NORTH BEND — Last year, Corbett teammates Ally Schimel and Ella Holwege lost an epic tiebreaker in the 3-point shootout for the Class 4A state tournament at North Bend High School.
Now in Class 3A, the Corbett duo came out on top on the eve of this year’s state tournament Wednesday, bettering the efforts of seven other sets of teammates.
Cascade Christian’s Jaron Fronckowiak and Kellen Kleker were the boys champions Wednesday. Cascade Christian didn’t win the 3-point shootout last year, but the Challengers did win the bigger prize, the state championship, and they begin pursuit of a repeat title against Dayton on Thursday.
Fronckowiak had the hottest hand of all the shooters Wednesday night, making 19 of his 22 shots to lift the Challengers to the team title with 27 total 3-pointers despite never taking part in a similar competition.
“It’s very unique,” he said. “I’ve never done something like this before. It’s new to me.”
He said the Challengers chose their two participants by different methods.
“Kellen is the fan favorite of the group,” Frockowiak said of the team. “I have the highest 3-point percentage of the team.
“My job (in games) is to sit in the corner and make 3s.”
He did that Wednesday night, never moving from the spot while knocking down shot after shot.
“That’s my corner,” he said.
Each pair of shooters had one minute to make as many as possible.
The Cascade Christian duo topped the shooters from Pleasant Hill (24) and Westside Christian (23) for the boys title.
Schimel and Holwege combined to make 26 3-pointers to beat the defending champions Sutherlin, who finished with a combined 16 shots (11 by Micah Wicks who also shot in the event last year). Holwege made more with 14.
“She shot well,” Schimel said of Holwege.
The two have been excited about Wednesday night.
“We’ve been looking forward to this since last year,” Holwege said.
Just like they came up short in the 3-point shootout last year, Corbett just missed the state title, falling in the championship game against Philomath.
Corbett would like to get another shot at a title this year, though the road for the Cardinals starts against the defending champions of this tournament, Nyssa.
The Cardinals are among the state’s top teams, with several keys to their success, the girls said.
“A lot of teamwork, and everyone believing in each other,” Schimel said.
“We trust each other, and play as a team,” Holwege added.
Cascade Christian opens the boys tournament against a Dayton team that beat it in the regular season. Kleker and Fronckowiak said there is some pressure to repeat as champions, but not any extra pressure.
“There’s pressure, but nothing we are not used to,” Fronckowiack said. “We are used to pressure and expectations.
“If we lock in and stick to the game plan, we feel confident (in our chances).”
The Challengers also are excited about the chance to be back in the Bay Area and at Marshfield, where the gym with its wraparound seating in the upper balcony is unlike most other high schools.
“It’s an awesome environment, especially playing at Marshfield,” Kleker said. “It feels like you are in an actual arena.”
After all the boys and girls teams had shot Wednesday, Fronckowiak and Holwege went head-to-head for ultimate bragging rights, with Fronckowiak winning 14 to 11.
Starting Thursday, both will try to help their teams to the biggest prize of all.
The girls quarterfinals at North Bend Thursday include Lakeview against Banks at 1:30 p.m., Santiam Christian against Amity at 3:15, Corbett against Nyssa at 6:30 and Pleasant Hill against Sutherlin at 8:15.
The boys games at Marshfield are Pleasant Hill against top-ranked Westside Christian at 1:30 p.m., Oregon Episcopal against Banks at 3:15, Cascade Christian against Dayton at 6:30 and Creswell vs. De La Salle North Catholic at 8:15.
3-Point Shootout results
Corbett 26 (Ella Holwege 14, Ally Schimel 12)
Sutherlin 16 (Micah Wicks 11, Ava Gill 5)
Amity 14 (Alyssa McMullen 7, Ellie McMullen 7)
Nyssa 14 (Gracie Johnson 9, Lauren Sapp 5)
Pleasant Hill 14 (Kaia Taylor 9, Brooke Weimer 5)
Banks 12 (Jade Janecek 7, Hailey Evans 5)
Santiam Christian 9 (Emma Yenchik 5, Bella Vanderhoof 4)
Lakeview 5 (Karlee Vickerman 4, Savannah Greenfield 1)
Cascade Christian 27 (Jaren Fronckowiak 19, Kellan Klekar 8)
Pleasant Hill 24 (Brasen Holliday 16, Matt Dutton 8)
Westside Christian 23 (Ethan Chiong 17, Dax Hanzlik 6)
De La Salle North Catholic 19 (Elliot Ball-Dowling 13, Jordan James 6)
Creswell 16 (Riley Smith 8, Cameron Leonard 8)
Oregon Episcopal 15 (Richard Zhang 9, AJ. Matheson-Lieber 6)
Dayton 15 (Jaden Shepherd 9, Michael Cross 6)
Banks 7 (Dylan Jansen 6, Max Walker 1)