Local Sports

UP0DATED: Monticello Changes Game Time For Friday Basketball Game vs Prairie Central; Saturday's Game Rescheduled

Tonight's Illini Prairie Conference game between Monticello and Prairie Central will be played at 6 pm and will be a varsity game only.

 

Hear tonight's contest with the new start time of 6 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Additionally, tomorrow night's boy's basketball game against Meridian has been rescheduled to Saturday, February 2 at 6 pm. 

 

Around noon Friday, the school announced all Saturday and Sunday activities would be canceled. Those include:

 

 Monticello Middle School boys basketball regionals, varsity wrestling, middle school volleyball, freshman boys basketball, girls JV basketball, girls varsity basketball, open gyms, youth basketball, travel baseball and softball, spring musical rehearsal, rec volleyball and open gyms with Coach Chris Jones.

 

Additionally, all district buildings would be closed.

 

The school will re-open Monday as scheduled. 

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Maroons Host Sullivan

The Clinton Maroons will try to continue their momentum tonight when they play host to the Sullivan Redskins in Central Illinois Conference boys basketball action from Clinton High School.

 

The Maroons beat Decatur St. Teresa 58-54 Tuesday night on the road. The Redskins come into action tonight 3-15 overall and are winless in the CIC.

 

The Maroons victory over the Bulldogs improved their record to 7-12 and it was their first conference victory of the season.

 

Game time tonight from Clinton High School is 7:30 pm. Hear the action on 92.3 FM, 106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Monticello Opens Illini Prairie Action Tonight

The Monticello Sages will play host to Prairie Central in the opener of the Illini Prairie Conference.

 

The Sages are coming off a 50-43 win over Georgetown Notre Dame de Lasette.

 

After tonight's home game, the Sages hit the road for three straight road games starting with a non-conference matchup tomorrow night at Meridian.

 

Monticello is 13-3 while Prairie Central is 9-9.

 

Game time tonight is 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Bulls, Pacers Lose Thursday

>>Nuggets Bag Bulls

 

Jamal Murray scored 22 of his 25 points in the third quarter, Nikola Jokic finished two rebounds shy of another triple-double and the Nuggets cruised past Chicago 135-105 on Thursday night for their 12th straight home win over the Bulls.

 

On Tuesday, the Nuggets were drubbed 142-111 by Golden State in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.

 

Jokic did a little bit of everything, finishing with 18 points and 11 assists. 

 

Lauri Markkanen scored 27 as his team that finished up a fruitless five-game trip. 

 

Rookie C Wendell Carter Jr. was ruled out with a sprained left thumb. He's day to day. Zach LaVine was held to eight points, well below his average of 23.2.

 

The Bulls host Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat on Saturday.

 

>>Sixers Down Pacers

 

Joel Embiid had 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists Thursday night to lead the Sixers to their seventh win in nine games, a 120-96 blowout of the Indiana Pacers.

 

Jimmy Butler added 27 points and eight assists as Philadelphia shot 53 percent and finished with 38 assists, the most by an Indiana opponent this season.

Ben Simmons (eight assists), J.J. Redick (five) and T.J. McConnell (five) also showed their passing prowess.

 

Redick contributed 20 points. Indiana's starting backcourt of Darren Collison and All-Star Victor Oladipo was limited to 21 combined points on 9-of-30 shooting.

 

What had been a competitive game turned into a rout in the third quarter. The 76ers led 28-25 after the first quarter and 54-48 at halftime, but a quick 8-0 run put them up 66-55 and prompted Pacers coach Nate McMillan to call timeout. Redick hit two 3-pointers assisted by handoffs from Embiid, and Embiid scored in the lane during the burst.

 

T.J. McConnell's driving bank shot in the final seconds of the quarter pushed the lead to 15 for the first time. Philadelphia carried that 86-71 advantage to the fourth.

 

Redick's sixth 3 made it an 18-point lead. Indiana replied with a 10-0 run, but back-to-back 3s from Embiid and his backup, Mike Muscala, quieted the crowd and forced yet another Indiana timeout.

Muscala had 11 points and seven rebounds.

 

Indiana, held to 40 percent shooting, never challenged again. Ex-Sixer Thaddeus Young had 27 points and six rebounds. Oladipo ended up with 15 points and seven assists.

 

The Pacers continue a five-game homestand Saturday night against Dallas.

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Blackhawks, Blues Lose Thursday

>>Rangers Down Blackhawks

 

Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, Henrik Lundqvist moved into a tie for sixth place on the NHL's career wins list and the Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 Thursday night for their third victory in four games.

 

The Rangers won nine of 11 to move to 12-8-2 heading into Thanksgiving, but then followed that with just five wins in 21 games (5-11-5). 

 

Mats Zuccarello, Filip Chytil and Mika Zibanejad also scored for New York. The line of Zibanejad, Zuccarello and Kreider has totaled nine goals and 10 assists over the last four games.

 

Lundqvist stopped 24 shots to tie Terry Sawchuk with 445 wins, nine behind Curtis Joseph for fifth place.

 

Patrick Kane had an assist on DeBrincat's goal, extending his point streak to seven games (10 assists, 15 points). It was his 554th career assist, tying Doug Wilson for third place in franchise history. 

 

The Blackhawks host the Washington Capitals on Sunday to open a two-game homestand before the All-Star Game.

 

>>Bruins Blast Blues

 

Tuuka Rask made 28 saves and matched the franchise mark set by Cecil ''Tiny'' Thompson, who was 252-153 with 63 ties. Rask, the 2014 Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie, is 252-145-56 in 474 games over 12 seasons with Boston.

Chris Wagner scored 5:27 into the third period to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead. Brad Marchand and Sean Kuraly added some insurance after earlier Boston goals from Torey Krug and David Backes.

 

Ryan O'Reilly and Carl Gunnarsson had the goals for St. Louis. Jake Allen made 22 saves.

 

Blues left wing David Perron extended his NHL-leading and career-best point streak to 13 games (six goals, 10 assists) with a secondary assist on O'Reilly's goal.

 

St. Louis had won four of six (4-1-1) and earned at least one point in each of its previous five road games. The Blues finished a 2-1-1 trip after starting it with back-to-back wins over Dallas and Washington.

 

The Blues host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

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HS GBB: Maroa-Forsyth Holds Off Monticello

Despite a frantic fourth-quarter comeback, the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans held off Monticello 44-34 in a non-conference girls basketball tilt from Maroa Thursday night.

 

An Elizabeth Stiverson steal in the backcourt led to a fast break layup she was fouled on and completed the conventional three-point play to make it a 32-31 game. After a free-throw from Maroa-Forsyth on the ensuing possession, Emily Edmondson returned to the lineup Thursday and buried a three from the right wing that gave the Lady Sages a 34-32 lead, their first lead since the second quarter.

 

But that would be all the Lady Sages would be able to must as they turned the ball over three straight possessions after and Maroa-Forsyth closed out a 12-0 run to take the game.

 

Allie Robinson fueled a comeback in the second quarter that allowed the Lady Trojans to take an 18-17 lead in the break.

 

Monticello scored just four third-quarter points falling behind 30-21 at the end of the third quarter.

 

Edmondson led the Lady Sages with 12 points and Syndey Dowling added ten points.

 

Robinson led all scorers with 18 points, finishing 8-for-11 at the free throw line. The Lady Trojans finished 18-for-24 from the free throw line as a team.

 

Hallie Mitchell added 12 points for the Lady Trojans.
 

Maroa-Forsyth is 14-7 overall while Monticello drops to 5-15.

 

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Illinois Blows Out Minnesota

Ayo Dosunmu produced 23 points and Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 20 points as Illinois used one of its best first halves this season to defeat the Golden Gophers 95-68 and end a five-game skid.

 

The Illini (5-12, 1-5 Big Ten) piled up 51 points in the opening 20 minutes — their second-best output thus far — on the back of hot shooting and a strong glass presence.

 

The Golden Gophers (13-4, 3-3) hadn’t permitted more than 44 points in a first period when they arrived at State Farm Center. They led for just 28 seconds versus Illinois.

 

Backing the college newcomers were Trent Frazier with 15 points and Andres Feliz with 10 points as Illinois shot 56.1 percent from the field.

 

Minnesota, which lost for the second time in its last three bouts, received 17 points from Daniel Oturu and 11 points from Jordan Murphy.

 

Under second-year coach Brad Underwood, Illinois earned its first conference victory since Feb. 25, 2018, and won for the first time since Dec. 15 versus East Tennessee State.

 

Illinois faces No. 23 Iowa on Sunday.

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Drake Drops Bradley

Nick McGlynn had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Drake built a big first-half lead to beat Bradley 69-52 on Wednesday night.

 

Drake (13-5, 2-3 Missouri Valley Conference) has defeated the Braves (8-10, 0-5) in three of the last four meetings.

 

The Bulldogs closed the first half on a 26-6 run for a 33-15 advantage at the break. Brady Ellingson made three 3-pointers during the surge.

 

Tremell Murphy scored eight of his 11 points in the first half and finished with a career-high 11 rebounds. Ellingson had 15 points and D.J. Wilkins chipped in with 10.

 

Elijah Childs had 15 points and a career-best 13 rebounds to lead Bradley. The Braves shot just 19 of 61 (31 percent) from the field that included 12 missed 3-pointers while Drake was 26-of-50 shooting (52 percent).

 

Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye added 13 points and Luqman Lundy had 10 for the Braves.

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Cubs Maddon Says Harper Not Coming To Chicago

The Chicago Cubs were for years considered the favorites to sign Bryce Harper once he reached free agency. There were myriad reasons to connect the dots: Harper and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant are longtime friends; Harper and his wife have a dog named Wrigley.

 

The Cubs are the third-most valuable franchise in baseball -- of course they'd chase after one of the most desired free agents in recent memory.

 

Recently, the Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported the Cubs were having troubles fitting a free-agent reliever like Adam Warren into their budget. Those limitations would make signing a prized free agent like Harper tough to navigate, if not downright impossible.

 

On Tuesday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon added more water to the fire by answering a fan's question about Harper at the team's annual fan convention. 

 

Maddon is expected to trot out an outfield that includes some combination of Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Ian Happ, Albert Almora Jr., and Ben Zobrist. 

 

The Cubs' only big addition of the winter has been utilityman Daniel Descalso. While Chicago's payroll is expected to check in around $200 million, a new franchise record, it's hard to believe the Cubs are strapped for cash.

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Maroons Get Big Win Over Decatur St. T

Zeke Hickman and Matthew Overton scored 15 points apiece to lead a balanced Clinton Maroons attack Tuesday night to a 58-54 win over Decatur St. Teresa in Central Illinois Conference action from Decatur.

 

Ben Nelson added ten points as the Maroons overcame a late four-point deficit in the fourth quarter to down the Bulldogs.

 

Hickman and Overton each had three three-pointers.

 

Off of a tough week last week, Coach Clay Haurberg was pleased with his team's effort again Tuesday after a slow start.

 

"This was another hotly contested game, similar to our game with Monticello a week ago. Many lead changes and momentum swings throughout the night. Frankly, we started off terribly, spotting them 9-0 lead. After a timeout and a redirect, we stormed back into the game and were intense and determined for the rest of the night. We shot the ball very well from the 3 point arc tonight by getting the ball inside more often than our last outing. Defensive rebounding was also a plus for us, which limited their second chance points. Matthew Overton and Zeke Hickman were steady all game long, and Jake Torbert provided some great defense and energy coming off the bench. Ben Nelson had a huge fourth quarter for us blocking a couple of shots, rebounding well and hitting some big baskets and free throws. Just a great effort all the way around in an important conference game for us."

Jack Hogan led St. T with 20 points and Austin Fitzpatrick added 13 points. 

 

The Maroons improve to 7-12 overall and are 1-2 in the CIC.

 

The Bulldogs drop to 6-9 overall and are also 1-2 in the CIC.

 

The Maroons take on Sullivan at home Friday night. Hear the action on 92.3 FM, 106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Scores in the CIC Tuescday....

 

Central A&M 63

Tuscola 47

 

Warrensburg-Latham 54

Shelbyville 68

 

Macon Meridian 71

Sullivan 69

 

Scores in boys basketball action from Tuesday....

 

Trinity Catholic 70

Champaign Central 50

 

Ridgeview 53

Lexington 33

 

Okaw Valley 49

Blue Ridge 43

 

Glenwood 47

Rochester 33

 

Williamsville 50

Maroa-Forsyth 30

 

Rantoul 54

Tolono Unity 52

 

Decatur MacArthur 75

Jacksonville 54

 

El Paso-Gridley 60

Heyworth 31

 

Decatur LSA 72

Cerro Gordo/Bement 57

 

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 48

Cissna Park 41

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Illinois State Holds On For Win At Southern Illinois

Phil Fayne made the decisive free throw with 5.7 seconds left and Illinois State edged Southern Illinois 59-58 on Tuesday night for its 12th straight series win at home.

 

Fayne, a 67.4 percent free-throw shooter, was fouled from behind on a dunk attempt and made the second of two free throws to give Illinois State a 59-58 lead. After two timeouts, Southern Illinois got it past midcourt but Eric McGill’s errant pass went into the backcourt.

 

Zach Copeland scored 14 points and Milik Yarbrough added 11 for Illinois State (10-8, 3-2 Missouri Valley Conference), which has won four straight at home. Fayne had 13 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

 

Armon Fletcher had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Salukis (9-9, 2-3), who have lost three straight. McGill chipped in with 10 points.

 

The previous two series matchups went to overtime.

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Pacers Win Tuesday; Bulls Lose

>>Pacers Rout Suns

 

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points and the Pacers wasted little time cruising to a 131-97 victory.

 

The Pacers got off to a fast start thanks to Bogdanovic, who scored the Indiana's first 10 points. The Pacers doubled the Suns' total in the first quarter, leading 38-19 at the end of the period.

 

Myles Turner returned for the first time in four games to finish with 18 points and six rebounds.

 

Cory Joseph scored eight of his 10 points in the first quarter, adding to Bogdanovic's hot start. Thaddeus Young scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half and finished the game with seven rebounds. Joseph was one of three Pacers who scored in double figures off the bench. Tyreke Evans scored 20 and Domantas Sabonis finished with 14 and eight rebounds in their usual reserve roles.

 

Indiana limited Devin Booker to eight points in 26 minutes.

 

Rookie Deandre Ayton finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. T.J. Warren led Phoenix with 18 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 16 points off the bench.

 

The Pacers host Philadelphia on Thursday.

 

>>Lakers Get By Bulls

 

Lonzo Ball scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half as the Lakers handed the Chicago Bulls their eighth straight loss with a 107-100 victory.

 

It was just the fourth win in 11 games for Los Angeles since LeBron James was sidelined with a groin injury.

The game was close for the first 28 minutes before Los Angeles took control. It was tied at 48 with 9:24 remaining in the third quarter when the Lakers went on a 13-7 run, which included eight straight points at the start. Tyson Chandler scored the first two points before Ball scored 11 straight, including three 3-pointers.

 

Chicago got within 72-68 on a 3-pointer by Wayne Seldon, but the Lakers pulled away again with six straight points to end the third and start the fourth.

 

Los Angeles' lead grew to 94-76 with 4:26 remaining in the game before Chicago made a late flurry to get within 103-98 in the final minute.

 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who got just his fourth start of the season, scored 17 points while Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma scored 16 apiece.

 

The Lakers erased the bitter taste of a 101-95 loss Sunday to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who ended a 12-game skid, and gained some confidence going into a three-game stretch where they face Oklahoma City, Houston and Golden State.

 

Jabari Parker came off the bench to lead Chicago with 18 points and Lauri Markkanen added 17.

 

Both teams struggled shooting from the floor in the first quarter, but the Lakers held a 19-18 lead, marking the first time in eight games they led after the first 12 minutes.

 

Los Angeles held a 44-43 lead at halftime as the first half had 22 lead changes and five ties.

 

The Bulls conclude their five-game road trip against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

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Islanders Get Past Blues in OT

Valtteri Filppula scored 1:37 into overtime and the Islanders beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 Tuesday night for their 12th win in 15 games.

 

Jordan Eberle had a goal in the first period for New York, and Robin Lehner stopped 30 shots.

 

David Perron scored the tying goal in the third period for the Blues, and Jordan Binnington - making his fourth straight start and fourth of his career - finished with 23 saves. St. Louis had won three straight and five of its previous seven.

 

The Blues are at Boston on Thursday night to finish a four-game trip.

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Packers Keep DC, Hire Surprising OC

Mike Pettine is staying as defensive coordinator of the Packers.

 

New coach Matt LaFleur announced the decision Friday, answering one of his biggest questions just three days after being hired.

 

In his first year, Pettine installed a 3-4 scheme and had mixed results. First-round draft pick Jaire Alexander showed signs he will become the top cornerback the Packers desperately need, and Green Bay was ranked No. 12 in pass defense (234.5 yards per game), a big improvement over 2017.

 

Green Bay finished 6-9-1 and out of the playoffs for the second straight year. As the Packers wrapped up for the offseason last week, Pettine said he was hoping to return to keep building.

 

Former Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is about to get a major upgrade at quarterback. 

 

According to NFL.com, the Packers are going to hire Hackett as their next offensive coordinator, which means Hackett will basically be getting an offensive coordinator's dream by going from Blake Bortles to Aaron Rodgers. 

 

With the hire, new Packers coach Matt LaFleur seems to be trying to turn Green Bay into his own mini version of the AFC South. Not only did LaFleur come from the Titans, but Hackett is arriving from Jacksonville, where he spent nearly four seasons before being fired in November. 

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Sages Edge Georgetown-Notre Dame de La Salette 50-43

Three-point shooting proved to be the difference Tuesday night as the Sages made
eight long balls to down Georgetown Notre Dame de La Salette 50-43. Tuesday's
non-conference matchup was tight throughout before the Sages hot shooting extended
the lead to double-digits in the fourth. The victory extends the Sages' win streak to
five.

 

The Sages were led by Ben Singleton with 16 points and three assists on offense, plus
four steals and four blocks on defense. Devin Graham added 10 points in the win.

 

For the Lions, Michael Wernowsky led all scorers with 18 points in a losing effort.

 

The win improves the Sages to 14-3 on the season, while the Lions fall to 11-7.

 

Monticello sports are back on WEZC and dewittdailynews.com Thursday night at 7
PM when the Sages girls basketball team travels to Maroa-Forsyth to take on the
Trojans.

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Maroons At St. T Tonight

The Clinton Maroons get back to action tonight when they head to Decatur for a Central Illinois Conference tilt with St. Teresa.

 

The Maroons had a tough week last week where they lost 52-51 to Monticello on a tie-breaking layup and a go-ahead free throw with just a second left. The Maroons were then beaten handily by Central A&M, 67-44. 

 

Clinton enters action tonight at 6-12 overall 0-2 in the CIC. 

 

The Bulldogs are 6-8 and 1-1 in conference play. Their scheduled matchup with Bloomington Central Catholic was postponed Saturday. Friday St. T edged Meridian, 59-57. 

 

Tip time tonight from Decatur is 7:30 pm. 

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Monticello Hosts Goergetown Notre Dame del Lasette

Monticello returns to the hardwood tonight when they host Georgetown Notre Dame de Lasette.

 

The Sages picked up a couple big wins last week when they edged Clinton 52-51 thanks to Ben Singleton's game-tying putback lay-up and 'and-one' free throw with a second left. 

 

Monticello then returned home for a back-and-forth 49-47 win over Paxton-Buckley-Loda.

 

At 12-3 overall, Notre Dame de Lasette is 11-6.

 

Game time tonight is 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Blues Win; Blackhawks Lose Monday

>>Blues Down Caps

 

Thanks to three goals in under five minutes, St. Louis beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals 4-1 Monday night to put together its first three-game winning streak of the season.

 

The Blues were the only team in the NHL not to win three in a row, and after a rough start are now just three points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

 

This game featured goals by Ivan Barbashev, Vince Dunn and Perron in a span of 4:42 to bounce back from Alex Ovechkin's league-leading 33rd goal of the season. Dunn banked the puck in on a double deflection for his first goal since October and assisted on Perron's goal with a back-handed pass from along the boards.

 

Following the lead of rookie Jordan Binnington, who went 3-0-0 last week, Jake Allen made 28 saves to pick up his first victory since Jan. 3 - which also came against the Capitals.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko scored on the power play in the third period and has eight goals in his past eight games. St. Louis has won six of its past seven on the road, and Allen is among the league's best goalies away from home.

 

Ovechkin took over sole possession of sixth in NHL history with his 238th career power-play goal and tied Dave Andreychuk at 14th on the all-time list with the 640th goal of his career.

 

Binnington is expected to start in goal when the theBlues visit the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

 

>>Devils Fork Blackhawks

 

Kyle Palmieri and Blake Coleman each scored twice, and the Devils rode a five-goal second period to an 8-5 victory over the struggling Blackhawks on Monday night.

 

Travis Zajac, Sami Vatanen, Kevin Rooney and Brett Seney also scored as the Devils won consecutive games for only the third time since opening the season with four straight wins. Rookie goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood made 27 saves in winning for the fifth time in seven decisions.

Despite the win, the Devils are 11 points out of a playoff spot.

 

Patrick Kane scored twice and set up two others for the Blackhawks, who are 1-3-3 in their last seven. Brent Seabrook, Dominik Kahun and Brandon Saad also scored for Chicago, which left goaltenders Cam Ward and Collin Delia defenseless most of the game in giving up at least seven goals for the fifth time this season. The eight goals against tied the most given up by the Blackhawks this season.

 

The Blackhawks visit the New York Rangers on Thursday.

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CBB AP Poll Welcomes Four New Teams

It was a noisy week in college hoops -- but only outside of the Associated Press' top 10 teams in its weekly poll. Nos. 1-10 remain the same this week, with Duke, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia all still sitting at 1-4 in the rankings and all still receiving first-place votes.

 

Beyond the top 10, there's a lot of movement. Kentucky bumps up from No. 18 to No. 12. Marquette moves up from 21st to 15th. Houston slips from 17th to 21st. Mississippi State takes a big step back from No. 14 to No. 24.

 

The Big Ten and ACC remain potent in the rankings, though. Ten of the 25 teams ranked this week come from those two leagues, with the four teams just outside the rankings also being ACC or Big Ten affiliates. 

 

A few big games await this week between ranked teams: No. 9 Virginia Tech plays at No. 4 Virginia on Tuesday night; No. 14 Auburn hosts No. 12 Kentucky and Virginia plays at No. 1 Duke on Saturday.

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Townes scores 21 points, Loyola-Chicago edges Illinois St.

Marques Townes scored 21 points and Loyola-Chicago held off Illinois State 67-64 on Saturday despite going the final six minutes without a field goal.

 

The Ramblers compensated for the 0-for-6 drought by making 6 of 6 from the line in the last two minutes. They made 12 of 16 free throws for the game.

 

Matt Chastain's dunk tied the game at 61 with 3:37 remaining but Illinois State went scoreless until Zach Copeland's 3-pointer drew the Redbirds within 65-64 with 15 seconds remaining. Loyola's Clayton Custer made two free throws and a few seconds later grabbed the rebound when Copeland missed a 3-pointer, sealing the win.

 

Cameron Krutwig had 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists for Loyola (10-7, 3-1 Missouri Valley) and Custer added 13 points, four rebounds and four assists. The Ramblers have won 18 of their past 22 MVC regular-season games and four in a row against Illinois State.

 

Malik Yarbrough had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Illinois State (9-8, 2-2) and Keyshawn Evans scored 16 points.

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Cook heats up late for Missouri St in 69-64 win over Bradley

Keandre Cook scored five of his seven points in a 55-second span at the end to help complete Missouri State's rally with a 69-64 win over Bradley Saturday night.

 

Cook's 3-pointer brought the Bears within 64-63 with 1:38 remaining. Koch Bar missed a jump shot on Bradley's next possession and Cook snared the rebound. Following Missouri State's timeout, Cook laid it in for the go-ahead basket.

 

The Braves led 30-28 at intermission before starting the second half with an 18-6 run. Elijah Childs made a jumper and a 3-pointer and Luqman Lundy followed with a 3 to jump-start the blitz. But the Bears fought back, and when Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye made a pair of free throws, they were on their way to a 15-6 run and drew within 54-49 with 8:14 remaining.

 

Tulio Da Silva led Missouri State (8-9, 2-2 Missouri Valley Conference) with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 13 rebounds and Jarred Dixon scored 15 points.

 

Darrell Brown led Bradley (8-9, 0-4) with 12 points.

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Raiders Down Maroons 66-47

The Central A&M Raiders started on an 8-0 run and never looked back in a 67-44
victory over the Clinton Maroons Friday night. Maroons coach Clay Haurberg says
turnovers were the difference in the contest and the Maroons were never able to cut
the lead below 12 points. 

 

The Maroons were led in scoring by junior Zeke Hickman in 12 points. Senior Cal
Case added 10 points in the loss.

 

Three scorers finished in double figures for the Raiders, including Griffin Andricks with
a game-high 24 points and a perfect 4-4 from the three-point line. Connor Heaton
added 21.

 

With the loss, the Maroons fall to 6-12 and 0-2 in CIC play. The Raiders improve to
16-3 (2-0).

 

The Maroons are in action on WHOW and dewittdailynews.com
Friday night at 7:30 PM when they take on Sullivan.

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HS BBB: Monticello Holds Off PBL

Ethan Miller hit a three-pointer with 4:04 left in the game that proved to be the game winner as Monticello held off a late rally by Paxton-Buckley-Loda for a 49-47 win Friday night in non-conference boys basketball action from Monticello High School.

 

Miller drained five three-pointers but none were bigger than his three from the left-wing that gave the Sages a 44-42 advantage after the Panthers came back from a 24-13 halftime deficit.

 

After Ryan Reeder made a free throw to give the Sages a 45-42 lead, Miller hit another three from almost the same spot on the left wing that extended the lead to 48-42.

 

With 46 seconds left, Trey VanWinkle made a three-pointer that cut the PBL deficit to 49-47. Alek Bundy missed the front end of a one-and-the-bonus giving the Panthers a chance but Drake Schrodt’s three from the top of the key was airballed and went out of bounce and PBL could not buy a whistle to foul Monticello on the inbound and the Sages ran out the final 25 seconds for the win.

 

Neither team started fast, as PBL led just 7-4 after the first quarter but Monticello started making shots, led by Reeder’s three three-pointers in the second quarter and outscored the Panthers 20-6 to take the lead into the break.

 

PBL gradually chipped away at the lead and in the second half and the two teams traded the lead on consecutive possessions to end the third quarter, with Monticello on top 36-35 after Miller hit his third three of the night with 25 seconds left for the period.

 

Miller led all scorers with a career-high 15 points, finishing 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Reeder added a career-high 13 points, finishing 4-for-5 from deep.

 

Ben Singleton scored just two points for the Sages but grabbed a game-high ten rebounds.

 

Kyle Poll scored 14 points to pace the Panthers and Austin Gooden added 11 points.

 

With the win, Monticello avenged a 54-49 loss at the Holiday Hoopla tournament in late December.

 

The Panthers are now 10-5 on the season while Monticello improves to 14-3 overall.

 

The Sages are back in action next Tuesday night when they host Notre Dame de la Salle at 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Michigan Gets By Illinois

Zavier Simpson scored 16 points, Ignas Brazdeikis had 15 and No. 2 Michigan beat Illinois 79-69 on Thursday night to improve to 16-0.

 

Michigan (4-0 Big Ten) and Virginia are the only unbeaten teams in the country. The Wolverines jumped to a 7-0 lead and easily held off the overmatched Illinois (4-12, 0-5).

 

Charles Matthews added 14 points for the Wolverines, and Jon Teske had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Ayo Dosunmu scored 23 points for Illinois. Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 15, and Trent Frazier had 13.

 

Michigan led 39-34 at the half. Illinois pulled within five points at 49-44 with 13:30 left on Aaron Jordan’s 3- pointer, but it was the closest the Illini could come, thanks to Michigan’s offense and smothering defense.

 

Illinois continues its woes against top teams, going 0-14 overall against Top 25 teams. The Illini’s last win over a top team was a 68-66 victory over then-No. 20 Iowa on March 10, 2016.

 

Illinois hosts Minnesota on Wednesday night.

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HS GBB: Pontiac Routs Monticello

Pontiac jumped out to a 10-0 start against Monticello and never looked back in a 58-29 win Thursday night at Pontiac High School in Illini Prairie Conference girls basketball action.

 

The Lady Indians had three players score in double figures led by Madi Manenga’s 13 points. Linsay Hunt added 12 points and Amanda Fox chipped in with 11 points.

 

The Lady Sages were led by Renni Fultz who scored ten points.

 

Pontiac improves to 8-13 overall while Monticello drops to 5-12.

 

Hear Monticello girls basketball action on WEZC next week on Regional Radio News when they travel to Maroa-Forsyth.

 

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Lady Maroons Fall to Sullivan

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Sullivan Lady Redskins by a score of 49-38 on Thursday night. Freshman Mallory Cyrulik led the Maroons scoring with 17 points.

 

Sullivan was led by Esther Miller with 15 points and Josie Orris chipped in with 13.

 

With the loss, the Lady Maroons fall to 11-9 overall. Sullivan improves to 19-1 on the season.

 

The next Lady Maroons broadcast at the CIC Tournament at St. Teresa. Tune in next Friday, January 18, as the Maroons take on Sullivan at home. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

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Broncos Reportedly Pick Bears DC Fangio

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, 60, has accepted Elway's offer to become the Denver Broncos' next head coach, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

 

Fangio replaces Vance Joseph , who was fired on New Year's Eve after posting the franchise's first back-to-back losing seasons since the early 1970s.

 

Fangio and Elway, who turns 59 this summer, will make up one of the oldest coach-GM duos in the NFL in 2019.

 

Although Fangio, who turns 61 in August, has no NFL head coaching experience, he has been an assistant for 32 years in the NFL and 34 seasons overall, beginning with the Philadelphia Stars of the old USFL in 1984.

 

Just like former Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, Fangio relates to players less than half his age and commands a deep respect in the locker room.

 

Elway said when he began his search for his fourth head coach in six seasons that he values experience but also recognizes the need to modernize the Broncos' offensive and defensive schemes to keep up with the run-pass option craze that has swept through the NFL and rendered traditional systems antiquated.

 

Elway didn't believe that innovation necessitated a young, up-and-coming head coach, however. So, instead of going with a fresh-faced offensive-minded novice in the mold of the Rams' Sean McVay, he zeroed in on the grizzled gridiron lifer who's more like his first head coaching hire, John Fox, or even the Chiefs' Andy Reid.

 

The 2018 season was his best as Fangio guided a Bears defense that ranked No. 1 in the NFL, allowed a league-low 17.7 points per game and led the Bears into the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

 

When word got out that Elway had chosen Fangio, Bears cornerback Prince Amukamar a tweeted the hashtag "curse words" and Chicago wide receiver Allen Robinson II tweeted the broken heart emoji.

 

Fangio inherits a Broncos team that's coming off back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1971-72, a hard fall for a franchise that was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy just three years ago thanks to Von Miller's MVP performance in Super Bowl 50.

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Bulls, Pacers Lose Big Wednesday

>>Blazers Down Bulls

 

CJ McCollum had 24 points and the Portland Trail Blazers pulled away in the final quarter to send the Chicago Bulls to their fifth straight loss, 124-112 on Wednesday night.

 

Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and eight rebounds but got into foul trouble and came up just short of his fifth straight game with 20 or more points. Portland has won three straight and five of its last six games.

 

Damian Lillard finished with 16 points and 10 assists for his fifth double-double of the season.

Wendell Carter Jr. had 22 points to lead the Bulls in the first of a five-game road trip.

 

After a tight first half, the Blazers led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter but the Bulls kept the margin from getting any wider until Meyers Leonard's dunk put Portland up 106-94 with just under eight minutes left in the game.

 

A pair of consecutive 3-pointers from McCollum and Seth Curry put the Blazers up 112-96 and Portland went on to lead by as many as 19 points down the remaining stretch.

 

Bulls coach Jim Boylen said before the game that Bobby Portis would be on a 24-minute restriction. Portis returned Sunday from a sprained right ankle that kept him out of seven straight games. He finished with 15 points in 19 minutes against the Blazers.

 

The Bulls visit Golden State on Friday night.

 

>>Celtics Throttle Pacers

 

The Boston Celtics continued to share the offensive load, and the results showed again in a 135-113 rout of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.

 

Kyrie Irving had 12 points in 24 minutes before getting to rest the entire fourth quarter.

The Celtics had 32 assists - their fifth straight game with 30 or more - and put together their highest scoring game this season.

 

Marcus Morris had 22 points and eight rebounds, Jaylen Brown also scored 22 points and Jayson Tatum had 20 for the Celtics, who have won five of six.

 

Gordon Hayward had 14 points, Daniel Theis added 12 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Terry Rozier had 12 points and five assists.

 

Domantas Sabonis had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers (27-14), who had won seven of eight. Thaddeus Young had 10 points and eight rebounds, and Victor Oladipo scored 17 points.

 

Boston led 68-53 at halftime after shooting 56.5 percent (26 for 46) in the first half.

 

Indiana used a 10-2 run early in the third and cut the margin to 79-67 on Sabonis' hook shot with 5:31 left in the period, but Boston took off again and topped 100 points before the quarter was over.

 

Theis converted a three-point play to start the Celtics on a 12-3 run, and Boston closed out the period with another surge, getting back-to-back 3-pointers by Rozier for a 100-74 lead with 1:27 left.

 

Tyreke Evans scored 15 points and Kyle O'Quinn had 11.

 

The Pacers are at New York on Friday night.

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Preds Outlast Blackhawks in Overtime

Filip Forsberg scored twice, including a timely drive in overtime, and Nashville beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Wednesday night for its third consecutive victory.

 

Colton Sissons and Viktor Arvidsson also scored to help the Predators improve to 3-0-1 on a six-game trip. Ryan Johansen and Mattias Ekholm each had two assists, and Pekka Rinne made 28 saves.

 

Forsberg just returned to Nashville's lineup on Monday after missing 17 games with a hand injury.

 

Arvidsson was activated from injured reserve on Dec. 27 after missing 21 games with a broken thumb.

 

Reunited with Johansen on one of the NHL's most dangerous lines, Forsberg and Arvidsson are beginning to round into form. Arvidsson also scored Saturday night in a 4-1 victory at Montreal.

 

Nashville had a 3-2 lead before Patrick Kane flipped a pass into the middle to Artem Anisimov, who slid a shot under Rinne with 2:21 left in regulation. Anisimov stopped a seven-game drought with his eighth of the season.

 

But Forsberg stepped up a minute into overtime, going to the net and flipping a shot over Collin Delia's left shoulder for his 16th of the season.

 

Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games. Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews also scored for the Blackhawks, and Kane had two assists. Delia finished with 33 stops.

 

The Blackhawks host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night.

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Heisman Winner Murray To Enter NFL Draft

As chatter has emerged about Kyler Murray's future, it's become increasingly clear that the Heisman Trophy winner is not guaranteed to take the money and run to baseball, despite being selected No. 9 overall by the Oakland A's in the 2018 MLB Draft. In fact, it appears Murray is going to at least test the 2019 NFL Draft waters. 

 

"The A's expect" Murray "to declare for the NFL draft," they reportedly don't seem entirely torn up about the issue, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. 

 

"Contractually, it is not a big deal," one source with knowledge of the situation told Slusser. "No harm in doing so."

 

Slusser reports Murray is "leaning towards football," primarily because he believes he could be a first-round pick in a weak quarterback class. If Murray went to the NFL and ditched the A's, he would have to pay his MLB signing bonus back, but the A's would get hosed by not receiving a compensation pick. 

 

In the NFL, if Murray were to be drafted in the first round, he would make significantly more money out of the gate: Lamar Jackson was the 32nd overall pick in last year's draft and signed a four-year contract worth more than $9.47 million. That contract would come with a fifth-year option that would pay Murray another huge chunk of "guaranteed" (for injury anyway) money. And after that, if Murray was successful, he could sign a massive contract with the team that drafted him.

 

Murray, who was taken ninth overall by the A's in the 2019 MLB Draft, has repeatedly made a point to say he would play baseball after he was drafted.

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Illinois State Wins, Bradley Loses Tuesday

>>Illinois State Downs Northern Iowa

 

Milik Yarbrough scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Phil Fayne added 19 points with seven boards, and Illinois State held off Northern Iowa 70-69 on Tuesday night.

 

Matt Chastain scored 12 points for the Redbirds (9-7, 2-1 Missouri Valley Conference), who trailed 33-32 at halftime but Fayne opened the second half with a basket and they never trailed again.

 

The Redbirds led by 10 points three different times in the second half before the Panthers rallied late, closing to 69-67 on AJ Green’s jumper with seven seconds left. Matt Hein’s made 1 of 2 from the line for a three-point lead. Green’s free throws with two seconds left closed the gap to the final score and the Panthers didn’t get off another shot.

 

Green scored 19 points with three 3-pointers for Northern Iowa (6-10, 1-2). Tywhon Pickford and Wyatt Lohaus added 11 points apiece and Isaiah Brown grabbed 10 rebounds.

 

>>Valpo Knocks Off Bradley

 

Javon Freeman scored 17 points and Valparaiso cruised to a 61-50 victory over Bradley on Tuesday night for its fourth straight win.

Freeman's dunk at the 6:50 mark of the first half gave the Crusaders a double-digit lead they held for most of the game. An 8-0 surge, capped by a dunk and 3-pointer from Luuk van Bree, pulled Bradley to 50-45 with 2:43 remaining. Bakari Evelyn answered with a 3 and Freeman added two dunks as Valparaiso closed on an 11-5 run.

 

Freeman was 7 of 10 from the field. Markus Golder added nine points and eight rebounds for the Crusaders (10-6, 3-0 Missouri Valley Conference).

 

Darrell Brown scored 14 points on 6-of-18 shooting to lead Bradley (8-8, 0-3). Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye added 11 points and made all eight of his free throws. Van Bree made three 3-pointers and finished with 12 points.

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Pacers Avenge Loss To Cavs With Win Tuesday

The Indiana Pacers were upset that they had to make several plays in the closing minutes to hold off Cleveland 123-115 and send the Cavaliers to their 10th straight loss.

 

Indiana led 38-14 late in the first quarter and was ahead by 23 points in the third against the team with the worst record in the league. But the game got close down the stretch.

 

Thaddeus Young scored 26 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 23. The Pacers needed baskets by Young and Victor Oladipo, who had 17 points, to close out the win.

 

Cleveland (8-33) suffered another blow when forward Larry Nance Jr. hurt his right knee in the first quarter and didn't return. Nance will travel with the team to New Orleans, where the Cavs begin a six-game trip Wednesday, and be re-evaluated.

 

Domantas Sabonis had 15 points for the Pacers, who have won seven of eight.

 

Jordan Clarkson scored 26 points for Cleveland, which trailed 87-64 in the third quarter before cutting the lead to five several times in the fourth.

 

Cleveland was within 115-110 with 1:24 to play, but Oladipo hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Young scored on a layup.

 

Clarkson scored 10 points in the final four minutes and the Cavaliers trailed 92-79 going into the fourth.

 

The Cavaliers had lost five straight home games by 20 or more points during their losing streak.

Alec Burks scored 19 points for Cleveland. Tristan Thompson had 15 points and 13 rebounds while rookie point guard Collin Sexton scored 14.

 

The Pacers visit Boston on Wednesday.

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Stars Down Blues

Tyler Seguin scored twice and Ben Bishop made several key saves to lead the Dallas Stars to a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

 

Seguin has six goals and seven points in his last four games. John Klingberg also scored for the Stars, who won despite generating only 17 shots on net.

 

Bishop, a St. Louis native, stopped 26 shots against his former team and improved to 5-5-1 versus the Blues.

 

David Perron scored for the Blues, who lost for the first time in eight games against the Stars at the Enterprise Center. St. Louis is 11-5-1 in its last 17 games against Dallas.

 

The Blues had two power-play chances in the first period but were unable to convert on either one.

 

Dallas had a 5-on-3 opportunity for 1:35 early in the period and made the Blues pay. Klingberg drilled a slap shot from the slot at 1:43 to make it 2-0. The shot went between goalie Jake Allen's pads for Klingberg's first goal in 18 games since Oct. 23.

 

The Blues host Montreal on Thursday.

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Sages Edge Maroons 52-51

A back-and-forth affair in Clinton Tuesday night saw 17 lead changes and seven ties
before the Monticello Sages came away with a 52-51 victory over the Maroons.
Clinton's Zeke Hickman gave the Maroons a late lead with a go-ahead three-point
shot with less than 20 seconds to play. Then, Monticello's Ben Singleton cleaned up
a barrage of last-second prayers from the Sages with a lay-up to tie the game at 51
before making an "and-one" free throw to seal the victory.

 

For the Maroons, Hickman led the way with 13 points. Senior Jared Jording
finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

 

The Sages had three players finish in double figures Tuesday, including Singleton and
Devin Graham with 14 points each. Ethan John added 10 points in the win.

 

With the loss, the Maroons fall to 6-11 on the season. The Sages improve to 12-3
after the non-conference victory.

 

Catch the Clinton girls basketball team in action Thursday on WHOW and
dewittdailynews.com when they take on Sullivan at 7:30.

 

The next Monticello broadcast on WEZC and dewittdailynews.com will also be
Thursday, featuring the Sages girls basketball team against Pontiac at 7:30.

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Clinton, Monticello Square Off Tonight at CHS

The Monticello Sages and Clinton Maroons will square off tonight at Clinton High School in non-conference boys basketball action in what will be a simulcast broadcast on WHOW/WEZC/DeWittDailyNews.com.

 

The Maroons are coming off a convincing 77-20 win over Sangamon Valley Saturday night at the New Year's Shootout from Clinton High School.

 

Matthew Overton scored 18 points in the win and Cal Case added 12. The Maroons are 6-10 overall as their win two snapped a two game skid. 

 

Meanwhile, Monticello fell to the top team in Class 1A Saturday at the St. Joe-Ogden Shootout. Cissna Park was too much for Monticello late, pulling away for a 61-48 win. The Sages enter action tonight 11-3 overall.

 

Monticello has won the last eight matchups between the two former Okaw Valley Conference members. 

 

Hear tonight's action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Packers Notes

>>Titans Offensive Coordinator To Become Packers Head Coach

 

The Green Bay Packers are turning to fast-rising offensive whiz Matt LaFleur to aid Aaron Rodgers and end a two-year absence from the postseason.

 

LaFleur accepted an offer Monday to become the next head coach of the Packers, according to a person familiar with the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the Packers nor the Titans had announced the decision.

 

The 39-year-old LaFleur spent this season as offensive coordinator for the Titans, his first calling plays in the NFL. He takes over for Mike McCarthy, who was fired during the season following a stunning home loss to Arizona on Dec. 2. Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin went 2-2 to close out the season as the Packers failed to reach the playoffs for the second straight year with a 6-9-1 record that was the second straight under .500 for the storied franchise.

 

He was offensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, leading a group that paced the NFL in scoring and was 10th in total offense under coach Sean McVay, who called the plays on offense. LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach in Atlanta for two seasons, including when Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was the NFL MVP in 2016. LaFleur also has coached with Washington and Houston, and was the quarterbacks coach for Notre Dame in 2014.

 

He will be charged with returning the Packers to the playoffs on a regular basis. McCarthy's tenure of 12-plus seasons was by and large successful, highlighted by the 2010 Super Bowl season and nine playoff appearances.

 

 

>>Former Packers Coach Mike McCarthy Interviewed By Jets

 

The New York Jets announced Saturday it completed its interview with former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, the third known coach to meet with New York since Todd Bowles was fired last Sunday night.

 

The Jets met with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on Wednesday, and former Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase on Friday. And, they're far from done with sitting down with candidates.

 

New York is also expected to interview Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard in Dallas on Sunday and Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken early next week. ESPN reported that Monken will meet with the Jets on Tuesday after interviewing with Green Bay on Saturday and Cincinnati on Monday.

 

McCarthy had a 125-77-2 regular-season record in 13 seasons with the Packers, and went 10-8 in the postseason — including a Super Bowl victory over Pittsburgh to cap the 2010 season.

 

The 55-year-old coach led Green Bay to the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons spanning 2009 through 2016, a streak at the time matched only by New England. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed most of the 2017 season with a broken collarbone as the Packers finished 7-9.

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Blues Win; Blackhawks Lose Monday

>>Blues Blank Flyers

 

Jordan Binnington became the latest goalie to stymie the Flyers. He stopped 25 shots for a shutout in his first NHL start to lead the St. Louis Blues past the Flyers 3-0 in a listless game between two of the worst teams in the league.

 

Brayden Schenn, Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron scored to make it an easy night for Binnington.

 

The Blues' win gave them 38 points and moved them past Los Angeles out of last place in the Western Conference. Only Ottawa has fewer points than the Flyers (36) in the East after Philadelphia's seventh straight loss. Both teams fired their coaches this season.

 

Binnington, a third-round pick in the 2011 draft, became the 35th goalie in NHL history to record a shutout in his first career start. The 25-year-old Binnington had played just two games in mop-up duty this season behind Jake Allen. 

 

The Blues host Dallas on Tuesday.

 

>>Blackhawks Fall To Flames

 

Johnny Gaudreau scored two more goals, David Rittich made 32 saves and the Flames beat the Blackhawks 4-3 on Monday.

The 25-year-old Gaudreau extended his goal-scoring streak to five games.

 

Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist as Western Conference-leading Calgary closed out a 3-1 trip with its second straight win. Garnet Hathaway scored an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left, and Elias Lindholm finished with two assists.

 

It was the 15th road win for the Flames, matching Tampa Bay for most in the NHL.

 

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks in the opener of a three-game homestand. Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Saad also scored, and Collin Delia made 39 stops.

 

But Chicago (16-22-7) was unable to hold off high-scoring Calgary. The Flames (27-13-4) are the first team since the 1995-96 Penguins to have four players collect 50-plus points within the first 45 games of a season.

 

Monahan tied it at 2 with a power-play goal with 1:18 left in the second, finishing a pretty passing sequence. The Flames then caught the Blackhawks in a bad line change early in the third, and Gaudreau squeezed one between Delia's pads for his 26th of the season.

 

The Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.

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Illinois Falls At Northwestern

AJ Turner hit a 3-pointer with 10.1 seconds left to give Northwestern a 68-66 victory over rival Illinois on Sunday, the Wildcats’ first Big Ten win of the season.

 

The junior forward missed a wild 3-point attempt with just under 20 seconds left, but Dererk Pardon grabbed the rebound and threw it back out to Turner for the game-winning basket.

 

Vic Law had 13 points and 10 rebounds, Turner and Ryan Taylor had 12 points apiece and Anthony Gaines added 11 for Northwestern (10-5, 1-3).

 

Ayo Dosunmu had 18 points and Adonis De La Rosa added 12 for Illinois (4-11, 0-4), which has lost four straight.

 

Giorgi Bezhanishvili gave Illinois a 66-65 lead on a follow basket with 1:31 to play. After each team had a scoreless possession, Northwestern got the ball back with 34.5 seconds to go to set up the game winner.

 

Trent Frazier missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer for the Illini.

 

Following a slow start offensively, Northwestern received a lift when freshman Ryan Greer entered the game at point guard seven minutes into the game. The Wildcats rallied for a 24-16 lead with five minutes left before halftime and seemingly had taken control.

 

But Illinois, after going scoreless for more than four minutes, closed the first half with a 15-1 run to take a 31-25 lead at the intermission.

 

Law had just two points on 1-for-6 shooting in the first half. He finished 4 for 12 from the field with six turnovers.

 

Illinois stretched its lead to eight points early in the second half before Northwestern rallied to tie the score at 42 on a 3-point play by Gaines with 13 minutes to go.

 

The game stayed tight the rest of the way.

 

Illinois will host No. 2 Michigan on Thursday night.

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Bears Fall To Eagles in Wild Card Round

Cody Parkey somehow managed to nail yet another upright and hit the crossbar while missing a 43-yard field goal in the closing seconds of a Chicago Bears 16-15 wild-card loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

 

Nick Foles gave Philadelphia a 16-15 lead on a 2-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate. Wendell Smallwood got stopped on a 2-point conversion run, Tarik Cohen returned the kickoff 35 yards to the 42, and the Bears (12-5) appeared to be in business.

 

They had third-and-2 at the 25 when Mitchell Trubisky missed Anthony Miller on a deep pass down the middle. With 10 seconds remaining, the Bears turned to Parkey, hoping their kicker could extend their breakthrough season.

 

After making three field goals earlier in the game, he sent one right between the uprights with a few feet to spare. But the Eagles called time to ice him so it didn't count.

 

Parkey then thought he booted a "great ball" on the next attempt. Several Eagles, however, said defensive tackle Treyvon Hester touched it.

 

The kick hit halfway up the upright and ricocheted off the crossbar, bringing the Bears' breakthrough season to an end.

 

The defending league champion Eagles (10-7) squeezed into the playoffs by beating Washington and having the Bears (12-5) help them by knocking off Minnesota in the season finale. Philadelphia thanked its benefactor with a 12-play, 60-yard drive on which Foles, the Super Bowl MVP last February, hit six passes.

 

Philly plays at New Orleans (13-3) next Sunday. Chicago's sensational turnaround season from last place to the NFC North title is over.

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Bulls, Pacers Lose Sunday

>>Nets Beat Bulls

 

D'Angelo Russell scored 28 points, DeMarre Carroll had 20 points off the bench and the Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 117-100 on Sunday for their third straight victory.

 

Jarrett Allen added 19 and six rebounds as the Nets improved to 12-3 in their last 15 games, matching their best 15-game stretch since moving to Brooklyn in 2012.

 

Russell topped 20 points for the fourth straight game and is averaging 26.5 points in the span.

The Nets made 16 3-pointers. Russell was 6 for 14 from beyond the arc.

 

Zach LaVine had 27 points for Chicago and Bobby Portis scored 17 in 20 minutes off the bench after missing seven games with a sprained right ankle. Kris Dunn added 16 points, but the Nets pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bulls 29-18.

 

The Nets opened a 12-point lead when Russell hit a 3-pointer 58 seconds into the second quarter.

Led by energized play from LaVine and Porter, the Bulls roared back to briefly take a one-point lead before the half, then settle for a 55-all tie at halftime.

 

LaVine had 16 points and Portis had nine in the second quarter. LaVine made five straight baskets - four on driving layups, plus a 3-pointer - in a 3 1/2-minute stretch to put the Bulls back in the game.

 

Russell had 10 points and Allen had nine at the half, then both kicked into a higher offensive gear to start the third as the Nets pulled out to a another 12-point lead midway through the quarter. Russell hit three straight 3-pointers in 2:31 stretch.

 

The Nets settled for an 88-82 lead entering the fourth quarter, then used a 16-5 run to seal the victory as Russell kept rolling.

 

The Bulls are at Portland on Wednesday in the opener of a five-game trip.

 

>>Raptors Roll Pacers

 

Norman Powell scored a season-high 23 points, Pascal Siakam had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Raptors beat Indiana 121-105 on Sunday night, snapping the Pacers' six-game winning streak.

Serge Ibaka scored 18 points, while Kyle Lowry had 12 points and eight assists after missing the previous six games because of a sore lower back.

 

Kawhi Leonard rested on the second night of a back-to-back, but Lowry played 32 minutes and shot 4 for 10, going 2 for 6 from 3-point range.

 

The Pacers lost their 11th consecutive game north of the border. Indiana's most recent win Toronto was March 1, 2013.

 

Lowry also had three steals and three rebounds, and took a pair of charges.

 

Danny Green scored 15 points and Fred VanVleet had 12 as the Raptors returned from a victory in Milwaukee on Saturday to win their fifth straight at home.

 

Powell made 10 of 12 shots and scored 11 points in the final quarter.

 

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 points, Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Oladipo scored 16 points for Indiana. The Pacers have lost five straight and 14 of the past 16 against the Raptors.

 

Thaddeus Young scored 14 points and Darren Collison had 11.

 

Indiana has won 13 of its past 16, losing twice to Toronto and once to Cleveland in that span. The Raptors rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Pacers 99-96 on Dec. 19.

 

Both teams shot better than 60 percent in the first quarter but the Raptors made six of nine attempts from 3-point range to lead 37-35.

 

Powell scored 10 points in the second and Toronto led 70-63 at halftime. Ibaka had 10 in the third as the Raptors took a 96-84 edge into the final quarter.

 

The Pacers visit Cleveland on Tuesday night.

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Blackhawks Down Penguins

Dylan Strome broke a tie 1:48 into the third period and the Blackhawks beat Pittsburgh 5-3 on Sunday night to end the Penguins' winning streak at eight games

 

Strome scored seconds after a power-play expired, beating fallen goalie Casey DeSmith off a pass from Patrick Kane. Jonathan Toews added an empty-net goal and had an assist to run his points streak to six games.

 

Alex DeBrincat scored on a power play for his 19th of the season, and Chris Kunitz and Duncan Keith both scored their first for the Blackhawks. They won their 10th straight against the Penguins, including five straight in Pittsburgh. The Blackhawks haven't lost to the Penguins since March 30, 2014, in Pittsburgh.

 

Chicago snapped a two-game skid and has won three of five and six of nine following an eight-game losing streak in November.

 

Kane had three assists. He's the 20th player in NHL history and the first American-born skater to begin his career with at least 12 straight seasons with 30-plus assists. Cam Ward stopped 31 shots.

 

Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist and Derick Brassard scored for the Penguins, and DeSmith stopped 26 shots.

 

Pittsburgh scored twice in the first 4:33.

 

The Blackhawks host Calgary on Monday night.

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Phil Fayne leads Illinois State over Evansville 58-48

Phil Fayne scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half to help Illinois State pull away and beat Evansville 58-46 on Saturday.

 

Fayne's layup with 3:51 to play put him over 1,000 points in his career. Milik Yarbrough added 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Illinois State (8-7, 1-1 Missouri Valley Conference). Zach Copeland chipped in with 11 points and Keyshawn Evans added nine points on three 3-pointers.

 

Marty Hill and Evan Kuhlman scored 14 points apiece to lead Evansville (7-8, 1-1), which shot just 32 percent from the floor and was 7 of 26 (27 percent) from long range.

 

Evans' 3-pointer with 11 minutes left in the first half gave the Redbirds the lead for good. Kuhlman's 3 pulled the Purple Aces to 35-34 midway through the second half, but the Redbirds answered with a 15-5 run and held a double-digit lead in the last four minutes.

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Williams with 18 points, Indiana State edges Bradley 65-60

Christian Williams scored 18 points with 11 rebounds and Indiana State edged Bradley 65-60 on Saturday.

 

Williams was just 3 of 12 from the field but sank 11 of 14 foul shots for the Sycamores (9-5, 1-1 Missouri Valley Conference) who were 30 of 47 (64 percent) from the line overall. Jordan Barnes added 16 points with eight rebounds and Clayton Hughes chipped in nine points.

 

The teams were tied 25-all at the break and Bradley inched ahead by six points early in the second half. Indiana State fought back with the help of a Williams 3-pointer and took the lead for good on a free throw by Emondre Rickman with 13:21 to play. Bradley kept pace until a Cooper Neese 3 made it 57-48 with 1:39 remaining and the Sycamores held on for the win.

 

Darrell Brown scored a season-high 32 points for the Braves (8-7, 0-2) and was the only Bradley player to hit double-figure scoring.

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Maroons Top Storm in New Years Showdown

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Sangamon Valley Storm 77-20 on Saturday night in the Clinton New Years Showdown. Matthew Overton led Clinton with 18 points. Cal Case had 12 points and Zeke Hickman and Clayton Welch each added 9.

 

Sangamon Valley was led by Cameron Calhoun with 10 points.

 

With the win, the Maroons improve to 6-10. Sangamon Valley falls to 2-9.

 

Tune in Tuesday, January 8, as the Maroons take on the Monticello Sages at home. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, Your Easy Choice 95.9 FM WEZC, streamed online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

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Sages Fall to Cissna Park at St. Joe Shootout 61-48

The Monticello Sages gave the number one team in 1A all they could handle for three quarters at the St. Joesph-Ogden Shootout Saturday afternoon but eventually came up short 61-48 to Cissna Park.

 

Monticello's Ben Singleton finished with a game-high 22 points on 9-15 shooting. Ryan Reeder added eight points on offense and five steals on defense for the Sages.

 

Cissna Park was led by Christian Stadeli with 15 points. They shot over 67% from the field as a team.

 

With the loss, the Sages drop to 11-3 on the season. Cissna Park improves to 14-1.

 

Catch the Sages in action on Tuesday when they travel to Clinton to take on the Maroons. You can hear the game live at 7 PM on WHOW, WEZC, and dewittdailynews.com.
 

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Maroons Drop First Conference Game to Tuscola 51-42

Seven different Maroons scored at least a point Friday night, but it wasn't enough as
they fell to the Tuscola Warriors 51-42 in their first conference match-up of the
season. Jared Jording led the Maroons in scoring with eight points. Zeke Hickman
and Cal Case each added seven in the loss.

 

The Warriors were led by Jalen Quinn, who scored a game-high 24 points.

 

With the loss, the Maroons fall to 5-10 (0-1) on the season. The Warriors improve to 11-3 (1-0).

 

The boy's basketball team is back in action Saturday, January 5th against Sangamon Valley
at 7:30. The game can be heard on WHOW and streamed online at
dewittdailynews.com.

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Bears Host Eagles in First Round of NFL Playoffs

The Chicago Bears posted their best record since 2006 when they went 13-3 on the way to Super Bowl appearance, ultimately losing to the Colts. 

 

The Bears captured the NFC North championship and made playoffs for first time since 2010 team won division. 

 

Coming into action Sunday when the Bears host the Philadelphia Eagles, the Bears have won nine of 10.

 

The Eagles won five of last six to finish the regular season.

 

Alshon Jeffery returns to Chicago this weekend with 843 yards receiving on the year, his most since 1,133 with Chicago in 2014.

 

Game time from Soldier Field is 3:40 on NBC.

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Indiana Drops Illinois

Romeo Langford scored a career-high 28 points, Juwan Morgan added 14 points and 10 rebounds and Indiana defeated Illinois 73-65 in a Big Ten matchup Thursday night. The Hoosiers (12-2, 3-0) have won seven straight games.

 

With Indiana looking rusty, the Fighting Illini charged to an early lead, making 11 of their first 18 shots on the way to a 25-15 lead.

 

Langford shot an efficient 8 for 13 from the field and 11 of 15 from the line for Indiana. The talented freshman set the tone for the Hoosiers in the second half, scoring the first 10 points for the Hoosiers. Langford totaled 19 points in the half on seven shots.

 

Samson Oladimeji scored 20 points and Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 18 for Illinois.

 

After being down 10 through the first 9:11 of action, Indiana turned up its defense and limited Illinois to 35 percent shooting for the rest of the game. Indiana forced nearly as many turnovers (21) as field goals allowed (25). Six of Illinois' turnovers came on forced shot-clock violations.

 

Indiana's defense also sparked its offense, leading to 22 points off forced turnovers.

 

The Hoosiers led by as many as 15 points, but a late run by Illinois, fueled by a three-quarters court press that took the Hoosiers out of rhythm, helped cut the lead to four points. But Langford and Morgan made their free throws late and extended the lead to eight points, the final margin.

 

The Fighting Illini lost their third straight game and the road ahead doesn't appear to give them a break, with three ranked opponents on the schedule for January.

 

Illinois returns to action Sunday on the road against in-state rival Northwestern.

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Blues Win; Blackhawks Lose Thursday

>>Blues Blast Caps

 

Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season but the Blues came back to beat the Capitals 5-2 on Thursday night after Oskar Sundqvist knocked in the go-ahead goal.

 

Ovechkin's first-period score snapped a six-game drought and tied him with Mike Gartner as the only players in NHL history to begin their careers with 14 straight 30-goal seasons. Gartner scored 30 or more in his first 15 seasons for Washington, the Minnesota North Stars, the New York Rangers and Toronto from 1979-94.

 

Sundqvist's goal stood as the game-winner. Sundqvist missed the first eight games of the season with head and shoulder issues after a hit from Washington's Tom Wilson in a preseason game on Sept. 30.

 

Wilson ended up being suspended 14 games. Robert Bortuzzo and Wilson got into a fight early in the second period.

 

Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who stopped a two-game skid. Colton Parayko, Robert Thomas and Tyler Bozak also scored, and Jake Allen made 23 saves.

 

Brett Connolly scored for the Capitals, who had won five road games in a row. Braden Holtby had 37 saves but lost to St. Louis for the first time in his career (7-1-0).

 

Parayko's power-play goal tied it at 2 with 7:37 left in the second period. That ended an 0-for-21 slump with the man advantage on home ice for the Blues spanning seven games.

 

Sundqvist gave St. Louis a 3-2 lead with a diving sweep of a rebound off Pietrangelo's shot from the point with 3:27 remaining in the second.

 

Pietrangelo and Bozak added insurance goals in the third.

 

The Blues host the New York Islanders on Saturday.

 

>>Islanders Outlast Blackhawks in Overtime

 

Devin Toews knocked in the rebound of his own shot at 1:48 of overtime to lift the Islanders past the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Thursday night for their fifth straight win.

Mathew Barzal scored twice to keep up his scoring binge and help the Islanders win for the eighth time in nine games. Robin Lehner, making his third straight start, stopped 19 shots as New York moved to 3-0-1 in four games at the Nassau Coliseum this season.

 

Patrick Kane and Dominik Kahun scored for Chicago, which lost for the third time in five games. Delia, making his third start of the season and sixth of his career, finished with a career-high 47 saves.

 

Kane tied the score with on a one-timer that he didn't hit cleanly and the puck fluttered off the post and in past Lehner for his 23rd at 5:01 of the third.

 

The Blackhawks are at Pittsburgh on Sunday to complete a two-game trip.

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HS GBB: Prairie Central Downs Monticello

Three players went for double-figures for Prairie Central Thursday in a 54-39 win over Monticello in the Illini Prairie Conference opener in girls basketball action from Monticello High School.

 

Elly Haberkorn and Emma Kinkade each netted 12 and Kate Winterland added ten points.

 

Renni Fultz paced the Lady Sages with 12 points as Monticello dropped to 4-10 overall. Cloe Clark chipped in with nine points.

 

The Lady Hawks even their record at 9-9 overall.

 

Hear Monticello girls basketball action next Thursday night from Pontiac at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Clinton Lady Maroons Defeat Tri-valley Lady Vikings

The Lady Maroons defeated the Lady Vikings by a score of 52-42 on Thursday night. The Lady Maroons were led by Ryty Barlow with 13 points, Maddie Stevens with 10 points, and Destiny Schlesinger with 9 points.

 

The Lady Vikings were led by Regan Danko with 17 points and Libby Kussman with 11 points.

 

With the Win, the Lady Maroons improve to 10-8 overall.

 

Tune in Thursday, January 10th as the Maroons take on Sullivan. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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ISU, Bradley Lose Missouri Valley Openers Wednesday

>>Valpraiso's Buzzer Beater Downs ISU

 

Markus Golder put up a leaping, one-handed shot from half court , the ball snapping through the net at the buzzer as Valparaiso completed a wild last-minute comeback to defeat Illinois State 58-56 in a Missouri Valley Conference opener Wednesday night.

 

Golder finished with 10 points and all seven of his second-half points came in the final 1:15 as the Crusaders (8-6, 1-0) rallied, outscoring Illinois State 12-2 over that span. The Redbirds (7-7, 0-1) held a 54-53 lead and had leading scorer Zach Copeland at the line with two seconds remaining.

 

Copeland missed both free throws with Golder rebounding, sprinting up court in a crowd and putting up the winner.

 

Ryan Fazekas led Valparaiso with 14 points and Derrik Smits added 10 with nine rebounds.

 

Copeland scored 21 points with five 3-pointers to lead Illinois State and Phil Fayne added 14 points.

 

Breaking away from a 26-26 halftime tie, Illinois State opened the final period on a 12-1 run and held the lead up until Golder’s half-court buzzer-beater.

 

>>Northern Iowa Gets By Bradley

 

Trae Berhow scored 14 points with four 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds and Northern Iowa beat Bradley 65-47 in Wednesday night's Missouri Valley Conference opener.

Isaiah Brown also scored 14 points and AJ Green added 10 points and made four assists for the Panthers (6-8), who held Bradley to 38-percent shooting and are now 32-30 all-time against the Braves. Justin Dahl grabbed eight rebounds.

 

Nate Kennell's 3 tied it at 20, but Dahl hit back-to-back jumpers in a 14-2 run and the Panthers led 34-24 at halftime. Berhow scored eight in a 12-8 run and Isiah Brown scored all seven in a 7-2 run for a 55-36 Northern Iowa lead with 5:44 to go.

 

Elijah Childs scored 12 points and Kennell added 11 for the Braves (8-6) who shot just 37.5 percent (18 of 48) from the floor including 5 of 17 (29.4) from 3-point range.

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Magic Topple Bulls

Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 12 rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, Aaron Gordon added 18 points and a career-high nine assists, and the Magic led the entire way in a 112-84 rout of the Chicago Bulls.

 

Terrence Ross scored 15 off the bench and Evan Fournier had 13 points and seven assists for Orlando, which has won three of four. The Magic shot 58 percent from the field and had 31 assists on 44 field goals.

 

Zach LaVine had 16 points while Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn added 14 apiece for Chicago, which has dropped two straight after winning three of four.

 

Orlando charged out to a 32-16 advantage after the first quarter and took a 62-45 halftime lead. Gordon and Ross led the way with 12 first-half points apiece on 11-for-15 combined shooting. Vucevic added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

 

The Magic were 25 for 39 (64 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 7 of 12 on 3-pointers.

Things didn't get any better for Chicago. The Magic started the third quarter with 11 straight points to stretch the margin to 73-45.

 

Orlando's advantage was 90-62 entering the fourth period behind Vucevic's 11 points in the third.

The closest Chicago got in the fourth was 94-71. It was a far cry from its 125-100 loss Monday at Charlotte.

 

Bobby Portis (sprained right ankle) missed his sixth straight game but is close to returning.

The Bulls host the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

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Trubisky Focused On Not Making Making Mistakes

It hasn't been a streak of accuracy on a level with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady.

 

Nevertheless, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has eliminated interceptions over his past three starts.

 

Whether Trubisky can continue making good decisions and throws in his first playoff game at Soldier Field against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles could go a long way toward determining if the Bears' season continues.

 

Trubisky suffered through a difficult three-interception game in the Bears' 15-6 win over the Los Angeles Rams, when he returned from a two-game absence because of a shoulder injury.

 

After a third-quarter interception, Bears coach Matt Nagy went entirely to the ground game the rest of the way. Since then, Trubisky has become deadly accurate and clutch.

 

Trubisky went 63 of 83 for 644 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions for a passer rating of 109.7 in wins over the Packers, 49ers and Vikings.

 

The 24-10 win at Minnesota on Sunday featured some of Trubisky's best play on third down. He accounted for seven third-down conversions. And he did it against the NFL's best third-down defense.

 

S Eddie Jackson (ankle) and OLB Aaron Lynch (elbow) did not practice after missing the last two games. 

 

WRs Taylor Gabriel (ribs), Anthony Miller (shoulder) and Allen Robinson II (ribs) and G Kyle Long (ankle) all went through a full practice.

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Local Basketball Squads Look Forward to Getting Back To Action in New Year

Area basketball squads will look to get the new year underway right as they get back to action in the coming days.

 

The Maroons have been off since the 21st of December when they lost to LeRoy 56-29. The Maroons will look to bounce back with a couple games this week, starting Friday night at Tuscola before returning home for the annual Clinton New Year's Shootout.

 

Off a third-place finish at the Riverton Holiday Tournament, the Lady Maroons return to action tomorrow night with a matchup at home against Tri-Valley. It will be the first time the Lady Maroons will have played at home since December 13 and they don't return home again until January 28, including action at the Central Illinois Conference tournament at Decatur St. Teresa High School. 

 

Off a third-place finish at the annual Holiday Hoopla tournament, the Monticello Sages head to the St. Joseph-Ogden Shootout Saturday afternoon for a matchup with the top team in Class 1A, Cissna Park. At 11-2 overall, Monticello struggled in the Hoopla, just edging out Oakwood before a loss to Paxton-Buckley-Loda, who took second at the Hoopla, followed another close win over Ridgeview and then a blowout win of Tuscola. Monticello came into the Hoopla having lost at Marshall the Friday before Christmas and was struggling offensively.

 

Off of a fourth-place finish at the annual Holiday Hoopla, the Monticello Lady Sages get back in action Thursday night, as they open Illini Prairie action against IVC. GCMS used a big second half to get past Monticello in the third-place game of the annual Holiday Hoopla, 48-35.

 

Finishing 2-2 last week, the Lady Sages enter action this week at 5-9 overall.

 

Hear Monticello girls action Thursday on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. Hear Monticello boys action Saturday from St. Joe also on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Hear Clinton boys action Saturday on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Bruins Down Blackhawks in Annaul Winter Classic

David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist, Tuuka Rask made 36 saves and the Bruins beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Tuesday in the Winter Classic at Notre Dame.

 

Bergeron, Sean Kuraly and Brad Marchand also scored as Boston won for the second time in three appearances in the NHL's annual outdoor game on New Year's Day. The Bruins went 2 for 5 with the man advantage and killed off each of the Blackhawks' four power plays.

 

The game was tied at 2 when Boston (22-14-4) caught a break in the third period - a little luck at the home of the Fighting Irish. Matt Grzelcyk's big slap shot went off teammate Chris Wagner in front, but Kuraly beat Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling to the rebound and backhanded the puck past Cam Ward at 10:20.

 

Jonathan Toews sent a shot off the post after the Blackhawks pulled Ward for an extra attacker with about 1:30 left. Marchand then added an empty-netter for his 13th of the season.

 

Chicago (15-21-6) had won five of six, but it remained winless in an NHL-high fourth appearance in the Winter Classic. It also dropped to 1-5 in six outdoor games - also tops in the league.

 

Brendan Perlini and Dominik Kahun scored for the Blackhawks, and Ward made 32 stops in his first outdoor NHL game.

 

Chicago jumped in front when it scored first for the sixth straight game. David Kampf dug the puck out from behind the net and found a wide-open Perlini in the slot 8:30 into the first.

 

Pastrnak responded with his team-best 24th goal. With Artem Anisimov in the penalty box for tripping, Pastrnak got free in front and slid the puck past Ward at 12:38. He then celebrated by flapping his arms like a bird.

 

The teams exchanged goals again in the second. Kahun scored his fifth of the season when he redirected Erik Gustafsson's shot by Rask, but Bergeron broke up a potential short-handed breakaway for Kampf before tying it at 2 when he scored another power-play goal with 1:12 left in the period.

 

The Blackhawks visit the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

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Northwestern defense stuns No. 20 Utah 31-20 in Holiday Bowl

In a dizzying nine-minute stretch of the third quarter, the Northwestern Wildcats turned three turnovers into 21 points to stun the No. 20 Utes 31-20 Monday night.

 

The highlight was Jared McGee's 82-yard fumble return for a touchdown, the middle turnover in the nightmarish stretch for Utah.

 

The Wildcats (9-5) scored 28 points total in the third quarter to win their third straight bowl game under Fitzgerald. The Green Bay Packers reportedly want to interview Fitzgerald for their head coaching job.

 

Fitzgerald credited the seniors for winning 36 games in four seasons and gushed about the program's future.

 

Senior Clayton Thorson became the all-time leading passer for Northwestern, going 21 of 30 for 241 yards for 10,731 career yards. He broke Brett Basanez's school record of 10,580. Thorson threw for two touchdowns and was intercepted once in making his 53rd straight start for the Wildcats, the most by a quarterback in Big Ten history. He is the program's all-time winningest quarterback at 36-17. He was replaced after taking a hard shot midway through the fourth quarter, but came back in.

Utah (9-5) cruised to a 20-3 halftime lead behind redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Shelley before it all fell apart in the third quarter. Shelley had two interceptions and a fumble. Utah had four turnovers in the third quarter and five in the second half.

 

On the opening drive of the second half, Shelley threw the ball right to Northwestern's Blake Gallagher. Thorson's 52-yard pass to Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman set up his 4-yard scoring toss to Riley Lees.

 

The Utes had the ball first-and-goal at the 6 when Shelley rolled right, was hit from behind by Joe Gaziano and fumbled. McGee picked it up on the third bounce and ran down the sideline untouched for an 82-yard return that pulled the Wildcats to 20-17.

 

The Utes advanced to the 30 and looked like they had enough for a first down on a catch by Jaylen Dixon, but he was stripped by Trae Williams. JR Pace recovered and returned it 34 yards. Two plays later, Northwestern took a 24-20 lead when Thorson threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to senior offensive lineman Trey Klock, a key player in goal line and short-yardage situations.

 

Northwestern added another touchdown in the third quarter when Lees scored from 8 yards out for a 31-20 lead.

 

Pace had a second interception in the third quarter, on a deflected pass.

 

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the second half was a nightmare.

 

Shelley was making his fourth start in place of Tyler Huntley, who broke his collarbone against Arizona State on Nov. 3. Also out were leading rusher Zack Moss, leading receiver Britain Covey and leading tackler Chase Hansen, a senior.

 

Shelley threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Dixon and a 4-yarder to tight end Jake Jackson, both in the first quarter.

 

Utah lost for the just the second time in its last 16 bowls dating to 1999. Whittingham's bowl record dropped to 11-2. He was trying to become the first to win the Holiday Bowl as a player and coach. He played in the first four Holiday Bowls with BYU, going 2-2. He was inducted into the Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Oklahoma State edges No. 24 Missouri 38-33 in Liberty Bowl

Taylor Cornelius tied a Liberty Bowl record with four touchdown passes and Kolby Peel made a critical fourth-down stop with 1:01 left as the Cowboys upset No. 24 Missouri 38-33 on Monday.

The teams combined for 1,139 total yards in the type of game that the Big 12's high-powered offenses produce on most autumn Saturdays. Missouri left the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference in 2012.

 

Missouri (8-5) faced fourth-and-1 from Oklahoma State's 9-yard line when quarterback Drew Lock attempted a keeper around the right end. Peel, a freshman, made a diving ankle tackle that stopped Lock short of the first-down marker.

 

That allowed Oklahoma State (7-6) to survive a game it had led 35-19 heading into the fourth quarter. The Cowboys snapped Missouri's four-game winning streak and avoided their first losing season since 2005, the first year of Gundy's tenure.

 

Cornelius, a fifth-year senior and former walk-on, went 26 of 44. His four touchdown passes tied a record set four previous times in the Liberty Bowl's 60-year history.

 

Cornelius also threw two interceptions to Cam Hilton that sparked Missouri's comeback try. Both interceptions led to Missouri touchdowns - an 86-yard completion from Lock to Memphis resident Johnathon Johnson and a 55-yard run by Larry Rountree III.

 

Rountree ran for 204 yards and Johnson caught nine passes for 185 yards. Lock was 23 of 38 for 373 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

 

Chuba Hubbard rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown for Oklahoma State. Tyron Johnson had seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Missouri wasted two chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma State was clinging to a 35-33 lead when Mike Scott blocked Tucker McCann's 42-yard field goal attempt with 9:22 left.

Matt Ammendola kicked a 27-yard field goal that extended Oklahoma State's lead to 38-33 before Peel's tackle sealed the win.

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Herbert sparks Oregon past Michigan State 7-6 in Redbox Bowl

Justin Herbert shook off a sluggish day and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Mitchell in the fourth quarter, and Oregon held on after Michigan State botched a field goal attempt for a 7-6 victory in the Redbox Bowl on Monday.

 

Herbert passed for 166 yards and extended his streak on a day when the Ducks' offense mostly sputtered.

 

Oregon (9-4) crossed midfield only three times and couldn't get into the end zone until Herbert found Mitchell in the right front of the end zone for the deciding score. The Ducks' defense held up from there but got some help from Michigan State's special teams.

 

The Spartans were lined up for a 50-yard field goal attempt when quarterback Brian Lewerke, who doubles as the holder, bobbled the snap, then attempted to run before hurriedly throwing an incompletion near the sideline.

 

After Michigan State's defense forced a three-and-out on the following possession, the Spartans took over at their own 42, but Lewerke's long pass on 4th-and-12 was knocked down by Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham.

 

Lewerke completed 22 of 40 passes for 172 yards with one interception. It's the third time in four games that Michigan State (7-6) has failed to score a touchdown.

 

Running back LJ Scott ran for 84 yards on 24 carries, ending his injury-riddled season with the Spartans on a high note after being limited to five games. The senior running back declined to redshirt this year and declared for the NFL draft in early December.

 

Matt Goghlin kicked a pair of 34-yard field goals but he also missed one from 50.

 

It was Oregon's first bowl victory since beating Florida State in the 2015 Rose Bowl.

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