Locals shine in 3-on-3 Pioneer Day contests

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RONAN PIONEER Days 3-on-3 hoops contestant Wendall Charlo slam dunks the 7-foot basket during the Pioneer Days competition. (Jason Blasco/Lake County Leader)

The Pioneer 3-on-3 tournament featured a free throw, three-point, and slam dunk competitions that gave several Mission Valley players and regional players an opportunity to showcase their skills in the 3-on-3 Pioneer Day Tournament Saturday at Ronan High School.

Former Ronan Chiefs’ Aron Yellow Owl, who played for Ronan in 2006, captured the adult free throw competition.

“The competition was pretty nice and it was a pretty good turnout,” Yellow Owl said.

In front of a crowd with blasting music and the announcer yelling on the loudspeaker, Yellow Owl said it was “easy to get nervous” in the heat of the event.

“I am still shaking from the nervousness,” Yellow Owl admitted. “It is very important to practice for these events because if you shoot the same way every time you shoot a free throw and when you play in sudden death, you become more comfortable shooting. You just have to practice…practice…practice.”

Jared Lovshin, who captured the three-point competition adult crown, struggled in the initial portion of the competition.

Lovshin’s struggled in the early stages of the 3-point competition and ended up winning by sinking six three-point buckets.

“Six is still not a very good number for a 3-point contest,” Lovshin admitted. “I just started out in the competition cold and then I started to get into a rhythm of the distance.”

Lovshin, who finished second in the state of Montana his junior season in 1991, said he loves coming to Mission Valley and playing at all of the 3-on-3 competitions.”

“I played at Plains, Polson and Great Falls,” Lovshin said. “There are five tournaments this year so far. I just play a lot of basketball.”

Wendall Charlo, who won the 7-foot slam-dunk competition, said it was his first time performing in front of a crowd.

“It was the first time I was nervous but it was good to be up there though,” Charlo said. “I was too tired because I ran the 5K before all of this. I was just kind of nervous, hyped and had my adrenaline going.”

Charlo said winning the slam-dunk competition in front of his relatives, cousin, and friend was an exclamation point to capturing the event.

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