NEW PALESTINE — Zion Lutheran School students enjoyed one of their favorite events of the year. At the end of a recent Friday, students adjourned to the gym for a pep rally preceding the junior varsity girls basketball tournament being hosted at Zion Lutheran that weekend.

To start the fun, cheerleaders and their cheer clinic participants raised the energy in the room by leading the students in several cheers and presented their halftime routine. All of the winter sports teams were then asked to come down on the court.

“A Minute to Win It”-style competition then ensued between the five groups. The first challenge was “sling shot swish,” in which each team lined up behind an overturned metal chair with a rubber band strung from leg to leg. Competitors had paper boomerangs they had to try to shoot into buckets using the chair leg slingshots. At the end of the competition, athletics director Luke Finchum joked that perhaps he should have used bigger buckets, as not a single boomerang had landed. The teams then did a rock-paper-scissors elimination, which the varsity girls basketball team lost.

The next challenge was called “the grand prize” game, with teams required to bounce a ping pong ball into a row of five buckets.

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The third challenge was “egghead,” in which the teams had to choose one player to stand inside a hula hoop circle and hold a bucket on their head while their teammates tried to throw plastic eggs into the bucket while standing some distance away.

The final challenge was the “water bottle challenge,” in which each team had three partially filled water bottles that they had to toss up in the air and get to land sitting straight up. This round was extremely exciting, with the finalists down to their final bottle. The cheerleaders got their third bottle to land correctly first, knocking out their final competitor, the JV boys.