Sports News-March 20, 2014

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Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman broke bones above his left eye and nose after being hit by a line drive last night, another frightening incident involving a pitcher being struck by a batted ball.  Chapman was undergoing further testing at an Arizona Medical Center, where he spent the night for observation.  Reds first-year manager Bryan Price said Chapman was conscious and talking as he was taken off the field during their game against the Kansas City Royals.  The game was called after and 8-minute delay with Kansas City leading 6-3.  The hard-throwing left-hander was struck by Salvador Perez's hit with two outs in the sixth inning, the pitch was clocked at 99 mph.

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and the New York Knicks opened the Phil Jackson era by beating the Indiana Pacers 92-86 for their season-high seventh straight victory.  Jackson, their new team president, was watching from a mid court seat.

Cal Poly and Tennessee played their way into the 64-team field last night by winning first-round games in Dayton last night.  Cal Poly shot 54% and beat Texas Southern 81-69 while Tennessee beat Iowa 78-65 in overtime.

Down to his final strike in the bottom of the tenth inning and the game tied 4-4, sophomore Jake Placzek muscled a 1-2 pitch into center field that scored Austin Christensen from second base to give Nebraska a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Creighton last night at Hawks Field in front of more than 2,400 fans.  Freshman Ryan Boldt kept the Huskers' hopes alive in the tenth when he posted a two-out infield single after a hard-hit shot to second base and then stole second base, his second steal of the night.  Christensen, who went 2-4 on the day with two RBIs, continued the inning after falling behind in the count with a flare down the left field line that plated Boldt and knotted up the contest before Placzek sent Husker Nation home with a win.  Nebraska's Nicky Lopez & Jake Peter had two hits each.  The Bluejays' Austin Darby, Steven Reveles, Austin Christensen, Ben Miller, and Taylor Fish each had two hits.  Miller hit his first home run of the year.  The Huskers' Josh Roeder improved to 2-0 on the year while Creighton's Jake Peter took the loss to drop to 1-1.  Nebraska is now 12-7 on the year while the Bluejays are now 9-6-1.

University of Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles was named one of 15 finalists for the Jim Phelan Award yesterday.  Miles guided Nebraska to its first NCAA appearance since 1998, leading the Huskers to a 19-12 record heading into Friday's NCAA second-round contest against 23rd ranked Baylor.  The Big Ten Coach of the Year by the conference coaches, Miles led the Huskers to an 11-7 Big Ten mark after the Huskers were picked twelfth in the preseason poll.  The Jim Phelan Award is presented to the nation's top Division I coach.  The award is named in honor of Jim Phelan, who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary's University.  When he retired, he amassed 830 wins during his 49-year coaching career.  The 2014 award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, the site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

The Nebraska-Omaha men's basketball team made history last night, earning its program's first Division I postseason win with a 91-75 triumph over North Dakota in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.  In front of over 2,000 fans at Ralston Arena, the Mavericks improved to 17-14 on the season, while UND closed its year with a record of 17-16.  UNO was led by a magnificent performance from junior forward Mike Rostampour, whose third career double-double came with 16 points and a career-high 21 rebounds.  Nebraska-Omaha now advances to the second round of the CIT and awaits an official announcement on match ups and game sites.  All second round games will be played Friday or Saturday.

Seven Husker wrestlers head to Oklahoma City for the NCAA Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena today through Saturday to conclude Nebraska's 2013-14 campaign.  Today's first session consists of the Pigtails and First Round, starting at 11:00, while Session II begins later today at 6:00.  The Second Round as well as Wrestleback Preliminaries and Consolation matches will take place tonight.  Reigning All-Americans James Green and Robert Kokesh lead the Huskers into the NCAA Championships.  Green is the top seed at 157 pounds, while Kokesh earned the three seed at 174 pounds.  Jake Sueflohn is the six seed at 149 pounds, TJ Dudley is the eight seed at 184 pounds, and Tim Lambert is the twelve seed at 125 pounds.  Austin Wilson (165) and Collin Jensen (HWT) will also make appearances in Oklahoma City.

Wayne State College assistant track and field coach Brett Suckstorf was named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year.  Suckstorf, a native of Pierce who is in his fourth year as an assistant throws coach with the Wildcat track and field program, coached three athletes who qualified in five events for last week's NCAA Division II Indoor National Track and Field Championships. Each athlete earned All-American honors to help Wayne State score twelve points and tie for 16th in the team standings.

The Mid State Conference has announced it's all-conference girls basketball team.  Norfolk Catholic's Geena Piper along with Wayne's Jalyn Zeiss were honored.  Also on the team were Jacy Bretschneider & Rachelle Tucker from the Class 'C-1' two-time Defending State Champion Pierce Lady Bluejays.  Jenny Knobbe & Melanie Stratman from West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic and Boone Central/Newman Grove's Jade Gottier were honored.  Rounding out the team were Allison Arens, Maria Wortman, & Quinn Wragge from the three-time Class 'C-2' Defending State Champion Crofton Lady Warriors.

The Lincoln Journal Star has posted its preseason high school soccer rankings.  In the boys rankings, Omaha Creighton Prep is ranked first in Class 'A'.  In Class 'B', Gretna is first, Schuyler is ranked fourth, Columbus Scotus is ranked sixth, and Columbus is eighth.  In the girls rankings, Defending Champion Millard West is first in Class 'A'.  In Class 'B', Elkhorn South is ranked first and Columbus Scotus is number five.  The Omaha World Herald announced its preseason high school baseball rankings.  Omaha Westside is ranked first in the 'Nebraska Top 10' & Class 'A'.  Norris is first in Class 'B'.

The Norfolk High boys soccer team gets their season underway today when they visit Lexington at 3:00.  The Panthers return eleven players with starting experience led by all-conference standouts in Kyle Temple and Michael Granados.  Norfolk High has 22 players on the varsity roster and 41 total.  They will try to improve upon last year's 4-10 season where they lost six matches in either overtime or shoot-outs.  The Panthers' remaining schedule has them hosting Hastings, Columbus, their own invitational with Fremont & South Sioux City involved, also Lincoln Southeast, Elkhorn, North Platte, & Fremont.  Norfolk will visit Lexington, Kearney, Lincoln North Star, the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament, Lincoln High, and Millard West.

The Norfolk High girls soccer team gets their season underway this afternoon when they visit Lexington at 3:00.  The Lady Panthers return six girls with starting experience in Bethannie Buckels, Erica Kumm, Riley Johnson, Emma Dagerman, Jessica Mahan, & Maddie Otten.  Norfolk High has 18 girls on the varsity roster and 35 total.  They will try to improve upon last year's 7-7 season.  The Lady Panthers' remaining schedule has them hosting Hastings, Columbus, their own invitational with Fremont & South Sioux City involved, Lincoln Southeast, North Platte, & Fremont.  Norfolk will visit Lexington, Kearney, Lincoln North Star, the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament, Lincoln High, Elkhorn, & the Ralston Invite. 

The Norfolk High baseball team gets their season underway today when they visit Columbus for a single game at 5:00.  The Panthers are under a new regime in Sean Wetterberg, who replaces Kris Luellman.  Last year's Norfolk team finished 5-15.  They return three players with starting experience in Blake Bauer, Matt Gerber, and Mason Emry.  The Panthers have 17 players on the varsity roster and 39 total.  Their remaining schedule has them hosting Lincoln East, South Sioux City, Lincoln High, Lincoln Southwest, Platte Valley, Grand Island, Thurston/Cuming County, West Point Guardian Angels, Columbus, Wayne, their own invite that includes Grand Island & Crete, Elkhorn South, and Archbishop Bergan.  Norfolk will visit Columbus, Lincoln North Star, Papillion La Vista South, Wayne, Omaha Benson, Lincoln Southeast, Lincoln Northeast, South Sioux City, and Thurston/Cuming County. 

Local Schedule:  Nfk High at Lexington (G&B Socc.-3:00); Nfk High at Columbus (Bsbl-5:00); Missouri at Creighton (WNIT First Round Game-7:00).

Saturday Morning:  Sportstalk on 106 KIX & 106 KIX.com from 9:00-10:00 from Hy-Vee West.  This week:  Boys basketball coaches Ben Ries from Norfolk High, Columbus Scotus' Jeff Ohnoutka, Randolph State Champion coach Mark Anderson, & Clearwater/Orchard's Shelly Mlnarik.  Girls hoops will be a topic with State Champion coaches Darren Sindelar from Pierce & Wynot's Steve Wieseler.

Local Scores:  Nebraska 5 Creighton 4 (10 Inn.) (Bsbl); Nebraska 10 Iowa St. 3 (SB); Creighton 2 Wichita St. 1 (SB); WSC 6-4 Nebraska-Kearney 2-3 (SB DH). 

     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION
    
      Final          Chicago            102    Philadelphia      94
      Final          Brooklyn          104    Charlotte            99
      Final          Boston              101    Miami                    96
      Final          New  York            92    Indiana                86
      Final          Toronto            107    New  Orleans      100
      Final          Memphis              96    Utah                      86
      Final  OT    Minnesota        123    Dallas                122
      Final          Denver              118    Detroit              109
      Final          Phoenix            109    Orlando                93
      Final          San  Antonio    125    L-A  Lakers        109
    
    
          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE
    
      Final          Tampa  Bay      5    Toronto          3
      Final  OT    Winnipeg        5    Colorado        4
      Final          Chicago          4    St.  Louis      0
      Final          Vancouver      2    Nashville      0

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