Sports News-June 25, 2013

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The Chicago Blackhawks pulled out a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins to claim their fifth Stanley Cup and second in four seasons.  Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart over the final 1:16 after Milan Lucic tallied with 7:49 remaining to put the Bruins ahead 2-1.  Patrick Kane came away with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.  Kane scored nine goals and 19 points in 23 games.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Denver Nuggets have hired Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw to succeed head coach George Karl.  Shaw is a former NBA guard and longtime assistant NBA coach who has interviewed about a dozen times for head coaching positions but kept coming up short until yesterday.  He takes over a team that set a team-record for victories but was eliminated in the Western Conference quarterfinals, leading to Karl's ouster.  Also, ESPN reports that the Memphis Grizzlies have reached an agreement in principle to elevate assistant Dave Joerger to become head coach.  Joerger, who has spent the past six seasons on the Grizzlies' bench, will succeed his former boss, Lionel Hollins.  Hollins compiled a 196-155 record after taking over for Marc Iavaroni midway through the 2008-09 season.  The 39-year-old Joerger emerged as a favorite for the position after Grizzlies management granted Hollins permission to seek other coaching opportunities.

Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic will take Centre Court as part of today's Wimbledon schedule. Williams has a first-round match against Mandy Minella before Djokovic takes on Florian Mayer.  The tournament continues without two-time men's champion Rafael Nadal, who lost in the opening round for the first time in 35 major appearances.

Adam Plutko worked six innings and Eric Filia hit a two-run single as UCLA beat Mississippi State 3-1 in Game One of the best-of-three College World Series finals in Omaha last night.  Plutko retired his first nine batters and held the Bulldogs to a run and four hits to help the Bruins get within one victory of their first national championship in baseball.  Mississippi State had its chances to tie the game or pull ahead but left runners in scoring position four of the last six innings.  UCLA, which is 48-17, can wrap up the championship tonight.  Mississippi State, which is 51-19, is playing for their first national championship in any sport while the Bruins are looking for their first title in baseball.  Game Two is this evening at 7:00 at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Two of college football's premier conferences, the Pac-12 and the Big Ten, will face each other in the Bay Area's post-season bowl game beginning in 2014.  The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl yesterday announced six-year agreements that will establish a new partnership with the Big Ten and significantly improve the Bowl's selection rights in the Pac-12.  Both pacts will run from 2014 through 2019.  Effective with the new match-up, the Bowl will be played in the new 68,500 seat Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, future home of the NFL San Francisco 49'ers and site of the Super Bowl in 2016.

The Nebraska women's basketball team has landed a recruit.  According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Jasmine Cincore, a 5'8 combo guard from the state of Tennessee, has made an oral commitment to Nebraska for the class of 2014.  The junior averaged 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals a game in leading her team to a 27-2 record in 2012-13.  Cincore was named Tennessee's Miss Basketball for Division 2-AA.  She also considered offers from Michigan, Kansas State, Georgia State, Auburn, Memphis and Clemson.

Doane College Track and Field athletes were recognized yesterday for their accomplishments in the classroom as the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America teams were announced.  Among the honorees was former Norfolk Panther Brad Higgins.  He was named a First Team Academic All-American.  Higgins was named to the Second Team a year ago and closed out his career at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championships in May.  He had a season-best mark in the decathlon at the NAIA meet but missed out on All-American honors by one spot finishing ninth.  Higgins was an all-conference performer for the Tigers in the decathlon and helped the team to a sweep of the conference crowns.  Erin DeVries, a sophomore from Chambers, was named Second Team Academic All-American.  She earned All-American honors placing fourth in the pentathlon and taking third in the heptathlon.  DeVries was named the Great Plains Athletic Conference Female Performer-of-the-Meet at the GPAC Outdoor Championships as she set the conference record in the heptathlon.

Lance Lawson of Norfolk led the 126-man field in the stroke play qualifier of the 46th Nebraska Match Play Championship with a four-under-par 67 at Elks Country Club in Columbus yesterday.  Lawson posted one of eight sub par rounds and earns the two seed in the 64-player bracket.  2012 runner-up Nick Vondrak of Omaha is assigned the top seed.  Among the 63 players that made the cut to earn spots in the bracket were Laurel's Mitchell Klooz, Homer's Mitchell Holgate, Brunswick's Sam Meuret, and Columbus' Mike Krumland & Matt Hansen.  The first round will start this morning at 7:30.

Local Schedule:  Wakefield at Nfk Seniors (Bsbl-Ccd. Scheduling); Columbus Fire & Ice at Nfk Golden Girls 18's (SB DH-6:30); Omaha Storm Chasers at Oklahoma City (Bsbl DH-4:30).

Local Scores:  Omaha Storm Chasers 3 Oklahoma City 2 (Bsbl).

      Final          Cleveland            5    Baltimore              2
      Final          Tampa  Bay            4    Toronto                  1
      Final          San  Diego            4    Philadelphia        3,  10  Innings
      Final          L.A.  Dodgers      3    San  Francisco      1
      Final    Chicago      3    Boston      2

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