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Back-to-back for Jack in hoops shootout

  • Jack Schwab of Wilton-Lyndeborough, left won the Ledger-Transcript's three-point shootout for the second straight year, beating Trey Shaw of Trinity, Lindsey Carey of ConVal, Jake Drew of Conant and Sports Editor Ben Conant, not pictured. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Jack Schwab of Wilton-Lyndeborough won the Ledger-Transcript's three-point shootout for the second straight year, beating Trey Shaw of Trinity, Jake Drew of Conant, Lindsey Carey of ConVal and Sports Editor Ben Conant. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Jack Schwab of Wilton-Lyndeborough won the Ledger-Transcript's three-point shootout for the second straight year, beating Trey Shaw of Trinity, Jake Drew of Conant, Lindsey Carey of ConVal and Sports Editor Ben Conant. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Jack Schwab of Wilton-Lyndeborough won the Ledger-Transcript's three-point shootout for the second straight year, beating Trey Shaw of Trinity, Jake Drew of Conant, Lindsey Carey of ConVal and Sports Editor Ben Conant. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Jack Schwab of Wilton-Lyndeborough won the Ledger-Transcript's three-point shootout for the second straight year, beating Trey Shaw of Trinity, Jake Drew of Conant, Lindsey Carey of ConVal and Sports Editor Ben Conant. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Jack Schwab of Wilton-Lyndeborough won the Ledger-Transcript's three-point shootout for the second straight year, beating Trey Shaw of Trinity, Jake Drew of Conant, Lindsey Carey of ConVal and Sports Editor Ben Conant. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Jack Schwab of Wilton-Lyndeborough won the Ledger-Transcript's three-point shootout for the second straight year, beating Trey Shaw of Trinity, Jake Drew of Conant, Lindsey Carey of ConVal and Sports Editor Ben Conant. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Jack Schwab of Wilton-Lyndeborough won the Ledger-Transcript's three-point shootout for the second straight year, beating Trey Shaw of Trinity, Jake Drew of Conant, Lindsey Carey of ConVal and Sports Editor Ben Conant. Staff photo by Ben Conant—


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Last year at this time, I put together a three-point shootout at Wilton’s Goss Park, pitting myself against that summer’s basketball campers and counselors. And even though I ended up losing in overtime to Wilton-Lyndeborough baller Jack Schwab, I still felt pretty good about my performance.

A few short months later, I would tear my ACL and meniscus during a men’s league game, blowing out my knee on a non-contact jump stop. I limped for a few months, saw a slew of doctors and eventually went under the knife in February. Since then, I’ve been working to rehabilitate my knee with one end goal in mind — get back on the court to play the sport I love.

For a while, that goal seemed infinitely far away, as I rode the exercise bike, pumped iron with my right leg and underwent all types of grueling physical therapy. And thanks to excellent work by Hunter Burgess, the months flew by and before I knew it, I was given a clean bill of health a good six weeks earlier than expected.

It was perfect timing, as I’d planned another three-point shootout for what ended up being my first day allowed to play basketball for real. I wanted to up the stakes a little bit, so aside from the returning champion Schwab and myself, I recruited a stable of shooters from all the local schools — namely, Conant’s Jake Drew, ConVal’s Lindsey Carey and Trey Shaw, who played at Mascenic last year but will head to Trinity this fall.

With Schwab in the driver’s seat, it only seemed right to return to his home court of Goss Park, and so we lined up on what seemed to be the hottest day of the summer to have it out.

Goss Park has its particular charms and quirks, and perhaps lends itself to a little home court advantage for Schwab. Indeed, the visitors had to deal with some odd obstacles: Drew was halfway through his first round of shots when a major wind swirled through and visibly pushed a trio of shots wide, and Carey’s three-point arc left her at a disadvantage when shooting corner threes directly under a pine bough.

But no one had a worse first round than I. Needing to hit just two shots of my final five from the baseline to tie Shaw and stave off elimination, I choked, and I was the first man out. Disappointing, sure, but just being back on the court was reward enough.

The shooters continued through the rounds, shooting 25 balls apiece from the baselines, wings and straight on. Lowest score in each round is out.

After me, it was Drew who bowed out. Then, Carey had a decent round, but Schwab and Shaw caught fire and were the last two left standing.

Three-pointers are in Shaw’s blood — heck, his first name is literally Trey — and he put on a show in the penultimate round, knocking down 17 out of 25. If that hot streak continued, he had a good shot at knocking off the champ.

Maybe it was the home court, maybe it was the year-round practice, or maybe it was the soon-to-be-outdated Kyrie Irving t-shirt, but Schwab couldn’t miss in the finals. He came out and shot first and nailed 18 out of 25 shots — the best performance of the day.

Shaw worked around the perimeter and stayed hot, but he couldn’t quite close it out in the end, finishing with 16, just short of Schwab’s total.

Opposing defenses might want to take note this winter: Wilton-Lyndeborough’s got themselves a shooter.