Plasse crowned charity stripe champ

EASTHAMPTON – To anybody who tracked his progress this season, Matt Plasse improved about as rapidly as anyone in Western Massachusetts this winter, as the junior averaged 14 points per game in his first varsity season.
However, while the slinky swingman is noted as a three-point marksman, Plasse also has improved markedly at the free throw line, as evidenced by his performance at the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association’s Red Auerbach Foundation Free Throw contest on March 18.
Plasse stroked 22 of 25 shots from the charity stripe during the contest, which put him in a tie with the event’s defending champion, Casey White of Easthampton. In overtime, the boys each took 10 shots.
White missed several shots in the extra frame, which opened the door for Plasse. The St. Mary’s Saint then went a perfect 10 for 10 in the overtime to seal the title.
Brian Miller, the head boy’s basketball coach at Easthampton and the MBCA’s Western Massachusetts representative, was impressed with the efforts of both of the finalists, and looks forward to seeing how well Plasse will represent Western Mass. in the state finals, to be held at the TDBanknorth Garden in Boston on April 8.
“I remember when my father coached and I had the opportunity to compete in this event,” Miller said, “It’ll be a great experience for the boys.”
Plasse will face the winners of the central, northern and southern districts at halftime of the Boston Celtics’ home game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Easter Sunday.
According to Miller, each contestant will shoot five free throws during halftime, to be added to their previous 25 shot total. The best 30 shot total will be declared the winner or the event.
When asked about the event, Plasse said he looks forward to it with eager anticipation.
“Regardless of whether I win, I’m just looking to do my best and shoot well,” the 6’3” gunner said via telephone. “I’m really looking forward to going out at halftime (in Boston) and shooting in a place where so many of my favorite players have played.”

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