Local Sports

Girls Basketball Postseason Thursday Matchups

Class 1A Sectional Final action tonight

 

At Champaign St. Thomas More

 

St. Teresa 7:00pm

Salt Fork

 

Class 2A Sectional final action tonight

 

At Macomb

 

Normal U-High 7:00pm

Quincy Notre Dame

 

Class 3A Regional final action tonight

 

At Danville 

 

Mt. Zion 7:00pm

Danville 

 

At Decatur MacArthur

 

Decatur MacArthur 7:00pm

Mahomet-Seymour

 

At Galesburg

 

Peoria 7:00pm

Rock Island

 

At Kankakee 

 

Kankakee 7:00pm

Metamora

 

At Lincoln

 

Springfield Lanphier 7:00pm

Lincoln

 

At Canton

 

Peoria Richwoods 7:00pm

Geneseo

 

Class 4A Regional final action tonight

 

At Normal Community

 

Lincoln-Way West 7:00pm

Normaly West

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Bradley Stays in Missouri Valley Race With Overtime Win Over Missouri State

Darrell Brown had 19 points to lead five Bradley players in double figures as the Braves edged past Missouri State 83-79 in overtime on Wednesday night.

 

Elijah Childs added 15 points for the Braves. Ville Tahvanainen chipped in 12, Koch Bar scored 11 and Ja'Shon Henry had 10. Childs also had 10 rebounds.

 

Childs' two free throws with 37 seconds left in overtime gave Bradley an 81-79 lead and Henry's dunk with five seconds left capped the scoring.

 

Lamont West had 20 points and three blocks for the Bears (13-15, 7-8 Missouri Valley Conference).

 

Josh Hall added 17 points and nine rebounds. Keandre Cook had 13 points.

 

The Braves improve to 2-0 against the Bears this season. Bradley defeated Missouri State 91-78 on Jan. 15.

 

Bradley (19-9, 10-5) plays at Valparaiso on Saturday. 

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Loyola Rolls Illinois State

Tate Hall had a career-high 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting and Loyola of Chicago rallied in the second half to defeat Illinois State 84-69 on Wednesday night.

 

Hall had 19 points, including all four of his 3-pointers, as the Ramblers outscored the Redbirds 50-31.

Cameron Krutwig had 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Loyola of Chicago (19-9, 11-4 Missouri Valley Conference), which earned its fourth straight victory. Keith Clemons added 12 points.

 

The Ramblers posted a season-high 24 assists on 31 baskets.

 

Zach Copeland had 16 points for the Redbirds (8-19, 3-12), DJ Horne added 15 and Antonio Reeves 12.


Loyola of Chicago defeated Illinois State 62-50 on Jan. 19.

 

Illinois State matches up against Drake at home on Saturday.

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Rangers Double Up Blackhawks

Mike Zibanejad and Chris Kreider each had a goal and two assists as the Rangers scored five times in the third period and beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 on Wednesday night.

 

Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and assist, and Filip Chytil, Ryan Strome, and Artemi Panarin scored as New York rebounded from a 3-1 loss to Boston on Sunday to win for the fifth time in six games.

 

The Rangers also won their sixth straight on the road.

 

The line of Kreider, Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich got rolling in the third in this one to break a 1-1 tie.

 

Zibenejad has four goals in his last five games, and eight goals and eight assists in his last 11. Kreider has eight goals and six assists in 12 games.

 

Even so, the Rangers, who improved to 31-24-4 with 66 points, are six points out of the second wild card in the in East. New York's next game is Friday at Carolina, one of the teams it's chasing.

 

Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves in his return after missing three games with an ankle injury. The 24-year-old has won seven of eight NHL career appearances since making his debut on Jan. 7.

 

Shesterkin went to the bench briefly with 2:44 left in the second after Jonathan Toews accidentally struck him in the mask with the butt-end of his stick. Shesterkin returned after a trainer attended to him.

 

Dominik Kubalik scored twice, giving him 25 goals to lead NHL rookies. Drake Caggiula also connected for Chicago, which has just one win in its last eight games (1-5-2).

 

Duncan Keith set up Kubalik's first goal for his 500th career assist.

 

Robin Lehner blocked 35 shots for the fading Blackhawks, who let the Rangers power past them in the third.

 

Chytil opened the scoring 1:58 in with his 13th goal. He beat Lehner between the pads with a low shot from the left circle.

 

Kubalik tied it 1-all at 2:29 on a one-timer from the right circle. Set up by Keith's perfect cross-ice feed, Kubalik ripped a shot just inside the right post.

 

The Rangers took off in the third.

 

Buchnevich and Strome connected 1:28 apart early in the third period to put New York ahead 3-1.

 

Buchnevich scored from the slot at 2:33 after taking Kreider's feed from behind the net. Strome made it 3-1 at 4:01 when he pounced on a rebound of Tony DeAngelo's shot, then turned and fired from the front of the crease.

 

Kubalik scored on a backhander at 6:05 to cap a breakaway, but goals by Kreider and Panarin 53 seconds apart extended New York's lead to 5-2.

 

Kreider plowed down left wing and then cut to the net and connected at 8:48. Panarin turned and ripped in a loose puck from the slot at 9:41.

 

Caggiula scored from the slot at 11:39 to cut it to 5-3, but Zibanejad countered just under two minutes later on a tip-in for this 26th goal He has goals in four of his last five games and six in eight.

Chicago's F Patrick Kane had an assist to give him one point against all 30 other NHL teams this season. 

 

The Blackhawks host Nashville on Friday night.

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Bulls Host Hornets to Start Second Half

Technically, the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets still have a chance to make the playoffs.

 

However, either team would have to make a strong turnaround if it wants to avoid an early summer.

After a week off, the clubs will begin the post-All-Star break portion of their schedules when they meet Thursday night in Chicago. It is the fourth and final meeting of the season for the teams, with Charlotte holding a 2-1 edge so far.

 

The Bulls will try to bounce back after sliding into the break on a six-game losing streak. The Hornets won their past two games after winning just one of the previous 14.

 

Chicago has been depleted by injuries but potentially could welcome back forward/center Wendell Carter Jr. against the Hornets.

 

Carter, 20, has not played since Jan. 6 against the Dallas Mavericks because of a high ankle sprain. He is averaging 11.7 points and 9.9 rebounds through 37 games this season, his second in the league.

Carter is not the only player sidelined for the Bulls. They also have been without Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr., Kris Dunn and others because of injuries during the past couple months.

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Girls Basketball Postseason Scores

Class 2A Sectional scores

 

At Wilmington

 

Prairie Central 49

Seneca 50

 

Class 3A Regional Semifinal scores

 

At Canton

 

Peoria Richwoods 53

Canton 40

 

At Danville

 

Mt. Zion 59

Rantoul 30

 

Danville 66

Champaign Central 53

 

At Decatur MacArthur

 

Decatur MacArthur 65

Champaign Centennial 33

 

Mahomet-Seymour 59

Urbana 39

 

At Galesburg

 

Peoria 66

Limestone 30

 

At Jerseyville

 

Highland 75

Taylorville 34

 

At Kankakee 

 

Metamora 46

Ottawa 37

 

At Lincoln

 

Springfield Lanphier 66

Bloomington 25

 

Springfield 55

Lincoln 61

 

At Washington

 

Morton 70

East Peoria 11

 

Washington 54

LaSalle-Peru 35

 

Class 4A Regional Scores...

 

At Normal Community

 

Normal West 51

Normal Community 42

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Illinois Beats No. 9 Penn State

Ayo Dosunmu, the Fighting Illini’s leading scorer who missed the previous game with a knee injury, scored 24 points, and Illinois snapped a four-game losing streak with a 62-56 victory over Penn State on Tuesday night.

 

Kofi Cockburn added 14 points for the Fighting Illini (17-9, 9-6 Big Ten), who led most of the way and ended Penn State’s eight-game winning streak.

 

The win also snapped Illinois’ six-game losing streak against Penn State.

 

Lamar Stevens scored 13 points for the Nittany Lions (20-6, 10-5), who entered with their highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since they were No. 9 at the same point of the 1996 season.

 

Izaiah Brockington added 10 points for the Nittany Lions, who trailed 30-26 at halftime and by as many as nine points with 5:35 to play.

 

Penn State got a pair of free throws from Seth Lundy that cut its deficit to 58-56 with a minute left, but Dosunmu iced it with a layup 30 seconds later.

 

The Nittany Lions made just 21 of 58 shots, well below their 45% average. Penn State shooters made just 4 of 19 3-pointers.

 

It was back-and-forth early as teams swapped the lead five times in the first. The Illini controlled play for 9:06 and Griffin gave them their biggest lead of the half when he hit a 3-pointer, drew a foul and hit the ensuing free throw to put the Illini up 21-16 with 8:54 before halftime.

 

Penn State used an 8-1 run, capped by a steal and dunk by Lundy, to retake the lead 4:22 later.

But Illinois got eight straight points from Dosunmu before a put-back by Giorgi Bezhanishvili to go up 30-26 at the break.

 

Illinois hosts Nebraska on Monday.

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Final Boys Basketball Polls Has Lincoln, Central A&M Ranked

The final boy's basketball polls of the season feature Lincoln maintaining a place in the top-ten of the 3A poll while Central A&M is No. 2 in 1A.

 

The Railers were not impacted by a shakeup in the top eight but maintain their place in the poll as they wrap up they look ahead to Regionals in a few weeks. The Railers will learn their fate this Friday afternoon. Lincoln is 25-2 overall.

 

Meanwhile, in 1A, Central A&M is up to No. 2, from No. 3 last week. Indian Creek takes over the top spot in 1A. 

 

In Class 2A, Normal U-High checks in at No. 3, Pleasant Plains No. 5 and Riverton just missed out on the top ten with nine votes. Bismarck-Henning is No. 10 in this week's poll to enter the rankings.

 

Peoria Notre Dame tied Niles Notre Dame as the top team in 3A. 

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Blues Blank Devils

Ivan Barbashev scored twice and the St. Louis Blues snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

 

It was the third multigoal game of Barbashev's career and first this season. Two of those games have come against the Devils.

 

Jaden Schwartz also scored and Jordan Binnington made 17 saves for his seventh career shutout and second this season as the defending Stanley Cup champions and Western Conference leaders won for the first time since Feb. 4.

 

Louis Domingue made 36 saves for the Devils, who were shut out for the seventh time this season.

The Blues outshot the Devils 13-6 in the first period, but Domingue came up with several big saves to keep the game scoreless, including a stop on David Perron's one-timer early. He also gloved an Alex Pietrangelo drive midway through the period.

 

Domingue continued to frustrate the Blues early in the second period with two dynamic saves to rob Ryan O'Reilly and Carl Gunnarsson on St. Louis' power play.

 

Barbashev gave the Blues a 1-0 lead on their 20th shot of the game, finding a loose puck in the slot and scoring his first goal in 13 games at the 9:21 mark of the second.

 

Binnington only faced 11 shots through the first two periods but came up big on Wayne Simmonds' chance with 4.8 seconds left in the second.

 

Barbashev gave the Blues a 2-0 lead 5:27 into the third period, finishing on a perfect feed from Sammy Blais.

 

Schwartz made it 3-0 with 5:15 left, scoring his fifth goal in 10 career games against the Devils.

Binnington made several saves during a four-minute power play for New Jersey in the third and was helped when Pavel Zacha hit the post.

 

Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester met with his teammates during the morning skate.

 

Bouwmeester collapsed due to a cardiac episode during the team's game in Anaheim on Feb. 11 and had a cardioverter defibrillator implanted into his chest at UCI Medical Center in Orange County, California, where he had been hospitalized until returning to St. Louis on Sunday.

 

The Blues traded a second-round pick in 2020 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2021 to Montreal in exchange for D Marco Scandella. St. Louis also placed Bouwmeester on long-term IR and assigned D Niko Mikkola to San Antonio of the AHL.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko took part in his second-morning skate since dislocating his left shoulder on Oct. 24. He is still considered at least a month away from returning.

 

St. Louis hosts Arizona on Thursday.

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Kepley Leads Monticello Past Tolono Unity

Garrett Kepley scored 17 of his game-high 24 points to lead Monticello past Tolono Unity 55-39 in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action Tuesday night. 

 

The win is the fifth straight for the Sages. Kepley scored 15 of Monticello’s 15 of 23 points in the third quarter as Monticello flipped a one-point halftime lead into a 44-34 lead after three.

 

Briggs Fultz scored ten points for Monticello.

 

Blake Kimball scored 14 of his 19 points in the first half to keep Unity close in the first half. Karcon Ewarks scored nine points and Jared Routh scored eight points.

 

Unity is 5-21 overall and 1-7 in conference play. The Sages improve to 17-11 overall and are 4-4 in the Illini Prairie. 

 

They will close out the regular season Friday night at Olympia. Game time is 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Maroons Fall to La Sallette on Senior Night

The Clinton Maroons fell to Notre Dame La Sallette by a score of 58-30 on Tuesday night. The Maroons were led by Clayton Welch with 8 points. Zeke Hickman and Ty Brennan each had 5 points. Tyrese Petty and Garrett Wayne both chipped in on senior night with 4 apiece.

 

Notre Dame La Sallette was led by Manny Garcia Camilo with 20 points.

 

Tune in Monday, February 24, as the Clinton Maroons take on the Monticello Sages for regionals. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, on Your Easy Choice 95.9 FM WEZC, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

 

 

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Clinton Hosts Notre Dame La Sallete

The Clinton Maroons enter the final week of the regular season and are hoping to get on the winning track starting tonight when they host Georgetown Notre Dame La Sallete at 7:30 pm at Clinton High School in non-conference boys basketball action. 

 

The Maroons dropped a close contest with Olympia Saturday night, 46-44, it was their seventh straight loss. 

 

Tonight is senior night at Clinton High School.

 

Hear the action at 7:30 pm on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, at the WHOW mobile app, and at Amazon Alexa.

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Monticello Heads to Tolono Unity

The Monticello Sages will put a four-game winning streak on the line tonight when they head to rival Tolono Unity for a 7 pm Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball matchup.

 

The Sages swept through Holy Week last week with wins over Champaign St. Thomas More, Bloomington Central Catholic, and Decatur St. Teresa.

 

The Sages will be on the road for the rest of their campaign as they will close out the regular-season slate at Olympia Friday night.

 

Monticello is 16-11 overall and 3-4 in conference play. The Rockets are 5-20 overall and 1-5 in the Illini Prairie.

 

Hear tonight's action starting at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Illinois Drops Out of Polls Amid Latest Struggles

Baylor and Kansas just keep winning, setting up a monumental showdown Saturday between the top-ranked Bears and No. 3 Jayhawks that could help decide not only the Big 12 title but the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament.

 

The two teams were separated once again by Gonzaga in the latest college basketball poll from The Associated Press on Monday. The Bears (23-1) had 48 first-place votes from the 63-member media panel, while the Bulldogs (26-1) had 14 first-place nods and the Jayhawks (22-3) had the only remaining first-place vote.

 

Illinois plummeted out of the poll after losing to Michigan State and Rutgers. Texas Tech also dropped out along with LSU, which lost at Alabama during a brutal Saturday for the nation’s Top 25 teams.

 

San Diego State (26-0) remained the nation’s last unbeaten team and was No. 4 in the latest poll, while Dayton (23-2) climbed one spot to fifth after wins over Rhode Island and Massachusetts and a rough week for then-No. 5 Louisville.

 

BYU climbed into the poll at No. 23 after wins over Loyola Marymount and San Diego, and now faces Santa Clara on Thursday night before a showdown with the second-ranked Zags. The Cougars were followed by Arizona at No. 24 and Ohio State at No. 25, two teams that were in the poll earlier this season before dropping out.

 

 


Coaches Poll voters varied from AP Top 25 voters again this week and kept Michigan State in their poll after a 1-1 week for the Spartans that included a win at Illinois and a loss at Maryland.

 

As a result, Brigham Young was left out of the Coaches Poll after cracking the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2011. Instead, the Spartans (17-9, 6-6 Big Ten) stayed in at No. 25 in a sign of respect from the coaches for how brutal the Big Ten is this season.

 

Michigan and Illinois were left out but received 44 and 24 votes, respectively, giving the league five teams in the top 25 and seven in the top 29 in terms of votes received. Ohio State is back in the Coaches Poll at No. 24 as well following a 2-0 week with victories over Rutgers and Purdue.

 

Maryland rose from No. 9 to No. 7, and Penn State from No. 13 to No. 9 to complete the solid week for the Big Ten in the Coaches Poll. Michigan State's continued place in the poll comes as the Spartans have lost four of their last five games after being ranked No. 1 in the first edition of the poll released in October.

 

The coaches also gave a nice bump to Arizona, ranking the Wildcats No. 19 after road wins against Cal and Stanford improved their record to 18-7 (8-4 Pac 12). Arizona's return to the polls sets up a ranked showdown on Saturday with No. 16 Oregon that could bring clarity to a six-team race for the conference's regular-season crown.

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Girls Basketball Postseason Scores

Class 1A Sectional Semifinal scores....

 

At Casey-Westfield

 

Altamont 62

Central A & M 50

 

At Champaign St. Thomas More

 

Decatur St. Teresa 45

Lexington 44

 

Catlin Salt Fork 39

Warrensburg-Latham 32

 

Class 2A Sectional Semifinal scores....

 

At Macomb

 

Illini West 25

Normal U-High 42

 

At Paris

 

Tolono Unity22

Teutopolis 43

 

Paris 62

St. Joseph-Ogden 35

 

Class 3A Regional Quarterfinal Scores...

 

At Canton

 

Canton 48

Peoria Manual 17

 

At Chatham-Glenwood

 

Springfield Southeast 39

Jacksonville 37

 

At Decatur MacArthur

 

Decatur Eisenhower 58

Champaign Centennial 64

 

At Galesburg 

 

Peoria Notre Dame 36

Bartonville Limestone 41

 

At Washington

 

Streator 44

East Peoria 51

 

Class 2A Section Semifinal Action tonight....

 

At Wilmington

 

Prairie Central 6:00pm

Seneca

 

Class 3A Regional action tonight...

 

At Canton

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Peoria Richwoods 6:00pm

Canton

 

Geneseo 7:30pm

Dunlap

 

At Danville

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Mt. Zion 6:00pm

Rantoul

 

Danville 7:30pm

Champaign Central

 

At Decatur MacArthur

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Decatur MacArthur 6:00pm

Champaign Centennial

 

Mahomet-Seymour 7:30pm

Urbana

 

At Galesburg 

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Peoria  6:00pm

Limestone

 

At Lincoln

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Springfield Lanphier 6:00pm

Bloomington 

 

Springfield 7:30pm

Lincoln

 

At Washington

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Morton 6:00pm

East Peoria

 

Washington 7:30pm

LaSalle-Peru

 

Class 4A Regional semifinal action tonight....

 

At Normal Community

 

Normal West 7:30pm

Normal Community

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Denny Hamlin's Third Daytona Win Overshadowed By Ryan Newman Condition After Crash

Ryan Newman flipped across the finish line, his Ford planted upside down and on fire, a grim reminder of a sport steeped in danger that has stretched nearly two decades without a fatality.

 

At the finish line, Denny Hamlin made history with a second straight Daytona 500 victory in an overtime photo finish over Ryan Blaney, a celebration that quickly became muted as drivers awaited an update on Newman’s condition.

 

Roughly two hours after the crash, NASCAR read a statement from Roush Fenway Racing that said Newman is in “serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening.”

 

NASCAR scrapped the traditional victory lane party for Hamlin’s third Daytona 500 victory, rocked by Newman’s accident 19 years after Dale Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Earnhardt was the last driver killed in a NASCAR Cup Series race.

 

Newman had surged into the lead on the final lap when Blaney’s bumper caught the back of his Ford and sent Newman hard right into the wall. His car flipped, rolled, was hit on the driver’s side by another car, and finally skidded across the finish line in flames.

 

It took several minutes for his car to be rolled back onto its wheels. Medical personnel used solid black barriers to block the view as the 2008 Daytona 500 winner was placed in a waiting ambulance and taken to a hospital. The damage to his Mustang was extensive — it appeared the entire roll cage designed to protect his head had caved — and officials would not allow his team near the accident site.

 

Drivers were stricken with concern.

 

Hamlin is the first driver since Sterling Marlin in 1995 to win consecutive Daytona 500's, but his celebration in victory lane was subdued.

 

Hamlin said he was unaware of Newman’s situation when he initially began his celebration. It wasn’t until Fox Sports told him it would not interview him on the front stretch after his burnouts that Hamlin learned the accident was bad.

 

Runner-up Blaney said the way the final lap shook out, with Newman surging ahead of Hamlin, that Blaney got a push from Hamlin that locked him in behind Newman in a move of brand alliance for Ford.

 

Hamlin had eight Ford drivers lined up behind him as the leader on the second overtime shootout without a single fellow Toyota driver in the vicinity to help him. It allowed Newman to get past him for the lead, but the bumping in the pack led to Newman’s hard turn into the wall, followed by multiple rolls and a long skid across the finish line.

 

Hamlin’s win last year was a 1-2-3 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing and kicked off a yearlong company celebration in which Gibbs drivers won a record 19 races and the Cup championship. Now his third Daytona 500 win puts him alongside six Hall of Fame drivers as winners of three or more Daytona 500s. He tied Dale Jarrett — who gave JGR its first Daytona 500 win in 1993 — Jeff Gordon and Bobby Allison. Hamlin trails Cale Yarborough’s four wins and the record seven by Richard Petty.

 

This victory came after just the second rain postponement in 62 years, a visit from Trump, a pair of red flag stoppages and two overtimes. The 0.014 margin of victory was the second closest in race history, and Hamlin’s win over Martin Truex Jr. in 2016 was the closest finish in race history.

 

That margin of victory was 0.01 seconds. The win in “The Great American Race” is the third for Toyota, all won by Hamlin. Gibbs has four Daytona 500 victories as an owner.

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Girls Postseason Matchups

Class 1A Section Semifinal matchups

 

At Casey-Westfield

 

Altamont 7:30pm

Central A & M

 

At Champaign St. Thomas More

 

Decatur St. Teresa 6:00pm

Lexington

 

Catlin Salt Fork 7:30pm

Warrensburg-Latham

 

Class 2A Sectional Semifinal action

 

At Macomb

 

Illini West 6:00pm

Normal U-High

 

Knoxville 7:30pm

Quincy Notre Dame

 

At Paris

 

Tolono Unity 6:00pm

Teutopolis

 

Paris 7:30pm

St. Joseph-Ogden

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Illinois State Takes Weekend Rubber Match with Arkansas-Little Rock

Illinois State (1-2) scored three runs in the top half of the ninth inning en route to a 4-2 win at Little Rock (2-1) Sunday afternoon. The win marks the first for the Redbirds in the 2020 campaign after they dropped the weekend's first two matchups. 

 

Kyle Soberano was 2-for-4 and Ryan Hutchinson drove in two runs for the Redbirds.

 

Sean Sinisko pitched five and two-thirds innings of two-run ball. He struck out two and walked none. Brady Huffman picked up the save with a clean ninth inning. 

 

After falling behind 2-0, a sacrifice fly by Hutchinson scored Aidan Huggins in the sixth inning to make it 2-1. 

The Redbirds scored three runs in the ninth, two of which came on a bunt single by Hutchinson and a throwing error by the Trojans on the play. Jake McCaw drove in the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field.

 

The Redbirds will travel to Norman, Oklahoma for a four-game set with Oklahoma beginning with a 3 p.m. contest Friday.

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Illinois Drops Two in North Carolina

Taylor Jackson hit the first pitch of the game 405 feet for a home run but the Illinois baseball team fell at No. 18 Wake Forest, 5-3, to close the weekend Sunday. The Illini started the season 1-2 before next weekend's trip to Coastal Carolina.

 

Illinois was good on the mound with Aidan Maldonado and Cole Kirschsieper combining to scatter nine hits and strike out nine. Maldonado started and went the first 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, before Kirschsieper allowed only one run in the final 3 2/3 frames. 

 

The Illini were limited to four hits by three Wake Forest pitchers. William Fleming (1-0) got the win after allowing three runs in six innings and striking out eight. Illinois did not get a hit off of relievers Tyler Witt (2.0 IP) and Shane Smith (1.0 IP). 

 

Illinois beat Milwaukee 3-2 to start the weekend Friday but fell to Seton Hall 10-2 Saturday. 

 

Illinois travels to Myrtle Beach next weekend for matchups against Western Carolina, the host Coastal Carolina, and West Virginia.

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Preds Beat Blues

Kyle Turris scored with 2:12 left, and the Predators beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 Sunday night to sweep the season series from the defending Stanley Cup champs.

 

Nashville has won seven of 10 to climb a point out of the Western Conference's two wild-card spots with three games in hand on Arizona and two on Calgary. The Predators hadn't won three straight since Oct. 29, and now they also have won back-to-back games in as many days over St. Louis.

Craig Smith also scored for Nashville, his sixth in five games.

 

Pekka Rinne, pulled from his last start Feb. 10 in Vancouver, made a season-high 38 saves for the win. Rinne made 14 of those in the third, keeping the game tied until Filip Forsberg chased the puck along the boards. He pushed it over to Turris, who beat goalie Jordan Binnington glove-side with a wrister from the left circle for his ninth of the season.

 

Tyler Bozak scored for St. Louis, and Binnington finished with 22 saves.

 

The Blues currently lead both the Central Division and the West, but they managed only one point in four games against Nashville. St. Louis has lost four straight and is 2-7-3 over the last 12.

 

The NHL has rescheduled St. Louis' game against Anaheim for March 11 and moved the Blues' home game against Florida from March 10 to March 9. Tuesday night's game was stopped at 12:10 of the first when Bouwmeester had a medical emergency.

 

The Blues host New Jersey on Tuesday night to open a two-game homestand.

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Jets Get By Blackhawks

Playing in his 27th game of an injury-riddled campaign, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu's one-timer from the point that hit a Chicago player and got by goalie Corey Crawford to give the Jets a 3-2 lead. After the puck went in, Beaulieu pretended to throw a monkey off his back.

 

Beaulieu missed time this season for three separate injuries, including broken bones in his hand and foot.

 

It was his first goal since Winnipeg acquired him from Buffalo at last year's trade deadline. His previous one came with the Sabres on Nov. 27, 2018. He has 12 career goals in 359 games.

 

Mason Appleton had a goal and an assist and Jack Roslovic also scored for Winnipeg, which was coming off two straight losses. Dmitry Kulikov added a pair of assists.

 

Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for the Jets (30-25-5), who are 3-2-0 on a six-game homestand.

 

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist and Ryan Carpenter also scored for the Blackhawks, who were coming off an 8-4 win in Calgary on Saturday night.

 

Crawford stopped 35 shots for Chicago (26-25-8), which completed a 1-4-0 road trip.

 

The Blackhawks return home against the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

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Rain Postpones Daytona 500

The Daytona 500 has been postponed by rain for the first time since 2012, dampening NASCAR’s season opener that started with a ballyhooed visit from President Donald Trump.

 

The race was postponed after two lengthy delays totaling more than three hours. The race will now begin at 4 p.m. Monday and be broadcast live on Fox.

 

It’s the second time in 62 years that “The Great American Race” will finish on a Monday.

 

The first delay of the day came moments after the presidential motorcade completed a ceremonial parade lap around the 2 1/2-mile track. Trump’s armored limousine nicknamed “The Beast” exited Daytona International Speedway, and the sky opened for a brief shower that forced drivers back to pit road.

 

The start already had been pushed back 13 minutes to accommodate Trump’s trip. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. eventually led the field to the green flag and was out front for the first 20 laps before heavier rain-soaked a racing surface that takes hours to dry.

 

NASCAR called drivers back to their cars around 6:40 p.m. EST, hoping to get more laps in before more showers hit again. Some drivers showed, but the heaviest rain of the day forced a postponement.

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Team LeBron Beats Team Giannis in NBA All-Star Game

Anthony Davis made a game-ending free throw to give Team LeBron a 157-155 win over Team Giannis in the revamped NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, the format overhauled to put in elements for charity and ensure that someone was going to hit a shot to end the game.

 

That someone was Davis, the Chicago native who missed the first free throw and made the second to end the NBA's midseason showcase that went down as the closest All-Star Game since the Eastern Conference topped the Western Conference 141-139 in 2010.

 

Kawhi Leonard, the game's MVP and the first recipient of the trophy now named for Bryant, scored 30 points for Team LeBron, while James - his team's captain - and Chris Paul each scored 23, and Davis finished with 20.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo, who captained his team, led his squad with 25 points, Kemba Walker had 23 for Team Giannis, Joel Embiid scored 22 and Rudy Gobert added 21.

 

James tried a layup that would have put his team one point away - it was blocked by Antetokounmpo, called a goaltend at first but ruled a clean block after review. Team LeBron controlled the resulting jump ball and James tried a 40-footer to end it but missed.

 

James Harden then had a chance to win it for Team LeBron, and his 3-pointer went in - but it was waved off by Kyle Lowry taking a charge against the NBA's scoring leader. James got a dunk not long afterward to make it 156-153, and Embiid made two free throws to cut Team LeBron's lead to one.

 

With that, it was next-basket-wins time.

 

Davis was fouled on the next trip, got the free throw to win it, and that was that.

 

It was the first All-Star Game with a new format: The teams played a mini-game in each of the first three quarters, the scores starting at 0-0 in each of those periods and the winning team in each one earning $100,000 for their Chicago-area children's charity.

 

James' team won the first quarter 53-41, Antetokoumpo's team won the second quarter 51-30.

 

The third quarter had down-to-the-wire, big-money drama with $100,000 on the line. But the teams finished the quarter tied 41-41, putting $300,000 - the undecided $100,000 from the third and $200,000 more for the win - at stake in the final period.

 

The cumulative score at that point was Team Giannis 133, Team LeBron 124 going into the untimed fourth quarter - with another new twist. The NBA decided, as part of the series of Bryant tributes, that the winner of the All-Star Game would be the team that added 24 points, a nod to his jersey number, to whatever the leading total score was after three quarters.

 

That meant the target score was set: 157. The game clock was off. The shot clock stayed on. The stage for drama was perfectly set, and the All-Star Game - oft-maligned in recent years for a lack of competitiveness - was entertaining again.

 

The 70th NBA All-Star Game is Feb. 14, 2021 in Indianapolis. That'll be followed by the 2022 game in Cleveland and the 2023 game in Salt Lake City.

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Monticello Holds Off St. T in Miller Gym Finale

Monticello held off Decatur St. Teresa 44-41 on senior night at Monticello High School Saturday night to close out the Miller Gym era.

 

The Sages started fast with a 5-0 lead right off the bat but the Bulldogs rallied with a 9-0 run in the first quarter. Monticello led 11-9 late in the first and that would be their final lead until the third quarter when Garrett Kepley hit a three from the left wing with 4:20 to play in the third quarter to make 27-26. 

 

St. T tied the score at the score briefly at 27 but Monticello led by as many as six but the Bulldogs never got closer than within one. 

 

Monticello was led by Garrett Kepley’s 18 points. Kepley made 6-of-7 free throws in the fourth quarter and made 8-for-10 overall. Ethan Miller scored ten points but fouled out with 5:12 to play. Ryan Reeder scored all eight of his points in the second half. 

 

Tim Schmidt led the Bulldogs with 13 points. Christian Stoner added 11 points and Terron Reed added ten points.

 

Monticello is now 16-11 overall. St. T drops to 15-11. 

 

Monticello heads to Tolono Unity Tuesday night for a 7 pm Illini Prairie Conference matchup. Hear it on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Clinton Maroons Fall to Olympia

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Olympia Spartans by a score of 46-42 on Saturday night. The Maroons were led by Zeke Hickman with 14 points. Garrett Wayne added 10 points and Max Johnson had 8.

 

Olympia was led by Ethan Davis with 14 points. Justin Siebert and Hunter Berges chipped in with 10 apiece.

 

With the loss, the Maroons fall to 5-23. Olympia improves to 6-23.

 

Tune in Tuesday, February 18, as Clinton hosts Notre Dame de La Salette. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Clinton, Monticello Matched up in First Round of IHSA 2A Playoffs

The Monticello Sages and Clinton Maroons will meet in the first round of the IHSA 2A boys basketball playoffs Monday, February 24 at 7:30 pm. 

 

Monticello receives the 8th seed in the Beardstown Sectional while the Maroons are the tenth seed. The winner will take on third-seeded Riverton. 

 

Maroa-Forsyth will take on Williamsville in the other quarterfinal game in the Riverton Regional. The winner of that matchup takes on second-seeded Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin.

 Monticello and Clinton played to a 56-18 Sages blowout win over the Maroons back on January 14. 

 

Hear the Clinton/Monticello regional matchup on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.

 

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Monticello Rolls BCC

The Monticello Sages jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first quarter and rolled past the Bloomington Central Catholic Saints 78-52 in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action from Monticello High School Friday night.

 

The Sages scored the games first 14 points and led 36-20 at the half. BCC got within ten after Cole Davis made a three-pointer with 4:54 to play in the third and Monticello ran away with it from there.

 

Garrett Kepley scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half. Ethan Miller’s 11 points were highlighted by a buzzer-beating three as time expired on the first half to extend the Sages lead to 16. Nick Vogelzang chipped in with a career-high 11 points and Dylan Ginalick added ten points.

 

Ryan Reeder scored nine points and Briggs Fultz and Jake Edmondson added eight points apiece.

 

The Sages have won three in a row improving to 15-11 and 3-4 in Illini Prairie play. Monticello wraps up their Holy Week tour hosting Decatur St. Teresa Saturday night for Senior Night and the finale of Miller Gym.

 

BCC is 17-11 and falls to 4-3 in the Illini Prairie.

 

Hear Saturday’s contest against St. T starting at 6 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Bismarck-Henning Gets Past Monticello in Girls Regional Action

It was an ugly game but Bismarck-Henning overcame a physical Monticello defense in a 37-25 Regional semifinal game and advance to the Regional final tonight.

 

The Lady Sages trailed the Lady Blue Devils 13-3 after one-quarter of play and both teams went over eight minutes in the second quarter went without points and Monticello outscored Bismarck-Henning 6-2 for the quarter and got within 15-9 at the break.

 

Play remained physical in the second half and both teams continued to struggle to score. 2,000 career point scorer Emily Meidel scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half, with 11 coming in the fourth quarter. 

 

Lizzie Stiverson scored 11 points to lead the Lady Sages. Monticello went 7-for-18 from the free-throw line.

 

The Lady Sages end their season 13-17 overall.

 

The Lady Blue Devils improve to 28-5 and will take on Tolono Unity for a Regional title tonight at 7 pm. 

 

Class 2A Regional scores from Thursday...

 

At Bloomington Central Catholic

 

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Knoxville 67

Bloomington Central Catholic 39

 

At Hoopeston

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Prairie Central 78

Herscher 18

 

At Kewanee

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Normal U-High 51

Farmington 32

 

Eureka 28

Midwest Central 60

 

At Pontiac

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Fieldcrest 41

Pontiac 38

 

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 27

El Paso-Gridley 40

 

At St. Joseph-Ogden

 

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 50

Villa Grove 34

 

Class 1A Regional action Thursday...

 

At Argenta-Oreana

 

REGIONAL SEMIFINAL

 

Warrensburg-Latham 48

Argenta-Oreana 39

 

Heyworth 58

LeRoy 47

 

At Decatur St. Teresa

 

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Decatur St. Teresa 70

Mt. Pulaski 34

 

At Lexington

 

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Milford 34

Lexington 63

 

Class 2A Regional Championship Action tonight...

 

At Hoopeston

 

Prairie Central 7:00pm

Watseka

 

At Kewanee 

 

Normal U-High 7:00pm

Midwest Central

 

At Sullivan

 

Paris 7:00pm

Sullivan

 

Class 1A Regional Championship Action Tonight...

 

At Argenta-Oreana

 

Warrensburg-Latham 7:00pm

Heyworth

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Illinois Opens 2020 Baseball Season in North Carolina

The Illinois baseball team opens their 2020 season this evening with a trip to Winston-Salem, N.C. The Illini are scheduled to play Friday-Sunday against Milwaukee, Seton Hall, and No. 18 Wake Forest in the first weekend of college baseball. 

 

Illinois is looking for back-to-back trips to the NCAA Regionals after going 36-21 in 2019 and receiving an at-large bid to the D1 bracket. The Illini bring back 15 players from last year's squad and have added 18 newcomers. 

 

One of the vital returners is Friday starter Ty Weber, who will be making his second career Opening Day start on the mound. The senior has started 43 games during his time in Champaign and has a 4.20 ERA in 240.0 career innings. Weber enters the season within striking distance of John Kravetz's Illinois record of 337.0 career innings set 2012-15. Sophomores Ty Rybarczyk and Aidan Maldonado are scheduled to get the ball Saturday and Sunday, respectively. 

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Clinton Hosts Warrensburg-Latham Tonight, Olympia Tomorrow

The Clinton Maroons will host Warrensburg-Latham tonight in Central Illinois Conference boys basketball action and turn around and host Olympia tomorrow night.

 

The Maroons are looking to break a five-game slide tonight. The Maroons are 5-21 overall and are 1-4 in league action while the Cardinals are 12-13 and 2-3 in the CIC.

 

Game time tonight is 7:30 pm. Hear tomorrow night's 6:30 pm game against Olympia on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Monticello Closes Out Home Schedule This Weekend Hosting BCC, St. T

The Monticello Sages Holy Week wraps up this weekend when they host Bloomington Central Catholic tonight and Decatur. St. Teresa tomorrow night for Senior Night.

 

The Sages are coming off a 76-71 shootout win over Champaign St. Thomas More Tuesday night in Illini Prairie Conference action and improve to 2-4 in league play. 

 

The Sages are 14-11 overall entering action tonight while BCC is 17-10 overall and is 4-2 in the Illini Prairie. 

 

Game time tonight is 7 pm. Game time tomorrow night with Decatur St. Teresa in town is 6 pm. Both games can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Vegas Outlasts Blues

Zach Sanford scored four goals in St. Louis' 6-5 overtime loss to Las Vegas on Thursday night, the Blues' first game since teammate Jay Bouwmeester collapsed from a cardiac episode on the bench during a game earlier in the week.

 

Emotions ran deep for Sanford, St. Louis' 25-year-old first-line wing whose father died of a heart attack in 2018 and was missing from the Blues' annual father's trip. His big scoring performance helped get everyone's minds back on hockey a bit, even in defeat.

 

Jonathan Marchessault's power-play goal in overtime lifted the Golden Knights to the victory as Vegas tied a franchise record with four goals with the man-advantage - including two by Marchessault and one each by Max Pacioretty and Nate Schmidt. Pacioretty also had an even-strength goal, as did Alex Tuch. Malcolm Subban, making just his third start in 2020, made 19 saves for Vegas.

 

But on a night the Golden Knights notched a much-needed win after being shut out in Minnesota on Tuesday, improved to 5-3-2 under DeBoer and continued to fight for a playoff spot in the jam-packed Pacific Division, thoughts were heavy.

 

The Blues' game Tuesday night against Anaheim was postponed after the 36-year-old Bouwmeester collapsed on the team's bench in the first period. A defibrillator was used on the veteran defenseman before he was taken to a hospital, where he continues to undergo tests.

St. Louis, mired in a 2-6-2 slide, hit the ice for the first time since the scary incident and got off to a fast start with their teammate on their minds.

 

Sanford opened the scoring just 25 seconds into the game when he fired a shot from the circle that beat Subban.

 

Sanford's father Michael died in his sleep in 2018 and never got to see his son play in an NHL regular-season game in person. And the only father's trip Michael Sanford was able to attend, his son was recovering from a dislocated shoulder in 2017.

 

Sanford's lifelong friend from New Hampshire, Brett Glendye, is on the trip.

 

After Sanford's first goal, the Golden Knights fired right back as Pacioretty scored back-to-back goals to give Vegas a 2-1 lead.

 

Mackenzie MacEachern also scored for St. Louis and Jordan Binnington made 46 saves. Binnington came in 2-0-0 against the Golden Knights and had allowed just three goals in two starts against them.

 

It marked the 10th straight game the Blues allowed three or more goals, and seventh time in that span they allowed four or more.

 

St. Louis ranked fourth in the NHL in goals-against through Jan. 13, allowing just 2.60 goals per game. In the 10 games since then, the Blues rank 31st in the league, allowing 3.82 goals per contest.

 

The Golden Knights were just 3 for 26 on the power play in their first nine games under DeBoer, but finished 4 for 5 on Thursday night.

 

St. Louis hosts Nashville on Saturday.

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Illinois State Opens 2020 Baseball at Arkansas-Little Rock

The Illinois State Redbirds will open the 2020 season at Little Rock, Ark., beginning with a 3 p.m. matchup Friday afternoon. The two teams will face-off Saturday at 2 p.m., before wrapping up the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.

 

A year after finishing as co-champions of the Missouri Valley Conference, the Illinois State baseball team was selected to finish third in the annual Preseason MVC Coaches' Poll. Dallas Baptist, who shared the crown with the Redbirds a year ago, was picked to finish first after gathering 61 total points. Missouri State was tabbed second with 51 total points, with Illinois State close behind with 49 points. Indiana State was selected to finish fourth (40), while Bradley (38) was picked fifth.

 

Despite losing multiple key players to the draft and graduation, the Redbirds bring back a solid core of players headlined by preseason All-MVC picks in senior infielder Joe Butler, redshirt-junior outfielder Jack Butler, senior left-handed pitcher Colton Johnson and senior outfielder/designated hitter Jordan Libman. In total, five position starters and nine pitchers return from last season's roster.

 

The Redbirds will be spending a lot of time away from Normal to start the season, as ISU will be on the road for the first six weeks of the season before its home opener on March 24 against Northwestern.

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Kuchar Leads at Riviera, Tiger Starts Strong

Matt Kuchar drove to the edge of the 10th green and two-putted for birdie and kept right on rolling until he had a 7-under 64 on Thursday, matching his best score at Riviera and giving him a three-shot lead in the Genesis Invitational.

 

So clean was Kuchar’s round that he only once had to stress over a par putt, and he made the 10-footer at the par-3 fourth.

 

The conditions were ideal once the morning chill gave way to mild sunshine, and Kuchar took advantage in the morning. As much as Kuchar loves the course, he has only one top 10 in his 13 previous appearances.

 

Tiger Woods was 4 under through eight holes and had to settle for a 69.

 

His record at Riviera is under far greater scrutiny, especially this week as he tries for his 83rd PGA Tour victory to set the career mark he now shares with Sam Snead. Woods has not won in 10 appearances as a pro, two others as a teenage amateur.

 

Justin Thomas opened with a 74 and was in danger of missing the cut for the second time this year.

Woods seemed bent on having his say at Riviera with the eagle and two more birdies through eight holes, leaving him three off the lead and the back nine to play. But he couldn’t keep his swing together, and it eventually caught up with him.

 

A drive to the right on No. 11 hit a eucalyptus tree and ricocheted to the left side of the fairway. He missed the green to the left on No. 12 for bogey. He hit a drive into the left trees on No. 13 and got up-and-down from 165 yards for par. He dropped another shot on the 18th when after hitting so many drives to the left, he leaked one badly to the right and had to pitch out to the fairway, slamming his iron into the cart path in disgust as he walked through the crowd.

 

Kuchar made birdie on two of the par 5s, made two birdie putts of 30 feet or longer and rarely was in trouble.

 

K.H. Lee and Russell Henley also played bogey-free and were at 67, along with Wyndham Clark from the morning wave. Adam Schenk and Harold Varner III each had 67 in the afternoon under a little more breeze and greens that were bumpier from so much foot traffic during the day.

 

Rory McIlroy opened with a 68 in his return to No. 1 in the world, and it took him time to get going.

McIlroy’s opening tee shot was pure enough, but it bounced over the 10th green and rolled up near the lip of a back bunker. He left his first shot in the sand and did well to escape with par, only to miss 3-foot putts on the next two holes — one for birdie, one for par.

 

He had to scramble his way along the back until blasting a 3-wood to about 30 feet on the par-5 17th and making eagle, and then adding an eagle on par-5 opening hole.

 

The biggest challenge was the cold air in the morning.

 

McIlroy ripped a drive — he did that a lot in the opening round — into the par-5 11th and then came up 30 yards short with a flush 3-wood. About two hours later, he had 289 yards for his second into the par-5 17th and hit 3-wood to pin-high.

 

Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed were among those at 68.

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Updated IHSA Girls Basketball Matchups After Postponments

Class 2A Regional Girls Basketball scores from Wednesday night:

 

At Sullivan

 

Sullivan 41

Fairfield 34

 

Class 2A Regional action tonight:

 

At Maroa-Forsyth

 

Bismarck-Henning 6:00pm Hear on 95.9 FM WEZC and onlite at dewittdailynews.com.

Monticello

 

Tolono Unity 7:30pm

Fithian-Oakwood

 

At Hoopeston

 

Prairie Central 6:00pm

Herscher

 

At Kewanee

 

Normal U-High 6:00pm

Farmington

 

Eureka 7:30pm

Midwest Central

 

At Pontiac

 

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 7:30pm

El Paso-Gridley

 

Class 1A Regional matchups tonight:

 

At Argenta-Oreana

 

Warrensburg-Latham 6:00pm

Argenta-Oreana

 

Heyworth 7:30pm

LeRoy

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Bradley Rolls Indiana State

Elijah Childs had 19 points and seven rebounds as Bradley defeated Indiana State 72-61 on Wednesday night.

 

Darrell Brown had 13 points for Bradley (17-9, 8-5 Missouri Valley Conference), which earned its fourth straight home victory. Nate Kennell added 11 points. Danya Kingsby had 10 points.

 

Tyreke Key had 15 points for the Sycamores (14-10, 7-6). Tre Williams added 13 points. Jordan Barnes had 11 points. Jake LaRavia had nine points and 13 rebounds.

 

The Braves leveled the season series against the Sycamores with the win. Indiana State defeated Bradley 61-53 on Jan. 25. Bradley faces Southern Illinois on the road on Saturday.

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No Damage to Illinois' Dosunmu's Knee

Illinois star guard Ayo Dosunmu suffered no structural damage to his left knee in an awkward fall at the end of a loss to Michigan State, the school said.

 

Dosunmu had an MRI on Wednesday after getting hurt the previous night. No timetable was given for the sophomore’s return.

 

Averaging a team-leading 15.8 points, Dosunmu was hurt after a put-back dunk by Xavier Tillman gave Michigan State a 70-69 lead with 6 seconds remaining on Tuesday. Dosunmu sprinted the ball down the floor but fell awkwardly on his left leg while trying to stop as time ran out.

 

Coach Brad Underwood called the injury “as difficult a situation as you’ll see a young man go through.”

 

No. 22 Illinois visits Rutgers on Saturday.

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Northern Illinois Gets By Illinois State

AJ Green had 27 points and surpassed the 1,000-point milestone and Northern Iowa topped Illinois State 71-63 on Wednesday night.

 

Trae Berhow scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Panthers (22-3, 11-2 Missouri Valley Conference), who earned their sixth straight victory. Austin Phyfe added 12 points and eight rebounds.

 

Illinois State led 40-33 at the half after a 21-5 run. Northern Iowa broke away from a tie with 12 straight points in the middle of the second half to earn the win.

 

DJ Horne had 16 points and six rebounds for the Redbirds (8-17, 3-10). Dedric Boyd added 11 points and Keith Fisher III 10.

 

Illinois State defeated Northern Iowa 76-70 on Dec. 31. 

 

Illinois State matches up against Valparaiso at home on Saturday.

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Pacers Get By Bucks

Malcolm Brogdon thwarted Milwaukee's charge with a nearly perfect fourth-quarter performance, helping the Pacers hold on for a 118-111 victory while snapping a season-worst six-game losing streak.

 

Brogdon finished with 17 points and matched his career-high with 13 assists, but saved his best for the final quarter when he scored 10 points, recorded five assists and making all four of his free throws.

As Milwaukee methodically cut a 25-point first-half deficit to five early in the fourth, it seemed another game might get away from the Pacers. But Brogdon scored on back-to-back baskets and found Jeremy Lamb for a layup.

 

When the Bucks made it 90-86 with 8:18 to go, Brogdon found Lamb and T.J. Warren for back-to-back 3-pointers and closed out the 10-0 run by making two free throws and a 14-foot runner to give Indiana a 100-86 lead with 6:19 to go.

 

T.J. Warren led the way with 35 points as the Pacers ended a five-game home losing streak and a four-game skid in the series against the Bucks.

 

While it helped that reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his second straight game following the birth of his first child.

 

And the Pacers' fast start didn't hurt, either.

 

The difference this time: Indiana steadied itself when the Bucks got within 82-71 at the end of the third quarter and opened the fourth with six straight points before Brogdon became the closer.

 

Milwaukee had a five-game winning streak snapped and lost its first game against a Central Division foe this season after winning the first 11.

 

George Hill (strained left hamstring) and Kyle Korver (sore back) also missed the game.

 

First-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Myles Turner had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Oladipo and Jeremy Lamb each scored 13 points, and Warren had four steals for Indiana. 

 

The Pacers visit New York on Feb. 21, following the All-Star break.

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Canucks Blank Blackhawks

Jacob Markstrom had a career-high 49 saves as Vancouver Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 Wednesday night after retiring the numbers of retired stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

 

Brandon Sutter had a goal and two assists, and Bo Horvat and Adam Gaudette also scored to help the Canucks win their second straight after a four-game skid (0-3-1).

 

Markstrom got his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career.

 

Corey Crawford finished with 17 saves as Chicago lost its season-high fifth straight (0-3-2).

Vancouver remains first in the Pacific Division with 69 points, three more than Edmonton and five ahead of Vegas.

 

The Blackhawk are six points back of Arizona for the final wild card in the Western Conference.

 

Vancouver was badly outplayed all night and needed some big saves from Markstrom to stay in the game. In the second period he stopped Patrick Kane's shot from the high slot after a giveaway by Quinn Hughes. In the first he also got a pad on a shot from an open Dominik Kubalik.

 

The Canucks led 1-0 after the first period despite being outshot 17-7. Horvat scored on a power play on a pretty three-way passing play with Sutter and J.T. Miller with 4 1/2 minutes left in the period.

 

The penalty came after Chicago asked for a review of a referee's decision to disallow a Blackhawk goal due to goaltender interference. The call stood and the Blackhawks were assessed a penalty for delay of game.

 

Gaudette made it 2-0 at 6:26 of the second. After Antoine Roussel found him alone at the side of the net, Gaudette beat Crawford for his 10th of the season.

 

Sutter capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 2:09 left.

 

The Blackhawks are at Calgary on Saturday night before wrapping up a five-game trip at Winnipeg on Sunday.

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Blues Bouwmeester Needed Defibrillator to be Revived

Tuesday night's Blues-Ducks game in Anaheim was postponed following a scary incident in the first period. After completing a long shift, Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the St. Louis bench after reportedly suffering a "cardiac episode" during a TV timeout. New information from a team executive reveals that the incident was a bit worse than originally speculated. 

 

General manager Doug Armstrong told reporters on Wednesday that Bouwmeeseter required a defibrillator to revive him after his collapse. The good news is that the defenseman is feeling a lot better, according to Armstrong.

 

Blues teammates were seen frantically calling for help and eventually the bench area was evacuated as medical staff tended to Bouwmeester. The 36-year-old was eventually taken out on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance. Reports in the arena said Bouwmeester was awake and alert before being transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

 

Early Wednesday morning, the Blues offered an update on Bouwmeester's status, saying he suffered a "cardiac episode" and was in stable condition.

 

Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo revealed Wednesday that he and several teammates visited Bouwmeester in the hospital on Tuesday night.

 

The Blues placed Bouwmeester on injured reserve Wednesday.

 

As the incident unfolded, players and coaches were visibly shaken up while the atmosphere in the arena was extremely tense and still. Even after Bouwmeester was taken away from the rink, the emotions and unease lingered. Ultimately, the Blues and Ducks elected to postpone the game.

A make-up date will be scheduled later. 

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Tonight's Monticello Girls Basketball Game Postponed to Thursday

The Monticello Sages girls basketball team will look to pull one of the biggest upsets of the year when they take on top-seeded Bismarck-Henning in girls basketball regional semifinal action from Maroa-Forsyth High School, but it will have to wait until tomorrow night.

 

Today's inclement weather has postponed the action to tomorrow night at the same time, a 6 pm start. Tonight's second matchup between Fithian-Oakwood and Tolono Unity will be played tomorrow night at 7:30 pm. 

 

The Lady Sages outlasted Maroa-Forsyth 61-60 in overtime Monday night to advance in the 2A postseason.

 

The Lady Blue Devils had a first round bye. Bismarck-Henning is 25-5 on the season. Monticello is 13-16. 

 

Again, game time tomorrow night is 6 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Michigan State Holds Off Illinois

Star guard Ayo Dosunmu crumbled to the floor clutching his left knee moments after Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman threw down a huge dunk that lifted the Spartans over the 22nd-ranked Illini 70-69.

 

Illinois did not provide an update on Dosunmu’s status, but coach Brad Underwood said “the outcome of the game is secondary.”

 

Dosunmu had 17 points Tuesday and is the team’s leading scorer at 15.8 per game. After Tillman’s go-ahead put-back with 6 seconds left, Dosunmu sprinted the ball down the floor but fell awkwardly on his left leg while trying to stop as time ran out.

 

Rocket Watts led the Spartans (17-8, 9-5 Big Ten) with 21 points, and Tillman had 17. Aaron Henry and Cassius Winston added 13 and 12, respectively.

 

Andres Feliz scored 15 points and Cockburn added 11 for Illinois (16-8, 8-5).

 

Michigan State went on a 6-0 run midway through the final half. With the Illini struggling from outside, the Spartans played a switching zone defense most of the game, and Illinois had trouble penetrating.

 

Dosunmu hit two layups and Illinois went on a 10-0 run with nine minutes left. Illinois went on another 10-0 run and took its first lead of the game, 61-60 with 5:27 left.

 

The Spartans led 37-20 at the half after starting the game in an 8-0 run with 3-pointers by Henry and Winston. Tevian Jones hit a 3-pointer at nearly four minutes into the game. Illinois was flat the entire first half and shot only 26% from the field, while the Spartans shot 50%.

 

Illinois travels to Rutgers on Saturday and No. 13 Penn State next Tuesday.

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Blues, Ducks Postponed After Bouwmeester Suffers Cardiac Episode on Bench

Tuesday night's Blues-Ducks game in Anaheim was postponed following a scary incident in the first period. During a TV timeout, Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the St. Louis bench after reportedly suffering a "cardiac episode."

 

Blues teammates were seen frantically calling for help and eventually the bench area was evacuated as medical staff tended to Bouwmeester. The 36-year-old was eventually taken out on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance. Reports in the arena said Bouwmeester was awake and alert before being transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

 

Early Wednesday morning, the Blues offered an update on Bouwmeester's status, saying he suffered a "cardiac episode" and was in stable condition.

 

As the incident unfolded, players and coaches were visibly shaken up while the atmosphere in the arena was extremely tense and still. Even after Bouwmeester was taken away from the rink, the emotions and unease lingered. Ultimately, the Blues and Ducks elected to postpone the game.

A make-up date will be scheduled later. 

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Wizards Down Bulls

Bradley Beal scored 30 points, and Washington held off Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls for a 126-114 win on Tuesday night.

 

LaVine scored 19 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Bulls whittle an 18-point deficit down to six points. His 3 made it 114-108 with 1:54 left, but the Wizards responded with six straight points.

Rui Hachimura added 20 points for Washington, which won for the fourth time in six games. Shabazz Napier and Ian Mahinmi had 15 apiece.

 

LaVine shot 15 of 21 from the field, including 8 for 11 from 3-point range. He is slated to compete in the 3-point contest during the All-Star festivities in Chicago this weekend.

 

Tomas Satoransky added 19 points for Chicago, which enters the break on a six-game losing streak. The Bulls had won four straight versus Washington.

 

The Wizards led by seven at halftime and Beal's 3-pointer capped a quick 9-2 burst to open the third quarter.

 

Four straight points by Mahinmi finished a 10-0 run that gave Washington its biggest lead at 94-73 with 4:17 left in the third.

 

Chicago rallied to start the fourth, and LaVine's five straight points capped a 13-3 run that made it 103-95 with 6:48 remaining.

 

The Bulls host Cleveland on Thursday, Feb. 20.

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Oilers Top Blackhawks

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists, Kailer Yamamoto scored twice and the Edmonton Oilers won without captain Connor McDavid in the lineup, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Tuesday night.

 

Riley Sheahan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for the Oilers (30-20-6), who will be without McDavid for two to three weeks because of a left quadriceps injury.

 

Draisaitl upped his total to 89 points, most in the NHL. McDavid is second with 81.

 

Edmonton has won its past two games.

 

Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews and Adam Boqvist scored for the Blackhawks (25-23-8), who have lost four in a row - including a 5-2 defeat in Winnipeg to begin their five-game road trip.

 

Sheahan opened the scoring 73 seconds into the game when the rebound of Zack Kassian's shot came out to him in front. Sheahan deposited his seventh goal of the season before goalie Robin Lehner was able to get back across the crease.

 

Chicago pulled even six minutes in as Kane spun around before making a deft pass to Saad, who beat Oilers starter Mike Smith for his 17th of the season.

 

Toews fired a one-timer past Smith on a short-handed 2-on-1, giving the Blackhawks the lead with six minutes left in the first period.

 

Edmonton atoned with a power-play goal three minutes later as Yamamoto sent home a rebound of Alex Chiasson's shot.

 

Kane picked up his second assist two minutes into the second period when he made another nice feed to set up Boqvist.

 

Yamamoto scooped up a puck in front on a second effort 3:38 into the second for his second of the game, and the Oilers made it 4-3 on the power play 72 seconds after that as Nugent-Hopkins put in a rebound in tight.

 

Toews hit a crossbar in the third, but Edmonton was able to put the game away on Draisaitl's empty-net goal with three seconds remaining.

 

The Blackhawks play at Vancouver on Wednesday, the third stop on a five-game trip through Canada.

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Monticello Holds Off Champaign St. Thomas More

The Monticello Sages outlast Champaign St. Thomas More 76-71 track meet in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action from Monticello High School Tuesday night. 

 

Ryan Reeder scored 18 of his team-high 19 points in the second half to help propel Monticello to their second straight win and second win in the Illini Prairie.

 

The Sages led 16-13 after the first quarter but STM rallied to a 38-36 advantage at the intermission. An 18-12 third quarter staked Monticello to 54-50 lead after three quarters and the Sabres could not get closer than two in the fourth quarter as the Sages made enough plays and free throws to close out the win.

 

Briggs Fultz scored 16 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Garrett Kepley had 11 points and eight rebounds. Jake Edmondson scored ten points off the bench.

 

Dawson Magrini scored a game-high 26 points and Patrick Quanstrom added 15 points. Averi Hughes scored eight points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds for STM and Parker Jackson added nine points in the defeat.

 

The Sabres are no 12-14 overall and 1-5 in the Illini Prairie. Monticello improves to 14-11 and are 2-4 in league action.

 

The Sages host Bloomington Central Catholic Friday night at 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Monticello Outlasts Maroa-Forsyth in Girls Basketball Regional Action

Lizzie Stiverson was fouled as time expired in overtime with the score tied at 60 and stepped up and sank a walk-off free throw as Monticello outlasted Maroa-Forsyth 61-60 in overtime in Class 2A girls basketball quarterfinal regional action Monday night from Maroa-Forsyth High School.

 

Stiverson scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the second half, knocking down jumpers, layups and free throws late to propel her team that battled foul trouble in the second half.

 

Cloe Clark scored 13 points, Jayna Burger and Hannah Swanson scored nine points apiece and Renni Fultz added eight points. 

 

The Lady Trojans featured four players in double-figures. Hallie Mitchell led the way with 15 points. Allie Robinson sank two free throws with five seconds left in overtime to tie the score at 60, she finished with 13 points. Tatum Young scored 11 points and Erin Vandevoorde scored ten points.

 

The Lady Trojans finish their season at 13-18 overall.

 

The Lady Sages improve to 13-16 and will take on top-seeded Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin Wednesday night at 6 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Clinton Lady Maroons fall to Tuscola Lady Warriors

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fall to the Tuscola Lady Warriors by a score of 31-33 on Monday night. The Lady Maroons were led by Kaitlyn Rauch with 17 points. Destiny Schlesinger added 9 points. Bethany Overbey also added 5 points.

 

The Lady Warriors were led by Abbey Jacob with 12 points. Brynn Tabeling added 11 points.

 

With the loss, the Lady Maroons fall to 17-15 overall. The Lady Warriors improve to 17-9 overall.

 

Tune in Saturday, February 15th as the Maroons take on Olympia. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Lady Maroons Head to Regionals

Wth a 2A Regional right up the road at Maroa-Forsyth High School tonight, the IHSA has elected to send the Clinton Lady Maroons to St. Joseph-Ogden to kick off postseason play tonight as Clinton takes on Tuscola. 

 

The Lady Maroons will trek across Champaign County to St. Joseph for the first round of the Class 2A girls basketball postseason. The Lady Warriors are the 7-seed in the tournament while Clinton is the 9-seed.

 

This will be the third meeting between the two teams. Tuscola took down Clinton in early December 51-39. Then the Lady Warriors beat the Lady Maroons in overtime, 51-46  in the third-place game of the Central Illinois Conference tournament in late January.

 

Tuscola finished the season 16-9 overall and Clinton was 17-14. 

 

The winner of tonight's matchup will take on second-seed St. Joseph-Ogden Tuesday night at 6 pm. 

Game time tonight is 6 pm. Hear the action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app, and at Amazon Alexa.

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Monticello Heads to Maroa-Forsyth Regional

The Monticello Lady Sages will head to the Maroa-Forsyth Regional to take on the hosts in the first round of the Class 2A girl's basketball postseason.

 

The Lady Sages and Lady Trojans met up in late January with Monticello coming away victorious 46-36.

 

The winner will take on top-seeded Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin Wednesday at 6 pm. 

 

Game time tonight from Maroa is 6 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Other 2A girls basketball Regional quarterfinal matchups tonight:

 

At Auburn

 

Williamsville 7:00pm

Waverly

 

At Bloomington Central Catholic

 

Tremont 6:00pm

Dee-Mack

 

Olympia 7:30pm

Tri-Valley

 

At Maroa-Forsyth

 

Fithian-Oakwood 7:30pm

Westville

 

At Pontiac

 

Pontiac 6:00pm

G.C.M.S.

 

El Paso-Gridley 7:30pm

Flanagan-Cornell

 

Class 1A Regional quarterfinal action tonight...

 

At Argenta-Oreana

 

Argenta-Oreana 7:00pm

Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy

 

At Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

 

Okaw Valley 6:00pm

Meridian

 

At Decatur St. Teresa

 

Blue Ridge 6:00pm

DeLand-Weldon

 

Mt. Pulaski 7:30pm

Decatur LSA

 

At Gilman

 

Urbana Prep 6:00pm

Iroquois West

 

Fisher 7:30pm

Donovan

 

At Lexington

 

Champaign St. Thomas More 6:00pm

Armstrong

 

At Mason City

 

Illini Centra 7:30pm

Peoria Christian

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Sixers Hold Off Bulls

Furkan Korkmaz topped 30 points for the second straight contest with 31, Joel Embiid had 28 points and 12 rebounds and Philadelphia beat the Chicago Bulls 118-111 on Sunday night to improve their NBA-best home record to 24-2.

 

Korkmaz made 12 of 17 field goals, going 6 of 11 on 3-pointers. He stayed hot after netting a career-high 34 points in Friday's 119-107 home win over Memphis in which he drained 13 of 17 shot and was 7 of 9 on 3-pointers.

 

Ben Simmons added 19 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for the 76ers.

 

Zach LaVine scored 32 points and Luke Kornet added 25 for the short-handed Bulls, who have lost five straight.

 

Embiid put Philadelphia ahead for good early in the fourth, breaking a tie to start the period with a short jumper and follow dunk that made it 87-83 with 11 minutes left. The 76ers kept the lead the rest of the way - although it wasn't exactly easy against the plucky and undermanned Bulls.

 

Chicago got within two points twice, but the 76ers finally got some breathing room on Tobias Harris' 3 that made it 104-95 with 6:22 to play. Korkmaz put it away with a two-possession sequence where he hit a 3-pointer and followed with a one-handed dunk that pushed him over 30 points for the second straight contest and made it 111-101 with 3:57 left.

 

Chicago has a long list of injured players: Lauri Markkanen (right hip) missed his eighth straight; Otto Porter Jr. (broken left foot) has been out since Nov. 6; Wendell Carter (sprained right ankle) has sat for 17 in a row; Kris Dunn (sprained right knee) missed his third consecutive game; and Denzel Valentine (strained hamstring) and Daniel Gafford (ankle) sat for the second straight game.

 

The Bulls are at Washington on Tuesday in their final game before hosting the All-Star festivities this weekend.

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Bradley Rolls Past Evansville

Darrell Brown had 22 points as Bradley defeated Evansville 69-58 on Sunday.

 

Elijah Childs had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Bradley (16-9, 7-5 Missouri Valley Conference). Koch Bar added 11 rebounds.

 

Evan Kuhlman had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Purple Aces (9-16, 0-12), who have now lost 12 straight games. John Hall added 12 points. Jawaun Newton had 11 points.

 

The Braves improve to 2-0 against the Purple Aces for the season. Bradley defeated Evansville 72-52 on Jan. 8. 

 

Bradley plays Indiana State at home on Wednesday. 

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Jets Blast Blackhawks

Andrew Copp had the go-ahead score in Winnipeg's four-goal third period, and the Jets rallied to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Sunday night.

 

Copp gave Winnipeg a 3-2 lead when he beat Corey Crawford up high from in close with 6:33 left after taking a perfect pass from forward Jack Roslovic.

 

Kyle Connor had a pair of goals, and Blake Wheeler and Patrick Laine also scored for the Jets, who trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes. Connor, with his team-leading 28th goal, and Laine added empty-net goals late to secure the two points.

 

Dominik Kubalik and Brandon Saad scored for the Blackhawks.

 

Connor Hellebuyck made 24 saves for the Jets, who won their third straight, while Crawford stopped 33 shots for Chicago.

 

Just 16 seconds after Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews went off for hooking in the third, Wheeler took a pass from defenseman Neil Pionk and snapped the puck past Crawford to tie it at 2.

 

The Jets had pulled to within a goal at 2-1, scoring while shorthanded. With defenseman Sami Niku off for tripping, Copp pounced on a loose puck inside his own blue line, skated the length of the ice, then backhanded a saucer pass to Connor, who shot the puck on the bounce past Crawford.

 

Crawford made several sparkling saves in the period, stopping Mark Scheifele in tight and Copp in alone on another short-handed effort.

 

Kubalik scored just 15 seconds into the game when he converted a pass from behind the net from Drake Caggiula.

 

The Blackhawks were all over the Jets for most of the period, making it 2-0 when Saad finished a perfect pass from Patrick Kane on Hellebuyck's doorstep. Hellebuyck, who stopped Toews on a breakaway, had no chance on either goal.

 

Toews recorded his 800th NHL career point, but was focused on the end result.

 

The Blackhawks are at Edmonton on Tuesday night.

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Nick Taylor Goes Wire-To-Wire To Win Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Already nervous about facing Phil Mickelson for the first time with only a one-shot lead, Nick Taylor found himself watching Lefty’s short-game highlight show on the eve of their final-round pairing at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

 

Taylor created his own short-game highlights for a victory that will stay with him a long time.

He holed a bunker shot for eagle that carried him to a five-shot lead at the turn. And when that lead shrunk to two shots in 40 mph gusts, Taylor chipped in for a birdie on the 15th hole that all but sealed it.

 

Turns out Taylor had more trouble with the wind than Mickelson, and the Canadian managed both just fine. He never lost the lead and closed with a 2-under 70 for a four-shot victory over Kevin Streelman.

 

Mickelson, going for a record sixth time at he Pebble Beach Pro-Am, faded to third with a 74.

Taylor won in his fourth start as a PGA Tour rookie at the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi, at the time an opposite-field event that didn’t feature any of the top players. He went 146 starts on the PGA Tour until his next victory, and it was a big one.

 

The victory gets him into the Masters for the first time, along with the PGA Championship up the coast at Harding Park in May. In his sixth year on tour, the 31-year-old Canadian has played only two majors as a pro.

 

One of those was last summer at Pebble Beach, after which Taylor announced he and his wife, Andie, were expecting their first child. They were waiting for him beyond the 18th green at Pebble.

The final chapter was more than five hours of jumbled emotions. Taylor figured he would have been more nervous with a larger lead at the start, and then he had one in the middle. He regained the lead with a 15-foot birdie on No. 4, matched birdies with Mickelson on the par-3 fifth, holed the bunker shot on the par-5 sixth to seize control and made a 7-foot birdie on No. 9 to head to the back nine with a five-shot lead.

 

Mickelson contributed to Taylor’s advantage, going long over the eighth green and chipping so strong that it caught the slope and rolled back to the fairway, leading to double bogey. He made bogey on No. 9, a two-shot swing.

 

And then the wind arrived, so strong that it was hard work to make bogey. Mickelson chipped away with a birdie at No. 10 and two pars, and he picked up another shot with a bogey on the par-5 14th, where the wind was so strong it blew Taylor’s cap off his head as he faced 227 yards to the green — for his third shot.

 

Taylor made double bogey. The lead was two with four holes to play.

 

Taylor finished at 19-under 268 and earned a two-year exemption, valuable for a guy who has been fighting to keep his card the last few years.

 

Mickelson wasn’t the only player who struggled. Dustin Johnson shot a 78. Matt Every, in the third-to-last group, shot 80. Jason Day closed with a 75.

 

The best round and best finish belonged to Jordan Spieth, who chipped in to save par on his final hole for a 67. It was the low round of the day and enabled Spieth to finish in a tie for ninth. That narrowly moves him back into the top 50 and makes him eligible for a World Golf Championship in Mexico City in two weeks.

 

Streelman also leaves with a trophy. He teamed with Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald to easily win the pro-am for the second time in three years.

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Monticello Survives North Mac

Monticello held off North Mac for a 59-57 win at the Illini Prairie-Sangamo Conference Shootout from Tolono Unity High School Saturday afternoon.

 

The Sages fell behind 12-3 in the first and finished the first half on a 27-7 run to open up a 30-19 lead at the intermission.

 

North Mac answered by taking the lead in the fourth quarter after falling behind by 14 points. Tanner Wilson had a chance to tie the game at the line with under ten seconds to play but missed the second of two free throws and Monticello held on to win.

 

Wilson carried the Panthers with 30 points and shot 7-for-12 from distance while Will Downs added 12 points and Grant Thoroman scored 11 points. 

 

The Sages were led by Garrett Kepley’s 11 points. Briggs Fultz, Ryan Reeder, Jake Edmondson and Dylan Ginalick each scored nine points and Cooper Mitz added eight points off the bench. 

 

The Sages scored 44 of their 59 points in the paint and shot 52-percent from the floor for the game. Monticello converted 11 offensive rebounds into 15 points and got 30 points from their bench. 

 

With Saturday’s win, Monticello breaks a three-game losing skid as they get set to host Champaign St. Thomas More on Tuesday night. Hear the action starting at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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IVC Topples Monticello

In a game heard on WEZC and dewittdailynews.com Friday night, Illinois Valley Central beat Monticello 66-51 in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action from Chillicothe.

 

The Grey Ghosts finished the first quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 14-9 lead and slowly pulled away the rest of the way, shooting 49-percent from the floor and scored 32 points in the paint.

 

Kamden Wollard scored a game-high 24 points to pace the Grey Ghosts and Holt Geltmaker added 18 points, as the IVC controlled nearly every aspect of the game.

 

The Grey Ghosts outrebounded the Sages 33-29, outscored Monticello in the paint 32-26, scored 19 fast-break points to Monticello’s four, and had 11 second-chance points on eight offensive rebounds. 

 

Garrett Kepley led the Sages with 18 points. Ethan Miller chipped in with 11 points.

 

The Grey Ghosts improve to 18-6 overall and are 4-1 in the Illini Prairie. The Sages drop to 12-11 overall and are just 1-4 in league play. 

 

Monticello will look to break a three-game losing skid when they head to Tolono Unity High School for the Illini Prairie/Sangamo Conference Shootout taking on North Mac for a 1:30 pm tip. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Central Illinois Conference Boys Basketball Tournament Resumes Tonight

After Wednesday's action of the Central Illinois Conference boys basketball tournament was postponed due to weather, the tournament resumes tonight from Central A&M High School with the winner's bracket.

 

Tuscola will take on Meridian to start the night's action at 6  pm for third place followed by Decatur St. Teresa and Central A&M at 7:30 pm for the tournament title. 

 

The consolation side of the bracket was rescheduled to tomorrow afternoon. Things kick off at 1 pm with Clinton taking on Sullivan for 7th place and Shelbyville takes on Warrensburg-Latham for the consolation championship. 

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Monticello Heads to IVC Tonight

The Monticello Sages boys basketball team hits the road tonight for another Illini Prairie Conference road contest at Illinois Valley Central in Chillicothe. 

 

The Sages dropped a 57-52 decision to St. Joseph-Ogden High School Tuesday night to fall to 12-10 and 1-3 in the conference.

 

IVC enters play 17-6 overall and 3-1 in the Illini Prairie. 

 

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

 

After tonight's action, the Sages turn around and take on North Mac at the Illini Prairie/Sangamo Conference challenge at Tolono Unity High School Saturday afternoon at 1:30 pm. Hear Saturday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Pelicans Topple Bulls

Zion Williamson scored 21, JJ Redick added 18 points and the New Orleans Pelicans hung on to beat Chicago 125-119 on Thursday night.

 

Williamson had nine points as New Orleans outscored Chicago 31-19 in the third quarter to break open the game. The Pelicans led by as many as 27 points and withstood a big run down the stretch by the Bulls' backups to come away with the win after back-to-back losses.

 

Redick hit three 3-pointers, and All-Star Brandon Ingram added 15 points and five assists before leaving with a sprained right ankle in the third.

 

Zach LaVine led Chicago with 22 points. Chandler Hutchison scored 16 points to go with eight rebounds, and Adam Mokoka added 15 in the fourth quarter - the first points of his career. 

 

The Bulls cut it to 123-119 with six seconds left on Ryan Arcidiacono's 3. But Jahlil Okafor tipped in a missed free throw by Jaxson Hayes to make it a six-point game.

 

The Pelicans scored 72 points in the first half - eight shy of a franchise-record against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 18.

 

Kris Dunn (sprained right knee), Valentine (strained hamstring) and F Daniel Gafford (ankle) sat out the game for Chicago.

 

The Bulls host Philadelphia on Sunday.

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Illinois Hosts Maryland Tonight

First place will be at stake along with perhaps a Big Ten Tournament tiebreaker when the Fighting Illini (16-6, 8-3 Big Ten) host the Terrapins (18-4, 8-3) on Friday in the only conference game that night. 

 

Illinois will be motivated and fired-up fans will be ready for payback after Maryland rallied from a 15-point deficit to win the first meeting two months ago at home. Anthony Cowan Jr. hit a tying 3-pointer in the final 20 seconds and a go-ahead free throw for the Terrapins. 

 

No one outside of Illinois’ program saw its surprising season coming. A month ago, coach Brad Underwood’s team led by center Kofi Kocburn was not even ranked. 

 

Maryland has climbed back into the top 10 after being ranked No. 7 in the preseason. The Terrapins rose to No. 3 in early December before dropping. They moved into a first-place tie with Illinois after they beat Rutgers on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win. 

 

The Illini have been idle since their seven-game winning streak was snapped Sunday at Iowa.

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Jets Double Up Blues

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 35 shots to help the Jets beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 Thursday night - his second win over the defending Stanley Cup champions in five days.

 

Andrew Copp broke a third period tie to give the Jets the win in their lone road contest during a current 11-game stretch.

 

Patrik Laine, Jansen Harkins and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg, which moved to within 13 points of the first-place Blues in the Central Division.

 

Colton Parayko and Carl Gunnarsson scored for St. Louis, which had recorded a point in its previous 11 home games. Jordan Binnington stopped 21 shots for the Western Conference leaders.

Hellebuyck stopped 38 of 40 shots in a 5-2 win over St. Louis on Saturday in Winnipeg.

 

He was equally impressive in the rematch and improved to 23-16-5.

 

Hellebuyck has stopped 73 of 77 shots in the two games against St., Louis.

 

Copp pounced on the rebound of a shot by Harkins to break a 2-2 tie with 10:56 left in the third period. He also had the winning tally in Saturday's victor over St. Louis.

 

Laine scored his 20th of the season off a cross-ice pass from Mark Scheifele at 5:58 of the second period for a 2-0 lead. Laine has scored at least 20 goals in each of his first four seasons.

 

Ehlers added an empty-net goal with 10 seconds left.

 

St. Louis scored twice in a span of a 2:20 in the second period. Gunnarsson blasted a shot from just inside the blue line past Hellebuyck to tie it.

 

The Blues host Dallas on Saturday.

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Nick Taylor Opens With Round 1 Lead at Pebble Beach

Nick Taylor opened with an eagle, closed with two birdies and made a gorgeous day feel even better with an 8-under 63 at Monterey Peninsula that gave him the lead Thursday in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

 

Most of the interest over three courses in the rotation was at Spyglass Hill, which featured Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, along with five NFL quarterbacks that included Peyton Manning and his recently retired brother, Eli.

 

The iconic scenery is at Pebble Beach, especially when the surf turns a turquoise hue under so much sunshine.

 

Taylor went about his business quietly, and most effectively.

 

Starting on the back nine at Monterey Peninsula, with a chilly breeze at his back, he hit 4-iron to a back pin that settled 4 feet away for an eagle, ht 3-iron out of the rough for a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th and knew he was playing well when he hit 4-iron to 10 feet on the first hole, a 495-yard par 4 that feels even longer when the air is cold at sea level.

 

Better still was the finish — a 5-iron back toward the ocean to 5 feet, and then a wind-aided 3-iron from 240 yards on a back tee he had never seen to 20 feet.

 

He led by two shots to par over Patrick Cantlay (Spyglass) and Chase Seiffert (Pebble Beach), who each had a 6-under 66.

 

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, whose third-place finish in Saudi Arabia last week was his best result in a year, was slightly disappointed with his 68 at Spyglass because of how well he felt he hit it off the tee.

 

Cantlay made nine birdies at Spyglass and wasn’t even the best putter in his group. Some of his best views of this stunning day along the rugged coastline was watching champion surfer Kelly Slater on the greens, not in the pipe.

 

Dustin Johnson had a 69 at Spyglass, while Jordan Spieth checked in at 70. They typically play in the same group that does not lack in entertainment with their amateurs, hockey great Wayne Gretzky and country singer Jake Owen.

 

Among those at 5-under par were Charley Hoffman, who holed out from the fairway for eagle on No. 4 at Spyglass for the loudest cheer of the day, and Harry Higgs, the PGA Tour rookie who drew Commissioner Jay Monahan as his partner.

 

Mickelson ultimately was happy to be in range after his 68, though it wasn’t looking all that great when he failed to birdie any of the par 5s at Spyglass and had gone 10 holes without a birdie until birdies on his last three holes.

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Lady Maroons Get the Win on Senior Night

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Meridian Lady Hawks by a score of 61-28 on Thursday night on Senior Night. The Lady Maroons were led by Mallory Cyrulik with 25 points. Senior Destiny Schlesinger had 14 points and senior Jayd Rich also chipped in with 8.

 

Emily Johnson led Meridian with 8 points.

 

With the win, the Lady Maroons improve to 17-14 on the season and 3-4 in the CIC. Meridian falls to 8-22 overall and 0-7 in conference play.

 

Tune in Monday, February 10, as the Lady Maroons take on Tuscola at St. Joseph-Ogden High School for regionals. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa. Tipoff is set for 6 pm. 

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Missouri St. thumps Illinois St. behind Da Silva's 22 points

Tulio Da Silva had a season-high 22 points as Missouri State rolled past Illinois State 80-60 on Wednesday night.

 

Da Silva shot 10 for 13 from the field. He added eight rebounds.

 

Keandre Cook had 18 points for Missouri State (11-13, 5-6 Missouri Valley Conference). Gaige Prim added 12 points. Josh Hall had six assists.

 

Missouri State totaled 42 points in the first half, a season-best for the team.

 

Antonio Reeves had 17 points for the Redbirds (7-16, 2-9). Jaycee Hillsman added 16 points. Zach Copeland had 11 points.

 

Keith Fisher III, the Redbirds' second-leading scorer coming into the contest at nine points per game, shot just 1 of 5.

 

The Bears improve to 2-0 against the Redbirds this season. Missouri State defeated Illinois State 67-63 on Jan. 7. Missouri State plays Southern Illinois on the road on Saturday. Illinois State plays Indiana State at home on Saturday.

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Robbins' career-high 29 propels Drake past Bradley 73-60

Liam Robbins poured in a career-high 29 points, adding seven rebounds and three blocked shots as Drake defeated Bradley 73-60 Wednesday night.

 

Robbins was 9-for-12 shooting and made 10 of 11 at the line. Garrett Sturtz added 12 points with seven rebounds, while Roman Penn scored 10 for Drake (16-8, 6-5 Missouri Valley Conference).

 

Drake opened the second half with a quick 9-1 run to push the game out of reach with an 18-point lead. Robbins scored four of the nine.

 

The win broke a two-game skid for the Bulldogs and moved them into a tie for fifth place in the MVC with Bradley.

 

Darrell Brown led Bradley (15-9, 6-5) with 24 points on 7-for-14 shooting and 10 of 12 at the foul line.

 

Ja'Shon Henry added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Nate Kennell had 11 points and six rebounds.

 

Bradley's top scorer and rebounder, Elijah Childs (14.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg), has missed 12 of the last 13 games with a hand injury.

 

Drake matches up against Northern Iowa on the road on Saturday. Bradley matches up against Evansville at home on Sunday.

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Raptors beat Pacers for team-record 12th straight win

Serge Ibaka hit a go-ahead 3 with 30 seconds remaining and the Toronto Raptors rallied from 19 down to beat the Indiana Pacers 119-118 Wednesday night.

 

Kyle Lowry had 32 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds, and Ibaka scored a season-high 30 as Toronto fought back after trailing by 11 with less than four minutes to play. The defending NBA champions scored the final 11 points of the game.

 

Toronto's closing offense was pretty good, too. A trio of Raptors scored in double figures in the fourth, led by Ibaka's 15 points.

 

Pascal Siakam scored 25 points, Terence Davis had 11 and Fred VanVleet added 10 to help the Raptors earn their 12th straight home win over Indiana.

 

Malcolm Brogdon scored 24 points and Justin Holiday added a season-best 22, but the Pacers lost their third straight overall. Domantas Sabonis had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his third career triple-double.

 

Indiana guard Victor Oladipo started for the first time since returning from injury last week and scored a season-high 13 points in 25 minutes.

 

Oladipo played seven minutes in the first quarter, then checked back in with 4:17 left in the first half. He started the second half and was replaced by Aaron Holiday with 3:24 remaining in the third period. Oladipo returned for his final stint with 5:34 left in the fourth and closed out the game.

Holiday shot 6 for 9 from 3-point range and Brogdon went 4 of 7 as the Pacers finished 19 for 39 from deep, a season-high for made 3s.

 

The Raptors trailed 106-103 after Siakam's driving dunk with 5:05 left, but Holiday made a 3, Oladipo hit a jumper and Brogdon connected from deep to put the Pacers up 114-103 with 3:50 to go.

 

Siakam hit one of two at the line with 1:15 left to bring Toronto within four, then forced a steal and drove for a layup to make it 118-116 with 1:06 remaining.

 

The Pacers called a timeout and gave the ball to Oladipo, but his shot didn't fall, leading to Ibaka's go-ahead 3 at the other end.

 

Oladipo missed a 3 with 10 seconds to play and VanVleet stripped Brogdon to seal a historic win for Toronto.

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McAvoy, Bruins beat Blackhawks 2-1 for 5th straight victory

Charlie McAvoy scored 1:19 into overtime, and the Bruins beat the Blackhawks 2-1 for their fifth straight victory.

 

The Blackhawks thought they had taken a 2-1 lead with 1:05 left in regulation when it looked as if Drake Caggiula beat Jaroslav Halak for a short-handed goal. But it was waved off because one of the officials blew his whistle.

 

Sean Kuraly also scored for Boston, which was coming off a 4-0 victory over Vancouver on Tuesday night. Halak made 21 saves to help the Bruins move ahead of the idle Capitals for the top spot in the NHL standings.

 

Chicago wasted a terrific performance by Robin Lehner, who made 38 stops in his first start since Jan. 21. The Blackhawks also lost defenseman Adam Boqvist to a right shoulder injury in the second period.

 

Alex DeBrincat had Chicago's only goal. Next up for the Blackhawks, who are fighting to stay in the mix for the Western Conference's second wild card, is a five-game trip to Canada.

 

Boqvist got hurt when he was pushed into the boards by Krejci 6:13 into the second period. The 19-year-old Boqvist then skated off with his arm hanging on his side, while Krejci was sent off for boarding.

 

Krejci's penalty turned into DeBrincat's third power-play goal of the season. Kirby Dach was denied by Halak in front, but DeBrincat skated in from the side and knocked it home for a 1-0 lead at 6:50.

Boston controlled the play early on, but Lehner stepped up for Chicago. He made 16 saves in the first, including a terrific stop on Krejci with 1:51 left in the period.

 

After the Blackhawks jumped in front in the second, Kuraly skated behind the net and into the right circle before beating Lehner through the goaltender's legs at 12:49. It was Kuraly's fifth of the year.

Boston had a prime scoring opportunity near the end of the second, but Charlie Coyle, Torey Krug, and Kuraly were denied in rapid succession by Lehner.

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Schenn, Sanford each score twice, Blues' beat Hurricanes 6-3

Brayden Schenn had two goals and an assist, Zach Sanford scored twice and the St. Louis Blues beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-3 Tuesday night.

 

Jordan Binnington stopped 25 shots, and Colton Parayko and Sammy Blais also scored.

 

Carolina's Petr Mrazek looked rusty in just his third start since Jan. 13, allowing six goals on 26 shots. Sebastian Aho, Brock McGinn and Martin Necas scored for the Hurricanes.

 

Blais put St. Louis ahead 1-0 at 2:44 of the first period.

 

St. Louis piled on with four goals in the second period, including two on the power play, all on their first six shots.

 

Sanford made it 2-0 on a wraparound, and Parayko ripped a slap shot to make it 3-0. After Aho tallied for Carolina, St. Louis struck again on a power play, with Schenn scoring off a rebound from Jaden Schwartz's shot.

 

Schenn scored again 4 1/2 minutes later, also on a power play, to make it 5-1 and give him his third multigoal game of the season.

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Lady Maroons Fall to Mt. Zion

The Clinton Lady Maroons fell to Mt. Zion by a score of 55-43 on Tuesday night. The Lady Maroons were led by Mallory Cyrulik with 17 points.

 

Mt. Zion was led by Emma Ewing with 22 points.

 

The Lady Maroons fall to 16-14 and Mt. Zion improves to 22-5.

 

Tune in tonight at 6 pm as the Clinton Maroons play Sullivan in the Central Illinois Conference boys basketball tournament from Central A&M High School. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Dumba scores OT winner as Wild beat Blackhawks 3-2

Matt Dumba scored with 2:39 remaining in overtime to snap a 33-game goal-scoring drought and lift Minnesota to a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

 

Kevin Fiala scored twice for the Wild and Alex Stalock made 27 saves as Minnesota recovered from a 6-1 loss to Boston in its previous game.

 

Adam Boqvist and Olli Maatta scored in the third period for Chicago. Corey Crawford made 31 saves for the Blackhawks, who had won six of their previous seven games.

 

Stalock started in place of Devan Dubynk and didn't see a shot until 7:22 left in the first period. The Wild outshot the Blackhawks 12-4 in the opening period.

 

Fiala scored his first goal early in the second, scooping up a loose puck along the wall and spinning into the slot before wristing a quick shot past Crawford, who was screened by Luke Kunin. He scored his 11th goal of the season later in the period when he took a pass at the Wild's own blue line and skated straight up the ice before snapping a quick shot between Crawford's legs.

 

Chicago tied the score in the third as it outshot Minnesota 15-7 in the period. Boqvist scored his third goal of the season and Maatta sent the game to overtime by scoring with 3:10 left in regulation.

Chicago was 0 for 3 on the power-play against a Wild team that ranked 30th in penalty kill in the NHL.

 

Fiala nearly had his first hat trick in a back-and-forth overtime, that also saw Chicago's Jonathan Toews ring a shot off the post behind Stalock. Dumba finally won it as the puck flipped up and over Crawford after a scrum in front of the net.

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St. Joe-Ogden Holds Off Monticello

The Monticello Sages fell behind by double digits in the fourth quarter again on Tuesday night and again rallied but fell short in a 57-52 loss at St. Joseph-Ogden High School in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action. 

 

Neither the Spartans nor the Sages shot well in the first half as St. Joe hoisted up 16 first-half three-point attempts and connected on just one. Conversely, Monticello connected on just 6-of-29 first-half field goal attempts. 

 

Trailing 20-17 to start the second half, Garrett Kepley made two free throws to cut the deficit to one but Peyton Cain answered in transition for St. Joe to make it 22-19. After Nick Vogelzang tied the game at 22 with a three, The Spartans finished the quarter on an 8-0 run that was highlighted by freshman Ty Pence’s back-to-back threes and the Spartans rallied to a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter before Monticello rallied late in the fourth. 

 

The Spartans knocked down their free throws late to withstand the Monticello run and held on for their 16th win and kept their unblemished mark in conference play.

 

Pence led all scorers with 25 points. Chance Izard scored 10 points for St. Joe.

 

Jake Edmondson helped lead a comeback for the Sages with 12 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter. Garrett Kepley scored 13 for Monticello, but nine came in the first half. Briggs Fultz grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. 

 

Monticello outrebounded St. Joe 39-32.  The Spartans dished out 13 assists on their 15 made field goals, shooting just 31-percent for the game and finished 6-for-26 from distance. The Sages did not fair much better, shooting 33-percent from the floor for the game and committed 15 turnovers. 

 

The Sages drop to 12-10 overall and are 1-3 in Illini Prairie play.

 

The Spartans are 16-6 and a improve to a perfect 5-0 in league action.

 

Monticello hits the road for their second of three road games this week with a haul to IVC Friday night. Game time is 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Shelbyville Drops Clinton in CIC Tournament Play

The Shelbyville Rams rolled past the Clinton Maroons 49-30 in Central Illinois Conference boys basketball tournament play Monday night at Central A&M High School. 

 

The two were playing in the consolation bracket, and the Maroons will take on Sullivan Wednesday night, weather permitting, at 6 pm.

 

Clinton drops to 5-19 overall while Shelbyville improves to 7-16. The conference tournament does not count towards league records. 

 

Hear Wednesday's action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, at Amazon Alexa and at the WHOW mobile app.

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Monticello Hits Road to St. Joe

The Monticello Sages will hit the road tonight to take on St. Joe-Ogden in Illini Prairie Conference boys basketball action.

 

The Sages fell just short in a loss 65-63 Friday night against Pontiac. The Sages rallied from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit but could overcome good free throw shooting by the Indians.

 

Monticello enters play tonight 12-9 overall and 1-2 in league play.

 

Tonight's action from St. Joe tips at 7 pm. Hear it all on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Illinois Down A Spot in Latest College Basketball Rankings

Baylor has strengthened its hold on No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.

 

The Bears received 49 first-place votes from the 65-member media panel in Monday’s poll to stay comfortably ahead of Gonzaga and Kansas. That was up from 44 first-place votes from the previous week, with the Bears securing a third straight week atop the rankings.

 

 Nos. 1-4 remained unchanged a week after the top seven teams held their rankings from the previous week, continuing a stretch of stability there in what has been an unpredictable season with a record-tying seven different teams reaching No. 1.

 

The Zags – who earned 15 first-place votes after having 19 a week earlier – spent four weeks atop the poll and went 7-0 during their stint at No. 1 before the Bears leapfrogged them. Baylor (20-1) has won five games since reaching No. 1 and beat Kansas State on Monday night, extending their program-record winning streak to 19 games.

 

Before that, Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, Louisville and Kansas had all appeared at No. 1. None lasted more than two weeks or won more than twice before suffering a loss that would knock them out of the top spot.

 

The Jayhawks earned the other first-place vote to remain ahead of fourth-ranked San Diego State, the last unbeaten team in Division I.

 

The Big Ten had a national-best five teams in the poll, including No. 16 Michigan State, No. 17 Iowa, No. 20 Illinois and No. 22 Penn State. 

 

No. 24 Colorado and No. 25 Houston were the week’s biggest sliders, each falling four spots after league losses. Florida State, No. 14 Oregon and No. 19 Butler each fell three spots, which continued a big slide for the Bulldogs after they were ranked as high as No. 5 in mid-January but have lost four of six.

 

Eleven teams fell in Monday’s poll.

 

The top five of Monday's college basketball Coaches Poll remained the same as last week, but there was plenty of action below. 

 

Baylor is still the No. 1 team in the nation but Maryland and Auburn both jumped six spots and cracked the top-10 after victories over ranked opponents.

 

Maryland's rise came after an 82-72 win over ranked Iowa on Thursday, which extended the Terrapins' win streak to four games. Auburn also extended its winning streak to four with a victory over ranked Kentucky. Both teams have bounced back from two-game conference losing skids to reclaim status among the game's top teams.

 

Illinois checks in at No. 21 in this week's Coaches Poll. The Illini lost Sunday afternoon at Iowa, who improves to No. 17 in this week's poll.

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Mavs Top Pacers

Kristaps Porzingis scored a season-high 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Mavericks to a 112-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

 

Porzingis shot 6 of 13 on 3-pointers and made all 12 of his free throws. The six 3-pointers tied a career high.

 

Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed 25 points for Dallas.

 

Domantas Sabonis fell just short of a triple-double, finishing with 12 rebounds and nine assists. Malcolm Brogdon added 14 points for the Pacers.

 

Victor Oladipo hit a 3-pointer for Indiana with five seconds left in the third quarter to close the deficit to 82-77.

 

The Pacers cut the margin to 96-93 on a three-point play by Sabonis with 5:09 left, but the Mavericks were able to maintain control. Porzingis sank two free throws with 32 seconds remaining to make it 110-103.

 

After missing the first 47 games of the season while rehabbing a ruptured quadriceps tendon in his right knee, Oladipo has struggled with his shooting since returning last week. He was 4 of 17 from the field against the Mavericks, including 1 for 10 from 3-point range, after going 4 of 22 overall and 2 for 11 on 3s in the previous two games. Oladiapo had been sidelined since getting injured on Jan. 23, 2019.

 

The Pacers shot 52% in taking a 55-53 lead at halftime. Dallas shot 42.9% but nearly made up the difference by going 9 for 20 on 3s while Indiana was 4 of 18.

 

For the game, the Mavericks shot 41.9% from the floor and 40% on 3s. The Pacers shot 46% and 21% on 3s.

 

The Mavericks held a 51-40 rebounding edge, including 30-20 in the second half.

 

Dallas hit 22 of 23 free throws. The Pacers were 8 of 11.

 

The Pacers play at Toronto on Wednesday and then return home to face the Raptors on Friday. Indiana won the first meeting with the defending NBA champions 120-115 in overtime at home on Dec. 23.

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Unity's Knudsen Breaks School Scoring Record in Win Over Monticello

Tolono Unity’s Elyce Knudsen broke former Purdue standout and NBA star Brian Cardinal’s school scoring record and the Lady Rockets beat Monticello 53-43 in Illini Prairie Conference girls basketball action Monday night at the Rocket Center at Unity High School. 

 

Knudsen’s record-breaking basketball came as a part of a 9-0 start to the second half for the Lady Rockets, when they rallied to overcome a 28-22 halftime deficit. The basket brought Unity within two, at 28-26. 

 

The Lady Rockets senior was shadowed all night long as part of a triangle-in-two where she was double-teamed for three quarters, managing to score 17 of her game-high 23 while being doubled.

 

While Knudsen was the star of the night, Maddie Reed scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half and her shot-making broke the Lady Sages out of the triangle-in-two and allowed Unity to hold on for the win.

 

The pivotal stretch for Unity came in the third quarter when they outscored Monticello 17-4. 

 

Cloe Clark and Jayna Burger each scored 12 points for the Lady Sages and Renni Fultz added 11 points. 

 

Monticello drops to 12-15 while Unity improves 19-8. 

 

Hear more Monticello girl’s basketball next Monday night when the Lady Sages begin postseason play at Maroa-Forsyth for a Regional quarterfinal matchup with the Lady Trojans for  6 pm tip. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Monticello Girls Head to Tolono

The Monticello Lady Sages basketball team will make the short trip to Tolono tonight to take on Unity in Illini Prairie Conference action. 

 

The Lady Sages are coming off a win at the Illini Prairie/Sangamo Conference shootout Saturday afternoon.

 

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

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Iowa Holds Off Illinois

Luka Garza, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, bounced back from a slow start to score 25 points and No. 18 Iowa clamped down in the final four minutes to beat No. 19 Illinois 72-65 on Sunday.

 

Garza, who added 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season, didn’t have a point in the first 15 minutes. He wound up making four 3-pointers on nine attempts, both career highs, and shot 9 of 16 overall.

 

Garza had 11 points in a 13-2 run that erased an early eight-point lead from the Illini.

 

Illinois (16-6, 8-3), which had won seven in a row, led 62-61 with 4:03 to play. But the Hawkeyes (16-6, 7-4) then shut out the Illini until Ayo Dosunmu hit a 3 with four seconds left.

 

Iowa made five of its last seven shots. Joe Wieskamp and CJ Fredrick each had 18 points for the Hawkeyes.

 

Andres Feliz led Illinois with 17 points. Trent Frazier had 12 points and Dosunmu 11.

 

The Illini fell back into a tie for first place with Michigan State. The Illini, Spartans and Maryland have three losses in conference play.

 

Iowa got back within one game of the Big Ten lead.

The Illini play host to Maryland on Friday.

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Chiefs Rally to Super Bowl Championship

Patrick Mahomes found his mojo and the 24-year-old quarterback who was selected Super Bowl MVP, led the Chiefs to 21 straight points in the final 6:13 for a 31-20 victory Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers.

 

The Chiefs (15-4) trailed 24-0 and 17-7 in their previous playoff games, both in the first half. In the big game, they nearly didn't have time for a comeback.

 

Kansas City's fans in the crowd of 62,417 at Hard Rock Stadium got little opportunity to chant and do the tomahawk chop as KC fell behind 20-10 in the third quarter. Mahomes even threw his second interception of the night after they fell behind.

 

But the vaunted 49ers defense wilted late and Mahomes brought the magic that makes him special.

He completed passes of 44 yards to Tyreek Hill and 38 to Sammy Watkins. The touchdowns came on short throws to Travis Kelce to cut the deficit to three and to Damien Williams for the lead. The first NFL title in Chiefs coach Reid's two-decade career was clinched by Williams' 38-yard TD run, sending red-clad Chiefs fans into chants of “Andy!" Andy!"

 

Reid, 61, won a Super Bowl ring with the 1996 Packers while in charge of tight ends. He's been seeking one as a head coach since being hired by Philadelphia in 1999. The Eagles lost in their only trip to the big game under Reid after the 2004 season.

 

Mahomes found Hill, whose bobble led to the second San Francisco pick, for 44 yards on a third-and-15 - the first long pass completed by Kansas City. A 20-yard pass interference call on Tarvarius Moore, who had that earlier pick, put the ball at the 1 and Kelce was wide open for the score.

 

The Chiefs defense, confounded by the Niners' misdirection much of the game, got stingy and forced a three-and-out. Mahomes soon hit Watkins down the right sideline behind Richard Sherman for a 38-yard gain, leading to Williams' first score.

 

San Francisco (15-4) had nothing left in the fourth quarter, and its coach, Kyle Shanahan saw yet another late-game meltdown by his team. Three years ago, as offensive coordinator in Atlanta, he was part of the Falcons' Super Bowl collapse and loss in overtime to New England.

 

Kansas City, an original AFL franchise, won the final Super Bowl before the full merger, beating Minnesota in 1970. Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt even coined the phrase Super Bowl.

 

Now the Hunt family can add a Vince Lombardi Trophy to the Lamar Hunt Trophy earned with the AFC crown.

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Raptors Pull Away From Bulls

Terence Davis came off the bench to score a career-high 31 points and the Raptors tied a team record with their 11th straight win, beating the Chicago Bulls 129-102.

 

Pascal Siakam added 17 points, Serge Ibaka had 16, Chris Boucher 15 and Kyle Lowry 14 for the reigning NBA champions. The Raptors outscored the Bulls 69-39 in the second half to win their 12th consecutive meeting with Chicago.

 

Davis made a career-high 12 of his 15 field goal attempts, including six of seven from 3-point range.

An undrafted rookie from the University of Mississippi, Davis had scored 23 points twice this season, most recently against Washington on Jan. 17. He surpassed that mark with a 13-point fourth quarter, and received a hug from Lowry when he checked out with 3:12 remaining.

 

Thaddeus Young fouled out with 21 points and Zach LaVine had 18 as Toronto swept Chicago for the third straight season.

 

Chandler Hutchison scored 17 points, and Ryan Arcidiacono and Coby White each had 12 for the Bulls, who are 8-18 on the road.

 

The Raptors were without guard Norman Powell, who broke the ring finger on his left hand in Friday’s win at Detroit. Center March Gasol missed his third straight game because of a sore left hamstring. Both players are out indefinitely.

 

Bulls guard Kris Dunn missed his first game of the season, with Hutchison starting in his place.

Chicago led 63-60 at halftime, but Toronto reclaimed the lead with a 17-4 run over the first five minutes of the third.

 

Siakam scored nine points in the third and Ibaka had eight as the Raptors took a 95-85 lead to the fourth.

 

Lauri Markkanen (stress reaction, right pelvis) missed his sixth straight game.

 

The Bulls host New Orleans on Thursday night.

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Polamalu, Atwater, James Named Football Hall of Famers

Steelers great Troy Polamalu earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with another hard-hitting safety, Steve Atwater of Denver. Also voted in Saturday were receiver Isaac Bruce, running back Edgerrin James and guard Steve Hutchinson.

 

Polamalu said he went six or seven years, maybe longer, without cutting his hair during the prime of a career that lasted from 2003-14.

 

Selected in his first year of eligibility, Polamalu was a four-time All-Pro, was voted to eight Pro Bowls and finished with two Super Bowl rings in three trips. His rambling, cross-the-field fourth-quarter pick-six against Joe Flacco in the 2008 AFC title game cemented the win and was a highlight of what might have been his best season; he had seven interceptions that year and the Steelers won the Super Bowl.

 

Polamalu will go in the same year as Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher and defensive back Donnie Shell, each of whom were voted in as part of the hall’s special centennial class designed to celebrate the NFL”s 100th year.

 

John Lynch, in Miami this week for the Super Bowl as GM of the 49ers, was also among the 15 finalists whose resumes were debated and discussed throughout the day by the panel of four dozen voters. But he did not make the cut. Neither did Tony Boselli, the dominant Jaguars offensive lineman whose career lasted only 91 games because of shoulder injuries. The Jaguars are still without a player in the hall.

 

Atwater made it — in his 16th year of eligibility, no less. — and became the first home-grown Broncos defender to join the hall. 

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Lamar Jackson Named NFL MVP

Lamar Jackson drew all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. Baltimore’s All-Pro set an NFL record for yards rushing by a quarterback (1,206) and led an offense that compiled more yards on the ground (3,296) than any in league history. The Ravens won their final 12 games of the regular season to finish at 14-2, the league’s best mark.

 

Jackson’s stunning season not only earned him The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award, but he won it unanimously.

 

The Ravens were big winners at NFL Honors on Saturday. John Harbaugh won coaching honors, and his offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, took best assistant coach honors.

 

Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill earned the Comeback Player award by one vote over Jimmy Garoppolo, who will quarterback the 49ers in Sunday’s Super Bowl. New Orleans’ Michael Thomas took top offensive player honors, while New England’s Stephon Gilmore grabbed the defensive player award.

 

Rookie honors went to 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa and Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, the top overall pick in last April’s draft.

 

Edge rusher Calais Campbell of the Jacksonville Jaguars won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

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Webb Simpson Outlasts Tony Finau

Webb Simpson was in big trouble when he drove into the right-side water on the par-5 15th but rallied at friend Tony Finau’s expense Sunday in the Waste Management Phoenix Open on a TPC Scottsdale course that played tougher with firm greens and a touch of wind.

 

Simpson birdied the final two holes of regulation to force a playoff with Finau, then won with a 10-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole.

 

Two strokes ahead with two holes left, Finau missed an 18-foot birdie try in the playoff on the par-4 18th after driving left into the church pew bunkers.

 

Simpson two-putted from the fringe on the short par-4 17th and made a 17-footer from the edge of the green on the 18th. Finau, after hitting a 366-yard drive and an approach to 8 feet, missed a chance to win when his birdie try slid right.

 

Simpson closed with a 2-under 69 to match Finau at 17-under 267, setting up the fourth playoff in five years in the desert.

 

Finau shot 70.

 

Simpson won his sixth PGA Tour title and first since the 2018 Players Championship. The 2012 U.S. Open champion improved to 2-5 in playoffs, three years after falling to Hideki Matsuyama in extra holes at TPC Scottsdale. Simpson also lost a playoff in November in the RSM Classic.

 

Finau missed a chance for his second PGA Tour victory. He also lost a playoff to Xander Schauffele in November 2018 in China in the WGC-HSBC Champions.

 

A stroke ahead of Simpson after a third-round 62, Finau parred the first seven holes, limiting his birdie chances with sluggish iron and wedge play. He bogeyed the par-4 eighth to end a 57-hole bogey-free streak, leaving an 8-iron from the fairway 65 feet short.

 

Simpson took the lead with a 5-footer for birdie on the par-4 10th after Finau’s putter came to life on an unlikely 25-footer for par.

 

Finau pulled even with an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th, a day after Simpson aced the hole in a 64. Finau made a 9-foot birdie putt on the par-5 13th to take the lead, then only doubled the advantage with a par on the 15th after Simpson drove into the water.

 

They each parred the the par-3 stadium 16th, with Finau wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey on the rowdy hole. The PGA Tour cut the pin position in a tribute to Bryant, using his two Lakers uniform numbers. The pin was placed 24 yards from the front edge and 8 yards from the left edge, putting it in the back left corner. The flag had an 8 one side and a 24 on the other, and the numbers also were painted into the grass in front of the green.

 

Fourth-ranked Justin Thomas tied for third at 14 under after a 65, birdieing the 16th in a jersey from Bryant’s days at Lower Merion High School.

 

Bubba Watson and Nate Lashley also finished at 14 under. Watson closed with a 66, and Lashley shot 68.

 

Jon Rahm tied for ninth at 11 under after a 70. The former Arizona State player needed a victory to jump from No. 3 to No. 1 in the world.

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