Local Sports

Monticello Recovers From Slow Start to Beat Riverton

Dating back to last Tuesday's loss to Pleasant Plains where Monticello was shut out in the fourth quarter, the Sages were nearly in jeopardy of a second straight quarter of not scoring until the 19 second mark of the first quarter.

 

Monticello recovered from the slow start to beat Riverton 48-35 Tuesday night in non-conference high school boy's basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Tyler Blythe's three-pointer with 19 seconds left in the first quarter brought Monticello within 4-3 of the Hawks and the Sages trailed 6-3 after one. 

 

Eli Craft converted a three-point play to start the second quarter for Monticello sparking the Sages in the second quarter as they took a 16-15 lead into the half.

 

A Cameron Sutton three-pointer for Riverton brought the Hawks within 21-20 at 4:57 in the third.

 

Monticello responded with 13-2 run in the next 3:26 highlighted by three-pointers from sophomores Craft and Matt Swartz as well as a three-point play from senior Drew Sheppard. 

Riverton cut the deficit to seven a couple of times in the fourth but could not come back.

 

The Hawks committed 20 turnovers for the game and shot just 33-percent. 

 

Monticello was led by Craft's 15 points and he was the ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt Counties Player of the Game.

 

Trey Welter added eight points for Monticello and Sheppard scored seven points, all in the third quarter.

 

Ethen Bates led Riverton with ten points and Isaac Crumrine grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.

 

Monticello moves to 1-1 overall while Riverton drops to 0-4. 

 

The Sages travel to Marshall Saturday afternoon for a 3:30 game. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Blue Ridge Rolls DeLand-Weldon

Colin Michaels scored 20 points and four players scored in double figures as Blue Ridge dominated rival DeLand-Weldon 64-22 in non-conference high school boy's basketball action Tuesday night from Blue Ridge High School in Farmer City.

 

Zach Lewis added 11 points, all in the first half, and Wyatt Pearl and Wesley Clark added ten points apiece. 

 

The Knights improve to 2-3 overall. They will travel to Donovan Thursday night for a non-conference tilt.

Illinois Thumps Syracuse in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Coleman Hawkins had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double, and No. 16 Illinois thumped Syracuse 73-44 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night.

 

Neither team shot well, but Illinois (6-1) hit six of its 15 3-point attempts in the second half to send the Orange (3-4) home with their third straight loss.

 

Terrence Shannon Jr. had 17 points on 5-of-17 shooting for the Illini. All of his makes were 3s. RJ Melendez scored 15 points.

 

Jesse Edwards had nine points and 17 rebounds to lead Syracuse, and Judah Mintz also scored nine.

 

Hawkins sent a lively crowd into a frenzy by securing his 10th rebound to complete the triple-double with 1:34 to go and Illinois up 68-44.

 

Syracuse collapsed in the final stretch, missing nine of its last 10 shots and failing to score in the final 3:19.

 

Benny Williams picked up two quick technical fouls in the final minute to become the second Orange player to get thrown out of a game this week. Mintz was ejected from a one-point loss to Bryant on Saturday.

 

Illinois shot 35.8% and went 11 of 39 from 3-point range, while holding Syracuse to 27.8% shooting and 5 of 17 from long distance.

 

Syracuse led early before Shannon hit back-to-back 3s to push Illinois ahead 23-18 during a 9-0 solo scoring run.

 

Illinois took a 30-23 lead into the half despite a 5-of-24 effort from 3-point range, partly thanks to eight points from Jayden Epps off the bench. Epps finished with 11 points.

 

Syracuse went scoreless for the last 4:55 of the first half after a dunk by Mounir Hima pulled the Orange within three points.

 

Illinois begins Big Ten play on Friday at No. 22 Maryland.

White Sox Finalize Coaching Staff

The Chicago White Sox rounded out their coaching staff under new manager Pedro Grifol on Tuesday, hiring José Castro as their hitting coach and Eddie Rodriguez as third base coach.

 

They also announced Chris Johnson as assistant hitting coach, Mike Tosar as major league fielding coordinator and Geoff Head is senior director of sports performance. Daryl Boston returns as first base coach.

 

Castro spent the past eight seasons as Atlanta’s assistant hitting coach and was part of a staff that helped the Braves win the 2021 World Series. The 64-year-old Cuban was a quality assurance coach with the Chicago Cubs in 2014 and was a minor league hitting instructor for 24 seasons with the Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres and Mariners.

 

The 63-year-old Rodriguez has 40 years of professional coaching experience, the past three as Kansas City’s minor-league field coordinator. He was the Royals’ third-base coach from 2011-13 and served in similar roles with Toronto (1998) and Arizona (2002-03). He has also been a first-base coach with Seattle (2008) and Arizona (2001) and bench coach with Montreal (2004) and Washington (2005-06).

 

The White Sox previously announced pitching coach Ethan Katz and bullpen coach Curt Hasler would be retained and former Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was hired as bench coach.

 

Grifol is taking over for Hall of Famer Tony La Russa. The White Sox finished second in the AL Central at 81-81 and missed the postseason after running away with the division the previous year.

Bears Officially Lose S Jackson to IR

The Chicago Bears placed safety Eddie Jackson on injured reserve Tuesday because of a foot injury that could keep him out for the remainder of the season.

 

The Bears (3-9) are last in the NFC North with five games remaining. They’ve dropped five in a row and are coming off a loss to the New York Jets that was particularly painful.

 

Leading receiver Darnell Mooney suffered a season-ending ankle injury that coach Matt Eberflus said Monday requires surgery. The Bears placed him on IR on Tuesday and signed practice squad defensive back A.J. Thomas to the active roster.

 

With Jackson, tied for third in the NFL with four interceptions, also going down against New York, the Bears lost two leaders. He was hurt in the second quarter.

 

Jackson’s injury combined with a concussion Jaquan Brisker already had and a hamstring injury to Dane Cruikshank left the Bears playing their only two remaining safeties — DeAndre Houston-Carson and rookie seventh-round pick Elijah Hicks.

 

The Bears host rival Green Bay on Sunday. The Packers beat them 27-10 at Lambeau Field in Week 2.

Packers QB Rodgers Says He'll Play Sunday

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he expects to play Sunday at Chicago after a rib injury knocked him out of a 40-33 loss at Philadelphia.

 

Rodgers said Tuesday on “The Pat McAfee Show” on YouTube and SiriusXM he received good news with the scans yesterday, so he plans on playing this week.

 

Rodgers left in the second half against the Eagles because of the rib injury. He already has been playing with a broken right thumb, an injury he sustained on the final play of a 27-22 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 9.

 

The Packers (4-8) still have a slim chance of reaching the playoffs heading into their game with the Bears (3-9). Rodgers said after the Eagles game that he wanted to keep playing through these injuries as long as the Packers still have a chance of making the postseason.

 

Rodgers also offered praise Tuesday for Jordan Love, the 2020 first-round pick who took over for him in the Eagles game and went 6 of 9 for 113 yards with a touchdown.

 

The Packers signed safety Innis Gaines to the active roster from the practice squad, released safety Johnathan Abram and signed tight end Nick Guggemos to the practice squad. The Packers had added Abram earlier this month when they claimed him off waivers from the Las Vegas Raiders, who had taken him with the 27th overall pick in the 2019 draft.

Illinois Steady in Latest College Basketball Polls

The Illinois Fighting Illini remained steady in this week's college basketball polls coming in at No. 16 in the AP Poll and no. 17 in the Coaches Poll.

 

Illinois beat Lindenwood from the Ohio Valley Conference Friday night, 92-59. The Illini host Syracuse tonight in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at the State Farm Center. 

 

The story of the week in college basketball is Houston taking over the No. 1 spot in the AP Top 25 poll Monday morning and in the USA Today Coaches Poll, jumping one spot from No. 2 just one week after it had moved from No. 3 — where it began in the preseason — to No. 2. The Cougars supplanted preseason No. 1 North Carolina after UNC took two losses in three days participating in the PK85. 

 

UNC fell 14 spots this week to No. 15.Twenty-three of a possible 32 first-place votes cast by coaches went to Houston on the week to spur its charge to the top. There was far from a consensus, though, with four teams in total earning at least one first-place vote including Texas, Virginia and Purdue.

 

Texas, which ranks No. 2 in the Coaches Poll this week, up two spots from last week, earned the second-most first-place votes with five. Purdue, which jumped 18 spots to No. 5, earned the third-most with three while No. 3 Virginia earned one vote. 

 

Houston took over the top spot from North Carolina after a major shakeup in Monday's poll, marking the first time in 39 years the Cougars are at the top of the AP rankings.

 

Houston improved to 6-0 after a 49-44 win over Kent State while last week's No. 1, No. 3, No. 6 and No. 8-ranked teams all took at least one loss. It earned 45 first-place votes. The last time the Cougars were No. 1 was the final poll of the 1982-83 season before the Cougars lost to NC State in the NCAA Tournament final.

 

The Tar Heels, who lost to Iowa State and Alabama, fell to No. 18 in this week's poll.

 

Chaos in college hoops benefited another team in the great state of Texas beyond Houston as Texas also got a boost in the rankings, moving from No. 4 to No. 2 after a week in which it handled business to improve to 5-0. Its No. 2 ranking is the highest for the program since the 2009 season.

 

Elsewhere in the poll, Virginia scooted up two spots to No. 3 while both Arizona and Purdue made huge jumps from outside the top 10 to No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 is Baylor, Creighton, UConn, Kansas and Indiana.

Sox Sign RHP Clevinger; 1B Abreu to Houston

José Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract Monday, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

 

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

 

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

 

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

 

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

 

The Astros announced the signing Monday night. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference Tuesday morning at Minute Maid Park.

 

The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger.

 

The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.

 

Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.

 

The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

 

The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.

 

Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.

 

Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.

White Sox Pitcher Lucas Giolito Selected to Leadership Role Within MLBPA

The Major League Baseball Players Association has elected six new players to its eight-member executive subcommittee.

 

Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, Giants outfielder Austin Slater, White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito and Rockies pitcher Brent Suter are the new members. Rangers infielder Marcus Semien and Mets infielder Francisco Lindor both remain part of the committee.

 

The MLBPA confirmed Monday that the six additions were elected to two-year terms. Representatives from each of the 30 MLB teams vote for the leadership positions.

 

Zack Britton, Jason Castro, Gerrit Cole, Andrew Miller, James Paxton and Max Scherzer are the six players who completed their two-year terms and will now rotate off the executive subcommittee.

Bears Lose WR Mooney for Season

The Chicago Bears had no one on their injury report just over a month ago when they played the New England Patriots.

 

Times have changed — painfully.

 

A handful of players joined quarterback Justin Fields on the sidelines with injuries in the Bears’ 31-10 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, including a pair of team leaders in wide receiver Darnell Mooney and safety Eddie Jackson.

 

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said Monday that Mooney needs ankle surgery and will be lost for the rest of the season. Chicago is still having Jackson’s foot injury evaluated, but in the midst of a 3-9 season — and a five-game losing streak — the last thing the Bears need is to lose more players.

 

Mooney is the Bears’ leading receiver with 40 receptions, while Jackson went into Sunday’s game with a team-high four interceptions, tied for third in the NFL.

 

Losing Mooney deprives Fields of his favorite target — when he does return. Eberflus said Fields remains day to day with a shoulder separation.

 

The injury to Jackson, combined with a concussion Jaquan Brisker already had and a hamstring injury to Dane Cruikshank, left the Bears playing their only two remaining safeties Sunday: DeAndre Houston-Carson and rookie seventh-round pick Elijah Hicks.

 

Besides Mooney and Jackson, the Bears lost right tackles Riley Reiff (shoulder) and Larry Borom (ankle). Receivers Equanimeous St. Brown and Chase Claypool had minor injuries Eberflus didn’t want to reveal, and are day to day. Cornerback Kyler Gordon (concussion) remains out.

 

The Bears host the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on Sunday. The Packers beat them 27-10 at Lambeau Field in Week 2.

Bulls Down Jazz

DeMar DeRozan had 26 points and six assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 114-107 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday night.

 

Zach LaVine added 20 points, six rebounds, and five assists for the Bulls. Nikola Vucevic finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Chicago imposed its will around the basket and on defense as the game progressed. The Bulls outscored Utah 64-44 in the paint, and they tallied 23 points off 14 Jazz turnovers.

 

Lauri Markkanen scored 32 points for the Jazz. Kelly Olynyk added 23 points and Collin Sexton chipped in 17. Utah lost its fifth straight.

 

DeRozan scored 12 points and assisted on three baskets in the third quarter. He bookended a 10-0 run with a pair of free throws, giving the Bulls a 78-73 lead.

 

Chicago finished 22 of 25 from the free throw line.

 

Chicago scored three straight baskets off steals to ignite an 8-0 run and extend its lead to 94-82 early in the fourth quarter. Andre Drummond capped the run with back-to-back baskets.

 

Markkanen gave Utah an early spark on offense. He made nine of his first 10 shots and hit five 3-pointers before halftime.

 

Markkanen made back-to-back baskets that ignited a 10-0 and put the Jazz ahead 40-31 lead early in the second quarter. Utah eventually extended its lead to 49-38 behind another pair of baskets from the Finnish forward.

 

The Jazz closed within 102-99 on back-to-back baskets from Malik Beasley and Olynyk but drew no closer. The Bulls held Utah to two field goals over the final five minutes.

 

The Bulls are at Phoenix on Wednesday.

Packers QB Rodgers Status vs Bears Still Uncertain

Aaron Rodgers wants to keep playing through his growing list of injuries as long as the struggling Green Bay Packers still have a mathematical chance of reaching the playoffs.

 

The Packers’ postseason hopes remain alive, if only in the technical sense, after a 40-33 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday dropped their record to 4-8. Rodgers, already playing with a broken right thumb, left with injured ribs in the second half.

 

Packers Coach Matt LaFleur said the Packers planned to continue relying on Rodgers if the four-time MVP is healthy enough to play.

 

Rodgers emphasized after the game he wants to keep playing as long as there’s any chance the Packers could still reach the postseason.

 

Philadelphia made the playoffs with a 9-8 record last season, so there’s the possibility a late surge could get the Packers back in contention. But it’s hard to imagine that kind of late run for a team that has dropped seven of its last eight games.

 

One of those factors is the chance for the Packers to get a closer look at 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love, who has made just one career start.

 

Love took over for the injured Rodgers and looked better than he had in any of his other sporadic appearances, going 6 of 9 for 113 yards and finding Christian Watson for a 63-yard touchdown.

 

Other than the injuries to Rodgers and Savage, LB De’Vondre Campbell (knee) missed a fourth straight game and WR Romeo Doubs (ankle) sat out a third consecutive game.

 

The Packers head to Chicago (3-9) seeking to beat the Bears for an eighth consecutive time.

Stars Blast Blues

Scott Wedgewood made 23 saves in an unexpected start and Wyatt Johnston broke a scoreless tie with a second-period goal to lead the Dallas Stars over the St. Louis Blues 4-1 on Monday night.

 

Jason Robertson, Ty Dellandrea and Miro Heiskanen also scored for Dallas, which has earned at least one point in eight of its last nine games.

 

Brandon Saad scored for St. Louis, which has lost three of four.

 

Jamie Benn had two assists for the Stars, who lead the Central Division with 30 points.

 

Wedgewood was scheduled to serve as Jake Oettinger's backup, but moved into the starting role after Oettinger became ill right before the game.

 

Robertson extended his point streak to 16 games with a goal that made it 3-1 late in the third. Robertson has 17 goals and 12 assists during the run. He leads the NHL with 19 goals.

 

St. Louis C Robert Thomas missed the game with a lower-body injury sustained in the third period of Friday's 5-4 win over Florida. He is day-to-day. Thomas leads the team with 15 assists.

 

The Blues host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

Lady Maroons Hand Unity First Loss of Season

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons knocked off the Tolono Unity Rockets 49-40. The Lady Maroons were led by sophomore Regan Filkin with 13 points. ServPro Piatt/DeWitt Counties Player of the Game Clara Dempsey had 11 points. Freshman Avery Smith added 10 points and junior Heidi Humble chipped in with 9.

 

Senior Lauren Miller led Unity with 12 points. Sophomore Lauren Haas had 9.

 

The Clinton Lady Maroons improve to 2-4 while the Lady Rockets will drop to 4-1.

 

Tune in Friday, December 2, as the Maroons travel to Maroa to take on the Trojans. 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.

Clinton High School Boy's, Girl's Basketball Teams Begin Busy Week

The Clinton Maroons varsity boy's basketball team went 3-1 at this past week's Mt. Pulaski Thanksgiving tournament and embark on a busy week this week.

 

Things open tomorrow night when Clinton visits Olympia, who is 0-1 on the season.

 

The Maroons continue it's long stretch away from home Friday night when they make the short trip up Highway 51 to visit Maroa-Forsyth. 

 

Finally, the Maroons play its home opener Saturday evening hosting Heyworth at 6:30 pm.

 

Looking ahead to next week, the Maroons will look to avenge a Regional loss this past February when they host Riverton at Clinton High School next Tuesday.

 

The 1-4 Lady Maroons will look to right the ship starting tonight when they host the 4-0 Tolono Unity Lady Rockets.  Game time tonight is 7 pm. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and on its many digital platforms.

 

The Lady Maroons open the Central Illinois Conference slate Thursday night hosting Sullivan. 

Clinton's Webb Named Central Illinois All-Conference for Offensive, Defensive Line

Clinton High School senior lineman Scott Webb was named to the Central Illinois Conference first-team all-conference Saturday.

 

Webb was recognized as a unanimous first-teamer on the offensive line. He was also selected a first-teamer on the defensive line. 

 

Decatur St. Teresa dominated the first-team selections with nine unique first-team selections on each side of the ball. 

 

Shelbyville had five first-team selections between offense and defense while Tuscola had four. 

 

Central A&M had two first-team selections.

 

Clinton's Tristen Potts was a second-team all-conference selection at running back. Sophomore Logan Thoms was a second-team all-conference selection for Clinton at linebacker while Dawson Graves was also a second-team selection at defensive back. 

 

Houston Stapleton and Bret Young were honorable mentions.

 

Clinton finished the season 4-5 overall. 

Hurts Leads Eagle Past Packers in Sunday Night Thriller

Jalen Hurts ran for 157 yards to set an Eagles record for a quarterback, he also threw for 153 yards and two touchdowns and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers injured his ribs in Philadelphia's 40-33 victory over Green Bay on Sunday night.

 

Hurts topped Michael Vick's 130 yards rushing set in December 2010 against the New York Giants as tops for an Eagles QB. Hurts became the first player since at least 1950 with 150-plus yards rushing and 150-plus yards passing with multiple pass touchdowns in a game and cemented his status as the NFL MVP front-runner.

 

He seems poised to take the MVP torch from Rodgers.

 

Hurts helped the Eagles move to 10-1 for the fifth time in history. Miles Sanders ran for 143 yards and two scores as Philadelphia rushed for 363 overall, the second-best total for the franchise.

 

Rodgers left in the third quarter with his team trailing 34-23 after grimacing his way through a drive that led to a Packers field goal. He had already been playing with a broken thumb and took several hard hits.

 

Rodgers' replacement, Jordan Love, kept the Packers (4-8) in the game by connecting with Christian Watson for a 63-yard catch-and-run touchdown that cut Philly's lead to 37-30.

 

But the Packers ran out of time against Hurts, who had 17 rushes for a 9.2 average.

 

Hurts had 254 combined yards, including 126 on the ground, and threw a TD pass in the first half as the Eagles built a 27-20 lead. He ripped off runs of 42, 28 and 24 yards.

 

In the second half, he hit A.J. Brown for a 6-yard TD pass and a 34-20 lead that just added to his staggering numbers on one of the great nights ever for an Eagles QB. Hurts topped Michael Vick's 130 yards rushing set in December 2010 against the New York Giants.

 

Rodgers was 11 of 16 passing for 140 yards, two touchdowns and two first-half interceptions.

 

Hurts put on a show in a lively first half that saw two Eagles get their first career picks and both teams miss an extra point while combining for seven touchdowns.

 

Philadelphia's high-octane offense had slowed of late - notably during the first loss of the season in the previous home game against Washington and last week's win over Indianapolis that needed a fourth-quarter rally - but Hurts put the Packers on notice with early rushes that would make an All-Pro running back envious. He ran for 52 yards on the opening drive and set up Kenneth Gainwell's 4-yard TD.

 

Rodgers had his second pass attempt batted by cornerback Darius Slay and snagged by Josiah Scott. Three plays later, Sanders scored on a 15-yard run. But Jake Elliott missed the PAT.

 

Rodgers led the Pack right back. A.J. Dillon scored on a 20-yard run, Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for an 11-yard score, and it was 14-13 late in the first quarter.

 

Hurts, though, closed the half with a 42-yard run and a 1-yard run, close enough to the end zone to set up Sanders' 2-yard scoring run on the first play of the second quarter.

 

Rodgers again came back and threw a 23-yard TD pass to Aaron Jones. Mason Crosby matched Elliott with a missed extra point and it was 20-20.

 

That was about all Rodgers could muster.

 

Hurts took it from there and threw a 30-yard TD pass to Quez Watkins - whose fumble against the Commanders played a pivotal role in the Eagles' lone defeat.

 

The Packers visit Chicago next Sunday.

Jets Blast Blackhawks

Saku Maenalanen and Pierre-Luc Dubois each scored two goals and the Winnipeg Jets routed Chicago 7-2 on Sunday night, handing the Blackhawks their seventh straight loss.

 

Kyle Connor connected for the third straight game and had two assists, Mark Scheifele had his team-leading 11th goal, and Jansen Harkins also scored for the Jets. They have won two straight and three of four to improve to 13-6-1.

 

Connor Hellebuyck made 23 saves and defenseman Josh Morrissey had three assists as Winnipeg dominated with a 44-shot attack.

 

Winnipeg's third and fourth lines got its offense rolling, then the Jets bigger names joined the party. Dubois netted his ninth and 10th goals in the third period to put it away.

 

Taylor Raddysh scored for the second straight game and Jujhar Khaira had a power-play goal for Chicago, 0-6-1 during its slide.

 

The Jets moved ahead of Colorado and into second place in the Central Division. With 27 points, Winnipeg is one behind first-place Dallas.

 

Petr Mrazek stopped 37 shots for Chicago. Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said his team had ample scoring chances, but didn't bear down and finish them.

 

The Blackhawks host Edmonton on Wednesday night.

High School Football State Finals Scores

Class 1A

Lena-Winslow 30
Camp Point Central 8

 

Class 2A

Tri-Valley   22
Decatur St. Teresa    29

 

Class 3A

IC Catholic  48
Williamsville    17

 

Class 4A

Providence Catholic  20
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin    44

Illinois visits Northwestern with slim division title hopes

Despite losing its last three games, Illinois still has a shot to represent the West Division in the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 3 -- but three rivalry games must go their way this weekend.

 

Not only do the Illini need Iowa to lose to Nebraska and Purdue to lose to Indiana, they need to hold on to the Land of Lincoln Trophy in Saturday's regular-season finale at Northwestern.

 

Not only will Illinois be gunning to keep the Land of Lincoln Trophy, but Chase Brown will be shooting to claim the national rushing title. Brown leads the nation with 1,582 rushing yards -- 58 more than Minnesota's Mohamed Ibrahim -- and was named Tuesday as one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award.

 

Northwestern, too, will be focused on the ground game. Sophomore walk-on Cole Freeman -- the team's fourth-stringer at the start of the year -- figures to make his second straight start at quarterback, but the Wildcats' only touchdown drive last week at Purdue came when running backs Evan Hull and Cam Porter took turns running out of the Wildcat formation.

 

Freeman completed 9 of 20 passes for 78 yards and one interception. He also fumbled twice while being sacked.

Freeman scores 21, Rhode Island beats Illinois State 57-44

Brayon Freeman led Rhode Island over Illinois State on Wednesday with 21 points in a 57-44 victory.

 

Freeman also contributed five rebounds for the Rams (2-4). Ishmael Leggett scored 18 points while going 3 of 9 from the floor, including 1 for 4 from distance, and 11 for 13 from the line, and added six rebounds. Josaphat Bilau finished 4 of 8 from the floor to finish with 10 points, while adding 11 rebounds.

 

The Redbirds (2-5) were led by Kendall Lewis, who recorded 14 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Illinois State also got eight points apiece from Malachi Poindexter and Colton Sandage.

 

Rhode Island carried a slim two-point lead into halftime, as Leggett led the way with 10 points. Rhode Island outscored Illinois State by 11 points in the second half, and Freeman scored a team-high 15 points in the second half to help secure the victory.

DeRozan scores 36, Bulls down Bucks 118-113

DeMar DeRozan had 36 points and eight assists, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 118-113 on Wednesday night.

 

Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points apiece for Chicago, and Coby White finished with 14 points.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks, who lost for just the second time in 11 home games this season. Brook Lopez scored 20 points and Jrue Holiday had 14 points and 11 assists.

 

The Bucks committed 20 turnovers that led to 17 points for the Bulls.

 

Milwaukee led 109-106 before White made a tying 3-pointer with 1:15 left. After Antetokounmpo was called for a charge, White took a pass from DeRozan and buried another 3 to put the Bulls ahead to stay.

 

The Bucks turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and DeRozan found Vucevic, who swished a corner 3.

 

Antetokounmpo was limited to eight points on 4-of-11 shooting in the first half. He scored 11 points in the third quarter, but the Bulls held a seven-point advantage heading to the fourth.

 

The Bulls built a 10-point fourth-quarter lead before the Bucks battled back to tie it midway through the period.

 

Milwaukee led by as much as 12 in the second quarter before Chicago rallied. Holiday's buzzer-beating jumper gave the Bucks a 62-61 halftime edge.

Liberty takes down Bradley 55-44

Darius McGhee had 21 points in Liberty's 55-44 victory over Bradley on Wednesday night at the Cancun Challenge.

 

McGhee was 7-of-18 shooting, including 5 for 15 from distance, and went 2 for 3 from the line for the Flames (3-3). Blake Preston added 10 points while shooting 5 of 8 from the field, and he also had nine rebounds. Colin Porter finished 3 of 6 from 3-point range to finish with nine points.

 

Malevy Leons led the way for the Braves (3-3) with 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Darius Hannah added eight points and three blocks for Bradley. Christian Davis also had eight points.

 

Liberty entered halftime up 23-17. Preston paced the team in scoring in the first half with eight points. McGhee scored 16 points in the second half to help lead Liberty to an 11-point victory.

Skinner scores 2; Sabres win 6-2, to snap Blues' 7-game roll

Jeff Skinner scored twice, with his second capping a three-goal, second-period outburst, and the Buffalo Sabres defeated St. Louis 6-2 Wednesday night, snapping the Blues' seven-game winning streak.

 

Minor-league callup Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 34 shots for his fourth career NHL win, and first since Dec. 16. Getting his second start since Eric Comrie sustained a lower-body injury, Luukkonen's best save came with 4:24 left in the second period, when he kicked out his right pad to stop Vladimir Tarasenko set up on the doorstep.

 

Rookie Jack Quinn capped the win with two third-period goals, and Victor Olofsson and Dylan Cozens also scored.

 

Pavel Buchnevich and Brayden Schenn scored for the Blues, and Jordan Kyrou had an assist to extend his points streak to six games (two goals, nine points).

 

Jordan Binnington stopped 25 shots in his first loss in seven starts, and was denied in his bid to win his 100th career game.

 

With St. Louis trailing 4-1, Buchnevich scored a second time 6:11 into the the third period, but the goal was disallowed after the Sabres challenged the play for being offside. Replays showed Tarasenko losing possession just before he entered Buffalo's zone a step ahead of the puck.

 

A day after Buffalo scored three times in the first 2:13 at Montreal, Skinner opened the scoring 18 seconds into the game.

 

The Sabres then took control with three goals over an 11-minute span in the second period, and after Buchnevich tied the game with a power-play goal 53 seconds into the frame.

 

Skinner capped the surge by driving in from the left boards, stick-handling the puck through this legs to avoid Justin Falk, and then going against the grain by back-handing in a shot inside the left post.

Stars erase 3-goal deficit in 3rd, beat Blackhawks 6-4

Radek Faksa scored with 1:33 remaining, and the Stars erased a three-goal deficit in the final 10 minutes for a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

 

As for Robertson, he scored the first goal of the game to give him points in 13 consecutive games, getting even with Dave Gagner from the first season the franchise was in Texas after moving from Minnesota in 1993.

 

Then Robertson scored the last on an empty-netter to finish a five-goal third for the Stars, who extended Chicago's losing streak to five games, all in regulation, while beating the Blackhawks for the fifth consecutive time.

 

Less than a minute after Maxi Domi put the Blackhawks up 4-1, captain Jamie Benn scored for Dallas on a power play after Domi was called for tripping.

 

About four minutes after that, Mason Marchment and Ty Dellandrea scored 14 seconds apart to get the Stars even.

 

Dallas probably would have settled for overtime, but Faksa sent a rebound toward the net from a nearly impossible angle along the goal line in the final two minutes.

 

Faksa raised his arms as if he had scored, but play continued. It was stopped soon after, and replay showed the puck sneaking under the legs of Petr Mrazek and crossing the goal line before getting swept out by Chicago forward Jason Dickinson.

 

After Jones got Chicago even, Andreas Athanasiou and Connor Murphy pushed the lead to 3-1 in the second. Captain Jonathan Toews had his 500th career assist on Murphy's goal.

 

The Central Division-leading Stars outshot the Blackhawks 22-5 in the third, but all the pressure didn't seem like it would matter after Domi's fifth goal of the season.

Big Second Half Sends Pleasant Plains Past Monticello

Pleasant Plains came out with more fire on defense in the second half and shut out Monticello in the fourth quarter to roll to a 43-27 victory in non-conference high school boy's basketball action from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School Tuesday night.

 

It was the season opener for both clubs and with three starters back from last year's squad, Plains overcame the injury to 6-foot-4 senior Nick Sabo as senior Evan Houser stepped up offensively.

 

Zach Powell led the Cardinals with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Houser contributed 14 points. 

 

Monticello led 10-7 after the first quarter and 20-17 at the intermission and looked like a smothering Sages defense would keep the game close but Plains started the second half on a quick 7-1 run in the first four minutes to open a 24-21 lead.

 

Junior Trey Welter hit a three to tie the game at 24-24 with 3:24 to play in the third. After Cardinals freshman Grady Grisham hit a layup with 2:51 to go in the third, junior Raiden Colbert made a three at the 1:40 mark of the third to put the Sages up 27-26, but that would be the last bucket for Monticello. 

 

Welter led Monticello with nine points. Colbert added six. Sophomore Tyler Blythe had five points off the bench for Monticello.

 

The Sages take a week off before returning to the Sievers Center next Tuesday night hosting Riverton.

HS GBBall: Athens Rolls Clinton

Three players scored in double figures and Athens used a big third quarter to get by Clinton 47-33 in non-conference high school girl's basketball Tuesday night at Athens High School.

 

Nivarra Oredina scored 14 points to pace the Lady Warriors. Addison Stadsholt added 12 points and Zoe Laird added 11 points.

 

Clara Dempsey led Clinton with nine points. Regan Filkin scored seven for the Lady Maroons.

 

Clinton kept things closed through the first half - trailing 13-10 after the first and 21-16 at the intermission but the Lady Warriors stretched their lead to 36-21 after three and the Lady Maroons could not recover.

 

Clinton falls to 1-4 overall while Athens moves to 3-0.

 

Clinton is off until Monday when they host Tolono Unity.

HS BBBall: Blue Ridge Can't Overcome Slow Start in Season Opener

Lowpoint-Washburn started fast and a late rally by Blue Ridge fell short in a 68-58 season opening loss for the Knights Tuesday from Lowpoint-Washburn High School.

 

The Wildcats starteed fast, getting out to a 24-12 advantage after the first quarter as six players scored in the first frame. Baylor Steffan scored ten of his 20 points points in the second quarter helping stake Lowpoint-Washburn to a 40-24 lead at the break. 

 

Clayton Grebner scored 14 of his 20 points in the third quarter, helping the Wildcats hold serve with a 56-40 lead after three quarters. 

 

Blue Ridge made things interesting in the fourth, but could only convert 5-of-10 free throw attempts down the stretch and fell short.

 

Three players scored in double figures for the Knights. Zach Lewis led Blue Ridge with 12 points. Gabe Strough scored 11 points and Isaac Price contributed 10 points.

 

Blue Ridge returns to action Friday hosting Lowpoint Washburn.

HS GBBall: Blue Ridge Downs Champaign Christian Academy

Ava Austin paced a balanced scoring attack for Blue Ridge, leading the way with ten points as the Lady Knights downed Champaign Christian Academy 31-22 Tuesday night in non-conference high school girl's basketball action in the home opener from Farmer City.

 

Phoebe Reynolds and Paige Browing added six points while Kylie Madden scored five for the Lady Knights.

 

The Lady Knights are 2-3 overall. They will host Ridgeview Monday night.

No. 13 Auburn Blows By Bradley

Wendell Green Jr. and Johni Broome each scored 14 points and No. 13 Auburn beat Bradley 85-64 on Tuesday night in the first round of the Cancun Challenge.

 

Auburn (5-0) advances to play in Wednesday night's championship game of the Riviera Division.

 

Green also had six assists and Broome, who got the start after sitting out the last game due to injury, had nine rebounds and three blocks.

 

Green was scoreless for the first 16 minutes of the game, but he made a 3-pointer to end a 7-0 Bradley run late in the first half and he beat the halftime buzzer with a layup to give the Tigers a 45-32 lead. It was the most points Auburn has scored in the first half this season.

 

Allen Flanigan sank a 3-pointer in the corner to extend the Tiger's lead to 55-38 early in the second half.

 

K.D. Johnson added 13 points, Flanigan had 12 points and Jaylin Williams scored 11 for Auburn. The Tigers shot 56% from the field (31 of 55), including 8 of 17 from distance.

 

Williams made a pair of 3-pointers early as Auburn scored 12 of the opening 14 points of the game. Williams scored 10 of his 11 points in the first half.

 

Connor Hickman and Duke Deen each scored 15 points for Bradley (3-2), which will play in the third-place contest on Wednesday. Malevy Leons added 11 points.

Western Kentucky Tops Illinois State

Emmanuel Akot had 14 points in Western Kentucky’s 78-66 win over Illinois State on Tuesday.

 

Akot was 3 of 6 shooting, including 3 for 3 from distance, and went 5 for 8 from the line for the Hilltoppers (4-1). Fallou Diagne scored 14 points, shooting 5 for 6 (2 for 3 from 3-point range) and 2 of 3 from the free throw line. Luke Frampton recorded 14 points and was 5 of 8 shooting (4 for 7 from distance).

 

Seneca Knight finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and two steals for the Redbirds (2-4). Darius Burford added 16 points and Colton Sandage finished with nine points.

 

Western Kentucky carried a three-point lead into halftime, as Jordan Rawls led the way with eight points. Western Kentucky outscored Illinois State by nine points over the final half, while Akot led the way with a team-high nine second-half points.

HS BBB: Clinton Defeat Illini Central

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Illini Central Cougars by a score of 72-37 on Tuesday night. Junior Dawson Graves got the nod for ServPro Player of the Game for scoring 27 points. Junior Mason Walker had 12.

 

Junior Lucas Power led the Cougars with 12.

 

The Maroons improve to 2-0 on the season. Illini Central drop to 0-2.

 

Tune in Monday, November 28, as the Lady Maroons take on the Tolono Unity Lady Rockets. You can hear the game live on The BIG 1520 AM/29.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

HS GBB: Monticello Gets By Charleston

Monticello made free throws late to hold off a late charge from Charleston to win 33-22 in non-conference high school girl's basketball action Monday from the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.

 

Megan Allen sank five of six free throws and the Lady Sages made 5-of-10 free throws as a team in the frame. 

 

The Monticello defense held the Lady Trojans to just three second half field goals, all in the third quarter. Charleston's Ally Logsdon led all scorers with 17 points.

 

Allen led the Lady Sages with 12 points and finished 7-for-8 at the free throw line. She was the Monticello ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt County Player of the Game.

 

Jobi Smith finished with six for Monticello while Isa Beery, Lydia Burger, and Maia High each scored five points.

 

The Lady Sages move to 3-2 overall. They travel to Urbana next Tuesday night. The next Monticello girl's basketball broadcast on WEZC will be Monday, Dec. 12 when they host Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond.

HS GBB: Georgetown-Ridge Farm Gets By Blue Ridge

Georgetown-Ridge Farm toppled Blue Ridge 44-23 in non-conference high school girl's basketball Monday night from Georgetown. 

 

Phoebe Reynolds paced the Lady Knights offense scoring 13 points. 

 

Blue Ridge drops to 1-3 overall. They will take on Champaign Christian Academy tonight.

Bulls Topple Celtics

Zach LaVine scored 22 points, DeMar DeRozan had 28 and Chicago stopped Boston's nine-game win streak, beating the Celtics 121-107 on Monday night.

 

Patrick Williams scored a season-high 17, and the Bulls made it look rather easy against a team that's 13-4. They led by 13 at halftime, got it up to 21 in the third quarter and withstood a push to come away with the win after dropping four straight and five of six.

 

LaVine was coming off what might have been the worst performance of his career. The two-time All-Star was 1 of 14 with four points against Orlando on Friday and got benched for the final 3:43.

 

Against Boston, he was 8 of 20 from the field, but made five 3-pointers. He also scored nine in the fourth quarter.

 

DeRozan, who scored 41 in the previous game, had eight in a span of just over a minute late in the third. He also spun and fed Alex Caruso for a reverse layup that made it 116-101 with just under three minutes left in the game.

 

Jayson Tatum led Boston with 28 points. Jaylen Brown scored 25, and Malcolm Brogdon finished with 23 points, nailing 5 of 6 3-pointers.

 

The Bulls visit Milwaukee on Wednesday.

After State Runner-Up Finish, Monticello Basketball Will Have Plenty of Questions Coming into 2022-23 Season

The Monticello Sages state runner-up finish in the Class 2A high school basketball postseason last year was the best finish in school history but the questions will be abundant coming into the 2022-23 basketball season.

 

Coach Kevin Roy says it was an amazing season but now it's in the past and it's time to prepare for the season ahead.

 

 

Graduating nearly all of the production from last year's team that included seven seniors, Coach Roy indicates they've been using the summer and preseason practice schedule to find an identity and cohesion.

 

 

Monticello was in an advantageous position last year with nearly its entire core being seniors, including it's sixth and sometimes the seventh player off the bench being seniors. Coach Roy points out they are going to have four seniors this year, a few juniors but a very strong sophomore class they will be able to turn to.

 

 

Coach Roy calls this group great kids and enjoys being around them. Monticello starts the season a little banged up with a few injuries to some of its expected regulars.

 

The Sages open the season with an Illini Praire Conference/Sangamo Conference challenge satellite as they take on four Sangamo teams in its first six games. They host Pleasant Plains tonight before a matchup at home against Riverton next Tuesday.

 

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

Blues Top Ducks

Justin Faulk had a power-play goal late in the third period and the St. Louis Blues extended their winning streak to seven games with a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night

 

Faulk's goal snapped a 1-all tie with 4:13 left in the game. The Blues' winning streak is the longest in NHL history for a team immediately following a losing streak of eight games or more in regulation play.

 

Noel Acciari scored in the first period and added an empty netter to seal the win. Jordan Binnington made 27 saves for St. Louis, which also beat the Ducks on Saturday night at Enterprise Center.

 

Cam Fowler scored and John Gibson made 24 saves for the Ducks, who have lost six of their last seven games.

 

Acciari gave the Blues the lead just 11 seconds into the game. Brayden Schenn set it up by stealing the puck from Fowler and feeding it to a wide-open Acciari in front of the net.

 

The Blues visit Buffalo on Wednesday night.

Clinton High School Basketball Team Opens New Era Tonight

The Clinton High School boy's basketball team opens its 2022-23 basketball season tonight with plenty of optimism and for good reason.

 

Tonight marks, for the first time since the 80s, Coach Vic Binkley will lead a basketball team other than Warrensburg-Latham. Coach Binkley comes to Clinton after stepping down at Clinton's Central Illinois Conference rival last year and is looking forward to a fresh start.

 

 

Being at Warrensburg-Latham last year, Coach Binkley indicates his team would often follow Clinton in it's CIC schedule and so obviously seeing them in person, at the CIC tournament but on film, Coach Binkley is optimistic about what this team can do.

 

 

The Maroons struggled at times to find consistency on offense last season, and while a young team, Coach Binkley does not want this young team to be gun shy with it's shot selection this season.

 

 

Coach Binkley comes to Clinton with the message it is Clinton's turn to be at the top of the conference and believes this team could do that this year. 

 

He is thankful for the administration at Clinton High School for being there for him at a difficult time when he was down and discouraged. 

 

The Maroons are at the Bill Rucks Memorial Thanksgiving Tournament this week. They open things tonight taking on Edinburg at 5 pm. They'll battle Illini Central tomorrow night at 5 pm. You can hear the action on WHOW and all its digital platforms.

 

The Maroons will continue play Wednesday and then Coach Binkley meets his former team, Warrensburg-Latham for the first time at 8 pm.

 

Clinton does not host its first home game until Tuesday, Dec. 6 against Mt. Pulaski at 7:30 pm. 

Virginia Clips Illinois

Under most circumstances, Virginia would have celebrated its tournament victory Sunday and carried the good feelings back to Charlottesville.

 

But after the No. 16 Cavaliers used a late 13-point run to defeat No. 19 Illinois 70-61 to win the Continental Tire Main Event, coach Tony Bennett knew the overnight trip back home would be far from joyous with the campus still grieving the shooting deaths of three football players.

 

The Cavaliers beat No. 5 Baylor and the Illini to earn the trophy.

 

The game was played exactly a week after football players Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry were fatally shot after a field trip to see a play in Washington. Two others were wounded.

 

Virginia players wore shirts to honor those killed and locked arms in tribute before the game.

 

Jayden Epps had 14 points and Coleman Hawkins 10 for the Illini.

 

The Cavaliers (4-0) trailed 58-56 with 3 1/2 minutes left when they broke away from Illinois (4-1). The game was close throughout, with neither team pulling away until Virginia’s late run.

 

Both teams’ top scorers from Friday’s games also were largely held in check.

 

Virginia’s Armaan Franklin, who scored 26 points against Baylor, had just nine against Illinois.

 

Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. also scored nine points after getting 29 against UCLA in going 8 of 9 from 3-point range. Shannon made just 1 of 5 on Sunday.

 

Illinois hosts Lindenwood of the Ohio Valley Conference Friday night. 

Penguins Down Blackhawks

Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists, and the Penguins topped the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Sunday for their third straight win.

 

Malkin scored in his 1,000th NHL game, helping Pittsburgh close out a 3-0 road trip after a 3-0 win at Winnipeg on Saturday night. Rickard Rakell had a goal and an assist, and Brock McGinn also scored for the Penguins.

 

Pittsburgh had a 3-2 lead before Phillipp Kurashev tied it for Chicago with a third-period shot from the corner behind the goal. But Crosby responded for the Penguins with 3:14 left, scoring his 10th of the season on a nice move in front.

 

Crosby, who has four goals and seven assists in his last four games, then tapped the puck over to Jeff Carter for an empty-netter in the final seconds.

 

Patrick Kane and Jujhar Khaira also scored for Chicago in its fourth consecutive loss.

 

Chicago, which lost 6-1 at Boston on Saturday night, responded with two goals in the final 10:21 of the period. First, Jason Dickinson set up Khaira's second of the season. Then Kane beat Casey DeSmith off a slick feed from Jonathan Toews.

 

It was Kane's first goal since Oct. 27 against Edmonton and No. 3 on the season, stopping a 10-game drought.

 

The Blackhawks are at the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

Falcons Trip Up Bears

Younghoe Koo's 53-yard field goal gave Atlanta the lead with less than two minutes to play and the Falcons overcame another impressive game from Chicago's Justin Fields to beat the Bears 27-24 on Sunday.

 

Fields ran for 85 yards with a touchdown despite suffering a left shoulder injury on the Bears' final possession. 

 

Fields' pass for running back David Montgomery was intercepted by Falcons safety Jaylinn Hawkins with 1:07 remaining. A 26-yard run by rookie Tyler Allgeier allowed the Falcons, who rushed for 149 yards, to wind down the clock.

 

Fields completed 14 of 21 passes for 153 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

 

The Bears suffered their fourth consecutive loss. Chicago (3-8) has lost six of seven.

Each quarterback had the most carries for his team. Marcus Mariota couldn't match Fields' dual-threat production, but he ran and threw for touchdowns for Atlanta (5-6), which pulled within one-half game of NFC South-leading Tampa Bay (5-5) on the Buccaneers' bye week.

 

Atlanta running back Cordarrelle Patterson, who played for the Bears for two years before signing with the Falcons in 2021, set the NFL record with his ninth career kickoff return for a touchdown. His 103-yard return in the second quarter broke a tie with Joshua Cribbs and Leon Washington for the mark.

 

Patterson's lost fumble after a 19-yard run set up Fields' 4-yard scoring run that gave Chicago a 17-7 lead. Patterson atoned for the fumble with his record-breaking return.
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Mariota had 13 carries for 25 yards, including a 10-yard scoring run for a 24-17 lead in the third quarter. He threw for 131 yards, including a 2-yard scoring pass to Drake London.

 

Koo's 40-yard field goal on the final play of the first half tied it at 17.

 

The Bears are at New York Jets on Nov. 27.

LeRoy Rolls Blue Ridge

Three players scored in double figures and the LeRoy Lady Panthers rolled Blue Ridge 55-12 in non-conference high school girl's basketball action Thursday from LeRoy.

 

Morgan Fleming scored 13 points to lead all scorers. Natalie Loy added 12 points and Nolly Buckles finished with 11 points for the Lady Panthers.

 

Kylie Madden finished with six for Blue Ridge.

 

The Lady Knights drop to 1-1 overall.

Shannon scores 29, No. 15 Illinois rallies past No. 8 UCLA

Terrence Shannon Jr. made 8 of 9 3-pointers and scored 29 points with 10 rebounds, and No. 19 Illinois rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat No. 8 UCLA 79-70 on Friday night.

 

UCLA led 44-29 early in the second half, and the Bruins were in front by 10 points when Illinois went on a 22-6 run take a lead it never gave back.

 

Shannon shot 9 of 13 overall. Maybe the only area where he was struggled was at the free throw line, where he went 3-for-7. Shannon had three assists against the Bruins.

 

Tyger Campbell scored 22 points and Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 20 for the Bruins. UCLA led 37-28 at halftime and expanded the lead to 15 points on a 3-pointer by Jaquez less than two minutes into the second half.

 

Shannon then made a 3 to jump-start Illinois’ rally, and by the time the Illini were finished, they had scored 51 second-half points.

 

The Illini (4-0) will play No. 16 Virginia in Sunday’s championship game of the Continental Tire Main Event. UCLA (3-1) faces fifth-ranked Baylor in the consolation game.

Eureka Rolls Clinton

Eureka used a fast start and Clinton could not recover in a 67-43 defeat from the Turkey Tussle Holiday Tournament at Clinton High School Thursday night.

 

Eureka opened up a 28-7 first quarter advantage and while the Lady Maroons stayed closed the rest of the way, they could never recover.

 

Clara Dempsey led the Lady Maroons with 14 points and Regan Filkin added 13. Avery Smith scored 10 points.

 

Ellie Cahill scored a game-high 33 for Eureka.

 

The Lady Maroons drop to 1-2 overall and will finish the tournamet Saturday at Clinton High School. 

Balanced Scoring Leads St. T Over Clinton

Lucy Corley paced a balanced Decatur St. Teresa attack as the Lady Bulldogs toppled Clinton 39-23 from the Turkey Tussle Holiday Tournament at Clinton High School Tuesday night. 

 

Corley was the only scorere in double figures with 10 points. Sole Corley scored eight points while Joella Livingston, Natalie Shaw, and Jaida Taylor recorded six points apiece. 

 

Regan Filkin scored eight points to lead Clinton and Clara Dempsey added six points.

 

The Lady Maroons drop to 1-1 on the season. They'll wrap up pool play from the round-robin tournament Thursday evening.

Bradley Rolls Eastern Michigan

Malevy Leons scored 16 points as Bradley beat Eastern Michigan 89-61 on Tuesday night.

 

Leons had six rebounds for the Braves (2-1). Ja'Shon Henry scored 15 points while going 5 of 7 and 5 of 6 from the free throw line, and added five rebounds. Ville Tahvanainen shot 4 for 6, including 3 for 5 from beyond the arc to finish with 11 points.

 

Emoni Bates led the way for the Eagles (1-2) with 20 points and six rebounds. Colin Golson Jr. added 11 points for Eastern Michigan. In addition, Tyson Acuff had seven points.

 

Bradley entered halftime up 41-21. Leons paced the team in scoring in the first half with 12 points. Bradley outscored Eastern Michigan in the second half by eight points, with Tahvanainen scoring a team-high eight points after intermission.

 

Bradley hosts Southeast Missouri State Saturday. 

Mets' Showalter NL Manager of the Year

Terry Francona of the Cleveland Guardians and Buck Showalter of the New York Mets trace their beginnings as major league managers to a time when starting pitchers still threw complete games, defensive shifts were rare and stats like WAR, WHIP, OPS and FIP weren’t part of baseball’s everyday lingo.

 

Showalter — who narrowly won the National League award in a wide-open race — is just the third person to take the prize four times and the first to do it with four different franchises. He won in the AL with the New York Yankees in 1994, Texas Rangers in 2004 and Baltimore Orioles in 2014.

 

The other four-time winners are Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.

Showalter received eight of 30 first-place votes, 10 second-place votes and 77 total points, edging Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts, who finished second. Roberts also earned eight-first-place votes but had just four second-place votes for 57 points.

 

Showalter guided New York to the second-best regular season in franchise history, finishing 101-61 for a 24-win improvement over 2021. He’s the first Mets manager to win the award, which has been presented since 1983.

 

The 66-year-old skipper brought stability and gravitas to a franchise that had been saddled with on- and off-the-field issues over the past several seasons.

 

After leading their division nearly all season, the Mets settled for the top NL wild card and lost to San Diego at home in the opening round of the playoffs.

 

Francona won the AL award for the third time in 10 seasons. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes and nine second-place votes for 112 points from the BBWAA panel.

 

Cy Young Award winners will be announced on Wednesday, and the league MVPs on Thursday.

JGR Makes It Official: Ty Gibbs to No. 18 Car; Preece Promoted by SHR

Ty Gibbs was promoted to NASCAR’s top Cup series on Tuesday in an expected announcement that was void of any celebration as Joe Gibbs Racing continues to mourn the loss of Gibbs’ father.

 

Coy Gibbs died in his sleep hours after his 20-year-old son won the Xfinity Series championship on Nov. 5 at Phoenix Raceway. He was 49, the same age as older brother, J.D., when he passed away in 2019.

 

Joe Gibbs, the NASCAR and NFL Hall of Famer, has lost both his sons a month before their 50th birthdays. Coy Gibbs was vice chairman of his father’s NASCAR team at the time of his death.

 

The Gibbs family has made no public statements since confirming Coy Gibbs’ passing shortly before the NASCAR season finale. Ty Gibbs did not race in the Nov. 6 finale and has made just one public appearance since, courtside at a Charlotte Hornets game last week with his younger brother, a cousin and another driver.

 

The Tuesday announcement that Ty Gibbs will replace Kyle Busch in JGR’s Cup lineup came in a four-paragraph press release that said Gibbs will move up with Chris Gayle, his crew chief during this year’s championship season.

 

Ty Gibbs will drive the No. 54 Toyota Camry next year and JGR said it plans to use the No. 18 for future use. Joe Gibbs chose the No. 18 when he launched his NASCAR team in 1992 and Busch spent the past 15 years with the number.

 

Ty Gibbs has used the No. 54 the past two seasons in the Xfinity Series, where he won 11 of 51 races and the championship in the season finale at Phoenix. His first national series title ended a bumpy season for Ty Gibbs, who scrapped with other drivers, was fined by NASCAR, and then cost JGR driver Brandon Jones a spot in the championship finale by spinning him out of the lead on the final lap at Martinsville Speedway.

 

If Gibbs had simply stayed in second behind Jones, both JGR drivers would have made the championship race and Toyota would have had two entries. Joe Gibbs promised consequences would be coming for his grandson, but the team had to get through championship week first.

 

Ty Gibbs then won the title but learned of his father’s passing at a Phoenix-area hotel the next morning.

 

Before the incident at Martinsville, Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson had defended Gibbs’ growth while noting he’s younger than most of his peers. He’ll join a JGR lineup that includes 42-year-old Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin, who turns 42 later this week, as well as Christopher Bell, who turns 28 next month. Bell raced for the Cup title at Phoenix, finishing third in the title race.

 

 

 

Tony Stewart won the battle with partner Gene Haas over next year’s NASCAR lineup by giving reserve driver Ryan Preece a shot with a top-tier Cup organization.

 

Preece spent this entire year doing simulator work for Stewart-Haas Racing that helped the organization adapt to NASCAR’s new car. Haas said last month he and Stewart disagreed over the direction of the No. 41 Ford, with Stewart wanting to promote Preece but Haas preferring that Cole Custer return for a fourth season.

 

Haas, the founder of the NASCAR team, seemed inclined to follow Stewart’s talent assessment and it became official Wednesday when Preece was given the seat. Custer will stay at SHR but move down to the second-tier Xfinity Series.

 

Preece at the end of the 2021 season chose the reserve role with SHR rather than take a full-time Cup ride with a mediocre team. Alex Bowman took a similar path and now drives the No. 48 at Hendrick Motorsports.

 

Preece’s hope was that he’d do enough behind the scenes to earn a Cup seat when one opened. Preece is represented by the company owned by SHR veteran Kevin Harvick, and Haas has said Harvick told the organization he intends to retire at the end of 2023.

 

Additionally, Aric Almirola said ahead of this season that it would be his last, then backtracked and will return next year. Any way he looked at it, Preece figured SHR would eventually have openings and being embedded within the organization made him the frontrunner.

 

Preece clawed his way from Berlin, Connecticut, into NASCAR’s national series through the Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR’s oldest division and the only open-wheel series it sanctions. The 32-year-old won the modified championship in 2013, the same year he made his debut in the Xfinity Series.

 

He made his Cup debut in 2015 and two years later mortgaged his house to fund two Xfinity races with Joe Gibbs Racing. The superior equipment allowed Preece to finally show his talent and he finished second in his JGR debut won the next race at Iowa Speedway.

 

Preece parlayed it into 17 more Xfinity races with JGR — a run that included a 2018 victory at Bristol, and finally in 2019 a chance in the Cup Series with a three-year deal with JTG-Daugherty Racing.

 

Next year he will be teammates with Harvick, Almirola and Chase Briscoe. Harvick is the 2014 champion and both he and Briscoe made the playoffs this season.

 

Custer, the son of SHR executive Joe Custer, won a Cup race in his 2020 rookie season but his success has mostly come in the Xfinity Series. He’s a 10-time winner in Xfinity, including a February victory in one of five starts.

 

He will drive a new second Xfinity Series car as teammate to Riley Herbst, who SHR is bringing back for a third consecutive season.

Cubs Release OF Heyward

The Chicago Cubs released Jason Heyward on Monday, cutting ties with a five-time Gold Glove outfielder who never produced at the plate the way they hoped.

 

President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer said in August that Heyward would not return to the Cubs next year.

 

The 33-year-old Heyward had one season left on the $184 million, eight-year contract he signed prior to the 2016 season. He hit .245 with 62 home runs over seven years with the Cubs.

 

Heyward famously rallied teammates with an inspirational pep talk during a rain delay late in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series in Cleveland. Chicago went on to win 8-7 in 10 innings, ending a championship drought that dated to 1908.

 

Heyward hit .204 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 137 at-bats this past season. He was bothered by right knee inflammation and did not play after June 24.

Bears RB Herbert to IR


The Chicago Bears placed running back Khalil Herbert on injured reserve because of a hip injury on Tuesday, a big setback for a team leading the NFL in rushing yards.

 

Herbert will miss at least four games. He was hurt returning a kickoff near the end of last week’s 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions.

 

Herbert is the team’s second-leading rusher behind quarterback Justin Fields. He has 643 yards on 108 attempts while sharing duties with David Montgomery. He is sixth in the league at 6 yards per carry. Chicago is averaging 201.7 yards rushing, with the Baltimore Ravens second at 168.1 yards per game.

 

The Bears also waived defensive lineman Kingsley Jonathan, and claimed defensive back Justin Layne off waivers from the New York Giants.

 

Chicago visits Atlanta on Sunday. The Bears (3-7) have lost six of seven.

Clinton Thanksgiving 'Turkey Tussle' Kicks Off Girl's Basketball Season

The Clinton High School Thanksgiving Turkey Tussle holiday girl's basketball tournament started up a few seasons ago and it is turning into a premier holiday tournament in central Illinois.

 

In its ninth year, Clinton High School Athletic Director Matt Koeppel says its a great way to bring in great competition for week of good girl's basketball.

 

 

Clinton has been a co-host of the tournament with Riverton. Koeppel explains they host half the field and then the crossover games all take place at Clinton High School on Saturday.

 

 

The Clinton Lady Maroons are back in action for the tournament tonight at 7 pm taking on Decatur St. Teresa. They'll finish pool play Thursday evening at 7 pm against Eureka. 

 

Olympia, Decatur St. Teresa and Eureka are in the Clinton High School pool while Riverton, PORTA, Mt. Pulaski and Dee-Mack are in the Riverton pool.

HS Girl's Basketball: Blue Ridge Topples

Phoebe Reynolds hit a game tying three pointer with ten seconds to play in regulation and Ava Austin hit both ends of a one-and-the-bonus free throws to seal a 36-34 victory over Donovan for the Blue Ridge Lady Knights in the opener of the 2022-23 high school girl's basketball season Monday night at Donovan High School.

 

Reynolds and Austin each finished with 12 points for Blue Ridge. 

 

The Lady Knights are 1-0 on the season.

Illinois Routes Monmouth

Terrence Shannon Jr. had a career-high 30 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 19 Illinois to a 103-65 win over Monmouth on Monday night.

 

Freshman guard Jayden Epps scored a season-high 21 points and Dain Dainja finished with 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting for the Illini (3-0).

 

Andrew Ball scored 13 points to lead Monmouth (0-3), and Jack Collins added 12.

 

Illinois made its first five shots — four of them 3s — and hit nine of its first 12 shots to sprint out to a 24-9 lead. It was a sharp contrast from a 1-for-18 start from the field in a win over Kansas City last Friday.

 

Illinois led 8-0 just 44 seconds in thanks to a 3 by Shannon, a steal and layup from RJ Melendez and a 3 from Skyy Clark. Clark pushed the Illini lead to double digits with a decisive crossover in transition and a layup, part of a 31-5 run that included four buckets from Shannon and four from Dainja.

 

Clark finished with a season-high six assists.

 

Illinois led 63-33 at halftime after shooting 76.7% in the first half.

 

Monmouth coach King Rice credited the Illini’s ball movement and said having multiple players who can knock down perimeter shots makes them difficult to slow down.

 

Illinois heads to Las Vegas to take on No. 8 UCLA on Friday.

Clinton Lady Maroons Defeat Olympia

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Olympia Lady Spartans by a score of 36-35 on Monday night of the Turkey Tussle. The Lady Maroons were led by the SerPro Player of the Game Regan Filkin with 7 points.

 

Olympia was led by Kat Springer with 8 points. 

 

With the win, the Lady Maroons improve to 1-0. Olympia falls to 0-1.

 

Our next Lady Maroons broadcast is Monday, November 28. Tune in Tuesday, November 22 as the Clinton Maroons play Illini Central at Mt. Pulaski. 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.

Ashworth's 28 off bench leads Utah St. past Bradley, 84-62

Steven Ashworth led Utah State past Bradley on Friday night with 28 points off of the bench in an 84-62 victory.

 

Ashworth had six assists for the Aggies (2-0). Zee Hamoda shot 4 for 7 (3 for 4 from 3-point range) and 4 of 4 from the free throw line to add 15 points. Taylor Funk recorded 13 points and shot 4 for 9 (2 for 4 from 3-point range) and 3 of 4 from the free throw line.

 

Duke Deen led the way for the Braves (1-1) with 15 points. Zek Montgomery added 12 points for Bradley. Ja'Shon Henry also recorded seven points, nine rebounds and two steals.

Dainja dominates as No. 23 Illinois tops Kansas City, 86-48

Dain Dainja scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead No. 23 Illinois to an 86-48 win over Kansas City on Friday night.

 

Terrence Shannon Jr. added 14 points and five assists for the Illini (2-0).

 

Shemarri Allen led the Roos (0-3) with 20 points and eight rebounds on 9 of 19 shooting.

 

Freshman guard Jayden Epps scored 13 points on 4 of 9 shooting and added three rebounds and three assists.

 

Another freshman guard, Skyy Clark, added 10 points and five rebounds with zero turnovers after he committed five in his Illinois debut on Monday.

Illinois Hosts Purdue With Chance to Win Big Ten West

The Illinois Fighting Illini host Purdue Saturday at Memorial Stadium with a chance to lock up the Big Ten West.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Bob Asmussen told Regional Radio, both these teams will be looking to bounce back from poor showings last Saturday.

 

 

A pass heavy Boilermakers offense faces a much improved Illinois secondary and a pass rush that has been much better in 2022. Illinois ranks first in passing defense (152.6 yards allowed per game) and scoring defense, allowing just 10.44 points per game.

 

 

Costly turnovers and empty red-zone trips cost the Illini in their 23-15 loss to Michigan State at home last week. 

 

Losses at Wisconsin and to Iowa in back-to-back weeks have put the Boilermakers in a position where they must win to keep their division title hopes within reach. If Illinois wins Saturday, it would clinch the division with a win over either Michigan or Northwestern; Illinois already holds tiebreakers over Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.

Kings Edge Blackhawks in Overtime

Kevin Fiala scored with 1.4 seconds left in overtime, Jonathan Quick made 31 saves and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Thursday night.

 

Fiala scored into an open net off a no-look pass from Phillip Danault to give the Kings their third straight win.

 

After scoring four or more goals in each of their first seven wins, Los Angeles knew it would have to get better on defense to establish more sustainable success. This performance, on the heels of a 1-0 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday, showed the Kings are getting closer to that goal.

 

Taylor Raddysh scored on the power play and Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots in his first start since injuring his groin Oct. 21, but the Blackhawks lost for the sixth time in seven games.

 

Danault tied it 1-all early in the second period on a one-timer set up by Viktor Arvidsson shortly after a Kings power play expired. Danault had gone eight games without a goal before netting his fifth of the season.

 

Quick and Mrazek saved their best for last, making dueling spectacular saves during overtime.

 

Quick had to deny close-range efforts from Caleb Jones and a dangerous shot from Philipp Kurashev, with Danault blocking his follow up before taking the puck the other way to set up Fiala's winner.

 

The Blackhawks conclude their three-game trip at Anaheim on Saturday night.

Blues Break Slide, Down Sharks

Calle Rosen had a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues ended their eight-game losing streak - the longest in franchise history - with a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

 

Rosen's first goal of the season broke a 3-all tie midway through the third period. Noel Acciari added an empty-netter.

 

Torey Krug, Jordan Kyrou and Brandon Saad also scored for the Blues, who had gone four straight games with two goals or less. Jordan Binnington made 27 saves as St. Louis won for the first time since Oct. 22.

 

St. Louis has won six straight against the Sharks and has points in the last eight meetings.

 

Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who have lost five in a row (0-2-3). Kaapo Kahkonen made 28 saves.

 

The Blues are at the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night.

Packers Host Cowboys Sunday

Circumstances surrounding Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy's return to Lambeau Field to face his former team are quite a bit different from expected.

 

This initially shaped up as a midseason matchup between two teams with high expectations after reaching the playoffs a year earlier. While the Cowboys (6-2) have held up their end of the bargain, the Packers (3-6) have dropped five straight games for the first time since 2008.

 

The Packers are dealing with multiple injuries as they attempt to spoil McCarthy's return on Sunday and boost their fading postseason hopes.

 

McCarthy took over as Green Bay's coach in 2005 and posted a 125-77-2 record before getting fired late in the 2018 season. He led the Packers to their most recent Super Bowl title, in the 2010 season. A road near Lambeau Field is named Mike McCarthy Way.

 

The coach got emotional this week while discussing his favorite memories from Green Bay. He noted how special this game will be for his family.

 

But he also wants to make sure none of those factors affect his team's focus.

 

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who earned two of his four MVP awards while playing for McCarthy, says he appreciates the way his former coach has shown his sentimental side in the days leading up to this matchup.

 

Green Bay is scoring just 17.1 points per game to rank 27th in the NFL as the Packers struggle without departed two-time All-Pro receiver Davante Adams. Rodgers and Adams had a knack for improvising to get big gains.

 

Game time is 3:25 Sunday afternoon. 

Bears Host Lions Sunday

The Bears (3-6) come in with five losses in the past six games. But the big story is Justin Fields' improvement.

 

He's making a case he just might be the one to nail down a position that has historically been a weak spot for one of the NFL's founding franchises. He had already strung together several encouraging performances in a row - and then came the game against Miami last week.

 

Though the Bears lost 35-32, Fields put on a show, running for 178 yards. It was the highest rushing total for an NFL quarterback in a regular-season game since at least 1940. But there was more. Fields also became the first player since at least 1950 with at least 150 yards rushing and three touchdown passes in a game.

 

In the past five weeks, he has thrown for 851 yards, completing 76 of 120 passes, with eight TDs and two interceptions. He also has run for 455 yards and three TDs in that time.

 

Fields leads the Bears in rushing with 602 yards and is averaging 6.6 per attempt. Only Jackson is running for more yards per carry.

 

The Lions (2-6), meanwhile, had lost five in a row before beating Green Bay 15-9 last week. They intercepted Aaron Rodgers three times and hung on when he threw an incompletion on fourth down at the Detroit 17 in the final minute.

 

Even so, the Lions are in a familiar spot. They're last in the NFC North and on course to finish with a losing record for the 18th time in 22 seasons.

 

Game time is noon Sunday.

Illinois State Holds Off Eastern Illinois

Luke Kasubke and Malachi Poindexter each hit two clutch free throws in the final 15 seconds to earn Illinois State a 54-49 win over Eastern Illinois on Thursday.

 

Kasubke finished with 16 points and shot 4 for 7 (4 for 5 from 3-point range) and 4 of 4 from the free throw line for the Redbirds (1-1). Poindexter was 3 of 8 shooting, including 1 for 4 from distance, and went 4 for 4 from the line to add 11 points. Joe Petrakis recorded 10 points and was 4 of 10 shooting (2 for 7 from distance).

 

The Panthers (0-2) were led in scoring by Kinyon Hodges, who finished with 14 points. Eastern Illinois also got eight points, eight rebounds and two steals from Yaakema Rose Jr.. In addition, Nick Ellington finished with eight points.

 

Illinois State plays Saturday against Northwestern State on the road, and Eastern Illinois visits Central Michigan on Sunday.

Eastern Illinois Hosts Southeast Missouri State

Eastern Illinois will be playing its final home game of the 2022 season on Saturday as the Panthers host their second nationally ranked team at O'Brien Field this season.  

 

The Panthers will host co-OVC leader Southeast Missouri which is ranked No. 19 in the FCS polls. 

 

Dom Shoffner made his first collegiate start on Saturday at McNeese and produced a large chunk of the Panthers offensive numbers.  Shoffner rushed for a team-high 78 yards and passed for 187 yards.  He had touchdown passes to Jay Vallie and Justin Bowick as he now has four touchdown passes this season and 299 yards passing. 

 

Game time is 2 pm Saturday. Hear all the action starting at 1:30 pm on Saturday afternoon on WHOW and all its digital platforms.

ISU Battles Top-Ranked South Dakota State

With just two games remaining in the regular season, Illinois State finds itself still with chance at the FCS playoffs but a big roadblock sits in their way in the form of No. 1 ranked South Dakota State on the road this weekend. The Redbirds (5-4, 3-3 MVFC) will need an upset win over the Jackrabbits (9-1, 7-0 MVFC) to keep those playoff hopes alive heading into the final week of the regular season when ISU takes on in-state rival Western Illinois in the finale.

 

The Jackrabbits tied a school record with their ninth consecutive victory to improve to 9-1 overall and 7-0 in league play with their thrilling win at UNI last weekend. With a win, SDSU will receive the MVFC's automatic berth into the FCS playoffs.

 

Hunter Dustman booted a 26-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to lift the top-ranked Jackrabbits to the 31-28 victory over UNI last Saturday night. 

 

Redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse got his first start behind center for the Redbirds and nearly led them to a victory against Youngstown State. Starting in place of injured starter Zack Annexstad, Rittenhouse finished the game with 103 yards passing on seven completions in extremely windy conditions at Hancock Stadium and also scored the Redbirds' only two touchdowns of the game on the ground. 

 

The Redbirds rank No. 5 in the country in passing yards allowed with 172.8 per game, which also ranks second in the MVFC behind North Dakota State. That group has also aided in ISU ranking No. 14 in the country in total defense, allowing just 311.7 yards per game, and No. 15 in scoring defense at 20 points per game to opponents so far on the season.

 

Game time is 2 pm from Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, South Dakota.

High School Football Playoffs Quarterfinal Matchups

Class 1A

 

Ridgeview 1:00pm

Tuscola

 

Class 2A

 

Decatur St. Teresa 1:00pm

Pana 

 

Maroa-Forsyth 2:00pm

Taylor Ridge-Rockridge

 

Class 3A

 

Prairie Central 2:00pm

Tolono Unity

 

Olympia 2:00pm

Williamsville

 

Class 4A

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 2:00pm

Murphysboro

 

Class 5A

 

Mascoutah 3:00pm

Peoria 

 

Mahomet-Seymour 4:00pm

Morris

Illini Basketball Signs Three in Early Signing Period

University of Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced Wednesday the signing of four-star recruits Amani Hansberry and Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn and three-star standout Zacharie Perrin to national letters of intent on the first day of the early signing period.

 

Hansberry is a 4-star power forward, the No. 1 player in state of Maryland, ranked No. 42 by Top247, No. 63 by ESPN100, No. 72 by 247Sports Composite, No. 79 by On3 Consensus, No. 85 by On3, and No. 118 by Rivals150.

 

Gibbs-Lawhorn is a 4-star combo guard, ranked No. 69 by 247Sports Composite, No. 70 by ESPN100, No. 76 by Rivals150, No. 80 by Top247, No. 84 by On3 Consensus, and No. 108 by On3.

 

Perrin is a 3-star forward. He attends Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas and helped lead France to a 6-1 record and fifth-place finish at the FIBA U18 European Championships from July 30-August 7 in Izmir, Turkey.

Illini Baseball Signs Eight

The Illinois baseball program announced the signing of eight student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Wednesday. 

 

Coach Dan Hartlieb, who signed an extension on Monday, calledthe class physical and athletic.

 

Liam Anderson is a 6-foot right-handed pitcher from London, Ontario. He played in the Canadian Premier Baseball League and was a member of three league champion teams. Additionally, Anderson is a member of Great Lake Canadians and has competed with the Canadian U-18 National Team in 2021 and 2022. He is a three-time CPBL All-Star (2020, '21, '22) and two-time Great Lake Canadians Pitcher of the Year (2019, '20) and was a 2022 CPBL and Perfect Game WWBA roster selection.

 

The Illini also crossed the border to sign 6-foot-4 right handed pitcher Parker Burgess from Douro-Dummer, Ontario.  Burgess was a m ember of Canada's WBSC U-18 World Cup team, played for Canada in The Friendship Series against the United States in 2021, and recorded a 1.90 ERA and 17.9 strikeouts per nine innings ratio for the Canadian Premier Baseball League's Toronto Mets U-17 in 2021. He also played AAA hockey for six years and high school basketball for two.

The Illini also went into Ontario for 5-foot-11 outfielder Cameron Chee-Aloy. Chee-Aloy was a Canadian Premier League Baseball MVP and All-Star in 2020
PBR Future Games 2021, has played for Team Canada in 2021 and 2022, and was a member of Canada's WBSC U-18 World Cup team.

 

Regan Hall, a 6-foot Albuquerque, New Mexico left-handed pitcher, comes to Illinois as a First-Team All-State and All-District in 2022, a second-Team All-State and All-District in 2021, a First-Team All-Academic in 2022, a Second-Team All-Academic in 2021.

 

Illinois did not have to go far for 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher Aden O'Donnell from Bettendorf, Iowa. O'Donnell helped lead Pleasant Valley High School to a 2021 4A Iowa State Champion and was named to the 2022 Perfect Game Iowa Spring League. He also played in the 2022 Perfect Game Midwest Top Prospects games a is a three-year letterwinner in football. 

 

Reagan Reader is a 6-foot-5 two-way right hander from Anoka, Minnesota. He is a 2022 Class 4A All-State, All-Conference and All-Section selection and holds the school home run and RBI record. Reader is a three-year varsity started in basketball.

 

Lockport, Illinois native Vytas Valinsius transers from South Carolina. The 6-foot-4 infielder Played in five games at South Carolina during the 2022 season, going 1-for-6 with an RBI at the plate. He was ranked the No. 1 first baseman and No. 6 overall player in the state of Tennessee by Perfect Game in the class of 2021, ranked the No. 4 first basemen in the country by Perfect Game in the class of 2021. Additionally, Valinsius was a Perfect Game Preseason All-Southeast Region first team (2021), a Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-Southeast Region second team (2020), a Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-American high honorable mention (2019), a Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-American honorable mention (2018), and was a four-year all-state selection at Baylor High School in Tennessee.

 

The only Illinois prep talent for Illinois comes from St. Charles East High School in Chicago in 5-foot-11 infielder Jake Zitella. He is a two-time DuKane All-Conference, one-time all-area, one-time all-area captain. Zitella  was a team MVP in 2022 helping his team win the DuKane Conference that season as well.

Illinois Football Extends Offensive Coordinator Barry Lunney

Illinois offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. has agreed to a contract extension that will carry him through the conclusion of the 2025 season, Director of Athletics Josh Whitman and head coach Bret Bielema announced. The extension is pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at its meeting next week. 

 

Lunney has made Illinois one of the most improved offenses in the nation behind a balanced attack. Along with a talented assistant coaching staff, Lunney has improved Illinois' yards per game by 83.3 from last season, the biggest improvement in the Big Ten by more than 20 yards. The Illinois offense features the nation's leading rusher, Chase Brown, the No. 2 quarterback in the nation in completion percentage, Tommy DeVito, and an offensive line that is in contention for the Joe Moore Award.

 

Illinois has made tremendous year-over-year improvement in the national rankings on offense, jumping 121 spots in completion percentage (3rd from 124th), 74 spots in passing efficiency (47th from 121st), and 59 spots in yards per game (53rd from 112th). With Lunney's quick-paced and efficient offense, Illinois has become the most improved passing team in the country with a 20+% improvement in completion percentage, by far the best in the nation. 

 

Illinois' complimentary offense, paired with the nation's No. 1 defense, has helped the Illini make huge strides in national relevance in 2022. Illinois has been ranked in the AP Top 25 for five straight weeks, the team's first national ranking since 2011, and the Illini are currently No. 21 in the College Football Playoff rankings after making the program's first-ever appearance during the initial rankings last week.

 

Lunney's base salary increases to $800,000 for the 2023 season and $825,000 for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

White So OF Pollock Declines Option, Becomes Free Agent

Outfielder AJ Pollock declined his $13 million player option with the Chicago White Sox and was among 10 players who became free agents Wednesday, raising the total to 161.

 

In the final season of what turned out to be a $50 million, four-year contract, the 34-year-old hit .245 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs. Pollock signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent in January 2019 and was traded after the lockout for closer Craig Kimbrel.

 

World Series champion Houston declined a $10 million option on first baseman Trey Mancini in favor of a $250,000 buyout and declined a $13 million option on reliever Will Smith in favor of a $1 million buyout.

 

Left-hander Drew Smyly turned down his $10 million player option with the Chicago Cubs and gets a $1 million buyout.

Cardinals Acquire Infielder from Guardians

The St. Louis Cardinals acquired minor league infielder Jose Fermin from the Cleveland Guardians for cash considerations Wednesday and added him to their 40-man roster.

 

The Cardinals also reinstated pitchers Alex Reyes and Drew VerHagen from the injured list.

 

The 23-year-old Fermin hit .215 with six homers and 31 RBIs in 90 games for Triple-A Columbus. He originally signed with the Guardians as an international free agent in 2015 and has become a versatile defensive player, starting games at second base, third base and shortstop.

 

The Cardinals have 38 players on their 40-man roster.

Pelicans Down Bulls

Brandon Ingram scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half, including seven straight late in the fourth quarter, and the New Orleans Pelicans pulled out a 115-111 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

 

Ingram hit a 3-pointer that gave the Pelicans a 109-107 lead. DeMar DeRozan's dunk tied it, but Ingram countered with a mid-range basket and DeRozan committed a turnover with 17.4 seconds left.

 

The Pelicans overcame 3-for-19 shooting from beyond the arc, including an 0-for-5 performance by CJ McCollum.

 

DeRozan, who scored a season-low nine points Monday, led Chicago with 33. Zach LaVine had 23 but was 3 for 12 on 3s.

 

The Bulls used an 8-0 run, punctuated by LaVine's layup, to take a 97-93 lead with 5:23 left. But then Ingram scored seven consecutive points to put the Pelicans in front.

 

Chicago's bench was dormant for 2 1/2 quarters before Goran Dragic sparked a 9-2 spurt that enabled the Bulls to take an 82-79 lead into the fourth. Dragic scored five points and fed Javonte Green for a lob dunk.

 

Dragic, who finished with 14 points, also hit Derrick Jones Jr. for a three-point play less than a minute into the fourth period.

 

Despite going 2 of 14 from 3-point distance and receiving only eight points from Williamson, Ingram and McCollum (0 for 7 from the field), the Pelicans overcame an 11-point deficit to seize a 52-50 halftime lead.

 

Jonas Valanciunas scored seven of New Orleans' final 17 points of the half. The Pelicans also got 25 points from their bench in the first two quarters.

 

DeRozan and LaVine accounted for 29 of the Bulls' first-half points.

 

There were 14 lead changes and the teams were tied 19 times.

 

The Bulls host the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.

Illinois Extends Baseball Coach Dan Hartleib

University of Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman announced today a contract extension for head baseball coach Dan Hartleb. The extension, which will be considered by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at its November 17th meeting, will keep Hartleb on contract through at least the conclusion of the 2027 season.

 

Hartleb is in his 18th year as head coach at Illinois and 33rd year on the Illini coaching staff for the upcoming 2023 season. Coach Hartleb ranks among the winningest coaches in school history, as he enters 2023 with a career record of 507-371-1 (.576). The D1Baseball.com Big Ten Coach of the Decade for the 2010s has won a pair of Big Ten titles (2011, 2015) and owns a conference record of 241-182 (.569).

 

Under Coach Hartleb, Illinois has had one of its best eras ever, winning 61.0 percent of its games over the last ten years (298-192-1). Every Illini that has played four years for Hartleb has left with a winning percentage of .500 or better. Coach Hartleb's teams have finished with a record of .500 or better in 16-of-17 seasons under his leadership.

 

Hartleb recorded his 500th win as head coach on May 7, 2022, becoming the second head coach in program history to reach that milestone. Hartleb finished the campaign with 507 career wins and is now just 12 shy of passing Lee Eilbracht for the most wins in program history.

 

During the 2021 season, Hartleb recorded his 475th win after a 14-8 victory over Penn State on May 22, 2021. The win moved him into second place on the program's all-time wins list, passing his predecessor and mentor Richard "Itch" Jones. Hartleb also managed the Illini's combined no-hitter at Purdue on April 25, 2021, the first for the program since 1985. Following the season, Hartleb was named to the coaching staff for the 2021 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

 

Illinois returned to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time under Hartleb in 2019. The four NCAA trips in the last 11 seasons (2011, 2013, 2015, 2019) is the best stretch in program history, as Hartleb set the Illinois program record for tournament appearances. The Illini reached the postseason by winning two season series against ranked teams (Coastal Carolina, Indiana) for the third time in the Hartleb era, joining 2009 (LSU, Minnesota) and 2015 (Oklahoma State, Ohio State).

Bulls Injury Notes

Bulls guard Coby White (quadriceps) has been ruled out for Wednesday's game against the Pelicans.

 

White is slated to miss a sixth straight game due to a left quad contusion. His next chance to suit up will come Sunday against the Nuggets.

 

Meanwhile, center Andre Drummond (shoulder) is questionable for tonight's game.

Drummond has missed sixth consecutive contests due to a shoulder injury, but he has a chance to return to game action Wednesday. If available, he figures to garner a modest reserve role behind Nikola Vucevic.

 

The Bulls are 5-5 overall. They split a home-and-home with the Raptors Sunday and Monday. Monday's win snapped a two-game skid. 

Blues Continue to Struggle

Noah Cates, Owen Tippett and Travis Konecny each had a goal and an assist, Felix Sandstrom made 28 saves and the surprising Philadelphia Flyers handed the St. Louis Blues their eighth straight regulation defeat, 5-1 on Tuesday night.

 

Wade Allison and Lukas Sedlak also scored for rebuilding Philadelphia, which has won seven of 12 and garnered 16 points to start the season under first-year coach John Tortorella. The Flyers were last in the Metropolitan Division last season.

 

Ryan O'Reilly scored for the Blues, who set a club record for consecutive losses in regulation. St. Louis last won on Oct. 22 to improve to 3-0. The Blues are five defeats from matching the franchise's all-time losing streak, a 13-game slide from March 16-April 8, 2006, that included three overtime losses.

 

Allison notched the first of Philadelphia's three second-period tallies with 9:49 left in the period. Ivan Provorov set up the goal with a pass toward the crease, and the puck went off Allison and past Blues goalie Thomas Greiss. It was just the third time in 12 contests Philadelphia has gotten on the board first.

 

The Flyers just beat the buzzer for their final tally of one of their most impressive periods of the season with a 4-on-4 goal with three seconds left on a pretty passing play. Scott Laughton started it by keeping the puck in the zone, then sent a pass to the opposite circle to Travis Sanheim, who whipped the puck to the far side of the crease and Cates deflected it home for his second goal of the season.

 

That was more than enough for the Flyers against the struggling Blues.

 

The Blues tried for an early spark with fisticuffs. Brayden Schenn dropped the gloves with Philadelphia's Seeler just 3:39 into the contest in a one-sided duel won by Seeler. Just 51 seconds later, Blues' Robert Bortuzzo fought Zack MacEwen following a faceoff. Neither player was able to gain their footing in a draw.

 

But the fights were not enough to spark the Blues. Philadelphia dominated the first period, outshooting the Blues 18-11, before the three-goal barrage in the second.

 

The Blues host San Jose on Thursday.

Cardinals Bring on Matt Holliday as New Bench Coach

The St. Louis Cardinals hired ex-slugger Matt Holliday, who helped the organization win the World Series in 2011, as manager Oliver Marmol’s bench coach Sunday.

 

Holliday replaces Skip Schumaker, who was hired last month as the manager of the Miami Marlins.

 

The Cardinals also announced Dusty Blake, who had been a pitching strategist, was promoted to pitching coach and Turner Ward, who had been an assistant hitting coach, was promoted to hitting coach. Blake replaces Mike Maddux and Ward takes over for Jeff Albert. Both stepped away after long tenures with the Cardinals.

 

Cardinals president John Mozeliak acknowledged the club would have a lot of openings to fill late last month, saying he wasn’t opposed to hiring someone from outside the organization.

 

The Cardinals filled out their coaching staff by choosing Brand Allen, a member of their minor league staff, to replace Ward as their assistant hitting coach. Julio Rangle, who had been with the Red Sox, will be the new assistant pitching coach.

 

Patrick Elkins will return for another season as the club’s run-production specialist. Stubby Clapp will be back as first base coach, Pop Warner as third base coach, Willie McGee as a coach and Jamie Pogue and Kleininger Teran as bullpen catchers.

 

The Cardinals went 93-69 and won their second NL Central title in the past four years this season. They were swept by the eventual National League champion Philadelphia Phillies in their two-game, wild-card series.

Dustin Kelly Named Cubs Hitting Coach

The Chicago Cubs have promoted Dustin Kelly to hitting coach after two seasons as the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator, one of three additions to manager David Ross’ staff announced on Tuesday.

 

Kelly becomes the Cubs’ eighth hitting coach in 12 seasons. He replaces Greg Brown, who lasted one year. A former minor league infielder, Kelly worked as a hitting coach in the Dodgers farm system from 2018-20 before getting hired by Chicago.

 

The Cubs also added former outfielder Jim Adduci (assistant hitting coach) and Alex Smith (data development and process). They retained 11 coaches, including Andy Green, pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, third base coach Willie Harris and first base coach Mike Napoli.

 

Chicago finished 74-88 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

White Sox Pick Up SS Anderson's Option

The Chicago White Sox have picked up Tim Anderson’s $12.5 million option for the 2023 season and declined their $5.5 million option on infielder Josh Harrison.

 

The White Sox announced the moves on Monday. Harrison is owed a $1.5 million buyout and becomes a free agent.

 

The 29-year-old Anderson hit .301 with six homers, 25 RBIs and 13 steals in 79 games in his seventh big league season. He was the starting shortstop for the American League in the All-Star Game in July.

 

Anderson missed the end of the season after he was placed on the 10-day injured list on Aug. 9 with a middle finger injury on his left hand.

 

Anderson was selected by Chicago in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft. He agreed to a $25 million, six-year contract in March 2017 that also includes a $14 million club option for 2024.

 

The 35-year-old Harrison batted .256 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 119 games this season. He finalized a $5.5 million, one-year contract with the White Sox in March.

Boston Rolls Struggling Blues

Patrice Bergeron scored a power-play goal with 7:15 remaining and the Boston Bruins beat the slumping St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Monday night.

 

Trent Frederic and Jake DeBrusk also scored for Boston, and Brad Marchand had two assists. Linus Ullmark finished with 25 saves as the Bruins improved to 7-0-0 at home and won for the eighth time in nine games overall.

 

Brayden Schenn scored and Jordan Binnington had 34 saves in the Blues' seventh straight loss - all in regulation.

 

With the score tied 1-1 deep into the third period, St. Louis captain Ryan O'Reilly was whistled for tripping with 8:28 left to put the Bruins on the power play and they capitalized.

 

Binnington stopped two shots by Marchand and managed to cover a rebound during an extended scrum in front of the net. However, the Bruins won the faceoff and worked the puck around to Bergeron in the slot for a one-timer that put Boston back on top with his fifth of the season.

 

Frederic helped seal it with 3:32 left with his third.

 

The Bruins led 1-0 after DeBrusk scored on a power play with 6:26 left in the first period, taking a backhand feed from Pastrnak in the slot and slipping it between Binnington's legs for his fifth.

 

Schenn tied it for St. Louis on a one-timer with 8:23 left in the second off a crossing pass from Jordan Kyrou. It was his third. Former Bruins defenseman Torey Krug also assisted on the goal.

 

The Blues are at Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Bulls Topple Raptors

Zach LaVine scored a season-high 30 points and the Chicago Bulls coasted to a 111-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

 

LaVine, who didn't play in Sunday's nine-point loss at Toronto because of injury management on his knee, scored the Bulls' first nine points of the fourth quarter before committing his fifth foul with 7:26 left.

 

But the Bulls held a 15-point lead and were able to cruise the rest of the way.

 

Bulls center Nikola Vucevic recorded his fourth consecutive double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Guard Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with 27 points.

 

For the second time in two nights, the Raptors double-teamed Bulls leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, who took only three shots in the first half and scored his first points on a three-point play with 2:43 left in the second quarter. DeRozan finished with nine points, equaling his season low.

 

But the Bulls relied effectively on their depth to shake off a slow start in which they committed five turnovers in the first five minutes.

 

Reserves Goran Dragic and Javonte Green scored 15 of the Bulls' 30 first-quarter points that enabled them to overcome a nine-point deficit. That compensated for the brief loss of LaVine, who committed two fouls slightly more than four minutes into the game.

 

Raptors swingman Scottie Barnes missed his first six shots but responded with a thundering dunk, and Gary Trent Jr. followed with a three-pointer that cut the Raptors' deficit to 56-53 with less than a minute left in the second quarter.

 

The Bulls host New Orleans Wednesday night.

Western Illinois Edges Illinois State

Alec Rosner's 25 points helped Western Illinois defeat Illinois State 71-68 in a season opener on Monday.

 

Rosner shot 9 for 20 (4 for 10 from 3-point range) and 3 of 4 from the free throw line for the Leathernecks. Trenton Massner scored 12 points and completed a triple-double with 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Quinlan Bennett recorded 10 points and went 4 of 11 from the field.

 

The Redbirds were led in scoring by Kendall Lewis, who finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds and two steals. Malachi Poindexter added 14 points for Illinois State. Luke Kasubke also had 10 points.

 

Illinois State visits Eastern Illinois on Thursday.

Illinois Rolls Eastern Illinois

Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 24 points and Coleman Hawkins had 23 points and 12 rebounds as No. 23 Illinois cruised to an 87-57 win over Eastern Illinois on Monday night.

 

Dain Dainja added 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Illini, who outrebounded the Panthers 53-30 and scored 21 second-chance points on 20 offensive rebounds.

 

Kinyon Hodges scored 14 points and Yaakema Rose added 10 for Eastern Illinois.

 

Shannon Jr. set the tone early in his Illinois debut with an athletic, one-handed slam in transition to put his team up 11-6 early. The Texas Tech transfer took off somewhere between the free throw line and the `I' in the Big Ten logo.

 

Hawkins quickly answered questions about who might replace the production of departed sharpshooters Jacob Grandison and Trent Frazier. He shot 5 for 6 on 3-pointers in the first half to help Illinois spring out to a 34-20 lead by the 5:17 mark of the first half.

 

The Panthers struggled through a 1-for-12 shooting stretch midway through the second half.

 

Shannon's layup with 7:18 left capped a 19-3 run to give Illinois a 30-point lead.

Illinois hosts Kansas City on Friday night.

Despite Fields Big Day, Bears Fall Short to Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa threw for three touchdowns, Tyreek Hill had 143 yards receiving and Miami overcame a record-setting rushing effort by Justin Fields to beat the Bears 35-32 on Sunday.

 

In a game where neither team did much to stop the other, the Dolphins (6-3) had no trouble moving the ball against a gutted defense and made enough plays to come away with their third straight win.

 

Fields ran for 178 yards, the most by an NFL quarterback in a regular-season game. Michael Vick had the previous high with 173 for Atlanta in a win at Minnesota in 2002. Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards for San Francisco in a playoff victory over Green Bay during the 2012 season.

 

Fields scrambled for a 61-yard touchdown - the longest run by a Bears quarterback - and threw for three scores. He also became the first player since at least 1950 with at least 150 yards rushing and three TD passes in a game.

 

Fields' performance ensured the Bears (3-6) had a chance late. They got the ball on their 28 after Miami punted with just under three minutes remaining. But on fourth-and-10 at the 42, Fields threw incomplete to Equanimeous St. Brown, sealing Chicago's fifth loss in six games.

 

Tagovailoa, the NFL's top-rated passer, had all the time he needed to throw after the Bears traded pass rusher Robert Quinn and star linebacker Roquan Smith in the past two weeks.

 

He completed 21 of 30 passes for 302 yards without an interception and posted a 135.7 rating.

 

Hill, the NFL's leading receiver, caught seven passes, including a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

 

Jaylen Waddle, fourth in the league in yards receiving coming in, added 85 yards and a touchdown.

 

Jeff Wilson Jr. had a TD catch in his first game since a trade-deadline deal from San Francisco. Jaelan Phillips blocked a punt, and Andrew Van Ginkel returned it 25 yards for a score.

 

Fields completed 17 of 28 passes for 123 yards, with two touchdowns to Cole Kmet and one to Darnell Mooney.

 

The Bears host Detroit next Sunday.

Lions Upset Packers

Aaron Rodgers' poor pass intended for left tackle David Bakhtiari on a fourth down was picked off by rookie Aidan Hutchinson. It was one of several plays the four-time NFL MVP wished he had back.

 

Rodgers matched a career high with three interceptions and threw an incomplete pass on fourth down from the Detroit 17 in the final minute, letting the Lions hold on for a 15-9 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in a matchup of slumping teams.

 

When Rodgers was asked why he still believes this team can turn it around, he looked down at a lectern and had a long pause before answering.

 

The Packers (3-6) have lost five straight for the first time since 2008, when Rodgers was a first-year starter.

 

Detroit tried to seal the victory late in the fourth when Campbell went for it on fourth-and-3 from the Green Bay 43. Jared Goff's pass was incomplete.

 

Rodgers failed to take advantage. He did convert a fourth-and-2 with a lob to Samori Toure, who fumbled out of bounds at the Detroit 17.

 

Rodgers threw four straight incomplete passes to end a lousy game overall. He was 23 of 42 for 291 yards with a TD and had three interceptions for the fifth time in his career.

 

Goff was 14 of 26 for 137 yards with touchdown passes to Shane Zylstra and James Mitchell, a pair of tight ends that took advantage of an increased role after Detroit dealt Hockenson to Minnesota.

 

Zylstra and his brother, Brandon, who plays wide receiver, were elevated from the practice squad to join the active roster Sunday.

 

Rodgers threw interceptions in the end zone on his first two possessions. Former Illinois product Kerby Joseph picked off the first one on a deflected pass and Hutchinson intercepted the next one.

 

The banged-up Packers took more hits as WR Romeo Doubs (ankle), Jones (ankle), CB Eric Stokes (knee, ankle), DE Rashan Gary (knee) WR Christian Watson (concussion) and LB Krys Barnes (concssuion) were injured during the game.

 

Starting LB De'Vondre Campbell (knee) was inactive.

 

The Packers host Dallas on Sunday, and Tennessee four days later.

Illinois Opens College Basketball Season Hosting Eastern Illinois

No. 23 Illinois gets a chance to reveal a new identity in its season opener with Eastern Illinois.

 

Gone is All-America center Kofi Cockburn and the rest of the established leadership core of the Fighting Illini: guards Trent Frazier, Alfonso Plummer, Da'Monte Williams. Versatile guard Andre Curbelo transferred to St. John's and forward Jacob Grandison will spend his sixth year of eligibility at Duke.

 

Plummer, a sharpshooter who transferred to Illinois, Cockburn and Plummer accounted for 47.1 points per game last season, when Illinois went 23-10, won the Big Ten regular season title but lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

 

Illinois added two transfers with size who'll be in the primary rotation in former Texas Tech guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (6-feet-6) and former Baylor forward Matthew Mayer (6-9), the mullet-wearing "stretch 4" who can shoot from deep.

 

They are now essential to floating an Illinois team that slowed down, atypical for Underwood, and won with defense and discipline. But newcomers Skyy Clark, a transfer from Kentucky who didn't play last year due to a torn ACL, and freshman Ty Rodgers could be the difference-makers in conference play.

 

One player Illinois won't have to start the season is sophomore forward Luke Goode. He fractured a bone in his left foot in a closed scrimmage against Kansas in October and is unlikely to play before Christmas.

 

Eastern Illinois went 5-26 last season, including the opener against Big Ten foe Northwestern (80-56) and a 28-point loss at Missouri. The Panthers ranked 357th in points out of 358 Division I men's teams at 56.3 points per game.

 

Sophomore forward Paul Bizimana emerged as a go-to scorer in conference play as a freshman. Guard Kejuan Clements averaged 8.3 points, 4.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 27 games and paces a balanced scoring outfit.

 

EIU has just five players returning from last year's team and was picked to finish ninth in the 10-member Ohio Valley Conference.

Illinois Football Falls to No. 23 After Loss to Michigan State

After falling to Michigan State at home, 23-15, the Illini knew they would drop in the rankings.

 

In the latest AP Top 25 Poll, Illinois is ranked 21.

 

Georgia remains No. 1 overall followed by Ohio State, Michigan, TCU, and Tennessee to round out the top 5. 

 

The Illini will look to regroup this week before hosting Purdue on Saturday at 11:00 AM.

Raptors Rally Past Bulls

Fred VanVleet returned from injury with season highs of 30 points and 11 assists, Scottie Barnes had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors overcame the absence of leading scorer Pascal Siakam to beat the Chicago Bulls 113-104 on Sunday.

 

O.G. Anunoby scored 22 points, Gary Trent Jr. had 12 and Christian Koloko added career highs of 11 points and six blocks.

 

VanVleet returned after missing three games because of a sore lower back. He made five of Toronto's 10 3-pointers.

 

Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Alex Caruso had a career-high 11 rebounds and 11 assists and DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points for the Bulls, who lost their second straight.

 

DeRozan shot 7 for 9, matching his season low for field goal attempts.

 

Chicago guard Goran Dragic matched his season high with 16 points, Ayo Dosunmu scored 15 and Patrick Williams had 13.

 

Siakam is expected to miss at least two weeks because of a strained right adductor muscle. Siakam was injured when slipped and fell in the third quarter of Friday's loss at Dallas.

 

Zach LaVine sat for the Bulls, who host Toronto on Monday night in the second game of this back-to-back.

 

LaVine, who had left knee surgery in the offseason, sat out the first two games of the year and missed the first game of a back-to-back in late October.

 

VanVleet scored 30 or more eight times last season. Toronto was 7-1 in those games.

 

Chicago trailed 100-99 after a dunk by Williams with 4:23 left to play, but VanVleet converted a three-point play and Anunoby scored on a driving dunk after stealing Caruso's pass to give the Raptors a 105-99 edge with 3:47 to go.

 

DeRozan's three-point play with 2:01 remaining made it 107-102, but dunks from Barnes and Anunoby, the second off a bad pass from DeRozan, extended Toronto's lead to 111-102.

 

Chicago had 17 turnovers, leading to 23 points for Toronto. DeRozan led the Bulls with five turnovers.

 

Chicago led 36-33 one minute into the second quarter, but VanVleet scored 11 points in the period to give the Raptors a 55-49 halftime lead.

 

Toronto took an 83-82 edge to the fourth.

 

The Bulls host Toronto tonight.

Joey Logano Claims Second NASCAR Crown

Joey Logano won his second NASCAR championship on Sunday with a victory in the winner-take-all finale at Phoenix Raceway — a win that gave Penske the Cup title and IndyCar title in the same season for the first time in 31 attempts.

 

It was the fourth win of the season for Logano, who opened the year with a January win in an exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the debut of the Next Gen car. Less than a month later, rookie teammate Austin Cindric won the Daytona 500 on Penske’s 85th birthday.

 

Logano at 32 was the oldest driver in the championship four, as well as the only one who is married with children. The Next Gen equaled the competition this season and the Cup Series celebrated 19 different winners, including five first-timers and two drivers making their first appearance in the championship race.

 

It is the third Cup championship for Penske, who won with Brad Keselowski in 2012 and Logano’s first title in 2018. Logano joined Kyle Busch as the only active drivers with multiple Cup titles.

 

Logano won the pole and was never really challenged on Sunday as his Ford led 186 of the 312 laps, and he was not the highest running title contender for only one lap. He’s the first Ford driver to win two Cup titles since David Pearson in 1968 and 1969.

 

Ross Chastain finished third in his championship race debut, and Christopher Bell was 10th in his debut. Bell raced hours after Joe Gibbs Racing learned vice chairman Coy Gibbs, son of the Hall of Fame team owner, died in his sleep at 49.

 

Chase Elliott was spun by Chastain early in the final stage, his Chevrolet hit the wall and he was immediately out of contention. It snapped Hendrick Motorsports streak of two consecutive Cup titles.

 

NASCAR’s most popular driver won a career-high five races this year and the regular-season championship, but Elliott lost his shot at a second championship when he cut across the front of Chastain and Chastain refused to lift. The contact sent Elliott spinning into the wall, he dropped to 30th and down a lap during the repairs, and finished 28th.

 

Logano, who started his career with JGR and spent five seasons there before he was fired after the 2012 season, gave his regards to the Gibbs family after the win. 

JGR Co-Owner Coy Gibbs Dies Saturday

Coy Gibbs, the vice chairman of Joe Gibbs Racing for his NFL and NASCAR Hall of Fame father, died Sunday morning just hours after his son won the Xfinity Series championship. He was 49.

 

Joe Gibbs has lost both of his sons. J.D. Gibbs died in 2019 of degenerative neurological disease, and was also 49 at the time of his death. Coy Gibbs succeeded his older brother as vice chairman of the family-run NASCAR organization.

 

NASCAR held a moment of silence for Coy Gibbs before the start of the Cup championship Sunday at Phoenix Raceway, where JGR’s Christopher Bell was racing for the title. Kyle Busch, in his final race after 15 years with the team, was crying on pit road before the start of the race.

 

Ty Gibbs had been scheduled to drive the No. 23 for 23XI Racing but was replaced by Daniel Hemric for what 23XI called “a family emergency.” Jackson Gibbs, son of the late J.D. Gibbs, was on Bell’s pit crew Sunday and worked the race.

 

Coy Gibbs had just closed a tumultuous week with his 20-year-old son, who won the Xfinity title on Saturday and is soon expected to be named Kyle Busch’s replacement at JGR.

 

But Ty Gibbs has been criticized this year for aggressive driving and last week wrecked teammate Brandon Jones out of the lead at Martinsville Speedway on the final lap. Jones needed to win the race to make the Xfinity championship and JGR and Toyota would have had two cars in the finale had Gibbs just stayed in second.

 

On Saturday, shortly before Ty Gibbs won his title, Hamlin said it had been a difficult week at JGR. He had tweeted after Ty Gibbs crashed Jones “I miss J.D.” and explained he was referring to the atmosphere at JGR established by J.D. Gibbs, which he called a “tight family unit.”

 

Joe Gibbs and Coy Gibbs spent the days after Martinsville defending their young driver, who was resoundingly booed at both Martinsville and Phoenix after his back-to-back victories. Ty Gibbs made his own humbling apology tour before holding off Noah Gragson for the championship.

 

Coy Gibbs played linebacker at Stanford from 1991-94 and served as an offensive quality control assistant during his father’s second stint as the Washington NFL coach. Gibbs had a short racing career, including two years in the then-NASCAR Busch Series and three in NASCAR’s Trucks Series before helping his father launch Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross in 2007.

 

Coy Gibbs was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and lived in Cornelius, North Carolina, with his wife Heather and four children.

Michigan State halts skid by upending No. 14 Illinois 23-15

Payton Thorne threw for 182 yards and two touchdowns as Michigan State ended a troubling week where eight players were suspended for a post-game fight with Michigan last week by defeating No. 14 Illinois 23-15 on Saturday.

The Spartans (4-5, 2-4 Big Ten) stopped the Illini five times on fourth down to end a three-game losing streak.

The eight Michigan State players were suspended for the fight, which happened as both teams headed up the same tunnel toward their locker rooms.

Despite their absences, the Spartans were able to hang tough on the road against a ranked opponent — and throw a little chaos in the Big Ten West race.

Spartans wideout Jayden Reed got loose for a 16-yard touchdown reception for a 23-7 lead with 2:57 to go and the defense did enough to halt a late comeback effort. Quarterback Tommy DeVito and the Illini (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) stalled at the Spartans’ 25 when time expired.

The win keeps Michigan State’s bowl hopes alive with three games left, including home matchups against Big Ten East stragglers Rutgers and Indiana.

The Illini turned the ball over on downs three times in the red zone and went a combined 7 of 23 on third and fourth down attempts. Michigan State converted on its only fourth down try.
Illinois took a 7-0 lead when Isaiah Williams followed a pair of big blocks and juked a couple of defenders on his way to a 60-yard touchdown reception seven minutes into the game.

The Spartans got on the board in the second quarter with a 21-yard field goal from Ben Patton before Thorne completed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Tre Mosley to cap a seven-play, 61-yard drive to put Michigan State up 9-7 after a missed point-after attempt.

Xavier Henderson forced a fumble from Brown on a big gain and Aaron Brule recovered to preserve a 9-7 Spartans lead they would take into the half.

Michigan State started in prime position at the Illinois 29 when Hugh Robertson’s punt traveled just six yards after it hit a teammate. Thorne completed a nine-yard pass to Jalen Berger to extend the drive before Jarek Broussard scored on an 11-yard run to stretch the Spartans’ lead to 16-7 with 5:45 left in the third.

Illinois responded with an eight-play, 56-yard drive capped by a seven-yard Isaiah Williams touchdown reception to pull within eight points with 14:27 to go.
THE TAKEAWAY

Michigan State: A string of defeats and a chaotic week following the fight at Michigan could have been enough to tear this group apart, but the Spartans regrouped well to earn a key road win and keep their bowl hopes alive with two of three games at home to close the regular season.

Illinois: The Illini could have moved within one win of clinching the Big Ten West with a victory, but they remain in a strong position as Purdue visits next week in a decisive conference tilt.

UP NEXT

Michigan State: Hosts Rutgers next Saturday.

Illinois: Hosts Purdue next Saturday.

Youngstown beats Illinois State 19-17 with late TD

.

 Mitch Davidson hit Bryce Oliver for a 12-yard touchdown with five seconds left to give Youngstown State a 19-17 win over Illinois State on Saturday.

The Penguins (6-3, 4-2 Missouri Valley Conference) had 64 yards of offense in the second half before going 80 yards in eight plays, including a fourth-down conversion, plus a defensive holding penalty.

The play before the touchdown Oliver dropped a pass in the end zone. After the touchdown, Youngstown State went for two points.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse, in his first start, ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Redbirds (5-4, 3-3) took a 17-13 lead at the half. However, all five second-half possessions ended in punts, the last putting the Penguins on their 20 with 1:06 to play.

Rittenhouse was 7 of 14 for 103 yards and was the leading rusher with 81 on 10 keepers. He went for a 42-yard touchdown on his first snap.

 

Davidson was 10 of 19 for 143 yards and had a rushing touchdown. Jaleel McLaughlin ran for 95 yards.

Second Round High School Football Playoff Matchups

Class 1A

 

Ridgeview 2:00 pm

Salt Fork

 

Greenfield.-Northwestern 2:00pm

Toledo-Cumberland

 

Tuscola 2:00pm

Jacksonville Routt

 

Class 2A

 

Johnston City 3:00pm

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

 

Decatur St. Teresa 1:00pm

Athens

 

Taylor Ridge-Rockridge 1:00pm

Bloomington Central Catholic

 

Pana 4:00pm

Fairfield

 

Maroa-Forsyth 1:00pm

Farmington

 

Wilmington 6:00pm

Tri-Valley

 

Class 3A

 

Prairie Central 2:00pm

Roxana

 

Olympia 6:00pm

St. Joseph-Ogden

 

Tolono Unity 2:00pm

Mt. Carmel  

 

Williamsville 3:00pm

Eureka

 

Class 4A

 

Rochester 4:30pm

Breese Central

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 5:00pm

Waterloo

 

Class 5A

 

Peoria 7:00pm (FRIDAY)

Kankakee 

 

Mahomet-Seymour 7:00pm

Metamora

 

Class 6A

 

Normal West 1:00pm

East St. Louis

 

Class 7A

 

Pekin 7:00pm

Normal Community

Bulls Down Hornets

Javonte Green scored 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting, leading a strong performance by Chicago's reserves and helping the Bulls beat the Charlotte Hornets 106-88 on Wednesday.

 

On an off night for two of Chicago's biggest stars, Green and the rest of the Bulls picked up the slack.

 

Patrick Williams had 16 points and Nikola Vucevic added 14 points and 13 rebounds as Chicago cruised to its second straight win despite a sluggish performance by DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.

 

Led by Green and Goran Dragic, who had 16 points, Chicago's reserves outscored Charlotte's bench 49-28.

 

Kelly Oubre Jr. led Charlotte with five 3-pointers and 24 points. Mason Plumlee had 11 points and 13 boards.

 

Playing for the second straight night for the first time this season, LaVine scored 10 points for Chicago on 4-for-16 shooting. The All-Star guard had left knee surgery in May, and the team is closely monitoring his workload.

 

DeRozan finished with a season-low nine points, but it didn't matter all that much.

 

The Bulls grabbed control with a 13-2 run in the third quarter, opening an 84-68 lead on Derrick Jones Jr.'s two foul shots with 1:24 left. Green sparked the decisive stretch with a rebound dunk after LaVine's fast-break shot was blocked by James Bouknight.

 

Williams, Alex Caruso and LaVine each hit a 3-pointer to help Chicago open a 20-point lead at 96-76 with 8:04 remaining in the game.

 

Charlotte lost for the fourth time in five games. The Hornets shot 7 for 32 from 3-point range.

 

Hornets forward P.J. Washington was held to eight points on 3-for-10 shooting. He scored a total of 59 points in his previous two games.

 

Gordon Hayward (left shoulder soreness) didn't play in the second half. LaMelo Ball (left ankle sprain), F Cody Martin (left quad soreness) and G Terry Rozier (right ankle sprain) remained out with injuries. Ball has yet to play this season.

 

The Bulls are at Boston on Friday night. The Bulls beat the Celtics 120-104 on Oct. 24 in their first meeting this season.

Bears Open 21-Day Window to Decide if G Whitehair Will Return

The Chicago Bears opened a 21-day evaluation window Wednesday to decide if left guard Cody Whitehair will return after placing him on injured reserve last month because of a right knee injury.

 

The 30-year-old Whitehair was injured in a loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 2. He has been a fixture on the Bears line at center and guard since they drafted him in the second round in 2016, starting 99 games.

Blackhawks Sign G Wells to Two-Way Deal

Goalie Dylan Wells penned a one-year, two-way contract with Chicago on Wednesday.

 

Wells has played three games on a minor-league deal for AHL Rockford this season in which he is 1-1-0 with a .862 save percentage and 4.27 GAA. 

 

With Alex Stalock (concussion) in doubt, the Blackhawks found themselves desperately short of NHL-eligible netminders, forcing them to sign Wells to a two-way deal that would allow him to be called up to Chicago.

 

The Blackhawks put Seth Jones on injured reserve this week. In addition to Jones being out, Ian Mitchell, Boris Katchouk, Tyler Johnson, and Petr Mrazek are all out. 

 

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to stop their four-game slide when they take on the Los Angeles Kings tonight in Chicago. 

 

The matchup tonight is the fourth time these teams meet this season. The Kings won 4-1 in the previous meeting.

Islanders Down Blackhawks

Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist to lead the New York Islanders past the Blackhawks 3-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight win after Chicago starting goalie Alex Stalock left early in the first period with a potential concussion.

 

Anders Lee also scored and Zach Parise added an empty-netter for New York.

 

Ilya Sorokin made 21 saves and lost a bid for his second shutout in three starts when Jonathan Toews scored a power-play goal on a deflection midway through the third period.

 

The Islanders are on a roll after dropping three straight. They edged Chicago in a tight one after rallying from a three-goal deficit to beat defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado 5-4 on Saturday.

 

Rookie Arvid Soderblom stopped 28 of 30 shots after Stalock exited, but the Blackhawks generated few chances against tight-checking New York as they dropped their fourth straight (0-2-2).

 

Nelson has four goals in three games after not scoring in his first seven. Sorokin has blocked 97 of the last 100 shots he's faced over three games, but credits his teammates.

 

Stalock exited just 2:56 into the first after he was rammed into the right goalpost by Casey Cizikas. Stalock was placed in concussion protocol and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

 

The Blackhawks were already without top goaltender Petr Mrazek, who has a groin injury. Soderblom is the only other goalie the team has under contract, so Chicago is searching for another.

 

The Blackhawks hosted an elaborate celebration, complete with Native American dancers and music, before the game the United Center to kick off Native American Heritage Month.

 

The Blackhawks got their name in 1926 from team owner Frederic McLaughlin in honor of the U.S. 86th Infantry Division, nicknamed the ''Black Hawk Division'' after a Native American chief from Illinois. McLaughlin served in the division in World War I.

 

While some other sports teams with Native American themed names have come under pressure to change their names or logos, the Blackhawks have said they don't plan to.

 

The Blackhawks placed top defenseman Seth Jones (broken right thumb) on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 29 and recalled D Alec Regula from Rockford of the AHL. Jones, who leads Chicago with 25:12 of ice time per game, is expected to miss 3-4 weeks after being struck by a shot in a 4-3 loss at Buffalo on Saturday.

 

The Blackhawks host Los Angeles on Thursday.

Bulls Roll Nets

Zach LaVine scored 20 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 108-99 victory over Brooklyn on Tuesday night in the Nets' first game after a coaching change.

 

The Nets announced Steve Nash was out earlier in the day, then fell to 2-6 with Jacque Vaughn leading them.

 

Kevin Durant had 32 points and nine rebounds for the Nets, but Kyrie Irving managed only four points on 2-for-12 shooting. He missed all six 3-point attempts.

 

DeMar DeRozan added 20 points and Ayo Dosunmu had 17 for the Bulls, who outscored the Nets 31-19 in the final quarter. Goran Dragic, who played last season with the Nets, chipped in 15 off the bench as the Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak.

 

Royce O'Neale matched his career high with 20 points and Nic Claxton had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who played without Ben Simmons for a second straight night because of a sore left knee.

 

LaVine had nine points on 4-for-11 shooting from the field before he outscored the Nets in the final 12 minutes of the game, going 6 for 10 from the field.

 

The Bulls trailed 80-77 at the start of the fourth quarter before the All-Star guard heated up. The Nets still led 88-84 before Dosunmu sparked a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer opposite the Bulls bench to take a 91-88 lead.

 

Irving answered with a layup but LaVine responded with three straight baskets, including a 3-pointer that made it 99-90 with 5:37 left in regulation and put the game out of reach.

 

Durant scored 20 points on 4 for 6 from the field and hit 10 free throws to pace Brooklyn to a 58-52 lead at halftime.

 

The Nets struggled early and fell behind Chicago 15-7 midway through the first quarter. But Durant sparked a 20-10 run with 14 points of his own, including seven straight to put the Nets ahead 27-25 at the end of the period.

 

The Bulls host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.

Cardinals 3B Arenado Wins 10th Gold Glove, Donavan Wins First; Cubs Happ Wins First Gold Glove

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado won his 10th straight Gold Glove and Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts won his sixth.

 

Astros rookie shortstop and AL Championship Series MVP Jeremy Peña won his first Gold Glove Award and Houston right fielder Kyle Tucker joined his teammate on the list announced Tuesday before Game 3 of the World Series.

 

The NL champion Philadelphia Phillies were represented on the list with catcher J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto also won the award in 2019 in his first season with the Phillies.

 

Peña is the first rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

 

The Cleveland Guardians had four players win Gold Gloves, awarded each season to the best individual fielding performances at each position. Pitcher Shane Bieber, second baseman Andrés Giménez, left fielder Steven Kwan and center fielder Myles Straw all won their first Gold Gloves.

 

They were joined on the AL side by New York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Baltimore Orioles third baseman Ramón Urías and utility player DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu also won Gold Gloves in 2014, 2017 and 2018.

 

This year marked the first time utility players have been included in the list of Gold Glove winners.

 

The Braves and Cardinals each had two players make the NL list. Atlanta pitcher Max Fried won his fourth straight award and shortstop Dansby Swanson won his first. Brendan Donovan joined Arenado on the Cardinals’ list by winning the utility award.

 

Arizona first baseman Christian Walker, Colorado second baseman Brendan Rodgers and Chicago left fielder Ian Happ all won their first Gold Gloves. San Diego center fielder Trent Grisham won his second.

White Sox Make Managerial Hire

The Chicago White Sox hired Kansas City Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol to replace Hall of Famer Tony La Russa as their manager.

 

ESPN first reported the move.

 

The 52-year-old Grifol will try to lift a team coming off a disappointing season. The White Sox finished second in the AL Central at 81-81 and missed the playoffs after running away with the division in 2021. La Russa missed the final 34 games because of health problems and announced he would not return, ending a disappointing two-year run with the franchise that gave him his first job as a big league skipper.

 

Grifol spent the past 10 seasons in a variety of coaching roles with Kansas City under former managers Ned Yost and Mike Matheny. He was part of teams that captured back-to-back pennants and won the World Series in 2015.

 

Grifol spent the past three seasons as the Royals bench coach. He interviewed for the managing job after Matheny was fired as part of a widespread shakeup within the organization after a 65-97 finish — Kansas City’s sixth straight losing season. The Royals hired Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro as manager on Sunday night.

 

Grifol previously spent 13 seasons coaching, scouting and managing in the Seattle Mariners’ system. He was also a minor league catcher who played nine seasons in the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets organizations.

 

The previous four managers hired by the White Sox were either working for them or had ties to the franchise, including former players Ozzie Guillen and Robin Ventura. Rick Renteria, La Russa’s predecessor, spent the 2016 season as Ventura’s bench coach before getting promoted.

 

The White Sox began the season with championship aspirations after making the playoffs the previous two years. But they were plagued by injuries and inconsistent play.

 

All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson and sluggers Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert missed significant time because of injuries. Catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Yoán Moncada also had health issues, and they underperformed when they were on the field.

 

There were embarrassing breakdowns, too, such as when the White Sox ran themselves into the first 8-5 triple play in major league history during a loss to Minnesota on July 4.

 

The team showed some spark after La Russa stepped away from the team on Aug. 30. The White Sox won 10 of their first 14 games under bench coach Miguel Cairo, but they lost eight straight in September, dashing their playoff hopes.

 

The White Sox finished the season with more errors (101) than all but two teams. Their lineup was heavy on right-handed hitters, and they had maybe a few too many players more suited for first base and designated hitter roles.

Bears Acquire WR Claypool From Steelers

After settling for mid-level free agents this offseason, Chicago made a splash hours ahead of the 2022 NFL trade deadline, landing Chase Claypool from the Steelers, according to ESPN. The move, since confirmed by CBS Sports HQ NFL insider Josina Anderson, nets Pittsburgh a 2023 second-round draft pick. The pick is Chicago's own, not the one the team acquired from the Ravens in the Roquan Smith deal.

 

The Green Bay Packers appeared poised to make a move for Claypool, before the Bears swooped in and made the deal, sources told Anderson. According to NFL Media, the Packers also offered the Steelers a second-rounder.

 

A second-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2020, Claypool had been a popular subject of trade rumors in recent weeks, with Pittsburgh leaning more on Diontae Johnson and rookie George Pickens out wide. The third-year veteran, who's signed through 2023 on his rookie contract, topped 800 receiving yards in each of his first two NFL seasons.

 

Claypool once looked as if he might emerge as the Steelers' new No. 1 during JuJu Smith-Schuster's final days in Pittsburgh, catching nine touchdown passes as a rookie. He remained a big piece of the team's passing game in 2021, when he averaged 14.6 yards per catch as a full-time starter. But his production dipped in 2022 as Pittsburgh rotated between Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Pickett at quarterback, and he several times during his short-lived Steelers career drew criticism for untimely penalties.

 

The Bears haven't gotten much production from receivers other than Darnell Mooney this year, even though they added several notable veterans, including former Packers and Chiefs reserves Equanimeous St. Brown and Byron Pringle, respectively.

Packers Searching for Answers

The previous time the Green Bay Packers lost four straight games, they followed it up with a remarkable stretch run that ended just one step shy of the Super Bowl.

 

These bruised and battered Packers haven’t offered much evidence they’re capable of making a similar turnaround.

 

Green Bay (3-5) is two games below .500 for the first time in coach Matt LaFleur’s four-year tenure after falling 27-17 at Buffalo. The offense isn’t showing enough balance and the defense isn’t getting enough stops.

 

Green Bay’s recent results suggest the Packers actually might not have enough firepower to repeat their 2016 surge.

 

That’s the year when a four-game skid dropped the Packers to 4-6, but they responded by winning eight straight before losing the NFC championship game at Atlanta.

 

The Packers have some major holes general manager Brian Gutekunst could try to address before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

 

The Packers knew their receiving unit would be a major concern heading into the season following the trade of two-time All-Pro Davante Adams to Las Vegas, but injuries have made the situation even more dire.

 

Rookie second-round pick Christian Watson returned after missing two games with a hamstring injury, only to leave with a concussion in the first quarter. The Packers also were missing Allen Lazard (shoulder) and Randall Cobb (ankle). Cobb is on injured reserve and will miss at least two more games.

 

Watson’s injury left Sammy Watkins, Amari Rodgers and rookies Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure as Green Bay’s only available wideouts.

 

Green Bay is scoring just 18.1 points per game to rank 26th of 32 teams.

 

The Packers could deal with their issues on offense more easily if their defense was living up to its preseason billing. That hasn’t happened.

 

Green Bay ranks 29th in yards rushing allowed per game (141.3) and 25th in yards allowed per carry (4.9).

 

While the Packers have given up the second-fewest yards passing per game of any NFL team, quality receivers such as Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs and Washington’s Terry McLaurin have thrived against this secondary.

 

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers believes Green Bay’s defense needs a little more assistance from its offense.

 

The Packers ran for a season-high 208 yards against a Buffalo defense that had been allowing the fewest yards rushing per game of any team before Sunday.

 

The Packers try to avoid their first five-game losing streak since 2008 as they close a three-game road swing at Detroit. The Lions have lost five straight.

Kings Blast Blues

Carl Grundstrom scored two goals in Los Angeles' four-goal second period, and the Kings beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 Monday night.

 

Gabriel Vilardi, Anze Kopitar and Arthur Kaliyev also scored for the Kings, who have won three of four. Jonathan Quick stopped 27 shots.

 

Alexey Toropchenko scored for St. Louis, which has lost five straight in regulation for the first time since Craig Berube took over as coach during the 2018-19 season.

 

 It is also the Blues' worst skid since an 0-6-1 stretch from March 22 to April 5, 2021.

 

Jordan Binnington started for St. Louis but was pulled midway through the second period after giving up five goals on 19 shots. Thomas Greiss came on and stopped all 11 shots he faced.

 

Opponents have outscored the Blues 25-8 during their losing streak.

 

The Blues host New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Bears Trade LB Smith to Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are trading for Chicago Bears two-time All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith, CBS Sports NFL insiders Jonathan Jones and Josina Anderson have confirmed. The Bears will receive second and fifth-round picks, along with linebacker A.J. Klein, in return. Smith is the second high-profile defender dealt by the Bears in the last week -- just ahead of the NFL trade deadline (4 p.m. ET Tuesday) -- after Chicago traded edge rusher Robert Quinn to the Eagles.

 

Smith, the No. 8 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, has recorded 83 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions this season. Through four-plus seasons, the Georgia product has missed just four games. The former SEC Defensive Player of the Year has been a playmaker since arriving in the league, amassing over 600 tackles, 16.5 sacks, one forced fumble, seven interceptions and one touchdown.

 

The 25-year-old is in the final year of his rookie contract and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Spotrac.com projects an average annual salary of $17.6 million, which would be the second-highest among active off-ball linebackers; a steep price to pay for the position. 

 

Baltimore is atop the AFC North standings with a 5-3 record. Smith joins a group that includes former first-round selection Patrick Queen, Josh Bynes, and Malik Harrison.

 

The Bears sent Quinn to Philadelphia last week in exchange for draft compensation. The news of Quinn's trade was broken to the Smith during his own media availability, which brought on raw emotion. Poles is stocking up draft capital in his first year on the job. Chicago fell to 3-5 on the year with a loss to Dallas over the weekend. 

Marked Improvement Highlights Clinton Football Season

Improvement in the physical strength of the team, better turnout for summer workouts, and going from one win to four wins is just a few of the highlights of a season of marked improvement from the Clinton High School varsity football team.

 

Coach Ron Bass says his team's week nine victory over Sullivan to overcome some adversity, play hard and win the game is what winning football programs do.

 

 

Coach Bass felt his team had a chance to be a playoff team this year but quadrupling its win total, he wants to see the kids use the momentum of the last third of the year to have a great offseason.

 

 

The Maroons will kick off the 2023 football season hosting Eureka and then in week two, they'll host Coach Bass' former team Tri-Valley where he was the defensive coordinator for many years. 

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