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Lady Maroons Roll Warrensburg-Latham to Advance to CIC Conference Tournament Championship

The Clinton Lady Maroons used stingy first half defense and never allowed Warrensburg-Latham to score in double figures in a quarter rolling to a 47-23 semifinal win in the Central Illinois Conference high school girl's basketball tournament from Tuscola High School Tuesday night.

 

The Lady Maroons led 8-3 after the first quarter and the Lady Maroons opened up a 20-5 lead at the break. A big third quarter propelled Clinton to a 37-14 lead after three quarters.

 

Kaitlyn Rauch led all scorers with 18 points and Mallory Cyrulik added 14 points while MaKayla Koeppel and Heidi Humble each scored six points.

 

Brooke Oakley led the Lady Cardinals with 10 points.

 

The Lady Cardinals drop to 16-10 overall. They will play Meridian for third place in the conference tournament Thursday night at 6 pm.

 

The Lady Maroons move to 24-4 overall.

 

Clinton will take on Sullivan for the tournament title on Thursday night at 7:30 pm. Hear all the action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and on all the WHOW digital platforms.

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Prairie Central Downs Monticello

In a game heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Prairie Central shot 20-for-24 from the free-throw line and held off Monticello 65-61 Tuesday night in Illini Prairie Conference high school boy's basketball action from Fairbury.

 

The Hawks went 17-for-21 in the second half at the foul line, otherwise, the game proved to be statistically close.

 

Monticello senior Dylan Ginalick led all scorers with 19 points and was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game. Ben Cresap added 15 points and Tanner Buehnerkemper added 13 points. 

 

Drew Haberkorn recorded a double-double for the Hawks with 11 points and ten rebounds. Tyler Curl led Prairie Central with 17 points, Dylan Bazzell scored 13 points, and Camden Palmore added 12 points. 

 

The Sages shot 50-percent from the floor for the game while Prairie Central shot 45.5-percent and each team made five three-pointers. 

 

The Hawks outrebounded the Sages 32-20 and had 11 second-chance points on 12 offensive rebounds. Monticello made 22 field goals to Prairie Central's 20 and each team had nine assists. 

 

Prairie Central turned the ball over 17 times and the Sages converted those into 14 points. 

 

The matchup featured six ties and 16 lead changes. 

 

The Hawks improve to 17-4 overall and 4-1 in the Illini Prairie Conference. 

 

The Sages have lost two in a row after a tough loss at home to Meridian and are 20-3 overall and are 4-1 in conference.

 

The road ahead does not get easier for the Sages. They'll host St. Jospeh-Ogden Friday night, followed by a home match-up with Rantoul next Tuesday night. 

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Bulls Rally Past Thunder

Nicola Vucevic had 26 points and 15 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls withstood a fierce rally by Oklahoma City to beat the Thunder 111-110 on Monday night.

 

The Bulls led by 28 points in the third quarter, but the Thunder had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds. Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed a 3-pointer that would have evened the score with 2.3 seconds to play.

 

The Bulls were short-handed. DeMar DeRozan, who averages 26.3 points per game, rested. Lonzo Ball was out with a bruised left knee and Alex Caruso missed the game with a fractured wrist suffered when Milwaukee's Grayson Allen yanked him to the ground.

 

With Ball and Caruso out, the Thunder harassed the Bulls in the fourth quarter.

Rookie Ayo Dosunmu scored a season-high 24 points and Zach LaVine added 23 for the Bulls.

 

Chicago, one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, had lost six of seven and was coming off a 19-point loss to NBA-worst Orlando. LaVine, who had been out since Jan. 14 with a bruised left knee, was happy to provide a spark.

 

Gilgeous-Alexander had 31 points and 10 assists and Lu Dort added 16 points for the Thunder, who have lost 11 of 12.

 

Dosunmu scored 16 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the first half to help the Bulls take a 58-48 lead at the break.

 

Javonte Green's right-handed throwdown in traffic put the Bulls up 66-50 early in the third quarter, and Chicago's biggest lead was 84-56 midway through the period. Oklahoma City trimmed that deficit, but Dosunmu banked in a 3-pointer from just inside half court at the buzzer to give the Bulls a 92-78 advantage.

 

Dort's 3-pointer with 53.6 seconds remaining cut Chicago's lead to three, and

a layup by Josh Giddey with 14.8 seconds left made it a one-point game.

 

LaVine made two free throws with 9.9 seconds left. After Gilgeous-Alexander's miss, Green sealed it when he made a free throw with 1 second remaining.

 

Dosunmu, a second-round draft pick, set a Bulls rookie record for made shots to start a game with nine. Orlando Woolridge made eight straight during the 1981-82 season. Dosunmu made 10 of 14 shots overall.

 

The Bulls are at Toronto on Wednesday.

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Pelicans Topple Pacers

Devonte' Graham scored 25 points, Josh Hart had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-113 on Monday night.

 

Graham, who was questionable before the game because of a sore left ankle, started and went 5 of 9 from 3-point range on a night when the rest of his team missed 20 of 21 from deep. Two of his 3s and eight of his points came in the final six minutes of a game that was tight until the end.

 

Hart, who briefly left the game in the third quarter after turning his left ankle, returned in the fourth quarter and immediately hit the Pelicans' only other made 3 of the game. He grabbed his ninth rebound with 28 seconds left to help stave off the Pacers' comeback bid.

 

The short-handed Pacers stayed in the game - and led for a good portion of it - because of their 3-point shooting. They made 19 of 46 (41.3%) for the game.

 

Duane Washington Jr., an undrafted rookie out of Ohio State who'd made 17 3s for the season coming in, hit a career-best seven shots (on 12 attempts) from deep for a career-high 21 points.

 

Pelicans leading scorer Brandon Ingram was sidelined by a right ankle sprain, while Pacers top scorer and interior defender Domantas Sabonis was out with a left ankle sprain.

 

The absence of Sabonis inside benefitted Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas, who had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

 

Indiana was missing other prominent contributors, including Malcolm Brogdon (sore right Achilles) and Myles Turner (left foot).

 

Caris LeVert scored 19 and Chris Duarte 14 for the Pacers.

 

The Pacers host Charlotte on Wednesday.

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Avalanche Blank Blackhawks

Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen scored, Pavel Francouz made 23 saves for his third career shutout and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Monday night to extend their franchise-record home winning streak to 16 games.

 

It was the seventh straight victory overall for the Avalanche, who tied the 1976 Boston Bruins for the fifth-longest home winning streak in NHL history. 

 

After the Blackhawks outshot the Avalanche 10-8 in a scoreless first period, Colorado broke through on a power play in the second.

 

With defenseman Seth Jones in the penalty box for interference, the Avalanche got off several shots in quick succession that goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped before Kadri gathered in a short pass from Nathan MacKinnon and unleashed a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Fleury dropped to his knees to block it, but the puck trickled through at 11:24.

 

Rantanen added to the Avalanche lead at 6:41 of the third. Gabriel Landeskog sent a pass across the slot and, with a backhand flip, Rantanen lifted the puck over a fallen Fleury.

 

The Blackhawks visit the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

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Flames Blast Blues

Matthew Tkachuk had a career-high five assists, Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and three assists, and the Calgary Flames routed the St. Louis Blues 7-1 Monday night.

 

Tkachuk ended a four-game goal-scoring streak but was happy to spread the wealth. Four of his assists came in the second period, when Calgary outshot St. Louis 18-2.

 

Tkachuk has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 13 career games against his hometown team.

 

Nikita Zadorov, Chris Tanev, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, Blake Coleman and Adam Ruzicka also scored for Calgary (19-12-6), which won for just the second time in seven games.

 

Tyler Bozak scored for St. Louis (25-12-5), which had won six of its previous seven.

 

Jacob Markstrom made 20 saves to earn the victory and improve to 14-9-5.

 

Jordan Binnington stopped 28 of 35 shots before being replaced by Ville Husso to start the third. Husso stopped all 13 shots he faced.

 

Gaudreau and Tkachuk have both been on a tear, combining for 24 points over the last five games. During their five-game point streaks, Gaudreau has 11 points (two goals, nine assists).

 

Calgary went 2 for 5 on the power play against the Blues' fourth-ranked penalty kill, which was a perfect 12 for 12 in the previous three games. St. Louis's second-ranked power play went 0 for 2.

 

The Blues host Calgary on Thursday.

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Evansville Rallies Past Illinois State

Shamar Givance recorded 18 points as Evansville edged past Illinois State 56-53 on Sunday.

 

Givance made a layup for a 54-52 lead with 15 seconds left and the Purple Aces held on after Illinois State's Kendall Lewis made the first but missed the second free throw with 3 seconds left.

 

Noah Frederking added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Purple Aces, who forced a season-high 21 turnovers.

 

Evan Kuhlman had 12 points for Evansville (5-13, 1-6 Missouri Valley Conference), which ended its six-game losing streak.

 

Antonio Reeves had 23 points for the Redbirds (10-10, 3-4). Mark Freeman added 11 points.

 

The Purple Aces evened the season series against the Redbirds. Illinois State defeated Evansville 94-56 last Friday.

 

The Redbirds host Drake Wednesday night at 8 pm. 

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Magic Upset Bulls

Moritz Wagner scored 23 points, younger brother Franz Wagner added 18, and the Orlando Magic defeated the short-handed Chicago Bulls 114-95 on Sunday night.

 

DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 41 points for Chicago, while Coby White had 22 points. Nikola Vucevic hit two of Chicago's five 3-pointers and scored 13 points to go with his 13 rebounds before fouling out.

 

Ending a nine-game home losing streak, the Magic won at home for just the third time this season - and the first since Dec. 1. Orlando blew a 10-point halftime lead Wednesday in Philadelphia and an eight-point halftime edge Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers, so their focus was to avoid a similar fate after building an 11-point halftime lead.

 

Former-Bull Wendell Carter Jr. had 19 points and seven rebounds for an Orlando team that led by as much as 20 points in the second half and had to withstand a third-quarter run by the Bulls. Rookie Jalen Suggs added 15 points, seven assists and two thunderous second-half dunks to steady the Magic. Orlando had a 51-10 advantage in bench points.

 

DeRozan scored at least 30 points for the 12th time this season, but the Bulls dropped to 9-3 in those games. Chicago had just nine players available, and it had only 10 assists compared to 22 turnovers.

 

The Bulls are without Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Javonte Green and Alex Caruso. He has a fractured wrist after he was hit midair by Milwaukee's Grayson Allen, who was suspended one game without pay on Sunday by the NBA for the hit.

 

Caruso will have surgery on his right wrist this morning and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

 

The Bulls are at Oklahoma City on Monday night.

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Blues Down Canucks

Justin Faulk had a goal and an assist and the St. Louis Blues beat the undermanned Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Sunday night.

 

Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou also scored for the Blues, and Vladimir Tarasenko had two assists. Ville Husso stopped 38 shots and has a .963 save percentage in his last five games.

 

Tanner Pearson had a goal for the Canucks, who have six players and two assistant coaches in the NHL's COVID-19 protocols.

 

Michael DiPietro, making his second career start and first in nearly three years, had 14 saves in his season debut for Vancouver, becoming the fourth goalie to play for the team this season.

 

Down 3-1 with less than 90 seconds remaining, the Canucks pulled DiPietro in favor of an extra attacker. Tarasenko nearly scored an empty-netter but was swarmed by a trio of Canucks intent on not giving up another goal.

 

St. Louis was 1 for 3 on the power play Sunday while Vancouver went scoreless on four opportunities.

 

Vancouver had a 5-on-3 power play in the first period after Matthew Highmore got tangled up with both Ivan Barbashev and Torey Krug. Barbashev was called for roughing and Krug for removing Highmore's helmet.

 

The Canucks managed five shots on the two-man advantage, but didn't score. However, seconds after the penalties expired, Pearson picked up Alex Chiasson's rebound at the side of the net and fired it past Husso to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the period. Elias Pettersson registered an assist on the play, giving him 100 for his NHL career.

 

Faulk drew St. Louis even ahead of the first intermission. Oskar Sundqvist blasted a pass to Faulk at the front of the net and the defenseman deflected it from between his legs, sending the puck careening into the crossbar and in with 1:27 remaining.

 

The Blues are at Calgary on Monday night to finish a three-game trip.

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Gould's FG on final play gives 49ers 13-10 upset of Packers

Robbie Gould made a 45-yard field goal Saturday night as time expired and the San Francisco 49ers knocked off the top-seeded Packers 13-10 and possibly ended Aaron Rodgers' tenure in Green Bay.

 

Rodgers went 20 of 29 for 225 yards and dropped to 0-4 in career playoff starts against the 49ers. He's the first quarterback in NFL history to lose four playoff starts to a single opponent.

 

San Francisco tied the game with 4:41 left thanks to a breakdown by Green Bay's special teams, the Packers' biggest weakness all season.

 

Jordan Willis' outstretched left hand blocked a punt by Corey Bojorquez, who was kicking from the front of his end zone. Talanoa Hufanga picked up the ball at the 6-yard line and ran it in to make it 10-10.

 

After the Packers went three-and-out, the 49ers got the ball back at their 29 with 3:20 left and drove into field-goal range. Deebo Samuel delivered a 9-yard run on third-and-7 from the Green Bay 38, and the 49ers ran down the clock to set up Gould.

 

A.J. Dillon's 6-yard touchdown run capped a 69-yard drive on the game's opening possession that put the Packers ahead 7-0. Green Bay's offense didn't do much of anything after that.

 

Green Bay's special teams fared even worse.

 

Well before that blocked punt, San Francisco's Jimmie Ward blocked a 39-yard field-goal attempt from Mason Crosby on the final play of the first half, preventing the Packers from extending their lead to 10-0.

 

The Packers also allowed Samuel to return the second-half kickoff 45 yards, setting up the 49ers' first field goal. Green Bay also appeared to have only 10 men on the field when Gould made his winning kick.

 

San Francisco won by overcoming a brutal start from its offense. The 49ers had minus-10 yards in their first four series, three of which included third-down sacks.

 

The 49ers didn't get a single first down or pass completion until Garoppolo connected with George Kittle on a 15-yard gain with less than 6 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter. Garoppolo was just 11 of 19 for 131 yards with an interception, but the 49ers still managed to win.

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Mast scores 20 to lead Bradley past S. Illinois 70-62

Rienk Mast had 20 points as Bradley defeated Southern Illinois 70-62 on Saturday night.

 

Terry Roberts had 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three blocks for Bradley (10-10, 4-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Ville Tahvanainen added 13 points. Malevy Leons had eight rebounds.

 

Lance Jones had 19 points and six rebounds for the Salukis (10-9, 3-4). Marcus Domask added 14 points.

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Lady Maroons Dominate Central A&M At Central Illinois Conference Tournament

The Clinton Lady Maroons held Central A&M scoreless in the first quarter and dominated the Lady Redskins in a 56-15 rout from the Central Illinois Conference high school girl's basketball tournament at Tuscola High School Saturday afternoon.

 

The Lady Maroons rolled to a 15-0 lead after the first quarter and led 32-5 at the half. 

 

Malory Cyrulick led Clinton with 22 points. Kaitlyn Rauch scored 19. 

 

The Lady Maroons improve to 23-4 overall and will be back in action at the CIC tournament Tuesday night at 7 pm in semifinal action. 

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Meridian Outlasts Monticello

In a game heard on WEZC, Meridian outlasted Monticello in a terrific non-conference hihg school boy's basketball game, 67-56 Saturday night from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Ranked seventh in the latest Class 1A high school boy's basketball poll, Meridian pulled away in the fourth quarter using stifling defense to keep an efficient Monticello team at bay as Monticello Coach Kevin Roy will have to wait at least one more game for career victory 300. 

 

The Sages struggled offensively, shooting 39.6-percent from the floor and went just 2-for-16 from the three-point line.

 

Ben Cresap and Dylan Ginalick paced the Sages with 14 points apiece and Tanner Buehnerkemper added 11 points. 

 

Monticello was outrebounded 20-8 in the second half and 32-24 for the game. Meridian had 11 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chance points. The Hawks also had 20 points off 11 Monticello turnovers. 

 

The game featured 41 total fouls. The Hawks made 19-of-24 free throws while the Sages finished 16-for-19 from the free-throw line.

 

Graham Meisenhelter finished with 20 points. Grant Meisenhelter added 17 points and Drew Hurelbrink scored ten of his 12 points in the second half for Meridian. 

 

Meridian moves to 15-5 overall while Monticello falls to 20-2. 

 

The Sages travel to Prairie Central Tuesday night for an Illini Conference matchup before returning home next Friday night against St. Joseph-Ogden. 

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Reeves, Lewis lead Illinois St. past Evansville 94-56

Antonio Reeves scored 16 points and Kendall Lewis added 14 as Illinois State rolled past Evansville 94-56 on Friday night.

 

Sy Chatman added 12 points and Howard Fleming Jr. had 10 points for Illinois State (10-9, 3-3 Missouri Valley Conference), which earned its fifth consecutive home victory.

 

Illinois State posted a season-high 23 assists.

 

Jawaun Newton had 10 points and six rebounds for the Purple Aces (4-13, 0-6), who have now lost six games in a row. Blake Sisley added 10 points.

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No. 17 Illinois falls 81-65 to Maryland

Donta Scott scored a career-high 25 points, and the Terrapins beat the Illini 81-65 on Friday night with Cockburn sidelined because of a concussion. 

 

The Illini (13-5, 6-2 Big Ten) lost for the second consecutive game after winning six straight. It was a much-needed victory for Maryland, which has struggled all season and already went through a coaching change when Mark Turgeon exited in early December.

 

Alfonso Plummer scored 18 points for Illinois, which was coming off a double-overtime loss to No. 4 Purdue on Monday night. The Illini got Andre Curbelo back in that game after he’d been out since November with his own concussion-related issues. Then they had to face Maryland (10-9, 2-6) without Cockburn.

 

This loss also snapped a six-game winning streak for Illinois in Big Ten road games.

 

The Illini led 56-52 before Maryland took the lead with a 12-2 run. Scott capped that stretch with a layup and a three-point play.

 

Fatts Russell had 15 points for the Terps and Qudus Wahab added 11.

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Clinton Maroons Down Redskins On The Road

In a game heard on WHOW Friday night, the Clinton Maroons traveled to Sullivan, and downed the Redskins, 56-44. 
 

The Maroons jumped out to a 14-4 lead after the first quarter, and maintained the advantage throughout.  Clinton led by 12 at the half, and the two teams both scored 29 points in the second half.  
 

The Maroons were led by the WHOW/Serv-Pro of Piatt/Dewitt County Player of the Game - Dawson Graves.  In his second game back from a several week absence due to injury, the sophomore led all scorers with 26 points.  Mason Walker added 15; Brooks Cluver scored 7; and Brett Young added 6 in the win. 
 

Sullivan was led by Kyle Corkill with 10 points, and Trey McRill with 7. 
 

Clinton improves to 9-15 overall, and 2-2 in the CIC.  They next play Tuesday at Mt. Pulaski. Sullivan falls to 1-17 overall, and 0-4 in conference. They next host Pana on Tuesday.  

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Maroa-Forsyth Rolls Auburn

Four players scored in double-figures and Maroa-Forsyth exploded offensively to roll past Auburn 75-60 in Sangamo Conference high school boy's basketball at Auburn High School Friday night.

 

Egan Franzen scored 11 of his 22 points in the first quarter. Kaiden Maurer scored 11 of his 14 points in the second quarter, Ethan Willoughby scored all 14 of his points in the second half and Jaxson Grubbs scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half. Willoughby drained a team-high four three-pointers. Zayn Giles added eight points.

 

After leading 18-16 after the first quarter, the Trojans opened up a 36-27 lead at the break and then pulled away in the fourth quarter. 

 

The Trojans improved to 12-5 overall and are 3-0 in the Sangamo Conference. Maroa-Forsyth will travel to Decatur St. Teresa on Tuesday night for a non-conference matchup. It'll kick off a busy week as the Trojans also travel to New Berlin Friday night before a road matchup with Tolono Unity Saturday. 

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Big Second Half Propels Monticello Past PBL

In a game heard on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Sages used a big second half to rally past Paxton-Buckley-Loda 59-43 in Illini Prairie Conference boy's basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School, bringing Coach Kevin Roy to career win 299. 

 

All of Coach Roy's wins have come at Monticello High School where he started in 2006-07. 

 

The Panthers jumped out to a 16-5 lead with 6:29 to play in the second half but the Sages finished the half on a 16-7 run to pull within 23-21 deficit at the intermission. 

 

After a back-and-forth start to the second half, a Trevor Fox basket with 5:29 to play in the third tied the game at 29, Monticello finished the quarter outscoring PBL 11-4 to take a 40-33 lead to the fourth. 

 

Mason Bruns opened the fourth quarter with a layup to make 40-35 but Monticello answered with an 11-0 run over three minutes to open it up to a 51-35 lead and maintained the rest of the way. 

 

Fox scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and took a trio of offensive fouls. He also added seven assists. Joey Sprinkle scored 10 of his 16 points in the first half. Ben Cresap finished with 12 points. 

 

Sprinkle was the Piatt/DeWitt County Player of the Game. 

 

After going 9-for-25 from the floor in the first half, the Sages went 17-for-22 from the floor in the second half. 

 

Monticello finished with 42 points in the paint, 30 of those in the second half. Additionally, the Sages added 26 points off 25 PBL turnovers. They had ten second-half assists to six turnovers and finished 17 assists on 26 baskets with 13 turnovers. Coming into Friday night's game, Monticello's assist-to-turnover ratio was nearly 2-to-1.

 

The Panthers took just 14 shots in the second half and finished shooting 47-percent for the game. 

 

PBL drops to 10-7 overall and 3-1 in the Illini Prairie Conference.

 

The Sages won its sixth in a row and moved 20-1 overall and went to 4-0 in conference play.

 

The Sages have a chance to earn career win 300 for Coach Roy tomorrow night when they host the seventh-ranked Meridian Hawks in non-conference action at the Sievers Center. 

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Clinton Travels to Sullivan Tonight

The Clinton Maroons to Sullivan tonight for a Central Illinois Conference matchup.

 

The 8-15 Maroons have won three of its last five with its most recent game a close loss to Decatur St. Teresa, 66-59 Tuesday night.

 

The young Maroons have started to play much better lately despite having limited depth. The Maroons play the fifth-ranked Monticello Sages with 11 points last week before Monticello pulled away in the second half. The Maroons then rattled off back-to-back wins on back-to-back nights beating Central A&M last Friday and then rolling Illini Central Saturday night. 

 

Tonight, they travel to Sullivan to take on the 1-16 Redskins. 

 

Game time is 7:30 pm and can be heard on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, at the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa. 

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Monticello Boy's Basketball Coach Kevin Roy Could Reach 300 Career Wins This Weekend

The fifth-ranked Monticello Sages will host a pair of big games at the Sievers Center this weekend and the latter could be a milestone game for Coach Kevin Roy.

 

Friday night, Monticello welcomes Paxton-Buckley-Loda to the Sievers Center for an Illini Prairie Conference showdown and then hosts seventh-ranked Meridian in non-conference action on Saturday.

 

At 298 career wins, Coach Roy can reach the 300-career win milestone this weekend joining Monticello coaches Tom Young and Bob Trimble with 300-wins since 1953. 

 

Coach Roy led the Sages to a Class 1A supersectional appearance in his first season in 2006-07 and in 2017, he led the Sages to a Class 2A state appearance in Peoria. 

 

It will not be an easy road for Roy to reach 300 wins as the Panthers of PBL enter action Friday at 10-6 overall and like Monticello, boast a 3-0 Illini Prairie Conference mark. 

 

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

 

Tomorrow night, Meridan enters the weekend at 16-2 and is No. 7 in the latest Class 1A high school boy's basketball state rankings. Game time Saturday is 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

If the Sages should falter at some point this weekend, they will travel to Prairie Central next Tuesday night with a home matchup awaiting a week from tonight (Friday) against St. Joseph-Ogden.

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Packers Host San Francisco Saturday in NFC Divisional Round Matchup

Aaron Rodgers memorably vowed after his 2005 draft day snub that the San Francisco 49ers would be more disappointed for passing him up at No. 1 than he would be at sliding to No. 24.

 

While that proclamation has been true for most of the past decade-plus, Rodgers has been the one dealing with disappointment in the playoffs with three losses.

 

Rodgers gets his fourth playoff shot against the Niners on Saturday night in a reprise of one of the game’s great rivalries that dates back to Steve Young and Brett Favre battling in the 1990s, Terrell Owens making his most memorable catch and Colin Kaepernick announcing himself to the football world.

 

Few franchises have been as intertwined over the last three decades as the Packers and 49ers, with coaches getting groomed in one spot and ending up in the other, eight previous playoff meetings, and the draft decision that sent Rodgers packing for Green Bay instead of staying close to home and reviving the 49ers.

 

The teams that have combined for nine Super Bowl titles will meet with a spot in NFC championship game on the line at Lambeau Field.

 

This will be the ninth all-time playoff meeting between the franchises, tying the Cowboys and Rams for the most postseason matchups between two teams in NFL history.

 

The teams have split the previous eight meetings, with the Packers going 4-1 with Brett Favre at quarterback and losing all three meetings with Rodgers as starter. No quarterback in the Super Bowl era has ever lost four times to one opponent.

 

The most recent playoff meeting came in the 2019 season when the teams met at Levi’s Stadium in the NFC title game and the Niners once again ended Rodgers’ season.

 

This team it was behind the running of Raheem Mostert, who became the first player ever to run for at least 200 yards and four TDs in a playoff game when he finished with 22 yards on the ground in a 37-20 win.

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Pacers Continue Playing Well Out West, Beat Warriors

Keifer Sykes hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:41 left in overtime and a layup the next possession, Chris Duarte scored 27 points and the undermanned Pacers beat Stephen Curry and the Warriors 121-117 on Thursday night.

 

Golden State got one last chance with 6.4 seconds left after a jump ball and Klay Thompson checked in but couldn't get a shot off.

 

Curry scored 39 but none in overtime, missing a 3 from the top of the arc with 16.5 seconds left. He had a tying layup with 2:44 left and four free throws in the final 34.5 seconds of regulation, but Golden State surrendered Justin Holiday's tying 3 with 6 seconds left to send the game into OT.

 

Duarte hit clutch jumpers late in regulation as the determined Pacers hung tough on a night they were missing the starting backcourt duo of Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert, along with starting center Domantas Sabonis because of injuries.

 

Juan Toscano-Anderson, who had a key 3 with 3:19 to go, rebounded Torrey Craig's miss with 15.7 seconds left and Curry converted free throws.

 

Indiana center Goga Bitadze was ejected with 6:44 left following his second technical after fouling Gary Payton II, who went over the 6-foot-11 center for a left-handed slam and also was whistled for a technical.

 

Thompson drove to the basket for a pretty reverse layup in the second quarter and again showed signs of his old dominant self after returning earlier this month from a 2 1/2-year absence following surgeries on his left knee and right Achilles tendon. He missed all seven of his 3-point tries and Golden State's players aside from Curry were 0 for 14 from deep until Damion Lee connected with 40 seconds left in the third.

 

Curry had 18 points by halftime to help Golden State build a 63-55 lead and wound up 12 of 27 with six 3-pointers. Kevon Looney grabbed 15 rebounds for his career-best fourth straight game with double-digit boards. DeMarcus Cousins was the last Warriors player with 10 or more rebounds in four straight games, doing so in five in a row from Feb. 12-28, 2019, according to Elias.

 

Indiana snapped a four-game losing streak with a 111-104 road win against the Lakers on Wednesday. The Pacers take on the top two teams in the Western Conference in consecutive games when they play at Phoenix on Saturday.

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Lady Maroons Outlast Shelbyville

In a game heard Thursday night on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons downed Shelbyville, 46-41, in CIC conference play. 
 

Clinton jumped out to a 13-2 lead after the first quarter, and led 27-13 at half.  However, Shelbyville battled back to cut the lead to 33-32 at the end of the third.  Three timely three-pointers in the fourth secured the Maroons win. 
 

Clinton was led by Mallory Cyrulik's 20-points, 16 of which came in the first half.  Kaitlyn Rauch was named the WHOW/Serv-Pro of Piatt & Dewitt County Player of the Game. She added 14-points, 8 of which came in the fourth quarter. Heidi Humble also added 8 in the game for Clinton.  
 

Shelbyville was led by Trinity Wade, who left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury.  Wade and Dru Clark had 10 points each for Shelbyville. 
 

Clinton improves to 22-4 overall, and 5-0 in conference.  Shelbyville falls to 12-10 overall, and 3-2 in conference.  Both teams now head to Tuscola Saturday for the first round of the CIC tournament.  Clinton is the top seed and faces Central A&M Saturday at 3; while Shelbyville is the 3-seed and takes on Sullivan Saturday night at 7:30. 
 

Tune into WHOW Friday night for our Clinton Maroons "Game of the Week!"  The Maroons travel to Sullivan to take on the Redskins in CIC conference play.  Varsity tip expected around 7:30pm on all WHOW platforms. 

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Monticello Up To No. 5 in Latest 2A High School Boy's Basketball Poll

As the Monticello Sages continue a hot start to the season, pollsters are taking notice as Monticello moved up to No. 5 in the latest AP high school boy's basketball 2A poll.

 

Monticello swapped spots with Chicago Clark this week. Nashville stays atop the 2A poll in a minor reshuffling of the state's top-ranked teams. Chicago Leo moved up to No. 2 while Chicago DePaul College Prep jumped a spot to No. 3. Last week's No. 2, Chicago Orr received two first-place votes and comes in at No. 4.

 

After Chicago Clark at No. 6, Murphysboro is No. 7, and El Paso-Gridley and Breese Central tied for ninth while Teutopolis re-enters the rankings at No. 10.

 

In Class 1A, Meridian slips from No. 3 to No. 7 this week. Yorkville Christian is No. 1 with eight first-place votes and Scales Mound checks in at No. 2 with six first-place votes. Fulton, Peoria Christian, and Liberty round out the top 5 in 1A. 

 

South Beloit checks in at No. 6 and after Meridian at No. 7, Madison, Steeleville, and Tuscola round out the top 10. 

 

Cerro Gordo just missed out on a spot in the top 10 despite upsetting the Warriors of Tuscola earlier in the week. 

 

In Class 3A, Chicago Simeon remains the unanimous No. 1 team followed by Hillcrest, Chicago Mt. Carmel, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, and East St. Louis in the top 5.

 

Hyde Park, Centralia, Burlington Central, Peoria Notre Dame, and Lake Forest round out the top 10 in 3A.

 

In 4A, Normal Community stayed at No. 6 in this week's poll. Glenbard West is the unanimous No. 1 followed by Kenwood, Glenbrook South, Chicago Curie, and Chicago Whitney Young rounding out the top 5.

 

Following Normal Community at No. 6, New Trier, Wheaton Warrenville South, Oswego East and O'Fallon round out the top 10.

 

This weekend, Monticello matches up with Meridian Saturday night in a matchup of top 10 teams in 1A and 2A.

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Lincoln Lady Railsplitters Drop to No. 7 in Latest High School Girl's Basketball Polls

It was a tough early week for the Lincoln Lady Railsplitters but Illinois high school basketball pollsters still say the Lady Railers are a top 10 team.

 

Lincoln fell from No. 4 to No. 7 in the latest Class 3A girl's high school basketball polls. Geneseo is No. 1 followed by Sycamore, Peoria Notre Dame, Nazareth, and Peoria Central.

 

Morton checks in at No. 6 and after Lincoln at No. 7, Matton, Bethalto Civic Memorial, and Chicago Heights Marian Catholic rounds out the top 10. 

 

The Lady Railsplitters got a big win last week over Mattoon but fell to Mahomet-Seymour and Pana this week. They'll be back in action on Saturday night taking on Peoria High School. 

 

In Class 1A, Okawville is No. 1 followed by Brimfield, Cowden-Herrick, Tri-County and River Ridge in the top 5. Mendon Unity, Serena, Galena, Brown County and Havana round out the top 10. Neoga drops out of the top 10 this week. 

 

In Class 2A, Winnebago is the No. 1 team followed by Quincy Notre Dame, Illini West, and Pana and Paris tied for No. 5. Rounding out the top 10 were Carterville, Fieldcrest, Teutopolis, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, and Chicago Noble Street-Butler.

 

In Class 4A, Chicago Benet Academy is No. 1 followed by Chicago Stevenson at No. 2 and Loyola and Fremd tying for No. 4 followed by Edwardsville at No. 5. 

 

Chicago Kenwood, Normal Community, Hersey and Naperville North are six through nine while O'Fallon and Bollingbrook tied for tenth in the latest poll. 

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