Local Sports

HS BBALL: Lady Maroons Bounce Bombers Thursday; Unbeaten Maroons Set To Host Maroa-Forsyth Friday

>> Lady Maroons Bounce Bombers

 

In a game heard Thursday night on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons downed the Argenta-Oreana Bombers, 50 to 9, in a non-conference girls basketball game at Clinton High School. 
 

The Lady Maroons never trailed, and jumped out to a 17-4 first quarter lead. Clinton, who went deep into their bench throughout the game, built a 20-point halftime lead. They would go on to runaway from the Bombers, and even held Argenta scoreless in the fourth quarter, to put up the 50 to 9 win. 
 

The loss drops Argenta-Oreana to 0-5 on the season.  They were led by Kharma Giles with four points. The Bombers next travel to Staunton on Saturday.  
 

Clinton's balanced attack was led by Avery Smith's 10-points. Clara Dempsey and MaKayla Koeppel each added 8-points. Heidi Humble had 7-points, and was named the WHOW / ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt County Player of the Game in recognition of her numerous hustle plays as well. 
 

The Lady Maroons improve to 3-4 with the win, and next travel to Peoria Heights Monday night.  Our next Clinton girls basketball broadcast on WHOW is next Thursday when the Lady Maroons host Shelbyville in a CIC conference matchup.  
 

 

>> Unbeaten Maroons Host Maroa-Forsyth Friday

 

Tune into WHOW Friday night as the unbeaten Clinton Maroons host the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans in a non-conference boys basketball contest. 

 

The Maroons are 5-0 after winning the Mt. Pulaski Holiday Tournament, and then beating Olympia, 76-47, at home Tuesday night.  The Trojans are 0-1 after dropping their first game of the season, 51-40, against Heyworth.  
 

This (FRI) evening's contest is also the dedication ceremony for the new Gene Vance Court at Clinton High School.

 

 Varsity tipoff tonight (FRI) is set for around 7:30pm. Hear the action on all WHOW platforms - 1520AM / 92.3FM / 106.5FM / DeWittDailyNews.com / WHOW mobile app. 
 

HS GBALL:  Blue Ridge Downs Cornerstone

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights downed Cornerstone 41-12 in a girls basketball matchup at Cornerstone Wednesday night.  The Lady Knights jumped out to a 15-2 after the first quarter, and never looked back.  Phoebe Reynolds led Blue Ridge with 14 points in the win.

CBB: Murray State earns 79-72 win against Bradley in MVC opener

>>  Murray State earns 79-72 win against Bradley in MVC opener
 Jacobi Wood had 19 points in Murray State's 79-72 win over Bradley on Wednesday night in a Missouri Valley Conference opener.

 

Wood also added six rebounds for the Racers (3-3). Rob Perry scored 19 points while going 9 of 14 from the floor. Brian Moore Jr. shot 5 of 7 from the field and 4 for 5 from the line to finish with 14 points.

 

Darius Hannah led the Braves (6-1) in scoring, finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Malevy Leons added 14 points, six rebounds and two steals for Bradley. Connor Hickman also had 11 points. The loss broke the Braves' six-game winning streak.

 

NCAA Top 25
Arkansas 80   7Duke 75
17 UNC  100  10  Tennessee 92
Virginia  59   14 Texas A&M 47
St. Joseph's 78  18 Villanova 65
20 Colorado St 88  Colorado 80
22 James Madison 81  Buffalo 66

HS BBBall: Clinton Rolls Olympia

The Clinton Maroons toppled Olympia Tuesday night 76-47 in non-conference high school boy's basketball action from Clinton High School.

 

The Maroons are 5-0 on the season and will take on Maroa-Forsyth Friday night at Clinton High School where they will dedicate the new gym floor to Gene Vance.

 

Game time is 7:30 pm and can be heard on WHOW and its digital and online platforms.

HS BBBall: Monticello Falls Short to Riverton

In a game heard on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Sages could not find any offense in the fourth quarter as Riverton's defense carried them to a 49-43 win on Tuesday night in Riverton in non-conference high school boy's basketball action.

 

Monticello led 34-29 going to the final frame but Riverton came out with a defensive intensity the Sages offense could not match and had several turnovers which allowed the Hawks to take the game over as they outscored Monticello 20-9 in the final frame. 

 

Last week the Sages had more assists than turnovers but Tuesday night, they could not handle the Hawks pressure and committed 18 turnovers.

 

Riverton limited Monticello to 31-percent shooting. 

 

Trey Welter led Monticello with 13 points. Ike Young was terrific on the boards and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. He was the ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt Counties Player of the Game. 

 

The Sages outrebounded Riverton 38-31. Monticello shot just 6-for-27 from distance. 

 

Freshman Julian Rice had a game-high 16 points for Riverton. Jason Miller added 10 points and Isaac Crumrine grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds.

 

Riverton shot 43-percent from the floor and went just 1-for-10 from distance. They made 10-of-19 free throws.

 

Both teams go to 1-1 overall.

 

Monticello hosts Marshall Saturday afternoon at 3:30 pm. Hear the action on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

HS BBBall: LeRoy Takes Down Argenta-Oreana

LeRoy topped Argenta-Oreana 50-43 in non-conference high school boy's basketball action Tuesday night from LeRoy High School.

 

The Bombers' scoring was balanced but limited Tuesday. Damian Gude had nine points and Chase Logue added eight points. 

 

Andrew Flemming scored 17 points and Sam Edmundson and Jasper Tarr scored 12 points.

 

Both teams go to 3-2 overall. 

Celtics Roll Bulls

Jaylen Brown scored 30 points, Jayson Tatum had 21 and the Boston Celtics routed the Chicago Bulls 124-97 on Tuesday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament.

 

The Celtics won a three-team tiebreaker with Orlando and Brooklyn via point differential to take Group C and earn the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will visit the No. 2 Indiana Pacers next week.

 

The Celtics made a season-high 21 3-pointers, getting four each from Al Horford and Jrue Holiday. All five Boston starters scored in double figures.

 

Horford finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. Holiday, who returned after missing two games with a sprained right ankle, had 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

 

The Celtics extended the Bulls' losing streak to five straight. They outrebounded the Bulls 51-38 and shot 52% (47 of 90) from the field.

 

Although the Celtics began the day with the best record in the NBA, Boston needed a win and a huge scoring night to have a chance at reaching the tournament quarterfinals.

 

DeMar DeRozan and Coby White led Chicago with 19 points apiece. Patrick Williams added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls, who could not stop the Celtics' outside shooting.

 

Boston finished 21 for 49 from beyond the arc. It topped its previous high of 20 3-pointers set Nov. 1 against Indiana.

 

Ayo Dosunmu added 10 points for the Bulls, who have lost eight of nine. Zach LaVine left with a sore right foot and did not return. He scored two points in just under 25 minutes.

 

Boston scored 38 points in the second quarter on its way to a 69-50 halftime lead. It continued to roll in the third. Tatum made a layup and a 3-pointer to help the Celtics increase their advantage to 78-55.

 

With the point differential in mind, Boston continued to push. Tatum missed a long jumper, but Sam Hauser was there to slam back the rebound for a 104-75 lead with 8:52 left in the game.

 

The Bulls host the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.

Blackhawks Beat Kraken

Tyler Johnson and MacKenzie Entwistle scored in the second period, and the Chicago Blackhawks topped the Seattle Kraken 4-3 on Tuesday night.

 

Jason Dickinson and Boris Katchouk also scored for Chicago, and Petr Mrazek made 33 saves. Joey Anderson added two assists.

 

The Blackhawks had dropped six of seven. They held off the Kraken in the final minutes at the end of a difficult day.

 

Matty Beniers had a goal and an assist for Seattle in its second straight loss. Rookie Tye Kartye and Alex Wennberg also scored, and Adam Larsson had an assist for his 200th point.

 

Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer blocked 19 shots in his return from an undisclosed injury suffered a week ago against Calgary.

The Blackhawks are at Detroit on Thursday.

HS GBBall: Monticello Rolls Urbana

In a game heard on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Monticello topped Urbana 42-22 in non-conference high school girl's basketball action from Monticello Monday night.

 

Megan Allen led all scorers with 12 points, scoring eight in the first half and helping stake the Lady Sages to an 18-11 halftime lead.

 

Monticello shut out Urbana in the first quarter but did not get off to a fast start start, leading just 6-0 at the end of the first period. 

 

The Lady Sages blew the game open with a 13-2 third period and led 31-13 going to the final quarter.

 

Maia High scored seven of her 11 points in the fourth quarter for Monticello.

 

Aziyiah Davis led the Lady Tigers with eight points and Zion Reid added seven, highlighted by a half-court buzzer-beater to end the first half.

 

Allen was the ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt Counties Player of the Game. 

 

Monticello goes to 3-3 overall. Hear more Lady Sages basketball on WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com next Thursday night when they host Mt. Zion starting at 6 pm.

HS BBBall: Blue Ridge Falls to Lowpoint-Washburn

A slow third quarter doomed Blue Ridge who fell to Lowpoint-Washburn 65-51 Monday night in non-conference boy's basketball action from Farmer City.

 

The Knights came out swinging and led 23-19 after the first frame but fell behind 31-29 going to the intermission. However, Lowpoint-Washburn picked up the pressure in the second half and blew the game open with a 23-11 third quarter, highlighted by Baylor Steffen scoring 11 of his game-high 27 points in the third quarter and the Wildcats made four three-pointers in the frame.

 

Kody Knecht scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half for Lowpoint-Washburn.

Zach Lewis paced Blue Ridge with 20 points and Wyatt Pearl added 12.

 

Lowpoint-Washburn goes to 4-0 overall. The Knights are 2-2 and will host Donovan on Thursday. Blue Ridge topped Donovan 58-55 last week at the Calvary Christian Holiday Tournament.

Bears Get By Vikings

Cairo Santos made a 30-yard field goal with 10 seconds left, his fourth of the night after a miss on the opening drive, and the Bears had four interceptions of Joshua Dobbs in a defense-dominated 12-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.

 

Justin Fields lost two fumbles in the fourth quarter before a third-and-10 completion to D.J. Moore for 36 yards put the ball at the 13 with 55 seconds left to set up the winning kick. The Bears (4-8) stopped a 12-game NFC North losing streak, including six in a row against the Vikings (6-6).

 

Moore had 11 catches for 114 yards.

 

The Vikings, who cautiously chose to hold star wide receiver Justin Jefferson out for another game with his hamstring injury, were as helpless as ever on offense with only a field goal by Greg Joseph at the end of the first half to show for the first 54-plus minutes. Dobbs threw the go-ahead score to T.J. Hockenson with 5:54 left, but the Vikings stalled out again after that at the worst possible time.

 

After Fields rumbled for a first down, Josh Metellus jarred the ball loose that Anthony Barr recovered at the Chicago 43. The Vikings ran for no gain and 1 yard, before a screen pass lost 1 yard. Then Ryan Wright sailed his punt out of bounds, netting just 26 yards, and the Bears had the ball at their 22 instead of being pinned deep. Only 59 seconds came off the clock.

 

The Bears, who blew a 12-point lead with about three minutes left last week in defeat at Detroit, forced four turnovers for the second straight game. Jaylon Johnson, Jaquan Brisker, T.J. Edwards and Kyler Gordon had the interceptions, three off deflected balls.

 

Gordon's diving grab with 12:32 to go and a 9-3 lead gave the Bears the ball at the Minnesota 38. But five plays later, Danielle Hunter – whose takedown of Fields in Chicago on Oct. 15 dislocated the quarterback’s thumb and sidelined him for the next five games – dislodged the ball during a sack that Sheldon Day recovered at the Minnesota 23.

 

The Vikings went the other way in eight plays for their only their second drive of more than 30 yards all game, and the Bears were in danger of another late collapse. But they became just the third team in the NFL in the last 20 years to win without a touchdown, multiple turnovers and 50-plus penalty yards, according to Sportradar.

 

After the Week 13 bye, the Bears host Detroit on Dec. 10.

Cardinals Sign SP Gray

The St. Louis Cardinals made their biggest splash yet in an attempt to revamp their lackluster rotation, agreeing with AL Cy Young runner-up Sonny Gray on a $75 million, three-year contract Monday to anchor their staff heading into next season

.

Gray’s deal includes a $30 million team option for 2027 with a $5 million buyout, which could make the agreement worth $100 million over four seasons.

 

John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations, already had signed free agent right-handers Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn to one-year deals. But Mozeliak also said the Cardinals were not at “the finish line,” and a week later, they have one of the best pitchers on the free-agent market at the front of their rotation.

 

The 34-year-old Gray went 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA for Minnesota last season. He turned down a qualifying offer from the Twins, who get an additional pick in next year’s amateur draft as compensation for losing him, currently No. 33.

 

St. Louis will lose its second-highest selection. It could be a small price to pay for a big boost to their rotation.

 

The Cardinals went 71-91 last season for their worst record since 1995, and the biggest culprit was pitching. Their rotation had a 5.08 ERA, fifth worst in the major leagues, and when the bullpen was added to the mix, their 4.79 ERA ranked 24th.

 

The Cardinals only had right-hander Miles Mikolas and left-hander Steven Matz under contract for 2024, so it made sense for them to move quickly and sign Lynn and Gibson to absorb innings at the back of the rotation.

 

The 36-year-old Lynn, a two-time All-Star and part of the Cardinals’ 2011 World Series title team, went 13-11 with the White Sox and Dodgers last season. Gibson, also 36, went 15-9 with a 4.73 ERA for AL East champion Baltimore last season.

 

Gray is expected to be right at the front of the rotation.

Bears Take on Vikings on Monday Night Football

The Bears (3-8) blew a 12-point lead with about three minutes left to the NFC North-leading Lions to fall to 1-4 in one-score games. They play at Minnesota on Monday night.

 

The Vikings (6-5), on the heels of their 21-20 defeat at Denve, led for the majority of the game despite three turnovers and were still ahead by five points until the Broncos scored a touchdown with 2:14 remaining. They are 5-5 this season in games decided by one score.

 

Bears quarterback Justin Fields had a sharp return last week, completing 16 of 23 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown and a 105.2 rating after missing four games because of a dislocated right thumb. He also rushed 18 times for a season-high 104 yards.

 

Fields was hurt on a sack by Danielle Hunter in a 19-13 loss to the Vikings at home on Oct. 15.

 

The Bears have a 12-game losing streak against the NFC North, with a 16-14 decision at Detroit on Nov. 25, 2021, their last such such victory. They're 0-9 in the division in two seasons under Eberflus, who is 6-22 overall.

Nets Rally Past Bulls

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 24 points and the Brooklyn Nets made an NBA season-best 25 3-pointers in a 118-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night.

 

Lonnie Walker IV and Royce O’Neale each made six 3-pointers and Mikal Bridges had four. The previous high this season was 23 by Dallas at Memphis on Oct. 30.

 

The Nets set a franchise record for any quarter with 11 3-pointers in the second and made 16 in the first half. They finished 25 of 52, falling short of the franchise record of 27 and the NBA mark of 29.

 

Walker and O’Neale each scored 20 points and Bridges had 15 to help Brooklyn improve to 8-8 and follow its 112-97 victory over Miami on Saturday night with its second straight win. Trendon Watford added 11 points and Cam Johnson 10.

 

DeMar Derozan led Chicago with 27 points. Coby White scored 23 points, and Zach LaVine and. Patrick Williams added 20 apiece. The Bulls dropped to 5-13 with their fourth straight loss.

 

The Bulls had a 36-19 advantage at the end of the first quarter, in which they led by as much as 21. The Nets outscored the Bulls 44-19 in the second quarter and led 63-55 at halftime. The positive 25-point differential was the most in any second quarter in team history, and the 44 points the second-most in a second quarter in franchise history.

 

The Bulls are at Boston on Tuesday night in the NBA In-Season Tournament.

Blues Double Up Blackhawks

Jake Neighbours, Pavel Buchnevich and Kevin Hayes scored in the first period, and the Blues beat the Blackhawks 4-2 on Sunday.

 

Neighbours also scored in the third and Binnington made 32 saves as St. Louis bounced back nicely after losing 8-3 to Nashville on Friday. Jordan Binnington went the distance in his sixth win after the Blues used two goaltenders in their previous two games and three of their last five overall.

 

Inconsistency remains an issue for Chicago, which lost for the sixth time in seven games. It was coming off a 4-3 overtime victory over Toronto on Friday, but it remains in search of its first win streak this season.

 

Ryan Donato and Boris Katchouk scored for the Blackhawks, and Arvid Soderblom made 24 stops.

 

Chicago got off to a sleepy start, and St. Louis took advantage.

 

Neighbours got free for a breakaway and held off Blackhawks defenseman Kevin Korchinski before slipping a backhand past Soderblom on the goaltender's glove side at 3:21. It was Neighbours' fourth goal in five games and No. 6 on the season.

 

Hayes made it 2-0 when he sent a wrist shot from the left circle over Soderblom's right shoulder at 5:27.

 

After Donato got Chicago on the board, redirecting an Isaak Phillips shot past Binnington at 14:45, St. Louis responded with a rare power-play goal. Standing on the side of the net, Buchnevich knocked home a slick, no-look pass by Robert Thomas for a 3-1 lead with 2:58 left in the first.

 

The Blues were 5 for 59 with the man advantage this season coming into the day, ranking 31st in the NHL at 8.5%.

 

The Blackhawks pressed hard in the first part of the third period but came up empty and Neighbours made it 4-1 with 6:08 left. Korchinski turned the puck over behind the net and Buchnevich found Neighbours in front.

 

Blues are at the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks host the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.

Camp Point Central Ends Lena-Winslow Win Strea; Byron Sets State Finals Record

Camp Point Central ended Lena Winslow's win streak and Byron set a state finals record on the first day of the high school football championships from Hancock Stadium on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal.

 

With its 14-0 win in the 1A state title game, Camp Point Central ended Lena-Winslow's run of 32 straight victories - both regular and postseason.

 

The win started a day of thrilling action in Normal.

 

In the 2A title game, Wilmington rolled Athens 28-3.

 

Then in the 3A title game, Byron throttled Mt. Carmel 69-7, setting an IHSA record for the largest margin of victory in a state finals and most touchdowns in a season.

HS BBBall: Balanced Scoring Leads Blue Ridge Over Donovan

Three players scored in double figures and Blue Ridge rolled o a 57-41 over Donovan from the Calvary Christian.

 

Zach Lewis, Colin Michaels, and Isaac Price each scored 14 points and Wyatt Pearl added 12 points to lead a balanced attack for the Knights.

 

Blue Ridge is 2-0 on the season.

HS BBBall: Argenta-Oreana Tops LeRoy

Chase Logue scored 21 points and helped Argenta-Oreana overcome a slow start to topple LeRoy 51-40 from the Cerro Gordo Turkey Tournament Friday.

 

The Bombers led 8-7 after the first quarter and used a 13-2 second quarter to open up a 21-9 halftime advantage. From there, Argenta-Oreana held on to move to 2-1 in the tournament.

 

Jalynn Flowers added nine points for the Bombers while Tyson O ros and Ethan Mahan each had six points.

 

Jasper Tarr paced the Panthers with 14 points. 

 

LeRoy falls to 1-2 overall.

 

Illinois Rolls Western Illinois

Terrence Shannon, Jr. scored 19 points as Illinois ended its six-game home stand to open the season by routing Western Illinois, 84-52 on Friday night.

Illinois has won five of its first six games with only a loss to No. 4 Marquette.

 

Luke Goode's 3-pointer eight minutes in put the Illini up 18-6. Illinois then held the Leathernecks scoreless over the final 4:30 of the first half to take a 40-23 advantage into intermission. The Western Illinois scoring drought lasted until Jesiah West hit a jumper three minutes in to make it 44-25.

 

Dain Dainja scored 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds for Illinois. Quincy Guerrier added 10 points and had 15 rebounds.

 

James Dent Jr. scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds for Western Illinois (2-4). West scored 11 points, Ryan Myers 10 and Drew Cisse added 12 rebounds and scored eight points.

 

Illinois will have a week off to prepare for its Big Ten Conference opener at Rutgers Dec. 2. 

 IHSA Football Championships this weekend.

Lena Winslow who is boasting an undefeated season plays Camp Point (Central) for the IHSA 1A championship today at 10:00AM.

 

Wilmington (12-1) goes head to head with Athens (11-2) today at 1:00pm in some competitive 2A football.

 

Undefeated Byron plays Mt. Carmel (12-1) for a chance to lift the trophy in the IHSA 3A state championship today at 4:00pm.

 

Burbank (St. Laurence) (10-3) butts heads with an undefeated Rochester football program who is hungry for the IHSA 4A title. They face off tonight at 7:00pm.

 

The 5A-8A games will be played tomorrow. All games are played at Hancock Stadium on Illinois State University's campus in Bloomington-Normal.

Love ties career high with 3 TD passes, leads Packers to 29-22 win over NFC North-leading Lions


Love was 22 of 32 for 268 yards with three touchdowns, including two in the first quarter to rookies Jayden Reed and Tucker Kraft. He had a career-long 37-yard run on a read-option play on third down late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

 

Rashan Gary led Green Bay's dominant performance on defense.

 

He forced a career-high two fumbles, recovering one of them, and tied a career high with three sacks and seven tackles on the same field where the former Michigan star tore a knee ligament last season.

 

Goff finished 29 of 44 for 332 yards with two touchdowns, including one on a 7-yard pass to LaPorta on the Lions' first drive.

 

His three fumbles, though, doomed Detroit's chances.

 

Jonathan Owens returned one of Goff's turnovers 27 yards for a score that gave Green Bay a 20-6 lead in the opening quarter, getting some appreciation from his wife, Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles, on social media.

 

The Packers host Kansas City on Sunday night, December 3rd.

Unbeaten Bradley defeats UTEP 63-59 to win SoCal Challenge Surf Division

Connor Hickman scored 16 points as unbeaten Bradley beat UTEP 63-59 on Wednesday to claim the SoCal Challenge Surf Division championship.

 

Hickman shot 5 for 12 (2 for 6 from 3-point range) and 4 of 4 from the free throw line for the Braves (5-0). Malevy Leons added 13 points while going 6 of 11 from the field, and they also had six rebounds. Christian Davis had nine points and shot 2 of 5 from the field and 5 for 6 from the line.

 

The Miners (5-1) were led by Tae Hardy, who posted 15 points and three steals. Otis Frazier III added 11 points for UTEP. In addition, Zid Powell finished with eight points. The Miners ended a five-game winning streak with the loss.

 

Bradley faces off against Vermont this Saturday.

Kevin Hayes breaks tie in 3rd period, Blues outlast Coyotes 6-5

Trey Calvin scored 26 points as Wright State beat Illinois State 74-49 on Wednesday night in the Gulf Coast Showcase.

 

Calvin added three steals for the Raiders (2-4). Brandon Noel scored 19 points and added six rebounds. Alex Huibregste was 3 of 7 shooting (1 for 5 from 3-point range) to finish with seven points, while adding eight rebounds.

 

The Redbirds (3-3) were led by Kendall Lewis, who posted nine points. Darius Burford added nine points for Illinois State. In addition, Myles Foster finished with eight points and two steals.

 

Illinois State's next game is Nov 30, against the University of Illinois Chicago Flames.

Kevin Hayes breaks tie in 3rd period, Blues outlast Coyotes 6-5

Nick Leddy and Alexey Toropchenko had short-handed goal 33 seconds apart, Kevin Hayes broke a tie early in the third period and the Blues outlasted the Coyotes 6-5 on Wednesday night.

 

St. Louis chased goalie Karel Vejmelka with four goals before the midpoint of the second period. The Coyotes chased Jordan Binnington not long after that with their fifth.

 

Arizona's Lawson Crouse scored his ninth goal in 11 games this month. Michael Carcone had a goal and an assist.

 

Nick Bjugstad, Jason Zucker and Nick Schmaltz also scored for the Coyotes. Mattias Maccelli had two assists for points in his eighth straight home game to start the season, matching Igor Korolev’s team record set in 1995-96.

 

Schenn scored on a breakaway midway through the first period. Bjugstad tied it less than two minutes later and Parayko put the Blues up 2-1 less than two minutes after that.

 

Somehow, no one scored over the final 15:47, capping a bizarre night in the desert.

 

The St. Louis Blues host the Nashville Predators this Friday.

Jenner, Werenski help Blue Jackets beat Blackhawks 7-3 to end 9-game losing streak.

Boone Jenner scored twice and Zach Werenski had a franchise-record four assists as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3 Wednesday night, snapping a nine-game losing streak.

 

Kirill Marchenko had a goal and an assist, and Eric Gudbranson, Cole Sillinger and Dmitri Voronkov also scored. Adam Boqvist added three assists and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 34 shots for the Blue Jackets, who last won Nov. 2 and tied a franchise record for consecutive losses.

 

Connor Bedard, Jason Dickinson and Ryan Donato scored for Chicago. Petr Mrazek stopped 13 shots before being replaced in the second period by Arvid Soderblom, who had six saves.

 

Jenner gave Columbus the lead 2:57 into the game, hammering the puck behind Mrazek’s skate for his team leading ninth goal. Gudbranson made it 2-0 at 6:26 with a laser from above the right circle.

 

Bedard cut the lead to it 3-1 with his 10th of the season, the most this year by a rookie, with 4:20 left in the opening period. His 16 points leads all first-year NHL players, and he became the fifth player 18 or younger in NHL history to reach 10 career goals in 17 games or fewer.

 

The Chicago Blackhawks host the Toronto Maple Leafs on friday night.

Gilgeous-Alexander scores 40, Thunder beat Bulls for sixth straight victory

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 40 points and 12 assists, Chet Holmgren added 18 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 116-102 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.

 

DeMar DeRozan, after making just one basket in the first half, led the Bulls with 25 points.

 

After being held to 14 points in the first quarter, the Bulls (5-11) got five 3-pointers from Coby White in the second period, but the Bulls still trailed 50-39 at the half. White finished with 23 points, including a season-high seven 3-pointers.

 

Chicago chipped away at the Thunder’s 11-point halftime lead, tying the game midway through the third quarter on a bucket and free throw from DeRozan before Oklahoma City got back-to-back 3s from Joe and Kenrich Williams to give the Thunder the lead they never relinquished.


The Chicago Bulls play at the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.

HS BBALL: Maroons Drop Litchfield In Mt. Pulaski

In a game heard Wednesday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons came from behind to beat the Litchfield Panthers, 68-54, at the 13th Annual Bill Rucks Tournament at Mt. Pulaski High School.  
 

Early on it looked as though Litchfield's up-tempo pace may outrun the Maroons, as they jumped out to a 9-0 lead, and led 21-15 after one quarter.  Clinton would warm up in the second, and tie the game 28-28, but Litchfield managed a 30-28 lead at the half. 
 

The Maroons came out of the break hot, and took their first lead at 43-40.  Clinton would never trail again, and outscored Litchfield 40-24 in the second half to go on for the 68-54 win. 
 

Clinton was led by Mason Walker's 25 points.  He was named the WHOW / Serv Pro of Piatt/DeWitt Counties Player of the Game.  Brooks Cluver added 20; Dawson Graves had 16; and Keaton Graves added 7.  
 

Litchfield was led by Tate Dobrinich's 15 points, and AJ Odle's 14.  The Panthers are now 1-1, and next play Tri-City at 5pm Friday at Mt. Pulaski. 
 

The Maroons improve to 2-0 on the season, and next play the host Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers Friday night at 8p.  
 

Our next Maroons Game of the Week broadcast is Friday, December 1st, at 7:30pm when Clinton hosts Maroa-Forsyth.  

HS BBall: Monticello Tops Pleasant Plains in Season Opener

In a game heard on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Gatsby Grant came off the bench and provided a spark for Monticello, scoring 17 points and helping the Sages to a season-opening 60-52 win over Pleasant Plains on Tuesday night in Pleasant Plains.

 

Last year's leading scorer Trey Welter picked up his second foul early in the first half and Grant helped stake Monticello to a 22-20 halftime advantage.

 

When Welter returned in the second half, the Cardinals defense keyed in on the 5-foot-9 scorer but the senior played unselfish offense and found junior Ike Young for three straight layups and Plains never got back within seven the rest of the way. 

 

Grant hit a pair of three-balls down the stretch that was crucial in Monticello keeping the Cardinals at arms-length. Welter added a pair of three-pointers in the fourth quarter as well.

 

Welter finished with seven points and five assists to just two turnovers.

 

The Sages dished out 16 assists on its 21 field goals to just seven turnovers. 

 

Monticello shot 51 percent as a team.

 

Young finished with eight points for the Sages. Welter and Tyler Blythe each had seven while seniors Jack Weidner and Rai Colbert each had five points.

 

Grant was the ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt Counties Player of the Game.

 

Cooper Shallenberg led Plains with 14 points while Liam Hatfield added 12 points and six rebounds.

 

Monticello is 1-0 on the season and will travel to Riverton next Tuesday night for another tilt with a Sangamo Conference opponent. 

HS BBall: Tri-Valley Tops Argenta-Oreana

A slow first quarter was too much for Argenta-Oreana to overcome as Tri-Valley beat the Bombers 48-38 in season opening non-conference high school boy's basketball action from the Cerro Gordo Turkey tournament Tuesday night.

 

The Vikings jumped out to a 19-1 lead after one. While the Bombers battled back, the slow start was too much to overcome. 

 

Chase Logue paced the Bombers with 12 points. Justin Flowers contributed eight points.

 

The Vikings were led by Brayden Stombaugh's 18 points. Ayden Jensen scored 13 points.

 

Tri-Valleys is 2-0 for the tournament and Argenta-Oreana is 0-1. 

HS BBall: Blue Ridge Tops Calvary Christian

Blue Ridge used balanced scoring to top Calvary Christian 57-39 in a non-conference high school boy's season-opening basketball Tuesday night in Farmer City.

 

Colin Michaels led the Knights with 14 points and Zach Lewis added 13 points.

 

Blue Ridge jumped out to a 37-16 halftime advantage thanks to an 18-5 edge in the second quarter.

 

Isaac Price scored seven points for the Knights. Wyatt Pearl and Tommaso Paseo added six points apiece.

 

Blue Ridge is 1-0 on the season. 

 

Max Holderby led Calvary Christian with 19 points and Ty Zeller scored 11. 

High Points Holds Off ISU

Abdoulaye scored 22 points as High Point beat Illinois State 74-72 on Tuesday night.

 

Thiam shot 7 for 14 (4 for 7 from 3-point range) and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line for the Panthers (3-2). Trae Benham added 12 points while going 4 of 8 (3 for 7 from 3-point range), and they also had 10 rebounds. Duke Miles had 11 points and shot 5 for 8, including 1 for 3 from beyond the arc.

 

The Redbirds (3-2) were led in scoring by Darius Burford, who finished with 17 points. Johnny Kinziger added 14 points for Illinois State. In addition, Malachi Poindexter finished with 12 points.

 

The Redbirds take on Wright State tonight at 5 pm.

HS GBALL: Lady Maroons Fall To Athens

In a game heard Tuesday night on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Athens Warriors, 51-42, in a non-conference girls basketball game at Clinton High School.  
 

The Warriors jumped in front in the first quarter 12-9, and then held a 27-21 lead entering the half.  Athens pulled away in the third to lead 42-30 going into the final frame. Clinton was able to cut into the lead in the fourth, but came up short, 51-42. 
 

The Warriors improve to 2-1, and were led by Ellie Westervelt's 18 points.  Zoe Laird added 11 for the Warriors. 
 

The Lady Maroons were led by Avery Smith's 19-points. She was named the WHOW / Serv Pro of Piatt/DeWitt County Player of the Game. Reagan Filkin scored 10, and Carly Anderson added 6 for Clinton. 
 

The Lady Maroons fall to 2-3 on the season.  They next play Monday at Tolono Unity. Our next Lady Maroons broadcast on WHOW is Thursday, November 30th, at 7:30pm versus Argenta-Oreana. 
 

A reminder - Tune into WHOW tonight (Wed) at 6pm as the Clinton Maroons take on Litchfield at the Mt. Pulaski Holiday Tournament.  Clinton started pool play Tuesday night with a dominant 68-17 win over Tri-City. 
 

HS FBall: Five Maroons Make Central Illinois All-Conference

All-State offensive lineman Noah Bass led a group of five Clinton Maroons football players to be selected Central Illinois All-Conference, the conference announced Monday.

 

Bass was a unanimous selection as an offensive lineman and named second-team all-conference as a defensive lineman. 

 

Runningback Tristin Potts was also selected to first-team all-conference along with defensive back Dawson Graves, linebacker Ryan Stapleton, and defensive lineman Dawson Thayer. 

 

Graves was second-team all-conference as a runningback, Potts as a linebacker, and Thayer as a defensive lineman. Also earning second-team all-conference were quarterback Mason Walker, wide receiver Colton Walker, and kicker Taylor Anderson.

 

Honorable mention from Clinton were offensive lineman Densil Wheeler, defensive lineman Kristian Hibbard, linebacker Logan Thoms, and punter Jack Webb.

 

Clinton went 6-4 this season with a playoff appearance for the first time since 2019.

HS BBall: Clinton Opens 2023-24 Basketball Season Tonight

The Clinton Maroons are back on the hardwood tonight as they open the 2023-24 campaign at the Mt. Pulaski Thanksgiving Tournament taking on Buffalo Tri-City at 5 pm. 

 

The Maroons are coming off its best season in recent memory and with a large group of its core back from last year, Clinton should be a force in the Central Illinois Conference this year.

 

The Maroons return starters Mason Walker, Dawson Graves, Brooks Cluver, and Colton Walker from last year's team. 

 

In his second year, Hall of Famer Vic Binkley leads a Maroons team that will be looking for more depth this year but will continue to rely on his staple 1-2-2 zone press. 

 

After the Bill Rucks Memorial Thanksgiving Tournament in Mt. Pulaski this week, the Maroons open the home slate against Olympia next Tuesday night at Clinton High School.

 

When Clinton hosts Maroa-Forsyth on Friday, Dec. 1, it will be significant home game for a couple of reasons.

 

The Maroons will dedicate the new Clinton High School gym floor, named 'Gene Vance Court'. Additionally, it was the Trojans that upset the Maroons in a Regional semifinal matchup last year at Clinton High School, ending Clinton's magical season much earlier than anticipated.

 

Clinton has beefed up its schedule this season as well. On Dec. 2, Clinton travels to the Edinburg Ben Theilen Shootout and will take on Pleasant Plains. 

 

They host Eureka on Friday, Dec. 8. They'll meet Lexington at the Eureka College Shootout on Dec. 16. The Maroons return to the Monticello Holiday Hoopla tournament Dec. 26-28. 

 

They will host the New Year's Showdown at Clinton High School again on Saturday, Jan. 6. 

 

WHOW and its digital platforms will continue to cover select Clinton Maroons games throughout the season. Check out the schedule at dewittdailynews.com. The first Maroons broadcast of the season is tomorrow night (Wednesday) when Clinton takes on Litchfield at the Mt. Pulaski Thanksgiving Tournament. 

HS BBall: Monticello Opens Season at Pleasant Plains

Coming off a 17-14 season, the Monticello Sages are hoping a balanced junior class can complement its three returning seniors from last year's team that lost in a Regional Championship to Prairie Central.

 

Monticello basketball coach Kevin Roy has a problem a lot of coaches wish they had - a group of players that are making it difficult, in a good way, to decide who is going to be getting minutes this season.

 

 

The Sages return leading scorer Trey Welter and will look for Raiden Colbert and Jack Weidner to play bigger roles. Coach Roy likes what he's seen early from all three of them.

 

 

This year's junior class has a lot of potential and as sophomores, Coach Roy had hoped they would have made more progress. And while that didn't happen last year, he points to the confidence a lot of them have gained in the last year from the success several saw playing baseball in the spring, to how much confidence they gained as football players this fall.

 

 

Monticello opens the 2023-24 basketball season tonight at Pleasant Plains. The Sages can be heard again this year on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. Check out the full broadcast schedule at dewittdailynews.com. 

Bradley Takes Holds Off Tulane at SoCal Challenge

Malevy Leons' 18 points helped Bradley defeat Tulane 80-77 at the SoCal Challenge on Monday night.

 

Leons also contributed four steals for the Braves (4-0), who will play either UTEP or California for the Surf Division title on Wednesday. Darius Hannah scored 14 points while finishing 6 of 7 from the floor, and added six rebounds. Duke Deen shot 4 for 12 (1 for 7 from 3-point range) and 4 of 4 from the free throw line to finish with 13 points.

 

The Green Wave (3-1) were led by Jaylen Forbes, who posted 17 points and two steals. Kevin Cross added 14 points, eight rebounds and two steals for Tulane. Sion James also had 14 points, six rebounds and two steals.

Illinois State Tops Long Beach State at Gulf Coast Showcase

Dalton Banks had 15 points in Illinois State's 61-52 victory over Long Beach State on Monday in an opening-round game of the Gulf Coast Showcase.

 

Banks added five rebounds and six steals for the Redbirds (3-1). Johnny Kinziger was 3 of 7 shooting (2 for 5 from 3-point range) to add 10 points.

 

Messiah Thompson finished with 10 points and four assists for the Beach (2-3). Long Beach State also got eight points, 15 rebounds and two steals from Lassina Traore. AJ George also recorded eight points and six rebounds.

 

Long Beach State was coming off a 94-86 victory over Michigan in its last game.

Heat Roll Bulls

Bam Adebayo scored 23 points and had 11 rebounds, and the Miami Heat blew out the Chicago Bulls 118-100 on Monday night, two nights after blowing a 21-point lead in the same building.

 

Jimmy Butler scored 16 points against his former team.

 

The Heat have now won eight of their last nine games after a 1-4 start to the season. Miami nailed a season-high 17 of 35 3-point attempts from the field despite sharpshooter Tyler Herro missing his sixth-straight game with a right ankle sprain.

 

For a fourth consecutive game, the Bulls faced a large deficit in front of their home fans, falling behind 12-2 less than three minutes in after Duncan Robinson made two early 3-pointers. Robinson scored 11 of his 22 points in the first quarter and has hit at least one 3-pointer in every game so far this season.

 

Coby White led the Bulls with a season-high 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points, and DeMar DeRozan added 15.

 

Zach LaVine was limited to 13 points on a season-low nine shot attempts. Alex Caruso also finished with 13 points along with a block and a steal. For the defensive-minded Caruso, six straight games with double-digit scoring is the longest streak of his career.

 

Rookie forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 19 points, while Kevin Love added 11 points with eight rebounds for a Heat bench unit that combined for 42 points, compared to just 21 for the Bulls’ reserves.

 

The Bulls begin a four-game road trip against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

Lions Rally Past Bears

David Montgomery's go-ahead 1-yard touchdown run with 29 seconds left against his former team lifted the Detroit Lions to a 31-26 comeback victory over Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

 

The NFC North-leading Lions (8-2) overcame four turnovers, including Jared Goff's season-high three interceptions, and a 12-point deficit over the last 3:06 to rally for the win.

 

Detroit has its best record through 10 games since 1962, giving the franchise a shot to win a division title for the first time in three decades.

 

The Bears (3-8) blew chances to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly two years.

 

Fields mostly played well in his first game in a month, but slightly overthrew Tyler Scott on a deep pass late in the game. He also fumbled on his last snap when Aidan Hutchinson sacked him and the football went out of the end zone for a safety.

 

Fields, who was out with a dislocated right thumb, threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to DJ Moore late in the third quarter. Cairo Santos made two of his four field goals in the fourth quarter to give the Bears a 26-14 lead with 4:15 remaining.

 

The Lions responded quickly to Chicago's last score, cutting their deficit to 26-21 on Goff’s 32-yard touchdown pass to Jameson Williams. They drove down the field easily on the winning drive capped by Montgomery's short touchdown run.

 

Goff bounced back from a shaky start to complete 23 of 35 passes for 236 yards, including a 7-yard pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown that gave the Lions a 14-10 lead with 11 seconds left in the first half. He threw more than two interceptions for the first time since 2019 when he played for the Los Angeles Rams.

 

St. Brown had eight catches for 77 yards. Montgomery ran for 76 yards on 12 carries.

Fields matched a career high with 18 carries and had 104 yards rushing. He was 16 of 23 for 169 yards with a touchdown. Moore finished with seven receptions for 96 yards.

Bears RB D'Onta Foreman (ankle) and C Lucas Patrick (back) were hurt during the game. Foreman ran for a 1-yard touchdown on the opening drive.

The Bears play at Minnesota on Monday, Nov. 27.

Blues Hold Off Ducks

Jake Neighbours and Pavel Buchnevich scored in the first period and the St. Louis Blues snapped a two-game California losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.

 

Joel Hofer made 30 saves as the Blues won on the second night of a back-to-back after falling 5-1 to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. St. Louis had given up a combined 10 goals in consecutive games at San Jose and Los Angeles.

 

Alexey Toropchenko also scored for the Blues, who improved to 1-2 during a stretch in which they will play six of seven games on the road.

 

The Blues took a 1-0 lead at 9:25 of the first period when Oskar Sundqvist stole a pass in the Ducks’ zone and quickly fed Neighbours for his fourth of the season.

 

Buchnevich made it 2-0 on the power play at 16:34 of the opening period when he jammed home a pass from Jordan Kyrou, his sixth of the season.

 

St. Louis was 3 for 46 on the power play, an NHL-low 6.5%, before Buchnevich scored with the man advantage.

 

The Blues opened a three-goal lead at 5:39 of the second period when Toropchenko sent a spinning shot past Gibson for his third of the season.

 

The Blues visit the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday.

Blackhawks Fall Short to Sabres

Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and two assists Sunday night, and the Sabres stopped a three-game slide with a 3-2 victory over Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks.

 

Erik Johnson snapped a third-period tie and Jeff Skinner also scored for Buffalo, which had dropped four of five overall. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 24 saves.

 

Johnson drove around Chicago defenseman Seth Jones midway through the third before flipping a tough-angle shot over Petr Mrazek’s right shoulder for a 3-2 lead. It was the second goal of the season for the defenseman.

 

Chicago dropped its fourth consecutive game. Philipp Kurashev had a goal and an assist, and Taylor Raddysh also scored. Mrazek made 17 saves.

 

Playing on a line with Connor Bedard and Lukas Reichel, Kursashev tied it at 2 with 2:32 left in the second. Bedard got free for a shot that was kicked away by Luukkonen, but Kurashev knocked home the rebound for his fourth.

 

Blackhawks are at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.

Semifinals in High School Football Playoffs

Class 2A

 

Athens 1:00pm

Shelbyville

 

Wilmington 4:30pm

Maroa-Forsyth

 

Class 4A

 

Rochester 3:00pm

Murphysboro

 

Class 6A

 

East St. Louis 1:00pm

Washington

 

Class 7A

 

Normal Community 2:00pm

Downers Grove North

Valpo Visits Illinois Led By Former Illini Roger Powell, Jr.

There's probably only one opposing head coach in Division I who's guaranteed to receive a huge pregame ovation from Illinois fans - and he'll be on the sidelines for Friday's non-conference game between Valparaiso (2-1) and No. 23 Illinois (2-1).

 

Roger Powell Jr., the starting power forward on the Fighting Illini squad that went all the way to the 2005 NCAA championship game, returns to Champaign as the Beacons' first-year head coach.

 

Powell has done a lot of winning in his career - 114 victories in four years at Illinois, 124 wins in five years as Bryce Drew's assistant at Valpo, 121 wins in four years as a Gonzaga assistant - and now he's back to try to rebuild a program that has been below .500 six of the last seven seasons.

 

The game at the 15,544-seat State Farm Center will be, by far, the biggest arena in which Valpo will play until the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, so that will be a memory for the Beacons. And if Powell's young roster can hang with the Illini for a while, that will make the memory even brighter.

 

Upon his hiring, Powell had to remake nearly all of Valpo's roster as he retained just three scholarship players. The Beacons' eight-man rotation features three freshmen and two sophomores as Southern Indiana transfer Isaiah Stafford (16.7 ppg) and Murray State transfer Jaxon Edwards (15.7 ppg) are Valpo's leading scorers.

 

While Valparaiso builds, Illinois searches for consistency. The Illini went toe-to-toe with No. 4 Marquette for 30-plus minutes Tuesday night, but they missed 14 of their last 16 shots and committed five turnovers down the stretch in a 71-64 loss.

 

Despite the loss, Underwood was heartened by the numbers put up by Southern Illinois grad transfer Marcus Domask and backup shooter Luke Goode. Domask, who brought a well-rounded game from SIU, produced 18 points and 6 rebounds. Goode delivered a career-high 13 points, including 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, in 18 minutes.

 

Game time tonight is 7 pm tonight. 

Illinois State Wraps Up Regular Season at No. 13 North Dakota

The regular season finale is a big one for both Illinois State and North Dakota, as both teams are seeking a seventh win which could get them into the FCS playoffs.

 

For the second-straight week, the rushing attack for Illinois State was key to a victory that kept its playoff hopes alive. Against Murray State, the Redbirds recorded a season-high 345 yards on the ground led by Mason Blakemore's 169 yards and three rushing scores. Cole Mueller also had a big day, rushing for 76 yards including a season-long 58-yard score.

 

North Dakota heads into the game against ISU with a 6-4 record and 4-3 standing in MVFC play after falling 14-10 at then-ranked No. 6 South Dakota last weekend. It was a tale of two halves, with UND pitching a 10-0 shutout at the halfway point and USD scoring 14 unanswered points in the second half.

 

The Redbirds (6-4, 4-3 MVFC) have won two in a row headed into the Alerus Center, where the No. 13 ranked Fighting Hawks (6-4, 4-3 MVFC) have a  staggering 109-29 record in its 21 seasons of existence.

 

Game time is 1 pm Saturday.

Illinois Travels to Iowa

For No. 16 Iowa, a win Saturday means a spot in the Big Ten championship game. For Illinois, a win Saturday at Iowa City would seal bowl eligibility.

 

The Illini's late-season charge has been fueled by two quarterbacks, with usual starter Luke Altmyer set to return this week after senior backup John Paddock did stellar work the past two games.

 

Last week, Paddock threw for a Memorial Stadium-record 507 yards in his first Illinois start and earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading the Illini (5-5, 3-4) to a 48-45 overtime win over visiting Indiana.

 

The previous week, Altmyer exited late due to a concussion, and Paddock entered and guided the Illini to the game-winning touchdown drive in a 27-26 victory at Minnesota.

 

Altmyer was cleared to play on Tuesday, and he will be back under center at Iowa.

 

Perhaps the Paddock/Altmyer debate doesn't address the biggest question of all: Will Illinois be able to score a touchdown against Iowa (8-2, 5-2) regardless of who's running the offense?

 

Over the last four weeks, the Hawkeyes have surrendered just one touchdown. For the year, Iowa has given up 11 touchdowns in 10 games while building the nation's third-best scoring defense (12.3 points per game) and fourth-best pass-efficiency defense (100.14 rating).

 

Iowa's offense hasn't exactly been prolific. Last week's 22-point outburst against Rutgers represented the Hawkeyes' second-biggest Big Ten output this season. To put it a different way: Paddock threw for more yards last week (507) than Iowa quarterback Deacon Hill has thrown for in the last four weeks (441).

Fields Returns for Bears Game at Detroit

The Detroit Lions are off to a strong start in their quest to end a three-decade drought without a division title.

 

Detroit (7-2) has its best record through nine games since 2014, giving the revitalized franchise a two-game lead over Minnesota in the NFC North.

 

The Lions still have a lot of work to do against divisional foes to finish in first place. They've played only one NFC North team two-plus months into the season, winning at Green Bay.

 

Detroit will face five of eight teams within the division to close the regular season, starting with the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Ford Field.

 

The Bears (3-7) are coming off a win against Carolina that matched their total number of victories from last season, but the bar was low with just three wins and a franchise-record and league-high 14 losses.

 

Bears quarterback Justin Fields is expected to come back after missing the past four games with a dislocated right thumb.

 

The Bears are making some adjustments to their offensive line.

 

With right guard Nate Davis returning after missing the past four games with an ankle injury, Teven Jenkins is moving back to his starting spot at left guard. Lucas Patrick remains at center. Cody Whitehair, who has started 117 games over eight seasons in Chicago, has been benched.

 

Game time is noon Sunday.

Eastern Illinois Goes for Fourth Straight Win to Wrap Up Regular Season

Eastern Illinois will put a three-game winning streak on the line Saturday afternoon when they take on Robert Morris to wrap up the regular season.

 

Eastern Illinois remained in the FCS playoff hunt as the Panthers improved to 7-3 with last Saturday's senior day win over Tennessee State.  It was the third win in a row for EIU and improved the Panthers to 3-2 in the Big South-OVC Football Association. 

 

MJ Flowers broke loose for the second time this season finishing with 201 yards in the Panthers win over Tennessee State.  

 

Eastern Illinois defense and special teams came up big with turnovers once again on Saturday as the Panthers forced two turnovers with a blocked punt added in on special teams.   

 

The turnovers came on a Tyris Harvey interception in the end zone and a Payton Orth forced fumble on a TSU punt return.  EIU continues to rank as the FCS leader in turnovers gained this season with 25 with the Panthers fourth nationally in both interceptions (14) and fumbles recovered (11).  

 

Robert Morris has won two straight conference games to stand at 4-6 overall, 2-3 in the Big South-OVC.  RMU has not won three straight games since the 2019 season when they played their final season in the Northeast Conference finishing 7-5 overall, 6-1 in the NEC.

 

Coverage of Saturday's regular season finale gets underway with the pregame at 10:30 and opening kick at 11am on WHOW and all its digital platforms.

Lightning Double Up Blackhawks

Victor Hedman snapped a tie 11:53 into the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Thursday night.

 

Brayden Point had a power-play goal and two assists for Tampa Bay, which had dropped three straight. Mikhail Sergachev scored in the second and assisted on Brandon Hagel's empty-netter.

 

Hedman, who also had an assist, slipped to the left edge of the crease and tapped in the puck for the game-winner after Erik Cernak's blue-line drive bounced off the back boards. The Lightning dominated the action for several minutes before Hedman's fourth goal of the season.

 

After Chicago's Corey Perry tied it at 2 early in the third, the Lightning got rolling.

Lukas Reichel also scored for Chicago in its second straight loss. Connor Bedard, who had four goals and two assists in his previous two games, had just one shot on goal.

 

Chicago played without injured forwards Taylor Hall and Andreas Athanasiou, as well as defenseman Jarred Tinordi, who is on injured reserve.

 

Cernak returned after missing Tuesday’s game at St. Louis with an upper-body injury.

 

The Blackhawk are at Nashville on Saturday.

Packers Host Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James is still feeling the sting that comes from losing a game in which his team’s offense had scored touchdowns on its last five possessions.

 

James and the rest of the Chargers' defense head to Lambeau Field wanting to make amends for the way they performed in a 41-38 loss to the Detroit Lions.

 

The Chargers (4-5) will be facing a Green Bay team that's starting to shed its reputation for slow starts. Now the Packers (3-6) need to become better finishers.

 

After scoring a total of 16 first-half points in a six-game stretch, the Packers reached the end zone on two of their first three drives Sunday while falling 23-19 at Pittsburgh. They lost due in part to their struggles whenever they got near the goal line.

 

The Packers have scored touchdowns on just two of nine trips to the red zone over their last two games.

 

Green Bay knows it can’t waste opportunities against the Chargers, who have averaged 31.7 points over their last three games but are ranked 31st in total defense. The Packers haven’t exceeded the 20-point mark since a 25-24 loss in Atlanta way back on Sept. 17.

 

The Packers continue to rely heavily on their rookie class, particularly in the passing game.

 

Jayden Reed, a second-round pick from Michigan State, has a team-high 417 yards receiving. Reed had five catches for 84 yards, tight end and second-round selection Luke Musgrave had two receptions for 64 yards and fifth-round pick Dontayvion Wicks had three catches for 51 yards against the Steelers.

 

That marked the first time in Packers history that three rookies had at least 50 yards receiving in the same game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

 

The Chargers haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 1984 but have only played here three times since.

 

Game times is noon Sunday.

Sharks Blast Blues

Mike Hoffman scored two goals, and the San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Thursday night.

 

Givani Smith had a goal and an assist for San Jose, which had dropped three in a row. William Eklund and Luke Kunin also scored in the Sharks' highest-scoring game of the season.

 

San Jose is 3-3 in its last six games after dropping its first 11 games of the season.

 

Pavel Buchnevich scored for St. Louis, which had won three in a row. Joel Hofer stopped 17 of 21 shots before he was replaced by Jordan Binnington in the second period.

 

The Blues had won their last eight games against the Sharks.

 

The Blues are at Los Angeles on Saturday night.

HS GBBall: Clinton Rolls Decatur Eisenhower

The Clinton Lady Maroons rolled to its first win of the 2023-24 girls basketball season with a 48-28 over Decatur Eisenhower from the Clinton Turkey Tussle holiday tournament at Clinton High School.

 

Avery Smith led the way for Clinton with 13 points. Reagan Filkin added 11 points while Makayla Koeppel added eight.

 

Clinton opened up a 26-10 lead at the intermission thanks to a 16-4 second quarter.

 

The Lady Maroons are 1-1 overall. The Lady Maroons wrap up pool play of the round-robin tournament Friday night at 8 pm. 

Illinois State Rolls Eastern Illinois

Dalton Banks and Luke Kasubke each scored 12 points as Illinois State beat Eastern Illinois 69-61 on Wednesday night.

 

Banks was 2 of 9 shooting and 8 of 10 from the free throw line for the Redbirds (2-1). Kasubke scored 12 points while shooting 4 for 5, including 4 for 4 from beyond the arc. Myles Foster was 5 of 8 shooting to finish with 11 points while adding 10 rebounds.

 

Nakyel Shelton finished with 22 points for the Panthers (1-3). Dan Luers added 12 points for

 

The Redbirds are 2-1 overall. ISU takes on Long Beach State on Monday.

Magic Edge Bulls

Paolo Banchero took four dribbles as he backed into the lane and didn't bother to look at the rim before lifting off for a fadeaway jumper. Moments later, teammates mobbed him.

 

Banchero scored with one-second remaining, and the Orlando Magic beat the Chicago Bulls 96-94 on Wednesday night.

 

The Magic held Chicago to 33 points in the lowest-scoring first half in the NBA this season and led by 19 in the third quarter. But the Bulls tied it when Zach LaVine buried a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the game.

 

Banchero, the 2023 Rookie of the Year, then took the inbounds pass on the left side following a timeout and backed into the paint with Alex Caruso guarding him. He turned toward the middle and watched as his 7-footer hit the front and back of the rim before falling through the net. That gave Orlando a wild win after losing three of four.

 

Goga Bitadze had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic. Cole Anthony scored 16. Franz Wagner added 13 points, and the Magic came away with the win despite shooting 39% and making just 8 of 28 3-pointers.

 

LaVine scored 19 for the Bulls, who were without DeMar DeRozan, who missed the game for personal reasons.

 

Nikola Vucevic had 17 points and nine rebounds. Caruso scored 16 after missing two games with a toe injury, and Andre Drummond grabbed 14 rebounds. But the Bulls - like the Magic - struggled from beyond the arc, making 9 of 33 3s.

 

The two teams play again Friday in Chicago in an In-Season Tournament Group C game. 

Bears Say QB Fields Healthy Enough to Play Sunday

The Chicago Bears will have Justin Fields back at quarterback Sunday against the Detroit Lions for a stretch of games that could be critical to his future with the team.

 

Coach Matt Eberflus announced the move following four missed starts by Fields because of a right dislocated thumb.

 

A decision on Fields’ fifth-year contract option is due next spring and the Bears can use this seven-week stretch to help decide if they want to go forward with Fields or possibly use one of their two first-round draft picks on a quarterback.

 

Fields threw four touchdown passes in back-to-back starts against the Denver Broncos and Washington Commanders, then was struggling in a 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings when he suffered the thumb injury. He has a career-best passer rating of 91.6 to go with 11 touchdown passes and six interceptions, while completing a career-best 61.7% of passes (100 of 162).

 

He started the season struggling for three games in losses to Green Bay, Tampa Bay and Kansas City before improving in his starts in a win over the Commanders and loss to the Broncos.

 

Fields said the thumb isn’t entirely 100% but is good enough. His passing won’t be affected.

 

Fields felt ready to return before last Thursday’s Carolina game but was held out.

 

The Bears are also making offensive line changes with players returning to health. Right guard Nate Davis is back from an ankle injury and replacement Teven Jenkins is moving back to his starting spot at left guard. As a result, long-time starting guard and center Cody Whitehair will be benched. Lucas Patrick will remain at center.

 

Whitehair has played and started in 117 games since coming to the Bears in the second round of the 2016 draft. He made the Pro Bowl in 2018 at center.

 

Eberflus also said fullback Khari Blasingame is returning from a concussion.

HS FBall: Clinton's Bass, Monticello's Teschke Named High School Football 3A All State

Clinton offensive lineman Noah Bass and Monticello quarterback/linebacker Luke Teschke were named Illinois High School Football Coaches Association First Team All-State Tuesday.

 

Bass was part of a Clinton squad that went 6-4 and returned to the 3A playoffs for the first time since 2019.

 

Clinton runningback Tristin Potts was an all-state honorable mention. 

 

Teschke led another solid Sages offense and played linebacker on defense. Teschke led the Sages to a 5-5 record and helped Hall of Fame Coach Cully Welter reach the playoffs for the 35th time in a storied high school coaching career.

 

Olympia linebacker/tight end Chase Litwiller was a First Team selection in 3A. St. Joseph-Ogden quarterback Logan Smith was a first-team selection. 

 

First-team selections included Sullivan quarterback/linebacker Cooper Christensen, Tolono Unity linebacker Brock Suding, and Williamsville runningback Braddock Cates. 

 

Teschke and Suding are good friends off the gridiron. Despite playing for rival schools, the two play summer travel baseball together. 

 

Local class 1A all-state selections include:

 

LeRoy QB/LB Bo Zeleznik
Tuscola WR Austin Cummings

 

Local Class 2A all-state selections:

 

Bloomington Central Catholic OL Dominic McKibbin 
Maroa-Forsyth QB Kaiden Maurer
Shelbyville QB/DB Brody Boehm
Tri-Valley LB/OL Jacob Bischoff
Tri-Valley RB/DL Cole Klein

 

Local Class 4A all-state selections:

 

Lincoln RB Ki'on Carson
Mt. Zion WR/DB Sam Herring
Rochester DB/WR Henry Buecker 

 

Local Class 5A all-state selections

 

Mahomet-Seymour OL/DL Jack Gallier

 

Local Class 6A all-state selections

 

Normal West OL Ben Jorczak
Washington RB Kainon McQueary

 

Class 7A all-state selections

 

Normal Community DL/TE Dexter Niekamp

Marquette Holds Off Illinois


Tyler Kolek shook off an ankle injury to score 24 points and No. 4 Marquette beat No. 23 Illinois 71-64 on Tuesday night.

 

The reigning Big East player of the year, Kolek added six rebounds and four assists. Kam Jones scored 15 for the Golden Eagles (3-0), and Oso Ighodaro had 13 points and eight rebounds.

 

Kolek turned his ankle in Friday night’s 95-65 win over Rider and left the court with just under eight minutes left. He did not return.

 

Terrence Shannon Jr. had 21 points for Illinois (2-1). It was his 13th consecutive game in double figures, a streak that dates to Jan. 31.

 

Marcus Domask added 18 points and Luke Goode had 13. Quincy Guerrier didn’t score, but he grabbed 10 rebounds for the Fighting Illini.

 

A 3-pointer by Sean Jones put Marquette ahead 57-52 with 8:27 left. Illinois climbed within four twice after that, but couldn’t get any closer. The Illini made just two of their last 16 shots.

 

Marquette led 36-31 at halftime behind Kolek’s 14 points. He shot 7 of 11 from the field in the first 20 minutes.

 

The Illini stayed close in the first half by making six 3s, including three by Goode.

Marquette started slowly, missing its first four shots - including two layups - and two free throws.

 

The matchup was part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual early-season series between Big East and Big Ten teams.

 

In the first true test for both squads, Marquette took advantage of 15 Illinois turnovers to win its initial road game of the season.

 

Illinois continues its season-opening six-game homestand Friday against Valparaiso.

Blues Blank Lightning

Jordan Kyrou and Jakub Vrana scored 19 seconds apart in the second period, and Jordan Binnington made 30 saves to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 on Tuesday night.

 

Colton Parayko and Kasperi Kapanen also scored for the Blues (8-5-1), who have won three straight.

 

Binnington earned his first shutout of the season and the 13th of his career.

 

Jonas Johansson stopped 24 shots for Tampa Bay (6-6-4), which dropped its third straight.

 

The Lightning were shutout for the second game in a row.

 

Kapanen scored his third goal of the season into an empty net with 3:58 remaining and Kyrou scored his second goal of the game and fourth of the season with 42 seconds remaining to seal the win for St. Louis.

 

Kyrou took an outlet pass from Torey Krug and skated in to score on a backhand shot, and Vrana scored his second of the season on a feed from Krug 19 seconds later to give St. Louis a 3-0 lead with 3:24 remaining in the second period.

 

The Blues are at San Jose Thursday night to begin a four-game road trip.

Bucks Hold Off Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 11 rebounds and Bobby Portis also had a double-double in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 118-109 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

 

Milwaukee’s Damian Lillard returned to action after missing two games with a calf injury, though he shot just 3 of 17 while scoring 12 points. The Bucks lost both games they played without the seven-time all-NBA guard.

 

The Bulls were playing for the second straight night after beating the Detroit Pistons 119-108 at home on Sunday.

 

Bobby Portis had 19 points and 10 rebounds, both season highs.

 

Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton scored 13 points to enable him to overtake Michael Redd for fifth place on the Bucks’ career scoring list.

 

Middleton has 11,559 points since joining the Bucks in 2013, while Redd had 11,554 in his Bucks career. The Bucks’ top four scorers are Antetokounmpo (16,575), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (14,211), Glenn Robinson (12,010) and Sidney Moncrief (11,594).

 

Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Zach LaVine scored 20, Coby White 16, Patrick Williams 13 and DeMar DeRozan 11. DeRozan shot just 3 of 14.

 

Milwaukee scored the game’s first nine points and outscored Chicago 35-18 during an opening period that ended with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Antetokounmpo, the 500th of his career. Chicago missed 16 of its first 19 field-goal attempts.

 

The Bulls chipped away at that 17-point deficit and finally took their first lead on an Andre Drummond putback with 5:15 left in the third. The lead changed hands three more times over the next minute or so, with a Portis basket putting Milwaukee back ahead for good.

 

Portis’ basket started a 12-0 run that helped the Bucks regain a double-digit advantage at 81-70. The Bucks carried an 83-74 advantage into the fourth quarter and didn’t allow the lead to drop below eight the rest of the way.

 

The Bulls shot just 38%.

 

Chicago was missing Alex Caruso for a second straight game due to a toe injury. The Bucks were playing their first game without Jae Crowder, who is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday for an adductor and abdominal tear that will leave him unavailable for about two months.

 

The Bulls have the first of two straight home games with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. They host the Magic again on Friday in an In-Season Tournament game.

Cubs Introduce Counsel

The Cubs welcomed their new manager to the franchise on Monday.

 

The team shocked quite a few people when they fired manager David Ross and hired Craig Counsel. The former Brewers Manager said at his press conference that when he looked at the opportunity in Chicago he couldn’t pass it up.

 

 

He is coming on board with a five-year $40 million contract.

Illinois Battles Marquette Tonight

All eyes will be on Marquette point guard Tyler Kolek's gait when No. 4 Marquette takes the court at No. 23 Illinois for a Gavitt Tipoff Games marquee matchup Tuesday night in Champaign, Ill.

 

Kolek, the reigning Big East Player of the Year and preseason Associated Press All-American, limped to the locker room with 8:06 left in Marquette's 95-65 win over Rider Friday night and did not return.

 

The Illini (2-0) and Golden Eagles (2-0) are both defensive-oriented teams loaded with athletic wings and bigs.

 

Illinois, which limited its first two opponents to 33 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent on 3s, made 11 straight stops down the stretch Friday night in a 64-53 home win over Oakland.

 

Marquette, which limited its first two opponents to 38 percent shooting from the field and 27 percent on 3s, loves to pressure all over the court and force turnovers. Against an Illinois team that doesn't have a true point guard, this could be the difference.

 

Tuesday's matchup triggers a rigorous stretch for both squads. The Illini face battles with Top 10 foes Florida Atlantic and Tennessee within three weeks. Marquette goes from Illinois to the Maui Invitational, where the Golden Eagles open with UCLA, and No. 1 Kansas possibly awaits the winner.

 

Game time is 7 pm tonight in Champaign. 

Lady Maroons Fall To Olympia In Season Opener

In a game heard Monday night on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Olympia Spartans, 54-49, in both team's opener of the 10th Annual Turkey Tussle at Clinton High School's Gene Vance Court. 
 

The game was a back and forth affair through much of the first half.  Olympia led 10-9 after the first quarter, and at one point led 22-20 with about two minutes left in the second. The Spartans got hot late in the second, and went on a 10-0 run to close the half with a 32-20 lead. 
 

Olympia started the third with another 6-0 run before the Lady Maroons began clawing their way back into the game.  In fact, a rare zone press from the Lady Maroons through much of the second half created opportunities a Lady Maroons run.  Clinton would cut the lead to 5 at the end of the third, and even take the lead a few times in the fourth. However, the Spartans did just enough to hold onto the 54-49 win. 

Clinton coach Josh Williams said after the game that Olympia's size and rebounding ability were keys to the game. 

 

Olympia was led by Hannah Cleveland with 17 points. Shelby Finchum had 14, and Kat Springer added 11. The Spartans next play Eureka Wednesday night at 5pm at Clinton. 
 

The Lady Maroons were led by Avery Smith with 14 points.  She was named the WHOW / Serv Pro of Piatt/DeWitt Counties Player of the Game.  Reagan Filkin added 11, and MaKayla Koeppel had 10 for Clinton. 
 

The Lady Maroons next face Eisenhower at 8pm Wednesday night. Our next broadcast of Lady Maroons Basketball on WHOW is Tuesday, November 21st, when Clinton hosts Athens on all WHOW platforms. 

Steelers Take Down Packers

The patched together Steelers secondary - led by veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson - tipped Jordan Love's pass into the hands of safety Keanu Neal in the end zone with 3:20 to go to end one threat in a 23-19 win over Green Bay on Sunday that had all the hallmarks of so many victories that have come before. 

 

Safety Damontae Kazee later stepped in front of Love's last-second heave at the goal line on the final play as the Steelers head into a pivotal two-game road trip to AFC North rivals Cleveland and Cincinnati with momentum.

 

Love completed 21 of 40 for 289 yards and two touchdowns for Green Bay, but the Packers (3-6) were unable to back up last week's victory over the Los Angeles Rams despite outgaining the Steelers by 75 yards.

 

Green Bay has dropped 5 of 6 since a 2-1 start.

 

The Steelers scored on each of their first three drives while taking a 17-7 lead. 

 

The Packers welcome the Los Angeles Chargers to Lambeau Field next Sunday.

High School Girl's Basketball Season Opens Tonight

The winter high school sports season tips off tonight as girl's basketball tournaments get underway across the state.

 

Clinton will host again, its annual Turkey Tussle Holiday Tournament. Things tip off tonight with Peoria Christian taking on Petersburg-PORTA starting at 5:30 pm.

 

The Lady Maroons battle Olympia at 7 pm tonight. Hear tonight's opener on WHOW and all its digital platforms.

 

The pool-play tournament resumes on Tuesday. The 'Cranberry' pool has Decatur Eisenhower and Eureka joining Clinton and Olympia.

 

The 'Stuffing' pool has Dee-Mack and Decatur St. Teresa joining Petersburg-PORTA and Peoria Christian.

 

Pool play continues on throughout the week at Clinton High School with the placement games on Saturday starting at 1 pm and the championship game at 5:30 pm.

Illinois Outlasts Indiana

John Paddock threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Williams in overtime to give Illinois a 48-45 win Saturday over Indiana in a Big Ten game.

 

After Indiana’s Chris Freeman kicked a 41-yard field goal in OT, Paddock scrambled to his right on third down and connected with Williams.

 

Paddock threw for 507 yards and four touchdowns in his first start for the Illini since transferring from Ball State. Replacing injured starter Luke Altmyer (concussion), Paddock completed 24 of 36 passes.

 

Williams, the Big Ten’s leading receiver, had nine catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Pat Bryant had five catches for 131 yards and a touchdown for the Ilini (5-5, 3-4) before being injured midway through the third quarter and Casey Washington had five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.

 

Reggie Love had 24 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns for Illinois, which ended a four-game losing streak to the Hoosiers that dated to 2012.

 

Indiana tied the game at 42-42 with 28 seconds left in regulation on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Sorsby to DeQuece Carter and a two-point conversion pass from Sorsby to E.J. Williams Jr.

 

It was a penalty-filled, chippy game. Illinois was penalized 14 times for 139 yards and had a player ejected for spitting on an Indiana player, and the Hoosiers had seven penalties for 80 yards.

 

After trailing 27-26 at halftime, Illinois took a 33-27 lead on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Paddock to Williams in the third quarter.

 

The Illini padded their lead in the fourth quarter on a 37-yard touchdown run by Love, but Indiana responded with a 5-yard touchdown run by Sorsby before Illinois' Caleb Griffin kicked a 21-yard field goal.

 

The Illini still have a chance to go to a bowl game. They need to do no worse than split their final two games against Iowa and Northwestern. The loss eliminated Indiana from bowl eligibility.

 

The Illini will play at Iowa next Saturday for their last road game of the regular season.

EIU Rolls Tennessee State

MJ Flowers ran for 201 yards and four touchdowns to lead Eastern Illinois to a 30-17 win over Tennessee State on Saturday.

 

Flowers put the Panthers (7-3, 3-2 Big South-OVC Association) ahead 20-17 with a 31-yard run in the third quarter. Julian Patino extended the lead to 10 with a 34-yard field goal late in the third and Flowers provided an insurance touchdown with 5:38 left in the game.

 

Deveon Bryant and Draylen Ellis each threw for a touchdown for the Tigers (6-4, 2-3) with Karate Brenson and Dayron Johnson on the receiving end.

 

The game was tied at 14-all at halftime. James Lowery's 43-yard field goal gave the Tigers a short-lived lead in the third quarter.

 

The Tigers lost a fumble and had an interception giving Eastern Illinois 25 takeaways this season. The Panthers came in tied with Richmond for the FCS lead.

Illinois State Blasts Murray State

Mason Blakemore ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns to power Illinois State to a 44-7 win over Murray State on Saturday.

 

Blakemore, who transferred from Northern Illinois, scored on runs of 33, 35 and 5 yards for his third three-TD game of the season while finishing a yard shy of his season best.

 

Tommy Rittenhouse threw for a touchdown and ran for another. His 15-yard scamper tied the game at 7 and he connected with Daniel Sobkowicz for a 26-yard score late in the third quarter.

 

Cole Mueller scored on a 58-yard run in the fourth quarter, helping the Redbirds (6-4, 4-3 Missouri Valley Football Conference) pile up 345 yards on the ground and 510 yards overall.

 

Jawaun Northington had 96 yards rushing with a 12-yard touchdown for the Racers (2-8, 1-6). DJ Williams threw three interceptions.

Panthers Take Down Blackhawks

Sam Reinhart had two goals and two assists, Carter Verhaeghe got the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Panthers withstood two highlight-reel scores from Connor Bedard to beat the Blackhawks 4-3 on Sunday.

 

Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and an assist, while Matthew Tkachuk and Evan Rodrigues each had a pair of assists for Florida. The Panthers have won a season-high four straight and are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games.

 

Bedard - who has nine goals in his first 13 games - became the youngest player to score twice in a game against Florida, doing so three days after he became the youngest player to have a two-goal game against Tampa Bay.

 

Jason Dickinson also scored for Chicago, which got 27 saves from Arvid Soderblom.

 

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 24 shots for the Panthers, who were leaving after the game for a 5 1/2-hour flight to San Jose. A three-game West Coast swing starts Tuesday.

 

Bedard's second goal, midway through the second, came after picking up the puck along the left-wing boards between the blue line and center ice, skating in and beating Bobrovsky low to the glove side.

 

The Blackhawks host Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Bulls Beat Pistons

DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points, Nikola Vucevic added 21 points and 12 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 119-108 on Sunday night.

Zach LaVine added 19 points and Coby White had 16 for Chicago (4-6).

 

DeRozan and the Bulls are trying to right the ship after a slow start. The season started with an opening night loss that led to a player's only meeting, but DeRozan wants the outsiders to realize it is just the will to win from his team.

 

Jaden Ivey stole a pass from Andre Drummond and went in for an uncontested layup to cut Chicago's lead to 94-91, but the Bulls responded with a free throw from Patrick Williams, a basket from Drummond and a jumper by DeRozan to put the Bulls up 99-91 with 7:34 left.

 

Kevin Knox II, who signed a contract with the Pistons on Wednesday, keyed the Detroit offense with 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Isaiah Stewart finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds as Detroit lost its eighth straight.

 

Knox made his fourth consecutive 3 of the game to get the Pistons to 99-94 with 7:02 left. Vucevic's 3 answered Knox's and Knox then missed his first shot of the game, a 3 that would've cut the Chicago lead to one. Ayo Dosunmu followed with a basket and LaVine hit a 3 to put the Bulls up 107-98 with 4:13 left.

 

The Bulls showed rust early after a three-day layoff. They missed their first eight shots after losing to the Suns in overtime on Wednesday. They got behind 11 points in the first quarter, but outscored the Pistons 24-7 to start the second.

 

DeRozan scored 15 points in the first half on 6-for-13 shooting as the Bulls led 55-50 at the half.

 

The Bulls played without their best defensive player as Alex Caruso missed the game with an injured left toe.

 

The Bulls are at Milwaukee on tonight.

Quarterfinal High School Football Playoff Matchups

Class 2A

 

Maroa-Forsyth 2:00pm

Bloomington Central Catholic

 

Shelbyville 3:00pm

Breese Mater Dei

 

Class 3A

 

Olympia 2:00pm

Roxana

 

Tolono Unity 2:00pm

Mt. Carmel

 

Class 4A

 

Rochester 4:00pm

Breese Central

 

Class 6A

 

Washington 2:00pm

Chatham-Glenwood

 

Class 7A

 

Normal Community 2:00pm

Glenbard East

Bears Tame Panthers

D’Onta Foreman ran for a touchdown and the Bears boosted their shot at the top pick in the draft, beating the Carolina Panthers 16-13 on Thursday night.

 

The prime-time matchup between teams among the bottom five in the NFL delivered about as much drama as expected. But Chicago (3-7) made enough plays to come away with the victory.

 

The Bears also boosted their chances at the No. 1 pick because they have Carolina’s first-rounder in 2024. They acquired the pick along with Moore last March for the top selection this year. The Panthers (1-8) are tied with Arizona - which plays Atlanta on Sunday - for the worst record in the NFL.

 

Foreman gave the Bears a 16-10 lead in the third quarter with a 4-yard run. Chicago was up by three with 1:40 remaining in the game when Carolina’s Eddy Pineiro missed a 59-yard field goal, the ball landing well short of the goal post. The Bears sealed the win when Darnell Mooney caught an 8-yard pass on third-and-seven at the 48.

 

Moore caught five passes for 58 yards against his former team.

 

Tyson Bagent completed 20 of 33 passes for 162 yards in his fourth straight start with Justin Fields sidelined because of a dislocated right thumb. The Bears are 2-2 with the undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd University in West Virginia in the lineup.

 

Fields hasn’t played since he exited a Week 6 loss to Minnesota. Eberflus has said repeatedly he remains the Bears’ No. 1 quarterback. But he wouldn’t say if he expects Fields to return next week at Detroit.

 

Cairo Santos kicked three field goals. The Bears got their pass rush going, sacking Bryce Young three times. It was a big improvement for a team with a league-low 10 through the first nine games.

 

The Bears visit Detroit on Nov. 19.

Illinois Hosts Indiana

Indiana might not embrace the common ground with a neighboring Big Ten rival ahead of a Saturday afternoon date at Illinois in a Big Ten crossover game.

 

But the Hoosiers (3-6, 1-5) and Fighting Illini (4-5, 2-4) can't ignore it exists.

 

Neither team performed to the level it had hoped and through nine games is grasping at faint hope for a postseason. But there is optimism thanks to upset wins by both programs last week.

 

Indiana (3-6, 1-5) recorded its first conference win of the season, a 20-14 triumph over Wisconsin at home to snap a four-game losing streak.

 

The Hoosiers will try to earn their first road victory of the season in Champaign.

Indiana is 3-15 in its past 18 games against teams from Power 5 conferences. Only Vanderbilt (2-16), working out of the rugged SEC, is worse. One of Allen's wins during that stretch came over Illinois, 23-20, in the second game of the 2022 season. Shaun Shivers scored a 1-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left to help the Hoosiers finish the job and push the IU winning streak over Illinois to four games.

 

Illinois earned a 27-26 win at Minnesota after backup quarterback John Paddock engineered a game-winning, 85-yard drive that was capped off by a 46-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Williams with 50 seconds left.

 

Paddock came in for starter Luke Altmyer, who suffered an undisclosed injury.

 

Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said Altmyer needs full medical clearance to get back on the field but said Monday "he's trending in that direction."

 

The Fighting Illini have won two out of their last three games, but Bielema doesn't want his team focusing on potential bowl-eligibility over the last three games of the season.

 

Illinois redshirt freshman running back and Gibson City native-Aidan Laughery is out for the year to undergo knee surgery, Bielema said.

 

Game time is 11 am Saturday. 

Packers Battle Steelers Sunday

The key for Pittsburgh (5-3) if it wants to stay in the middle of the hotly contested AFC North race is finding a way to have whatever magic Pickett summons in the final frame expand to the first three quarters. He'll get another chance Sunday when Green Bay (3-5) visits Acrisure Stadium.

 

Four of Pittsburgh's five victories this season have come in games it has trailed heading into the fourth. Yet the Steelers keep finding a way to survive when things get tight thanks to one of the most opportunistic defenses in the league and a quarterback who only truly looks like a franchise cornerstone when he absolutely has to.

 

The same goes for Green Bay first-year starter Jordan Love, who rebounded from five largely listless performances by throwing for 228 yards with a touchdown and no picks against the Rams last Sunday.

 

Like Pickett, Love oversees an offense that has trouble getting going. Unlike Pickett, however, Love has often been a factor in his team's struggles. The win over Los Angeles was Love's first game without an interception since Week 2. And now he faces a defense that is third in the NFL in takeaways (16).

 

With the NFL’s youngest roster, the Packers have been relying quite a bit on their rookie class. Those rookies will try to build on the momentum they established against the Rams.

 

Tight end Luke Musgrave scored his first career touchdown and Anthony Johnson Jr. got his first interception in that game. Carrington Valentine had three passes defensed, and defensive lineman Karl Brooks had two more. Anders Carlson went 2 of 3 on field-goal attempts. Lukas Van Ness had a tackle for loss. Dontayvion Wicks lost a fumble, but also had four catches for 49 yards. Emanuel Wilson had a 31-yard run.

 

Jayden Reed had just three catches for 19 yards in that game, but he has a team-high 333 yards receiving this season.

 

Run defense has been one of Green Bay’s biggest weaknesses throughout Matt LaFleur’s five-year coaching tenure, but the Packers have stepped up in that regard the last couple of weeks.

 

The Packers gave up just 62 yards on 31 carries in a 24-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 29. They followed that up by allowing 68 yards on 26 carries in their victory over the Rams.

 

Game time is noon Sunday.

Eastern Illinois Hosts Tennessee State For Senior Day

Eastern Illinois and Tennessee State meet on Saturday at O'Brien Field with both teams still eying a possible at-large bid to the FCS playoffs at the end of the month.  EIU clinched its first winning season since the 2017 campaign with a road win at Lindenwood last Saturday improving to 6-3 on the season, 2-2 in the Big South-OVC.  

 

Eastern Illinois defense came up with three turnovers gained on Saturday as the Panthers are once again tied for the national lead in takeaways this season with 23 - tied with Richmond. EIU had three interceptions in the game marking the third time this season that they have three or more picks in a game with a season high of four in the opener at Indiana State.  

 

Pierce Holley passed for more than 240 yards for the fifth consecutive game and the eighth time this season as the Panthers picked up a 16-10 road win at Lindenwood. Holley was 18-of-34 for 245 yards including one touchdown pass. 

 

Tennessee State had its four-game win streak snapped with a road loss at Charleston Southern as the Tigers fell to 6-3 overall, 2-2 in the Big South-OVC.  Both teams enter the week receiving votes in the two major FCS Top 25 polls.

 

Game time is noon Saturday in Charleston. Hear all the action starting with the pregame at 11:30 am on WHOW. 

Illinois State Hosts Murray State for Senior Day

The final home game of the season for Illinois State brings Murray State to Hancock Stadium, as the Redbirds (5-4, 3-3 MVFC) take on the Racers (2-7, 1-5 MVFC) for a Senior Day matchup in the second-to-last game of the 2023 campaign

.

After helping lead Illinois State to a thrilling 36-35 win on the road at Missouri State, Illinois State junior running back Mason Blakemore was been named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Week by the league office. The weekly honor is the second for Blakemore this season.

 

A balanced passing attack has been a calling card for the Redbird offense this season, and that was no different in ISU's narrow win at Missouri State. Six different receivers caught passes that contest, and even quarterback Zack Annexstad got into the action with his second reception on the season on a trick play. The Redbirds finished the game with three receivers recording over 80 yards (Daniel Sobkowicz 98, Eddie Kasper 84, Cam Grandy 80) in the same game for the first time since September 15, 2012.

 

The Racers head into the game with an 2-7 overall record and a 1-5 mark in Missouri Valley Football Conference action, with their lone conference win coming at home against Indiana State. Murray State scored three second-half touchdowns, but dropped a 45-31 loss in their first meeting with North Dakota last Saturdayat Roy Stewart Stadium.

 

Game time is 11 am Saturday. 

WHOW, WEZC Winter Sports Broadcast Schedule Announced

The boy's winter sports season got underway yesterday with the first day of practices for basketball, wrestling, swimming and many more IHSA winter sports.

 

The WHOW/dewittdailynews.com Clinton Maroons winter sports broadcast schedule was released. Girl's basketball coverage on WHOW starts with next Monday night's game with the Lady Maroons hosting Olympia as part of the 'Turkey Tussle Tournament' at 7 pm.

 

Boy's basketball coverage begins on Wednesday, Nov. 22 when Clinton takes on Litchfield at the Mt. Pulaski holiday tournament. 

 

WEZC/dewittdailynews.com coverage of Monticello Sages basketball begins Tuesday, Nov. 21 when the Sages boy's basketball team travels to Pleasant Plains for a 7 pm tip. 

 

Girl's basketball coverage begins with the Lady Sages home opener on Monday, Nov. 27 at 7 pm when they host Urbana.

 

To find the full broadcast schedule, check out dewittdailynews.com, find the 'Sports' tab at the top of the home page and click on 'Sports Broadcast Schedule'.

Illinois State Rolls Lourdes

Malachi Poindexter scored 16 points as Illinois State beat Lourdes 75-56 on Monday night in a season opener.

 

Poindexter also contributed seven rebounds for the Redbirds. Myles Foster added 13 points while going 6 of 13 and 1 of 5 from the free throw line, and he also had six rebounds and three steals. Darius Burford had 12 points and was 5 of 13 shooting (2 for 7 from 3-point range).

 

Jackie Harris finished with 19 points and six rebounds for the Lourdes. Shaunn Monroe added 13 points for Lourdes. In addition, Stephen Coleman Jr. had nine points and nine rebounds.

 

Illinois State visits Saint Louis in its next matchup on Saturday.

Illinois Rolls Eastern Illinois

Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn scored 18 points and Terrence Shannon Jr. added 16 as No. 25 Illinois pulled away in the second half to beat Eastern Illinois 80-52 on Monday night in an opener.

 

Twelve players scored for the Illini as they used their depth to turn away the Panthers in the non-conference game.

 

Gibbs-Lawhorn, a 6-foot-1 freshman guard on a team of mostly upperclassmen, ,made 7 of 10 shots, including a one-hand dunk in the first half that excited the crowd.

 

Kooper Jacobi scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds for Eastern Illinois.

 

Ahead 37-25 at halftime, the Illini put away the Panthers with a 21-6 flurry to start the second half

 

Eastern Illinois took a 15-6 lead before the Illini rallied. It took a 10-point run in the final 3:03 of the first half to give Illinois its 12-point halftime lead. The Illini led at the break despite making only 4 of 17 3-point shots and shooting 3 for 10 on free throws.

 

They finished just 10 for 32 on 3s.

 

Illinois was 12 for 23 at the free-throw line.

 

The Illini continue their six-game homestand by hosting Oakland of Michigan on Friday.

Bulls Roll Jazz

Zach LaVine scored 24 points, DeMar DeRozan had 21 and the Chicago Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak with a 130-113 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night.

 

Coby White added 18 as the Bulls (3-5) scored a season high in points. Chicago got a boost off the bench as Jevon Carter hit four 3-pointers and scored 12 points, and Andre Drummond added 12 points from the paint.

 

Drummond had seven rebounds, reaching 10,000 for his career.

 

The Bulls bounced back with focus and energy, shooting 51.6% (48 of 93) from the floor following a 123-101 loss at Denver on Saturday, when they led by two points at the half but faded.

 

Eight Bulls players reached double-figures in scoring, with 54 points coming from the bench. Chicago's Patrick Williams and Alex Caruso, who played after injuring his right elbow at Denver, each had 10 points.

 

All-Star and former-Bull Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points and led Utah (2-6) for the sixth time in eight games. The Jazz got 15 points from Walker Kessler, and 14 from John Collins and Colin Sexton. The Jazz committed 22 turnovers in their third straight loss.

 

Chicago, which entered with 59 steals in seven games, added 12 in this one while scoring 30 points off Utah turnovers.

 

Chicago opened a 20-point lead with a fast start in the second half and extended the advantage to as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter

 

Chicago connected for a season-high 66 points in the first half, getting rolling with a 9-0 run late in the first quarter.

 

Chicago’s led 66-52 midway through, with DeRozan and LaVine pacing the attack. Drummond was strong in the paint and Carter was firing from outside, hitting three 3s on seven tries.

 

Chicago had nine of its steals in the first half, topping its average of 8.42 so far.

 

Utah had 14 of its turnovers in the half and stayed in the game thanks largely to 14 points from Markkanen, who played his first four seasons with Chicago.

 

The Bulls host Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

Bradley Outlasts UAB

Malevy Leons scored 24 points and Darius Hannah hit the game-winning layup with three seconds remaining in the overtime as Bradley knocked off UAB 73-71 in a season opener on Monday night.

 

Leons also added 14 rebounds and three steals for the Braves. Duke Deen scored 15 points while going 4 of 9 from the floor, including 4 for 8 from 3-point range, and 3 for 3 from the line. Hannah went 7 of 11 from the field to finish with 14 points, while adding six rebounds and five assists.

 

Javian Davis led the Blazers in scoring, finishing with 20 points, 15 rebounds and four steals. Eric Gaines added 16 points and three steals for UAB. In addition, Christian Coleman had 11 points and eight rebounds.

 

Bradley hosts Utah State Saturday.

Second Round High School Football Scores

Class 1A

 

Belleville Althoff Catholic 56

LeRoy 20

 

Class 2A

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 27

Farmington 12

 

Tri-Valley 14

Wilmington 42

 

Maroa-Forsyth 42

Momence 6

 

Shelbyville 36

Vandalia 13

 

Class 3A

 

Prairie Central 20

Lombard-Montini 44

 

Greenville 20

Olympia 40

 

Mt. Carmel 42

Sullivan-Okaw Valley 21

 

Roxana 48

St. Joseph-Ogden 47

 

DuQuoin 25

Tolono Unity 35

 

Class 4A 

 

Rochester 45 FRI

Coal City 3

 

Breese Central 16

Mt. Zion 13

 

Peoria Notre Dame 22

Harrisburg 27

 

Class 5A

 

Highland 41

Metamora 36

 

Morris 39

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 36

 

Class 6A

 

East St. Louis 54

Normal West 7

 

Washington 21

Crete-Monee 0

 

Class 7A

 

Normal Community 31 F-OT

Bradley-Bourbonnais 30

Packers Roll Rams

Green Bay's resourceful reinforcements on defense took over from there and helped the Packers snap a four-game skid by beating the Los Angeles Rams 20-3 on a rainy Sunday.

 

Jones put the Packers ahead for good with a 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, the first time Green Bay had reached the end zone in the first half of a game since a Sept. 17 loss in Atlanta.

 

Rookie tight end Luke Musgrave scored his first career touchdown on a 20-yard reception from Jordan Love and Anders Carlson went 2 of 3 on field-goal attempts for the Packers (3-5). Love went 20 of 26 for 228 yards despite getting sacked four times.

 

The Packers had been outscored 73-9 in the first half of their past five games, but they led this one 7-3 at the break and could have been up by more if they hadn't wasted opportunities with penalties. Green Bay's defense shut the Rams (3-6) down the rest of the way.

 

Packers linebacker Quay Walker (groin) and safety Rudy Ford (calf) sat out the game. Defensive tackle Kenny Clark (shoulder) and left tackle Yosh Nijman (back) were knocked out of the game. Christian Watson headed into the locker room late in the game after making a 37-yard catch to set up the Packers' final touchdown. Watson had a chest injury and back injury.

 

The Packers visit Pittsburgh next Sunday.

Saints Hold Off Bears

Taysom Hill caught a touchdown pass and threw for another, Paulson Adebo intercepted two passes and also forced a fumble that he recovered, and the Saints beat the Bears 24-17 on Sunday.

 

The dynamic Hill’s receiving TD made him the first NFL player since New York Giants Hall of Famer Frank Gifford (who retired after the 1964 season) to score 10 or more times each as a passer (11), runner (26) and receiver (10).

 

The Saints (5-4) forced five turnovers, intercepting rookie QB Tyson Bagent three times and recovering two fumbles. Those plays tipped the balance of a game in which the undrafted Bagent and the Bears (2-7) often had the Saints' defense off balance, outgaining New Orleans 368-301 in total yards and possessing the ball for just more than half the game.

 

The final turnover - a fumble caused by Demario Davis' sack and recovered by fellow linebacker Pete Werner - all but sealed it with 2:05 left. New Orleans needed only one first down - and got it - to run out the clock.

 

Bagent passed for two touchdowns to tight end Cole Kmet. He finished with 220 yards passing and 70 yards rushing to keep Chicago within one score the whole way despite the Bears being minus-5 in turnovers.

 

The Saints had a chance to take a 10-point lead on rookie kicker Blake Grupe's 47-yard field goal attempt with 2:30 left, but the ball hit the left upright.

 

That gave the Bears a chance to drive for a late, tying touchdown - until Davis' pivotal sack and strip.

 

Derek Carr passed for 211 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints, the first scoring pass going to Chris Olave and the second to Hill.

 

Hill hit tight end Juwan Johnson in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

 

The Saints didn't take their first lead until DJ Moore's fumble - caused and recovered by Adebo - moments after what would have been a first-down catch to the Chicago 40 in the third quarter. That set up Grupe's 55-yard field goal to put New Orleans up 17-14.

 

Chicago drove 13 plays to the Saints' 13-yard line before settling for Cairo Santos' field goal to tie it at 17.

 

Seeking their first victory in the Superdome since 1991, the Bears started fast. Bagent found Kmet for an 18-yard TD to cap a nine-play, 75-yard opening drive. But Adebo's first interception near midfield set up a tying TD on Carr's 8-yard pass to Olave.

 

Bagent's second TD pass to Kmet, from 9 yards out, briefly put the Bears back in front before Carr drove New Orleans right back down the field for a 2-yard scoring pass to Hill for the utility player's fourth TD in his past three games.

 

The Bears host Carolina on Thursday night.

Eastern Illinois Gets By Lindenwood

Eastern Illinois scored all its points in the first quarter and the Panthers intercepted three passes to beat Lindenwood 16-10 on Saturday.

 

A Stone Galloway field goal, Eli Mirza's 38-yard touchdown reception from Pierce Holley and MJ Flowers' 4-yard rushing score gave the Panthers all their points.

 

The Lions got a Logan Seibert field goal in the second quarter but didn't score again until Chase Lanckriet caught a 10-yard TD from Cooper Justice with 1:19 remaining.

 

Holley was 18-of-34 passing for 245 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

 

The victory ensured the first winning season for Eastern Illinois (6-3, 2-2 Big South-OVC Association) since 2017.

 

Two quarterbacks combined to go 20 of 33 for 249 yards passing for the Lions (3-6, 1-4).

Illinois State Topples Missouri State

Mason Blakemore ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns, Wenkers Wright drove the ball into the end zone with 38 seconds left and Illinois State beat Missouri State 36-35 on Saturday.

 

Zack Annexstad led a 12-play, 76-yard, which took a little more than two minutes and was capped by Wright's 1-yard TD run, that ended a two-game losing skid for Illinois State (5-4, 3-3 Missouri Valley Football Conference).

 

The teams combined for 30 points and four touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

 

Annexstad was 33-of-49 passing for 291 yards and he threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Sobkowicz, who finished with seven catches for 98 yards receiving.

 

Jordan Pachot completed 24 of 34 passes for 290 yards and two touchdown passes and two interceptions for Missouri State (3-6, 2-4). Jacardia Wright added 77 yards rushing and a pair of touchdown runs.

Late TD Lifts Illinois Over Minnesota

John Paddock relieved the injured Luke Altmyer and went 3 for 3 for 85 yards to lift Illinois from a huge hole and deliver the go-ahead 46-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Williams with 50 seconds left for a 27-26 victory over stunned Minnesota on Saturday.]

 

Altmyer passed for a career-high three touchdowns and Williams had 13 catches for 131 yards and two scores for the Illini (4-5, 2-4 Big Ten), who had two of their three turnovers in the fourth quarter. They almost committed a fourth when Danny Striggow's sack jarred the ball loose and forced Altmyer out. Left tackle Julian Pearl scrambled to recover it.

 

Facing fourth-and-11 from their 15-yard line with 1:24 left after the clock stoppage for the injury, Paddock came in cold with the drive of his life that knocked the Gophers (5-4, 3-3) out of their tie for first place in the diluted Big Ten West Division. Iowa took sole possession of the lead with the losses on Saturday by Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

 

Paddock hit Williams for 22 yards to keep the Illini alive, found Pat Bryant for 17 yards and then called a timeout. His on-the-money heave to Williams allowed the junior wide receiver to split the safeties, sprint into the end zone - and make amends for his earlier fumble.

 

Illinois hosts Indiana next Saturday. The Illini have lost four straight games to the Hoosiers, tied with 1967-1970 for their longest skid in the series.

Blaney Holds Off Larson, Wins First Cup Championship

Ryan Blaney only had to beat Kyle Larson and William Byron to win his first NASCAR championship.

 

Ross Chastain stole some of Blaney’s thunder from NASCAR’s championship weekend.

 

He’s not making any apologies.

 

The 30-year-old won for Trackhouse Racing at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, becoming the first driver to win the season finale while not racing for the championship since Denny Hamlin in 2013, one year before this current elimination format began.

 

Chastain didn’t give an inch throughout the race, frustrating Blaney, who won his first career NASCAR championship but couldn’t get past the No. 1 Chevrolet to win the race. There was little doubt Chastain had a fast car — he led a race-high 157 laps, including the final 31 — and pulled away as Blaney and Kyle Larson fought for the championship.

 

The title was the fourth in the Cup Series for Penske.

 

Team Penske has won three Cup titles in the past six seasons, and Blaney has driven for Penske since 2013, when he was 19 years old.

 

Blaney is the son of former Cup driver Dave Blaney, who made 473 Cup starts over 17 seasons. Dave Blaney was a World of Outlaws champion, his brother, Dale, was a sprint car champion, and their father, Lou, was credited with multiple Midwest titles.

 

Larson and Byron finished third and fourth for Hendrick Motorsports, while Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing didn’t finish and was scored 36th. They were the only four drivers eligible for the title Sunday.

 

Kevin Harvick finished seventh in the final race of his Cup career.

 

Even after his clash with Chastain, there was still a final round of pit stops to come when a Kyle Busch spin brought out the final caution of the race with 37 laps remaining. Blaney was second when he headed to pit road but it was Larson and the No. 5 Hendrick team that had the fastest pit stop.

 

Larson was the first of the title contenders off pit road, while Blaney lost four spots and was sixth on the last restart. Blaney made up some quick ground and eventually caught Larson, but had to race door-to-door for several laps against the 2021 champion before finally clearing him with 20 laps remaining.

Devils Double Up Blackhawks

Dawson Mercer and Max Willman scored in the first period and the New Jersey Devils beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Sunday night.

 

Curtis Lazar and Michael McLeod also scored as the Devils won for the sixth time in eight games. Vitek Vanecek stopped 32 shots for his sixth win in eight starts.

 

Taylor Hall and Ryan Donato scored for Chicago, which lost for the fifth time in seven games. Arvid Soderblom finished with 36 saves.

 

The Devils held Chicago rookie Connor Bedard off the board, stopping the No. 1 draft pick’s goal-scoring streak at three games.

 

The Devils were without star centers Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. Hughes was recovering from an upper-body injury incurred against St. Louis on Friday and Hischier missed his fourth game after getting checked in the head by Buffalo’s Connor Clifton on Oct. 27.

 

The Blackhawks held a 20-minute players only meeting after the game to sort out their woes.

 

The Blackhawks are at Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

HS FBall: Second Round Playoff Matchups

Class 1A

 

#5 LeRoy (9-1) at #4 Belleville Althoff Catholic (9-1), Sat. 1:30 pm

 

Class 2A

 

#5 Wilmington (9-1) at #4 Tri-Valley (10-0), Sat. 2:00 pm
#7 Momence (9-1) at #2 Maroa-Forsyth (10-0), Sat. 2:00 pm
#6 Farmington (9-1) at #3 Bloomington Central Catholic (10-0), Sat. 1:00 pm
#2 Shelbyville (9-1) at #10 Vandalia (7-3), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 3A

 

#6 Lombard-Montini (7-3) at #14 Prairie Central (6-4), Sat. 2:00 pm
#1 DuQuoin (10-0) at #9 Tolono Unity (8-2), Sat. 2:00 pm
#5 Sullivan-Okaw Valley (9-1) at #4 Mt. Carmel (9-1), Sat. 2:00 pm
#7 Olympia (8-2) at #2 Greenville (10-0), Sat. 3:00 pm
#6 St. Joseph-Ogden (8-2) at #3 Roxana (10-0), Sat. 3:00 pm

 

Class 4A

 

#8 Coal City (8-2) at #1 Rochester (10-0), Fri. 7:00 pm
#5 Mt. Zion (8-2) at #4 Breese Central (8-2), Sat. 2:00 pm
#7 Charleston (8-2) at #2 Murphysboro (9-1), Sat. 2:00 pm
#14 Peoria Notre Dame (6-4) at #11 Harrisburg (7-3), Sat. 5:00 pm

 

Class 5A

 

#1 Morris (10-0) at #9 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (7-3), Sat. 2:00 pm
#6 Metamora (8-2) at #3 Highland (9-1), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 6A

 

#5 Normal West (8-2) at #4 East St. Louis (8-2), Sat. 1:00 pm
#7 Crete-Monee (7-3) at #2 Washington (9-1), Sat. 3:00 pm
#6 Chatham-Glenwood (7-3) at #3 Oak Lawn Richards (8-2), Sat. 2:30 pm

 

Class 7A

 

#16 Bradley-Bourbonnais (7-3) at #1 Normal Community (10-0), Sat. 4, 6:00 pm

Off Bye, Illinois Viists Minnesota

Minnesota will try to become bowl eligible when it hosts Illinois in a Big Ten Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis.

 

The Golden Gophers (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) are looking for their third win in a row after knocking off then-No. 24 Iowa and Michigan State in their two most recent games. They sit in a four-way tie for first place in the West Division along with Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

 

Illinois (3-5, 1-4) is coming off a bye as it prepares to travel north. The Fighting Illini have lost three of their last four games, including a brutal 25-21 loss to Wisconsin in their most recent contest that included an 18-point fourth-quarter comeback by the Badgers.

 

Bielema is 9-0 all-time against the Golden Gophers, including 2-0 since he took over at Illinois in 2021. The Fighting Illini have not won three games in a row against Minnesota since 1993-95.

 

Instead of speaking about his success against the program, Bielema instead focused on Minnesota's strengths.

 

Minnesota quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis has completed 54.6 percent of his passes for 1,123 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. His top target is wideout Daniel Jackson, who has 36 catches for 507 yards and six touchdowns.

On the ground, Minnesota running back Darius Taylor leads the team with 591 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He is averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

 

Meanwhile, Illinois quarterback Luke Altmyer has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 1,671 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Speedy wide receiver Isaiah Williams has a team-high 46 receptions for 562 yards and one score.

 

Kaden Feagin is Illinois' top rusher with 329 yards and two touchdowns. The 250-pound running back is averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

Eastern Illinois Lindenwood

At astern Illinois comes off its bye week set up for a November stretch run beginning this weekend at Lindenwood.  

 

EIU will then face Tennessee State at home before ending the regular season at Robert Morris.  The Panthers are 5-3 on the season looking to for one more win to post their first winning season since the 2017 campaign.   

 

EIU is among the teams also receiving votes in this week's AFCA FCS Coaches Top 25 poll marking the sixth straight week they have either been listed among the teams receiving votes which includes one week at No. 25.   


Lindenwood enters at 3-5 overall as they have two games remaining in the regular season.

 

Game time is 2 pm Saturday. Hear all the action on WHOW starting with the pregame at 1:30 pm.

Illinois State at Missouri State

Coming off a pair of tough losses by a combined six points, Illinois State (4-4, 2-3 MVFC) looks to right the ship on the road against Missouri State (3-5, 2-3 MVFC) as the Redbirds and the Bears look to get positive momentum heading into the final third of the 2023 season.

 

Northern Iowa beat Illinois State 24-21 last Saturday.

 

The Redbirds (4-4, 2-3 Missouri Valley Football Conference) got within three points on Zack Annexstad's 17-yard TD pass to Cam Grandy with 27 seconds remaining. The ensuing onside kick went out of bounds to the Panthers after a scramble.

 

Annexstad was 33 of 44 for 292 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception. Grandy had 11 catches for 122 yards and a score. Daniel Sobkowicz had 81 yards receiving and a TD. The Redbirds rushed for just 45 yards.

 

Missouri State picked up wins at Western Illinois and at home against Murray State to improve to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in MVFC action, before suffering a 44-28 defeat last week at Youngstown State.

 

After trailing 38-14 early in the third quarter, the Bears cut the deficit to 10, but could not complete the second-half comeback against the Penguins last week.


The Bears accrued 436 yards of total offense, including a career-high 341 passing yards from quarterback Jordan Pachot who completed 25-of-38 attempts through the air with a pair of touchdowns. The offensive output was aided by Raylen Sharpe, who led all MSU receivers with 8 catches for 109 yards,and running back Jacardia Wright who had 7 carries for 72 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.

 

Game time is 2 pm from Springfield, Missouri.

Bears Visit Saints

Derek Carr and the New Orleans Saints have a chance to turn a corner in their up-and-down season and reassert themselves as a leading contender in the NFC South.

 

The next test for New Orleans (4-4) comes Sunday in the Superdome against the struggling Chicago Bears (2-6), who’ll again play without injured starting quarterback Justin Fields and who also fired an offensive assistant coach this week.

 

The roster and staff upheaval in Chicago could bode well for the Saints, but that’s not the way Carr sees it. His focus is on a Bears defense which ranks third in the NFL against the run and might be better against the pass after acquiring defensive end Montez Sweat from Washington before this week’s NFL trade deadline.

 

The Bears rank 30th against the pass, which can be hard to stop when quarterbacks aren’t feeling pressure. Chicago’s 10 sacks rank last in the NFL — no other team has fewer than 15. Sweat has 6 1/2 sacks this season and 35 1/2 in his 4 1/2 NFL seasons.

 

Meanwhile, the Saints offense has started to take off — at least statistically — in recent weeks.

 

New Orleans has gained more than 400 yards in three straight games, with Carr passing for more than 300 yards each time. But the Saints lost the first two games in that stretch because of repeatedly squandered scoring chances deep in opponents’ territory.

 

With Fields sidelined because of a dislocated right thumb, rookie Tyson Bagent is set to make his third straight start.

 

The undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd University in his home state of West Virginia has been a fun story. But his results are mixed.

 

Bagent delivered a solid performance in a win over the Las Vegas Raiders. But he had some rough moments against the Los Angeles Chargers last week. Bagent is 56 of 80 for 477 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and a 73.8 passer rating since Fields was injured in the third quarter of a Week 6 loss to Minnesota.

 

The Bears had quite a week.

 

In addition to acquiring Sweat from Washington for a 2024 second-round pick, they hung onto cornerback Jaylon Johnson after letting him explore deals with other teams.

 

On Wednesday, they fired running backs coach David Walker, leaving them down two assistants after defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned in September.

 

Johnson, meanwhile, said he was surprised he was still with the Bears. He and general manager Ryan Poles remain in a standoff with his rookie deal set to expire.

 

Sweat also has an expiring deal. And if he gets an extension before Johnson, things could get real interesting.

 

Game time is noon Sunday.

Packers Host Rams Sunday

The Green Bay Packers haven’t reached the end zone before halftime in any of their last five games. The Los Angeles Rams gave up four first-half touchdowns when they last took the field.

 

As the Packers (2-5) host the Rams (3-5) in a Sunday matchup of slumping teams, the game could come down to which of them can avoid falling behind early. The Packers have lost four consecutive games, while the Rams have dropped two straight and three of four.

 

These stats tell the story about the struggles of these two teams: The Rams fell behind 33-9 in the first half of a 43-20 loss at Dallas on Sunday, as the defense allowed three touchdowns and the offense gave up a pick-6. The Packers have scored more than 24 points over an entire game just once, in a 38-20 season-opening victory at Chicago.

 

The Rams have an uncertain quarterback situation after Matthew Stafford sprained his right thumb at Dallas, preventing him from practicing early this week.

Rams coach Sean McVay wouldn’t rule out the possibility Stafford could play Sunday even without practicing all week.

 

Green Bay will be playing its first game since trading veteran cornerback Rasul Douglas plus a fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for a third-round selection. Douglas intercepted 10 passes since signing with the Packers in October 2021.

 

The loss of Douglas is the latest setback for a Packers secondary that already has cornerback Eric Stokes (hamstring) and safety Darnell Savage (calf) on injured reserve. Douglas’ exit likely means more playing time for rookie seventh-round pick Carrington Valentine as well as Corey Ballentine.

 

Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith has recorded four sacks over his last three games. He had two sacks and forced a fumble Sunday in the Packers’ 24-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

 

Game time is noon Sunday.

NASCAR Championship This Weekend

Ryan Blaney led 145 laps at Martinsville and won for the third time this season, and the second time in the playoffs, to clinch a Championship 4 berth.

 

Blaney joined 2021 series champion Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell as drivers who won their way into the Championship 4 while William Byron, the series leader with six victories this season, got in on points for this weekend's Championship races in Phoenix.

 

The highest finisher among those four will be the champion. 

 

Regular season champion Martin Truex Jr. and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher and Tyler Reddick were eliminated from title contention. 

 

Chevrolet clinched its 42nd manufacturer championship when the race began at Martinsville, giving Chevy its fifth sweep of the manufacturer title in the Cup, Xfinity and truck series.

 

Practice is 7 pm tonight. Qualifying is 3:30 pm Saturday and race time is 2 pm Sunday.

 

Riverton-native Justin Allgaier beat Sheldon Creed in a door-to-door overtime battle at Martinsville to earn his sixth attempt at an Xfinity Series championship this weekend in Phoenix.

 

Allgaier joins Sam Mayer, who won his way in, and John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer in the Championship 4. The top finisher at Phoenix among those four will be a first-time champion. 

 

Creed needed a victory to advance but finished second by 0.032 seconds. He was eliminated along with Austin Hill, Sammy Smith, who led 147 of the 256 laps, and Chandler Smith.

 

Practice is tonight at 6 pm. Qualifying is 2:30 pm Saturday and race time is 6 pm Saturday evening. 

 

Carson Hocevar earned his fourth career victory — all this season — and first NASCAR Truck Series Championship appearance with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

Hocevar joins regular-season champion Corey Heim, Grant Enfinger and 2021 series champion Ben Rhodes in the Championship 4 for this weekend's Championship race Friday night.  

 

Defending series champion Zane Smith was disqualified after finishing second at Homestead-Miami for using an unapproved windshield support. Hocevar leads all drivers with four victories this season. Heim, Enfinger and Christian Eckes all won three times.

 

Practice was last night. Qualifying is tonight at 5 pm and race time is 9 pm this tonight. 

HS FBall: Clinton High School Football Coach Reflects on Incredible Season

It was one of the most successful football seasons for Clinton High School in recent memory.

 

The Clinton Maroons went 6-4 and finished runner-up in the Central Illinois Conference. With signature wins this year over perrenial powers Central A&M and Tuscola, Coach Ron Bass says it's been a while they've had wins over those teams in the same season.

 

 

Leading up to the playoff game at Sullivan-Okaw Valley, it was an emotional week as the Maroons learned they would be without starting QB Mason Walker due to a one-game suspension by the IHSA. Coach Bass admits he had to take some time mid-week in practice and calm his team down.

 

 

Coach Bass says this senior group he had this year is a special one and while he's disappointing they couldn't be the ones to get the first Maroons playoff win in school history, he feels they have laid the foundation for something special inside the program.

 

 

Coach Bass had exit interviews yesterday. He'll meet with his seniors this week and then after a few months off, it will be back to the grind of getting kids in the weightroom for training. 

 

His message to his team will be January though May is the opportunity to set themselves to be playing football late into October and into November. 

Mavs Rally Past Bulls

Grant Williams tied career highs with 25 points and seven 3-pointers and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Chicago Bulls 114-105 on Wednesday night to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2004-05.

 

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 24 points and seven 3-pointers off the bench for Dallas, which led 99-98 with 4:08 left and put it away with a 10-2 run.

 

Luka Doncic, who went into play leading the NBA with a 39-point average, had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Doncic was 1 for 8 behind the arc. Kyrie Irving missed his second consecutive game because of a sprained left foot.

 

Zach LaVine scored 22 points for Chicago but five in the second half. Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and a season-high 20 rebounds.

 

The Mavericks and Boston Celtics are the NBA’s only unbeaten teams.

 

The Mavericks were 20 for 48 from long range, while the Bulls were 11 for 33. Chicago did much of its damage down low, outscoring Dallas 54-24 in the paint.

 

There were 22 lead changes, 10 in the third quarter, before the Mavericks pulled away late.

 

The Bulls host Brooklyn on Friday night in an in-season tournament game.

Avs Roll Blues

Ivan Prosvetov made 28 saves in his first start for Colorado, Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist, and the Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Wednesday night.

 

Ross Colton, Artturi Lehkonen and Bowen Byram also had goals, and Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists apiece as Colorado snapped a two-game losing streak.

 

Rob Thomas scored and Jordan Binnington stopped 24 shots for St. Louis, which came in having scored just 14 goals in seven games - the second-fewest in the NHL, ahead of only winless San Jose (nine in nine games).

 

The Blues host New Jersey on Friday night.

HS FBall: Monticello Football Coach Reflects on 2023, 'Fun' Group of Kids

Monticello, a 16-seed in the south bracket of the Class 3A high school football playoffs, gave top-seed Du Quoin all they could handle in a 28-21 loss Saturday afternoon in Du Quoin.

 

After the game, an emotional Cully Welter expressed how proud he was of his team for not only their effort Saturday but how much of a joy they were to coach all season.

 

 

In Saturday's loss, Monticello had an early miscue on special teams that led to a Du Quoin score but Coach Welter felt when they were able to pin them back, their defense did a good job.

 

 

The momentum Saturday was back and forth all day. Monticello got up 14-6 before Du Quoin immediately answered with a score. The Indians got the first score of the second half to up 20-14 but the Sages answered and went up 21-20 but Du Quoin scored late and Monticello turned it over to seal the win for the top-seed.

 

 

For Coach Welter, getting to watch a lot of the kids grow up with his youngest son, Trey, was a big part of his closeness to this group and he's thankful his son got to grow up with a good group of kids.

 

 

It's the second straight year the Sages finished 5-5 but it's also the second straight year Monticello was a heavy underdog on the road in the playoffs and kept a higher seed within a score.

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