Local Sports

Vikings seek to spark playoff hopes by beating Packers again

While the Green Bay Packers have dominated the NFC North lately, there's one division opponent they've struggled to solve.

 

The Minnesota Vikings have won their last two matchups with the Packers and are the only NFC North team to beat them during Matt LaFleur's three-year coaching tenure in Green Bay. The Vikings (7-8) will try to do it again Sunday night as they attempt to boost their playoff hopes amid potential single-digit temperatures in Green Bay.

 

The Vikings don't have much margin for error. They'll be eliminated from playoff contention Sunday if they lose at Green Bay and the Philadelphia Eagles win at Washington.

 

Green Bay (12-3) already has wrapped up its third straight NFC North title. The Packers will clinch the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed and lone first-round bye if they win Sunday and the Dallas Cowboys lose or tie at home against the Arizona Cardinals.

 

The Packers have won four straight since falling 34-31 at Minnesota on a game decided by Greg Joseph's 29-yard field goal as time expired. The Vikings also won 28-22 at Green Bay last season, handing the Packers their only regular-season home loss of the last two years.

 

Green Bay has struggled to contain Minnesota's top skill-position players.

 

Cook rushed for 163 yards, caught two passes for 63 yards and scored four touchdowns in the Vikings' victory at Lambeau Field last season. Justin Jefferson caught eight passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers earlier this year. The Vikings will need a huge performance from one of those guys Sunday night, particularly now that receiver Adam Thielen has been placed on injured reserve.

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Bears, Giants look for strong finishes with changes looming

The Bears host the New York Giants on Sunday in a matchup of teams that could be in for big changes following difficult seasons.

 

Matt Nagy might be fired, ending a four-year run that fizzled after winning the NFC North in his first season. General manager Ryan Pace has an uncertain future, after seven years and zero playoff victories.

 

On the other side, the picture is unclear, too. Giants GM Dave Gettleman could be out after four losing seasons, whether it's his choice or not.

 

The Bears (5-10) got a reprieve last week, rallying for a 25-24 victory at Seattle after losing eight of nine. Super Bowl 52 MVP Nick Foles made his first start in 13 months with Justin Fields (ankle) and backup quarterback Andy Dalton (groin) injured and threw a 15-yard touchdown to Jimmy Graham with about a minute remaining. Damiere Byrd then made an acrobatic reception for the 2-point conversion, getting his knee down in the end zone with multiple defenders trying to push him over the back line, to put Chicago on top.

 

The Giants (4-11) come in with four straight losses overall and six straight on the road. New York was held to a season-low 192 yards at Philadelphia last week.

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Balanced Attack Helps Maroa-Forsyth Overcome Big Game from Mt. Pulaski's Murphy at Decatur St. Teresa Holiday Tournament

Lane Muprhy scored 38 points for Mt. Pulaski but it wasn't enough as Maroa-Forsyth used balanced scoring to get by the Hilltoppers 70-62 for third place at the Decatur St. Teresa Holiday Tournament Wednesday night in high school boy's basketball action.

 

Murphy scored 20 of his 38 points in the first half and went 10-for-11 at the foul line in the fourth quarter.

 

The Hilltoppers led 32-31 at the half but the Trojans flipped the game on its head with a big third quarter and led 59-45. Egan Franzen scored 11 of his 31 in the third quarter. Kaiden Maurer scored nine of his 15 points in the third for the Maroa-Forsyth. 

 

Franzen helped keep the Trojans close early with 12 of its 18 points early, staking Maroa-Forsyth to an 18-17 lead after one. 

 

The Trojans managed just one field goal in the final frame but Mt. Pulaski couldn't find the basket either with only three field goals. The Hilltoppers outscored Maroa-Forsyth 17-11 in the fourth quarter. The Trojans finished 9-for-12 at the foul line in the fourth to the Hilltoppers 11-for-13 free throws. 

 

Murphy's 38 points were complemented by 12 points from Aiden Schneider, the only other player in double figures. 

 

Franzen led the Trojans with 31 points, Maurer finished with 15 and Zane Giles added nine.

 

The Hilltoppers fall to 4-3 overall while Maroa-Forsyth goes to 8-4. 

 

Mt. Pulaski takes on Raymond-Lincolnwood on Tuesday night at 6 pm. 

 

Maroa-Forsyth is at Olympia next Tuesday night at 7 pm. 

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Wisconsin Survives Illinois State

Steven Crowl had a career-high 21 points and nine rebounds, and No. 24 Wisconsin struggled to put away Illinois State, winning 89-85 on Wednesday night in its first game after a two-week break because of COVID-19.

 

Johnny Davis, the Badgers' leading scorer, had 20 points on 6-of-23 shooting and 11 rebounds. Second-leading scorer Brad Davison was held to seven points on 1-of-9 shooting.

 

Tyler Wahl tied his career-high with 18 points while Chucky Hepburn had 13 for Wisconsin (10-2).

 

Illinois State (8-6) battled back from a 19-point deficit early in the second half and got within 81-80 on Antonio Reeves' 3-pointer with 2 minutes left. After a Davison miss, Illinois State had a chance to take the lead, but Reeves' floater was off the mark.

 

Reeves then committed his fifth foul on Wisconsin's next possession, putting Davison on the line, where he hit both shots.

 

Reeves led the Redbirds with 23 points, while Sy Chatman had 22. Chatman also fouled out late in the game on a charge, and Wisconsin closed it out by going 8 for 8 from the free-throw line.

 

Wisconsin hadn't played since squeaking past Nicholls State 71-68 on Dec. 15. Its scheduled game last week against George Mason was canceled because of COVID-19, and the last thing the Badgers wanted was a nearly three-week layoff before traveling to No. 3 Purdue to resume Big Ten play.

 

Illinois State is at Valparaiso on Sunday.

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Bulls Roll Hawks Again

Zach LaVine scored 25 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks for the second time in three nights, 131-117 on Wednesday.

 

The Bulls extended their winning streak to a season-high five games. The Hawks, who are playing without 15 players due to the NBA's health and safety protocols and injuries, lost for the fifth time in six games.

 

The Bulls shot 61.9% and had a season-high with 38 assists. They beat the Hawks 130-118 on Monday night in Atlanta.

 

Trey Young scored 26 points for Atlanta, and Clint Capela added 18 in the opener of a six-game trip.

 

LaVine punctuated his performance with a. 360 dunk that extended the Bulls' lead to 119-96 with 6:44 left.

 

Nicola Vucevic had 16 points and a season-high 20 rebounds for Chicago. DeMar DeRozan scored 20 pointts, and guard Coby White had 17 points and 12 assists. Reserve guard Ayo Dosunmu converted 6 of 7 shots and finished with 14 points, as did Javonte Green.

 

The Bulls made 40 of 43 field goal attempts in the first half (69.8%), including 6 of 10 three-point attempts.

 

The Bulls had an 18-1 run to end the first half with a 74-53 lead. They were credited with 24 assists in the first half without point guard Lonzo Ball, who is in health and safety protocols.

 

Former Illini standout Malcolm Hill was signed to a 10-day contract by the Hawks due to so many players in COVID protocols. He played 29 minutes Wednesday, scoring 13 points. Hill and Dosunmu shared a hug after the game that drew the affection of Illinois sports fans on social media. 

 

The Bulls are at Indiana on Friday.

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Hornets Get By Pacers

Terry Rozier scored a season-high 35 points, LaMelo Ball added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Indiana Pacers 116-108 on Wednesday night.

 

Ball also had nine assists, falling just short of his third triple-double this season and the fourth of his career. The Hornets won their third straight overall and fifth in a row in the series, including all three matchups this season.

 

Rozier was 13 of 23 from the field, 5 of 9 on 3-pointers and helped close it out from the free-throw line.

 

The problem for Indiana was another slow start.

 

While Caris LeVert scored 27 points and Domantas Sabonis posted his 25th double-double this season with 15 points and 18 rebounds, Indiana lost for the fifth time in seven games and for the second straight time after facing an early double-digit deficit. Sabonis also had seven assists.

 

Charlotte never trailed after taking control with an early 15-3 run and then extending the margin to as much as 18 in the first half. They kept the Pacers at arm's length most of the rest of the game.

 

Though Indiana cut the halftime deficit to 71-57 and closed to 73-63 with a quick flurry to open the third quarter, the Pacers didn't get closer than 10 until Kelan Martin and Oshae Brissett made 3-pointers to pull Indiana within 87-82 in the final minute of the third.

 

Indiana got as close as four several times in the fourth quarter but never made it a one-possession game. Rozier helped the Hornets close it out from the free-throw line.

 

Rozier made five 3s and has at least four in a career-high five straight games. Gordon Hayward scored 18 points in his hometown. Jalen McDaniels finished with 12 points, a career-best fifth straight double-digit game. Charlotte shot 59.1% from the field in the first half, 51.8% for the game. It is 10-0 when making at least 50%.

 

Myles Turner and Brissett scored 14 points apiece. 

 

The Pacers host Chicago in a rare afternoon game New Year's Eve.

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Monticello Topples Tuscola for Holiday Hoopla Title

Monticello pulled away late beating Tuscola 50-34 for the 2021 Holiday Hoopla championship at Monticello High School.

 

Division-I prospect Jalen Quinn did not start for the Warriors and that allowed Monticello to open up a 9-0 lead but the gap to 22-21 with 1:34 to play in the second quarter and trailed 25-21 at the half.

 

A corner three-pointer by Easton Cunningham tied the game at 26 with 5:37 to go in the third but it was all Monticello the rest of the way. 

 

Ben Cresap forced Quinn into a turnover near midcourt and took it the distance for an easy layup to give the Sages the lead back. Tanner Buehnerkemper and Cresap scored the next five for Monticello on a jumper in the paint and a three at the top of the key to make it 35-26 Monticello.

 

The Sages would stretch the lead to 50-30 with 3:06 to play.

 

Buehnerkemper finished with a game-high 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Cresap scored 12 for Monticello

 

Quinn was limited to 15 points and turned it over five times to his three assists. As a team, the Warriors shot just 35-percent. 

 

The Sages scored 34 points in the paint and shot 54-percent from the floor. Despite being thoroughly outsized, Monticello also dominated the glass 27-15. 

 

The Sages undefeated run to start the season moves them to 14-0 while Tuscola falls to 11-3. 

 

Monticello takes its undefeated mark to Teutopolis next Tuesday night for a non-conference showdown with the Wooden Shoes. Game time is 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Maroons Use Stifling Defense to Get By Ridgeview for Seventh Place at Monticello Holiday Hoopla

The Clinton Maroons turned over the Ridgeview Mustangs 18 times and converted those turnovers into 24 points en route to a 58-47 victory for seventh place at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla at the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Ridgeview shot 43-percent from the floor and while the Maroons shot just 40-percent, they made nine three-pointers and 33 attempts to the Mustangs single three-point basket.

 

Clinton had 14 assists on its 22 field goals made. 

 

Mason Walker led Clinton with 23 points, five assists and five rebounds. 

Trevor Scott scored 14 points and Colton Walker finished with nine points and nine rebounds. 

 

The 1-14 Mustangs had three players score in double figures with Cam Kelly leading the way with 19 points. Cale Hoffman added 14 points and Jacob Whitehall added 12. 

 

The Maroons led for 22 minutes and 57 seconds improving to 5-10 overall. 

 

Clinton returns to action next week for three home games against LeRoy Tuesday night, Tuscola Friday night and Peoria Heights Saturday night as part of the New Year's Showdown at Clinton High School. 

 

Hear Friday's matchup against Tuscola on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, at the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa. 

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Maroa-Forsyth Holds Off Decatur LSA in Overtime

The Maroa-Forsyth Trojans needed overtime but were able to hold off Decatur LSA 66-64 Tuesday night from the Decatur St. Teresa Holiday tournament.

 

Zach Giles scored five of the Trojans nine overtime points, including a crucial three-point play. He finished with 12 points.

 

Egan Franzen scored 15 of his 32 points in the third quarter. 

 

Sophomore Stevie Tatum paced three Lions in double-figures with 16 points. Gannon Harshman added 15 points and AJ Massey added 11 points. 

 

The Lions drop to 9-4 overall while Maroa-Forsyth improves to 7-4. 

 

LSA will take on Hartburg-Emden for seventh place while the Trojans will play Mt. Pulaski for third place. 

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Monticello Rolls GCMS to Advance to Holiday Hoopla Championship

The Monticello Sages got off to the fast start they lacked in the first two games of the Holiday Hoopla and rolled GCMS 67-34 to advance to the tournament title game tomorrow night.

 

The Sages stormed to a 17-0 lead with 3:01 to play in the first quarter on a basket by Joey Sprinkle that put all five starters in the scoring column. 

 

Monticello scored 14 of its first 21 points in the paint and scored 11 points off turnovers in the opening frame.

 

Playing mostly its JV squad in the second quarter, Triston Foran scored five straight points to open the quarter and finished with all seven of his points in the second quarter. Drew Shepard came off the bench and scored six points.

 

Foran was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game. 

 

In 17 minutes, Ben Cresap scored 16 points to lead all scorers. Sprinkle and Tanner Buehnerkemper scored nine points apiece as Monticello ran its record to 13-0 on the season.

 

Monticello's 38 points in the paint helped the Sages shoot 52-percent from the floor. They turned 13 Falcons turnovers into 19 points and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds on the way to 14 second-chance points.

 

The Sages also dished out 13 assists to seven turnovers. 

 

Monticello moves on the tournament title game Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Maroons Struggle in Loss to Neoga

The Clinton Maroons struggled to find the bottom of the net and fell 64-41 in the final game of pool play at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla Tuesday afternoon.

 

The Maroons shot just 32-percent while the Indians were scorching hot shooting 62-percent from the floor. 

 

Paci McClure led Neoga with points and Luke Romack added ten points. 

 

Mason Walker paced Clinton with 16 points. Trevor Scott added nine points and Brooks Cluver finished with eight.

 

The Maroons finish pool play a frustrating 0-3 and drop to 4-11 overall. They'll play at 10 am on Wednesday at the Sievers Center in Monticello. 

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Illinois Big Man Cockburn Named Big Ten Player of the Week

Illinois junior center Kofi Cockburn has been named Big Ten Player of the Week after his dominating performance vs. Missouri. 

 

Cockburn recorded game-highs of 25 points, 14 rebounds and two steals in just 29 minutes, leading the Fighting Illini to a 25-point victory over Mizzou and helping the Orange and Blue reclaim the Braggin' Rights trophy.

 

Cockburn's 14 boards were the most by an Illini player in the 41-year history of the Braggin' Rights game. 

 

It was Cockburn's fourth game this season with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds. It also marked his seventh double-double in nine games.

 

Cockburn is the only player in the top five nationally in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 21.8 points (fifth) and 12.1 rebounds (third) so far this season. He also is one of just two players in the NCAA averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. 

 

This is the second Big Ten Player of the Week award of Cockburn's career (Nov. 25, 2019).

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Illinois Cancels Game with Florida A&M

The Illinois men's basketball home game vs. Florida A&M on Wednesday (Dec. 29) has been canceled due to positive COVID-19 results within the Illini program. The game will not be rescheduled.

 

The next scheduled game for Illinois is Sunday, Jan. 2 at Minnesota.

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Bulls Beat Hawks

DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, Zach LaVine added 30 and the Chicago Bulls won their fourth straight game, beating the short-handed Atlanta Hawks 130-118 on Monday night.

 

Cam Reddish finished with 33 points and Trae Young, cleared from health and safety protocols about 90 minutes before tipoff, returned to the starting lineup and scored 29 for Atlanta in the first game of a home-and-home set with the Bulls.

 

DeRozan was 14 for 20 from the field. LaVine, in his second game back after missing 15 days in protocols, went 11 for 21, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Nikola Vucevic got his 14th double-double with 24 points and 17 rebounds.

 

Vucevic banked in a 3 with 3:15 remaining to make it a 10-point lead and essentially put the game out of reach after DeRozan's 15-foot fadeaway jumper padded the lead at 126-116. Coby White's 3 from the left corner ended it with 1:19 left.

 

Matt Thomas' 3 gave the Bulls their biggest lead at 16 points in the closing minutes of the third, and the Hawks never really threatened the rest of the way, though two 3s by Reddish twice cut it to five early in the fourth. Reddish buried a 3 from the left wing to make it 108-105 before Vucevic hit consecutive 3s to push the lead to seven.

 

Young, who ranks fourth in the NBA with a 27.3 scoring average and third with 9.3 assists per game, returned two negative tests to be eligible to return. He missed the last three games after a positive COVID-19 test, and the Hawks went 1-2 without him.

 

The Bulls improved to 21-10, second-best in the Eastern Conference. They began the day 10 games over .500 for the first time since January 2016.

 

The Hawks began the day tied for 10th in the East and dropped to 15-18, losing their eighth in a row at home.

 

White's straightaway 3 gave the Bulls their first double-digit lead with 9:10 to go in the third. Vucevic's lay-in against Clint Capela made it 80-70, and Atlanta called a full timeout.

 

Young and Reddish combined for 23 points as Atlanta led 36-31 at the end of the first. DeRozan scored 15 in the period on 5-for-6 shooting.

 

The Bulls came back from an eight-point deficit to tie it at 46-all on Ayo Dosunmu's dunk midway through the second before LaVine hit a free throw to give Chicago a 55-54 lead. LaVine's 3 made it 58-56 and caused the Hawks to call timeout.

 

The lead swelled to 11 on LaVine's 3 and DeRozan's finger-roll in the closing minute before halftime. LaVine beat the second-quarter buzzer with a jumper that put the Bulls up 69-63 entering the third.

 

Chicago went 9 for 18 beyond the arc, and DeRozan and LaVine combined for 44 points in the first half. Vucevic got hot in the second half with 19 points.

 

Chicago had 22 assists and 10 turnovers. DeRozan had 10 assists and Vucevic chipped in six assists and four blocked shots.

 

The Bulls host Atlanta on Wednesday.

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Monticello Blows By Clinton

As heard on a special simulcast broadcast on WHOW and WEZC, Monticello shut out Clinton in the second quarter blew by the Maroons 62-24 in the second game of the first day at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla high school boy's basketball tournament from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

The 17-0 quarter helped Monticello rotate in its juniors throughout the game. In 19 minutes, Ben Cresap led all scorers with 14 points. Trevor Fox continued his stellar play finishing with 10 points. 

 

The Sages defense held the Maroons to a 19-percent shooting percentage and just 6-for-27 from distance. 

 

Monticello outrebounded Clinton 40-21 and turned the Maroons over 10 times for 17 points off turnovers. Scoring 36-points in the paint, Monticello shot a 52-percent clip for the game.

 

Mason Walker led the Maroons with 10 points. Brooks Cluver was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPor Player of the Game for Clinton.

 

Cresap won his second straight award for Monticello.

 

Clinton falls to 4-10 overall and is 0-for-2 in Hoopla pool play. They'll finish pool play taking on Neoga Tuesday at 2 pm. 

 

Monticello is now 12-0 and can clinch a spot in the tournament championship game with a win Tuesday over GCMS. Game time is 3:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Lady Maroons Over Lady Sages at Holiday Hoopla

As heard on WHOW/WEZC, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Monticello Lady Sages by a score of 58-23 on Monday night. The ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt Counties Player of the Game Mallory Cyrulik led all scorers with 21 points. Kaitlyn Rauch added 19 and Makayla Koeppel chipped in with 8.

 

Leading scorer for the Monticello Sages was ServPro Player of the Game Lizzie Stiverson with 9 points.

 

With the win, Clinton improves to 15-2 on the season and will play Neoga tomorrow at 3:30pm. Monticello falls to 8-6 and will play GCMS at 2pm Tuesday.

 

Our next broadcast for the Lady Maroons is Monday, January 3, against Mt. Pulaski at 7:30pm. You can hear the game live on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, on dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

 

Tune in Thursday, January 6, as the Lady Sages take on Bloomington Central Catholic. You can hear the game live at 6pm on Your Easy Choice 95.9 FM WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com.

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Monticello Gets By Neoga

Monticello used a strong defensive effort and overcame foul trouble to down Neoga 51-37 in Holiday Hoopla boy's basketball action Monday from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Neoga didn't record a field goal in the first quarter and scored all five of its points at the free-throw line. The Indians finished 14-for-17 from the foul line, a large reason they were able to be competitive throughout. 

 

They came alive from three-point range in the second half shooting 2-for-3 from three in the third quarter and 3-for-6 in the fourth quarter but it was too-little-too-late for Neoga. 

 

The Sages still outscored the Indians 15-12 in the third quarter and 12-even in the fourth quarter. 

 

Ben Cresap paced the Sages once again with 24 points, six rebounds, and two steals and was the ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt County Player of the Game.

 

Tanner Buehnerkemper scored 10 points for Monticello.

 

With his 12 points, Neoga senior Paci McClure went over 1,000 career points. 

 

Neoga takes on GCMS tonight at 6 pm and Monticello will play Clinton at 7:30 pm.

 

Hear tonights' Sages action on both WHOW and WEZC as well as the online platforms of dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.

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GCMS Rallies Past Clinton at Monticello Holiday Hoopla

GCMS used a big second half to stifle the Clinton Maroons 58-52 in day one action from the Monticello Holiday Hoopla.

 

The Maroons used a big 14-4 second quarter to open a 29-20 lead at halftime but GCMS rallied with the second half and the Clinton struggled to score late allowing the Falcons to hold on.

 

Mason Walker led all scorers with 24 points for Clinton. Brooks Cluver added 11 points. 

 

The Maroons shot just 3-for-17 from the floor in the fourth quarter and went 0-for-7 from distance. They shot 36-percent for the game and finished 8-for-27 from three for the game.

 

The Falcons didn't shoot much better, scoring at only a 43-percent clip and went 3-for-13 from three but dominated the glass 43-25 and finished 17-for-24 at the foul line. GCMS grabbed 14 offensive rebounds. 

 

GCMS improves to 6-4 overall while Clinton drops to 4-9.

 

The Falcons will take on Neoga tonight. Clinton will play Monticello at 7:30 pm. Hear the action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, on 95.9 FM WEZC, online at dewittdailynews.com, at the WHOW mobile app and on Amazon Alexa.

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Monticello Annual Holiday Hoopla BBall Tournament Fundraiser for Athletic Boosters

Today opens the annual Monticello Holiday Hoopla basketball tournament at Monticello High School.

 

The annual tournament that welcomes eight teams in a boy's and girl's round-robin pool is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Monticello Athletic Boosters. President of the Booster Club Angie Bundy says they start in September engaging other programs in the school along with the community. 

 

 

The Monticello Athletics Booster Club supports programs within the high school. Bundy indicates they've helped with everything from apparel for programs to maps for wrestling and rarely are they not in a position to help a program with a request.

 

 

This year's hoopla will allow Monticello to showcase the new Sievers Center to a large audience for perhaps the first time. Monticello boy's basketball coach Kevin Roy is excited about the prospect of getting a feel for all the excitement in the new facility.

 

 

The Clinton boy's and girls' basketball squads will participate in the hoopla again this year. The Maroons are pooled with Neoga, GMCS, and Monticello for both the boys and girls. The other girl's pool consists of Ridgeview, PBL, Stark County, and Tuscola. The other boy's pool features Ridgeview, PBL, Oakwood, and Tuscola.

 

The Sages begin their slate with an 11:30 start time Monday on the boy's side taking on Neoga and then play again Monday at 7:30 pm taking on Clinton. They'll resume play Tuesday at 3:30 pm playing GMCS and based on how they finish in pool play, will play Wednesday.

 

On the girl's side, the Lady Sages open pool play at 10 am against Neoga, then play the Lady Maroons of Clinton at 6 pm. They'll be back in action Tuesday at 2 pm against GCMS and like the boys, based on how they finish will play Wednesday in a placement game.

 

The Maroons boy's team opens play on Monday at 10 am taking on GCMS then as mentioned at 7:30 pm taking on Monticello. They'll be back in action Tuesday playing Neoga at 2 pm and finishing the tournament Wednesday with a start time to be determined based on their finish in pool play. 

 

Hear the Sages boy's basketball team throughout the Hoopla on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

On Monday evening, hear a special simulcast broadcast of Monticello and Clinton girl's and boy's basketball starting at 6 pm on WEZC as well as on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app, and at Amazon Alexa followed by a simulcast of the boy's basketball matchup between Clinton and Monticello. 

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Bears Rally Past Seahawks

Jimmy Graham caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Foles with 1:01 remaining, Damiere Byrd made an acrobatic reception for the 2-point conversion, and the Chicago Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks 25-24 on Sunday.

 

Making his first start since last season, Foles led the Bears 80 yards in the closing minutes, capping the drive with his TD toss to Graham, who spent three seasons with the Seahawks. Graham posted up a pair of smaller defensive backs to make the catch in the corner of the end zone, his third TD of the season.

 

On the 2-point attempt, Foles threw late, but Byrd got his knee down in the end zone with multiple Seattle defenders trying to push him over the backline.

 

Foles started seven games for Chicago last season before a hip injury suffered in Week 10. His only other action came in a Week 16 blowout win over Jacksonville on Dec. 27, when he was in for a handful of snaps and threw one pass.

 

Foles started against the Seahawks after rookie Justin Fields was ruled with an ankle injury.

 

Foles finished 24 of 35 for 250 yards, and David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert each had rushing touchdowns. Montgomery had 21 carries for 45 yards and seven receptions for 61 yards. The Bears (5-10) had lost three straight and seven of their previous eight.

 

It was a stunning conclusion to rare snow game in Seattle that eliminated the Seahawks (5-10) from the NFC playoff picture. Seattle was already assured of a losing season, and coach Pete Carroll reached double-digit losses for the first time in his tenure.

 

Russell Wilson was 16 of 27 for 181 yards and two touchdowns, including the first TD for DK Metcalf since Oct. 31, a 41-yarder in the first quarter. Gerald Everett caught a 24-yard TD late in the third quarter that gave Seattle a 24-14 lead.

 

Rashaad Penny rushed for 135 yards and a score for the Seahawks, who lost for the second time in five days. Last Tuesday's game at the Rams was pushed back two days because of Los Angeles' COVID-19 issues.

 

Seattle entered with a mathematical shot at reaching the playoffs but couldn't hold onto a 17-7 halftime lead. Jason Myers missed a 39-yard field-goal try midway through the fourth quarter that would have given Seattle a 10-point lead. That came after Wilson was sacked by Robert Quinn with Seattle inside the Chicago 10 on third down.

 

Given the chance to rally, Foles came through. The Bears took over at their own 20 with 2:56 left. Foles hit Darnell Mooney for 30 yards, and a roughing-the-passer penalty moved Chicago to the Seattle 35 in one play. Foles connected with Montgomery on consecutive plays and Chicago was at the Seattle 11 with 2 minutes remaining.

 

After a strip-sack by Carlos Dunlap that Chicago recovered, Foles hit Graham on third-and-14 and Nagy didn't hesitate to go for 2.

 

Quinn has 17 sacks, tied for the second-most in Bears history behind Richard Dent's 17 1/2 in 1984. Quinn has 15 career sacks against Seattle.

 

The Bears host the New York Giants next Sunday.

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Bulls Get By Pacers

Zach LaVine scored 32 points in his return from the NBA's health and safety protocols, DeMar DeRozan added 24 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 113-105 on Sunday night.

 

Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls (20-10) won their third straight.

 

Caris LeVert scored 27 points and Domantas Sabonis had 14 points and 16 rebounds after missing a game with a right calf injury as the Pacers dropped their third straight game.

 

Chicago had a comfortable lead throughout most of the game before Indiana pulled within 108-100 on a 3-pointer by LeVert with 3:19 to play. LaVine answered with a 20-footer and, after a miss by the Pacers, added another basket to essentially put the game away.

 

It was LaVine's first game since Dec. 11. However, he missed just two games because the Bulls had three games postponed during his absence. He also missed time last season because of COVID-19.

 

Rookie Ayo Dosunmu, who also returned from the health and safety protocols, came off the bench to score six points in 24 minutes.

 

Chicago was without starter Lonzo Ball and reserves Alfonzo McKinnie and Tony Bradley, who entered health and safety protocols on Sunday. Ball was the only player to appear in all 29 games before Sunday.

 

The Bulls were also without coach Billy Donovan, who entered the protocols on Friday. Assistant Chris Fleming filled in.

 

The Pacers were without leading scorer Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) and Jeremy Lamb (wrist).

 

Indiana won 109-77 in the first meeting between the teams, on Nov. 22 at the United Center.

 

Chicago got off to a hot shooting start in the opening periods and led 63-48 at the half. The Bulls were 26 for 41 from the field (63.4 percent), including 6 for 12 on 3-pointers.

 

Indiana turned up the defensive pressure at the start of the second half and pulled within 83-75 with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

 

Coby White hit a pair of free throws and DeRozan added a 14-footer to build the lead back to 87-75, but the Pacers scored the final four points of the quarter to make it 87-79 entering the fourth.

 

Tyler Cook opened the scoring in the final quarter with a dunk and DeRozan added a pair of free throws on the next possession to stretch the lead to 91-79. A short time later, DeRozan hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers to make it 95-81 with nine minutes to go.

 

The Bulls found a way to win, just as they have throughout the virus outbreak.

 

The Pacers host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday while the Bulls are at the Atlanta Hawks on Monday

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Rodgers sets team record as Packers hold off Browns 24-22

The Packers intercepted Baker Mayfield four times in a 24-22 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Saturday. Cleveland nearly came all the way back from a 12-point second-half deficit before Douglas' second interception of the day sealed the game with 43 seconds left.

 

Aaron Rodgers went 24 of 34 for 202 yards with three touchdown passes to increase his career total to 445. 

 

But it was Green Bay's defense that clinched this victory by sacking Mayfield five times and forcing him into his first career four-interception performance. All three touchdowns by the Packers (12-3) came after Mayfield interceptions.

 

Mayfield was 21 of 36 for 222 yards with two touchdowns as well as those four picks in his return from the reserve/COVID-19 list, which caused him to miss a 16-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday.

 

Nick Chubb ran for 126 yards and a touchdown to lead the Browns' 219-yard rushing effort that kept them in the game.

 

The Browns (7-8) trailed 24-22 and had third-and-10 at the 50 when Douglas picked off Mayfield's pass intended for Donovan Peoples-Jones at the 40.

 

Darnell Savage and Chandon Sullivan also had interceptions. Rashan Gary had two of the Packers' five sacks against the Browns, whose offensive line was decimated with left tackle Jedrick Wills and center JC Tretter both on the COVID-19 list.

 

Rodgers later threw two touchdown passes to Davante Adams, who had 10 catches for 114 yards.

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Turner, LeVert lead short-handed Pacers over Rockets 118-106

Myles Turner had 32 points and 10 rebounds, Caris LeVert had 24 points and 11 assists, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 118-106 Thursday night.

 

Turner made 14 of 18 shots as the Pacers hit 52.8% from the field. Chris Duarte scored 18 points and Jeremy Lamb had 16 for Indiana, which played without starters Malcolm Brogdon (sore right Achilles tendon) and Domantas Sabonis (sore right calf).

 

Christian Wood scored 22 points for Houston, and Jalen Green added 20 in his return after missing nearly a month with a strained hamstring. Jae'Sean Tate had 18 points, and Eric Gordon scored 15.

 

The Rockets led 94-91 after three quarters, but the Pacers opened the fourth with a 10-2 run and maintained control the rest of the way.

 

Indiana won the rebounding battle 47-28.

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Browns face plenty of uncertainty as they head to Green Bay

The Cleveland Browns (7-7) can give their fading postseason hopes a major boost by winning Saturday as they attempt to hand the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers (11-3) their first home loss of the season.

 

Cleveland is attempting to bounce back from a 16-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders that was decided by a field goal on the game's final play.

 

While the Browns are trying to stay in the playoff picture, the Packers also have plenty at stake in this Christmas Day contest.

 

Green Bay already has secured its third straight NFC North title, but is competing for the top seed in the conference playoffs, which would give the Packers a first-round postseason bye. The Packers are seeking their first Super Bowl berth since their 2010 title run after losing in the NFC championship game each of the last two years.

 

The Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all one game behind Green Bay in the conference standings.

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Seahawks host Bears facing likelihood of meaningless games

Barring a confluence of unexpected results playing out over the next three weeks, it seems almost certain the Seattle Seahawks won't be going to the playoffs for only the third time in Pete Carroll's tenure.

 

That stretch of what looks to be meaningless games for Seattle begins Sunday with hosting the Chicago Bears. It's the conclusion of a brutally short week for the Seahawks (5-9) following their rescheduled loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Tuesday night and limited recovery time before facing the Bears.

 

But it's also the week during which reality is likely setting in for the Seahawks. Seattle is not officially eliminated from the postseason, but could be by kickoff Sunday. The loss to the Rams ended a realistic path to the postseason for a franchise whose minimum expectation is reaching the playoffs.

 

Only once since the arrival of Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner in 2012 have the Seahawks played a meaningless regular season game where there wasn't some type of postseason implications involved.

 

The Bears (4-10) are in the same position of playing out the final few weeks with nothing at stake. Chicago being in this position was probably expected, unlike the fall of the Seahawks being among the more unexpected results league wide.

 

But while there is handwringing about Seattle's future, the final few weeks are an opportunity for Chicago to learn more about its rookie quarterback and how much growth Justin Fields can show over these final three games.

 

The past few weeks have seen flashes of what the Bears hope is the future with Fields, mixed with the mistakes that become amplified when a young quarterback is on a struggling team.

 

Fields suffered a sprained ankle in the loss to Minnesota and said he intends on playing against Seattle. If the ankle proves more bothersome than Fields expected, the Bears did get a boost with the return of Andy Dalton from the reserve/COVID-19 list this week.

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Maroa-Forsyth falls to Heyworth

The Maroa-Forsyth Trojans fell to the Heyworth Hornets by a score of 55-53 on Wednesday night at the St. Teresa Holiday Tournament.

 

The Trojans were led by Egan Franzen with 20 points. Ethan Willoughby had 14 points.

 

Heyworth was led by Ian Ohler with 22 points. 

 

With the loss, Maroa-Forsyth falls to 21-22. Heyworth improves to 21-22.

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Roberts scores 26 to power Bradley past UTEP 73-66

Terry Roberts had a season-high 26 points and added 11 rebounds as Bradley defeated UTEP 73-66 in the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational on Wednesday night.

 

Malevy Leons pitched in with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Braves (7-6). Jayson Kent added 10 points.

 

Keonte Kennedy had 16 points for the Miners (7-5). Souley Boum and Jorell Saterfield both scored 11.

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Cockburn, Plummer lead llinois past Missouri 88-63

Kofi Cockburn scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double and Illinois breezed to an 88-63 victory over Missouri on Wednesday night in the 41st edition of the Braggin' Rights game.

 

It was the 35th double-double of Cockburn's career. Cockburn came into the game averaging 21.4 points per game.

 

Alfonso Plummer pitched in with 22 points for Illinois. However, he saw his run of 35 straight made free throws end on his third attempt against Missouri (6-6). Trent Frazier added 15 points.

 

Cockburn and Plummer both scored 10 points to help the Illini take a 40-26 lead at halftime. Illinois flirted with its largest margin of victory in the series - a 32-point win in 2005 - before Missouri scored the final eight points of the game.

 

Illinois shot 57% overall and 48% from beyond the arc (12 of 25). It was the sixth straight game that the Illini have made at least 11 3-pointers. 

 

Jarron Coleman led Missouri with 16 points off the bench. Kobe Brown scored 13, but he made just 5 of 17 shots, including 1 of 7 from distance. Trevon Brazile scored 11.

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Maroons win 'War on 54' 69-18

As heard on WHOW, The Clinton Maroons defeated the Route 54 rival Blue Ridge Knights 69-18 at Clinton High School Wednesday afternoon. The Maroons jumped early to lead 23-0 in the first quarter and never looked back. At the half, the Maroons led 40-7. 

 

ServPro of Piatt and DeWitt Counties Player of the Game Trevor Scott led Clinton with 16 points. Sophomore Mason Walker added 16 points and freshman Khanton Wilson had 9.

 

Blue Ridge was led by Zach Lewis with 5 points.

 

With the win, the Maroons improve to 4-8 for the year. Blue Ridge drops to 2-8 on the season.

 

Tune in Monday, December 27, as the Maroons take on Monticello in the Monticello Holiday Hoopla. You can hear the special simulcast broadcast at 7:30pm on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, and Your Easy Choice 95.9 FM WEZC, streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Maroa-Forsyth Gets By Riverton

Egan Franzen scored 16 of his 26 points in the first half helping propel Maroa-Forsyth past Riverton 70-59 in the first game of the Decatur St. Teresa Holiday Tournament Tuesday night.

 

The Trojans opened up a 31-21 halftime advantage thanks to eight points in each frame from Franzen. Kaiden Maurer scored all 12 of his points in the second half and Zayn Giles added 14 for Maroa-Forsyth. 

 

Garrett Yard scored 20 points for the Hawks while Zach Hines added 18 points. 

 

The Trojans are now 6-3 overall. They will take on Heyworth in the second game of the tournament tonight at 7:30 pm. 

 

High School boy's basketball scores from Tuesday:

 

Illini Bluffs 51

Peoria Heights 35

 

Elmwood-Brimfield 50

Dunlap 35

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 53

Bismarck-Henning 37

 

Pana 64

Auburn 49

 

Neoga 51

Shelbyville 28

 

Moline 95

Urbana 62

 

Williamsville 52

Athens 47

 

Taylorville 53

Effingham 46

 

Brownstown 52

Central A & M 43

 

Taylorville 53

Effingham 46

 

Cerro Gordo-Bement 56

Fisher 28

 

Lincoln 33

Chatham-Glenwood 27

 

Tuscola 44

Arcola 28

 

Morton 59

Olympia 20

 

Decatur Eisenhower 51

Champaign Central 38

 

Bloomington 58

Rantoul 56

 

Decatur LSA 61

Heyworth 54

 

Goreville 69

Meridian 56

 

Ridgeview 61

Dwight 57

 

Girl's basketball scores from Tuesday

 

Williamsville 57

Lincolnwood 30

 

Metamora 29

Dixon 22

 

Mt. Zion 54

Shelbyville 53

 

Iroquois West 62

Danville Schlarman 18

 

Metamora 29

Dixon 22

 

Normal West 53

Limestone 41

 

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond 50

Windsor/Stewardson-Strasburg 25

 

Normal U-High 43

Maine East 22

 

Goreville 69

Meridian 56

 

Normal University 43

Maine East 22

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Clinton Hosts Blue Ridge Tonight at Clinton High School

'The War on 54' returns this afternoon when the Clinton Maroons boy's basketball team hosts Blue Ridge for an afternoon matinee.

 

You have to go back to November of 2018 when the two DeWitt County rivals last matched up in a 46-35 win for the Knights at the Cerro Gordo Thanksgiving Tournament. Prior to that, the two sides matched up at the former Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in December of 2014, a 57-55 for the Maroons.

 

The last time the game was played in DeWitt County, Blue Ridge rolled Clinton 73-50 in a win at Blue Ridge High School in December of 2013. 

 

The Knights are led by former Maroons Colten Reeves who has his team at 2-7 on the season. Most recently, they fell to Armstrong Monday, 70-32. The Knights have battled a couple of bouts with COVID this season, limiting their floor time so far.

 

As for Clinton, the Maroons are coming off a contentious 64-54 win over Argenta-Oreana last Thursday in Argenta.

 

The win improved the Maroons to 3-8 overall. 

 

Game time this afternoon is at 3:30 pm. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW Mobile App and at Amazon Alexa.

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Heat Roll Pacers

Tyler Herro scored 26 points in his return from a three-game absence with a bruised thigh, Duncan Robinson tied a season-high with 26 points and the Miami Heat rolled past the Indiana Pacers 125-96 on Tuesday night.

 

Miami tied a franchise record with 22 made 3-pointers, the fourth time the Heat have made that many.

 

Max Strus scored 18 points, KZ Okpala scored 16 and Kyle Lowry finished with eight points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists for Miami. Omer Yurtseven added 13 rebounds for the Heat, who had 30 assists.

 

Chris Duarte and Caris LeVert each scored 17 for Indiana, which got 14 points from Oshae Brissett and 12 points from Domantas Sabonis. Indiana lost Malcolm Brogdon in the first half with more soreness in his right Achilles, something that has been bothering him. He had one point and two assists in eight minutes, and when he left the game it was quickly determined that he couldn't return.

 

The Heat finished 22 of 49 from 3-point range, with Udonis Haslem making the record-tying shot with 1:36 left. The Heat, without starters Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and P.J. Tucker, got 75 points from undrafted players.

 

The Pacers host Houston on Thursday.

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Monticello Holds Off Warrensburg-Latham

In a game heard on WEZC, the Monticello Sages used a big second-quarter and held on in the second half for a 54-36 win over Warrensburg-Latham in non-conference boy's basketball action from Warrensburg-Latham High School Tuesday.

 

The led 11-6 after the first quarter and opened a 28-15 lead at halftime but the Cardinals picked up the defensive intensity in the second half played within a double-digit deficit most of the rest of the way and the Sages made free throws late and took advantage of aggressive defense to score easy baskets to put the game away.

 

Trevor Fox led the Sages in scoring with a career-high 14 points. Dylan Ginalick scored 13 points, Joey Sprinkle added 11 points and Ben Cresap scored 10 points. 

 

Sprinkle and Cresap grabbed six boards apiece.

 

Jacob Sarver scored 11 points to lead Warrensburg-Latham and Jacob Six added ten points.

 

The Sages outrebounded the Cardinals 24-17. 

 

Trison Foran had three steals and four assists off the bench and was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game.

 

The Cardinals drop to 10-2 overall.

 

Monticello improves to 10-0 overall and will be back in action for a doubleheader next Monday when they open Holiday Hoopla play at Monticello High School taking on Neoga at 11:30 pm followed by Clinton at 7:30 pm.

Hear both games on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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UPDATED: Lady Maroons Win at Buzzer Over EPG

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons came from behind to beat El Paso-Gridley Lady Titans 37-32 Monday night. 

 

Senior Kaitlyn Rauch led with 14 points. Piatt/DeWitt Counties ServPro Player of the Game Heidi Humble dropped in 11. Senior Mallory Cyrulik added 9.

 

El Paso-Gridley was led by senior Michaela Kelly with 17 points.

 

The Lady Maroons beat EPG for the first time since 2009 and go 13-2. With the loss, El Paso ends their four-game streak and drops to 6-5.

 

The Lady Maroons next play Monday, December 27, at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla.

 

Tune in Wednesday, December 22, as the Maroons take on the Blue Ridge Knights. You can hear the game live at 3:30pm on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW mobile app.

 

Girl's basketball scores from Monday:

 

Ridgeview 32

Roanoke-Benson 16

 

Williamsville 50

Illini Central 33

 

Tolono Unity 55

Warrensburg-Latham 42

 

Heyworth 36

Cerro Gordo-Bement 28

 

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 44

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 15

 

North Mac 41

Southwestern 31

 

Champaign St. Thomas More 53

Danville Schlarman 5

 

Armstrong 70

Blue Ridge 32

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Monticello Travels to CIC-Leading Warrensburg-Latham Tonight

It'll be one of the top games of the early season slate tonight when the Monticello Sages travel to Central Illinois Conference-leading Warrensburg-Latham for a non-conference showdown in boy's high school basketball action.

 

The Sages are coming off a couple of impressive weekend victories in Greenville. Monticello trailed Carlyle 27-18 at the half in the first game of a double-dip but dominated the second half and pulled away with a 57-39 win.

 

They then rolled past Greenville in the second game, 72-44. The Sages are 9-0 overall.

 

The Cardinals started the season 10-0 but lost last night in non-conference action to Mt. Zion, 66-63. 

 

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

 

Boy's basketball scores from Monday:

 

East Peoria 62

Canton 44

 

Lincoln 54

Jacksonville 22

 

Roanoke-Benson 62

Peoria Heights 43

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Vikings Down Bears

Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes, and the Minnesota Vikings beat the struggling and short-handed Chicago Bears 17-9 on Monday night.

 

The Vikings (7-7), part of a tight pack of teams vying for one of the NFC's seven playoff spots, were in line for their most lopsided win before Justin Fields threw a touchdown pass to Jesper Horsted on the game's final play.

 

That score aside, Minnesota withstood several scoring threats by Chicago down the stretch coming off a win over Pittsburgh in which the Vikings nearly blew a 29-0 lead.

 

The Vikings' final three games are at home against the Los Angeles Rams and at NFC North champion Green Bay before they host Chicago in the finale. The result in this one was hardly a surprise given the state of the Bears (4-10).

 

Chicago lost for the eighth time in nine games, and with 14 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, that seemed inevitable. Receiver Allen Robinson was on it, as was the starting secondary.

 

The health issues also hit the coaching staff, with all three coordinators testing positive for the coronavirus during the week. Defensive coordinator Sean Desai was cleared to return hours before kickoff. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was not cleared, so Nagy called plays. And special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was out.

 

Cousins, who struggled last week, didn't exactly dominate in this one. He was 12 of 24 for 87 yards with an interception and got sacked four times. The two-time Pro Bowler also connected with Justin Jefferson for a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter and threw a 7-yarder to Ihmir Smith-Marsette in the third.

 

Dalvin Cook ran for 89 yards, after going for 205 against Pittsburgh in a sooner-than-expected return from a dislocated shoulder.

 

D.J. Wonnum had a career-high three sacks and the Vikings recovered three fumbles on the way to their second straight win after back-to-back losses.

 

Fields threw for 285 yards and ran for 35 in his second game back after missing two with broken ribs. The rookie completed 26 of 39 passes playing behind a line missing both starting tackles, with right tackle Larry Borom on the COVID list and left tackle Jason Peters out with an ankle injury.

 

Robert Quinn and Akiem Hicks each had two sacks. Quinn has 16 this year, leaving him just shy of Hall of Famer Richard Dent's franchise record of 17 1/2 in 1984.

 

But Chicago committed nine penalties for 91 yards in a sloppy performance that had fans again booing at times and making their feelings about coach Matt Nagy known, chanting ''Fire Nagy!''

 

The Bears visit Seattle on Sunday.

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Bulls Topple Rockets

DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Houston Rockets 133-118 on Monday night.

 

DeRozan, who scored 38 points in Sunday's win over the Lakers after missing three games due to the NBA's COVID-19 protocols, received help from five teammates who scored in double figures.

 

The Bulls never trailed and led by 25 during the first half. They have won two consecutive games and six of their last eight.

 

Christian Wood had 23 points and 11 rebounds, but the Rockets lost for the fifth time in seven games. Jae'Sean Tate added 16 points.

 

Bulls guard Alex Caruso sprained his left foot with 5:56 remaining in the first quarter, went to the locker room and didn't return.

 

After the game, Bulls coach Billy Donovan wasn't sure about the severity of Caruso's injury.

 

Donovan was mindful of the minutes logged by several starters in Sunday's win over the Lakers following a seven-day layoff caused by the NBA's coronavirus protocols. He inserted Alfonzo McKinnie after Caruso departed, and McKinnie sank two consecutive 3-pointers.

 

The reserves accounted for 32 of the Bulls' 73 first-half points and finished with 66, with McKinnie's third 3-pointer giving the Bulls their biggest lead of the half at 61-36.

 

Coby White, in his second game since returning from protocols, came off the bench to score 24 points. McKinnie finished with 16.

 

Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball had 19 points and eight assists.

 

Bulls center Nikola Vucevic, who entered Monday's game shooting 32% from the field (24 for 75) in his last four games, scored 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting.

 

Josh Christopher's two free throws cut the Rockets' deficit to 30-26, but the Bulls embarked on a 15-2 run, punctuated by a basket by Ball that prompted a Rockets timeout.

 

The Rockets lost for the fourth time in 13 games when scoring at least 110 points. They fell to 3-14 on the road.

 

The Bulls visit Toronto on Wednesday.

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Lady Maroons Score Buzzer Beating Win against EPG

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons came from behind to beat El Paso-Gridley Lady Titans 37-32 Monday night. Senior Kaitlyn Rauch led with 14 points. DeWitt/Piatt Counties ServPro Player of the Game Heidi Humble dropped in 11. Senior Mallory Cyrulik added 9.

 

El Paso-Gridley were led by senior Michaela Kelly with 17 points.

 

The Lady Maroons beat EPG for the first time since 2009 and go 13-2. With the loss, El Paso ends their four-game streak and drops to 6-5.

 

Lady Maroons next play Monday, December 27, at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla.

 

Tune in Wednesday, December 22, as the Maroons take on the Blue Ridge Knights. You can hear the game live at 3:30pm on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW mobile app.

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Clinton Boy's Baseball Team to Play at Busch Stadium This Spring

The Clinton boy's baseball team will get a chance to play at Busch Stadium this spring.

 

Coach John Hickman makes it a point to try to get the kids this opportunity about every other year and this year they will play Greenville on Saturday, April 30.

 

 

Coach Hickman believes this experience will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of his players and about everyone looks forward to it. He gives everyone on his team the opportunity to play and has an incentive for those players that are able to sell the most tickets.

 

 

The teams have a two-hour time limit or they can play nine innings whichever comes first. Coach Hickman says he is not sure how a potential lockout for Major League Baseball that might linger into the spring would impact the ability to get to St. Louis and play at Busch Stadium this spring. 

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Packers Hold Off Ravens

Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes - tying Brett Favre on Green Bay's career list - and the Packers became the first team this season to clinch a division title when they beat Baltimore 31-30 on Sunday. Green Bay nearly squandered a 14-point lead in the final quarter but held on when the Ravens missed a 2-point conversion in the final minute.

 

The Packers have won the NFC North three straight seasons.

 

With Lamar Jackson out with a sprained ankle, Tyler Huntley nearly led Baltimore (8-6) all the way back from a 31-17 deficit. His 8-yard touchdown run with 42 seconds left pulled the Ravens within one, but Huntley's 2-point conversion pass was incomplete.

 

It was the third consecutive loss for Baltimore, which also fell to Pittsburgh two weekends ago on a missed 2-point conversion in the final seconds. The Ravens dropped into a first-place tie in the AFC North with Cincinnati. Cleveland could join that group atop the division with a win Monday night against Las Vegas.

 

Ravaged this season by injuries - especially in the secondary - Baltimore faced a difficult task trying to stop Rodgers and the Green Bay receivers. The Ravens mounted enough time-consuming drive of their own to keep the game close, but the Packers had the ball first after a 14-14 halftime tie and took advantage.

 

Baltimore appeared to have Green Bay (11-3) stopped on a third-down incompletion, but minimal contact by Kevon Seymour was enough for a pass interference flag. Rodgers found Aaron Jones for a 9-yard touchdown on the next play.

 

The Ravens drove into Green Bay territory before another devastating penalty. With Baltimore running the ball effectively and preparing to go on fourth-and-1 in the red zone, Ben Cleveland committed a false start. The Ravens settled for a field goal, and Green Bay drove 88 yards, taking an 11-point lead on an 11-yard pass from Rodgers to Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

 

That was Rodgers' 442nd touchdown pass, pulling him even with Favre. He went 23 of 31 for 268 yards. Rodgers has thrown for 13 touchdowns without an interception over his last four games and didn't appear the slightest bit limited by his toe injury.

 

Down 31-17, the Ravens began their comeback when Huntley ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 4:47 remaining. Then they got the ball back and scored again.

 

Huntley threw for 215 yards and two first-half touchdowns to Mark Andrews. The first, which gave Baltimore a 7-0 lead, was the first time in eight games the Ravens scored an opening-quarter TD.

 

A 9-yard pass to Andrews gave Baltimore a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, but Rodgers answered with a 3-yard scoring pass to Davante Adams.

 

Andrews had 10 catches for 136 yards and two TDs.

 

The Packers host Cleveland on Saturday.

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Bears Host Vikings on Monday Night Football

The Minnesota Vikings (6-7) barely avoided an epic collapse last week in a 36-28 victory over Pittsburgh. They led 29-0 on a Thursday night, then hung on when they forced an incomplete pass in the end zone on the final play.

 

Ben Roethlisberger threw a perfect pass to Pat Freiermuth. Safety Harrison Smith hit the rookie tight end and dislodged the ball as Xavier Woods and Anthony Barr converged, and the Vikings came out on top in yet another nail-biter.

 

Now, they'll try not to stumble when they visit the struggling Chicago Bears on Monday night.

 

The only time this year Minnesota has had a game decided by more than eight points was a 30-17 victory over Seattle in late September. The Vikings have four losses by three points or less.

 

Along with all those close calls, Minnesota is part of a tight pack vying for one of the NFC's seven playoff spots. Six teams in the conference have six or seven wins.

 

The Bears (4-9), meanwhile, are reeling with seven losses in eight games. They fell 45-30 at Green Bay last week after getting dominated in the second half.

 

Prized quarterback Justin Fields had his moments after missing the previous two games because of broken ribs, throwing for 224 yards and running for 74 more. He also had an interception returned for a 55-yard touchdown by Rasul Douglas.

 

Now, he figures to be tested by a defense with a league-leading 41 sacks.

 

Both teams are dealing with COVID issues.

 

The Bears had six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list through Wednesday, including nose tackle Eddie Goldman, cornerback Artie Burns, defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. and right tackle Larry Borom.

 

The Vikings had 16 players shelved by virus protocols in less than six weeks. Nine had returned.

 

Receiver/punt returner Dede Westbrook was added to the list Tuesday, a day after running back Alexander Mattison and wide receiver/special teams ace Dan Chisena went on it.

 

Vikings star receiver Adam Thielen missed the most recent game with a sprained ankle. It was unclear when he'll return.

 

Game time is 7:15 local time.

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Bulls Return from COVID Pause with Win Over Lakers

DeMar DeRozan scored 38 points after missing two weeks in the NBA's health and safety protocols, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 115-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.

 

Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Lonzo Ball added 19 points as the Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak. It was Chicago's first game since Dec. 11 after two were postponed.

 

LeBron James had 31 points, Carmelo Anthony added 21 and Russell Westbrook 20 as Los Angeles dropped its second straight.

 

With the Bulls trailing by a point in the final minute, DeRozan hit an 18-footer for a 111-110 lead with 52 seconds remaining. Following a Lakers miss, DeRozan missed a shot but then was fouled with 15.6 seconds left after Ball grabbed the offensive rebound. DeRozan then hit both free throws for a 113-110 edge.

 

Like much of the first two months of the season, the Bulls turned to DeRozan in crunch time and he delivered.

 

Before having two games postponed last week because of a COVID-19 outbreak, the Bulls had 10 players in the health and safety protocols. That number is down to four right now, including All-Star Zach LaVine.

 

Although the Lakers haven't had any games postponed, they currently have six players - Kent Bazemore, Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker. Dwight Howard, Malik Monk and Austin Reaves - and coach Frank Vogel in the health and safety protocols.

 

Chicago led nearly the entire first half and by as much as 10 points before taking a 61-59 halftime lead. The Lakers went ahead 65-64 early in the third quarter on a floater by Isaiah Thomas.

 

The teams traded baskets and leads for the remainder of the quarter before Los Angeles took an 84-83 advantage into the fourth.

 

The Lakers stretched the lead to 90-85 early in the final quarter on a three-point play by DeAndre Jordan, but a short while later DeRozan hit a turnaround jumper in the lane to put the Bulls on top 94-93.

 

With Chicago up 99-96, Anthony nailed back-to-back 3-pointers (both on passes from James) for a 102-99 Los Angeles lead with 5 minutes to go. The game remained tight until DeRozan took over late.

 

The Bulls host the Houston Rockets tonight.

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Jets Double Up Blues

Linemates Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele and Paul Stastny accounted for all the goals and the Winnipeg Jets beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday to give interim head coach Dave Lowry his first victory.

 

Stastny scored twice and added an assist, Ehlers had a goal and three assists, and Scheifele had a goal and assist to help the Jets end

 

Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for Winnipeg, the only Canadian team playing Sunday because of COVID-19 postponements for Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

 

It was the second game behind the bench for Lowry. He took over for the rest of the season after Paul Maurice resigned Friday.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola scored for St. Louis, and Jordan Binnington stopped 30 shots. The Blues had a seven-game points streak end.

 

The game was the last for a while for Winnipeg and St. Louis, after the NHL announced Sunday that teams can't cross the border to play starting Monday through the beginning of the holiday break because of rising COVID-19 cases. Games will be postponed and rescheduled.

 

Winnipeg's Tuesday game in Nashville had already been postponed, but now a Dallas contest the next day follows suit. St. Louis now won't be playing in Ottawa on Tuesday or Toronto on Thursday.

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Strong, Reeves spark Illinois St. past Ball St. 85-64

Josiah Strong scored 23 points, making six 3-pointers, Antonio Reeves scored 17 points and Illinois State blasted Ball State 85-64 on Saturday.

 

Strong made 8 of 10 from the field, 6 of 7 from distance as the Redbirds jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never trailed. Sy Chatman added 10 points. Kendall Lewis had nine points and nine rebounds. Mark Freeman had six assists.

 

Tyler Cochran scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench for Ball State (4-6). Payton Sparks added eight points.

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Illinois makes program-record 18 3-pointers in 106-48 win

Kofi Cockburn scored 21 points with 11 rebounds and Alfonso Plummer and Jacob Grandison combined for nine of Illinois’ program-record 18 3-pointers in a 106-48 win over St. Francis (Pennsylvania) on Saturday.

 

 Cockburn had no rival in the paint, making 9 of 11 shots with four dunks and bringing an intimidating defensive presence inside against the Red Storm (4-6). His double-double was the 34th in his career.

 

Plummer just missed going over 20 points for the seventh straight game after hitting five 3-pointers and scoring all of his points in the first half when the Fighting Illini (8-3) took a 24-point lead. Grandison hit four from the arc in scoring 18 and going over 1,000 points for his career.

 

The Illini were 18 of 34 from the arc and shot 66% percent overall, dominated the boards 44-27 and outscored the Red Flash 40-16 in the paint. The bench scored 34 points.

 

Ronell Giles Jr. scored 16 points, Myles Thompson 12 and Ramiir Dixon-Conover 10 for St. Francis, which shot only 26%.

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Monticello Pulls Away from Greenville

The Monticello Sages pulled away from the Greenville Comets for a 72-44 victory Saturday night in the second game of a twin bill from Greenville High School in non-conference boy's basketball action.

 

Greenville led 14-9 with 2:17 to play in the first quarter but it was all Monticello after that. Ben Cresap hit a three with 1:07 left, Dylan Ginalick made a three with 32 seconds left to pull ahead 15-14 after the first.

 

The Sages used a 23-12 second quarter to open up a big halftime lead and gradually pulled away the rest of the way, leading by 30 at one point in the fourth quarter to trigger a running clock.

 

Ben Cresap scored a game-high 18 points, grabbed a co-team-high seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

 

Dylan Ginalick finished with 13 points, Joey Sprinkle added 12 points and grabbed six rebounds while Tanner Buehnerkemper finished with ten points and seven rebounds.

 

Thomas Swartz was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro player of the game finishing with seven points. 

 

Monticello turned Greenville over 14 times for 20 points and scored 38 points in the paint. 

 

The Sages scored 17 points in transition. They dished out 22 assists on 29 field goals and turned the ball over only five times.

 

Greenville was led by Landon Moss' 16 points.

 

The Comets lost both games of its tournament and drop to 5-5. 

 

Monticello improves to 9-0 and will travel to Warrensburg on Tuesday. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Big Second Half Propels Monticello Over Carlyle in Greenville

The Monticello Sages shook off a frustrating first half to power past Carlyle 57-39 in non-conference boy's basketball action from Greenville High School at the Comet's Quad Shootout. 

 

It was the first of two games for Monticello on Saturday.

 

After shooting 30-percent from the floor in the first half, the Sages rebounded to shoot 15-for-21 and outscored the Indians 39-12 to pull away for another double-digit win. 

Dylan Ginalick, Joey Spinkle, and Ben Cresap all scored 13 points to lead Monticello. 

 

The Sages dished out 15 assists on 22 field goals and committed only eight turnovers.

Tanner Buehnerkepmer and Cresap grabbed five rebounds apiece and Cresap dished out seven assists. 

 

Sprinkle was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro player of the game.

 

Carlyle was led by Wyatt Not Huas' 12 points. 

 

Monticello improves to 8-0 on the season and Carlyle drops to 5-7. They are back in action at 7:30 pm tonight taking on Greenville. 

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UPDATED: Lady Sages Topple Warrensburg-Latham

As heard on WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Lady Sages overcame a sluggish second quarter and persistent foul trouble to beat Warrensburg-Latham 46-37 in non-conference high school girl's basketball Thursday from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Leading 9-5 after the first quarter, the Lady Sages were stifled offensively as Lizzie Stiverson was forced to the bench with two fouls.

 

Taking a gamble, Stiverson was inserted back into the lineup late in the second quarter and committed her third foul.

 

Brooke Oakley scored eight second quarter points, all from the free throw line, helping the Lady Cardinals take a 15-12 lead to the intermission.

 

The Lady Sages rallied back in the third quarter to go on top 25-24 after the third quarter and then Stiverson imposed her will in the fourth quarter.

 

Stiverson started the fourth with two quick baskets to fuel a 4-0 start and the Lady Sages opened up a 29-24 lead and the Lady Cardinals would not get any closer than 29-26 the rest of the way.

 

Stiverson went 8-for-10 from the foul line in the fourth, finishing 9-for-11 for th game and finished with a team-high 19 points. She was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game. 

 

Rennie Fultz added 16 for the Lady Sages.

 

Oakley led the Lady Cardinals with 20 points and finished 14-for-16 at the foul line. Warrensburg-Latham went 19-for-24 at the line as a team while Monticello finished 18-for-28.

 

The Lady Cardinals drop to 8-6 overall and will be the top seed in the girl's Macon Count Tournament.

 

Monticello improves to 9-3 overall.

 

Girl's basketball scores from Thursday:

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 72

Pontiac 41

 

Pana 52

Taylorville 18

 

Champaign Central 64

Danville 46

 

Deer Creek-Mackinaw 52

Flanagan/Woodland 30

 

Prairie Central 51

Champaign St. Thomas More 31

 

Heyworth 38

LeRoy 30

 

Midwest Central 38

Pekin 25

 

Fieldcrest 54

Ridgeview 16

 

Pleasant Plains 42

Maroa-Forsyth 31

 

El Paso-Gridley 48

Lexington 34

 

GCMS 44

Blue Ridge 15

 

Mt. Pulaski 66

Decatur LSA 21

 

Normal Community 51

Washington 45

 

Tolono Unity 42

Olympia 38

 

Okaw Valley 48

Sullivan 45

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Packers in Baltimore Sunday

The last time Baltimore faced Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers didn't play and the Packers were shut out.

 

That's the type of scenario the Ravens are hoping to avoid this weekend.

 

Now it's Lamar Jackson whose health is in question. The Baltimore star left last weekend's loss at Cleveland with a sprained ankle, and he missed practice time this week. Rodgers has had his own issues to deal with, but he's been able to play through an injured toe.

 

Jackson's situation has been more uncertain. The Ravens host Green Bay on Sunday.

 

Jackson already missed one game this season because he was sick, and the Ravens (8-5) won that one with backup Tyler Huntley. Baltimore nearly rallied to beat Cleveland last weekend with Huntley but lost 24-22. That was the second straight defeat for the Ravens, whose position atop the AFC North looks increasingly tenuous.

 

This would be quite a clash this weekend if both quarterbacks were fully healthy, but that's not looking all that likely. Rodgers hasn't practiced much since injuring his toe last month.

 

The injury hasn't hampered his production. The reigning MVP has thrown 10 touchdown passes without an interception over his last three games.

 

The last time the Packers faced Baltimore, Rodgers had a broken collarbone and replacement Brett Hundley threw three interceptions.

 

Green Bay (10-3) can clinch the NFC North with a win this week or a Minnesota loss.

 

The Packers have forced three turnovers in each of their last two games, and they have won each of the last 11 regular-season games in which they've had at least three takeaways.

 

Rasul Douglas is the first Packer since Hall of Famer Herb Adderley in 1965 to score on interception returns in two straight games.

 

Baltimore is at minus-9 on the season in the turnover department.

 

Green Bay's special teams units are trying to bounce back after a brutal performance against the Bears last weekend.

 

Chicago's Jakeem Grant was the NFC special teams player of the week after scoring on a 97-yard punt return and setting up a field goal with a 34-yard return.

 

A muffed punt return by Amari Rodgers would have given Chicago the ball at Green Bay's 20-yard line if a Bears penalty hadn't wiped it out. The Packers started a first-quarter possession at their 5-yard line when Malik Taylor mishandled a kickoff that probably would have gone out of bounds. Chicago also recovered an onside kick.

 

Green Bay's special teams issues proved costly in a 13-7 loss at Kansas City earlier this season.

 

In addition to the quarterbacks, both teams have other health concerns. The Packers put defensive lineman Kenny Clark on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Ravens did the same with safety Chuck Clark.

 

For Baltimore, receiver Marquise Brown (illness), defensive tackle Calais Campbell (thigh), offensive lineman Tyre Phillips (illness), guard Ben Powers (foot), fullback Patrick Ricard (back/knee) and tackle Alejandro Villanueva (knee) missed practice time this week.

 

Green Bay tackle Billy Turner injured his left knee last weekend against Chicago. Tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) hasn't played all season but practiced on a limited basis this week.

 

Game time is 3:25 local time on FOX.

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COVID Impacting Bears Prep for Monday Night Football

The Chicago Bears were missing all three of their coordinators because of COVID-19 protocols as they prepared for Monday night’s home game against the Minnesota Vikings. And they had seven players out because of illnesses.

 

Bears coach Matt Nagy said offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, defensive coordinator Sean Desai and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor were participating remotely in meetings this week. Their status for the game is uncertain.

 

COVID-19 has hit the Bears hard this week, one of many teams experiencing positive tests. Approximately 100 players across the 32 teams have tested positive.

 

Nagy said non-COVID illness is running through the team and kept running back David Montgomery, guard James Daniels, tackle Teven Jenkins, return man Jakeem Grant, tight end Cole Kmet, tight end Jesper Horsted and running back Khalil Herbert sidelined on Thursday.

 

Chicago put five players on the COVID-19 reserve list since Monday, and a practice squad member: tackle Larry Borom, tackle Elijah Wilkinson, nose tackle Eddie Goldman, cornerback Artie Burns, defensive tackle Mario Edwards Jr., and practice squad linebacker Sam Kamara.

 

Nagy missed a game earlier this year against San Francisco, a 33-22 loss, because of COVID-19 issues, and Tabor coached the Bears.

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Pacers Down Pistons

Caris LeVert scored 20 of his season-high 31 points in the first half and the Indiana Pacers sent the Detroit Pistons to their 13th straight loss, 122-113 on Thursday night.

 

The Pacers were without point guard Malcolm Brogdon because of a sore Achilles. LeVert said having his backcourt mate out didn't change how he played.

 

LeVert was 12 of 18 from the field.

 

Justin Holiday added 17 points for Indiana, shooting 5 of 15.

 

Saddiq Bey led the Pistons with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Cade Cunningham added 19 points, and Frank Jackson had 18. Detroit is an NBA-worst 4-23.

 

The Pistons were 26 of 30 from the foul line, while the Pacers made 25 of 28.

 

The Pacers had to play the last several minutes of the third quarter without Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner after they each picked up their fourth foul. Despite Sabonis playing just a little more than four minutes and Turner 6 1/2, the Pacers were able to take a 103-91 lead.

 

Turner finished with 16 points and four blocked shots. Sabonis had 12 points and nine rebounds.

 

The Pacers are at Miami on Tuesday night.

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NBA, Players Agree to Additional Protocols Through Holidays

The NBA and its players have agreed to enhanced health and safety protocols through the holiday season in response to rising virus numbers, with additional testing coming and a return to mask usage in many situations.

 

The upgraded mask rules will be in place “until agreed otherwise by the NBA and Players Association,” according to a memo shared with teams Thursday night and obtained by The Associated Press. Masks need to be worn again in almost all circumstances during team activities — including travel, when on the bench during games, in meetings and locker room, weight room and training room settings.

 

The exceptions: during on-court basketball activities for players, and for head coaches during games.

 

Testing will be increased from Dec. 26 through Jan. 8, the league said. The league also told teams that more requirements and recommendations would be coming in the next few days, “to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within the team environment.”

 

As of Thursday evening, there were at least 39 players — roughly 8% of the league’s total player roster — from at least 13 different teams known to be in the league’s protocols. Chicago had a league-high eight players known to be in protocols, one more than Brooklyn. James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo both entered the protocols earlier this week.

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NFL, Players Agree to Increased COVID Protocols

In moves reminiscent of the environment for the 2020 season, the NFL has updated its protocols and advocated for booster shots in reaction to an increase in COVID-19 cases around the league.

 

As part of its protocol changes, it is requiring masks regardless of vaccination status, and remote or outdoor meetings. It also is stopping in-person meals, adding restrictions on activities outside the facility, prohibiting outside visitors during team travel, and limiting the amount of people in team weight rooms.

 

The updated protocols will be enforced through Week 15 games, but are likely to continue or even be strengthened after that point.

 

Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said the omicron variant of the coronavirus is “in many ways (like) addressing a new disease.” Omicron is responsible for the significant uptick in positive COVID-19 cases, according to Sills, which are emanating from within team facilities. That is the opposite of where previous positives had come from right after Thanksgiving.

 

The league and the players’ union, advised by independent infectious disease officers, have developed a mechanism in the protocols that might lead to shorter stints on the sidelines for people testing positive.

 

Previously, a vaccinated person — players, coaches, executives and staffers — who tests positive must then have two negative tests 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic before being cleared to return. Beginning immediately, the new protocols relax that requirement a bit, allowing for two PCR tests or two Mesa tests — or one of each — being negative. The logistics for that could speed up the return of sidelined players.

 

The 32 teams also were told Thursday that they may continue current media policies that include media wearing masks at all times in a club facility. But the teams can also shift to virtual interviews for the rest of this week, something a few of them already have done.

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Clinton Takes Two At Argenta-Oreana

In a special double header broadcast Thursday night on WHOW, the Clinton girls and boys basketball teams both picked up wins on the road at Argenta-Oreana Thursday night.

 

The Lady Maroons were dominant in the opening game of the night, topping the Lady Bombers 52 to 12.  Clinton held Argenta scoreless until well into the second quarter.  Mallory Cyrulik led all scorers with 23 points.  The Serv-Pro of Piatt & DeWitt County Maroons Player of the Game was Kylie Raymer, who added 9 points for Clinton.

 

The Clinton girls improve to 12-2 on the season, and next host El Paso-Gridley Monday night in a game to be heard on WHOW.  Argenta-Oreana falls to 0-10 on the season.

 

*** In the second game of the night, the Clinton Maroons topped Argenta-Oreana 64-54.

 

Clinton led throughout, but the Bombers kept it close in a tough, physical game that saw five technicals be called on the two teams.  The Maroons were led by the Serv-Pro of Piatt & DeWitt County Maroons Player of the Game Dawson Graves, who led all scorers with 28 points.  Mason Walker added 15, and Trevor Scott added 10.

 

The Bombers were paced by Landon Lawson with 21, and RJ Trostle with 13 points. 

 

Clinton improves to 3-8 with the win.  Argenta-Oreana falls to 0-3 with the loss.

 

The Maroons next host Blue Ridge on Wednesday at 3:30 in the afternoon.  That game will be heard on WHOW.  

 

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HS GBB: Monticello Overcomes Warrensburg-Latham

The Monticello Lady Sages overcame a sluggish second quarter and persistent foul trouble to beat Warrensburg-Latham 46-37 in non-conference high school girl's basketball Thursday from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Leading 9-5 after the first quarter, the Lady Sages were stifled offensively as Lizzie Stiverson was forced to the bench with two fouls.

 

Taking a gamble, Stiverson was inserted back into the lineup late in the second quarter and committed her third foul.

 

Brooke Oakley scored eight second quarter points, all from the free throw line, helping the Lady Cardinals take a 15-12 lead to the intermission.

 

The Lady Sages rallied back in the third quarter to go on top 25-24 after the third quarter and then Stiverson imposed her will in the fourth quarter.

 

Stiverson started the fourth with two quick baskets to fuel a 4-0 start and the Lady Sages opened up a 29-24 lead and the Lady Cardinals would not get any closer than 29-26 the rest of the way.

 

Stiverson went 8-for-10 from the foul line in the fourth, finishing 9-for-11 for th game and finished with a team-high 19 points. She was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game. 

 

Rennie Fultz added 16 for the Lady Sages.

 

Oakley led the Lady Cardinals with 20 points and finished 14-for-16 at the foul line. Warrensburg-Latham went 19-for-24 at the line as a team while Monticello finished 18-for-28.

 

The Lady Cardinals drop to 8-6 overall and will be the top seed in the girl's Macon Count Tournament.

 

Monticello improves to 9-3 overall.

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Clinton Basketball Double-Dip Tonight on WHOW

It'll be a Clinton High School basketball double-header tonight on WHOW as both the boy's and girl's basketball squads head to Argenta-Oreana to take on the Bombers.

 

The Lady Maroons and Lady Bombers varsity start the night with a tip-off scheduled for 6 pm and that will be followed by a boy's varsity basketball game at 7:30 pm. 

 

Hear both games on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, at the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Bucks Roll Pacers

Playing without stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, the Milwaukee Bucks leaned on Jrue Holiday and had a 21-0 fourth-quarter run to beat the Indiana Pacers 114-99 on Wednesday night.

 

Holiday had 26 points and 14 assists.

 

Tied at 87 after three quarters, Milwaukee surged ahead early in the fourth quarter with the big run. The Bucks raced to a 112-92 lead with just over three minutes left, with Pat Connaughton and Jordan Nwora each scoring eight points during the run. Both finished with 20 points.

 

Antetokounmpo, averaging 27 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists, entered the league's health and safety protocols list Tuesday. Middleton, averaging 17.8 points, exited with a hyperextended left knee late in the third quarter Monday night in Boston.

 

Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Indiana. Caris LeVert scored 14 of Indiana's first 20 points and finished with 16.

 

Milwaukee has won five of its last eight. It has won seven straight against Indiana. Indiana had won three of its previous four games, following a four-game losing streak.

 

Indiana coach Rick Carlisle missed his third game since testing positive for COVID-19. Assistant Lyd Pierce filled in.

 

Budenholzer said he did not know how long Antetokounmpo would be out, but said Middleton could return Friday night at New Orleans

 

The team has not said whether Antetokounmpo tested positive for COVID-19. Antetokounmpo said at the league's media day in September that he was vaccinated.

 

The Pacers host Detroit on Thursday night.

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Blackhawks Top Caps in Overtime

Caleb Jones scored his first goal of the season 1:21 into overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals 5-4 on Wednesday night.

 

Washington tied it on Conor Sheary's sixth goal with 3 seconds left in regulation. But Jones knocked home a rebound as Chicago improved to 6-0 under interim coach Derek King when the game goes beyond regulation.

 

Ovechkin scored his 274th career power-play goal in the second period, matching Dave Andreychuk's NHL record, but Chicago responded with three goals in 34 seconds. After Lars Eller tied it for Washington in the third, Alex DeBrincat beat Ilya Samsonov for his second power-play goal with 5 minutes left.

 

MacKenzie Entwistle and Philipp Kurashev also scored for the Blackhawks, who beat the Capitals 4-3 in a shootout on Dec. 2. Brandon Hagel had two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 42 saves.

 

Ovechkin, Eller and Sheary each had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who had won three of four. Daniel Sprong also scored, and T.J. Oshie had two assists.

 

Washington center Nicklas Backstrom picked up an assist in his first game after missing the start of the season with a hip injury. But the Capitals played without Evgeny Kuznetsov because of the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.

 

Washington jumped in front on Ovechkin's team-high 21st goal 3:36 into the second. With Chicago captain Jonathan Toews in the box for hooking, Ovechkin fired a shot from the left circle past Fleury on the goaltender's stick side.

 

The Blackhawks bounced back behind their power play, which was just 5 for 48 in the previous 19 games.

 

Patrick Kane got his 700th career assist when DeBrincat converted a 5-on-3 opportunity at 13:55, tying it at 1 with his team-high 15th goal. Kurashev put Chicago in front with another power-play goal, and Entwistle finished the scoring flurry when he knocked in a backhand for a 3-1 lead at 14:29.

 

It was Kurashev's first NHL goal since April 12 at Columbus. Entwistle scored his third of the season in his first game with Chicago since he was sidelined by a left ankle injury.

 

The Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators on Friday night.

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Decatur St. Teresa Principal Reacts to Conference Removal

Monday, the Central Illinois Conference voted to remove Decatur St. Teresa from the Central Illinois Conference.

 

It is a decision that is disappointing to St. T principal Larry Daly who is the President of the Central Illinois Conference. Daly spoke with Regional Radio News on the vote and indicates this process started last spring with concerns over the admissions process to the school. Daly had hoped at that time they addressed any misunderstandings.

 

 

According to Daly, this fall, it was again brought up to remove his school from the conference because it was believed their presence made it unappealing to other schools to join the conference.

 

 

Daly lobbied for his school to simply be removed from the conference for football but that was rejected by conference members. Additionally, in the midst of the meeting, Sullivan withdrew from the conference and announced they will join the Lincoln Prairie.

 

 

When this was first proposed, it was brought up the conference faced dissolution if St. T remained a member of the CIC, however, Daly disputes that would have been the case because now St. T is faced with finding another conference and he points out there aren't many conferences looking to add schools.

 

 

Daly recognizes the success of the football program but credits the hard work of those student-athletes and the coaches in the program. He says he's trying to understand the reasoning for the decision.

 

 

Daly says every student that attends Decatur St. Teresa High School pays tuition and they do offer assistance to students that can show need and there is a process to receive that assistance based on tax return information and there is no preferential treatment to athletes. 

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HS GBB: Lady Maroons Hold Off Cerro Gordo

The Clinton Lady Maroons won their ninth consecutive game with a 51-44 win over Cerro Gordo-Bement Tuesday night in non-conference high school girl's basketball action from Clinton High School.

 

Malorie Cyrulik and Kaitlyn Rauch led the Lady Maroons attack as Cyrulick scored a game-high 19 points and Rauch scored 18 points. 

 

Jazzi Hicks scored 12 points to lead the Lady Broncos.

 

Clinton improves to 11-2 overall. They will travel to Argenta-Oreana tomorrow night for a double-header with the varsity boy's team.

 

You can hear both contests on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW Mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.

 

Girl's basketball scores from Tuesday:

 

Lincoln 53

Mt. Zion 16

 

Peoria Notre Dame 44

Peoria High 43

 

Champaign Centennial 55

Watseka 30

 

Prairie Central 54

Beecher 44

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Maroa-Forsyth Rolls Central A&M

Egan Franzen scored a game-high 24 points and the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans shook off a loss Saturday to dominate Central A&M 64-42 in non-conference boy's basketball action from Maroa-Forsyth High School Tuesday night.

 

Franzen scored nine of his 24 points in a big third quarter as the Trojans gradually pulled away from the Raiders all night.

 

The Trojans led 16-9 after the first frame, 33-20 at the intermission and 49-33 after three.

 

Ethan Willoughby had nine points while Kade Maurer and Zayn Giles each added eight for Moroa-Forsyth.

 

Brody Barnes scored 10 points to lead the Raiders.

 

Tuesday's win was the second in a week over Central A&M as the Trojans beat the Raiders 66-53 at the Macon County Tournament last week.

 

Maroa-Forsyth is now 5-2 overall and will host Warrensburg-Latham in non-conference action Friday night. 

 

High School boy's basketball scores from Tuesday:

 

Clinton 25

Riverton 67

 

Peoria 49

Limestone 31

 

Decatur MacArthur 78

Decatur Eisenhower 60

 

Springfield High 42

Normal U-High 37

 

Heyworth 66

Tremont 60

 

PBL 42

GCMS 24

 

Warrensburg-Latham 60

Decatur Lutheran 47

 

Arcola 48

Sullivan 36

 

Springfield Southeast 66

Jacksonville 54

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Blues Roll Stars

Justin Faulk, Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko all scored in the third period as the St. Louis Blues beat Dallas 4-1 on Tuesday night to snap the Stars' eight-game home winning streak.

 

Colton Parayko also scored and Charlie Lindgren, a recent call-up from Springfield of the American Hockey League with No. 1 netminder Jordan Binnington in COVID-19 protocol, made 33 saves to improve to 4-0-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average.

 

Riley Damiani, called up from Texas of the AHL on Tuesday, scored in his NHL debut and Jake Oettinger stopped 24 shots for the Stars, who have lost four straight overall.

 

Tyler Bozak and Faulk returned after missing seven and six games, respectively, while in the protocol. Faulk skated forward along the right boards and whistled a tiebreaking shot through traffic over Oettinger's right shoulder at 2:07 of the third.

 

Lindgren has stopped 87 of 91 shots in four appearances and three starts.

 

O'Reilly gave the Blues a two-goal lead at 11:33, scoring in the final minute of a four-minute high-sticking penalty called on Radek Faksa.

 

Tarasenko added another power-play goal at 18:43.

 

The Blues will host Dallas on Friday for the first time since 2019-20, when they went 2-0-1 at home against the Stars.

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Illinois State Rolls Quincy

Antonio Reeves had 19 points and Sy Chatman posted 16 points and seven rebounds as Illinois State got past Quincy 81-63 on Tuesday night.

 

Kendall Lewis added 12 points for the Redbirds (6-5), while Mark Freeman scored 10.

 

Illinois State dominated the first half and led 46-22 at the break. The Redbirds' 46 points in the first half marked a season-best for the team.

 

Silas Crisler had 15 points for the Hawks. Adam Price added 14 points. Reece Efole had nine rebounds.

 

Illinois State will host Ball State Saturday at 4 pm.

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Monticello Overcomes Sluggish Start to Roll ALAH

The Monticello Sages did not look like their usual selves early but overcame the sluggish start to dominate Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 69-28 Tuesday night in non-conference boy's basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Despite looking slow and listless, the Sages led 22-10 after the first quarter and 37-14 at the intermission.

 

A 30-point lead to start the 4th quarter allowed for running clock the rest of the way.

 

Ben Cresap led all scorers with 19 points, six steals, three rebounds and two assists to zero turnovers. He received his second straight Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game.

 

Dylan Ginalick scored 11 points and Tanner Buehnerkemper grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and scored six points. 

 

Wyatt Hilligoss scored ten points to lead the Knights and grabbed a team-high seven boards. 

 

The Sages turned over the Knights 18 times for 27 points. They scored a season-high 48 points in the paint and dished out 18 assists to ten turnovers.

 

Monticello shot 51-percent from the floor for the game and held ALAH to 22-percent shooting and 1-for-13 from 3-point range.

 

The Sages dominated the glass 42-20 with 22 offensive rebounds for 12-second chance points and turned 12 steals into 22 fast break points.

 

ALAH drops to 4-4 overall while Monticello improves to 7-0.

 

The Sages head to Greenville for the Comets Quad Saturday. They start the day taking on Carlyle at 3 pm and then take on the hosts at 7:30 pm. Hear both games on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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HS GBB: Clinton Rolls Decatur St. Teresa

Malorie Cyrulik and Kylie Raymer helped the Clinton Lady Maroons overcome a slow start and roll past Decatur St. Teresa 51-29 in Central Illinois Conference high school girl's basketball action on Monday night at Decatur St. Teresa High School.

 

Cyrulik scored a game-high 20 points and Raymer added 15 points for the Lady Maroons. 

 

The Lady Maroons trailed 12-9 after the first quarter but used a big second quarter to lead 25-17 at the half and then blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 14-2 to open a 39-19 advantage.

 

Jaida Taylor and Joella Livingston scored ten points apiece to lead Decatur St. T.

 

The Lady Bulldogs drop to 4-3 on the season and are 1-2 in the CIC. 

 

Clinton improves to 10-2 overall and 3-0 in the CIC. 

 

The Lady Maroons will host Cerro Gordo-Bement tonight.

 

Scores in the Central Illinois Conference Monday:

 

Tuscola 40

Central A&M 15

 

Sullivan 42

Meridian 24 

 

Shelbyville 66

Warrensburg-Latham 42

 

High School girl's basketball scores from Monday...

 

Fieldcrest 72

GCMS 20

 

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 51

Monticello 29

 

LeRoy 52

Lexington 28

 

El Paso-Gridley 57

Flanagan-Woodland 22

 

Monday boy's basketball scores...

 

Sacred Heart-Griffin 79

Rochester 39

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NBA Postpones Bulls Next Two Games

The NBA postponed the Chicago Bulls’ next two games on Monday, with 10 of the team’s players in the league’s health and safety protocols.

 

The Bulls were scheduled to host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday and visit the Toronto Raptors on Thursday. No makeup dates were announced. The Bulls’ next game is now scheduled for Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers at home.

 

The team confirmed Monday that backup forward Alize Johnson became the 10th player to enter the protocols, joining a list that includes stars Zach LaVine and DeMar Derozan. Also on it are Troy Brown Jr., Matt Thomas, Coby White, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson.

 

That left the Bulls with the eight available players, the league minimum to field a team. That list includes two players on two-way contracts in Devon Dotson and Tyler Cook, another signed to a 10-day contract last week in Alfonzo McKinnie, and rookie Marko Simonovic, who has played most of the season in the G League.

 

Players in the health and safety protocols must be sidelined at least 10 days or record two negative COVID-19 tests in a 24-hour period before they can resume basketball activities.

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Blackhawks, Flames Monday Night Game Postponed

The Calgary Flames won't be playing hockey through at least Dec. 16. On Monday, the NHL announced that Flames games will be postponed through at least Thursday due to players and a staff member entering NHL's COVID-19 protocol. In total, six Flames players and one staff member entered the COVID-19 protocol within a 24-hour period.

Out of safety precaution they are stopping all team action.

 

The league announcement stated that the games are postponed because of "concern with continued spread, and the likelihood of additional positive cases in the coming days." The league added  that "the decision was made following consultation by the NHL's, the NHLPA's and Club's medical groups."

 

The Flames were originally scheduled face the Blackhawks in Chicago on Monday before heading to Nashville to face the Predators on Tuesday and then playing host to the Maple Leafs on Thursday. All three games are postponed as of Monday. It remains to be seen what the plan is for their scheduled home  game against the Blue Jackets on Saturday.

 

With the postponement of games also comes the team shutting down its facilities, effective immediately as of Monday morning. Players and staff won't be allowed at Flames facilities until further notice.

 

The games that are being missed do not have rescheduled dates yet, but the league said in their statement that they are working with the Flames on "reviewing and revising" the schedule.

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Warriors Edge Pacers

Stephen Curry came up just short of Ray Allen's 3-point record Monday night. He still walked away with a win - and a smile.

 

The 33-year-old sharp-shooting guard made five 3s, scored 26 points and rallied the Golden State Warriors to a 102-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

 

He's two treys short of surpassing Allen, something he's likely to do Tuesday night on the NBA's grandest stage, Madison Square Garden. Allen made 2,973 during his 18-year career.

 

In Indianapolis, the near-sellout crowd was less interested in the final result than seeing history. Fans roared each time Curry lined up a 3, gasped when he drove to the basket and erupted each time he inched closer to Allen's mark.

 

For the final 90 seconds, everyone inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse was standing. Some stuck around to give the two-time MVP and three-time NBA champ a proper sendoff after he finished postgame interviews.

 

But this was not the indomitable Curry everyone expected. He missed his first three beyond the arc, finished 5 of 15 on 3s - and some were badly off the mark. Clearly, he was pressing. Even Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted Curry had been trying too hard over the past several games.

 

The Pacers defense made it awfully challenging. It constantly tried to run Curry and his teammates off the 3-point line and for most of the night it worked. Indiana, led by Domantas Sabonis' 30 points and 11 rebounds, just couldn't do it long enough to close out a fourth consecutive win.

 

Caris LeVert finished with 19 points and Myles Turner had six points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for Indiana. 

 

The Pacers are in Milwaukee on Thursday for their first road game in December.

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Blackhawks Put F Johnson on IR

The Chicago Blackhawks placed forward Reese Johnson on injured reserve on Sunday with a broken right clavicle.

 

The Blackhawks also recalled forwards Brett Connolly and MacKenzie Entwistle from Rockford and assigned forward Mike Hardman to their American Hockey League affiliate.

 

Johnson, 23, got hurt during Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Toronto on Saturday night. He has one goal and three assists in 18 games this season.

 

Team physician Michael Terry said Johnson will undergo further evaluation on Monday.

Connolly has five goals and six assists in 16 games this season with Rockford. The 29-year-old Connolly has 101 goals and 93 assists in 527 career NHL games.

 

Entwistle has split time between Rockford and Chicago this season. He has two goals and one assist in 12 games with the Blackhawks.

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Packers Surge Past Bears

Aaron Rodgers threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns to continue his mastery of the Bears as the Packers won 45-30 on Sunday night.

 

The reigning MVP went 29 of 37, throwing two TD passes to Davante Adams and one each to Allen Lazard and Aaron Jones. Rodgers has 61 career touchdown passes against the Bears, the most all-time against Chicago and one more than his predecessor, Brett Favre.

 

The Packers trailed 27-21 at halftime but scored the first 24 points of the second half.

Green Bay (10-3) took a four-game lead over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North and moved closer to its third straight division title. Chicago (4-9) has lost seven of eight.

 

Rodgers played through a broken toe that has limited his practice time over the last month.

 

Chicago led after a wild second quarter that featured a combined 45 points, the fourth time since 1991 that teams have combined to score at least that many points in a quarter.

 

But the Bears couldn't keep it up. Spurred by a halftime talk from Preston Smith, the Packers shut down Chicago the rest of the way. The Bears' only second-half points came on Cairo Santos' field goal with 1:22 left.

 

Chicago's Justin Fields went 18 of 33 for 224 yards with two touchdown passes, but he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. Jakeem Grant scored twice for the Bears, including a 97-yard punt return.

 

Jones scored a pair of touchdowns a minute apart to put the Packers ahead for good.

 

He capped the opening drive of the second half with a 3-yard run that gave Green Bay a 28-27 lead. On the Bears' next series, Smith sacked Fields and forced a fumble that Rashan Gary recovered at Chicago's 23-yard line.

 

On the next play, Jones caught a pass from Rodgers at about the 13 and ran into the left corner of the end zone to make it 35-27.

 

Chicago took a 10-0 lead in the first 20 minutes. The scoring really picked up after that as the teams combined for five touchdowns in a span of 5:18.

 

Green Bay scored on Rodgers' 2-yard pass to Lazard on fourth-and-goal, Douglas' 55-yard interception return and Rodgers' 38-yard strike to Adams. Chicago's touchdowns came on a 54-yard completion from Fields to Damiere Byrd and Grant's punt return.

 

Douglas joined Hall of Famer Herb Adderley as the only Packers to score on interception returns in back-to-back games. Grant's punt return was the longest for any Bears player since at least 1960, which is as far back as the team's data on that statistic goes.

 

The Bears host Minnesota next Monday while the Packers visit Baltimore on Sunday.

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Ducks Outlast Blues in Overtime

Troy Terry scored his second goal of the game on a penalty shot in overtime to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

 

Scott Perunovich was called for slashing with just over a minute remaining in overtime, giving Terry a penalty shot. He beat fifth-string goalie Jon Gillies on a backhander at 3:58 of the extra period for his team-leading 17th goal of the season.

 

Terry showed forehand as he cut in on his left before he pulled it to his backhand. He roofed the shot to end the game.

 

Buddy Robinson also scored for Anaheim, which ended the Blues' seven-game home winning streak. Stolarz made 23 saves.

 

Nathan Walker and Oskar Sundqvist scored for St. Louis. Gillies finished with 36 saves. Brayden Schenn, who had two assists, left the game in the third period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Berube said Schenn will be day to day.

 

The game was tied at 1-all through two periods, and each team scored in the third.

Walker, who had a hat trick in Thursday's win over Detroit, scored on a wrist shot from the top of the slot at 7:40 of the third.

 

Anaheim tied it at 2-all when Terry scored on a rebound of a shot by Cam Fowler at 13:29.

 

The 27-year-old Gillies was signed by the Blues on Wednesday. He became the fifth starting goalie this season for St. Louis, joining Jordan Binnington, Ville Husso, Joel Hofer and Charlie Lindgren. It was the first time the Blues have used five goaltenders in a season since 2015-16.

 

Gillies' last NHL start came April 7, 2018, with Calgary when the Flames defeated Vegas 7-1. Gillies has played only 10 games, all in the minors, since the 2019-20 season.

 

St. Louis took advantage of a 2-on-1 break to tie the game at 1-all in the second period. Sundqvist scored his first of the season at 6:43. Schenn started the play with a crisp cross-ice pass to Walker. Skating in with Fowler trying to cover both Blues, Walker fed Sundqvist, who netted a wrist shot.

 

The Ducks went up 1-0 when Robinson knocked in a rebound of a shot by Nicolas Deslauriers at 12:32 of the opening period. It was Robinson's first goal this season and third in his five-year career.

 

Due to injuries and COVID issues, the Blues were forced to dress six players that began the season with the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL. Charlie Lindgren, Peca, Joshua, Logan Brown, Walker and Scott Perunovich make up the Springfield connection.

 

St. Louis is at Dallas on Tuesday.

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Nine Bulls Now in COVID Protocols

Bulls star Zach LaVine and backup forward Troy Brown Jr. have entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, giving Chicago nine players on the list.

 

The team confirmed Sunday that LaVine and Brown joined leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, Matt Thomas, Coby White, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu and recently signed Stanley Johnson. That left the Bulls with nine available players. Teams need eight in order to play.

 

Chicago’s next game is against Detroit at home on Tuesday. LaVine and Brown both played in Saturday’s loss at Miami.

 

The resurgent Bulls were third in the Eastern Conference behind Brooklyn and Milwaukee at 17-10.

 

LaVine, a first-time All-Star last season and gold medal winner with the U.S. Olympic team, was seventh in the NBA in scoring at 26 points per game. He is averaging 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

 

Brown is averaging 4.3 points in 18 games.

 

Players in the health and safety protocols must be sidelined at least 10 days or record two negative tests in a 24-hour period before they can resume basketball activities.

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Reeves lifts Illinois State past Chicago State 80-71

Antonio Reeves had 30 points as Illinois State got past Chicago State 80-71 on Saturday.

 

Reeves shot 6 for 8 from deep.

 

Josiah Strong had 19 points for Illinois State (5-5). Howard Fleming Jr. added 10 points.

Kendall Lewis had seven rebounds.

 

Jahsean Corbett had 17 points and six rebounds for the Cougars (3-6). Coreyoun Rushin added 13 points and nine rebounds. Dominique Alexander and Favour Chukwukelu each had 11 points.

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No. 11 Arizona stays undefeated with 83-79 win at Illinois

No. 11 Arizona used tough defense to outlast Illinois 83-79 on Saturday and stay undefeated.

 

Bennedict Mathurin led the Wildcats with 30 points. Trailing the Illini by one with 2:22 to play, Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis capitalized on an offensive rebound by putting in a layup. On the next possession, Christian Koloko forced an Illinois turnover, and Mathurin scored an easy layup to make it 79-76 with 1:55 to go.

 

Mathurin opened the game by making 3 of 4 attempts from 3-point range, and finished 10 of 16 from the field and five made 3s for Arizona (9-0). Sophomore guard Kerr Kriisa added 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Tubelis had 16 points and eight rebounds.

 

Arizona outscored Illinois 42-16 in the paint, limiting center Kofi Cockburn to a season-worst 5 of 15 shooting mark. Mathurin credited the Wildcats’ defensive performance, especially Tubelis and Koloko, who scored four points and had seven rebounds.

 

For Illinois (7-3), guard Trent Frazier led his team with 27 points on 9 of 15 shooting, going 6 of 11 from deep. Alfonso Plummer followed closely behind, adding 25 points, and Cockburn had a game-high 12 rebounds.

 

Frazier scored 11 straight points in the first half during a 19-0 Illini run, which was capped by a steal and a coast-to-coast layup for a 37-24 lead at the seven-minute mark. But Arizona closed the first half on a 14-5 run, trailing 42-38 at the break after a Mathurin layup with 23 seconds left.

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Monticello Pulls Away from Maroa-Forsyth

The Monticello Sages pulled away gradually in the second half for a 66-45 win over Maroa-Forsyth in non-conference high school boy's basketball action Saturday evening from Maroa.

 

Despite early foul trouble again Saturday, Monticello used balance scoring to take an early 21-12 lead after the first quarter but things slowed down for the Sages as the Trojans used full court pressure and a 1-3-1 defense to stimie the Sages offensively.

Triston Foran hit a half-court buzzer-beater at the half to send Monticello to a 30-20 lead.

 

The Trojans came out and hit back-to-back three's out of the intermission to to cut the deficit to 30-26 but that was the closest they would get.

 

Dylan Ginalick scored eight of his 15 points in the frame and Ben Cresap scored seven of his game-high 17 points in the third.

 

Joey Sprinkle scored eight of his 12 points in the second half and finished with his second career double-double at 12 points and 12 rebounds.

 

Cresap was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game.

 

The Sages shot 50-percent for the game and held the Trojans to 35-percent 35-percent. 

 

Monticello continues to take good care of the basketball dishing out 17 assists to just nine turnovers. 

 

They also outrebounded Maroa-Forsyth 39-29.

 

The Trojans were led by Egan Franzen's 11 points and Kaiden Maurer scored 10 points. Ethan Willoughby scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds. Jaxson Grubbs scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Trojans.

 

Maroa-Forsyt drops to 4-2 overall while Monticello is 6-0.

 

The Sages host Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond on Tuesday night at Monticello High School. Hear the action starting at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Maroons Fall To Rockets

In a game heard Friday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Tolono Unity Rockets 60 to 28 at Clinton High School.

 

Tolono jumped out to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter, and never looked back.  Unity was led by Blake Kimball & Will Cowan, who both finished with 12 points. 

 

Clinton was led by the Serv-Pro of Piatt & DeWitt County Player of the Game - Dawson Graves.  He led all scorers with 17 points.

 

The loss drops Clinton to 2-6 on the season.  Unity improves to 4-1. 

 

Clinton next travels to Rochester Saturday night for a 6:30pm varsity tip.  

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UPDATED: Monticello Rallies Past Mt. Zion

The Monticello Lady Sages rallied in the second half to beat Mt. Zion 33-32 in non-conference girl's high school basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School Thursday night.

 

Leading 17-12 at the intermission, the Lady Braves started the second half with four straight points to open their biggest lead 21-12 but it was all Monticello the rest of the way.

 

Hannah Swanson hit a three to tie the score at 23 late in the third quarter.

 

She'd come up with another big three late in regulation to give the Lady Sages 31-27 lead.

 

After a turnover, Mt. Zion got within 31-29 but Rennie Fultz made two free throws to make it 33-29. 

 

Sophomore Denver Anderson made a quick three at the top of the key to cut the deficit to 33-32 with 3.5 seconds but the Braves failed to stop the clock by fouling as the Sages imbounded and sealed the victory.

 

Lizzie Stiverson, the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro player of the  led Monticello in scoring with 12 points. Swanson finished with seven points and despite battling first-half foul trouble, Fultz finished with six points. 

 

Mt. Zion's Anderson led all scorers with 14 points. 

 

The Lady Sages improve to 8-1 overall and the Lady Braves drop to 2-8.

 

Girl's basketball scores from Thursday:

 

Sullivan 60

Warrensburg-Latham 55

 

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 49

Tolono Unity 39

 

Peoria 82

Urbana 11

 

Cumberland 53

Blue Ridge 12

 

Cerro Gordo-Bement 51

Argenta-Oreana 8

 

Bloomington 76

Danville 55

 

Arcola 42

Decatur LSA 28

 

El Paso-Gridley 44

Ridgeview 36

 

Pleasant Plains 42

Williamsville 17

 

LeRoy 53

GCMS 34

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Maroa-Rolls Central A&M in Macon County Tournament Consolation Championship

The Maroa-Forsyth Trojans started fast and never looked back in down Central A&M in the consolation championship game from the boy's basketball Macon County Tournament Thursday night. 

 

Egan Franzen scored 14 of the first quarter's 21 points for the Trojans, finishing with 23 points for the game. 

 

Jaxon Grubbs scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half and Kaiden Maurer scored ten points.

 

The Raiders were led by Cody Sloan's 12 points and Conner Rowcliff added 11 points. 

 

Maroa-Forsyth is 4-1 on the season and will host Monticello at 4:30 pm on Saturday afternoon. Hear Saturday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Boy's basketball scores from Thursday:

 

Cerro Gordo-Bement 67

Meridian 66

 

Warrensburg-Latham 57

St. Teresa 45

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Bears Packers Showdown Sunday Night

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has dominated the Chicago Bears during his Hall of Fame-caliber career and isn't shy about pointing that out.

 

After running for a fourth-quarter touchdown in a 24-14 victory at Chicago on Oct. 14, Rodgers shouted "I still own you!" to the Soldier Field crowd.

 

The Bears (4-8) get their shot at payback Sunday when they visit the NFC North-leading Packers (9-3) at Lambeau Field.

 

Rodgers noted this week that his comment wasn't directed at the Bears, but rather at fans who were making obscene gestures to him. But he also pointed out that "I don't know that you can question a whole lot of what I said."

 

The Packers are 22-5 against the Bears in games Rodgers has started.

 

The Bears hope they get a boost from the return of rookie quarterback Justin Fields, who missed two games with broken ribs. Fields has thrown twice as many interceptions (eight) as touchdown passes (four) this season, but he had perhaps his two best games just before his injury.

 

While the Bears look toward their future with Fields, the Packers are driving toward their third straight NFC North title as the only division team with a winning record.

 

They want to close the regular season strong and enter the playoffs with momentum.

 

Rodgers has been playing through a toe injury that has reduced his practice time, though it hasn't limited his effectiveness. Rodgers says he fractured his pinky toe last month while working out at home during his quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

 

He didn't practice at all before a victory over the Los Angeles Rams and practiced just once before a loss at Minnesota the previous week. Rodgers said his toe benefited from the Packers' bye week last week.

 

Bears running back David Montgomery looked more like his usual self last week after initially struggling in his return from a knee injury.

 

He carried 21 times for 90 yards and a touchdown in a 33-22 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He also had a season-high eight catches for 51 yards. In the three games prior to that since returning against Pittsburgh on Nov. 8, he averaged just 3.8 yards on 44 carries and had six catches for 54 yards.

 

Montgomery's injury prevented him from playing when the Bears lost to the Packers in Chicago.

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Blues Blast Red Wings

Nathan Walker scored his first career hat trick and fourth-string goaltender Charlie Lindgren made 29 saves, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 6-2 victory Thursday night over the Detroit Red Wings.

 

Down nine players due to injuries and COVID-19 issues, St. Louis has been scrambling.

 

The Blues recalled Walker from their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, under emergency conditions Wednesday. The 27-year-old Walker, from Wales, had previously dressed in 25 NHL games, recording three goals and two assists.

 

Lindgren made his first start since March 7, 2020. He is fourth on the Blues' depth chart. The 27-year-old saw his first NHL action in almost two calendar years on Tuesday against Florida and made three saves in 6:25 of relief duty.

 

Colton Parayko, Ivan Barbashev and Marco Scandella also scored for St. Louis.

Robby Fabbri had both Detroit goals against his former club.

 

Walker scored twice in the first period, almost matching his career total coming into the game. He added his third goal in the final period.

 

The Blues have won six straight at home. It's their longest such streak since taking nine in a row from Dec. 12, 2019, through Jan. 13, 2020.

 

The Blues signed goaltender Jon Gillies to a one-year, two-way contract. Gillies, 27, has appeared in four AHL games overall this season, three with Providence and one with Lehigh Valley. The 6-foot-6, 223-pound New Hampshire native has made 12 career NHL appearances, going 4-5-1 with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.

 

Blues G Jordan Binnington, D Justin Faulk and C Tyler Bozak are on the COVID-19 protocol list. They are the seventh, eighth and ninth players on the team to miss games this season for St. Louis under the NHL's protocols. Bozak is due to come off the list Friday and could play Saturday. Binnington and Faulk come off on Sunday.

 

The Blues were without G Ville Husso (lower-body injury), D Jake Walman (upper-body injury), LW David Perron (upper-body injury), C Robert Thomas (lower-body injury), James Neal (upper-body injury) and Klim Kostin (upper-body injury). Perron took part in the morning skate.

 

The Blues host Montreal on Saturday.

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Lady Maroons Drop Central A&M; Win 7th Straight

In a game heard on WHOW Thursday night, the Clinton Lady Maroons dropped the Central A&M Lady Raiders by a score of 51 to 21.  The thirty point victory was the seventh straight for Clinton. 

 

Both teams started slow, but the Lady Maroons were able to put together a 23-8 halftime lead.  They continued to build on it from there; primarily led by tough defense and Mallory Cyrulik inside.  The Clinton senior led all scorers with 24 points, and also went 10 of 10 at the free throw line.  

 

Clinton was also aided by some great defense from the Maroons Serv-Pro of Piatt & DeWitt County Player of the Game - sophomore Heidi Humble.  In addition to being the only other player in double figures with 10 points, Humble also came up with numerous steals throughout the game.   Kylie Raymer added 8, and Kaitlyn Rauch added 7 for Clinton.

 

Central A&M was led by Jilyan Burgener with 9 points.  

 

Clinton improves to 9-1 overall, and 2-0 in the Central Illinois Conference.  They next play Saturday afternoon at Pana.  The next Lady Maroons broadcast on WHOW takes place at 6p next Thursday at Argenta-Oreana.

 

Central A&M falls to 4-7 overall with the loss, and 1-1 in the CIC.  

 

Reminder - the Clinton Maroons are in action Friday night on WHOW as they host Tolono Unity.  Coverage should begin around 7:30pm.  

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Monticello Rallies Past Mt. Zion

The Monticello Lady Sages rallied in the second half to beat Mt. Zion 33-32 in non-conference girl's high school basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School Thursday night.

 

Leading 17-12 at the intermission, the Lady Braves started the second half with four straight points to open their biggest lead 21-12 but it was all Monticello the rest of the way.

 

Hannah Swanson hit a three to tie the score at 23 late in the third quarter.

 

She'd come up with another big three late in regulation to give the Lady Sages 31-27 lead.

 

After a turnover, Mt. Zion got within 31-29 but Rennie Fultz made two free throws to make it 33-29. 

 

Sophomore Denver Anderson made a quick three at the top of the key to cut the deficit to 33-32 with 3.5 seconds but the Braves failed to stop the clock by fouling as the Sages imbounded and sealed the victory.

 

Lizzie Stiverson led Monticello in scoring with 12 points. Swanson finished with seven points and despite battling first-half foul trouble, Fultz finished with six points. 

 

Mt. Zion's Anderson led all scorers with 14 points. 

 

The Lady Sages improve to 8-1 overall and the Lady Braves drop to 2-8.

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Hear Clinton, Monticello Sports Tonight on Regional Radio

The Clinton Lady Maroons are off to one of the best starts in the Central Illinois Conference this season and tonight they host Central A&M.

 

The Lady Maroons rallied past Mt. Zion Tuesday night at Clinton High School 46-42 to move its record to 8-1. 

 

The 6-3 Lady Raiders lost Monday to Monticello 55-36. Both teams are 1-0 in conference play.

 

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

 

 

 

Game time for tonight's Monticello's girl's basketball game has been moved up an hour as there will not be a JV contest. 

 

Game time is now 6 pm as the 8-1 Lady Sages host Mt. Zion. 

 

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

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Cavs Throttle Bulls

Darius Garland scored 24 points and rookie power forward Evan Mobley had 16 points and nine rebounds, sending the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 115-92 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

 

Garland also had six assists as Cleveland won for the fifth time in seven games, earning its most lopsided home victory of the season. Mobley, the third overall draft pick, shot 8 of 11 from the field and had a season-high five blocked shots and two steals.

 

Zach LaVine scored 23 points with nine assists for Chicago, which had its four-game win streak snapped. Lonzo Ball added 19 points and Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 12 rebounds, but shot 8 for 23 from the field.

 

The Bulls played their second game since leading scorer DeMar DeRozan was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocol for COVID-19. Chicago guards Coby White, Matt Thomas and Javonte Green are sidelined for the same reason.

 

The Cavaliers took command in the third quarter when Kevin Love made three 3-pointers in a 1:57 span to extend their lead to 78-56. Former Chicago forward Lauri Markkanen gave Cleveland its largest spread with a dunk that made it 104-78 midway through the fourth.

 

Markkanen scored 14 points, Jarrett Allen had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Love and Ricky Rubio each had 11 points. The Cavaliers have won five in a row over the Bulls at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

 

Mobley became the second Cleveland rookie with at least 300 points and 40 blocks in his first 22 games, joining John ''Hot Rod'' Williams in 1986-87. The USC product is averaging 14 points, 8.2 rebounds and a rookie-best 2.0 rejections.

 

Chicago, whose bench did not score in the first three quarters, has not won five straight since the 2017-18 season. Ball hit four 3-pointers and converted one of them into a four-point play, but his teammates were 3 of 17 beyond the arc.

 

Bulls G Alex Caruso (right hamstring strain) missed his second straight game, but will have his rehabilitation accelerated to include sprinting and cutting.

 

The Bulls visit the Miami Heat on Saturday.

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Pacers Roll Knicks

Chris Duarte scored 23 points, Myles Turner had 22 and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 122-102 Wednesday night.

 

Duarte, a rookie shooting guard, eclipsed his 13.1-point scoring average with 14 in the first quarter, when the Pacers seized control with a 15-2 run. Indiana outscored New York in each of the first three quarters to lead 96-76 and maintained a double-digit lead from midway through the second quarter until the final buzzer.

 

The struggling Pacers began the night tied with the Detroit Pistons for last in attendance at 13,137 per game.

 

The Pacers shot 60% (27 of 45) in the first half. The Knicks shot 47.7% (21 of 44).

 

Each of the Pacers starters scored in double figures, with Malcolm Brogdon getting 16 points and Caris LeVert 15. Duarte and LeVert each had six assists.

 

Domantas Sabonis had 21 points and 11 rebounds. His league-leading 20 double-doubles is one more than Jonas Valanciunas of New Orleans.

 

RJ Barrett led the Knicks with 19 points. Julius Randle had 18 points and eight rebounds. Alec Burks scored 15 and Obi Toppin 13.

 

The Knicks were playing on the road on back-to-back nights after a win at San Antonio on Tuesday. The Pacers had the benefit of one day of rest.

 

The Pacers host Dallas on Friday night.

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QB Fields Will Return Sunday for Bears

Justin Fields is set to return to the Chicago Bears’ lineup.

 

Coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday the prized rookie quarterback will start when the team visits the Green Bay Packers this week after missing the past two games because of broken ribs.

 

Fields, the No. 11 overall draft pick, practiced on a limited basis last week. He has not played since he left in the second half of a loss to Baltimore on Nov. 21.

 

Fields wasn’t sure exactly when the injury happened. His final play against the Ravens was a 6-yard scramble on third-and-11 at the Chicago 45 on the opening drive of the third quarter.

 

Fields went to the locker room, and veteran Andy Dalton replaced him.

 

Fields also took a shot to his ribs in the national semifinals last year when Clemson linebacker James Skalski nailed him in the right side of his torso. Skalski was ejected for targeting because he led with the crown of his helmet.

 

Fields missed one play and finished with six touchdown passes in Ohio State’s 49-28 victory. The ribs bothered him in the national championship game, and the Buckeyes lost 52-24 to Alabama.

 

He won’t be playing at 100%, either, when the Bears visit the NFC North-leading Packers. Green Bay beat Chicago 24-14 at Soldier Field in October.

 

Dalton, who opened the season as Chicago’s No. 1 quarterback before injuring his knee against Cincinnati in Week 2, has started the past two games. He helped lead the Bears to a narrow Thanksgiving victory at then-winless Detroit, then tied a career-high with four interceptions in a loss to Arizona on Sunday and injured his non-throwing, left hand.

 

Nagy said the decision to start Fields was not related to Dalton’s injury, adding the former Ohio State star remains the team’s No. 1 quarterback. He also would not give any details on the condition of Dalton, who did not practice. If he isn’t available Sunday, Nick Foles would be the backup.

 

Fields has completed 115 of 198 passes for 1,361 yards in 10 games and eight starts. He has four touchdowns and eight interceptions.

 

Fields had several promising outings prior to the game against Baltimore.

 

In a loss to San Francisco at Soldier Field on Halloween, he threw for 175 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 103 yards and a score, becoming the first Bears QB to rush for 100 yards in a game since Bobby Douglass in 1973.

 

The following week in a Monday night loss at Pittsburgh, he passed for a personal-best 291 yards and threw a go-ahead touchdown in the closing minutes.

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Packers Hoping for Health Out of the Bye, Down the Stretch

Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur says there’s a possibility three of his injured Pro Bowl players from last season could return to practice this week.

 

The Packers have been playing without 2020 All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) as well as cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (back). Alexander and Smith were second-team selections in the 2020 All-Pro balloting.

 

LaFleur said Monday they “potentially” could practice this week as the NFC North-leading Packers (9-3) return from their off week and prepare for a Sunday night home game with the Chicago Bears (4-8).

 

The Packers’ other notable injury involves quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said he fractured his pinky toe last month while working out at home during his quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Although the injury hasn’t kept him from playing, Rodgers didn’t practice at all before a Nov. 28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams and practiced just once before a Nov. 21 loss at Minnesota.

 

Bakhtiari hasn’t played since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Dec. 31. He had returned to practice in late October and was activated from the physically unable to perform list on Nov. 10, but he hasn’t been practicing the last few weeks.

 

Smith hasn’t played since the Packers’ season-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints. Alexander hurt his right shoulder in an Oct. 3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and hasn’t played since.

 

One other issue facing Green Bay’s defense concerns linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week. LaFleur said Campbell could return to the team facilities as early as Friday and will be participating in meetings via Zoom until then.

 

The Packers added backup quarterback Jordan Love to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday.

 

LaFleur said rookie center Josh Myers won’t be returning to practice this week. Myers has been out since injuring his knee in an Oct. 17 victory at Chicago.

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Lady Maroons Top Mt. Zion

The Clinton Lady Maroons beat Mt. Zion 46-42 in non-conference high school girl's basketball action Tuesday night at Clinton High School.

 

Kaitlyn Rauch and Malorie Cyrulik helped pace Clinton Tuesday. Rauch finished with 27 while Cyrulik scored 13 points. 

 

Sophomore Denver Anderson scored a team-high 21 for the Lady Braves.

 

The Lady Maroons improve to 8-1 overall. They will host Central A& M Thursday.

 

Girl's basketball scores from Tuesday:

 

Springfield 46

Sacred Heart-Griffin 44

 

Washington 58

Normal West 39

 

Fieldcrest 46

Putnam County 18

 

Meridian 56

Northside Baptist Christian 39

 

Prairie Central 57

Reed-Custer 16

 

Peoria 60

Richwoods 29

 

Limestone 43

Canton 40

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UPDATED with Area Scores: Monticello Routs Williamsville

Monticello held Williamsville scoreless in the first quarter and used another tenacious defensive effort to shut down the Bullets in a 49-28 rout of the third Sangamo Conference opponent of the season from Monticello High School's Sievers Center Tuesday.

 

The Sages jumped to 10-0 lead after the first quarter and despite getting Monticello to its sixth team foul with 2:06 to go in the first quarter, the Bullets did not shoot a free throw in the first half and trailed 24-8 at the intermission.

 

Monticello's excellent passing and balanced scoring were too much for Williamsville most of the night. 

 

Dylan Ginalick overcame first-half foul trouble to lead all scorers with 10 points. Ben Cresap scored nine points, Joey Sprinkle added eight points and Trevor Fox finished with six. 

 

Will Ross grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Cresap hauled in with six boards and Sprinkle had five. 

 

Fox was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game as he helped lead the Sages defensively and had four assists to zero turnovers. 

 

The Sages dished out ten assists and only committed nine turnovers. They shot 46-percent from the floor and scored 26 points in the paint and had 10 second-chance points on eight offensive rebounds.

 

The Sages are now 5-0 and will travel to Maroa-Forsyth on Saturday afternoon for a 4:15 pm contest. 

 

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

 

Boy's basketball scores from Tuesday:

 

Lincoln 40

Taylorville 32

 

Eureka 72

Lexington 56

 

Sacred Heart-Griffin 53

Springfield 50

 

Pana 72

Shelbyville 40

 

MacArthur 80

Rochester 33

 

Oakwood 49

St. Thomas More 47

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 75

Hoopeston 46

 

Decatur Lsa 56

Arthur-Okaw Christian 39

 

Peoria Notre Dame 68

Peoria 42

 

DeeMack 45

Olympia 39

 

Midland 59

Peoria Heights 26

 

Delavan 57

Tremont 56

 

 GCMS 39

Tri-Valley 31

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Toledo Edges Bradley

Ryan Rollins sank two free throws with 6 seconds remaining and finished with 27 points as Toledo edged Bradley 67-65 on Tuesday night.

 

JT Shumate had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets (7-2).

 

Terry Roberts had 21 points for the Braves (4-6). Roberts hit two straight baskets and knotted the score at 65 with 20 seconds left. Malevy Leons added 12 points. Rienk Mast had nine rebounds.

 

The Braves host St. Joseph Saturday afternoon. 

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Blues Down Panthers

Pavel Buchnevich scored a wrap-around goal 53 seconds into overtime and the St. Louis Blues beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 Tuesday night.

 

The Blues earned a split in their back-to-back with Florida. Both games went to overtime.

 

Brandon Saad's tip of Ivan Barbashev's shot broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Blues their first lead of the game with 13:12 left in the third period.

 

Jonathan Huberdeau's goal for the Panthers with 5:32 left tied it for the third time.

 

Blues goalie Ville Husso left the game after Huberdeau's goal, with Charlie Lindgren making his St. Louis debut in relief. Blues coach Craig Berube said Husso suffered a lower-body injury before the goal.

 

Defenseman Jake Walman left the game at the same time with an upper-body injury, leaving an already depleted Blues team with just 11 players on the bench.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Blues. Husso made 34 saves.

 

Aleksander Barkov and Brandon Montour also scored for the Panthers, while Maxim Mamin and Carter Verhaeghe each had two assists. Spencer Knight made 26 saves as Florida had its three-game winning streak snapped.

 

Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at the 6:49 mark of the first period, tucking in a perfect feed from Mamin on an odd-man rush.

 

Husso was the lone bright spot for St. Louis in an opening period dominated by Florida. One game after making 48 saves, a league-high this season, Husso made 19 saves as the Panthers outshot St. Louis 20-5.

 

The Blues capitalized on their first sustained pressure of the game as Tarasenko buried a wrist shot from the right circle to even the game at 1 at the 4:20 mark of the second period.

 

It took the Panthers just 52 seconds to answer as Montour's shot found its way through traffic and into the upper right corner.

 

Schenn's power-play goal with 6:26 left in the second drew the Blues even once again.

 

Blues F Robert Thomas (lower body) was scratched, joining a growing list of notable performers who are unavailable including F David Perron (upper body), F James Neal (upper body) and C Klim Kostin (upper body), while C Tyler Bozak, G Jordan Binnington and D Justin Faulk are each in COVID-19 protocol.

 

The Blues host Detroit on Thursday.

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Rangers Pull Away from Blackhawks

Jujhar Khaira was stretchered off the ice after he was leveled by Jacob Trouba in the second period of New York's 6-2 victory Tuesday night.

 

By the time yhe Blackhawks forward saw Trouba, it was too late. The result was a huge hit that sent Khaira to the hospital.

 

Artemi Panarin had two goals and two assists against his first NHL team, passing 500 career points and helping New York to its seventh straight win. Trouba, Chris Kreider, Kevin Rooney and Barclay Goodrow also scored, and Alexandar Georgiev made 24 saves.

 

The Rangers also beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Saturday night in New York. Their second matchup in four days was overshadowed by Trouba's big hit on Khaira in the second.

 

Khaira's head was down as he gathered in the puck, and he looked up right as Trouba appeared to drive his right shoulder into his chin. Khaira's head bounced hard off the ice, and there were no signs of movement from him as the Blackhawks and Rangers scuffled nearby.

 

A stretcher was wheeled onto the ice, and medical personnel worked on Khaira as each team looked on from the bench area. A handful of his teammates and the Rangers tapped the stretcher as Khaira was taken off.

 

The Blackhawks said Khaira suffered an ''upper-body blow'' and was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

 

Kirby Dach and Erik Gustafsson scored for Chicago, which had won two of three. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 stops in his first try at his 500th career win.

 

The game was tied at 2 when Kreider tipped Adam Fox's power-play shot through Fleury's legs for his 17th goal 4:59 into the third. Fox picked up his second assist when Rooney scored on a wrist shot at 12:10. Panarin added an empty-netter with 3:10 left, and Goodrow scored from in front with 1:19 remaining.

 

Panarin has five goals and nine assists in his last seven games. He had a goal and two assists in Saturday night's victory over Chicago.

 

The Blackhawks played without Connor Murphy, Jake McCabe and Caleb Jones, three of their top defensemen. Murphy missed his third straight game because of concussion protocol. McCabe also missed a third consecutive game for personal reasons, and Jones was out because of a non-COVID-19-related illness.

 

Murphy and McCabe participated in Chicago's morning skate and could return on its two-game road trip in Canada.

 

The Blackhawks are at the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

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Monticello Uses Balanced Scoring, Tenacious Defense to Down Williamsville

Monticello held Williamsville scoreless in the first quarter and used another tenacious defensive effort to shut down the Bullets in a 49-28 rout of the third Sangamo Conference opponent of the season from Monticello High School's Sievers Center Tuesday.

 

The Sages jumped to 10-0 lead after the first quarter and despite getting Monticello to its sixth team foul with 2:06 to go in the first quarter, the Bullets did not shoot a free throw in the first half and trailed 24-8 at the intermission.

 

Monticello's excellent passing and balanced scoring was too much for Williamsville most of the night. 

 

Dylan Ginalick overcame first half foul trouble to lead all scorers with 10 points. Ben Cresap scored nine points, Joey Sprinkle added eight points and Trevor Fox finished with six. 

 

Will Ross grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Cresap hauled in with six boards and Sprinkle had five. 

 

Fox was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game as he helped lead the Sages defensively and had four assists to zero turnovers. 

 

The Sages dished out ten assists and only committed nine turnovers. They shot 46-percent from the floor and scored 26 points in the paint and had 10 second-chance points on eight offensive rebounds.

 

The Sages are now 5-0 and will travel to Maroa-Forsyth on Saturday afternoon for a 4:15 pm contest. 

 

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

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Lady Maroons Rally Past Peoria Central

The Clinton Lady Maroons started slow Monday night but cam alive in the third quarter to rally past Peoria Heights 48-45 in non-conference girl's basketball action from Peoria Heights High School.

 

The Lady Maroons trailed 13-8 after one period and trailed 18-14 at the intermission but took a 29-25 lead into the fourth quarter.

 

Kaitlyn Rauch led all scorers with 23 points. MaKayla Koeppel scored eight points. 

 

The Lady Maroons are 7-1 overall and get a quick turnaround when they host Mt. Zion tonight at Clinton High School.

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Monticello Routs Central A&M

The Monticello Lady Sages rolled past Central A&M 55-36 in non-conference high school girl's basketball action Monday night from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Lizzie Stiverson led all scorers with 23 points and Renni Fultz chipped in with 12 points.

 

The Lady Sages are 7-1 on the season and will host Mt. Zion on Thursday night. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Girls' basketball scores from Monday:

 

Cowden-Herrick 58

Shelbyville 45

 

Pana 39

Teutopolis 38

 

Pleasant Plains 37

PORTA 33

 

Deer Creek-Mackinaw 43

El Paso-Gridley 34

 

Cerro Gordo-Bement 50

Okaw Valley 20

 

Mt. Pulaski 36

Midwest Central 27

 

Tolono Unity 43

Urbana 22

 

Tuscola 50

St. Thomas More 45

 

Fieldcrest 64

Lexington 19

 

Tri-Valley 45

GCMS 28

 

Arcola 51

Blue Ridge 14

 

LeRoy 45

Fisher 23

 

Meridian 55 

Springfield Lutheran 39

 

Champaign Central 58 

Sullivan 28

 

Warrensburg-Latham 62 

Decatur LSA 24

 

High school boy's basketball from Monday:

 

St. Teresa 55

Maroa-Forsyth 53

 

Pontiac 66

Marquette 26

 

Warrensburg-Latham 2

Argenta-Oreana 0 (Forfeit)

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Illinois Gets By Iowa

Kofi Cockburn scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and Illinois scored 24 points at the free-throw line to hold off Iowa, 87-83 on Monday night to go 2-0 to start Big Ten play

 

The Illini (7-2, 2-0) converted 24 of 28 at the line (85.7%) and pulled down 52 rebounds, 33 off the defensive glass and 13 by Cockburn.

 

Despite being out-rebounded by 29 boards, Iowa managed to claw its way out of a 15-point deficit with just under nine minutes left.

 

Keegan Murray, the leading scorer in the country coming into the game, went on a personal 10-2 run to get the Hawkeyes within three, 74-71 with 1:33 left, but Alfonso Plummer buried a 3 and knocked down two from the line. Illinois hit 10 of 12 from the line in the final 62 seconds to close out the victory.

 

Plummer finished with 21 points, hitting 4 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc and 5 of 5 at the line, to lead Illinois. Jacob Grandison scored 12 of his 21 points from beyond the arc and Trent Frazier was 3 of 5 from 3-point range and finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.

 

Murray, who missed Friday’s Big Ten opener at No. 2 Purdue after injuring his ankle in a win over Virginia, finished with 19 points and three steals but struggled from the line, hitting just 4 of 7 shots. Tony Perkins had 16 points, Patrick McCaffery scored 12 and Ahron Ulis added 11 for the Hawkeyes.

 

After back-to-back losses to No. 2 Purdue and Illinois, Iowa finds itself 7-2 heading into Thursday’s game at Iowa State.

 

Illinois plays host to No. 11 Arizona on Saturday.

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Bulls Roll Nuggets

Zach LaVine scored 32 points and the Chicago Bulls overcame DeMar DeRozan's absence to beat the Denver Nuggets 109-97 on Monday night.

 

The Bulls took a big hit a few hours before tipoff when DeRozan, their leading scorer, entered the NBA's health and safety protocols. Even without the four-time All-Star, they dominated down the stretch and tied Brooklyn for the Eastern Conference lead.

 

It's just another sign of how far the Bulls have come. After four straight losing seasons, they hope to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

 

LaVine had a season-high eight assists in a solid all-around game.

 

Lonzo Ball and Nikola Vucevic each had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Ball also blocked four shots. All five starters reached double figures in points, and Chicago outscored Denver 15-0 in transition.

 

The Nuggets lost for the eighth time in 10 games despite a triple-double by Nikola Jokic. The reigning MVP finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and a season-high 15 assists.

 

Will Barton and Monte Morris each scored 19. Aaron Gordon added 18 points. But the Nuggets got outscored 63-48 in the second half.

 

LaVine scored 12 in the third, including seven straight late in the quarter, to extend Chicago's lead to 74-66.

 

Ball made a four-point play early in the fourth when Jeff Green knocked him to floor with a flagrant foul. Tony Bradley dunked, and Chicago product Ayo Dosunmu nailed a 3 to make it 86-73 with 9:50 left in the game, delighting the crowd.

 

Dosunmu found out about an hour before tipoff he would make his first career start, then came through with 11 points, six rebounds and eight assists. The second-round draft pick out of Illinois also made sure he was billed as from Chicago rather than his college in the pregame introductions, just like former MVP Derrick Rose.

 

The Bulls visit Cleveland on Wednesday.

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Pacers Down Wizards

Domantias Sabonis produced his 19th double-double of the season with 30 points and 10 rebounds while adding six assists and three steals, helping the Pacers hold off hard-charging Washington 116-110.

 

Caris LeVert had 19 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 17 points and eight assists for the Pacers, who had lost five straight in the series including the play-in game. And it didn't take long for Indiana to show everyone it intended to change directions.

 

While three-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal tried to bail out the Wizards with 34 points, Washington lots its third in a row and fell for the fourth time in five games. Beal appeared to hurt his left shoulder early in the fourth quarter during a tussle for a loose ball, but returned following a timeout and finished the game.

 

But the Wizards never recovered from an inexplicably slow, sloppy start on the second game of a back-to-back. After Oshae Brissett's 3-pointer to end the first quarter gave Indiana a 28-18 lead. The Wizards couldn't cut the deficit to fewer than eight points until their final basket.

 

Washington cut the deficit to nine early in the second quarter only to watch Indiana retake a double-digit lead. The Pacers maintained that advantage through the rest of the first half and the entire third quarter.

 

Beal's put-back to open the fourth got Washington within 88-80, but Sabonis answered with a three-point play and Indiana methodically put this one away.

 

Washington's Daniel Gafford had 14 points and eight rebounds, while Kyle Kuzma finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Corey Kispert scored 10 points in his first game in Indianapolis since April when he was on the court as Gonzaga's perfect season ended in the national championship game loss to Baylor. 

 

The Pacers host the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

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Maroa-Forsyth Boy's Basketball Team Opens Macon County Tournament Against Decatur St. Teresa

The Maroa-Forsyth boy's basketball team has started the 2021-22 campaign 2-0 and will look to put its undefeated mark on the line this week at the Macon County Tournament.

 

Coach Aaron Ennis has been pleased with the way his team has started the season but says the opener against their rivals will be a big challenge for them.

 

 

The Trojans beat Heyworth and Clinton last week to start its season 2-0.

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Cardinals Too Much for Bears

Kyler Murray threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in his return from an ankle injury, and the Cardinals beat the struggling Chicago Bears 33-22 on Sunday.

 

The Cardinals (10-2) got back Murray and three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins after both players missed three games because of injuries, then rolled to an easy victory over Chicago (4-8). The NFC West leaders, who have the NFL's best record, intercepted Andy Dalton four times.

 

The Cardinals, who were coming off a bye, improved to 7-0 on the road, with each win by 10 points or more.

 

Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker picked off passes that deflected off the intended target on Chicago's first two possessions. The Cardinals took advantage, with Murray connecting with Hopkins for a 20-yarder and scrambling 9 yards to the end zone. He also threw a 21-yard TD to James Conner in the second quarter to make it 21-7, sending Chicago to its sixth loss in seven games.

 

Murray completed 11 of 15 passes for 123 yards, giving him 10,092 in three seasons, on a cool and soggy afternoon. At 24 years, 120 days, he became the fourth-youngest player with 10,000 career yards passing, according to NFL research. Drew Bledsoe (23 years, 299 days), Jameis Winston (23 years, 303 days) and Dan Marino (24 years, 63 days) are the only younger players to reach it.

 

Murray also joined Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history with at least 10,000 yards passing and 1,500 rushing in his first three seasons.

 

Hopkins, back from a hamstring injury, caught two passes for 32 yards. Conner added 75 yards rushing and 36 receiving. Byron Murphy Jr. and Zach Allen had interceptions.

 

The Bears were hoping to build on a last-second Thanksgiving win at Detroit. Instead, it was an all-too-familiar result for them.

 

Dalton, making his second straight start with Justin Fields sidelined because of broken ribs, matched a career-high for interceptions. He injured his left hand trying to make a tackle after getting picked off a second time.

 

Dalton was 26 of 41 for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Murray and Hopkins connected for a 20-yard touchdown on fourth down after Thompson picked off a short pass in Chicago territory that deflected off receiver Jakeem Grant's hands.

 

The Bears were threatening on their next possession, only to have Baker intercept a pass that hit off Cole Kmet's chest and return it 77 yards to the 15. That led to the 9-yard touchdown scramble by Murray to make it 14-0.

 

Chicago orchestrated a 77-yard drive that lasted nearly eight minutes, with David Montgomery scoring from the 1. But the Cardinals answered. Conner, aided by Xavier Crawford's missed tackle, turned a short pass by Murray into a 23-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.

 

Te Bears visit Green Bay next Sunday night.

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Blackhawks Outlast Islanders

Patrick Kane scored the only goal in the shootout and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Islanders 3-2 Sunday night, sending New York to its 11th straight loss overall and its sixth straight setback its new arena.

 

Kane beat Semyon Varlamov with Chicago's second shootout attempt, and Marc-Andre Fleury denied all three chances by the Islanders to secure the win. The victory was the 499th of Fleury's career. With his next victory, Fleury would join Martin Brodeur (691) and Patrick Roy (551) as the only goalies to reach 500 wins in the NHL. Fleury is 499-285-82 in his 18 seasons.

 

The Islanders tied the game at 2-all with four seconds left in the third period on a goal by defenseman Noah Dobson. Despite another defeat, the Islanders were heartened by getting a point and pressing the Blackhawks until the end of regulation.

 

Strome had put Chicago ahead 2-1 at 5:59 of the third with his second goal of the season, beating Varlamov with a high shot from the right faceoff circle. Alex DeBrincat and Erik Gustafsson assisted.

 

The Blackhawks are 12-3-2 in their last 17 games against Islanders.

 

Hagel opened the scoring with a power-play goal, beating Varlamov at 6:49 of the first period with his eighth goal of the season. Assists went to DeBrincat and Seth Jones.

 

Jones, who had two assists in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Rangers, has 19 assists this season. Only Adam Fox of the Rangers has more assists among NHL defensemen, with 20.

 

Jones leads the Blackhawks in points with 22. Patrick Kane has 21 points, while DeBrincat, who scored both goals against the Rangers on Saturday, has 20 points.

 

Chicago outshot the Islanders 10-8 in the first period.

 

Chicago is 8-4-0 under interim coach and former Islanders player Derek King.

 

The Blackhawks host the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

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Evans, Moore propel Jackson St to 61-55 win over Illinois St

Ken Evans Jr. tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds and Chance Moore came off the bench to score 13 to guide Jackson State to a 61-55 victory over Illinois State on Saturday.

 

Jonas James III added 11 points for the Tigers (2-6). Jayveous McKinnis had seven boards and blocked four shots.

 

Antonio Reeves had 14 points for the Redbirds (4-5). Howard Fleming Jr. added 10 points. Sy Chatman also had four blocks.

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Roberts with 17, lifts Bradley past SIU-Edwardsville 80-55

Terry Roberts scored 17 points with four steals and four assists as Bradley routed Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 80-55 on Saturday.

 

Jayson Kent had 13 points for Bradley (4-5), which earned its fourth straight home victory. Ja'Shon Henry added 11 points and Rienk Mast had 9 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

 

Ray'Sean Taylor had 22 points and six rebounds for the Cougars (3-6). He also had seven turnovers but only one assist. Shaun Doss Jr. added 14 points and seven rebounds.

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Monticello Rolls Marshall

The Monticello Sages started fast for the second time in as many days and never looked back routing Marshall 59-35 in non-conference high school boy's basketball action Saturday afternoon from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

The Sages opened up a 9-0 lead with 5:23 to play in the first quarter then led 19-3 at the 2:40 mark and led by as many as 32 with 4:02 left in the game and had a running clock most of the fourth quarter.

 

Dylan Ginalick scored ten of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter. Ginalick, who was held scoreless Friday night against Salt Fork, was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro player of the game.

 

Ben Cresap scored seven of his 14 points in the first quarter and Joey Sprinkle and Trevor Fox had eight points apiece for Monticello. Sprinkle grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

 

The Sages dished out 15 assists on their 25 team field goals and committed only nine turnovers, one in the first half. 

 

Monticello forced Marshall into 17 team turnovers, converting those into 19 points, and scored 30 points in the paint.

 

The Sages shot 52-percent from the floor and made 9-of-18 attempts from three. Amazingly, Monticello did not shoot a free throw Saturday.

 

The Sages have won their first four games and Marshall dropped to 1-5. 

 

Monticello will return home Tuesday night hosting Williamsville. It'll be the Sages' third Sangamo opponent on the schedule to date with an appointment at Maroa-Forsyth out of the Sangamo next Saturday afternoon and the Sangamo/Illini Prairie Shootout still to come later this season. Game time Tuesday against Williamsville is 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Trojans Conquer Maroons Friday Night

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Route 51 rival Maroa-Forsyth 53-42 Friday night. Sophomore Dawson Graves led the Maroons with 14 points. DeWitt/Piatt ServPro Player of the Game Trevor Scott had 13 points. Sophomore Mason Walker added 12.

 

The Maroa-Forsyth Trojans outscored the Maroons 23-5 in the fourth quarter. The lead scorer for the Trojans was Egan Franzen with 28 points. Ethan Willoughby chipped in with 8.

 

With the loss, Clinton falls to 2-4. Maroa-Forsyth improves to 2-0.

 

Tune in Thursday, December 9, at 7:30 pm as the Lady Maroons take on the Central A&M Lady Raiders. 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 mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Monticello Dominates Salt Fork

The Monticello Sages used tenacious defense to dominate Salt Fork in a 59-20 victory Friday night in non-conference high school boy's basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Monticello jumped out to a 9-2 lead with 3:43 left in the first and never looked back. The Sages forced the Storm into 15 first-half turnovers that led to 18 points. Ben Cresap had five first-half steals and led all scorers with 12 points at the intermission. 

 

Monticello opened up a 46-16 lead after Cresap buried a corner three with 1:42 to play in the third and outscored the Storm 20-6 and 48-20 after three and held Salt Fork scoreless in the fourth quarter.

 

Cresap led all scorers with 20 points. 

 

Joey Sprinkle was the only other Sage to get to double figures with 10 points, a game-high seven rebounds and dished out three assists. More impressively, he led a charge to limit the Storm's leading scorer, Garrett Taylor to just four points and five rebounds. Sprinkle was the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro player of the game.

 

In total, Monticello turned the Storm over 25 times for 34 points. They shot 57-percent from the floor for the game. The Sages dished out 17 assists on 24 field goals and committed only 10 turnovers. 

 

Monticello moves to 3-0 and will host Marshall Saturday afternoon for a 3:30 pm tip. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Illinois Hosts Rutgers Tonight

Illinois has dealt with uncertainty about its lineup at times during the first few weeks of the season.

 

But the Fighting Illini (5-2) go into their Big Ten Conference opener against Rutgers (4-3) on Friday night at Champaign, Ill., knowing they have one of the most productive players in the country.

 

With that, Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell figures his team has one of the biggest challenges of any team at this stage of the season.

 

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn has posted 26.8 points per game, unofficially leading the nation as he's only played in four games to date.

 

Pikiell called the task against the Illini tough because it involves "the best player arguably in the country. We have our work cut out for us."

 

That will be a key matchup for Rutgers center Clifford Omoruyi.

 

Both teams represented the Big Ten well in this week's ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Rutgers defeated Clemson, while Illinois knocked off Notre Dame.

 

There's a complex element for Illinois, which has won three consecutive games. Coach Brad Underwood has used six different starting lineups already this season. Freshman RJ Melendez was a first-time starter in the Notre Dame game.

 

Jacob Grandison, who had been ill, and Trent Frazier, who dealt with a knee injury, came off the bench in the Notre Dame game.

 

Rutgers relies on Ron Harper Jr., who has four double-doubles this season. He had a season-high 23 points against Clemson.

 

The Scarlet Knights might be cranking up the offense at a good time. Two of their three highest-scoring games have come in the past two games.

 

Illinois has won nine straight home games. This season's four home victories have all come by nine or more points.

 

Rutgers has never won in five all-time visits to Illinois. The last meeting between the teams came with the Illini's 90-68 romp in March's Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.

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Bulls Hold Off Knicks

DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic each added 27, and the Bulls held on for a 119-115 victory over the New York Knicks on Thursday night.

 

Those three were the only Chicago players to score in the fourth quarter, but it was just enough after the Knicks had erased a 21-point deficit to take the lead.

 

DeRozan scored 18 points in the fourth, including the Bulls' final six. LaVine had given Chicago the lead by making two free throws with 53 seconds left after the game was tied at 111.

 

Julius Randle had 30 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, but missed two free throws and had a turnover that led to LaVine's free throws. The Knicks (11-11) fell to .500 for the first time this season after starting 5-1.

 

Lonzo Ball was 3 for 14, 2 for 10 on 3s, but the Bulls overcame that to beat the the Knicks for the second time in three meetings this season. The first two were in Chicago.

 

Alec Burks, Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose all had 16 points for the Knicks, who were without starting forward RJ Barrett because of illness along with center Nerlens Noel because of a sore right knee. Then they lost another center when Taj Gibson was ejected in the first quarter.

 

The Knicks led by two a little more than three minutes into the game and just minutes later the Bulls were running them off the floor. A 21-4 spurt made it 28-13 and six straight points toward the end of the first quarter made it 37-17.

 

The Knicks, who were unhappy with the officiating in their two-point loss at Brooklyn on Tuesday, were irate with it during the quarter. Gibson was called for offensive fouls setting picks on consecutive possessions, jumping up screaming after the second and getting ejected. Less than a minute later, they lost what would have been a basket by Rose when Randle was called for an offensive foul.

 

New York's bigger problem was the Bulls, who kept a comfortable lead in the second that grew to 21 points and was 69-51 at halftime.

 

But the Knicks outscored the Bulls 27-10 to open the third, cutting it to 79-78 when Mitchell Robinson dunked after consecutive 3-pointers by Immanuel Quickley.

 

The Bulls recovered with back-to-back 3s by Vucevic and Ball and led 89-83 after three.

 

The Bulls visit Brooklyn on Saturday.

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Cardinals Roll Into Chicago Getting Healthy

The Arizona Cardinals come in with the best record in the NFL, a perfect mark away from home, and maybe some fresher legs following a bye.

 

No matter who they have suiting up or where they’re playing, they continue to rack up wins. The NFC West-leading Cardinals will try to keep it going when they visit the struggling Chicago Bears on Sunday.

 

The Cardinals (9-2) won two of three games prior to their bye — beating San Francisco and Seattle on the road with a loss to Carolina at home in between — even though Murray (ankle) and three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) missed all three games. Both players returned to practice on Wednesday, but they are the biggest question marks for a team that simply keeps on winning.

 

Arizona is 6-0 on the road, with all six wins by 10 points or more. The Cardinals are the third NFL team to accomplish that feat along, with the 1968 Cowboys and 1936 Bears.

Chicago (4-7) lost five in a row before Cairo Santos kicked a game-ending field goal at winless Detroit on Thanksgiving. That capped a week in which coach Matt Nagy was answering questions about his job status.

 

Andy Dalton threw for a Bears season-high 317 yards against Detroit in his first start since Week 2 with Justin Fields sidelined because of cracked ribs. Fields returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since he was hurt in the loss to Baltimore on Nov. 21. The rookie remains Chicago’s No. 1 quarterback, but it wasn’t clear if he or Dalton will start against the Cardinals.

 

Murray said missing games for the first time in his NFL career has been tough, but there have been some benefits. He said watching from the sideline as backup quarterback Colt McCoy led the Cardinals over the past three games allowed him to see things up close from a different perspective.

 

The Bears haven’t been scoring often, but they have been scoring late in recent games.

 

Santos’ field goal against Detroit ended an 18-play drive that ate up 8 1/2 minutes. And unlike the previous two games, there was no time for Chicago to relinquish the lead. The Bears drove for late go-ahead touchdowns in losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

 

Chicago is averaging just 16.3 points and ranks 29th in the NFL in scoring.

 

Arizona’s defense has been one of the league’s best through 12 weeks, allowing 18.4 points per game. It’s quite a turnaround for a group that was ranked among the NFL’s worst in 2019. The Cardinals improved significantly in 2020 and then took another jump this season.

 

Vance Joseph has been the defensive coordinator all three seasons. He’s mixed a few holdovers – safety Budda Baker and edge rusher Chandler Jones – with some promising young players such as linebacker Isaiah Simmons, safety Jalen Thompson and cornerback Marco Wilson. They’ve combined to form a well-balanced unit that’s particularly good against the pass but also solid against the run.

 

Bears linebacker Robert Quinn got some recognition for his bounce-back season.

 

The veteran was chosen NFC Defensive Player of the Month after making 5 1/2 sacks in three games. That included a career-high 3 1/2 against Baltimore.

 

Quinn is tied for fourth in the NFL with 11 sacks after finishing with just two last season — his first in Chicago.

 

Bears receiver Darnell Mooney continues to emerge as a top target, with back-to-back 100-yard games. A fifth-round draft pick from Tulane in 2020, he had 123 yards against Detroit after going for 121 against Baltimore. That gave him three games this season with more than 120 yards. Mooney leads the Bears in receptions (46), yards receiving (694) and touchdown catches (three).

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Lightning Avenge Loss Earlier in Week to Beat Blues

Victor Hedman had two goals and an assist, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Thursday night.

 

Tampa Bay also got goals from Ondrej Palat and Anthony Cirelli, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves.

 

Hedman, who has five goals and 17 assists this season, has been critical of himself for several defensive miscues recently.

 

Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Blues. Ville Husso stopped 31 shots.

 

St. Louis starting goaltender Jordan Binnington and defenseman Justin Faulk were placed into COVID-19 protocols before the game. They joined center Tyler Bozak, who went on the list Tuesday.

 

The Blues begin a home-and-home series at Florida next Thursday night.

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Blackhawks Outlast Caps in Shootout

Wth the score tied at the end of the second period, the Chicago Blackhawks took a quick punch to fall behind, fought back to tie it on Seth Jones' goal midway through the third period and beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 in a shootout Thursday night. Patrick Kane scored the shootout winner, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Alex Ovechkin after getting some help from his goalposts and Chicago won for the third time in five games.

 

The Blackhawks have won seven of 10 games since King took over when Jeremy Colliton was fired. They've embraced a tight-checking mentality that gives them better chances to win against more talented competition, a style that paid off against Washington.

 

The Blackhawks easily could have folded when Garnet Hathaway scored fresh out of the penalty box on a breakaway 57 seconds into the third, but they hung right with the Capitals and were rewarded when Jones fired a laser past Vitek Vanecek with 8:04 left in regulation.

 

After surviving overtime, Fleury rubbed each of his goalposts after shots from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Daniel Sprong rang off each one in the shootout. Kane beat Vanecek for the only goal of the shootout to drop Washington to 0-7 this season in games that have gone beyond regulation.

 

The Capitals lost by blowing a lead for the second time in two games. They coughed up a 4-1 lead and fell in regulation at Florida on Tuesday and at least emerged with a point this time.

 

Ovechkin hit the post and missed high on a couple of his best opportunities to score his 750th career goal, but he still made a major impact on the game. He picked up the only assist on Kuznetsov's goal and delivered a big, momentum-shifting hit on Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy.

 

Washington captain now has the same number of goals and assists as part of his team-leading 38 points through 24 games.

 

Alex DeBrincat scored his 13th of the season, and Dominik Kubalik ended a 15-game goal drought for Chicago. Fleury stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced in regulation and overtime.

 

Despite losing Murphy for the final two periods and overtime and finishing with five defensemen, the Blackhawks won in Washington for the first time since Jan. 10, 2006, ending an eight-game skid.

 

The Blackhawks visit the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

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Chase Elliot Still NASCAR Fan Favorite

Chase Elliott held on to one of his NASCAR titles Thursday night when fans voted him most popular driver for the fourth consecutive year.

 

Elliott was both the reigning Cup champion and most popular driver this season, but he was ultimately beaten by new Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson for the Cup title. At the season-ending awards ceremony at the Music City Center, the National Press Association declared Elliott winner of the fan-decided most popular award.

 

Elliott began his run as NASCAR’s most popular driver in 2018, the first year of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement. Earnhardt had won the most popular award every year since 2003, the season Bill Elliott asked for his name to be removed from the ballot.

 

Elliott was beloved and voters selected “Awesome Bill From Dawsonville,” Georgia, their favorite a record 16 times. Earnhardt won it 15 times and Chase Elliott claimed the throne when Earnhardt retired.

 

His fourth victory was again backed by a legion of Elliott fans in their Georgia hometown, and it staved off a challenge by teammate Larson. Elliott has remained extremely popular — his fans vilify any rival who dares to tangle with Elliott — but Larson has built a strong legion of supporters in his first year driving for Hendrick.

 

Larson won 11 times in the Cup Series, broke Jeff Gordon’s 20-year record for most laps led in a season, and won Rick Hendrick’s record-extending 14th championship. Larson dethroned Elliott to claim his first Cup.

 

Larson couldn’t knock Elliott from most popular, though, as Elliott’s ardent supporters turned out even in a new voting format. The NMPA only opened voting on Nov. 9 — after Larson had already won the championship — and the brief voting period ended Dec. 1. Fans could vote once daily online or via mobile app, but votes shared on Facebook and/or Twitter counted twice.

 

The most popular driver award was first presented in 1949, to Curtis Turner, at the end of NASCAR’s inaugural season. The award has been administered by the NMPA and presented annually by the organization since 1983, and it is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by a fan vote.

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First High School Basketball State Rankings Released Wednesday

The first high school basketball state rankings were released Wednesday.

 

In Class boy's Class 1A, Yorkville is No. 1 followed by the Central Illinois Confernce's Meridian Hawks at No.2. South Beloit, Peoria Christian and Fulton round out the top-5.

 

Steeleville, Liberty, Champaign St. Thomas More, Aurora Christian come in 6-through-9 and Tuscola and Augusta Southeastern tied for tenth in the first poll of the season. Warrensburg-Latham did not make the top ten but did receive four votes this week.

 

In 2A, powerhouse Chicago Orr comes in No. 1 followed by DePaul College Prep at No. 2 with Breese Central, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin and Macomb rounding out the top-5. 

 

Clark at No. 6 received a first place vote. Teutopolis checks at No. 7 in the first poll with Nashville and Chicago Leo tying for eighth while St. Joseph-Ogden is No. 10 this week.

Not making the top 10 but receiving votes in the poll this week were Prairie Central, Monticello and El Paso-Gridley. 

 

Class 3A, powerhouse Chicago Simeon is No. 1. Hillcrest, Peoria Notre Dame, East St. Louis and Lake Forest round out the top-5. Peoria Notre Dame and East St. Louis received first-place votes in the poll this week.

 

Rock Island and Harvey Thornton are 6-7, respectively. Chicago Marian Catholic and Rockford Boylan tied for eighth with Centralia coming in No. 10 this week. Springfield High, Springfield Lanphier and Decatur MacArthur received votes in this week's poll.

 

In Class 4A, Glenbard West is the No. 1 team in the state. Powerhouse Chicago Whitney Young and Kenwood are 2-3. Glenbrook South and Chicago Curie tie for No. 5. New Trier is No. 6 this week while Normal Community and Chicago St. Rita tied for seventh in the first poll. Bolingbrook and Moline round out the top-10.

 

In the girl's poll, Brimfield is the No. 1 team in 1A. Winnebago is No. 1 in 2A. Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond is No. 10. Fieldcrest and St. Joseph-Ogden received votes in the 2A poll. 

 

Peoria Central is the No. 1 team in 3A followed by Morton at No. 2 and Metamora is No. 6 with Peoria Notre Dame tying Providence for No. 10 in the poll. Mahomet-Seymour, Lincoln and Washington received votes this week. 

 

In Class 4A, Hersey is the top team in the first poll of the year. Normal Community is No. 8. 

 

Boy's basketball scores from Wednesday:

 

Williamsville 52
Beardstown 36

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Bradley Holds Off Northern Iowa

Terry Roberts had 20 points as Bradley narrowly defeated Northern Iowa 71-69 on Wednesday night in a Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams.

 

Ville Tahvanainen had 14 points for Bradley (3-5, 1-0 Missouri Valley Conference). Connor Hickman added 12 points. Rienk Mast had 11 rebounds.

 

AJ Green had 30 points for the Panthers (2-4, 0-1). Noah Carter added 20 points. Trae Berhow had six rebounds.

 

Austin Phyfe, the Panthers' second leading scorer entering the matchup at 10 points per game, shot only 20 percent for the game (1 of 5).

 

Bradley hosts Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Saturday at 3 pm.

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Illinois State Edges Missouri State in Overtime

Antonio Reeves had 22 points as Illinois State edged past Missouri State 79-74 in overtime on Wednesday night.

 

Josiah Strong added 21 points for the Redbirds, including a corner 3 to tie with 38 seconds left in regulation.

 

It was the first Missouri Valley Conference game of the season for both teams.

 

Sy Chatman had 10 points and three blocks for Illinois State (4-4, 1-0). Mark Freeman added 10 points.

 

Gaige Prim had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Bears (4-3, 0-1). Isiaih Mosley added 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Lu'Cye Patterson had 10 points.

 

The Redbirds host Jackson State on Saturday at 4 pm.

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Justin Fields Practices for Bears, Andy Dalton Still Taking First-Team Snaps

While Justin Fields returned to practice for the Chicago Bears, Andy Dalton got the first-team snaps on Wednesday.

 

Whether the prized rookie or veteran will start at quarterback Sunday when the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals visit Soldier Field remains to be seen.

 

Fields had not practiced since he cracked ribs in the loss to Baltimore on Nov. 21 and was replaced by Dalton. The three-time Pro Bowler led a late go-ahead scoring drive before the Ravens pulled it out and, with a short turnaround, started in a Thanksgiving victory at winless Detroit.

 

When Fields is healthy, he remains Chicago’s No. 1 quarterback. The No. 11 overall draft pick strung together several solid outings prior to the Baltimore game.

 

Dalton, who opened the season as the starter, threw for a Bears season-high 317 yards against Detroit. He led an 18-play drive that ate up 8:30 and ended with Cairo Santos’ winning field goal.

 

Whoever starts for the Bears (4-7) on Sunday will face a huge challenge. The Cardinals (9-2) boast the best record in the NFL, including a 6-0 road mark, and one of the top defenses.

 

The Bears simply have little room for error the rest of the way as they try to stay in a crowded playoff race. Though they’re just one game out of the NFC’s seventh and final spot, they are one of eight teams in the conference with either four or five victories.

 

They’re also dealing with injuries to key players on offense and defense, with linebacker Roquan Smith joining the list against Detroit. He exited that game after hurting his hamstring and did not practice Wednesday.

 

Though Nagy said he does not think Smith will wind up on injured reserve, his injury means the defense could be down another top player against the Cardinals. Star pass rusher Khalil Mack suffered a season-ending foot injury this year, and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) has missed the past two games.

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Heading Into Bye, Packers Hoping to Get Healthy

The NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers would love to showcase how good they can be when all their top players are available and healthy.

 

Whether they’ll actually get that opportunity remains uncertain.

 

Green Bay (9-3) enters its long-awaited bye week with a 3½-game lead in its division and trailing only the Arizona Cardinals (9-2) in the race for the NFC’s top seed. The Packers would own the tiebreaker advantage because they won 24-21 at Arizona on Oct. 28.

 

They’re hoping this week off gives their long list of injured players a chance to recover.

 

The Packers aren’t far off the pace they established each of the past two seasons, when they went 13-3 and won division titles before losing in the NFC championship game. They’ve done that without having many of their most notable players.

 

David Bakhtiari, a 2020 All-Pro left tackle, hasn’t played since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Dec. 31. Outside linebacker and 2020 Pro Bowl selection Za’Darius Smith has been out since the season opener because of back trouble. Cornerback Jaire Alexander injured his right shoulder on Oct. 3 and hasn’t played since.

 

Offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins — a Pro Bowl pick in 2020 — and tight end Robert Tonyan have suffered season-ending knee injuries. Rookie center Josh Myers also has a knee injury.

 

Rodgers says he fractured a pinky toe while working out at home during his quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. The injury caused him to practice just once over the past two weeks, but it hasn’t impacted his production.

 

The reigning MVP threw for 307 yards with two touchdown passes and one touchdown run against the Rams, though coach Matt LaFleur noted that “he certainly was limping around a little bit, especially in the fourth quarter.”

 

That followed a 385-yard, four-touchdown performance in a 34-31 loss at Minnesota.

Randall Cobb didn’t play in the second half because of a groin injury. He had four catches for 95 yards and a touchdown in the first half. LaFleur didn’t have any update Monday on the severity of Cobb’s injury.

 

Green Bay’s defense bounced back from a poor performance at Minnesota and forced three turnovers that led to 16 points.

 

CB Rasul Douglas scored on a 33-yard interception return and had four passes defended. OLB Rashan Gary set up the game’s first touchdown by forcing a fumble on a sack to give the Packers first-and-goal at the 6. Gary, who was unavailable for the loss at Minnesota because of an elbow injury, has five sacks over his past five games. DT Kenny Clark had six tackles and a sack. WR Davante Adams has 15 catches for 219 yards over his past two games.

 

The Packers have three of their last five games at home, starting with a Dec. 12 matchup against the Chicago Bears.

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Cubs Get Stroman Just Before Lockout Vote

Marcus Stroman rushed to the airport and caught a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago as soon as he got the word from his agent.

 

The right-hander arrived just in time with a lockout looming to complete a $71 million, three-year contract. And the Cubs landed one of the top remaining starting pitchers on the free agent market on Wednesday.

 

Stroman gets $25 million in each of the next two seasons and has a $21 million player option for 2024. His option price could increase by $2 million each for 160 innings in 2022 and ’23.

 

Stroman announced he was leaving the New York Mets for Chicago in a series of tweets hours before the labor contract between players and owners was set to expire. The Cubs later confirmed the deal.

 

Stroman said the deal came together “really fast” and his “senses were kind of heightened” once agent Broderick Scoffield told him the Cubs were interested. He’s also looking forward to pitching at Wrigley Field for the first time. He toured the famed ballpark on Wednesday after completing his physical and medical tests.

 

Improving the Cubs’ pitching was a priority for president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer after the team ranked among the worst in baseball with a 4.87 ERA. The 30-year-old Stroman figures to give the rotation a huge boost. He went 10-13 with a 3.02 ERA and tied for the major league lead by making 33 starts for the Mets this year.

 

Stroman was an All-Star with Toronto in 2019 before getting traded to New York that season, then sat out the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is 61-60 with a 3.63 ERA over seven seasons with the Blue Jays and Mets.

 

Stroman figures to anchor the Cubs’ rotation along with Kyle Hendricks and newcomer Wade Miley. Alec Mills, Adbert Alzolay, Justin Steele and Keegan Thompson are also in the mix for starting spots.

 

The Cubs are retooling after going 71-91, their first losing record since 2014. They claimed Miley off waivers from Cincinnati on Nov. 7.

 

Chicago also announced contracts with catcher Yan Gomes and outfielders Clint Frazier and Michael Hermosillo on Wednesday.

 

Gomes agreed to a $13 million, two-year deal that includes a club option for 2024. Frazier and Hermosillo got one-year contracts.

 

The Cubs also have Willson Contreras behind the plate, but he is eligible for free agency after next season and the team could decide to trade him if the sides can’t reach a long-term deal this winter. Chicago also could use Gomes to provide more rest for Contreras, who turns 30 in May.

 

The 34-year-old Gomes played for Washington and Oakland this year, batting .252 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in 103 games.

 

Frazier batted .186 with the Yankees last season. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft, he hit .239 in five seasons for New York.

 

Hermosillo spent most of last season at Triple-A Iowa and appeared in 16 games with the Cubs, going 7 for 36 with three homers. He missed the final 3 1/2 weeks because of a strained left forearm.

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White Sox Lock Up IF Garcia; Make Deal Deal With Graveman Official

The Chicago White Sox and versatile Leury García have finalized a $16.5 million, three-year contract.

 

The deal announced Wednesday calls for the 30-year-old Garcia to earn $5.5 million each of the next three years. He helped the White Sox win the AL Central last season, batting .267 with five homers and a career-high 54 RBIs in 126 games. He made 33 starts at second base, 28 in right field, 22 in center field, 18 at shortstop, and eight each in left field and at third base.

 

Garcia debuted with the Texas Rangers in 2013 and has been with the White Sox since a trade that August.

 

The White Sox have an opening at second base after trading Nick Madrigal to the Cubs in the Kimbrel deal in July, and García could get the job if the team isn’t able to bring in a better alternative.

 

MLB Network was the first to report García’s deal.

 

General Manager RicHahn said the White Sox also tendered contracts to pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López and outfielder Adam Engel on Tuesday night.

 

Meanwhile, closer KendallGraveman agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract with Chicago on Tuesday, giving the White Sox additional flexibility with their bullpen.

 

The 30-year-old Graveman is expected to pitch in front of Hendriks, who had 38 saves and a 2.54 ERA in his first season with Chicago. The defending AL Central champions also have Craig Kimbrel, but he could be on the move after he faltered in a setup role with the White Sox.

 

Graveman talked to Lance Lynn and Dallas Keuchel, and he exchanged text messages with Liam Hendriks.

 

All that homework led him to the Chicago White Sox.

 

After beginning his career as a starter, Graveman flourished while working out of the bullpen this year. He went 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA and his first 10 career saves in 53 games with Seattle and Houston.

 

Graveman made his major league debut with Toronto in 2014, but he appeared in just five games before he was traded to Oakland in a multiplayer deal for Josh Donaldson. Graveman pitched his only career shutout in the A’s 9-0 victory at the White Sox on Aug. 19, 2016.

 

He was Oakland’s opening-day starter in 2018, but his season was cut short by reconstructive elbow surgery. He returned to the majors last year with Seattle and had a 3.60 ERA in nine relief appearances in September, setting the stage for his breakout performance in 2021.

 

Graveman also brings more playoff experience to a White Sox team that hasn’t won a postseason series since its 2005 championship. The right-hander appeared in nine postseason games with Houston this year, allowing two earned runs in 11 innings.

 

Hahn got the contracts for Graveman and García in place right before what likely will be Major League Baseball’s first work stoppage since 1995. The five-year collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. EST Wednesday, and owners are expected to lock out the players if the sides can’t reach a new labor deal in time.

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Hawks Edge Pacers

Trae Young made two crucial free throws in the final seconds of a hard-fought victory on Wednesday night, but lamented a turnover that put the Atlanta Hawks in a precarious last-second situation.

 

The Hawks had a one-point lead when Young lost control of the basketball. Indiana Pacers rookie Chris Duarte came up with the steal, but was unable to convert a contested layup that had his bench and coach Rick Carlisle screaming for a foul.

 

Young was subsequently fouled with 1.2 seconds remaining and made the final two of his 33 points for a 114-111 road win.

 

For much of the night, Rick Carlisle watched his players struggle to stop Young, who also had 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Hawks, who shot 51.2% (44 of 86), including 16 of 33 on 3-pointers. The Pacers made just 10 of 33 from beyond the arc.

 

Young found Huerter for several open looks as Huerter finished with 19 points, and John Collins scored 14.

 

Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers with 27 points.

 

Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Myles Turner had 17 points and nine rebounds.

 

The Hawks were hot from the outset, hitting 8 of 10 3s, but the Pacers stayed close on 17-of-31 shooting. Atlanta led 45-42 midway through the second quarter, but Turner sank a pair of free throws to make it 51-all with 4:26 remaining in the first half.

 

The visitors closed the first half with a 12-4 surge to take a 65-57 lead into the break. The last basket punctuated the run as Young fed Collins for an alley-oop dunk in the final seconds.

 

Atlanta made 25 of 42 shots (59.5%), including 10 of 15 3s, in the first half.

 

Young hit a step-back jumper to provide the Hawks' largest lead at 74-62 with 7:45 remaining in the third. The Pacers rallied with a 15-2 run to nudge ahead. Indiana was ahead 88-87 entering the fourth.

 

The Pacers host Miami on Friday.

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Blue Ridge Clamps Down to Rally Past DeLand-Weldon

The Blue Ridge Knights overcame a slow start and rallied past DeLand-Weldon 56-50 in non-conference high school boy's basketball action.

 

Jumpstarted by three three-pointers in the first quarter, the Eagles raced to a 16-8 lead after the first and led 29-25 at the intermission but the Knights held D-W to just four field goals in the third quarter and balanced scoring all night allowed Blue Ridge to get out to a 39-35 lead.

 

Blue Ridge used three three-pointers in the fourth quarter to pull away with the win.

 

Zach Lewis led the Knights with 18 points. Corbin Colbert added 11 points while Ty Meeker scored ten and Wyatt Cole finished with nine points.

 

The Knights move to 1-4 on the season and will take on Donovan Friday.

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Franzen, Willoughby Pace Maroa-Forsyth Over Heyworth

A late rally by the Heyworth Hornets fell short as Egan Franzen and Ethan Willoughby paced Maroa-Forsyth over Heyworth 69-61 Monday night in non-conference boy's basketball action from Heyworth. It was the season open for the Trojans.

 

Six-foot-seven center Nick Feather and Franzen jumpstarted each team to a big start, as the Trojans led 22-16 after one. Franzen started with ten in the first frame and Feather scored eight.

 

The two weren't done dueling; Franzen added seven more in the second quarter but Feather could only carry the Hornets so far scoring seven Heyworth's nine second quarter points and the Trojans stayed hot and pulled out to a 39-25 advantage at the intermission. 

 

Trailing by 21 at one point in the third quarter, Alex Maas scored ten of his 12 points in the third quarter, Feather added nine more pulling Heyworth within 54-45 after three. 

 

Willoughby helped Maroa-Forsyth put the game away going 4-for-9 from the foul line down the stretch.

 

Feather finished with a game-high 31 points. Braden Denning scored eight for the Hornets.

 

Franzen led the Trojans with 24 points while Willoughby finished with 19. 

 

The Trojans are 1-0 and will play at Clinton Friday night. It'll be a Homecoming for Maroa-Forsyth coach Aaron Ennis who is an alumn of Clinton High School and was a three-sport standout for the Maroons.

 

Boy's basketball scores from Tuesday:

 

Clinton 47

Olympia 46

 

Williamsville 39

Litchfield 36

 

Lanphier 62

Rochester 35

 

Pana 81

Central A & M 40

 

Athens 58

Havana 42

 

 Washington 49

East Peoria 41

 

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 63

La Salette Academy 34

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 78

Cissna Park 55

 

Prairie Central 75

Dwight 51

 

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 50

Hoopeston 41

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UPDATED: Lady Maroons Surge Past Heyworth

In a game heard Tuesday night on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons topped the Heyworth Hornets 59-30.

 

Clinton won their second road game of the week thanks to a second-half surge led by strong full-court defense.   Clinton only led by three, 22-19, at the half; however, they outscored Heyworth 21-3 in the third to pull away.

 

Mallory Cyrulik led all scorers with 26 points.  The WHOW/Serv-Pro of Piatt-Dewitt County Player of the Game - Kaitlyn Rauch - added 21 for the Maroons as well.

 

Brooke Manteggia led Heyworth with 11, while Ava Longfellow added 8 for the Hornets.

 

Clinton improves to 5-1 with the win, while Heyworth falls to 2-4.   Clinton next travels to Tuscola Thursday night to open CIC conference play.

 

Our next Maroons broadcast comes up Friday night when the Clinton boys host Maroa-Forsyth.  Tipoff is set for 7:30 Friday night on WHOW.

 

Girl's basketball scores from Tuesday:

 

Mt. Zion 44

Charleston 33

 

Decatur MacArthur 71

Chatham-Glenwood 38

 

Tolono Unity 44

Cissna Park 22

 

Campaign St. Thomas More 48

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 24

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 50

Jacksonville 20

 

Morton 68

Normal West 48

 

Normal Community 58

Limestone 40

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