Local Sports

Monticello Lady Sages Defeats St. Thomas More Lady Sabers

As heard on WEZC, the Monticello Lady Sages defeated the St. Thomas More Lady Sabers by a score of 44-26 on Monday night. The Lady Sages were led by Lizzie Stiverson with 18 points. Cloe Clark added 10 points. Jayna Burger also added 7 points.

 

The Lady Sabers were led by Kenedy Ramshaw with 10 points. Alaina Bowie added 8 points.

 

With the win, the Lady Sages improve to 11-15 overall. The Lady Sabers fall to 6-11 overall.

 

Tune in Tuesday, January 28th, as the Monticello Sages take on Rantoul. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Monticello Hosts Rantoul Tonight

The Monticello Sages are looking to stay on track tonight when they host Rantoul in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action at Monticello High School.

 

The Sages have won three of their last five games, including a Saturday win over Meridian, 78-56. The win improved Monticello to 11-8 overall. 

 

Rantoul enters action 3-14 and 1-1 in Illini Prairie Conference action. 

 

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

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Bulls Edge Spurs

Zach LaVine scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, including two clutch foul shots with 2.1 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls beat the San Antonio Spurs 110-109 on Monday night.

 

The 24-year-old LaVine, making a bid for his first All-Star appearance, extended his streak of games with at least 20 points to 15, matching his career best. He went 4 for 8 from the field in the fourth after missing 11 of his first 14 shots.

 

LaVine won an entertaining duel with DeMar DeRozan after Chicago trailed by 10 heading into the final period. DeRozan tied it at 108 on a tough fadeaway jumper with 8.6 seconds left, but LaVine responded with two free throws after he was fouled by Jakob Poetl on a drive to the basket.

 

San Antonio had one last chance, and DeRozan was fouled by Kris Dunn on a long jumper with 0.2 seconds to go. DeRozan made the first free throw, missed the second and grabbed the rebound, but was unable to get a shot off before time expired.

 

Chicago placed seven players in double figures in its third win in four games. Denzel Valentine scored 16 points, and Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky each added 13.

 

DeRozan had 36 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio. Patty Mills made six 3-pointers and finished with 25 points.

 

The Spurs played without forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who was sidelined by a sprained right thumb. The 34-year-old Aldridge stayed in San Antonio after he had 10 points and 10 rebounds during Sunday's 110-106 loss to Toronto.

 

Poetl, who replaced Aldridge in the starting lineup, finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. But he missed three big foul shots in the fourth after he was intentionally fouled by Chicago. He was 2 for 8 on free throws for the game.

 

Led by Mills, San Antonio went 10 for 25 from 3-point range. 

 

The Bulls visit the Pacers on Wednesday. Chicago has dropped its last seven games against Indiana, including the first two matchups this season.

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Illinois Moves Up in Latest College Basketball Polls

Baylor is No. 1 for a second straight week in an AP Top 25 poll that had no major changes at the top, a rare bit of stability in a wildly unpredictable season.

Houston made the biggest jump in a week that featured only modest climbs or slides, rising four spots to No. 21. No. 20 Colorado moved up three spots, while No. 12 West Virginia, No. 13 Kentucky, No. 15 Maryland and No. 19 Illinois each rose two spots.

 

The Bears stayed well ahead of No. 2 Gonzaga in Monday’s poll, part of an unchanged top seven for the first time this season. The only change in the top 10 came with Villanova moving up a spot to No. 8 to swap positions with No. 9 Duke. That comes in a season that has seen seven different teams reach No. 1 this season, matching a record set during the 1982-83 season.

 

Gonzaga (21-1) earned 19 first-place votes to remain either No. 1 or No. 2 in the poll since the middle of December.  

 

Michigan State and Butler had the biggest slides of the week.

 

The Spartans — who started the year at No. 1 — fell three spots to No. 14 after losing at Indiana. The Bulldogs also fell three spots to No. 16 after losing to Villanova, the final loss in a three-game skid that had dropped Butler from No. 5 two weeks ago.

 

The other falls were Duke, No. 17 Auburn and No. 25 Rutgers inching down one spot.

 

No. 22 LSU, No. 23 Wichita State and No. 24 Penn State were the week’s new additions, re-entering the poll after appearances earlier this season.

 

Texas Tech (No. 18), Memphis (No. 20) and Arizona (No. 22) fell out of the rankings. The Tigers had been ranked all season, while this is the second time that the Red Raiders and Wildcats have fallen out of the poll.

 

A convincing win at Florida helped Baylor overtake Gonzaga for No. 1 in this week's USA Today Coaches Poll, ending a split between the Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25 over who is the top team in college basketball.

 

Illinois moved up to No. 19 in the Coaches Poll, their same position in the AP Poll. 

 

Gonzaga, which is No. 2 in both polls this week, did little to deserve a demotion. The Zags thrashed Pacific 92-59 in their only game last week. But Baylor's 6-0 start in a tougher conference appears to be currying favor around the country. 

 

The Bears beat Florida 72-61 as underdogs on Saturday to help the Big 12 salvage a 5-5 split in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. It was Baylor's sixth win this season in Quadrant 1 games, bringing the Bears' record to 6-1 in those games with seven projected Quadrant 1 games remaining on their schedule. The Bears have won 16 straight since a neutral site loss to Washington on Nov. 8.

 

Gonzaga is 4-1 in Quadrant 1 games and is projected to have just two more during the regular season as the Zags attempt to go undefeated in West Coast Conference play for a second straight season.

 

The top eight teams in the Coaches Poll remained unchanged. Michigan State was the only team to drop out of the top 10 after a 1-1 week that included a loss at Indiana and a win at Minnesota.

 

Villanova crept up from No. 11 to No. 10, replacing the Spartans in the top 10. Texas Tech, Arizona and Memphis each dropped out of the poll with LSU, Penn State and Colorado replacing them.

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Canucks Hold Off Blues

JT Miller scored twice in the second period to help the Vancouver Canucks rally from an early deficit to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Monday night.

 

Bo Horvat also scored as the Canucks won their ninth straight at home, and 12 in the last 15 overall. Jake Virtanen and Chris Tanev each had two assists.

 

Thatcher Demko, making his second straight start, and fourth in the last 20 games, stopped 36 shots. He credited his teammates for the 23 shots they blocked.

 

Miller has 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) in 50 games this season, topping the 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists) he had in 75 games with Tampa Bay last year.

 

Zach Sanford scored for the Blues, who have lost three straight (0-2-1). Jake Allen made 22 saves.

The Canucks remained first in the Pacific Division with 60 points, three more than Edmonton, Calgary, Arizona and Vegas.

 

The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues lead the Western Conference with 68 points.

With the Blues pushing for the tying goal in the third, Demko made a huge left pad save on Jaden Schwartz.

 

He later blocked Sanford on the short side.

 

The Blues are at Calgary on Tuesday night.

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

The Clinton Lady Maroons stunned the Central A&M Lady Raiders on the first day of the girl's Central Illinois Conference basketball tournament 47-37.

 

The win propels the sixth-seeded Lady Maroons into the winner's bracket and a Tuesday night matchup against Decatur St. Teresa at 7:30 pm. The winner of that matchup takes on Sullivan or Tuscola

 

Thursday night for the tournament championship. The losers matchup for third, also Thursday night.

 

Whether the Lady Maroons are playing for third-place or the tournament title, hear the action Thursday night on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW app, or Amazon Alexa.

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Trailblazers Top Pacers

Damian Lillard had 50 points and 13 assists, becoming the first Portland player with 40-plus points in three straight games, and the Trail Blazers beat the Indiana Pacers 139-129 on a Sunday marked by grief over the death of NBA great, Kobe Bryant.

 

The Trail Blazers honored Bryant with 24 seconds of silence before the game, and the team took a 24-second shot-clock violation at the start before the Pacers took an eight-second timeline penalty, recognizing Bryant's jersey numbers. Several fans at the Moda Center wore Lakers jerseys, saluting a player who spent his entire career with rival Los Angeles.

 

CJ McCollum returned after a three-game absence because of an ankle injury and added 28 points for the Blazers (20-27). Hassan Whiteside had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

 

Domantas Sabonis had 27 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds for the Pacers in his second career triple-double. 

 

NBA veteran Carmelo Anthony finished with 14 points for the Blazers.

 

The Pacers were without starter Malcolm Brogdon, who missed his second straight game in concussion protocol after taking an elbow against Phoenix on Wednesday. Indiana center Myles Turner also sat out because of illness.

 

Lillard hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the first quarter and give the Blazers a 36-27 lead. Whiteside's alley-oop dunk from Lillard put the Blazers up 57-49 late in the half, and Portland had a 66-56 lead at the break.

 

Whiteside had another dunk off a pass from Anthony and added a free throw to put the Blazers up 93-76. Portland led by as many as 21 but Indiana closed to 103-96 at the end of the third quarter.

The Pacers host Chicago on Wednesday.

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Lady Sages host Champaign St. Thomas More Tonight

The Monticello Lady Sages look to continue to build on their recent success tonight when they host Champaign St. Thomas More.

 

The Lady Sages took down 46-36 last Thursday night and then defeated IVC Saturday morning.

 

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

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Blues Host Canucks to Begin Post-All-Star Break

Two first-place teams aim to carry their form into the season's unofficial second half when the St. Louis Blues visit the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.

 

After welcoming the league's biggest stars to St. Louis for Saturday's All-Star Game, the Blues hit the road as the regular season resumes. Monday's date in Vancouver begins a four-game road trip for the Blues through Canada, concluding with a visit to the division rival Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 1.

Perhaps the toughest challenge will come right away as the Blues face a Canucks team that recently has been unbeatable in its own building.

 

Vancouver is 8-0-0 in its past eight home games. A Canucks victory on Monday would tie the fourth-longest regular-season home winning streak in franchise history and put Vancouver closer to the team record of 11 straight home wins.

 

The recent home ice dominance has carried Vancouver to an 11-3-0 record over its past 14 games overall. The Canucks enter the second half of the season on a two-game winning streak.

 

St. Louis already has notched one win in Vancouver this season, emerging with a 2-1 overtime victory on Nov. 5. The Canucks also hold a road victory over the Blues, earning a 4-3 shootout win on Oct. 17. Monday's game is the third and final regular-season meeting between the two teams.

 

The Blues hold a six-point lead over the second-place Colorado Avalanche in the Central Division. St. Louis entered the All-Star break on a down note, however, going 0-1-1 in its last two games.

 

Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron, Alex Pietrangelo and Jordan Binnington were starters for the Central Division's all-Blues starting lineup in Saturday's All-Star Game. The home-ice advantage didn't help as the Pacific Division team -- which included Vancouver's Jacob Markstrom, Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson -- routed the Central 10-5.

 

The Canucks hold a one-point lead over four teams in the tightly compacted Pacific Division. Neither the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Vegas Golden Knights or Arizona Coyotes play Monday, giving Vancouver an opportunity to create some much-needed space atop the standings.

 

Vancouver forward Bo Horvat has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games.

 

Perron has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past seven games.

 

Sammy Blais (wrist surgery) and Colton Parayko (upper-body injury) could be available for St. Louis. Blais has been out of action since Nov. 19. Parayko has missed the Blues' past seven games.

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NBA Icon Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash

Kobe Bryant died Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. He was 41. The former Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among those killed in the crash, according to multiple reports.

 

An investigation is ongoing, per the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which confirmed there were no survivors among the nine people aboard the aircraft but would not release the names of those who perished in the crash. However, Orange Coast College baseball coaching legend John Altobelli, as well as his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were among the victims of the crash, according to a statement from the school. Altobelli coached at Orange Coast College for 27 years, and he led the school to four state titles. 

 

The crash happened just before 10 a.m. PT with nine confirmed deaths and no survivors. 

 

Bryant, an NBA superstar and Orange County resident, famously took a helicopter to games and practices while playing for the Lakers as a means of avoiding traffic and the confined space of a car. He continued doing so in his retirement for business and personal reasons. Bryant and his daughter were reportedly on their way to participate in travel basketball when the helicopter went down. 

 

The fourth-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 career points, Bryant was a five-time NBA champion with the Lakers and 18-time NBA All-Star who was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 2008. He was twice an NBA Finals MVP and an 11-time All-NBA First Team selection. The two-time NBA scoring champion was known just as much for his prowess on the other end of the court, picking up nine selections to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

 

He was the youngest player in NBA history when he took the court in 1996 and spent his entire 20-year career in Los Angeles. 

 

Kobe and Gianna are survived by a large immediate family, including his wife Vanessa and daughters Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella and Capri Kobe.

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Leishman Rallies for Win at Farmers Insurance Open

Mark Leishman shot 31 on the front nine to seize control, came up with three big par saves on the back nine and closed with a birdie for a 7-under 65 and a one-shot victory Sunday in the Farmers Insurance Open.

 

John Rahm played so badly at the start — two bogeys and a double bogey through five holes — that he started firing away, and few players are more dangerous. He made an eagle and three birdies over a five-hole stretch to at least have a chance.

 

Rahm hit the green on the par-5 18th, and it went to the top ridge — the pin was on the lower level in a bowl. He was in the same spot from where he made eagle in 2017 that secured his first PGA Tour title.

His putt died to the left and short. Rahm shot 70.

 

Rory McIlroy, needing a victory to return to No. 1 in the world, started three shots behind in the final group and opened with two straight bogeys. He missed a short birdie attempt on the third, and then pulled his tee shot into the hazard and had to scramble for bogey.

 

Much like Rahm, he stayed in the mix by playing his last five holes on the front nine in 5 under.

 

McIlroy couldn’t make up enough ground, shot 69 and tied for third with Brandt Snedeker (68).

Tiger Woods, trying to set the PGA Tour record with his 83rd career victory, never got anything going. Woods had to settle for a 70 and tied for ninth, six shots behind.

 

Ryan Palmer, who started one shot out of the lead, closed with a 77.

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Monticello Sages Defeat Meridian

As heard on WEZC, the Monticello Sages defeated the Meridian Hawks by a score of 78-56 on Saturday night. The Sages were led by Ryan Reeder with 24 points. Garrett Kepley had 18.

 

Meridian was led by Graham Meisenhelter with 19 points. Drew Hurelbrink added 13.

 

With the win, the Sages improve to 11-8 on the season.

 

Tune in Monday, January 27, as the Lady Sages take on Champaign St. Thomas More. You can hear the game live on Your Easy Choice and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Monticello Sages fall to Fairbury (Prairie Central) Hawks

As heard on WEZC, the Monticello Sages fell to the Fairbury (Prairie Central) Hawks by a score of 66-54 Friday night. The Sages were led by Ethan Miller with 14 points. Ryan Reeder added 12 points. Garrett Kepley also added 11 points.

 

The Hawks were led by Rylie Vaughan with 15 points. 

 

With the loss, the Sages fall to 10-8 overall and 0-1 in the conference. The Hawks improve to 18-4 overall and 2-0 in the conference.

 

Tune in Saturday, January 25th, as the Sages take on Meridian. You can hear all of these games live on Your Easy Choice 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Maroons Earn First Conference Win Against Redskins

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Sullivan Redskins by a score of 35-31 on Friday night. Junior Zeke Hickman led the scoring with 12 points. Senior Skyler Williamson added 10 points.

 

The Redskins were led by junior Ian Planic with 11.

 

With the win, Clinton improves to 5-16 overall and 1-2 in the Central Illinois Conference. Sullivan with the loss drops to 3-14 on the season and 0-3 in the CIC.

 

The Maroons play next in the Central Illinois Conference tournament at Central A&M February 1 through February 11. The game of the week from that tournament will be determined at a later date. You can hear Clinton Maroons and Lady Maroons broadcast 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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Clinton Travels to Sullivan

The Clinton Maroons and Sullivan Redskins will be looking to get in the Central Illinois Conference win column tonight when the two meet at Sullivan High School tonight in high school boys basketball action.

 

Both teams have started 0-2 in the CIC. The Redskins are 3-13 overall while the Maroons are 4-16. 

The Maroons were toppled by Decatur St. Teresa 65-24 Tuesday while Meridian took down Sullivan 74-62.

 

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

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Monticello Travels to Prairie Central

It's another test on the Monticello boys basketball schedule tonight when the Sages head to Fairbury to take on Prairie Central.

 

The Hawks are off to a 17-2 start this season and won their first conference game. 

 

The Sages are off a dominating 58-21 win over Georgetown Notre Dame La Salette Academy Tuesday night.

 

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

 

After tonight's game, Monticello turns around and hosts Meridian Saturday night.

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Big Ten Suspends Illinois' Griffin 2 Games

The Big Ten suspended Illinois guard Alan Griffin two games Thursday for stepping on Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic.

 

Griffin was called for a flagrant foul 2 and ejected with 12:21 left in the first half Tuesday at Purdue when he stomped on Stefanovic’s midsection after the guard drove for a layup and drew a crescendo of boos. No. 21 Illinois went on to win 79-62.

 

Griffin, averaging 8.4 points, will miss games against Michigan on Saturday and Minnesota on Jan. 30. He apologized Wednesday to Stefanovic and Purdue as well as Illinois and its fans on social media.

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Tiger Opens with 69 At Torrey Pines

Coming off his record-tying 82nd victory in his last PGA Tour start three months ago in Japan, Tiger Woods handled the par 5s on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines and limited mistakes for a 3-under 69.

 

Sebastian Cappelen and Keegan Bradley had the low scores of the opening round, which was not the same as sharing the lead. Cappelen had eight birdies for a 66 on the South Course, which played about three shots tougher than the North, where Bradley shot his 66.

 

Rory McIlroy, who played in the group in front of Woods, was among those at 67. Jon Rahm, playing alongside Woods, was in the large group at 68.

 

Woods hasn’t broken 70 in his first round of the year since a 69 on the North at Torrey in 2011. His health, his game and even his momentum are in much better shape now. His game wasn’t all that far off.

 

It took a little time to get going. He left himself in a bad shot right of the green on the par-5 10th to start his round and failed to make birdie. His flop shot from 50 yards short of the green on the next hole came up short and into a bunker, leading to a bogey. He was even par at the turn on a course where lower scores are expected.

 

Woods kept it simple, with a nifty wedge to short range on his 10th hole, a two-putt birdie from 18 feet on the par-5 fifth and an easy up-and-down for birdie on the final hole.

 

Bubba Watson had a 67 on the South, while three other players broke 70 on the South, which hosted the U.S. Open in 2008 and gets another U.S. Open next year.

 

Rahm was 4 under through eight holes until he stalled.

 

McIlroy, who has never won in his first event of the year, can return to No. 1 in the world for the first time in more than four years by winning. He also handled the par 5s by making birdie on all of them, along with adding three birdies.

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Lady Sages Top Lady Trojans

As heard on WEZC, the Monticello Lady Sages defeated the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans by a score of 46-36 on Thursday night. The Lady Sages were led in scoring by Cloe Clark with 11 points. Renni Fultz and Jayna Burger with 10 points apiece. 

 

The Lady Trojans were led by Hallie Mitchell with 16 points. Tatum Young chipped in with 10.

 

Monticello improves to 9-13 and Maroa-Forsyth falls to 10-12.

 

Tune in Friday, January 24, as Monticello travels to Prairie Central. You can hear the game live on Your Easy Choice 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Lady Maroons Earn First Conference Win Against Shelbyville

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Shelbyville Lady Rams by a score of 64-34. Mallory Cyrulik led the Lady Maroons with 22 points. Kaitlyn Rauch had 18.

 

Shelbyville was led by Trinity Wade with 13 points.

 

With the win, the Lady Maroons improve to 14-11 overall and 1-4 in conference action. With the loss, Shelbyville drops to 11-13 overall and 1-4 in the CIC.

 

Tune in Friday, January 24, as the Maroons take on the Sullivan Redskins. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa. Tipoff is set for 7:30 pm with the broadcast beginning shortly before then.

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Lincoln Down in Latest 3A High School Basketball Polls

Lincoln High School fell last weekend to Rock Island and thus fell in the latest AP Top 10 high school basketball poll.

 

The Railers fell from a tie for sixth to tenth in the poll this week. Last week's four-way tie for sixth was sorted out this week in the poll as Peoria Notre Dame comes in fifth, Kankakee sixth, and Rock Island seventh. 

 

Galesburg enters the 3A rankings this week and Niles Notre Dame is the top team in 3A.

 

In the 1A poll, Central A&M stays at No. 2 with a vote for no. 1. Winchester-West Central is still No. 1. Roanoke Benson, Goreville and Indian Creek round out the top five. 

 

In 2A, Tuscola moved up in the rankings from tenth to eighth. Normal U-High stayed at No. 5. Chicago Orr remains No. 1.

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Clinton Girls Hosting Shelbyville Tonight

Hear Clinton Maroons girls basketball action tonight on WHOW as the Lady Maroons host Shelbyville for Central Illinois Conference high school girls basketball action. 

 

The Lady Maroons beat Illini Central Monday night 42-27. Shelbyville fell to Martinsville Monday 49-46.

 

The Lady Maroons are still looking for their first win in the CIC, as they sit at 0-4 but are 13-11 overall. 

 

Shelbyville has not faired much better in conference action, as they enter play tonight 1-3 in league play and 11-12 overall.

 

Game time tonight is 7:30 pm. Hear it 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 Hosts Maroa-Forsyth in Girls Basketball Action Tonight

The Monticello Lady Sages will play host to the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans tonight on WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

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

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Bradley Tops Illinois State

Backcourt mates Nate Kennell and Ville Tahvanainen scored 18 points apiece as Bradley beat Illinois State 75-63 on Wednesday night.

 

Danya Kingsby added 12 points for Bradley (14-6, 5-2 Missouri Valley Conference). Tahvanainen and Ja'Shon Henry had seven rebounds.

 

DJ Horne and Keith Fisher III scored 17 points apiece for the Redbirds (6-13, 1-6), who have lost six straight. Fisher added seven rebounds. Zach Copeland added 13 points for Illinois State, which missed 22 3-pointers (11 for 32) and made 23 field goals (23 of 60).

 

Bradley plays at Indiana State on Saturday. Illinois State will be at home against Southern Illinois on Saturday.

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Bulls Hold Off Timberwolves

Zach LaVine scored 25 points, Lauri Markkanen added 21 and the Chicago Bulls overcame a big performance by Karl-Anthony Towns to beat the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves 117-110 on Wednesday night.

 

LaVine had seven points in the final 2:25 to help Chicago pull out the win after letting a 19-point lead in the second quarter slip away.

 

His 3-pointer put the Bulls ahead for good at 111-108 with 1:26 remaining. LaVine then hit two free throws with 26 seconds left. Kris Dunn sank four more foul shots and the Bulls came out on top after losing nine of 12.

 

Towns scored a season-high 40 points, but the Timberwolves lost their seventh straight.

 

LaVine, pushing for a spot in the All-Star Game next month in Chicago, hit three 3-pointers.

 

Markkanen, whose scoring and rebounding are down from last season, nailed four from beyond the arc in his highest-scoring game since he finished with 26 points in a loss to Dallas on Jan. 6.

 

Luke Kornet scored 15 to match a season high. Kris Dunn finished with 14 points on just four field-goal attempts, and Cristiano Felicio added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Towns dominated in his fourth game back after missing 15 because of a sprained left knee. The two-time All-Star made 16 of 24 shots, going 4 of 8 on 3-pointers.

 

Andrew Wiggins scored 25 points - all but three in the second half. Shabazz Napier added 16 points and seven rebounds.

 

The Timberwolves tied it at 66 midway through the third quarter on Gorgui Dieng's 3-pointer and grabbed their first lead since the opening minutes when Wiggins nailed a 3 to make it 69-68. The teams kept trading leads until the closing minutes.

 

The Bulls host Sacramento on Friday.

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