Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards hosted her camp for the second straight year.

The Stourbridge Primary School gymnasium was completely quiet on this steamy summer afternoon.

And, that's odd because nearly 40 bubbly young players were milling about under one of the baskets.

All eyes were on the foul line, where an epic free throw shooting contest was headed for a heart-stopping conclusion.

Battle Royale

After a week's worth of action, Noah Theobald and Aidan LaTourette found themselves deadlocked on the final day.

These two sharpshooters had already gone down to the wire at the Wayne County Commissioners Camp earlier this summer.

So, neither so much as blinked when Coach Wood ordered a sudden death round to determine a winner at the second annual "Stand Tall for Basketball" clinic.

What no one anticipated was that Noah and Aidan were just getting started.

Theobald an LaTourette matched one another shot-for-shot through the first three OT sessions.

Finally, Noah made one more free throw in the fourth sudden death stanza to capture the crown ... and, the place went wild!

Parents cheered from the sidelines, campers jumped up & down and counselors congratulated both players for their gallant efforts.

"That's what it's all about," Honesdale boys varsity coach Tim Wood said with a big smile. "The kids were having a blast."

Fun is always the common denominator of Stand Tall for Basketball, which was first organized by Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards last summer.

"I'm so happy with how this year's camp went," Janine said. "The kids were wonderful. I think they learned a lot and I know they had fun. Those are the two most important things."

Positive Experience

This year's "Stand Tall for Basketball" camp was open to boys and girls from grades four through seven.

The clinic ran four days and emphasized basketball fundamentals. Players were divided into age groups and worked on honing their skills each day from 9 a.m. until noon.

At the camp's Thursday conclusion, t-shirts and trophies were handed out to free throw champions and the clinic's most improved players.

The 2013 award winners were...

•John Gilson and Tess Meagher (Most Improved, grades 4-5).

•Anthony Dell'Aquila and Mercedes Goodwin (Most Improved, grades 6-7).

•Noah Theobald and Mia Land (Free Throw Champs, grades 4-5).

•Will Howell and Lily Fries (Free Throw Champs, grades 6-7).

In addition to Edwards and Wood, camp counselors included Honesdale coaches Maria West and Ron Rowe.

Volunteers from both the boys and girls programs also played key roles in ensuring that everything ran smoothly: Don McGinnis, Josh LoBasso, Stacey Hart, Sabrina Wood, Taylor Parenti, Grady Birmelin and Nick Theobald.

"It says something about the character of these young men and women that they'd give up some of their free time and come to a hot gym to help out," Coach Wood said.

Janine was quick to agree on that point.

"It's so important for the younger players to have someone to look up to," she said. "I'm so appreciative of the older kids for all they did this week."

Looking Ahead

Stand Tall for Basketball is in just its second year, but all signs point toward a successful future.

"We definitely grew a little bit this year, but I'd really like to see more kids from Paupack and Western Wayne come out," Janine said. "I'd like to see as many kids as possible have a chance to participate."

Coach Wood summed it all up from a competitive standpoint.

"As a coach, I draw my energy from the kids," he said. "When they're excited, that really get me pumped up. When I looked out on the court this week, it really made me optimistic about the future of Honesdale boys and girls basketball."