Sports News-May 16, 2014

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David West had a game-high 29 points, six rebounds and four assists as the Indiana Pacers beat Washington 93-80 to advantage to the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami.  Lance Stephenson added 17 points on 8-13 from the field for the Pacers, who shot over 50% from the field.  Indiana blew a 16-point lead in the second half before closing the series on a 20-6 run.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have beaten the Los Angeles Clippers 104-98 to earn the right to face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA's Western Conference Finals.  Kevin Durant hit five of his eight three-point attempts and scored 25 of his game-high 39 points in the second half.  Russell Westbrook shot just 4-15 but finished with 19 points and twelve assists to help the Thunder overcome Chris Paul's 25 points and eleven assists.

The Nebraska football team has landed another recruit.  According to the Omaha World Herald, defensive back Aaron Williams has become the newest commit for the 2015 class.  The 5’11, 180-pound three-star prospect from Carver High School plans to enroll in December.  Williams also had offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Indiana, Purdue, Virginia and other schools.  He visited Lincoln for the spring game and told several recruiting sites he was impressed with the facilities and coaching staff.

Four Nebraska softball players earned first-team All-Midwest Region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.  Senior Tatum Edwards and sophomore Emily Lockman were first-team selections for the second straight year, while senior Taylor Edwards earned first-team all-region accolades for the second time in her career.  Sophomore Hailey Decker was recognized as an all-region performer for the first time in her career.  Nebraska’s four all-region selections and the rest of the Husker team begin their quest for back-to-back trips to the Women’s College World Series Friday, when Nebraska opens the NCAA Tournament against Kansas at 12:30.  Creighton softball senior Becca Changstrom collected All-Great Lakes Region Second Team recognition.  The honor marks the second NFCA accolade for Changstrom. The Bluejay pitcher secured the spot this year after claiming a Second Team selection in 2013.

Kaiti Williams of Wayne State was named yesterday to the NFCA All-Central Region softball team, earning Second Team All-Region honors.  It’s the second All-Region honor for Williams this week, who was named to the Daktronics All-Central Region Second Team on Monday.  Williams, a junior outfielder from Papillion, was a First Team All-NSIC selection for the Wildcats this season after leading the team in batting with a .440 average.  She had ten home runs and 45 RBI’s this season and her 73 hits were the second most in a single season by a Wildcat player.

Eric Browning of Wayne State has been voted to the Daktronics Baseball All-Central Region Team receiving First Team honors.  Browning is one of 16 First Team All-Region selections that now advance to the Daktronics Division II Baseball All-America ballot which will be voted on by Division II sports information directors from across the country.  Browning, a sophomore pitcher from Lyons was a First Team All-NSIC selection for the Wildcats after posting an 8-3 record this season with a 1.93 ERA.  Wayne State finished the season 27-24 overall and eighth place in the NSIC with an 18-15 league mark.  It was the 17th straight winning season for the Wildcat baseball program.

Wayne State softball coach Krista Wood announced yesterday that Central Community College standout and Wayne native Caitlin Fehringer has signed a national letter of intent to attend Wayne State and play softball for the Wildcats next season.  She joins Brooke French of Iowa, Rachel Shumaker from California, Katelyn Wobken of Scribner and Jalyn Zeiss of Wayne as members of the 2014 Wildcat recruiting class.  Wayne State finished the past season at 35-18 overall and was fourth place in the Northern Sun Conference this season with a 20-8 league mark.  It was the eighth straight winning season for the Wildcat softball program, setting a new school record for consecutive winning seasons.

Peyton Manning came to Omaha to show the city some love in return for the love it showed him during the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.  Manning was the featured speaker at the B'nai B'rith sports banquet last night.  He promised the crowd of 1,200 he'll keep shouting "Omaha!" at the line of scrimmage, just as he famously did during the Denver Broncos' run to the Super Bowl.  Before the banquet, the Omaha Chamber of Commerce presented a check for almost $70,000 to Manning's foundation. Local businesses donated for every pre-snap "Omaha!" Manning shouted.

The Norfolk Catholic & Lutheran High Northeast track & field squads competed in yesterday’s C-5 District Meet at Battle Creek.  The Knights have qualified in 19 events while the Eagles have qualified in six events for next week’s State Track & Field Championships.  In the boys competition, Battle Creek was the champion with 138 points.  Norfolk Catholic finished second with 119 points and Lutheran High Northeast was sixth with 40.  In the girls standings, Norfolk Catholic was the champion with 117 points.  They won by two points.  Lutheran High Northeast was sixth with 46.  Qualifiers for next week for Norfolk Catholic include Austin Becker (2nd-HJ); Nathan Boyle (1st-PV); Beau Schommer (1st-Shot Put); Seth Ruppert (2nd-LJ); Kegan Ehlers (2nd-200); Matt Miller (1st-400 & 1st-800); David Engelhaupt (1st-110 H); Boys 4X400 Relay (1st-Ryan Olmer, Seth Montag, Jacob Beller, Miller); Courtney Schindler (1st-PV); Brittany Kelberlau (2nd-PV); Joelle Heng (1st-800); Nicole Aschoff (2nd-1600 & 2nd-3200); Bailey Ehlers (1st-HJ); Alex Anderson (2nd-300 H); Bailey Barnes (1st-100 H & 1st-300 H); Girls 4X400 Relay (1st-Barnes, Ehlers, Anderson, Heng).  Reaching the State Championships next week for Lutheran High Northeast included Ryan Freudenburg (1st-Discus); Kale Kucera (2nd-400); Janey Pasold (2nd-LJ); Megan Gebhardt (2nd-200); Ari Rathke (1st-400); & Girls 4X100 Relay (1st-Pasold, Rathke, Beth Skoglund, Gebhardt).

The Norfolk High boys golf team hosts their own invitational today at the Norfolk Country Club at 10:00.  Schools participating include Columbus, Fremont, Lincoln Pius X, Lincoln Southwest, Millard North, Papillion La Vista South, York, Schuyler, and Lincoln Southeast.  

Local Schedule:  Illinois at Nebraska (Bsbl-6:35); Creighton at Xavier at Cincinnati, OH (Bsbl-2:00); Omaha Storm Chasers at Memphis (Bsbl-7:05); Nebraska vs. Kansas at Columbia, MO (NCAA SB Regional Tourn.-12:30); LHNE vs. Battle Creek (BG-Ccd).

Local Scores:  (26) Nebraska 2 Illinois 1 (Bsbl); Xavier 9 Creighton 4 (Bsbl); Omaha Storm Chasers 10 Memphis 6 (Bsbl).

NBA Playoffs:  Indiana 93 Washington 80 (Indiana wins series 4-2); Oklahoma City 104 L.A. Clippers 98 (Oklahoma City wins series 4-2).

      Final          N-Y  Yankees          1    N-Y  Mets            0
      Final          Minnesota              4    Boston                3,  10  Innings
      Final          Toronto                  4    Cleveland          2
      Final          Baltimore              2    Kansas  City      1
      Final          L.A.  Angels          6    Tampa  Bay          5
      Final          Cincinnati            5    San  Diego          0    (first  game)
      Final          San  Diego              6    Cincinnati        1    (second  game)
      Final          Milwaukee              4    Pittsburgh        3
      Final          St.  Louis              5    Chi  Cubs            3
      Final          San  Francisco      6    Miami                  4
        San  Diego    at    Cincinnati    12:35  p.m.  (first  game)

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