-throw shooting as a part of the girls state finals.
“It was quite an exciting day,” her mother, Roberta Nelson, said.
Kassy Nelson said her coach Shawn Ruppert, submitted her shooting percentage for the season to BCAM.
“They took the top 18 in the state, not mattering what the class,” Nelson said. “I got chosen for free throws and 3-pointers.”
Her 3-point shooting was at 39 percent and free throw shooting at 82 percent.
Nelson shot free throws at 8:30 a.m on that Saturday and the finals were at halftime of the Class D title game later that morning. The 3-point shooting came at halftime of the Class A game in early afternoon.
She shot 23-of-25 in the free-throw shooting for third place.
“The top girl didn’t miss and the other girls made 24,” Nelson said. “We had as much time as we needed for free throws but not for 3-pointers.”
She was happy with her free-throw performance.
“I’m not usually that more confident in shooting free throws,” Nelson said. “But 23-of-25, I’ll take that any day.”
The 3-point shooting contest was based on rounds.
“For every round we did, it was five balls in five different spots (for 25 total 3-point shots),” she said. “You had 60 seconds to shoot every ball. The first round was with 18 contestants. You had a minute to shoot and they took the top eight. I was in the top eight.”
The top two made the final round. Nelson had the best score of anyone and automatically qualified for the final. The first two rounds were in Breslin’s auxiliary gym.
She and the other finalists then went to the Breslin for the final. It was the same format. Nelson doesn’t remember how many shots of the 25 attempts she hit but does recalls she won by one. In the second round, she made 14. The round before that she hit 13.”
Shooters would attempt the five shots at each spot and move to the next one. Two spots were from the corner, two from the wing and then the top from the arc.
Nelson received a plaque from BCAM for taking the win.
It was her first time for a contest of this nature.
“I was looking forward to it,” she said. “I went into the competition thinking these were the best shooters in the state and to win it outright it was something I wasn’t expecting. When I competed, I was more laid back but was definitely nervous, especially getting into closer rounds. When it got to the nitty-gritty, I was getting more nervous.”
She wore her regular uniform for the competition
Nelson, a senior, will be playing at Saginaw State University.