Local Sports

Packers Topple Rams

Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score in the Green Bay Packers' 36-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Not bad for someone who hadn't practiced all week.


Rodgers went 28 of 45 for 307 yards as the Packers bounced back from a 34-31 loss at Minnesota. The reigning MVP threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to Randall Cobb and 5 yards to A.J. Dillon.


His injury had caused him to practice just once in the week leading up to his 385-yard, four-touchdown effort at Minnesota.


The Rams outscored Green Bay 11-0 in the fourth quarter, but their comeback attempt ended when Adrian Amos recovered an onside kick with 17 seconds left.


Green Bay (9-3) has never lost consecutive games within the same season during Matt LaFleur's three-year coaching tenure. The Packers head into their off week with a 3 1/2-game lead over Minnesota (5-6) in the NFC Central.


The Rams (7-4) dropped their third straight game and continually made mistakes to create scoring opportunities for Green Bay, which scored 16 points off three Los Angeles turnovers.


Matthew Stafford went 21 of 38 for 302 yards with three touchdown passes. But he also lost a fumble to set up a touchdown and had an interception returned for a touchdown. Stafford has thrown a pick-6 in each of the last three games.


Odell Beckham Jr. had five catches for 81 yards with a 54-yard touchdown in his second game as a Ram.


Rodgers opened the scoring and put the Packers ahead for good with a 1-yard touchdown to cap a drive that began at the Rams 6-yard line. Green Bay's Rashan Gary, coming back from an elbow injury that sidelined him last week, sacked Stafford and hit the quarterback's elbow to cause a fumble that Preston Smith recovered to give the Packers first-and-goal.


In the third quarter, Los Angeles' J.J. Koski was returning a punt when Dominique Dafney forced a fumble that Krys Barnes recovered at the Rams 27. That turnover set up Mason Crosby's 29-yard field goal that extended Green Bay's lead to 30-17.


Later in the third, Rasul Douglas made it 36-17 by stepping in front of Stafford's pass to NFL receiving leader Cooper Kupp and scoring his first career touchdown on a 33-yard interception return.


Cobb didn't play the second half due to a groin injury. Cobb caught four passes for 95 yards in the first half.


The Packers are off next week before hosting Chicago on Dec. 12.


Bucks Top Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 13 rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to seven, routing the Indiana Pacers 118-100 on Sunday night.


The Bucks led by five at halftime and pulled away with a 39-27 third quarter. Guard Jrue Holiday scored 11 of his 23 points in the quarter.


Much like the surging Bucks, who improved to 13-8, Holiday has been hot in averaging 19.7 points in the last four victories. He also had nine assists and seven rebounds against Indiana.


Bobby Portis scored 15 points, Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton each had 14, and Indianapolis native George Hill added 13 for the Bucks.


Caris LeVert led the Pacers with a season-high 23 points. Malcolm Brogdon had 16.

fter a season-high 12 assists Friday night in a home win over Toronto, Brogdon had just two. 


Domantas Sabonis scored a season-low four points on 1-of-8 shooting.


The Pacers are at Minnesota on Monday night.


Sharks Blank Blackhawks

Timo Meier scored on a deflection and added an empty-net goal, James Reimer earned his 42nd career shutout, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Sunday night.


The Sharks won for the third time in four starts, all with Reimer in goal. He was only occasionally challenged en route to his first shutout in 22 months, stopping 29 shots.


The loss was the third in five games for Chicago, and dropped the Blackhawks to 6-3-0 since Derek King took over as head coach.


Chicago forward Dylan Strome was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. He'd been in former coach Jeremy Colliton's doghouse at the start of the season, missing the first four games and six of the first eight.


Blackhawks: Start a three-game trip Thursday night in Washington.


Former Bears Star Dan Hampton Arrested on Drunken Driving Charge

Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Dan Hampton, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, has been arrested in Indiana for allegedly driving a vehicle while drunk.


The Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana said Hampton was arrested Nov. 20 on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Winfield, where he lives. Winfield is about 50 miles (80.47 kilometers) from Chicago.


Hampton bonded out of jail the next morning after bail was set at $25,000.


Hampton, 64, played for the Bears from 1979, when was drafted with the fourth overall pick, until 1990. He was a member of the Bears’ Super Bowl-winning team following the 1985 season.


Hampton played in college at Arkansas, where he was a two-time Southwestern All-Conference selection and Defensive Player of the year in his final season.


After retiring as a player, he worked as a TV and radio analyst, including as a host of the “The Hamp & O’B Show” on Chicago’s WGN Radio.


UPDATED: IHSA High School Boys Football State Championship Scores

Class 1A:


Lena-Winslow 38, Carrollton 25, F


Class 2A:


Wilmington 24, Nashville 7, F


Class 3A:


Byron 35, Tolono Unity 7, F


Class 4A:


Joliet Catholic 56, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 27, F


Class 5A:


Fenwick 34, Kankakee 15, F


Class 6A:


Cary-Grove 37, East St. Louis 36, F


Class 7A:


Wheaton North 35, Chicago St. Rita 6, F


Class 8A:


Lockport 24, Maine South 6, F


High School Football Championship Weekend

It's the culmination of the high school football season as the State finals shift to DeKalb on the campus of Northern Illinois University.


Here are the matchups:


Class 1A


Lena-Winslow    10:00am


Class 2A


Wilmington         1:00pm


Class 3A


Byron         4:00pm
Tolono Unity


Class 4A


Joliet Catholic     7:00pm
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin


Saturday championship matchups:


Class 5A


Fenwick         10:00am


Class 6A


Cary-Grove     1:00pm
East St. Louis


Class 7A


Wheaton North    4:00 pm
Chicago St. Rita


Class 8A 


Lockport          7:00pm
Maine South


Santos' game-ending FG ends Bears' skid versus winless Lions

Cairo Santos made a 28-yard game-ending field goal to give the slumping Chicago Bears a 16-14 victory over the winless Detroit Lions on Thursday.


Detroit made many mistakes, early and late, to extend its winless skid to 15 games since beating the Bears on the road nearly a year ago. The Lions had 10 penalties, including three in a row when they were at midfield that ended their chance to score on their last possession.


Andy Dalton, starting in place of injured rookie Justin Fields, led the Bears on an 18-play, 69-yard drive that took the final 8:30 off the clock.


Dalton converted a third-and-5 with a 13-yard pass to Damiere Byrd to get the Bears to midfield. Detroit later helped out, giving them 5 yards on a penalty for calling consecutive timeouts without a play in between.


On the next snap, Dalton converted third-and-4 with a 7-yard pass to Byrd. With only one timeout left, Dalton was able to kneel to run the clock down to 1 second before calling a timeout to set up Santos' third field goal.


Dalton finished 24 of 39 for 317 yards with a go-ahead, 17-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham late in the first half and an interception.


Goff was 21 of 25 for 171 yards with two touchdowns and a fumble on a play that was reversed after Nagy challenged. Goff threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds on his first drive and a 17-yard pass to T.J. Hockenson late in the third that helped Detroit take a 14-13 lead that it simply failed to keep.


Bears Visit Detroit

Who coaches the Chicago Bears after Thursday seems to be the bigger topic now than who their starting quarterback will be this week.


Bears coach Matt Nagy said Tuesday Andy Dalton will start against the Detroit Lions for injured Justin Fields, then spent half of his press conference dealing with a report saying he has been told he will no longer coach the Bears after Thursday’s game.


The Bears have lost five straight and for three straight years have had losing streaks of four games or more. So Nagy’s job status going forward has been a hot debate throughout Chicago. Chants of “Fire Nagy,” were heard at times in Soldier Field during Sunday’s 16-13 loss to Baltimore — and even at the United Center during a Chicago Bulls game.


The report about the firing was by Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Konkol, a former news reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. It did not indicate a source.


Nagy said he normally talks on a regular basis with team general manager Ryan Pace, President Ted Phillips and board chairman George McCaskey, but not this week as there were no meetings scheduled.


The Bears have never fired a coach during midseason.


Meanwhile, Dan Campbell knows he can’t be picky.


With his team at 0-9-1 and seven games left, the Detroit Lions coach would happily take a win on any day at any NFL stadium.


Beating the Chicago Bears on Thursday, though, would be even better.


It helps that, for one of the first times this year, the Lions seem to have a serious shot at victory. After going into their Week 9 bye giving up an average of 30.5 points per game, Detroit held the Steelers to 16 in a Nov. 14 tie, then allowed 13 in a three-point loss in Cleveland on Sunday.


A big part of that improvement has come from forcing five turnovers in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. They had only gotten seven takeaways in their first eight games.


The Lions have also discovered a running game, picking up 397 yards in the last two games after struggling to get anything going in the first eight weeks.


D’Andre Swift went over 130 yards against Pittsburgh and Cleveland, much to the delight of one of his key blockers.


The Bears placed slot cornerback Duke Shelley on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and elevated defensive lineman Margus Hunt from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Safety Eddie Jackson practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day and the Bears are hoping he can return from a hamstring injury suffered Oct. 31 against San Francisco.


Erne snaps tie, Red Wings beat Blues 4-2 to stop 4-game skid

Adam Erne scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, Alex Nedeljkovic made 35 saves and the Detroit Red Wings defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Wednesday night.


Dylan Larkin, Robby Fabbri and streaking rookie Lucas Raymond also scored for the Red Wings, who snapped a four-game skid and improved their record to 9-9-3.


Making his second straight start, Nedeljkovic turned in several highlight-reel stops - including a sprawling glove save with 13:05 left to preserve a one-goal lead.


Pavel Buchnevich and David Perron scored for the Blues, who were playing with a full and healthy roster for the first time this season. Perron's goal snapped a 13-game scoreless drought.


Fabbri had two points against his former team, including an empty-net goal to seal the win. 


The Blues opened the scoring with a power-play goal from Buchnevich, who sent a one-timer on a pass from Kyrou past Nedeljkovic midway through the first period.


Raymond, who leads NHL rookies in scoring, tied it a few minutes later with a breakaway goal for his team-leading 20th point and 11th in the past 11 games.


Larkin got his team-leading 10th goal on Detroit's first shot of the second period to break a 1-all tie at 7:45. It was his sixth goal in his last six games, and he's needed only 17 games to surpass his total of nine goals in 44 games last season.


Rockets beat Bulls 118-113 to end 15-game losing streak

Danuel House Jr. had 18 points, Christian Wood added 16 points and 10 rebounds and the Houston Rockets ended their losing streak at 15, beating the Chicago Bulls 118-113 on Wednesday night.


Kevin Porter Jr. had 14 points, six rebounds and nine assists after missing three games because of a bruised left thigh. Second overall pick Jalen Green scored 11 points in the first quarter before exiting with a left leg injury.


Zach LaVine led Chicago with 28 points. Lonzo Ball added 19 points, DeMar DeRozan had 17 points and seven assists, and Alex Caruso scored 15 points.


Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 13 rebounds in his return after missing seven games in the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols.


Chicago cut Houston's lead to three on LaVine's layup, but House responded with a 3 to increase the lead to 109-103 with 2:23 remaining. After the teams traded baskets, Caruso hit a 3-pointer with 47 seconds left to cut the lead to 111-108.


Garrison Matthews responded with a 3-pointer from the corner with 25 seconds remaining, and Houston pushed the lead to eight on two free throws by House with 16 seconds left. LaVine hit a 3-pointer, and after a steal, connected on a long two with two seconds left to cut the lead to 116-113.


After a timeout, Matthews hit two free throws to ice the win.


Trailing 73-63 midway through the third, Houston finished the quarter outscoring the Bulls 27-9 to take a 90-82 lead on a 3-pointer by House with 30 seconds left in the third. House had 10 points in the run, and Armoni Brooks added eight.


ISU Falls in Cancun Finale to Buffalo

Despite shooting 52 percent from the field and having four players score at least 15 points, the Illinois State Redbirds found themselves on the wrong end of a 106-90 final score against Buffalo, in each program's final game of the 2021 Cancun Challenge.


Kendall Lewis scored a team-high 22 points making 8-of-10 shots from the field and all five of his three-point tries. Sy Chatman added 21 points, while Antonio Reeves scored 17 and Josiah Strong 15.


ISU struck first in the game with a Sy Chatman three-point play, before Buffalo ran off a 15-3 run, and the Bulls never trailed again in the contest. The Buffalo lead stretched to as many as 13 in the first half at 27-14 before ISU scored 10 straight points to close within three at 27-24 after a Howard Fleming Jr. three-pointer. The Bulls responded with a 10-0 run of their own as they took a 15-point, 49-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.


In the second half Illinois state made nearly 70 percent of its shots, making 23-of-33 from the field and scored 56 points; however, Buffalo was equally as hot, making 8-of-10 three-pointers and 63 percent of their shots in the second half, scoring 57 points over the final 20 minutes.


James rallies Lakers past Pacers 124-116 after suspension

After drawing the first suspension of his career because of a fracas Sunday in Detroit, LeBron James delivered tiebreaking and back-breaking 3-pointers in overtime and finished with 39 points to help the Los Angles Lakers rally past Indiana, 124-116.


James was 13 of 29 from the field and had six assists and five rebounds. And with All-Star center Anthony Davis out because of flu-like defense, James also was in charge of calling the defensive assignments in a game the Lakers never led until Malik Monk's 3-pointer with 4:35 left in regulation.


He helped force overtime by scoring seven straight points to give the Lakers a 110-104 lead with 76 seconds left in regulation.


Russell Westbrook made two free throws with 22.6 seconds left to make it 112-109 and only an off-balance 3 by Chris Duarte and James' errant 3 as the buzzer prevented the Lakers from winning in regulation.


James's first 3 made it 117-114 with 2:51 left. A minute later, he made the second to extend the margin to six and added a midrange jumper before Wayne Ellington closed it out. Indiana managed only one basket in the final three minutes.


Mt. Pulaski Rallies Past Clinton

In a game heard Wednesday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers 58-49 in pool play at the 11th annual Bill Rucks Holiday Tournament.  


Clinton jumped out to a 13-9 lead in the first quarter, and held on for a 28-26 lead at the half.  A big run in the 3rd propelled the Maroons to a 40-32 lead headed into the 4th, but Mt. Pulaski would rally to outscore Clinton 26 to 9 in the final quarter.   The Hilltoppers took the lead for good, 47-46, around the 3:45 mark of the fourth quarter.


The Toppers (2-0) were led by senior guard Lane Murphy with 27 points.  Senior Aiden Schneider added 10 points, all in the fourth quarter.  


Clinton (0-2) was led by the Serv-Pro of Piatt & DeWitt County Player of the Game - sophomore guard Dawson Graves with 22 points.  Freshman Colton Walker added 11 points, while sophomores Mason Walker & Brooks Cluver added 7 apiece.  


Clinton next plays Tri-City at 5pm Friday at Mt. Pulaski.  Our next Maroons Game of the Week broadcast on WHOW comes your way Friday, December 3rd, at home against Maroa-Forsyth.  


In the other games at Mt. Pulaski Wednesday night....

Illini Central topped Calvary, 51-40   &

Tri-City downed Edinburg, 53-43



Heyworth Rolls Blue Ridge

Heyworth started fast and easily rolled to a 68-28 win over the short handed Blue Ridge Knights 68-28 in Thanksgiving Tournament action from Cerro Gordo Tuesday night.


The Hornets led 21-5 after one frame and opened up a 37-16 lead at the half. 


Conner Moore led a balanced attack for Heyworth with 16 points. 


Wyatt Cole led Blue Ridge with eight.


Blue Ridge schools went to remote learning over the weekend after an outbreak of COVID in the school district. Activities for the week were up in the air until late Monday after consultation with the health department. 


The Knights start their season 0-1 and will continue action from the Cerro Gordo Thanksgiving tournament this week.


Other high school basketball scores from Tuesday:


Clinton 33

Springfield Calvary 53


Paxton-Buckley-Loda 36

Tuscola 62


Warrensburg-Latham 64

Buffalo Tri-City 32


Springfield 49

Triad 48


Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 68

Sullivan 46


Taylorville 49

Civic Memorial 38


Woodland 44

Ridgeview 42


Chicago St. Rita 76

Urbana 47


Rochester 74

Hillsboro 67


Prairie Central 63

Hoopeston 31


Mt. Zion 57

Paris 49


Decatur LSA 73

Urbana 46


Martinsville 61

Villa Grove 31


Chicago Thornton 81

Decatur Eisenhower 34


Mendon Unity 64

Hartsburg-Emden 26


Tri-Valley 75

Heritage 23


Illinois Rebounds, Beats Kansas State

Kofi Cockburn bruised his way to 23 points and 13 rebounds in his second game back, and Alfonso Plummer hit seven 3-pointers and added 21 points as the No. 14 Illini held off Kansas State 72-64 in the consolation game of the Hall of Fame Classic.


Plummer finished 7 of 9 from beyond the arc, and the Illini (3-2) went 12 of 26 from 3 as a team, as they bounced back from a 71-51 blowout loss to Cincinnati in the semifinals to avoid their third consecutive loss.


The victory Tuesday night came at a cost, though: Trent Frazier, who scored 23 points against Marquette but was held scoreless by the Bearcats, hurt his left knee midway through the second half. The Illini guard was 0 for 5 from the field but had five assists when he was helped to the locker room by a pair of trainers.


Markquis Nowell scored 19 points and Nijel Pack had 15 for the Wildcats (2-2), who committed just four turnovers for the entire game. Ismael Massoud added 13 points after going 0-for-everything against Arkansas in the semifinals.


Illinois still wasn’t at full strength even before Frazier got hurt. Andre Curbelo remained slowed by the concussion that he sustained earlier this year, finishing with six points and seven assists while playing only 20 minutes.


Kansas State forced the Illini into 17 turnovers and turned them into 23 points, while Illinois only forced four turnovers that led to three points. That disparity was the biggest reason why the Wildcats were able to mount a challenge.


The Illini play Rio Grande Valley on Friday night. 


St. Louis Edges Illinois State

Gibson Jimerson registered 19 points as Saint Louis beat Illinois State 82-76 in the Cancun Challenge - Riviera Division on Tuesday night.


Jordan Nesbitt had 14 points for Saint Louis (5-1), which earned its fourth consecutive home victory. Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 13 points. Marten Linssen had 10 points.


Antonio Reeves had 20 points for the Redbirds (2-3). Sy Chatman added 13 points. Mark Freeman had 13 points.


The Redbirds take on Buffalo tonight.


Illini LB Gay Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

Illinois OLB Isaiah Gay was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.


Gay had 5.5 TFLs - an Illinois record for a Big Ten game - and a career-high 10 tackles on Saturday at #18 Iowa. Gay's 5.5 TFLs are the third-most in Illinois history, tied for the most by a Big Ten player this season, and tied for the most in a Power-5 vs. Power-5 game this season (Purdue's Leo Chenal, 5.5, at Wisconsin).


Gay's 5.5 TFLs are also the second-most TFLs in a game in college football this season (Missouri's Blaze Alldredge, 6.0, vs. Central Michigan).


Illinois returns to action Saturday against Northwestern to wrap up the regular season. The Illini and Wildcats kickoff at 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium with the Land of Lincoln Trophy on the line.


NASCAR Announces Practice, Qualifying Back in 2022

NASCAR will return both practice and qualifying to its weekend schedule for all three national series in 2022. The on-track activity had been mostly scrapped the last two seasons during the pandemic.


NASCAR traditionally hosted three-day weekends for its races but dropped all qualifying and practice when competition resumed in May 2020 following a 10-week shutdown due to the pandemic. Some practice sessions returned this year, and championship weekend this month at Phoenix was the closest yet to a pre-pandemic schedule.


NASCAR will use a knockout-style format for qualifying in 2022 that will vary depending on both track type and series. The Cup field be split into two groups for most races and participate in a two-hour practice and qualifying event. NASCAR will class six Cup races, five Xfinity Series races and and eight Truck Series races as “expanded weekends.”


An expanded weekend includes one stand-alone, 50-minute practice. Those will be the only weekends that will feature a practice separate from qualifying.


The Daytona 500 field will be set the same way as always, with the front determined by Feb. 16 time trials. The rest of the starting lineup will be set by the two qualifying races.


The other three superspeedway events, two at Talladega and the August race at Daytona, will not have practice. But the cars will qualify before the race.


Flames Light Up Blackhawks

Matthew Tkachuk broke a tie on a fortunate bounce with 5:35 left and the Calgary Flames beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.


Tkachuk's centering pass went off the skate of Chicago defenseman Seth Jones and over the shoulder of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to give Calgary a 3-2 lead. Trevor Lewis and Johnny Gaudreau each added an empty-net goal for the Flames (12-3-5), who sit alone atop the Western Conference.


Dillon Dube and Milan Lucic also scored for Calgary, which has earned at least one point in seven consecutive games. Jacob Markstrom made 19 saves.


Reese Johnson had a goal and an assist - his first two NHL points - to lead the offense for Chicago (6-11-2). Brandon Hagel also scored.


Coming off a 40-save shutout Sunday against Vancouver, Fleury had a tough start to the night, getting beaten twice on the first six shots he faced before slamming the door until late in the third. He finished with 34 stops and fell to 5-8-0.


Both Blackhawks goals were the result of costly turnovers.


After the Flames grabbed the lead just 1:19 into the game, Hagel tied it at 8:57 when Tyler Pitlick coughed up the puck along the sideboards and Hagel whipped a quick shot into the top corner.


Lucic's goal at 13:06 gave Calgary a 2-1 lead after the first period, but Chicago tied it 3:51 into the second on another freebie.


From behind the net, Markstrom's pass attempt to Elias Lindholm went off the heel of Lindholm's stick and was promptly fired into an open net by Johnson.


After that miscue, Markstrom made a string of saves to keep the game tied.


First, he squeezed a dangerous shot from Patrick Kane from 20 feet out as he broke in off right wing.


On his next shift, Kane got a breakaway, only to see Markstrom turn him aside again, getting a blocker on a shot that also ticked off the post.


Later in the period, Markstrom jabbed out his pad to make a skate save on Kirby Dach. Right after that, he acrobatically got across the crease to rob Hagel after he was set up on a 2-on-1.


Dube opened the scoring on Calgary's first shot when he fired a wrister off left wing just over the pad of Fleury.


After a hectic stretch of nine games in 15 days - including a seven-game Eastern road trip - Calgary has three days to recharge before facing Winnipeg.


The Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues on Friday.


Monticello Starts Fast, Rolls Pleasant Plains

The Monticello Sages started fast and rolled to a season-opening 54-35 win over Pleasant Plains in non-conference high school boy's basketball action from Pleasant Plains High School Tuesday night.


Ben Cresap and Dylan Ginalick fueled the Sages fast start early with transition baskets and a three from Ginalick to open an 11-5 lead after the first quarter.


Each team showed first game rust before finding their legs. The Sages doing so first appeared to be the difference as they opened up 26-10 lead at the half.


The Cardinals offered more energy as they started the second half with a half-court set that led to a dunk by Zach Powell but Trevor Fox buried a three on the ensuing possession and later Cresap was fouled after knocking down a wing three-pointer and completed the four-point play.


Despite trailing by double-digits most of the second half, Plains never let down on the energy and were outscored 19-16 in the third period and each team recorded nine fourth-quarter points.


Cresap was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro player of the game with a team-high 15 points. Ginalick added ten and Joey Sprinkle scored six of his eight points in the second half. 


The Cardinals were led by Powell's 15 points.


Plains is 0-1 on the season while Monticello is 1-0. The Sages hit the road to take on another Sangamo Conference opponent in Riverton next Tuesday night. Hear the action starting at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 


Cincinnati Rolls Illinois

Cincinnati mounted a big first-half charge to take a stunning halftime lead, then steadily pulled away from the No. 14 Illini for a 71-51 victory that pushed them into the championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic.


Mike Saunders Jr. scored 20 points and Jeremiah Davenport added 19 to lead the Bearcats (5-0), who went 17 of 20 from the foul line and won the battle of the boards against the bigger Illini (2-2) inside T-Mobile Center.


That earned the right to play the winner of No. 13 Arkansas and Kansas State for the tournament title.


Kofi Cockburn, who was suspended the first three games of the season for violating NCAA rules, had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Fighting Illini (2-2). Andre Curbelo added 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting with five turnovers.


The 7-foot, 275-pound center from Jamaica bullied his way to six straight points to open the game, and the Illini raced to a 19-4 lead before the Bearcats seemed to realize the game had tipped off. At one point, Cockburn had outscored Cincinnati 12-8 as the Illini built a 23-8 advantage nearing the midpoint of the first half.


That’s when Bearcats' Coach Wes Miller made a couple of subtle adjustments that got them on track.


They slowed Cockburn with physical double-teams in the post, and they began jumping the passing lanes, and at one point the Bearcats held Illinois without a field goal for nearly seven minutes. They pieced together a 14-1 run of their own during the stretch, and David DeJulius made a couple foul shots just before halftime to give Cincinnati a 34-31 lead.


The Illini’s slump endured well into the second half.


Davenport drilled a 3-pointer right out of the locker room, and Illinois proceeded to miss 10 consecutive field-goal attempts at one point, as the hot-shooting Bearcats’ stunning run eventually reached 22-5 to start the second half.


The nation’s top-ranked defense through the first couple weeks of the season suddenly struggled to guard the Bearcats on the perimeter. And regardless of whether Cockburn wasn’t in the lineup, the Illini had trouble chasing down deep rebounds, which gave Cincinnati second and third chances on several trips down the floor.


That was enough to send the Bearcats to their first win over a ranked team since beating Tennessee on Dec. 18, 2019.


The Illini will play for third place tonight against former Illinois Coach Bruce Weber and the Kansas State Wildcats.


Development Still Name of the Game for Clinton High School Boy's Basketball Team

The Clinton Maroons boy's basketball team will look to continue its development under second-year head coach Dan Luketich while starting to progress towards a winning expectation.


Coach Luketich indicates the focus this year is to continue to bring along a talented sophomore class while starting to instill the expectation of winning. The Maroons tip off their 2021-22 season tonight in Mt. Pulaski.



Coach Luketich is developing a unique system in his program that focuses on a lot of defensive pressure and getting up and down the floor focused on finding quick but quality shots on offense.



The style of play the Maroons utilize demands a lot of effort at every moment. Coach Luketich says his focus is engaging everyone on the squad and as he calls it, raising the floor.



As for developing a winning culture while developing his unique style of play; Coach Luketich recognized he uses a lot of cliches but that is how you have to approach it.



Coach Luketich very much appreciates the way his kids are engaging in the style of play, the way they work and approach learning. His obvious expectation is to start winning more games but at the same time he wants to see improvement.


Hear tomorrow night's action at the Mt. Pulaski Thanksgiving tournament when the Maroons take on the host the Hilltoppers at 8 pm on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.


DuQuesne Rolls Bradley

Leon Ayers III scored 23 points as Duquesne beat Bradley 78-70 on Monday.


Tre Williams had 15 points and three blocks for Duquesne (2-4), which broke its four-game losing streak. Amir Spears added 14 points and Jackie Johnson III had 12 points.


Terry Roberts had 17 points for the Braves (1-5). Ja'Shon Henry added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Connor Hickman also scored 14 points.


Blues Rally to Blast Knights

Justin Faulk scored his 100th career goal to cap a quick three-goal outburst by St. Louis in the first period, and the Blues beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 on Monday night.


Ryan O'Reilly, Tyler Bozak, Brandon Saad and Niko Mikkola also scored for the Blues, who entered with two wins in their previous 10 games. Jordan Binnington, who had lost six of his last seven starts, was sharp and made 32 saves.


Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith scored for the Golden Knights, who had won five of six.


St. Louis trailed 2-0 before it exploded midway through the first period.


St. Louis scored three or more goals in a period for the first time since Nov. 4 at San Jose.


Saad scored on the power play early in the second. He has four goals in his past three games and eight this season.


Blues C Brayden Schenn (upper body) is day to day. He last played Nov. 4. Blues D Robert Bortuzzo did not play after the club said he was ''dinged up'' in Saturday's game at Dallas. 


The Blues are at Detroit on Wednesday.


Pacers Topple Bulls

Domantas Sabonis scored 21 points, Malcolm Brogdon added 16 more, and the Indiana Pacers routed the Chicago Bulls 109-77 on Monday night.


Myles Turner also scored 12 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in Indiana's second straight win.


DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 18 points, while Zach LaVine scored 17 - just the second time this season he was held to fewer than 20 points.


It was a one-sided affair for much of the night, with Indiana stretching its lead to as many as 35 points in the fourth. Chicago had a few offensive spurts, but ended up with 36.5% shooting for the game. The Bulls played their reserves for the entire final frame.


The Pacers came out of the gate firing on all cylinders offensively, opening with a 26-9 run. Justin Holiday and Caris LeVert scored six points apiece within the first four minutes.


Indiana led 67-46 at halftime thanks to a strong effort on the glass, outrebounding the Bulls 28-16 in the first two quarters. DeRozan helped fuel a 10-3 run for Chicago to cut the second-quarter deficit to eight, but key baskets from Brogdon and Kelan Martin down the stretch pushed the Pacers' advantage to 21 points at the break.


Chicago, playing on the second night of a back-to-back, looked sluggish early, going 7 of 22 from the floor in the first quarter, including just 1 of 7 3-pointers.


All five of Indiana's starters finished the night scoring in double figures.


The Pacers host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night while the Bulls are at Houston on Wednesday night.



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