Sports News-March 24, 2014

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Isaiah Austin and Brady Heslip each scored 17 points and Baylor shut down Creighton's Doug McDermott with suffocating defense, ending the career of the one of the most prolific scorers in college history with an 85-55 win last night in the NCAA Tournament West Regional.  The Bears' size and speed overwhelmed the third-seeded Bluejays and their national scoring leader, earning a third trip to the Sweet 16 since 2010.  McDermott, who averaged 27 points this season finished with 15 but had just three in the first half as Baylor built a 20-point lead.  McDermott ranks fifth on the NCAA career scoring list.  The sixth seeded Bears had five players score in double figures and shot 64% in one of the dominant performances of the NCAA tournament.  The Bluejays' season concludes at 27-8 while Baylor improves to 26-11.  In other Creighton men's basketball news, Doug McDermott was named a finalist for the Naismith Trophy Men's College Player of the Year.  He joins a group that includes Duke's Jabari Parker, Arizona's Nick Johnson, and Louisville's Russ Smith.  McDermott also was a finalist for the 2012 and 2013 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T.  The winner of the Naismith Trophy Men's College Player of the Year Trophy will be revealed April 6 in Dallas.

For the second straight season, Nebraska men's basketball coach Tim Miles will need a new full-time assistant coach according to the Omaha World Herald.  Craig Smith, who has worked with Miles at four schools, is set to be named the coach at South Dakota today.  The Minnesota native and graduate of North Dakota leaves NU after two seasons.  Last year, Nebraska saw assistant Ben Johnson, also a Minnesota native, take an assistant's job at Minnesota.  Smith just completed his 17th year in coaching.

BYU's Jennifer Hamson has seen just about every defense used against her.  Rarely does the 6'7 center get rattled.  Hamson will need to keep her cool against fourth-seeded 26-6 Nebraska in the Cougars' second-round NCAA Tournament game tonight in Los Angeles, California.  The Cornhuskers will try to disrupt the West Coast Conference's Player of the Year who leads her team offensively at 18.1 points per game and defensively with 11.4 rebounds and 137 blocked shots.  Hamson dislocated her left middle finger late in twelfth-seeded BYU's 72-57 upset of five seed North Carolina State on Saturday.  The team didn't practice Sunday, when she iced it at the hotel.  Tip-off tonight is at 8:10 and is televised on ESPN2.

Southeast Community College claimed honors yesterday at the Northeast Community College Golf Invitational.  Weather cut short the two-day event to yesterday's round at Fairplay Golf Course.  Day two on today was to be played at the Norfolk Country Club.  The Storm finished with a team total of 306.  The Midland JV was a distant second with 321 while Northeast was third with 324.  Elsewhere, the Northeast 'B' team shot a 354.  Zack Taylor of Southeast took individual medalist honors with a 71 winning by three strokes.  Northeast's Michael Bergquist was one of four players to tie for third after shooting a 78.

The Norfolk High boys basketball team finished with a 21-7 record after a 1-2 record and a fourth place finish at the State Tournament a week ago at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena.  The Panthers outlasted Omaha South in triple overtime in the opening round 70-66, lost to eventual champion Bellevue West 60-49, and then dropped the consolation game to Omaha Benson 67-62.  Norfolk finished fourth in the Lincoln Journal Star and seventh in the Omaha World Herald.  They outscored their opponents on average this year 63.3-55.8.  The Panthers will lose seniors Taylor Reedy, Stefan Medel, Alex Gall, Devan Maas, and Matthew Gerber to graduation but return but return the bulk of their scoring from this past season led by Tyler Hagedorn & Alex Strom. 

The Columbus Scotus boys basketball squad concluded 2013-14 with a 23-5 record and a third place finish in Class 'C-1' after a 2-1 record at the State Tournament a week ago.  The Shamrocks beat Kearney Catholic 72-57, lost to eventual champion Bishop Neumann 67-65 in overtime, and then outlasted Wayne in the consolation game 68-62 in overtime.  Columbus Scotus finished second in the Omaha World Herald and third in the Lincoln Journal Star.  They outscored their opponents on average this year 58.7-49.3.  The Shamrocks will lose only two seniors in Nate Ebner & Derek Kaslon to graduation but return but return the bulk of their scoring from this past season led by Grant Lahm. 

The Class 'D-1' State Champion Randolph boys basketball team finished with a 23-4 record after beating Overton in the championship game over ten days ago 54-42 at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena.  The Cardinals won their opening round game over Elm Creek 41-39 and Clearwater/Orchard in the semifinals 49-39.  It was their first state championship since 2002.  Randolph outscored their opponents on average this year 47.4-35.3.  They will lose seniors Nolan Nordhues, Garrett Watters, Luke Andrew, Richard Medina.

The Clearwater/Orchard boys basketball team finished with a 22-6 record and fourth place in Class 'D-1' after a 1-2 record at the State Tournament a week ago.  The Cyclones rallied past North Platte St. Patrick's in the opening round 46-42, lost to eventual champion Randolph in the semifinals 49-39, and then were beaten by Howells/Dodge in the consolation game 70-48.  Clearwater/Orchard finished fourth in the Lincoln Journal Star and fifth in the Omaha World Herald.  They outscored their opponents on average this year 59.3-52.5.  The Cyclones will lose only one senior in Tate Schutt but return but return the bulk of their scoring from this past season led by Andy Kerkman & the coaches' son Trevor Mlnarik. 

The Class 'C-1' Two-time Defending State Champion Pierce girls basketball team closed 2013-14 with a 23-4 record after beating Minden in the championship game over two weeks ago 69-60 at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena.  The Lady Bluejays won their opening round game over Chadron 61-47 and Kearney Catholic in the semifinals 62-41.  They outscored their opponents on average this year 46.6-33.7.  Pierce will lose only senior Jacy Bretschneider.  Going into the state tournament, the Defending Champs were ranked seventh in the Lincoln Journal Star and eighth in the Omaha World Herald. 

The Class 'D-2' Four-time Defending State Champion Wynot girls basketball team finished with a 24-6 record after beating Sterling in the championship game over two weeks ago 53-38 at Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena.  The Lady Blue Devils won their opening round game over Bancroft/Rosalie 56-39 and Falls City Sacred Heart in the semifinals 55-38.  They outscored their opponents on average this year 57.5-40.7.  Wynot will lose all-stater Maggie Schulte and role player Brittany Bruening. 

Local Schedule:  LHNE/Nfk Cath at Schuyler (G Socc.-4:30); Nebraska Vs. BYU at Los Angeles, CA (NCAA WBB Tourn.-8:10); Nebraska-Omaha at Murray St. At Murray, KY (CIT MBB Tourn.-7:00); Minnesota-Duluth at WSC (Bsbl DH-1:00).

Local Scores:  South Dakota St. 62 Creighton 51 (WNIT Tourn.); Iowa 8 Nebraska 4 (Bsbl); Creighton 6 Fresno St. 2 (Bsbl); WSC 2-5 Minnesota-Duluth 0-3 (Bsbl DH); (16) Minnesota 13-2 (15) Nebraska 4-3 (SB DH); WSC 8 Missouri Southern 2; Emporia St. 4 WSC 1 (SB at St. Joseph, MO).

NCAA Men's Basketball Tourn.:  Iowa St. 85 North Carolina 83; Baylor 85 Creighton 55; Tennessee 83 Mercer 63; Virginia 78 Memphis 60; Stanford 60 Kansas 57; Kentucky 78 Wichita St. 76; UCLA 77 Stephen F. Austin 60; Arizona 84 Gonzaga 61. 

     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION
    
      Final          Toronto            96    Atlanta            86
      Final          Phoenix          127    Minnesota      120
      Final          Denver            105    Washington    102
      Final          Sacramento    124    Milwaukee      107
      Final  OT    Brooklyn        107    Dallas            104
      Final          Cleveland      106    New  York        100
      Final          L-A  Lakers    103    Orlando            94
    
    
          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE
    
      Final          N-Y  Islanders      2    Columbus          0
      Final          St.  Louis              1    Pittsburgh      0
      Final          Nashville              2    Chicago            0
      Final          New  Jersey            3    Toronto            2
      Final  OT    Minnesota              4    Detroit            3
      Final          Vancouver              4    Buffalo            2
      Final          Anaheim                  6    Florida            2

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