PRESQUE ISLE, Me. (WAGM) - 9 year old Blayne Tardif of Presque Isle is in a very familiar spot practicing foul shots at the Sargent Community Center in Presque Isle. Tardif is preparing for the New England Championships for the second straight year.
" I was really happy I made it again and I worked really hard for practicing. I am really happy," Tardif said.
Last year Tardif ended in a tie for the New England title, but lost in the tie breaking round when her opponent made all five foul shots. Tardif says she learned a lot last year.
"I learned what to do I don't have to be nervous because I remember what to do and I don't have to be nervous," she said.
Tardif has grown quite a bit from last year and she's had to make adjustments.
"Sometimes I have to back up a little bit because I shoot a little strong," Tardif said.
Wesley Lapointe of Caribou spends several days a week at the Caribou Wellness Center working on his basketball skills including foul shooting. This will be his first appearance in the New Englands.
"I got third my first year second last year and it is nice to make it farther this year and show I have improved every year," LaPointe said.
He says that he works on his game a lot and he hopes to be able to focus on the job at hand when he shoots in Portland
"You can't really think about it when you are at the line. You just have to shoot because you can't be nervous when you are shooting," he said.
Both Tardif and Lapointe explain their foul shooting techniques.
"I dribble twice and I spin the ball on the ground and and I get ready and I shoot," Tardif said.
"I take two dribbles I spin it and then I spin it in my hand," LaPointe said.
If practice makes perfect both of these youngsters could be New England Champions.