Sports News-April 17, 2014

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The NBA's regular season ended last night.  The playoffs start Saturday with four games: Brooklyn at Toronto, Golden State at the L.A. Clippers, Atlanta at Indiana and Memphis at Oklahoma City.  On Sunday, there are four games as well: Dallas at San Antonio, Charlotte at two-time NBA champion Miami, Washington visits Chicago and Portland is at Houston.  Last night a few teams improved their playoff positions or took time to rest their stars in anticipation of the playoffs.  Kevin Durant scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Oklahoma City Thunder secured the second playoff seed in the Western Conference, rallying from a ten-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Detroit Pistons 112-111.  In other action on the final night of the NBA regular season:  Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies grabbed the Western Conference's seven seed away from Dallas by edging the Mavericks 106-105.

Chris Johnson has picked a new NFL team.  The New York Jets have signed the former Titans running back, nine days after he was officially released by Tennessee.  Johnson is one of just six players to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons, including 2006 yards in 2009.  But he had just 1,077 yards last season, the second-lowest total of his career.

The Nebraska football team has landed a wide receiver recruit.  Spencer Tears of Illinois committed to Huskers yesterday.  According to the Omaha World Herald, the 6’3, 170-pounder is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports, Rivals and Scout.  Kenny Bell, Jr., Tyler Evans and Jamal Turner graduate in 2014.  Tears’ high school coach Tony Sheehan said Tears had offers to Indiana, Purdue and several MAC schools.  Tears had 37 catches for 500 yards and four touchdowns, 15 carries for 111 yards and three touchdowns, and one kickoff return for a score.

Point guard Tarin Smith of powerhouse St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, has signed a letter of intent to play at Nebraska.  The 6’2, 175-pound Smith helped the Friars to a 53-7 record in his two years as a starter and consecutive state runner-up finishes.  Nebraska coach Tim Miles said yesterday that Smith is a "complete package" as a point guard.  Smith averaged 15 points, four rebounds and four assists as a senior.  He scored in double figures in all but two games.  Smith picked Nebraska over Mississippi, Providence and Duquesne.  He has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.  Smith is the second member of the Cornhuskers' recruiting class, joining 6’10 center Jacob Hammond of Comanche, Oklahoma, who signed in the fall.

Wayne State moved into a first place tie with twelfth ranked Minnesota State in the Northern Sun Conference softball standings yesterday with a 7-2 win over the University of Sioux Falls in Wayne.  The last three innings of the game was played in a driving rain/snow mix, forcing the cancellation of the second game of the scheduled doubleheader.  WSC is now 30-10 overall with its 10th straight win and 16-2 in league play.  Wayne State College softball team is ranked ninth in the initial NCAA Division II Central Region Softball Rankings.

Wayne State head women’s basketball coach Chris Kielsmeier announced yesterday that Sadie Murren will transfer from the University of Nebraska and play her final two seasons with the Wildcats.  Murren joins five other players, who signed with Wayne State during the early NCAA signing period last November, as members of the 2014-15 recruiting class.  Murren, a 5’8 guard appeared in 25 games as a backup guard for the Huskers this season.  She was a standout high school player at Wahoo High School where she was a three-time Class ‘C-1’ First-Team All-State selection while being named honorary captain of the Class ‘C-1’ All-State Team as a senior.  Wayne State was 28-5 during the 2013-14 season, winning the Northern Sun Conference regular season title for the third time in four years with a 19-3 league mark.  They advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the fourth time in five years and won their first round game over Pittsburg State 83-77 before falling to Emporia State 76-69 in the NCAA Central Regional semi-finals at Searcy, Arkansas.

Wayne State head volleyball coach Scott Kneifl announced yesterday that Riley Funk of Ewing has signed a national letter of intent to attend Wayne State College and join the Wildcat program for the 2014 season.  Funk joins Megan Gebhardt of Lutheran High Northeast, Bree Ackermann of Lincoln, Erin Gross from Tekamah and Mariah Halvorsen of Minnesota as members of the 2014 Wildcat recruiting class.  Funk is a 5’10 outside hitter from Ewing where she was a Class D-2 First-Team All-State selection last fall as a senior, recording 363 kills, 415 digs, 60 solo blocks and 64 service aces while helping Ewing to a 22-5 record.  Wayne State finished the 2013 season with a record of 22-10 overall, placing sixth in the NSIC with a 12-8 league mark.  Wayne State College was ranked 21st in the final AVCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, marking the fifth straight season the Wildcat program ended the year ranked in the Top 25.

The Norfolk Catholic boys golf team won yesterday’s Ewing Invitational at Summerland Golf Course.  The Knights shot a 338 while West Holt finished second with a 350.  Norfolk Catholic’s Brandon Clausen was the medalist with an 83.  Teammate Devon Lockman was second carding an 84, Shane Mlinar took third with an 85, Derek Holmquist finished seventh shooting an 86, and Mark Uhlir was eleventh with an 87.

The Omaha World Herald & Lincoln Journal Star have updated their high school soccer rankings.  In the boys rankings, in the Omaha World Herald, Omaha South is the new number one in the ‘Nebraska Top 10’ & Class ‘A’.  In Class ‘B’, Gretna remains first, Columbus Scotus stays at number four, Schuyler is once again fifth, and Columbus High falls from the top ten.  In the Lincoln Journal Star boys rankings, Omaha Creighton Prep remains first in Class ‘A’.  In Class ‘B’, Gretna stays at number one, Columbus Scotus is once again third, and Schuyler remains fourth.  In the Omaha World Herald girls rankings, Millard North is the new number one in the ‘Nebraska Top 10’ & Class ‘A’.  In Class ‘B’, Elkhorn South stays at number one, Columbus High jumps from fifth to fourth, Columbus Scotus remains sixth.  In the Lincoln Journal Star girls rankings, Millard North is the new number one in Class ‘A’.  In Class ‘B’, Elkhorn South is once again first, Columbus Scotus stays at number four, and Columbus High remains seventh.

Local Schedule: Nfk High at Lincoln High (G&B Socc.-5:00); Columbus at Nfk High (Bsbl DH-5:00); Nfk Cath at O’Neill Inv. (T&F-10:00); Nfk High at Hastings Inv. At Lochland CC (BG-10:00); Nfk Cath at Boone Central/Newman Grove Inv. At Albion CC (BG-9:00 AM); Nfk High at Kearney Doubles Inv. (G Tenn.-9:30 AM); Creighton at Villanova at Plymouth Meeting, PA (Bsbl-2:15); Round Rock, TX at Omaha Storm Chasers (Bsbl-6:35).

Local Scores: Nebraska 17 Nebraska-Omaha 6 (Bsbl); Round Rock, TX 8 Omaha Storm Chasers 2 (Bsbl); WSC 7 Minnesota St. 2 (SB).

     INTERLEAGUE
    
      Final            N-Y  Yankees          3    Chi  Cubs                0    (first  game)
      Final            N-Y  Yankees          2    Chi  Cubs                0    (second  game)
    
    
          AMERICAN  LEAGUE
    
      Final            Baltimore              3    Tampa  Bay              0
      Final            Cleveland              3    Detroit                  2
      Final            Texas                      3    Seattle                  2
      Final            Boston                    6    Chi  White  Sox      4,  14  Innings
      Final            Kansas  City          6    Houston                  4,  11  Innings
      Final            L.A.  Angels          5    Oakland                  4,  12  Innings
    
    
          NATIONAL  LEAGUE
    
      Final            Cincinnati            4    Pittsburgh            0
      Final            Milwaukee              5    St.  Louis              1
      Final            N-Y  Mets                5    Arizona                  2
      Final            Atlanta                  1    Philadelphia        0
      Final            Washington            6    Miami                      3
      Final            San  Diego              4    Colorado                2
      Final            San  Francisco      2    L.A.  Dodgers        1
    
    
          NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION
    
      Final  OT      Charlotte              91    Chicago                86
      Final            Indiana                101    Orlando                86
      Final            Atlanta                111    Milwaukee          103
      Final            Cleveland            114    Brooklyn              85
      Final  OT      Memphis                106    Dallas                105
      Final            Oklahoma  City    112    Detroit              111
      Final            New  Orleans        105    Houston              100
      Final            L-A  Lakers          113    San  Antonio      100
      Final            Philadelphia      100    Miami                    87
      Final            New  York                95    Toronto                92
      Final  2OT    Utah                      136    Minnesota          130
      Final            Washington          118    Boston                102
      Final            Portland              110    L-A  Clippers    104
      Final            Phoenix               104    Sacramento          99
      Final            Golden  State        116    Denver           112
    
    
          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE  PLAYOFFS
    
      Final  OT    Montreal          5    Tampa  Bay      4
      Final          Pittsburgh      4    Columbus        3
      Final          Anaheim            4    Dallas            3

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