Local Sports

Monticello Rallies Past St. Joseph-Ogden For Sectional Win

The Monticello Sages held the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans scoreless for the first 4:53 seconds of the second half and allowed them to rally to a 47-39 win in sectional semifinal action Wednesday night from Maroa-Forsyth High School.
The Sages trailed 26-24 at the break and opened up the third with a 15-0 run as the Spartans didn't get their first field goal until the 3:07 mark on a Joel Orcutt basket, on which he was fouled and made the and-one free throw to cut the deficit to 39-29.
The Spartans closed the quarter on a 9-2 run to cut it to 41-35 going to the fourth. 
Neither offense found any rhythm as the Sages tried to run out the clock for much of the quarter.
St. Joe cut the deficit to 41-39 with 2:07 to play but Ben Singleton scored four straight points, closing out a career night, and Calvin Fisher made two crucial free throws with 27 seconds remaining.
Singleton scored a career-high 19 points, a game after his game-winner at Hoopeston sent Monticello to a Regional championship against GCMS.
Fisher finished with 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Jack Cook led the Spartans with 11 points and Bryce Haake grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. 
The Sages will take on Bloomington Central Catholic Friday night at 7 pm from Maroa-Forsyth High School.
Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
Class 2A Sectional semifinal action:
At Farmington
Williamsville 43
Dee-Mack 54
Class 1A Sectional seminfinal action:
At Danville Schlarman
Ridgeview 76
Decatur LSA 59
At Central A & M
Dieterich 64
Central A & M 89
Class 3A Region semifinal action Wednesday:
At Decatur MacArthur
Decatur MacArthur 70
Taylorville 58
At Mahomet-Seymour
Mt. Zion 50
Urbana 61
At Morris
Normal U-High 40
Plano 56
At Paris
Tolono Unity 49
Effingham 66
At Peoria Manual
Peoria Notre Dame 43
Peoria Manual 53
At Rochester
Lincoln 40
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 26
At Washington
Metamora 64
Peoria Richwoods 48
At Danville @ Peoria Richwoods
Moline 53
Normal Community 47
At Quincy
Alton 62
Chatham Glenwood 45
At Rock Island
Bloomington 76
Rock Island 79

Monticello Meets St. Joe-Ogden At Maroa-Forsyth Sectional

To get back to a Supersectional, the Monticello Sages will, like 2017, have to go through two squads they've already beaten this year when they start that journey tonight taking on St. Joseph-Ogden tonight at the Maroa-Forsyth Sectional.
Just like 2017, Monticello survived a regional championship game with a last second basket.
This year it was Ben Singleton who played the hero role for No. 5 Monticello, as his layup with .8 seconds left lifted the Sages past No. 9 GMCS.
Monticello beat St. Joe back on January 30, 53-36 at St. Joseph. 
The Spartans are the top seed in the sub-sectional and Monticello is the second seed.
Monticello has won 17 straight and are 24-1 overall while the Spartans are 26-3. 
The winner gets Bloomington Central Catholic Friday night at Maroa-Forsyth High School.
Tip tonight tonight from Maroa is 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Class 2A Sectional semifinal action from Tuesday:
 At Maroa-Forsyth
Bloomington Central Catholic 66
Decatur St. Teresa 41
At Farmington
Warsaw 59
Quincy Notre Dame 56
Class 1A Sectional semifinal action from Tuesday:
At Danville Schlarman
Champaign Judah Christian 80
St. Anne 84
Class 2A Sectional semifinal action tonight:
At Farmington
Williamsville 7:00pm
Class 3A Regional action from Tuesday:
At Decatur MacArthur
Springfield Southeast 78
Decatur Eisenhower 50
At Mahomet-Seymour
Mahomet-Seymour 64
Rantoul 50
At Paris
Champaign Central 70
Richland County 40
At Peoria Manual
Morton 37
Macomb 28
At Rochester
Springfield Lanphier 61
Jerseyville 34
At Washington
Washington 49
Limestone 32
Class 4A Regional action from Tuesday:
At Danville 
Danville 60
Champaign Centennial 50
At Decatur MacArthur
Decatur MacArthur 7:00pm
At Dunlap
Sterling 7:00pm
At Mahomet-Seymour
Mt. Zion 7:00pm
At Morris
Normal U-Hight 7:00pm
At Paris
Tolono Unity 7:00pm
At Peoria Manual
Peoria Notre Dame 7:00pm
Peoria Manual
At Rochester
Lincoln 7:00pm
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
At Washington
Metamora 7:00pm
Peoria Richwoods
Class 4A Regional action tonight:
At Danville 
Moline 7:00pm @Peoria Richwoods
Normal Community
At Quincy 
Alton 7:00pm
Chatham Glenwood
At Rock Island 
Bloomington 7:00pm
Rock Island 

Hornets Beat Bulls

Kemba Walker scored 31 points and Dwight Howard added 24 after returning from a first-quarter back injury as the Charlotte Hornets knocked off the Chicago Bulls 118-103 on Tuesday night to win their season-best fifth game in a row.
Zach LaVine led seven Bulls players in double-digits with 21 points as Chicago (20-41) dropped its fifth consecutive game.
The Hornets improved to 28-33 as their suddenly hot shooting helped them continue their push to make the playoffs. In all, Charlotte sank 53.7 percent of its field-goal attempts, and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.
Walker hit 11-of-19 attempts -- including 6-of-10 of 3-pointers -- while Howard missed only two shots in 12 attempts. Nicolas Batum also added 10 points, 12 assist and seven rebounds.
Sparked by 16 third-quarter points from Howard, the Hornets hit 14-of-20 attempts (70 percent) in that period to take an 87-78 lead.
They came alive midway through the quarter, when a thundering Howard dunk was waived off, occurring after a foul, referees indicated. The crowd booed, and the Hornets were inspired. From there, Walker sank two 3s and Nicolas Batum had another in a 13-5 run that gave them a 71-63 advantage with 5:12 remaining in the third.
All that happened after the Hornets lost two players to injury: starting forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a strained left hamstring after six minutes of play in the first quarter, and backup center Cody Zeller experienced a sore left knee after 11 minutes of play in the first half. Neither player returned.
They nearly lost another, more important player, as well: Howard.
Howard suffered a back strain after playing 10 minutes in the first quarter. When he was removed from the game, he walked straight to the locker room.
He did not re-emerge until just before the second half tipped off.
But he quickly appeared to back to form as on the first play of the half, he blocked a shot attempt from Bulls guard Kris Dunn. The second time Howard touched the ball, one play later, was on an ally-oop dunk from Walker.
Howard ended up playing 28 minutes.
The Bulls host Dallas on Friday.

Wild Blast Blues

Eric Staal had three goals and two assists to combine with linemates Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker for 14 points and propel the surging Wild to an 8-3 victory on Tuesday over the St. Louis Blues, who lost their seventh straight game.
By scoring 13 times in 13 games in February, Staal raised his season total to 33 goals to move into the top five in the NHL.
Granlund had two goals and two assists and Zucker added a goal and four assists for the Wild, who have won five in a row overall and are 19-2-5 in their last 26 home games since Nov. 14. In three games together, the Zucker-Staal-Granlund line has a staggering 11 goals and 15 assists.
Ryan Suter had three of his team-leading 37 assists, Mikko Koivu and Jared Spurgeon also scored, and the Wild's eight goals matched their franchise record.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and Alex Pietrangelo added a goal for the Blues, but Mike Yeo pulled goalie Jake Allen for Carter Hutton after Allen gave up three goals on eight shots in the first period. The Blues have been outscored 29-10 during their skid while taking only one of the seven games to overtime.
Until Pietrangelo scored just 15 seconds into the second period to cut the lead to 3-2, the Blues played a stretch of 171 minutes and 52 seconds where all they had was two goals by Tarasenko.
The Blues played without center Paul Stastny, who was sent to Winnipeg for a first-round draft pick on Monday just before the trade deadline.
The Blues host Detroit tonight, their only home contest out of seven games over a 19-day stretch until Mar. 15.

Bulls, Pacers Lose Monday

>>Nets Beat Bulls
Alan Crabbe scored 21 points and the Brooklyn Nets snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 104-87 win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
Jarrett Allen and DeMarre Carroll each had 18 points for the Nets, and Joe Harris added 15.
Kris Dunn led Chicago with 23 points and Lauri Markkanen had 19.
The Nets trailed 51-49 at halftime, but scored the first nine points of the second half and took the lead for good. Brooklyn increased its advantage to 80-66 on Spencer Dinwiddie's 3-pointer with 3:08 left in the third and still led by 14 at the end of the quarter.
The Bulls never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.
Brooklyn increased its lead to a game-high 22 at 104-82 on Quincy Acy's 3-pointer with 2:46 remaining.
The Bulls, who have lost four straight and 13 of 16, took their first lead of the game, 14-13, on Dunn's two free throws midway through the first quarter. But the Nets scored 11 straight points and went on to take a 28-19 lead after one.
Chicago pulled within a point on two occasions in the second before the Nets opened a 49-40 lead on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's jumper with 2:24 left.
Those were the final points Brooklyn scored in the half, however, as the Bulls went on an 11-0 run to take their halftime lead.
Allen and Dante Cunningham each had nine rebounds to lead the Nets.
Denzel Valentine finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls. Bobby Portis scored 12.
The Bulls visit the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.
>>Mavericks Beat Pacers
Harrison Barnes scored 21 points and J.J. Barea added 19 points and nine assists as the Mavericks ended a four-game losing streak and a turmoil-filled week with a 109-103 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday.
Dallas scored 41 points in the fourth quarter on 60 percent shooting to open a double-digit lead and made seven of eight free throws down the stretch to hang on. The loss halted Indiana's four-game winning streak, and the Mavericks finished a season sweep of the Pacers.
Earlier in the day, the Mavericks named Cynthia Marshall interim CEO, less than a week after a Sports Illustrated report included allegations of sexual misconduct against team employees and the NBA levied a $600,000 fine against owner Mark Cuban for suggesting the club would be best served by losing to secure a higher draft pick.
On the court, the team got a huge spark from Barea, who had nine points and four assists in the final quarter.
Doug McDermott added another 15 points off the Dallas bench, and Dwight Powell had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The Mavericks, held to 40 percent shooting through three quarters, hit 10 of their first 13 shots in the fourth, five of them 3-pointers, to build a 93-80 lead.
Oladipo missed the previous meeting, a 98-94 Dallas win on Dec. 27, with a knee injury and played just 14 minutes over the first three quarters this time, picking up two quick fouls early in the game and never getting into a rhythm until late.
But he helped lead Indiana back, scoring seven straight points for his team to pull the Pacers twice within two in the final minute.
Wesley Matthews hit a 3 with 32.4 seconds remaining to restore a five-point lead for Dallas, and the Mavericks put the game away at the line.
The Pacers take on the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.

Bears Make More Cuts

The Chicago Bears have released oft-injured linebacker Pernell McPhee and safety Quintin Demps.
The first major free agent signing by general manager Ryan Pace, McPhee had trouble staying healthy in three seasons with the Bears. He had 90 tackles and 14 sacks in 36 games for Chicago after playing his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens.
McPhee missed the first six games in 2016 following surgery on his left knee and had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in July. He also sat out three games late last season because of a shoulder ailment and finished the season on injured reserve.
A broken arm limited Demps, who signed with Chicago in March, to three games.
The Bears announced the moves on Monday.

Blackhawks, Blues Make Trade Deadline Moves

>>Blackhawks Trade Hartman To Predators
The Nashville Predators continued to bolster their forward depth as they acquired Ryan Hartman from the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Predators acquired Hartman and a fifth-round pick from Chicago for forward Victor Ejdsell, a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick.
All picks exchanged are for the 2018 draft.
Hartman, a left wing, has 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 57 games with Chicago this season. Hartman will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
The defending Western Conference champion Predators also signed former captain Mike Fisher to a one-year deal earlier Monday.
>>Blues Move Statsny To Jets
In a deadline day that has been marked by rumors and speculation, another shoe has finally dropped. The Winnipeg Jets have acquired center Paul Stastny from the Blues for a package that includes a first-round pick in the 2018 draft, a conditional fourth-rounder in the 2020 draft and prospect Erik Foley.
The Blues are only a point behind the Flames in the Western Conference wild-card race, despite losing six straight.  It really comes down to getting something instead of nothing, and Stastny is an unrestricted free agent after this season, so it appears that St. Louis simply felt it was time to cut ties with the 32-year-old alternate captain.
Stastny's cap hit was $7 million this season, which the Blues retain 50 percent of. Stastny waived a no-trade clause to approve the deal as well.
The Jets get a player with 40 points so far this season, which is tied for fifth on Winnipeg's roster. Twelve of Stastny's points are goals. The Jets currently trail only the Predators and the Golden Knights in the West, and Stastny puts them in position to make a deeper run. He'll be a solid second-line center, as there's no reason to believe Mark Scheifele won't be helming the first line moving forward.

Kentucky Back in Top 25, Virginia Still No. 1

Virginia is the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the third consecutive week. The Cavaliers edged out Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh in convincing fashion on the hardwood this week to improve to 18-1 over their last 19 contests, a mark that also helped them wrap up the ACC regular-season title outright on Saturday.
Virginia received 48 of 65 first-place votes, while Michigan State, No. 2 for a third consecutive week and winners of 12 straight, garnered 17. 
Xavier moved up one spot to No. 3 this week, flipping places with Villanova, while Duke remained at No. 5.
Making an appearance back in the AP Top 25 this week is Kentucky, which jumped from unranked to No. 23. The Wildcats clinched their third consecutive win on Saturday over Missouri, and snapped their two-week drought of being left out of the rankings.
For the last couple of weeks college basketball had a split No. 1 between the AP Top 25 and the coaches poll. After narrowly edging out Michigan State by a count of 17-to-15 for first-place votes in the new coaches poll and holding the top spot in the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one), Virginia is the consensus No. 1 in the country. 
Arizona had the biggest adjustment from last week after a tumultuous week that included the suspension of Allonzo Trier, Sean Miller not coaching the Wildcats in the midst of reports tied to the FBI's investigation into college basketball and an overtime loss at Oregon. The Wildcats fell eight spots, landing at No. 22. 
Michigan made the biggest move up with a three-spot jump to No. 13, Texas Tech fell five spots to No. 12 after losing to Kansas and the rest of the rankings were mostly stable as we wind down the regular season in college hoops. 

UPDATE: Clinton Maroons Season Ended by Decatur Eisenhower

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fall to Decatur Eisenhower by a score of 69-56 on Monday night at the Decatur MacArthur Regional in 3A boys postseason basketball action. 
The win makes Eisenhower the only Class 3A team to beat the Maroons this season. 
Senior Seth Westfall was the leading scorer with 17 points. The Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game Chase Reynolds added 15 points.
Eisenhower was led by Quylan Young with 19 points. Yansyn Taylor and Keon Jones both chipped in with 14 points.
With the loss, the Maroons season ends 14-12 and 2-5 in the CIC. Eisenhower improves to 12-17 and advances to take on Springfield Southeast tomorrow night.
Class 3A Regional Quarterfinal scores:
At Dunlap
Geneseo 45
Illinois Valley Central 49
At Herscher
Pontiac 96
Prairie Central 79
At Mahomet-Seymour
Mattoon 54
Rantoul 57
At Rochester
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 57
Jacksonville 29
At Washington
Limestone 52
East Peoria 51
Class 4A Regional quarterfinal action:
At Danville
Champaign Centennial 52
Pekin 45
Class 3A Regional action tonight:
At Decatur MacArthur
Springfield Southeast 7:00pm
Decatur Eisenhower
At Mahomet-Seymour
Mahomet-Seymour 7:00pm
At Paris
Champaign Central 7:00pm
Richland County
At Washington
Washington 7:00pm
Class 4A Regional action tonight:
At Danville 
Danville 7:00pm
Champaign Centennial
Class 1A Sectional semifinal action tonight:
At Danville Schlarman
Champaign Judah Christian 7:00pm
St. Anne
Class 2A Sectional semifinal action tonight:
At Maroa-Forsyth
Bloomington Central Catholic 7:00pm
Decatur St. Teresa

Maroons Open Postseason At Decatur McArthur

The Clinton Maroons finished their regular season 14-11 overall and are headed to Regional action this week looking for more success.
The Maroons got by Prairie Central Friday 58-49. The Maroons will take on Decatur Eisenhower tonight at 7 pm at Decatur MacArthur High School.
The winner of tonight's game will take on Springfield Southeast tomorrow night at 7 pm. 
Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Class 3A boys regional action tonight:
At Mahomet-Seymour
Mattoon 7:00pm
At Rochester
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 7:30pm
At Washington
Limestone 7:00pm
East Peoria
Class 4A Regional action....
At Danville
Champaign Centennial 7:00pm
At Quincy
Collinsville 7:00pm
At Rock Island
Rock Island 7:30pm

Illinois Splits Four-Game Weekend Series

The Illinois baseball team finished its weekend Sunday at Coastal Carolina with a 7-3 win over VCU. Seven relievers combined to go 6 1/3 innings to carry the Illini to their second win in 24 hours.
Zac Taylor sparked the offense, getting the Illini's first two hits and scoring both times to give Illinois a 3-1 lead after three innings. Taylor led off the game with a single and came around to score on a ground out, before hitting a two-run home run to start a four-run third inning.
Virginia Commonwealth (3-4) stranded 16 runners on base, including eight in the first three innings. Illini starting pitcher Cyrillo Watson allowed six singles and three walks, lasting 2 2/3 innings before turning it over to the bullpen. No Illini reliever threw more than 1 1/3 innings.
The Rams tallied single runs in the seventh and eighth to chip away at the Illini lead, before Doran Turchin blasted a two-out, two-run opposite field homer to give Illinois a 7-3 lead in the eighth.  
Illinois is back on the diamond next weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Illini face UCLA, Arizona and Washington.

Preds Blast Blues

Rinne made 27 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and the Nashville Predators earned a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. 
The Predators won their fourth straight game and moved into sole possession of first place in the Central Division.
The Blues lost their sixth straight.
Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, Kevin Fiala and Scott Hartnell scored for the Predators. Watson has scored four goals against the Blues in as many games this season.
The Blues have scored just seven goals during their six-game losing streak and have been shut out in consecutive games. Overall, St. Louis has not scored a goal in the past 140:24.
The Preds grabbed a 1-0 lead just 4:45 into the opening period when Sissons took a pass from Kyle Turris and zipped a short-range wrist shot past Jake Allen.
Nashville doubled its advantage with 5:39 left in the first when Fiala hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. Turris carried the puck in deep on a 2-on-1 break, then fired a wrist shot past Allen to the far side.
The Predators struck early in the second period, with Hartnell scoring a goal for the third straight game. Calle Jarnkrok spun near the goal line and sent a pass through the crease to Hartnell, who blocked the puck in with his skate.
The Predators added a fourth goal later in the period. Watson scored on a short-handed breakaway attempt, putting the Predators ahead 4-0.
The Blues are at Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Illinois Tops Rutgers in Regular Season Finale

Michael Finke and Aaron Jordan came off the bench to combine for 34 points and lead Illinois past Rutgers 75-62 on Sunday.
Deshawn Freeman blocked a shot by Trent Frazier and then assisted Eugene Omoruyi (14 points) on a fast-break layup to give Rutgers (13-18, 3-15 Big Ten) a 36-35 lead.
However, Frazier answered with a 3-pointer as Illinois (14-17, 4-14) retook a lead they would never surrender, building it to as much as 15.
Illinois led 15-9 after Mark Alstork made a layup midway through the first half. While Rutgers was able to overcome the early deficit and trade leads, Illinois was able to build a lead of seven before taking a 35-30 lead into half.
Corey Sanders scored 18 points, six rebounds and four assists for Rutgers.
Leron Black added 14 points for Illinois.
Illinois will take on Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

Justin Thomas Storms Back For Win At Honda Classic

On a week when scores surged north of 1,000 over par, Justin Thomas held on and threw down a thrilling ending to the 2018 Honda Classic as he won in a one-hole playoff over Luke List. The victory was his second of the 2017-18 season, seventh in the last two years and eighth of his career. 
Following a first 10 holes that saw Thomas hit just four fairways in regulation and bonk a tee ball off some rocks on a par 3, he got through the Bear Trap unscathed before unleashing one of the more dramatic endings to a tournament we've seen all year.
As they stepped to the 18th hole, Thomas and playing partner List were tied at 7 under with Alex Noren, who was already in the clubhouse. Thomas and List pumped two of the three longest drives of the day on No. 18, but List was in the fairway and Thomas was not. Because he pushed his into the right rough, Thomas had to lay up to 117 yards away on the par 5. List went for the green, made it and had a 33-foot eagle putt. Thomas, however, was just giving List a better seat for the show as it turned out. His third shot nearly went in the cup. It stayed up, but Thomas had a kick-in birdie. List covered him up with a two-putt birdie of his own, and those two went to a playoff.
After List pumped one amid the palm trees on the first playoff hole and hit his second off a hospitality tent, it was all but over. List said afterward he knew Thomas was going to make birdie, and Thomas did with ease after reaching the par-5 green in two.
It capped off a three-day stretch in which Thomas made 51 pars or birdies and shot a round-of-the-tournament 65 on Saturday. 
Tommy Fleetwood (4th) was lights out on the weekend as he fired a 67-69 that nearly scored him his first win on the PGA Tour. Still, some of the shots he hit at PGA National, while not surprising given his ball flight and trajectory, that first PGA Tour victory is on deck.
Rory McIlroy (T59) finished top 20 in strokes gained putting. The bad news is that that stat usually means he wins the golf tournament.
Tiger Woods (12th) played about as well as anybody could have envisioned him playing this week following that missed cut at the Genesis Open last week at Riviera Country Club. There are a number of different stats to pick from over the course of Tiger's even-par 280, but the one that probably stood out most was his proximity to the hole number of 29 feet, 3 inches. Woods was pin high on pretty much every single hole and it all adds up to Woods surging into the top 400 of the Official World Golf Rankings. 
Rickie Fowler (MC) ejected hard in the second round with a 76. The defending champion made six bogeys and a double that day and never had a shot at the cut line.

Monticello Wins Fourth Straight Regional With Thrilling Win Over GCMS

Ben Singleton fought through a double team and made a layup with 0.8-seconds left in regulation to break a 43-all tie and send fifth-ranked Monticello to their fourth straight regional title with a 45-43 win over GCMS in boys 2A regional final action from Hoopeston.

Leading 43-36, Monticello played sloppy basketball the final two minutes and nearly squandered an eight-point advantage late, but made enough plays to hold off eighth-ranked GCMS.

The two top-ten squads traded blows throughout the game swapping runs and trading big baskets all night.

Tied at 13 after the first quarter, Monticello led 23-17 halfway through the second quarter, but GCMS responded with an 8-0 run to close out the quarter and led 25-23 at the intermission.

The Sages opened the second half strong, opening up a 39-32 advantage with 3:15 left thanks to making their first eight shots of the second half.

Ben Freehill made back to back threes to tie the game with 1:07 left and GCMS allowed Monticello to hold for a final shot.

Singleton took the ball in the high post looking for outlets on the wing but when nothing opened up, he drove through a double team and hit a tough floater off the glass, and though the clock expired, officials put 0.8 seconds on the clock.

A last-ditch three by the Falcons as time expired game Monticello their fifth Regional title in six years.

Singleton led all scorers with 17 points. Calvin Fisher added 10 points and Luke Stokowski added nine points.

Fisher and Stokowski each had six rebounds.

The Falcons had three players score in double figures with Freehill leading the way with 13 points, Connor Birky added 12 points and Bryce Barnes added 11 points.

The Falcons end their season 23-5 overall.

Monticello improves to 24-1 and will take on St. Joseph-Ogden Wednesday night at the Maroa-Forsyth sectional.

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


Clinton Maroons Win On Senior Night

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Prairie Central Hawks by a score of 58-49 on Friday night. Senior Chase Reynolds led the Maroons with 13 points. Senior Austin Baker chipped in with 9 points. Seniors Austin Rauch and Dalton Smith both added 9 each and Smith was named the Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game.


For Prairie Central, they were led by Jake Bachtold with 12 points and Jake Crane, Eddie Shumaker, and Noah Lewallen all added 8 points.


With the win the Maroons improve to 14-11 overall and Prairie Central falls 8-18 on the season.


Tune in Monday, February 26, as the Maroons take on Decatur Eisenhower in the Regionals. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

Maroons Topple Mt. Zion

The Clinton Maroons had four players score in double-figures and topped Mt. Zion 73-57 in non-conference boys basketball action Tuesday night from Mt. Zion High School.
Chase Reynolds had 18 points, Austin Rauch and Austin Baker each scored 16 points and Ben Nelson added 13 points to lead the Maroons.
Clinton gradually pulled away each quarter and used a 27-19 final quarter margin to get to the final score.
Trevor Durand led all scorers with 22 points for Mt. Zion. Jonah Smith chipped in with 12 points and Clayton Marquardt added 11 points.
The Maroons improve to 13-11 overall while Mt. Zion drops to 10-17.
The Maroons will conclude their regular season Friday night when they host Prairie Central at Clinton High School.
Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Michigan State Topples Illinois

Miles Bridges scored 19 points, Joshua Langford had 16 and No. 2 Michigan State beat Illinois 81-61 on Tuesday night, sealing a share of the Big Ten championship.
The Spartans (27-3, 15-2 Big Ten) have won 11 straight and can claim the conference title outright if they win at Wisconsin on Sunday.
The Fighting Illini (13-16, 3-13) were coming off a win over Nebraska and looked like they were building momentum, competing well enough to trail the Spartans by just three points at halftime.
Michigan State, though, opened the second half with a 12-1 run to take control and went on to build 20-plus-point leads. The cushion allowed coach Tom Izzo to put his three seniors in and out of the game in the final minutes, giving each of them an opportunity to kiss the school's logo at midcourt and get an ovation from the crowd.
Cassius Winston scored 12 points, Jaren Jackson had eight points and five blocks and Kenny Goins added a season-high nine points.
Illinois' Leron Black had 20 points and Trent Frazier scored 14 on 4-of-13 shooting.
Illinois wraps up the regular season at home against Purdue on Thursday night and Sunday at Rutgers, where the Illini will have their last chance to win a road game this season.

Sharks Down Blues

Mikkel Boedker and Logan Couture each had a goal and an assist, sending the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the slumping St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
Joonas Donskoi also scored and Martin Jones made 30 saves for San Jose, which has won five of its last six games.
Ivan Barbashev and Vladimir Tarasenko had the goals for the Blues, who have lost a season-high four straight.
After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for five goals in the second.
San Jose took a 1-0 lead when Couture knocked in a loose puck at 6:35. Boedker fired in a shot from the point that goalie Carter Hutton blocked but couldn't corral. Couture was on the spot and scored his 24th of the season.
St. Louis answered at 8:23 when Barbashev scored on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that sailed over Jones' arm.
Donskoi beat Hutton on a wrist shot from the left circle at 12:05. Couture assisted on Donskoi's first goal in 17 games.
Boedker gave San Jose a 3-1 lead at 15:54 when he scored from the left side of the net.
Tarasenko cut the margin to 3-2 on a power play when he fired in the rebound of a shot by Vince Dunn at 19:36 for his 24th of the season. 
Hutton made his second start in the last five games and stopped 20 shots. 
The Blues host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Rays, Yankees, Dbacks Make Three Team Trade

The Diamondbacks have acquired outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays as part of the three-way trade that also involves the Yankees. As well, infielder Brandon Drury is headed from Arizona to the Yankees, and the D-Backs send reliever Anthony Banda to Tampa. The Yankees will also be sending prospects Nick Solak and Taylor Widener to the Rays and Diamondbacks, respectively.
The centerpiece is of course Souza, who's heading into his age-29 campaign. Last season, he batted .239/.351/.459 (121 OPS+) in 148 games for the Rays with 30 home runs and 16 stolen bases. For his career, Souza owns an OPS+ of 106 across parts of four big-league seasons. He's owed $3.55 million for the upcoming season, and he's not eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season. The D-Backs recently added fly-catcher Jarrod Dyson to the fold, and by dealing for Souza they're doing their best to replace the power they lost when J.D. Martinez signed with the Red Sox. 
On the Yankees' side of things, Drury, 25, fills a need for infield depth at second and third.

Bears Notes

>>Bears Declining Option on Sitton, To Release Freeman
The Chicago Bears are parting with veteran guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Jerrell Freeman.
Two people familiar with the situation say the Bears have decided to decline their option on Sitton for next season and release Freeman.
A four-time Pro Bowl lineman, the 31-year-old Sitton spent the past two seasons in Chicago after an eight-year run with Green Bay.
The 31-year-old Freeman suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in the opener last year and was suspended for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs in each of his two seasons with the Bears.
>>Bears DB Pleads Guilty in Northeast Iowa Bar Fracas
A Chicago Bears defensive back has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors stemming from a fracas at a bar in northeast Iowa.
Deiondre' Hall and Green Bay Packers defensive back Makinton Dorleant were arrested March 26 last year outside Sharkey's Funhouse in Cedar Falls.
Court records say Hall entered written pleas Feb. 9 to charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication. He was sentenced to six months of probation on a deferred judgment. That will allow his conviction to be removed from court records if he successfully completes the terms of his probation.
The records say the Dorleant was given a year of probation and granted a deferred judgment at his sentencing last May on the same charges. The Packers cut him in April after he failed a physical.
Both men played college football in Cedar Falls at Northern Iowa.

UPDATED: Monticello Beats PBL To Advance to Regional Final

Calvin Fisher went over 1000 points for his career, Johnny Dawson scored a season-high 16 points and the Monticello Sages beat Paxton-Buckley-Loda for a third time this season, 56-45 from the Hoopeston regional to advance to a Regional final Friday night.
Fisher scored 21 points and Dawson scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half. 
The Panthers hung around most of the game but Monticello went ahead for good with a 9-0 run over the final 4:47 of the third quarter to seize control 40-31.
Ben Singleton added 12 points for the Sages who are now 23-1 overall.
They will match up with either GCMS or Champaign St. Thomas More Friday. The two meet on Wednesday night in Hoopeston. 
Hear Friday night’s action from Hoopeston on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
Boys Class 2A Regional semifinal action from Tuesday:
At Auburn
Williamsville 45
Riverton 29
At Bloomington Central Catholic
Bloomington Central Catholic 103
Maroa-Forsyth 40
Tri-Valley 52
Heyworth 78
At Catlin Salt Fork
St. Joseph-Ogden 65
Broadlands Heritage 36
Salt Fork 64
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 45
At El Paso-Gridley
Westmont 47
El Paso-Gridley 50
At Tuscola
Decatur St. Teresa 36
Warrensburg-Latham 31
Fithian Oakwood 74
Meridian 81
Class 1A Regional semifinal action from Tuesday:
At Concord Triopia
Illini Central 62
Hartsburg-Emden 42
At Decatur LSA
Mt. Pulaski 66
Decatur Christian 23
LeRoy 80
DeLand-Weldon 8

Monticello To Take On P-B-L At Hoopeston Regional

The Monticello boys basketball team will take on Paxton-Buckley-Loda tonight from the Hoopeston regional in 2A postseason action.
The Sages wrapped up a 22-1 regular season, running the tables in the Illini Prairie Conference. 
Monticello has beaten P-B-L twice this year. This will be the second straight year the Panthers and Sages meet three times.
Last year, the two played to an overtime duel at Monticello Middle School for a Sectional title.
Game time tonight from Hoopeston is 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
The winner takes on either G.C.M.S or Champaign St. Thomas More Friday night for a Regional title, the two will meet on Wednesday. 
Other 2A Regional semifinal action tonight:
At Bloomington Central Catholic
Tri-Valley 7:30pm
At Catlin 
St. Joseph-Ogden 6:00pm
Broadlands Heritage
Salt Fork 7:30pm
At Tuscola
Decatur St. Teresa 6:00pm
Fithian Oakwood 7:30pm
Macon Meridian
At Vandalia.
Shelbyville 7:30pm
Class 1A Regional semifinal action tonght:
At Concord
Illini Central 7:30pm
At Decatur LSA
Mt. Pulaski 6:00pm
Decatur Christian
LeRoy 7:30pm
At Nokomis
Neoga 6:00pm
Sangamon Valley

Maroa-Forsyth Downs Olympia At Regionals

Four players scored in double figures for Maroa-Forsyth as the Trojans downed Olympia 69-54 in Class 2A Regional boys basketball action from Bloomington Central Catholic High School Monday night.
Aaron Agee scored 14 of his game high 19 points in the first half. Daanish Mahmood scored 18 points, Aaron Woodrow scored nin of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, including shooting 3-for-6 from the foul line, and Anthony Campbell added ten points.
The Trojans got off to a fast start with a 23-9 lead after the first quarter, and while the Spartans kept up the rest of the way, the Trojans balance was too much for Olympia.
The Trojans are now 7-19 overall and will take on Bloomington Central Catholic in Regional semifinal action tonight at 6 pm.
Class 2A Regional quarterfinal action Monday:
At El Paso-Gridley
Eureka 44
El Paso-Gridley 48
At Hoopeston
Paxton-Buckley-Loda 43
Bismarck-Henning 38
Hoopeston 43
Champaign St. Thomas More 46
At Tuscola
Warrensburg-Latham 47
Tuscola 41
Macon Meridian 69
Argenta-Oreana 57
Class 1A Regional quarterfinal action from Monday:
At Decatur LSA
Blue Ridge 54
Cerro Gordo 59
At Milford
Urbana Prep 49
Fisher 57
At Streator
Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy 46
Lexington 42

College Basketball Polls Shuffle Again

Last week's AP Top 25 shakeup vaulted Virginia into the No. 1 spot for the first time since 1982, and the Cavaliers held steady atop this week's poll with 42 of 65 first-place votes. Madness inside the top 10 this past week however produced a scramble beneath them with a brand new order from 5-10.
Altogether, the top 10 teams last week stumbled to a combined 10-9 overall -- headlined by an 0-2 week for both Cincinnati and Ohio State and a 1-1 week for Villanova, Xavier, Texas Tech and Purdue, giving us a new top 10 that includes appearances by North Carolina, Kansas and Duke.
Michigan State, which mounted an historic comeback on Saturday to stun Northwestern, remained at No. 2 in this week's poll and Villanova and Xavier kept its spots at 3 and 4. The Spartans garnered 19 first-place votes behind Virginia. Villanova received four first-place votes.
Michigan State held strong at the top spot in the new USA Today Coaches Poll, as Virginia and Villanova swapped Nos. 2 and 3 and Duke made a charge into the top five following two impressive wins without star freshman Marvin Bagley. 
The biggest changes in the poll came in the American Athletic Conference, where Houston made the biggest move up (seven spots) to No. 23 and Cincinnati had the biggest fall (six spots) to No. 11. North Carolina and Wichita State each moved up six spots (to No. 10 and No. 12, respectively) and Ohio State fell out of the top 10 following back-to-back losses to Penn State and Michigan.

Blackhawks Continue Slide Against Kings

Torrey Mitchell and Andy Andreoff scored during Los Angeles' dominant first period, helping the Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Monday night.
Dion Phaneuf added his second goal in three games since joining Los Angeles in a trade with Ottawa, and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves in the Kings' second straight win since a three-game slide. Los Angeles (32-22-5) also improved to 3-3 on its seven-game trip as it fights for playoff positioning in the Western Conference.
Last-place Chicago looked awful for most of the night during its ninth loss in 10 games, and Quick turned away a possible comeback early in the third. Anton Forsberg made 29 stops for the Blackhawks (25-27-8), and Patrick Sharp snapped an 11-game scoring drought with his seventh goal of the season.
The Blackhawks host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
>>Blackhawks, Caps Make Trade
The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Michal Kempny in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 27-year-old Kempny had a goal and six assists in 31 games for Chicago this season. He can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Washington is in second place in the crowded Metropolitan Division heading into Monday's game at Buffalo. The NHL trade deadline is next week.
The Blackhawks received a conditional third-round pick in the deal. The Capitals will part with the higher selection between their own third-rounder and the Toronto pick that they acquired from New Jersey as part of the Marcus Johansson trade.

Monticello Girls Basketball Season Ends At Super-Sectionals

The Monticello girls basketball team could not keep up with Chicago Harlan and fell 55-36 at the Pontiac Super Sectional Monday night in girls Class 2A postseason action.


The Lady Sages trailed 15-8 after the first quarter but found their stride in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Falcons 18-4 and took a 26-19 advantage to the half.


But in the second half Chicago Harlan stepped up the defense as Monticello managed just two field goals in the third quarter and scored a total of 10 second half points.


Tatum McCall led Monticello with 17 points and Zanna Myers added 12.


The Lady Sages end their season 24-5.


Boys Class 1A, 2A Postseason Action Opens Tonight

Area boys basketball squads will hope to punch their tickets to Peoria as the March to Peoria kicks off tonight with Regional quarterfinal action.
In boys 1A Regional Quarterfinal action tonight:
At Decatur LSA
Blue Ridge 7:00pm
Cerro Gordo
At Milford
Urbana Prep 7:00pm
At Streator Woodland
Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy 7:00pm
Class 2A Quarterfinal Regional action tonight:
At Bloomington Central Catholic
Olympia 7:00pm
At Salt Fork
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 7:30pm
Georgetown-Ridge Farm
At El Paso-Gridley
Eureka 7:00pm
El Paso-Gridley
At Hoopeston
Paxton-Buckley-Loda 6:00pm
Hoopeston 7:30pm
Champaign St. Thomas More
At Tuscola
Warrensburg-Latham 6:00pm
Macon Meridian 7:30pm
At Vandalia
Pana 7:00pm

Monticello Girls Meet Chicago Harlan At Pontiac Supersectional

The Monticello girls basketball squad is looking to punch their ticket to Redbird Arena this weekend for the IHSA girls 2A State Finals, but to do so, they'll have to go through Chicago Harlan.
The Lady Sages played exceptional basketball at the Iroquois West Sectiona with wins over Watseka and an overtime thriller with St. Joseph-Ogden.
The Lady Falcons of Chicago Harlan have rolled through the postseason so far as they've won every game by 20-points or better along the way. 
Tonight's game tips at 8 pm. Hear the action live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Also at Pontiac tonight, before the 2A Supersectional, Danville Schlarman and Anawan match up for their chance to go to Redbird Arena for the 1A State Finals.
Danville Schlarman beat Monticello earlier this month.
In 1A Supersectional action tonight:
At Salem
Mounds Meridian 6:00pm
Bethany Okaw Valley
In 2A Supersectional action tonight:
At Illinois College
Eureka 7:00pm
Pleasant Plains
Girls Class 4A Sectional semifinal action tonight:
At Champaign Centennial
Edwardsville 6:00pm
Chatham Glenwood

Illinois Holds Off Nebraska

Leron Black scored a career-high 28 points and snagged seven rebounds, to help Illinois outlast Nebraska for a 72-66 victory on Sunday afternoon.
There were six ties and nine lead changes during the game, but the deciding basket came from Black. He nailed a fadeaway jumper with two minutes left that put the Illini ahead by three and brought the State Farm Center crowd to its feet.
On the Illini's final two possessions Trent Frazier and Mark Smith knocked down four free throws to secure the win.
Illinois (13-15, 3-12 Big Ten) shot 62 percent from the field and knocked down 7 of 9 from behind the arc to outscore Nebraska 43-36 in the first half. But after the break, the Cornhuskers used a 16-4 run to climb back in it for a five-point lead.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way, but Black proved to be too much. He knocked down 3-of-5 from behind the arc in his second consecutive 20-point performance.
Frazier and and Nichols were the only other Illini to score in double figures, finishing with 12 points apiece.
Isaac Copeland led the way for Nebraska (20-9, 11-5) with 17 points.
Illinois will hit the road and face Michigan State on Tuesday. The No. 2 Spartans have a 10-game winning streak.

Illinois State Sunday Double-Header Gives Them Series Win

After dropping a well-pitched, 1-0 decision to Arkansas State Friday and postponing Saturday's scheduled contest due to rain, the Illinois State baseball team (2-1) bounced back and won both games of a doubleheader Sunday at Arkansas State against the Red Wolves (1-2) at Tomlinson Stadium to win the three-game series.
Illinois State trailed 2-0 after the first inning, but got one of those runs back in the top of the third. Ryan Hutchinson doubled down the left field line to start the inning and later scored on a Joe Butler single for the Redbirds' first run of the game. The Red Wolves answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning and took a 3-1 lead into the fourth.
That's when the Redbird bats exploded, as Derek Parola drove in Collin Braithwaite for the first run of the inning and Noah Sadler hit the first home run of the season for ISU, a three-run shot that gave the Redbirds a 5-3 lead. A one-out, two-run double by Nick Zouras in the top of the fifth inning extended the Redbird lead to 7-3 halfway through the contest. A RBI double by Parola and a RBI single by Sadler in the top half of the seventh ballooned the ISU lead to 9-3, before a five-run eighth inning made it 14-3 in favor of the Redbirds.
Brent Headrick (1-0) picked up the win on the mound for Illinois State, as he allowed just three runs on four hits in five innings of work. 
The Redbird offensive attack picked up right where it left off in game one at the start of game two, as the 'Birds plated a pair of runs in the top of the first inning off ASU starter Peyton Culbertson (0-1). A one-out RBI double by Sadler was followed by a RBI single off the bat of Braithwaite to make it 2-0 early, but the Red Wolves trimmed that lead in half with a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame to make it 2-1. 
ISU added an unearned run off a RBI groundout by John Rave in the top of the second inning to make it 3-1.
The Redbirds would fire right back with three runs in the top of the fourth, on a RBI single by Joe Butler and a two-run, two-out single off the bat of Owen Miller to make the ISU lead 6-2. 
Illinois State would tack on two more runs in the top of the sixth inning on a RBI double by Sadler and a RBI single to left field by Braithwaite to widen its advantage to 8-2.
Three runs in the top of the ninth by the Redbirds would put the game away.
Colton Johnson (1-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Matt Walker, as he allowed just one unearned run on one hit while striking out three ASU batters in three innings of work. Miller led the way for the Redbirds offensively, going 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Sadler, Braithwaite, Aielts and Butler each added two hits and two RBIs apiece for ISU in the victory.
Illinois State returns to action next weekend, when it travels to Cookeville, Tenn., for a three-game series at Tennessee Tech beginning Friday.

Illini Split Season Opening Double-Header

Illinois started its 2018 baseball season Sunday with a doubleheader split of South Dakota State and Austin Peay at Saint Louis University. 
Illinois opened the day with a 5-2 win over South Dakota State behind a two-hit, three-RBI effort from Ben Troike and a four-inning save by Andy Fisher. Troike started the scoring in the second inning with a two-out, two-strike bases-clearing single and Illinois never looked back.
Doran Turchin added a solo homer and Ryan Haff drove in an insurance run on a squeeze play, as six Illini combined for seven hits.
Sean Leland (1-0) picked up his first win in an Illinois uniform after getting one out in the fifth to work the Illini out of a jam. Fisher did the rest of the work, as the two newcomers combined to go 4 1/3 innings without allowing a run. Ty Weber pitched the first 4 2/3, allowing two runs on four hits.
Austin Peay's Brandon Vial shut out Illinois for the first 7 1/3 innings of Sunday's second game. Illinois had five hits and went 0-11 with runners on base.
The Illini pitched well with Cyrillo Watson (4.0 IP, 2 R) and Quinn Snarskis (3.1 IP, 0 R) combining to go 7 1/3 strong innings, but the bats never came around.
Illinois faces Coastal Carolina (twice), West Virginia and VCU next weekend in Conway, South Carolina.
The Illini were oringally scheduled to head to Texas but because of weather in Chicago, the flight to Texas was canceled and Illinois made last minute arrangements to head to St. Louis. A Saturday game was canceled before the Illini finally opened the season Sunday.

Bubba Watson Wins At Riviera

Bubba Watson had a very Bubba Watson-like week that ended with this third win in five tries at the Genesis Open on Sunday. Watson finished at 12 under after a 2-under 69 in the final round and beat contenders Tony Finau and Kevin Na each by two strokes.
He shot a 6-under 65 on Saturday to assume control of the tournament before that 69 on Sunday. It helped him become the third golfer ever to win three times at Riviera.
The win is Watson's first since he took this tournament two years ago.
Rory McIlroy (T-20) finished strong in what was an otherwise unfulfilling week. He played the par-5 1st hole in 6-under over four rounds. He played the other 68 holes in 3 over. The problem this week wasn't necessarily the putter, either. McIlroy finished in the top 45 in the field in strokes gained putting despite missing multiple four-footers in the same round on Friday.

Monticello Blows Out Olympia

The Olympia made just seven field goals Friday night as Monticello blew out the Spartans 58-17 at Olympia High School in the regular season finale for both squads.


The Spartans shot just 1-for-27 from beyond the arc and as the game was largely decided by the mid-way point of the second quarter.


Olympia made just one field goal in the second half.


Monticello was efficient on offense dishing out 12 assists on their 24 field goals and scored 17 points off 14 offensive rebounds, dominating the boards 48-25.


Calvin Fisher led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed six rebounds. Devin Graham had ten boards and four points. Cam Dyson had 10 points, four rebounds, and five blocked shots.


The Sages wrap up the regular season 22-1 and run the tables in the Illini Prairie Conference, finishing 9-0.


They’ll start postseason play Tuesday night from Hoopston, taking on either Bismarck-Henning or Paxton-Buckley-Loda at 7 pm.


Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Clinton Fall to Sullivan

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Sullivan Redskins by a score of 43-37 in overtime on Friday night. The Country Financial Brad James Maroons Player of the Game Austin Rauch led the Maroons squad with 13 points. Senior Austin Baker added 9 points and senior Chase Reynolds chipped in with 7.


For Sullivan, they were led by Caden Ellis with 16 points.


With the loss the Maroons fall to 12-11 overall and end their CIC season 2-5. Sullivan improves to 9-16 on the season and 3-4 in the Central Illinois Conference.


Tune in Friday, February 23, as the Maroons take on Prairie Central. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

Clinton High School Football Coach Stepping Down

Regional Radio News has learned Clinton High School football coach Nick Blackburn is stepping down as head football coach.
Athletic Director Barry Gurvey confirmed the news late Thursday afternoon. 
In his only season at the helm of the Maroons football program, Blackburn led the Maroons to a 3-6 record and sixth place finish in the Central Illinois Conference.
A phone message was left for Coach Blackburn but not returned.

Illinois Baseball Opens New Season in St. Louis

Due to canceled flights for nearly all of Thursday at Midway Airport in Chicago, the Illini were unable to get to Beaumont, Texas, for its series scheduled at Lamar. Instead, Illinois will travel to St. Louis, Missouri, to take on South Dakota State and Austin Peay at Saint Louis University.
Jack Yalowitz, a 2017 All-Big Ten first team selection, leads the returns and a group of strong outfielders. Along with Doran Turchin and Zac Taylor the Illini will field one of the most talented outfields in all of the Big Ten. 
Sophomores Ben Troike and Michael Massey, who combined to start all but one game in the middle infield last year, are back to anchor shortstop and second base, respectively. The combo ranked second in the nation in double plays per game as freshmen and Massey was an All-Big Ten third team pick. 
The biggest question mark for Illinois is the pitching staff, although many contributors return from the 2017 squad. Highlighting the returners are weekend starters and sophomores Ty Weber and Cyrillo Watson, who will both get starts this weekend. The Illini return 76% of innings pitched, 83% of wins, and 100% of saves from a year ago.
The Illini will take on South Dakota State Saturday at 11 am and then play two Sunday when they take on South Dakota State again at 11 am and Austin Peay at 3 pm. 

Monticello Wins Sectionals in Overtime Thriller

The Monticello Lady Sages held on and beat St. Joseph-Ogden in overtime, 41-40 from the Iroquois West Sectional in girls Class 2A postseason action Thursday night.
The Lady Sages led 19-16 at break and the Lady Spartans started the quarter on a 3-0 run and it was back and forth the rest of the way with neither team leading by more then three and trading leads and ties. 
Monticello started the game on an 8-1 run, St. Joe finished the quarter on a 9-4 run to keep it close at 12-10. 
Tied at 34-all with 15 seconds left, St. Joe called a timeout but they were called for an offensive foul with 3.1 seconds left and a last second shot fromm about 60 feet skipped off the front of the rim and the game went to overtime.
Zanna Myers, who struggled most of the night from the floor, knocked down her first three on the Lady Sages first overtime possession, but Peyton Crowe for the Lady Spartans converted a baseline floater and was fouled, making the and-1 free throw to tie the game at 37.
Tatum McCall made the next two baskets for the Lady Sages to give them a 41-37 advantage. 
With St. Joe forced to foul with under a minute left to get Monticello into a free throw shooting scenario, the Lady Sages turned the ball over under the basket with about 30 seconds left and Bree Trimble hit a three on the other end to cut the deficit to 41-40.
The Lady Sages missed their next shot under the basket on their next possession, the Lady Spartans ran the clock down to 15 seconds and called a timeout to set up a play.
An off-balance shot in the lane was off the mark, the Lady Spartans continued their dominance on the offensive boards with a second chance but could not convert and Monticello was able to grab the third opportunity rebound and ran out the clock and purple jerseys littered the floor in celebration.
McCall scored a game high 27 points, playing with a fever last night.
Myers finished with eight.
Trimble led St. Joe with 17 points.
The Lady Spartans finish their campaign 21-9.
The Lady Sages improve to 23-4 overall and are off to the Pontiac Supersectional to take on Chicago Harlan Monday night at 8 pm. Harlan beat Elmhurst Timothy Christian Thursday, 58-37.
Hear Monday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Class 2A sectional action from Thursday:
At Effingham St. Anthony
Sullivan 25
Teutopolis 56
At Farmington
Eureka 64
Midwest Central 62
At Riverton
Auburn 25
Pleasant Plains 43
Class 1A sectional final action from Thursday:
At Colfax Ridgeview
Lexington 29
Danville Schlarman 60
At North Clay
Bethany Okaw Valley 51
Hume Shiloh 43
Class 3A regional final action from Thursday:
At Bloomington Central Catholic
Bloomington Central Catholic 54
Rochester 59
At Charleston
Charleston 72
Mahomet-Seymour 35
At Herscher
Morton 84
Herscher 32
At Metamora
Washington 55
Metamora 48
At Peoria Notre Dame
Peoria Richwoods 71
Peoria Notre Dame 28
At Rantoul
Effingham 69
Champaign Central 38
At Springfield Lanphier
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 36
Springfield Lanphier 51

Blackhawks Lose Again

Ondrej Kase had a goal and two assists, Adam Henrique scored in the third period and the Anaheim Ducks handed the Chicago Blackhawks their eighth straight loss with a 3-2 victory on Thursday night.
Nick Ritchie added a goal and an assist and John Gibson made 42 saves as Anaheim improved to 1-1 on a four-game trip. The Ducks had dropped two in a row and four of six, hurting their playoff positioning as they try for a wild card in the Western Conference.
Kase found a wide-open Henrique in front for his 18th goal at 8:34, giving Anaheim a 3-2 lead. Chicago pulled Anton Forsberg for an extra attacker with about 2:15 left, but Gibson made a great stop on Brandon Saad to help the Ducks hold on during the frantic final minutes.
Duncan Keith scored his first goal of the season for last-place Chicago, which has lost seven in a row at home. Saad also snapped a long scoring drought, and Forsberg made 29 stops.
The eight-game slide for the once-mighty Blackhawks is their longest losing streak since they dropped nine in a row in early 2012.
Chicago jumped in front on its fourth power-play of the game. With Cam Fowler in the penalty box for tripping Alex DeBrincat, Keith drove a long slap shot by a screened Gibson on the glove side 1:45 into the second period.
It was the first goal for Keith since March 16 at Ottawa. The two-time Norris Trophy winner has just 26 points after he had six goals and 47 assists last season.
Saad then finished off a pretty give-and-go with Vinnie Hinostroza at 9:12, tapping it in at the net for his 14th of the season. Saad had no goals and one assist in his previous 16 games.
But Anaheim responded with goals on back-to-back shots midway through the period. Ritchie put a backhander into the upper corner on Forsberg's glove side 41 seconds after Saad scored, and Kase finished off a breakaway with another nice backhander for the tying goal at 12:18.
Chicago got another power play after Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman creased Jakob Silfverberg with a big hit with about two minutes left in the second, prompting Anaheim's Josh Manson to start a fight with Hartman. But the Ducks killed it off, part of a 1-for-5 night with the man advantage for the Blackhawks.
Blackhawks host Washington on Saturday night.
>>Blackhawks Trade D Pokka To Ottawa
The Chicago Blackhawks have traded defenseman Ville Pokka to the Ottawa Senators for center Chris DiDomenico.
Pokka, who was acquired in the October 2014 trade that sent defenseman Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders, had four goals and 18 assists in 46 games with Rockford of the American Hockey League. The 23-year-old Pokka has yet to appear in an NHL game.
DiDomenico, 28, had six goals and four assists in 24 games with Ottawa this season. He will report to Rockford.
The Blackhawks also recalled goaltender Jean-Francois Berube from the IceHogs and assigned goalie Jeff Glass to their top minor league affiliate. Berube was slated to back up Anton Forsberg in Thursday night's game against Anaheim.

Illinois State To Open 2018 Season in Arkansas

The Illinois State baseball team opens the 2018 season Friday in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in the first of a three-game series with the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Tomlinson Stadium. 
The Redbirds were picked to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll. Illinois State welcomes back all nine position starters and most of its pitchers from last year's team. ISU finished the season strong, advancing all the way to the championship game of the MVC Tournament. ISU was the only league team to defeat league regular-season champion Missouri State, as the Redbirds accomplished the feat three times. 
Redbird junior shortstop Owen Miller was also voted as one of 15 players representing six teams to the 2018 preseason All-MVC baseball squad. Miller hit .325 with 36 runs scored, 19 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 48 RBI a year ago for the Redbirds, earning second-team All-MVC honors.
First pitch for Friday's game is set for 6 p.m., with a Saturday matchup scheduled for 2 p.m. The series finale on Sunday is set for 1 p.m.

Arizona Takes Down Arizona State

Deandre Ayton had 25 points and 16 rebounds, and No. 17 Arizona used a late run to hold off No. 25 Arizona State 77-70 on Thursday night to sweep the season series.
Arizona (21-6, 11-3 Pac-12) grinded out a victory the first game and got off to a fast start in the rematch, quieting the raucous Wells Fargo Arena crowd by building an 18-point lead.
The Sun Devils (19-7, 7-7) revved up their run game and the fans after finding their groove, going on a 31-6 halftime-spanning run to go up seven.
Arizona clawed its way back and traded baskets with Arizona State until, like it did in Tucson, made the big plays down the stretch. Allonzo Trier scored 19 points and hit a 3-pointer during a late 7-0 that put the Wildcats up 70-63 with 90 seconds left.
Tra Holder led Arizona State with 20 points.
The Sun Devils went on a 16-2 run - started by Justice's three straight 3s - to cut Arizona's lead to pull within four and cut it to 39-38 by halftime.
Arizona State took its first lead on a corner 3-pointer to open the second half and the Sun Devils scored the first eight points to go up 46-39 as the decibel level rose with each shot.
Arizona fought back and the teams played an entertaining back-and-forth game until the Wildcats finished off the Sun Devils, just as they did in Tucson.

Monticello Goes For Sectional Title Tonight On WEZC

The Monticello girls basketball team will take on St. Joseph-Ogden for a sectional title tonight night at Iroquois West High School.
The action tips at 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Both the Lady Spartans and Lady Sages are coming off convincing sectional semifinal wins Monday.
Class 2A sectional finals tonight:
At Effingham St. Anthony
Sullivan 7:00pm
At Farmington
Eureka 7:00pm
Midwest Central
At Riverton
Auburn 7:00pm
Pleasant Plains
Class 1A sectional final action tonight:
At Ridgeview
Lexington 7:00pm
Danville Schlarman
At North Clay
Bethany Okaw Valley 7:00pm
Hume Shiloh
Class 3A Regional final action tonight:
At Bloomington Central Catholic
Bloomington Central Catholic 7:00pm
At Charleston
Charleston 7:00pm
At Herscher
Morton 7:00pm
At Metamora
Washington 7:00pm
At Peoria Notre Dame
Peoria Richwoods 7:00pm
Peoria Notre Dame
At Rantoul
Effingham  7:00pm
Champaign Central
At Springfield Lanphier
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 7:00pm
Springfield Lanphier

Illinois Loses; ISU Falls To Bradley

>>Indiana Gets By Illinois
Juwan Morgan was one of three Indiana players to score 14 points Wednesday night and he posted his eighth double-double this season to lead the Hoosiers past Illinois 78-68.
The Hoosiers (15-12, 8-7 Big Ten) have won three straight since snapping a four-game losing streak. Morgan also had 10 rebounds, a career-high five blocks, four steals and three assists.
Leron Black finished with 20 points before fouling out and Kipper Nichols added 16 to lead the Fighting Illini. Illinois (12-15, 2-12) has lost four in a row and 10 of 12.
And, as has been the case recently, the Hoosiers relied on a stout defense and a strong closing punch to seal this one.
Indiana first took control with a 14-0 run midway through the first half and still led 35-25 at halftime.
Illinois, which was 1 of 12 on 3-pointers in the first half, adjusted in the second half by repeatedly feeding the ball inside. For a while, it worked perfectly.
The Illini methodically trimmed the deficit, getting within 51-49 with 12:26 left. They could have cut the deficit to one if Kipper Nichols could have completed a three-point play.
Instead, he missed and the Hoosiers countered with an 8-2 spurt to rebuild a 59-51 lead and Robert Johnson's 3 with 7:24 to go extended the margin to nine.
Illinois never got closer than six again.
>>Bradley Downs Illinois State
Donte Thomas scored 14 points with 10 rebounds, Darrell Brown added 13 points and Bradley never trailed in beating Illinois State 70-58 in Wednesday night's I-74 rivarly game, ending an eight-game skid in the series.
Jayden Hodgson scored 10 points for the Braves (18-10, 8-7 Missouri Valley Conference), who are now tied with the Redbirds for fourth place.
Bradley pulled ahead on an 11-4 run and Brown's free throws capped a 9-3 run for a 49-32 Bradley lead. The Redbirds closed to 53-47 after 9-1 run with 7:10 left, but Bradley responded with an 8-2 run with Brown hitting four of seven Braves free throws in the final 5:27 to seal it.
The Braves outrebounded the Redbirds 45-34 and held them to 32 percent shooting from the floor.
Milik Yarbrough scored 25 points and Keyshawn Evans added 10 for Illinois State (14-13, 8-7).

Pacers Win; Bulls Lose

Kyle Lowry had 20 points and 10 assists, Serge Ibaka also scored 20 points and the Toronto Raptors cruised into the All-Star break with their seventh straight victory, 122-98 over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.
Lowry made four 3-pointers, and he and Ibaka each grabbed seven rebounds.
Jonas Valanciunas added 14 points and nine rebounds to help the Raptors complete a four-game sweep against Chicago even though they only got seven points from four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan. But Toronto shot just over 52 percent against a weak defense, sending the Bulls to their ninth loss in 11 games.
Bobby Portis scored 18 points for Chicago, and Lauri Markkanen had 14s. The Bulls were simply overmatched by the Eastern Conference leaders, even though they had point guard Kris Dunn back in the lineup. He had eight points and three assists in 20 minutes after missing 11 games because of a concussion.
The Raptors took a 61-49 lead to the locker room after outscoring the Bulls by 18 in the second quarter.
DeRozan ended a quiet first half with a neat 12-footer, faking David Nwaba and Justin Holiday while leaning in for the basket as time expired.
The Raptors continued to pull away in the third. Lowry converted a four-point play and answered a three-point play by Markkanen by nailing another 3 to make it 75-57 three minutes into the quarter.
The Bulls host Philadelphia on Thursday, Feb. 22.
>>Pacers Beat Nets
Victor Oladipo scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half to lead Indiana past the Brooklyn Nets 108-103 on Wednesday night.
Cory Joseph added 15 points and 11 assists, and Myles Turner had 11 points and 14 boards for the Pacers, who won their third straight.
Allen Crabbe scored 23 points for the Nets, who went into the break with their seventh straight loss.
DeMarre Carroll added 21 points and D'Angelo Russell chipped in 18 points and nine assists off the bench for Brooklyn.
Oladipo tried to put the Nets away by himself, scoring nine straight points to give the Pacers a 67-61 advantage midway through the third quarter before Brooklyn answered to take a 79-73 lead heading into the final period.
The Nets led 95-93 after Crabbe's 3-pointer with 4:09 remaining in the fourth quarter, but their offense sputtered, missing eight shots during a four-minute stretch.
The Pacers, who entered the day sixth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, went on a 6-0 run to take a 99-95 lead after Turner's free throws with 2:17 left in regulation.
The Nets got within two points with 1:04 to go after Spencer Dinwiddie hit a pair of free throws, but Indiana scored five straight points, capped with 26 seconds left.
The Pacers host the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 23.

Avisail Garcia Wins Arbitration Against White Sox

Chicago White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia won his salary arbitration case against the team and will get a raise to $6.7 million instead of the club's $5.85 million offer.
Arbitrators Phillip LaPorte, Steven Wolf and John Kagel made the decision Wednesday, a day after hearing arguments.
Garcia was a first-time All-Star last year, when he was second in the AL batting race and set career bests with a .330 average, 18 homers and 80 RBIs. He made $3 million.
Minnesota pitcher Kyle Gibson went to a hearing and asked Robert Herzog, Elizabeth Neumeier and Gary Kendellen for $4.55 million, $250,000 more than the Twins' offer. The 30-year-old right-hander was 12-10 with a 5.07 ERA last year, when he earned $2.9 million.
Players lead 8-6 with decisions to be announced Thursday for Gibson and fellow pitchers Collin McHugh, Marcus Stroman, Jake Odorizzi and Trevor Bauer. Three more hearings are scheduled for this week, and 22 decisions would be the most since players won 14 of 24 cases in 1990.

Tiger Returns For Genesis Open This Weekend

The final event on the PGA Tour's West Coast swing takes place this week at Riviera Country Club, and it's a monster. Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Phil Mickelson make up just part of the crew that will take on one of the best courses on the 2018 slate.
Johnson is the favorite for good reason, but Woods' return to Los Angeles will be the big story. He hasn't played this event since 2006, when he was still winning eight times a year and this event was still called the Nissan Open. Woods' foundation hosts it now, though, which is mostly why he's here.
Johnson has started three events this season, and he's lost to two people. Justin Rose clipped him by a pair at the HSBC Champions in China last fall, and Ted Potter Jr. got him by three last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Those are the only two golfers who have scored better than the No. 1 player in the world in the last three tournaments. 
Spieth, McIlroy, Thomas or Mickelson are also looking for the first of this calendar year, and the drought for McIlroy and Mickelson goes deeper than that. McIlroy hasn't won since the end of 2016, Mickelson since the middle of 2013. Watching big names like these try and slay a track like Riviera is always unendingly interesting.

Monticello Girls Go For Sectional Final Tomorrow Night on WEZC

The Monticello girls basketball team will take on St. Joseph-Ogden for a sectional title tomorrow night at Iroquois West High School.
The action tips at 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Both the Lady Spartans and Lady Sages are coming off convincing sectional semifinal wins Monday.
Class 3A Regiona semifinal action from Tuesday:
At Bloomington Central Catholic
Bloomington Central Catholic 78
Decatur MacArthur 63
Rochester 39
Normal U-High 28
At Herscher
Morton 71
Pontiac 18
At Metamora
Washington 64
Streator 12
Metamora 75
LaSalle-Peru 33
At Peoria Notre Dame
Peoria Richwoods 78
Peoria Manual 45
Geneseo 57
Peoria Notre Dame 63
At Springfield Lanphier
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 48
Taylorville 26
Lincoln 58
Springfield Lanphier 66
Class 4A regional semifinal action from Tuesday:
At Bradley-Bourbonnais
Normal Community 48
Bradley-Bourbonnais 49
Tonight in 3A regional action:
At Charleston
Charleston 6:00pm
Mt. Zion
Mahomet-Seymour 7:30pm
At Rantoul
Effingham 6:00pm
Paris 7:30pm
Champaign Central
Class 4A girls basketball regional action tonight:
At Chatham Glenwood
Springfield 7:30pm
Chatham Glenwood

Big Third Quarter Sends St. Joe-Ogden Past Maroa-Forsyth

Jordan Brooks scored 13 of his game high 18 points in the second half and the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans used a big third quarter to get by Maroa-Forsyth 67-50 Tuesday night in non-conference boys basketball action from Maroa-Forsyth High School.
The Spartans led 37-23 at the break and opened up a 60-28 advantage after the third quarter. Brooks scored seven in the third quarter. Joel Orcutt added six of his eight in the big third quarter.
Riley Baker finished with 14 points for St. Joe.
Hayden Mitchell scored 11 of his team high 17 points in the second half for the Trojans. Danish Mahmood contributed 12 points and Aaron Agee added ten points. 
The Trojans drop to 6-17 overall and will host Petersburg PORTA Friday. They'll finish out their regular season Saturday afternoon hosting Tolono Unity.
The Spartans close out their regular season at Bloomington Central Catholic Friday night.

Ravens-Bears To Meet In Hall of Fame Game

The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.
The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.
Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.
Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.
The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.
This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

Blackhawks, Blues Lose Tuesday

>>Vegas Downs Blackhawks
Reilly Smith scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Tuesday night.
The Golden Knights, who swept the season series 3-0, also got third-period goals from Brad Hunt, David Perron and Tomas Nosek. Ryan Carpenter also scored and Marc-Andre Fleury had 29 saves for Vegas, which snapped a two-game home losing streak.
One night after Arizona ended a nine-game losing streak to the last-place Blackhawks, the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights sent Chicago to its season-high seventh straight loss. The Blackhawks have been outscored 29-12 during their losing streak.
Tommy Wingels and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Blackhawks, while Jeff Glass stopped 32 shots.
The Golden Knights wasted no time in seizing control early in the third period, with three goals in less than five minutes. First it was Hunt tying the game at 2 when he ripped a wrist shot past Glass for a power-play goal. Moments later, Smith took a pass from William Karlsson and sniped Glass for his 17th goal of the season. Then it was James Neal stealing the puck in neutral zone and setting up Perron on the break to beat Glass low on the glove side.
The Golden Knights, who have registered a power-play goal in 10 of their last 11 games, were 1-for-5 with a man advantage.
Wingels got things going 2:10 into the game when he camped out in front of Fleury on a power play and tipped in Erik Gustafsson's one-timer from the point.
The Blackhawks rank 29th in the league on the power play but converted one of two their two opportunities against a Golden Knights team that has the league's sixth-best penalty kill at home.
Vegas tied it three minutes later when Carpenter dug the puck out from behind the net and stuffed it between Glass' left pad and the post.
Shortly after Fleury stymied Patrick Sharp's penalty shot, the Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead when he kicked DeBrincat's rebound back to him and he scored the 21st goal of his rookie season.
Nosek's empty-netter provided the final margin.
Chicago hosts Anaheim on Thursday.
>>Nashville Downs St. Louis
Filip Forsberg scored on a penalty shot at 1:19 of overtime to give the Predators a wild 4-3 comeback victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
After trailing by three goals entering the third period, Nashville rallied for three goals in the span of 6:42 to tie it and force overtime.
In overtime, a Kyle Turris pass sent Forsberg in on a breakaway, and he was tripped from behind by Jaden Schwartz in front of the St. Louis goal and he was awarded a penalty shot.
On his attempt, Forsberg skated to the left side before cutting toward the slot, where he snapped a wrist shot past Blues goaltender Carter Hutton on the glove side just inside the post to win it.
Hutton, a former Predator, made 29 saves.
Austin Watson scored twice and Calle Jarnkrok also scored for Nashville.
Alexander Steen scored a goal and added an assist and Jay Bouwmeester and Schwartz also scored for the Blues who have lost two in a row. Vladimir Tarasenko had a pair of assists.
Bouwmeester scored the game's first goal at 15:08 of the opening period.
On a delayed penalty to the Predators, Bouwmeester carried the puck across the Nashville blue line and fired a slap shot from above the left faceoff circle low to the stick side of Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Rinne finished with 28 saves.
Steen made it 2-0 at 3:10 of the second.
Tarasenko carried the puck in on the right side on a 3-on-2. He fed Paul Stastny in the slot, where his backhand attempt was knocked down by Rinne, but Steen skated through the slot and buried the rebound.
Schwartz tallied on the power play at the 9-minute mark of the second, converting a rebound of a Steen shot attempt.
Hutton spent three seasons as Rinne's backup in Nashville before signing with the Blues in the summer of 2016.
Following a sleepy second where Nashville only managed three shots on the St. Louis goal, Jarnkrok got Nashville on the board at 12:06 of the third, collecting the rebound of Swedish countryman Mattias Ekholm's shot from the right point and beating Hutton.
Watson's shorthanded goal at 14:33 of the third drew Nashville to within a goal and he tied it 1:15 later finishing off a 2-on-1 with Craig Smith.
The Blues visit Dallas Friday.

Monticello Rolls Unity And Wins First-Ever Illini Prairie Conference Championship

The Monticello Sages jumped out to a 19-2 advantage early in the first half and rolled past Tolono Unity 54-23 and clinched the first-ever Illini Prairie Conference championship in boys basketball action Tuesday night at Unity High School.


Calvin Fisher led all scorers with 13 points and five rebounds. Johnny Dawson scored ten of his 12 points in the first.


The Rockets got only 22 field goals off. The Sages forced 18 Unity turnovers and turned them into 24 points.


The Sages move to 21-1 overall and are 8-0 in conference action.


The Rockets are 14-6 and 3-5 overall.


Monticello will wrap up their regular season Friday night at Olympia. Game time is 7:30 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Monticello Topples Watseka To Advance To Sectional Final

The Monticello Lady Sages have advanced to a sectional final matchup Thursday night, beating Watseka 54-32 Monday night from the Iroquois West sectional.

Zanna Myers scored 25 points to lead all scorers. Tatum McCall added 11 points.

The Lady Sages closed out the first quarter on a 6-0 run to open up an 18-12 lead and then led 31-19 at the half.

Monticello slowly but steadily increased their lead throughout the second half, forcing Watseka into quick shots dominated the glass, limited the Lady Warriors second chance opportunities.


Watseka ends their season 30-2 overall.


In advancing, Monticello improves their record to 22-4 overall.

Monticello will meet up with Illini Prairie Conference rival St. Joseph-Ogden for a sectional title Thursday night.

Hear the action at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Generals End Lady Maroons Season

In a game heard on 92.3 FM WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the MacArthur Generals by a score of 65-33 on Monday night. The Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game Madelyn Stevens led the scoring for the Lady Maroons with 10 points. Seniors Alyssa Saulsbery and Madi Filkin both chipped in with 8.


MacArthur was led by Jayda Dees with 24 points and Quincienia Jackson added 13.


With the loss the Lady Maroons end the year 12-15 and finish 4-3 in the Central Illinois Conference. MacArthur improves to 19-12.


Tune in Friday, February 16, as the Maroons take on Sullivan in the final conference game of the season. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

Monticello Girls At Sectionals Tonight

The Monticello girls basketball squad will head to the Iriquios West Sectional tonight to take on Watseka after a thrilling 48-46 overtime win over Oakwood to advance to their fifth straight sectional.
The Lady Sages had to overcome a comeback from Oakwood in the fourth quarter and then tie the game at the end of regulation. It was back and forth early on in overtime but Monticello took the lead on a Zanna Myers layup and never reinquished it winning the Georgetown Ridge Farm Regoinal.
Tonight's game tips at 7:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Other Sectiona action tonight:
In Class 2A:
At Effingham St. Anthony
Marshall 6:00pm
Teutopolis 7:30pm
Mt. Carmel
At Gilman Iroquois West
St. Joseph-Ogden 6:00pm
Class 1A Sectional Action tonight:
At Ridgeview
Danville Schlarman 7:30pm
Decatur St. Teresa
At North Clay
Altamont 6:00pm
Bethany Okaw Valley
Class 3A Regional action tonight:
At Bloomington Central Catholic
Decatur MacArthur 7:00pm
At Charleston
Mt. Zion 7:00pm
Decatur Eisenhower
At Peoria Notre Dame
Peoria Manual 6:00pm
Peoria Notre Dame 7:30pm
East Peoria
At Rantoul
Urbana 6:00pm
Tolono Unity
Champaign Central 7:30pm
At Springfield Lanphier
Taylorville 6:00pm
Springfield Southeast
Springfield Lanphier 7:30pm
Girls 4A Regional action tonight:
At Chatham Glenwood
Quincy 7:00pm
Champaign Centennial
At Pekin
Bloomington 6:00pm
East Moline United
Normal West 7:30pm

Pens Take Care of Blues

Sidney Crosby scored twice, including his 400th career goal, and the Pittsburgh Penguins pulled away from the St. Louis Blues for a 4-1 victory.
Bryan Rust snapped a tie with a third-period tally and Riley Sheahan also scored for the Penguins, who have won 12 of their past 17. Matt Murray made 33 saves.
Kyle Brodziak scored for St. Louis, which had won two in a row. Jake Allen had 19 stops.
Crosby jammed a shot under Allen's pad from the side of the net at 3:31, tying it at 1 with his 18th of the season. He becomes the 95th player in NHL history to reach the 400-goal mark.
Crosby added an empty-net goal with 2:48 left.
The Blues travel to Nashville on Tuesday.

Illinois, Illinois State, Bradley All Lose Sunday

>>Penn State Drops Illinois
Shep Garner scored 16 points and Tony Carr had 15 points to lead Penn State to a 74-52 victory over Illinois on Sunday night.
Illinois missed its first nine second-half shots and didn't score for seven-plus minutes as Penn State went on a 12-0 run to make it 49-36. The Nittany Lions (18-9, 8-6 Big Ten) led by at least nine points the rest of the way.
Carr hit three 3-pointers, grabbed six rebounds and had six assists. Lamar Stevens finished with 11 points, while Mike Watkins and Josh Reaves scored 10 apiece, for Penn State.
Illinois had the lead for more than 15 minutes in the first half, but squandered it late. Carr air balled a 3-pointer from the right wing, but Jamari Wheeler grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Garner, who nailed a corner 3.
On the ensuing play, Mark Alstork stepped on the baseline while inbounding the ball, giving Penn State possession with 3.6 seconds left. Carr scored a layup before the buzzer to take a one-point lead into the break.
The Nittany Lions shot 54.5 percent from the field, outscored Illinois 34-12 in the paint and won their fourth consecutive game against the Illini. Penn State has won six of its last seven overall.
Leron Black led Illinois (12-14, 2-11) with 18 points.
The Illini will face Indiana on the Wednesday night. Illinois knocked off the Hoosiers on Jan. 24 for its first Big Ten victory of the season.
>>Valpraiso Takes Care of Short-Handed Illinois State
Bakari Evelyn scored 22 points with four 3-pointers, Max Joseph had 10 of his 12 points in the second half and Valparaiso beat short-handed Illinois State 74-58 on Sunday.
Valpo had a 51-49 lead before breaking the game open with a 19-5 run for a 70-54 lead with 2:30 to go. Evelyn made three 3-pointers during the spurt and Markus Golder added five points.
Golder finished with 16 points and Tevonn Walker had 14 points, six rebounds five assists and three steals for Valparaiso (14-14, 5-10 Missouri Valley Conference).
William Tinsley led Illinois State (14-13, 8-7) with 13 points. Milik Yarbrough, averaging 16.4, was held to 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting, but he also had 10 rebounds and five assists. Keyshawn Evans, averaging 15.6 points, and Phil Fayne (15.5) were both out with injuries for the Redbirds.
>>Southern Illinois Beats Bradley, Takes Over Second in MVC
Kavion Pippen scored 21 points with eight rebounds and four blocks and Southern Illinois defeated Bradley 74-57 on Sunday to take over sole possession of second place in the Missouri Valley Conference.
SIU (17-10, 9-5) is two games back of Loyola-Chicago (11-3), and a game ahead of 8-6 Illinois State and Drake. The Salukis have won six of their last seven. Bradley (17-10, 7-7) has lost three straight.
Aaron Cook made all three of his 3-point attempts and scored 12 points, and Sean Lloyd also scored 12 for the Salukis, who shot 56.5 percent and made 8 of 14 3-point tries. Marcus Bradley had eight assists.
Jayden Hodgson led Bradley with 12 points.
Cook gave the Salukis the lead for good with a 3-pointer with 17 minutes remaining that began a 16-4 run. Bradley was within seven with six minutes left before being outscored 12-2 the rest of the way.

Pacers Down Knicks

Victor Oladipo had 30 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers beat New York 121-113 on Sunday.
Bojan Bogdanovic made four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points and Thaddeus Young added 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, who have won six of eight.
Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. each scored 17 points, and Michael Beasley had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, whose losing streak reached six games. New York is 0-2 since All-Star Kristaps Porzingis was lost for the season with a torn left ACL on Tuesday.
The Pacers went on a 14-2 run in the second quarter and took a 53-45 lead on an alley-oop layup by Young with 5:45 remaining in the opening half.
Stephenson's 3-pointer with 3:44 to play in the second quarter put Indiana ahead 58-55, and the Pacers never trailed the rest of the way.
They led 68-62 at halftime and put together a 13-2 run in the third quarter to pull away. Oladipo made a jumper, and then grabbed a steal and scored on a fastbreak dunk. He later made a free throw to put the Pacers ahead 83-66 with 7:56 left in the third.
The Pacers visit Brooklyn on Wednesday.

Ted Potter Jr. Outlasts DJ At Pebble Beach

Dustin Johnson swings a golf club as if somebody stuck a Greek god on a perfect pendulum. Ted Potter Jr. swings a golf club like he's trying to kill a pesky hornet he might be able to see. Johnson has six top-five finishes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Potter has six top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour -- ever. The two were tied at 14 under after 54 holes at this event.
But it was Potter who stared down the No. 1 player in the world on Sunday and left him empty-handed. 
Potter hit 12 of 14 fairways, rarely missed greens by more than a few yards, made every putt he needed to and parred his way in from the eighth hole to the end of the day. 
This was his 84th career start on the PGA Tour (he has had 110 on the Web.com Tour). He missed every cut in all 24 tournaments he entered on the Web.com Tour in 2004. His only PGA Tour victory came at the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, and he has only nine top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour since that season.
D.J. shot a 1-over 73 and hit his irons as poorly as he has in many, many years. Still, he has three top-five finishes in his three starts on the PGA Tour during the 2017-18 season (only Justin Rose and Potter have beaten him), and he'll be in the spotlight as the defending champion next week at the Genesis Open.
He closed out the weekend with a 62 on Saturday and that 69 on Sunday. He now finds himself in the 2018 Masters and with a PGA Tour card for another two years.
It was a disappointing week for Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut, especially after he sniffed the lead following a 4-under 68 in Round 1. As he noted in his post-round interview on Saturday, you can't hit 16 greens in regulation in Round 2 and shoot 3 over. 
Jordan Spieth didn't defend, but he did have a pretty solid week. He putted far better than he has in recent weeks, which is a trend that has been showing itself during the past few years with Spieth and this event. Spieth stumbled home a bit on Sunday and made bogeys on three of his final nine holes before ending with a birdie. After a front-nine 33 on Sunday, his poor play down the stretch was the only thing between him and a top-10 finish. 

Big First Quarter Leads Monticello Past Decatur St. Teresa

It took Decatur St. Teresa 11:27 to get their first field goal, and by that time Monticello led 22-4 and the Bulldogs could not overcome the slow start as the Sages won their 13th straight game with a 57-42 win Saturday night in non-conference boys basketball action from Monticello High School.


The Sages started the game on a 10-0 run and led 18-1 after the first period. The Bulldogs only attempted six first quarter field goals.


After the 22-4 lead for the Sages, St. T outscored Monticello 38-35.


Monticello led 28-10 at the break. Isaiah Bond scored 21 of his game high 24 points in the second half, helping keep the Bulldogs within a reasonable distance but the Bulldogs deficit was never less than 12 in the second half.


Calvin Fisher scored eight of his 17 points in the first quarter, rattling off the first five points of the game, then scored seven more in the third quarter.


Luke Stokowski and Cam Dyson each added 11 points apiece.


Fisher grabbed a game high eight rebounds, Stokowski hauled down seven. Both players had four assists.


The Sages outrebounded St. T 34-24 and forced 13 turnovers but only converted them into seven points.


The Bulldogs forced 11 Sages turnovers and converted them into 14 points.


The Sages are now 20-1 overall. They finish out their regular season next week on the road at Tolono Unity Tuesday night and at Olympia Friday.


Both games tip at 7:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Monticello Girls Win Fifth Straight Regional Title

The Monticello Lady Sages took home their fifth straight Regional title Friday night with a thrilling 48-46 win in overtime to beat Oakwood in Class 2A girls basketball postseason action from the Georgetown Ridge Farm regional.


Leading 41-38 with under a minute left, the Lady Comets rattled off five straight points, all by sophomore Katelyn Young, to take a 43-41 advantage with 6.1 seconds left in regulation after Monticello led by as many as 12 in the third quarter.


On the ensuing inbound play after Young gave the Lady Comets the lead with a left handed layup, Tatum McCall drove the length of the floor and made a left handed layup almost uncontested as time expired to send the game to overtime.


A pair of free throws from McCall then Young put the score at 45-all. Oakwood’s Kylie Neuman made one of two free throws to give Oakwood a 46-45 lead but Zanna Myers gave the Lady Sages the lead for good with a tough left handed layup, Emily Wilson made one of two free throws in the final seconds for the final tally of 48-46 and a desperation three as time expired was well off the mark by the Lady Comets.


Young finished with a game high 26 points, including 11 between the fourth quarter and overtime to bring the Lady Comets back in the game.


Myers led the Lady Sages with 16 points.


With the game tied at 12 after the first quarter, Myers opened the second quarter with a three to give Monticello their first lead of the game at 15-12, but the Lady Comets rattled off four straight to take a 16-15 lead.


The Lady Sages finished the second quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 26-15 lead at the half and led by as many as 12 in the third quarter.


Wilson finished with nine points, going 5-for-6 at the foul line, Chloe Clark added eight points and McCall finished with seven. 


Lady Comets season ends at 24-4. Shaelyn Turner added ten points in the loss.


Monticello improves to 21-4 overall and will take on Watseka in a Class 2A girls basketball sectional semifinal game at Iriquios West High School Monday night at 7:30 pm.


Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Monticello Sages Defeat Bloomington Central Catholic

The Monticello Sages sent home a raucous Miller Gym crowd home happy Friday night with a 56-53 win over Bloomington Central Catholic in Illini Prairie Conference action from Monticello High School.


The Sages upped their conference mark to 7-0 in what many were labeling the conference championship as the two state ranked teams in Class 2A have rolled through the first year conference in 2017-18.


Calvin Fisher led all scorers with 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds and dished out five assists. Luke Stokowski and Ben Singleton added 10 apiece.


BCC was led by Jack Gilmore’s 22 points and Luke Yoder added 12 points and six rebounds.


Monticello led 30-21 with a 1:31 left in the first half but the Sages plans to run out the clock in went sideways on a couple turnovers and the Saints cut the margin to 30-25 at the break.


Monticello would hold on though throughout the second half as BCC would get as close three but never led by more than eight en route to their 12th straight win in what is becoming an impressive stretch by the Sages where they’ve beaten St. Joseph-Ogden and Quincy Notre Dame in road games and knocked off the state-ranked Saints in a stretch of 10 days.


The Sages finish out their home schedule Saturday night with Decatur St. Teresa in town. Game time Saturday is 6 pm for senior night.


Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Monticello Hosts BCC in Top 10 Showdown on WHOW

It's a clash of central Illinois titan high school basketball programs tonight in Monticello.
Monticello is ranked sixth in the latest AP Class 2A poll and Bloomington Central Catholic makes their first appearance in the rankings this season at number eight.
The Sages are coming off a win over Champaign St. Thomas Tuesday and are 17-1 overall.
The Saints are 17-5.
Bloomington Central Catholic and Monticello are also the top two seeds in the sub-sectional of the Maroa-Forsyth sectional. 
Tonight's action tips at 7:30 pm. Hear the action on dewittdailynews.com.

Monticello Lady Sages Go For Regional Title Tonight

The Monticello Lady Sages will go for their fifth straight Regional title tonight when they meet Oakwood in the Georgetown-Ridge Farm regional tonight. 
The Lady Sages staved off Bismarck-Henning Wednesday night 33-23 in a Regional semifinal action.
Oakwood dispensed Westville 47-21 Wendesday night.
The winner of tonight's matchup takes on Watseka Monday night at the Iriquios West Sectional. 
Hear tonight's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Tip time tonight at 7 pm.
Class 2A Regional Final action last night:
At Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Tuscola 34
Sullivan 40
At Braidwood Reed-Custer
Paxton-Buckley-Loda 36
Peotone 43
At Champaign St. Thomas More
St. Joseph-Ogden 55
Champaign St. Thomas More 47
At Pleasant Plains
Pleasant Plains 55
Williamsville 46
At Tremont
El Paso-Gridley 27
Midwest Central 48
At Watseka
Watseka 54
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 28
Class 1A Regional Final scores from Thursday:
At Chrisman
Bethany Okaw Valley 52
Central A & M 38
At Decatur St. Teresa
St. Teresa 70
Mt. Pulaski 50

Illinois State Wins; Illinois Loses Thursday

>>Wisconsin Drops Illinois Again
Ethan Happ scored 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting to lead Wisconsin to its 13th straight win over Illinois, 78-69 on Thursday night.
Brevin Pritzl scored 15 and Brad Davison added 14 points for the Badgers (11-15, 4-9 Big Ten). Happ, who averages 17.4 points per game, also had six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and three blocks.
Trent Frazier scored 32 points for the Illini (12-13, 2-10), and Leron Black added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Frazier hit a 3-pointer to tie it with 11 minutes to play before Wisconsin used an 11-2 run to take a 63-54 lead six minutes later after Davison made a 3. Pritzl scored 10 points from there, including two long 3-pointers from the left wing, to seal it.
The Badgers shot 53 percent from the field, including 8 of 15 from 3-point range, and had 20 assists on 25 field goals. The Illini were 21-of-55 (38 percent) shooting.
Illinois hosts Penn State Sunday, ending a stretch of five out of six games at State Farm Center.
>>Illinois State Topples Southern Illinois
Elijah Clarance and William Tinsley combined for 29 points off the bench and Illinois State turned back Southern Illinois 76-68 in overtime on Thursday night.
Clarance hit 9 of 11 free throws and scored 15 with four rebounds and four assists, while Tinsley added 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range for the Redbirds (14-11, 8-5 Missouri Valley Conference), who won for the fourth straight time and split the season series with the Salukis (16-10, 8-5). The victory pulls Illinois State into a tie for second place in the MVC with Southern Illinois - two games behind front-running Loyola-Chicago.
Taylor Bruninga's 3-point play for the Redbirds with 34 seconds left sent the game to overtime tied at 64.
It was all Illinois State in the extra period. Daouda Ndiaye hit 1 of 2 free throws to put the Redbirds up 65-64 and Matt Hein's 3-pointer pushed the advantage to 68-64. Sean Lloyd Jr.'s layup at the 2:06 mark was the only basket in overtime for the Salukis and cut their deficit to 68-66. But Hein, Milik Yarbrough and Clarance went 6 for 6 at the free-throw line in the final 49 seconds to seal the victory.
Kavion Pippen, Armon Fletcher and Lloyd scored 14 apiece to pace Southern Illinois, which saw a five-game win streak end.

Blues Win; Blackhawks Continue To Slide

>>Blues Blast Avalanche
Braden Schenn scored twice and Vince Dunn had a career-high three assists to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 on Thursday night.
Schenn's fight with Gabriel Landeskog three seconds into the game set the tone.
Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist, and Ivan Barbashev, Kyle Brodziak and Alex Pietrangelo also scored. The Blues scored more than four goals for the first time since Dec. 9 as 13 of the team's 18 skaters had at least one point.
Carter Hutton made 23 saves as St. Louis beat Colorado for the fourth straight time. The Blues have earned points against the Avalanche in 12 consecutive games.
Gabriel Bourque scored for the Avalanche, who lost for the fifth time in seven games. Semyon Varlamov allowed three goals in relief of Jonathan Bernier after he allowed three goals in 20 shots.
The Blues took control on goals by Barbashev and Schenn 48 seconds apart early in the second period.
Schenn put the Blues on top 1-0 with a power play goal at 8:41 of the first period. Schenn's 300th career point came off of a Jaden Schwartz slap shot off of Bernier's pad that deflected directly to his tape.
Barbashev's goal, beating Bernier short-side from a difficult angle at the left faceoff circle, broke a 1-1 tie at 4:17 of the second.
Schenn's second of the game made it 3-1 and ended Bernier's night. It was Schenn's third multi-goal game this season.
Brodziak and Pietrangelo blew the game open with goals later in the second and Stastny scored six minutes into the third period.
The Blues are at Winnipeg on Friday night.
>>Stars Double Up Blackhawks
Tyler Seguin scored twice, Ben Bishop made 37 saves and the Dallas Stars beat the fading Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Thursday night for their fourth straight win.
Tyler Pitlick connected with 4.5 seconds left in second period and Stephen Johns also scored for the Stars, who strengthened their hold on the top wild card in the Western Conference and remained one point behind third-place St. Louis in the Central Division.
Jonathan Toews and Artem Anisimov scored for Chicago, which lost its fourth straight overall and sixth straight at home. Anton Forsberg blocked 26 shots.
Seguin ran his team-high total to 28 goals by scoring for the fourth straight game. The Stars have outscored their opponents 16-5 during their winning streak.
Toews' 15th goal at 9:07 was the lone score in the first period. After taking Brent Seabrook's bank pass of the boards, Toews gained a step on defenseman Dan Hamhuis and snapped off a shot from the left circle that ticked off Bishop's right pad.
The captain snapped an 11-game drought with his first goal since he scored twice at Ottawa on Jan. 9. During the span, the veteran center had just three assists.
Seguin and Johns scored on consecutive shots 59 seconds apart early in the second to put Dallas ahead 2-1.
Capping a quick transition, Seguin streaked down the slot ahead of defenseman Connor Murphy and tipped in Alexander Radulov's nifty backhand pass at 5:44. After Chicago turned over the puck behind its net, Johns' screened shot from the left point appeared to hit traffic and sailed past Forsberg.
Anisimov's power-play goal at 12:48 tied it at 2. He batted in the puck from the left side of the net after Seabrook's shot from the top of the slot went wide and bounded off the back boards.
Pitlick put Dallas back ahead in the final seconds of the period. His shot from the right circle beat Forsberg over the right shoulder and landed in the upper-left corner of the net.
Tommy Wingels' point-blank shot for Chicago hit the post 6:12 into the third. Bishop made a handful of close-in saves in the third before Seguin scored into an empty net with 58 seconds left.
The Blackhawks are at Minnesota on Saturday night to start a three-game trip.

49ers QB Garappolo Gets Massive Deal

The 49ers weren't going to let Jimmy Garoppolo get away. 
On Thursday, the team awarded the quarterback with a five-year, $137.5 million contract, including $74 million in guarantees, reports NBC Bay Area's Matt Maiocco. 
The 26-year-old quarterback with seven career starts is now the NFL's highest-paid player in terms of average annual salary. 
His $27.5 million per season, on average, is $500,000 more than the Lions' Matthew Stafford.
Garoppolo was traded from New England to San Francisco in late October and all it took was a second-round pick. And after a month of learning the 49ers offense, Garoppolo took over the starting job in Week 13 and proceeded to win five straight games. He took a team that was 1-10 at that point and led them to a 6-10 finish. 

Steelman, Hossler Lead Early At Pebble Beach

After Round 1 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Kevin Streelman and Beau Hossler share the lead at 7 under. Streelman shot a 7-under 65 at the Spyglass Hill course, and Hossler fired the same 7-under 65 number at Pebble Beach (golfers play three different courses over the first three rounds before Round 4 at Pebble).
They have a lot of chasers, though. Matt Kuchar is T3 after the first day, and then the dominoes start to fall. Dustin Johnson is T6 and just two back. Patrick Cantlay is also 5 under and T6. Rory McIlroy is T16 after a 4-under 68. Jon Rahm is on that same 4-under number. Huge stars chasing a youngster in Hossler and a vet in Streelman makes for a solid final three rounds.
The first day's worth of play was as lengthy. There were fireworks early and often -- Cantlay started birdie-ace-birdie -- and several fun celebrity sightings on Thursday, including Aaron Rodgers running in long putts and liberally tossing out fist pumps. 
DJ led early in the day, and he never left the leaderboard throughout. D.J. had six birdies and just a single bogey in his 5-under 67 at Spyglass Hill as he played alongside Wayne Gretzky. Johnson dates Gretzky's daughter and the couple has two kids together.
Playing alongside Johnson, Spieth shot an even-par 72 at Spyglass. The issue was once again his putter. His career average for putts per round is around 28, but he took 32 again on Thursday (the norm for him so far this year).  
In his first appearance on the PGA Tour in 2018, McIlroy birdied all four par 5s he played and threw in two more at par 4s for good measure. He shot a 4-under 68 at Spyglass Hill, which was enough to get him into the top 20 after the first day. 

White Sox IF Yolmer Sanchez Wins Arbitration Hearing

Infielder Yolmer Sanchez beat the Chicago White Sox in salary arbitration and will get a raise from $546,000 to $2.35 million rather than the team's $2.1 million offer.
Sanchez set career bests last year with a .267 average, 12 homers and 59 RBIs and .319 on-base percentage. He appeared in 78 games at second, 52 at third, four and shortstop and one in right field.
Arbitrators Robert Herzog, Sylvia Skratek and Walt De Treux made the decision Wednesday, a day after hearing arguments.
Players have a 6-3 advantage over teams in decisions this year.

Northern Iowa Downs Bradley

Wyatt Lohaus scored a career-best 25 points and Northern Iowa snapped a three-game skid, beating Bradley 74-65 on Wednesday.
Lohaus was 7 of 11 from the field including six 3-pointers for the Panthers (12-13, 4-9 Missouri Valley Conference). Klint Carlson added 12 points and led with nine rebounds. Bennett Koch had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Lohaus hit his first 3-pointer early in the half to put the Panthers up by two and they never trailed before intermission, holding on to lead 32-30 at the break.
Bradley surged 18-10 to open the second half and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye's layup put the Braves (17-9, 7-6) on top 48-42 with 13:19 to play. Lohaus led a 17-4 run after that, draining three 3-pointers and a jumper, and the Panthers led 59-52 with 7:52 left and they cruised from there.
Lautier-Ogunleye finished with 19 points for the Braves who have lost the last two after winning four straight.

Pebble Beach Pro-Am Opens Today

Following maybe the craziest locale of the year, the PGA Tour heads to the most scenic course on the 2017-18 slate. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am takes place this week on a three-course rotation of Spyglass Hill, Monterrey Peninsula Country Club and Pebble Beach (where the final round also takes place). The rounds are long, but the views are fantastic and the field is absolutely loaded once again.
Dustin Johnson: 11-2
Jon Rahm: 10-1
Rory McIlroy: 10-1
Jason Day: 10-1
Jordan Spieth: 11-1
Gary Woodland: 25-1
Paul Casey: 25-1
Phil Mickelson: 28-1
Dustin Johnson since he burned down Kapalua in the fourth round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions to kick off 2018. 
Johnson has finished first or second in three of his last six PGA Tour events, has two wins on this course and four other top-five finishes. He's pacing himself nicely to start 2018.
Rahm, who is currently No. 2 in the world and gunning for D.J.'s No. 1 slot, even called him Superman earlier in the year.
Spieth missed the cut last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Following his last missed cut (May 2017), he finished T2 and won twice in his next five events.
This tournament is unique because of the celebrities that play. This year's group includes Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Larry Fitzgerald, Bill Murray (a staple), Wayne Gretzky, Jake Owen, Justin Verlander and Steve Young.

Pacers, Pelicans Postponed in New Orleans Over Concerns of Roof Leak

The NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans was postponed Wednesday mnight after nearly two-hour delay because of a roof leak that briefly allowed rain water to puddle near one of the foul lines.
While Smoothie King Center crews fashioned a fabric catch basin in the rafters to stop water from dripping on the court, Pacers coach Nate McMillan said coaches and players on both teams didn't want to risk an injury in the event the make-shift fix didn't hold up for the duration of Wednesday night's game.
Officials have not yet announced when the game will be made up.
Rain fell on and off throughout the day in New Orleans, but water on the court did not appear to be an issue during warmups.
Smoothie King Center general manager Alan Freeman said the source of the leak was difficult to determine without inspecting the roof at another time, so the catch basin was the only possible solution for game night.
Freeman says the leak was causing water to run down to a ring of hanging speakers and then drip down to the court.
However, no one noticed a problem until about 30 minutes before the scheduled 7 p.m. tip-off.
Initially, officials announced that tip would be moved to 7:30, but even after the court was dry, there were no signs of players coming out for a 10-minute warm-up that was supposed to take place before the delayed start of the game. Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis came out alone at one point and inspected the area where water had fallen.

Monticello Holds On To Beat Bismarck-Henning, Advance to Regional Final

The Monticello Lady Sages did just enough Wednesday to hold on a beat Bismarck-Henning 33-23 and advance to a Regional final from Georgetown Ridge Farm in Class 2A girls basketball postseason action.


The Lady Blue Devils slowed the pace of the game down and it reflected in a slow first half, with a score after 16 minutes of 15-12.


The Lady Sages however, turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter and got some shots to fall, and opened up a 26-15 advantage at one point in the fourth quarter.


The Lady Blue Devils would not go away quietly. Emily Meidel scored eight of game high 17 points in the fourth quarter, to allow Bismarck-Henning to hang around. She shot eight of her 13 free throw attempts in the final period, and finished 9-for-13 from the foul line.


Bismarck-Henning took away leading scorer Zanna Myers for most of the game, however, Jayna Burger and Chloe Clark provided enough offense for the Lady Sages to get by, leading the way with eight points apiece.


Emily Wilson added 7 points, including a crucial takeaway and fast break layup in the final moments of the first half, and expanded the Monticello advantage to 15-12 at the half.


Tatum McCall and Myers each scored four points.


The Lady Blue Devils finis their season 25-7 overall.


The Lady Sages are now 20-4 and will take on Oakwood for the Regional title Friday night at 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Monticello Girls Basketball Opens Postseason Action Tonight

The Monticello Lady Sages are hoping for another big run in the IHSA girls basketball postseason, kicking things off tonight at the Georgetown Ridge Farm Regoinal.
The Lady Sages finished the regular season 19-4 overall and fell out of the rankings in the latest AP Poll.
Tonight, the Lady Sages will take on Bismarck-Henning. The winner advances to a Friday matchup with the winner of tonight's 6 pm game between Fithian Oakwood, ranked seventh in the state this week, and Westville.
Tonight, the Lady's Sages Regional semi-final game can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Class 2A regoinal action from Tuesday:
At Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Tuscola 48 OT
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond) 46
Greenville 46
Sullivan 54
At Champaign St. Thomas More
St. Joseph-Ogden 50
Argenta-Oreana 25
Champaign St. Thomas More 45
Heyworth 35
At Tremont
El Paso-Gridley 40
Olympia 18
Midwest Central 68
Tremont 55
At Watseka
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 37
Momence 23
Class 2A Regional Semifinal Action tonight:
At Braidwood Reed-Custer
Paxton-Buckley-Loda 6:00pm
At Buffalo Tri-City
Buffalo Tri-City 7:30pm
Class 1A Regional semifinal action tonight:
At Decatur St. Teresa
Decatur St. Teresa 6:00pm
Decatur LSA
Mt. Pulaski 7:30pm
Normal Calvary Christian Academy
At Fisher
Ridgeview 6:00pm
Lexington 7:30pm

Blues, Blackhawks Lose Tuesday

>>Flames Extinguish Blackhawks
Michael Stone scored with 3:30 left and the Calgary Flames beat the Chicago Blackhawks for the second straight game, 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Dougie Hamilton and Sean Monahan also scored for Calgary, and Mike Smith made 34 saves in the opener of a six-game trip. The Flames topped the Blackhawks 4-3 Saturday night on Monahan's overtime goal in Calgary.
Stone connected on a long slap shot from the right point. It looked as if Johnny Gaudreau might have tipped it by Jeff Glass, but Stone was credited with his third goal of the season.
The Blackhawks challenged the play, arguing Gaudreau's stick was above the crossbar. But the officials ruled he didn't touch the puck.
Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane scored for last-place Chicago, which has dropped three in a row. Glass finished with 20 stops.
After Monahan added an empty-netter at 18:09, the Blackhawks got one back on Kane's team-best 21st goal with just a couple of seconds remaining. Coach Joel Quenneville then used his timeout, but Chicago was unable to come up with the tying score.
The Blackhawks got off to a nice start in their first home game since Jan. 24. With Flames forward Micheal Ferland in the penalty box for boarding, DeBrincat beat a screened Smith with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle 3:35 into the first.
It was DeBrincat's fifth goal in the last five games. The rookie winger is second on the team with 19 goals on the season.
Calgary had a 5-on-3 power play for 100 seconds late in the first, but Chicago killed it off. Glass made three saves while the Blackhawks were short-handed.
The Flames responded with Hamilton's ninth goal 1:10 into the second. Monahan and Hamilton skated in for a 2-on-1, and Monahan's centering pass went off Hamilton's left skate and into the net.
The Blackhawks appeared to get the go-ahead goal off a wild scramble in front 3:53 into the second, but it was waived off after a long delay. The on-ice call was upheld by the referees, but Calgary challenged for goaltender interference and the replay review took Ryan Hartman's score off the board.
The Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
>>Wild Blast Blues
Jason Zucker tied a career high with his 22nd goal and Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves to help Minnesota to a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.
The bounce-back victory came 72 hours after a humbling 6-1 setback against the Stars.
Mikko Koivu, Nino Niederreiter, Marcus Foligno, Matt Dumba and Eric Staal also scored for Minnesota, which has won three of four. The Wild moved within four points of third-place St. Louis in the Central Division.
Jaden Schwartz and Dmitrij Jaskin scored for the Blues, who had won four of five.
Dubnyk improved to 21-10-3 by winning his third successive start.
Minnesota put aside one of its poorest performances of the season by scoring six straight goals.
Foligno broke a 1-all tie by poking in a rebound at 16:53 of the first period. Koivu pushed the lead to 3-1 just 74 seconds later on a backhand from the slot.
St. Louis goalie Carter Hutton was pulled at the end of the first period after giving up three goals on eight shots. He came into the game with four consecutive wins and had stopped 121 of his previous 123 shots.
The Blues had earned at least one point in 18 of their last 20 home games against the Wild.
The Blues host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

Maroa-Forsyth Falls Short Against Athens

The Maroa-Forsyth Trojans Tuesday night fell just short in Sangamo Conference boys basketball action, as they lost 54-52 at Maroa-Forsyth High School.
Trailing 37-30 at the break, the Trojans crept back into the game with, outscoring the Warriors 10-5 in the third quarter, and trailed 42-40 after three quarters. With opportunities at the foul line, the Trojans converted just two-of-six fourth quarter free throws, while Athens made three of their five.
The Trojans were led by junior Aaron Agee's 14 points. Freshman Anthony Campbell added 13 points. 
The Warriors were led by Garrett Reichert, who scored 15 of his game high 18 points in the first half. Nic Laird added 13 points, scoring ten in the first half. Jack Richards also scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half. 
The Trojans drop to 5-16 overall and are at North Mac on Friday.

Monticello Holds Off Champaign St. Thomas More

The Champaign St. Thomas More Sabres gave the Monticello Sages everything they could handle but the Sages held off the Sabres in the second half for a 62-47 win in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action Tuesday night at Monticello High School.


The Sages outscored the Sabres 19-8 in the second quarter to take a 37-17 lead into the half, but the Sabres attacked the basket in the third quarter and shot nine free throws in the third quarter, making eight, and got as close as eight, trimming the deficit to 44-36 by the end of the quarter.


But Monticello rebounded to close the game out with an 18-11 fourth quarter. Calvin Fisher scored eight of his game high 17 points in the fourth quarter. Ben Singleton tied a career high with 16 points. Luke Stokowski added 13 points, six rebounds and six assists.


Johnny Dawson dished out four assists to zero turnovers and scored five points and grabbed four rebounds.


The Sages dished out 13 assists as a team and committed only five turnovers.


Fisher did not start Tuesday night, battling illness, ending a 58-game streak in his Monticello career.


The Sabres drop to 8-15 overall and 2-5 in the Illini Prairie Conference.


The Sages are now 18-1 overall and 6-0 in conference action.


A showdown with Bloomington Central Catholic awaits Monticello Friday night at Monticello Hig School.


Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Clinton Maroons Fall to Warrensburg-Latham

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals by a score of 50-46 on Tuesday night. The Maroons were without Seth Westfall and Dalton Smith due to injury. The Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game Austin Rauch led the scoring with 18 points. Austin Baker chipped in with 13.


For the Cardinals, they were led by Joe Gustafson with 25 points.


With the loss the Maroons fall to 12-9 on the season and 2-3 in the Central Illinois Conference. Warrensburg-Latham improves to 11-11 overall and 3-2 in conference action.


Tune in Friday, February 16, as the Maroons take on Sullivan. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

Illinois Can't Hold On At Ohio State

Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 35 points and had 13 rebounds and No. 17 Ohio State held off Illinois 75-67 on Sunday.
The Buckeyes, playing without suspended guard Kam Williams, overcame an Illinois lead to tie the score at the 5-minute mark. But they wouldn't get the game in hand until Kaleb Wesson grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up with 48 seconds left. That gave the Buckeyes a 72-67 lead, and any momentum Illinois had was gone for good.
Jae'Sean Tate scored 11 points for the Buckeyes (20-5, 11-1), who have won three straight and 10 of their last 11. They move on to a showdown with No. 3 Purdue on Wednesday to determine first place in the Big Ten.
Bates-Diop had 17 of his points in the first half - 11 straight in one stretch - when Ohio State had to dig its way out of a 15-point hole. He finished with his 10th double-double of the season.
Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann, in his first year at Ohio State after a successful run at Butler, now has won 20 or more games in each of his last five full years as a head coach.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Illinois (12-12, 2-9). The Illini have yet to win a game on the road this season.
Mark Alstork paced Illinois with 19 points, and Trent Frazier chipped in 12.
Illinois hosts Wisconsin on Thursday.

Girls Basketball Postseason Kicks Off Tonight

The Class 1A and 2A girls basketball postseason opens up tonight.
In Class 1A regional quarterfinal action:
At Decatur St. Teresa
Decatur LSA 7:00pm
Decatur Christian
At Fisher
Champaign Judah Christian 6:00pm
Fisher 7:30pm
Urbana University
At Nokomis
Springfield Lutheran 7:30pm
Springfield Calvary
In Class 2A Regional quarterfinal action:
At Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Villa Grove 6:00pm
Sullivan 7:30pm
At Champaign St. Thomas More
Argenta-Oreana 6:00pm
Blue Ridge
Heyworth 7:30pm
At Tremont
Olympia 6:00pm
Peoria Christian
Tremont 7:30pm

Gary Woodland Wins Phoenix Open

Gary Woodland shot a 64 on Sunday to take home the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open in a playoff over Chez Reavie. It was Woodland's first win since 2013 and just his second win at a non-opposite field event ever.
After a 30 on the front nine in Round 4, Woodland scuffled a bit on the back nine before a hammer close to top off a wild week at TPC Scottsdale. Woodland birdied Nos. 15-17 and had a run at one on No. 18, too. 
Reavie hit the putt of the tournament, a 21-footer on the 72nd hole of the week to go back to the 18th tee with Woodland for a 73rd hole. Reavie made bogey there, though, and a par was enough for Woodland to take home the trophy at a third consecutive playoff at this event (and fourth consecutive playoff this season on the PGA Tour).
Woodland topped a leaderboard on Sunday that included Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Daniel Berger Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau. His 64 was the round of the day on Sunday and tied for the round of the week.
Fowler bogeyed three of the last four holes and somehow didn't even finish inside the top 10 at an event that he had a firm grip on through 67 holes.
Spieth shot 72-70 in the first two days for a 142 total and missed the cut. Kevin Chappel shot 69-72 and finished T30.

Philly Holds Off New England To Win Super Bowl

Nick Foles guided the drive of a lifetime, Zach Ertz made a bobbling touchdown catch that had to survive replay review, and an exhausted defense came up with two stands in the final moments Sunday for a 41-33 victory. For the first time since 1960, the Eagles are NFL champions.
In a record-setting shootout between backup QB Foles and five-time champ Brady of the favored Patriots, Foles led a pressure-packed 75-yard drive to the winning touchdown, 11 yards to Ertz with 2:21 to go .
Then Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady and Derek Barnett recovered, setting up rookie Jake Elliot's 46-yard field goal for an 8-point lead.
Brady threw for a postseason record 505 yards and three TDs, hitting Rob Gronkowski for 4 yards before Stephen Gostkowski's extra point gave New England its first lead, 33-32.
Foles finished 28 of 43 for 373 yards and three TDs.
The combined 1,151 yards were the most in any modern NFL game.

Monticello Knocks off Quincy Notre Dame

The Monticello Sages went into Quincy Notre Dame and held serve with a 56-52 win over the Raiders in a rematch of last year’s Springfield Supersectional that sent the Sages to the state tournament in Peoria.


With Monticello on top 50-47, Tommy Ray buried a wing three pointer for QND to tie the game, but Ben Singleton answered with an uncontested layup on the next possession, Devin Graham and Singleton knocked down four straight free throws and Luke Stokowski drew a charge on Ray under the basket, sealing the win in the final 90 seconds of regulation.


Calvin Fisher was a game time decision with flu like symptoms and led all scorers with 20 points. Singleton had 14 points and Stokowski added 12.


QND played well enough to win, turning Monticello over 16 times for 23 points. They outscored the Sages in the paint, 34-26. The Raiders also controlled the glas, 24-20 and had 11 offensive rebounds for 13 second chance points. They also shot 49 percent from the floor, going 22-45 and made six of ten from the free throw line.


The Sages, however, shot 60-percent for the game, going 21-34 and made 11-of-19 foul shots.


QND drops to 14-9 overall.


Monticello improves to 17-1. They continue a tough stretch with matchups against Champaign St. Thomas More, Bloomington Central Catholic and Decatur St. Teresa next week.


Hear Tuesday’s action against Champaign St. Thomas More on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Monticello Blows By IVC

The Monticello Sages started the second half on a 13-0 run and turned a 24-13 halftime lead into a 37-13 advantage, as they blew by IVC 53-29 in Illini Prairie boys basketball action Friday night in Chillicothe.


The Sages were crisp on offense, relentless on defense and continued to play as good fo basketball as they have all season, improving to 16-1 overall and 5-0 in the Illini Prairie.


Calvin Fisher led a balanced attack with 11 points. Luke Stokowski added ten points and eight rebounds. Alek Bundy had eight points, six in the second quarter. Devin Graham and Noah Wright had seven points apiece. Wright’s seven was a career high.


The Sages dished out 15 assists one 24 field goals made and committed only ten turnovers.


The Grey Ghosts committed 12 turnovers and the Sages turned those into 15 points. The Sages dominated the glass 30-15. They grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and had 17 second chance points.


The Sages Quincy Notre Dame Saturday night at 8 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com


Maroons Defeat Tuscola

The Clinton Maroons defeated Tuscola by a score of 74-24 on Friday night.
The Maroons were led by Country Financial Player of the Game, Austin Rauch, who had 18 points. Austin Baker chipped in with 18 points as well. The Maroons made thirteen three point shots in the game.
Tuscola was led by Brayden Von Lanken with 8 points.
With the win the Maroons improve to 11-8 on the season and 2-2 in CIC action. 
Tune in next Tuesday as the Maroons take on Warrensburg-Latham. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Clinton Goes For Third at CIC Tourney

The Clinton Maroons are looking to take home third place tonight from the Central Illinois Conference tournament in Tuscola.
The Maroons knocked off Warrensburg-Latham to start the tournament last Saturday but fell to Decatur St. Teresa in the semifinal round on Tuesday night.
The Maroons will take on Tuscola tonight at 6 pm.
Clinton routed Tuscola 64-44 back on January 19 in Tuscola. 
Hear tonight's action on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Monticello Wins At Olympia

It wasn't the most dazzling of victories but the Monticello Lady Sages did enough to get by Olympia 47-32 Thursday night at Olympia High School in Illini Prairie Conference girls basketball action.
Tatum McCall led the way for the Lady Sages with 18 points, who pulled away gradually in the second half, though their play was sloppy throughout the game.
The Lady Sages were coming off a week with losses to Champaign St. Thomas More, Bloomington Central Catholic and Danville Schlarman. They bounced back this week with wins at Tolono Unity and Olympia and will conclude their regular season Saturday at Prairie Central.
The Lady Spartans were led Colby Burt with ten points.
Emily Wilson scored eight points and Zanna Myers chipped in with seven for the Lady Sages.

Monticello At IVC Friday, Quincy Notre Dame Saturday

The Monticello Sages will travel the western portion of the state this weekend for a pair games, including a showdown with Quincy Notre Dame Saturday night.
Tonight the Sages head to the Peoria area, where they'll meet up with Illinois Valley Central in Chillicothe. Tip tonight is 7:30 pm.
Tomorrow night, the Sages head to Quincy for a showdown with Quincy Notre Dame at the QND Shootout.
The Sages knocked off QND last March in Springfield to advance to the state finals in Peoria.
The Sages have won 14 of their first 15 games this season, and are coming off and impressive win at St. Joseph-Ogden Tuesday night.
Hear all this weekend's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Bulls, Pelicans Finish Trade for Mirotic

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired forward Nikola Mirotic and a second-round draft pick from the Chicago Bulls for center Omer Asik, guards Jameer Nelson and Tony Allen and a 2018 first-round pick.
The trade, announced by both teams late Thursday afternoon, comes less than a week after New Orleans lost All-Star DeMarcus Cousins for the season to a left Achilles tear and with the Pelicans still in the playoff picture.
Mirotic has averaged 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game since missing the first 23 games this season with two broken bones in his face stemming from a fight in practice with Bobby Portis.
Nelson has averaged 5.1 points and 3.6 assists in 43 games for New Orleans this season. Allen averaged 4.7 points before a broken leg sidelined him for 22 games. He returned to the active roster this week. Asik has averaged 1.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14 games this season.

Gaunce scores twice, Canucks beat Blackhawks 4-2

 Brendan Gaunce scored his second goal of the game late in the third period, and the Vancouver Canucks overcame an early deficit to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Thursday night.
Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvat also scored for the Canucks. Troy Stecher added two assists, and Vancouver won for the fifth time in eight games after a 2-11-3 stretch.
The Canucks also won back-to-back games on home ice for the second time this season.
Vancouver was clinging to a one-goal lead when Gaunce directed Loui Eriksson's pass past goaltender Anton Forsberg at 17:02 of the third.
Nick Schmaltz and Alex DeBrincat scored for Chicago, which ended a two-game winning streak. Duncan Keith had two assists.
Chicago has not won three straight games since a five-game streak Dec. 8-17.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots for Vancouver. Forsberg, making his third straight start, stopped 17 shots.
Daniel Sedin made it 3-1 for Vancouver with 2:55 gone in the third. Jake Virtanen collected a puck in the slot, spun and fired a quick shot that Sedin tipped.
DeBrincat drew Chicago within in a goal when he scored on a slap shot over Markstrom's glove at 10:19.
The Canucks used a pair of second-period goals to take a 2-1 lead.
Gaunce tied it at 5:33 soon after Vancouver killed off a penalty. Stecher had just stepped out of the box when he poked a puck along the boards to Gaunce. He skated into the Chicago zone, used Horvat as a decoy, then scored on a wrist shot.
Stecher also had a hand in Horvat's goal at 9:58. He took a slap shot from the blue line that Horvat tipped for his 12th of the season.
Schmaltz showed some speed in scoring the only goal of the first period. He took a pass from Brandon Saad, cut across the front of the net, then beat Markstrom with a backhand at 15:15 for his 14th goal.
Blackhawks: Play at Calgary on Saturday night.

Lady Maroons Win on Senior Night

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Sullivan Redskins by a score of 44-42 on Thursday night. The Lady Maroons were led by the Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game Madi Filkin with 16 points. Alyssa Saulsbery added 11 points and Destiny Schlesinger chipped in with 9.


For Sullivan, they were led by Chloe Riley with 20 points and Elizabeth Green with 13.


With the win the Lady Maroons improve to 12-14 overall and 4-3 in conference action. Sullivan falls to 12-12 on the season and 3-4 in the CIC.


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for the announcement of the Lady Maroons' regional pairings. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

Bradley Downs Loyola-Chicago

Elijah Childs scored 18 points to lead Bradley past Missouri Valley Conference leader Loyola-Chicago 69-67 on Wednesday night.
Bradley (17-7, 7-4 Missouri Valley Conference) has won four straight, is 12-0 at home this season and has a 14-game home win streak dating to last season. Loyola-Chicago (18-5, 8-3) had its seven-game win streak snapped.
Marques Townes made a 3-pointer for Loyola-Chicago with 1:05 left to tie it at 64. Darrell Brown made four free throws, but Townes hit another 3 to pull the Ramblers to 68-67. Nate Kennell split a pair of free throws, and the Ramblers had a uncontested 3-point attempt hit the back of the iron at the buzzer.
Donte Thomas, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye, and Kennell each scored 12 points for the Braves.
Clayton Custer made five 3-pointers and finished with 23 points to lead Loyola-Chicago.

Pacers Win; Bulls Lose

>>Blazers Blast Bulls
CJ McCollum scored a franchise-record 28 points in the first quarter and finished with a career-high 50 through three periods before heading to the bench, and the Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of the short-handed Chicago Bulls for a 124-108 victory Wednesday night.
McCollum's 28 points in the opening quarter were the most in the NBA this season. His final tally was nine points shy of the team record set by Damian Lillard last season.
Lillard also sat out the final period after adding 13 points and seven assists for the Blazers, who led by as many as 29. It was Portland's fourth straight win overall, a season high, and the club's eighth in a row at home.
Zach LaVine had a season-best 23 points in Chicago's fifth consecutive loss.
Lauri Markkanen was not with the Bulls because he was attending to a personal issue, the team said. The rookie is averaging 15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Paul Zipser started in his place.
Kris Dunn, averaging 13.7 points and 6.4 assists, missed his sixth straight game after a concussion.
The Bulls decided to sit forward Nikola Mirotic while he reportedly seeks a trade. Coach Fred Hoiberg said before the game that the 6-foot-10 forward remained back at the team hotel. Meanwhile, rumors swirled that the Bulls had a deal with the Pelicans but it fell apart.
Portland shot 74 percent in the first quarter paced by McCollum, who made four 3-pointers in the period and finished with six for the game.
Pat Connaughton's 3-pointer put the Blazers up 54-28. McCollum punctuated the first half with a dunk, and the Blazers went into the break with a 67-44 lead.
McCollum finished the half with 32 points, one shy of Lillard's franchise record.
The Bulls lost 110-96 at home to Milwaukee on Sunday.
The Bulls play Saturday night at the Los Angeles Clippers before finishing their three-game road trip at Sacramento.
>>Pacers Down Grizzlies
With 34 seconds left in the game, Myles Turner found himself at the foul line putting an exclamation point on his best game of the season.
The third-year big man made both free throws, giving Indiana the lead Wednesday night in a 105-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Turner had his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He also blocked three shots against a Memphis team that only had nine players available.
The win was Indiana's third straight and fifth in six games.
Turner has missed 16 games due to injury this season, including nine straight in January.
All five Pacers starters ended up scoring in double digits. Bojan Bogdanovic and Darren Collison each had 21 points, Victor Oladipo added 13 and Thaddeus Young had 10.
The teams traded the lead nine times in the first half, with Indiana taking a 55-53 lead into halftime. The Pacers opened the second half with a 9-3 run, but Memphis wouldn't go away. Trailing 100-95, the Grizzlies went on a 6-0 spurt to regain the lead with 1:57 to play.
After Turner's late free throws gave the Pacers a 102-101 lead, Memphis had multiple opportunities to answer back. Marc Gasol's 11-foot jumper with 15 seconds left was rebounded by Grizzlies teammate Wayne Selden. With less than three seconds remaining, Selden drove the lane and attempted a floater in heavy traffic. More than two Pacers were there when Selden went up for the shot, but it was partially blocked by Cory Joseph and the Pacers grabbed the rebound and sealed the game at the foul line.
Gasol finished with 23 points and nine rebounds. Selden led the Grizzlies with 24 points but was ejected with 0.7 seconds remaining after arguing he was fouled on his missed shot.
The Pacers visit the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

Phoenix Open Tees Off Today

Maybe the most fun annual event on the PGA Tour schedule takes place this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama will all all play following a week of Tiger-mania at Torrey Pines. There are always fun Super Bowl-related props for this tournament, fascinating products handed out on the 16th hole and outrageously large crowds that this year could top 250,000 in one day. 
Matsuyama and Spieth open as the early favorites. Jon Rahm, Thomas, Fowler and Marc Leishman are among the favorites as well.
Matsuyama owns the Phoenix Open. He has won each of the last two years, and he nearly won the two years before that.


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