Joe's Morning Sports-Monday, December 3, 2018

It will be Alabama against Oklahoma and Clemson versus Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Dec. 29 after the Sooners moved ahead of Georgia in the final rankings.  The Alabama-Oklahoma Orange Bowl will be a matchup of Heisman Trophy-contending quarterbacks in Kyler Murray for the Sooners and the Tide's Tua Tagovailoa.  The Tigers will take on the Irish in the Cotton Bowl, with the winner heading to the Jan. 7 championship game.

Head coach Mike McCarthy has been fired by the Green Bay Packers with the team in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight year after a 20-17 home loss to Arizona yesterday.  Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin has been promoted to interim head coach.  The 2016 Packers opened 4-6 but won eight straight to reach the NFC championship game, but the team was 7-9 last year and has fallen to 4-7-1 this season.

James Palmer Jr. had 23 points and four assists to lead three players in double figures and Nebraska opened up an early eleven-point lead, then held off Illinois for a 75-60 win yesterday in the Big Ten conference opener for both teams.  The Huskers came out hot, hitting its first three field goals and all six of its free throws to go up 13-2 just 2 ½ minutes into the game.  They hit 25-30 from the free-throw line, including 12-14 by Palmer.  The Illini made 8-13 free-throw attempts.  Isaac Copeland had 16 points and five boards while Glynn Watson, Jr. had 14 points and six rebounds for Nebraska.  They improve to 7-1 while Illinois falls to 2-6.

Creighton senior Audrey Faber led her team with a double-double that included game highs of 18 points, ten rebounds, and three blocked shots as the home-standing Bluejays defeated the Nebraska women's basketball team 74-65 at D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha yesterday.  Teammate Tatum Rembao added 18 points of her own, a team-high six assists and three steals and Olivia Elger had 16 points and seven boards in the win.  The Huskers’ Sam Haiby scored 15 of her team-high 17 points in the second half but it was not enough.  She also added five rebounds.  Nebraska led at halftime 28-27 before being outscored 47-37 in the second half.  Creighton is now 2-4 on the season while the Big Red falls to 2-5.

The Norfolk High bowling team is competing today in the NSAA Unified Sports Bowling State Championships.  The event is held at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln starting with opening ceremonies at 10:30 AM and bowling at 11:00.  The Panthers qualified by winning the District VI Championship last Monday at Norfolk’s Kings Lanes.  They bowled a 991 and won the event by 193 pins.  Norfolk’s squad is made up of Dawson Reiman, Kaden Sager, Tristan Severson, Daniel Thomson, & Brian Worrell.  The field of competitors include Norfolk, Bellevue West, Millard North, Lincoln Northeast, Fremont, Lincoln High, Omaha Northwest, and Alliance.

The Norfolk High wrestling team claimed their first event of the year by winning the Fremont Invitational last Friday.  They totaled 225.5 points while second place Fremont had 190.  Josh Licking (152), Brayden Splater (160), Creighton Blain (182), & Conner Cowling (285) were champions with 4-0 records.  Aaron Dittmer (126) & Laikon Ames (195) were second.  Kaleb Van Driel (132); Blake Forsythe (170), & Hunter Mangelsen (220) finished third.  Weston Godfrey (120) took fourth and Chase Jensen (113), & Jacob Bender (138) were fifth.  The Panthers have 55 wrestlers out this season and return Cowling & Splater from last year’s State Championships.  Norfolk’s remaining tournaments include the Northeast Nebraska Duals in Columbus, the Grand Island Flatwater Fracas, Sioux City East, the Heartland Athletic Conference Championships at Lincoln, Lexington, and Districts.  The Panthers will host their own invite on January 26th.  They will also host duals with Columbus & Fremont while visiting Papillion La Vista & Elkhorn. 

The Norfolk High girls & boys swim team got their season underway last Thursday with a sweep of South Sioux City.  The boys won their dual 143-26 while the girls claimed theirs’ as well 144-28.  New state qualifiers for Norfolk in the dual all came from leadoffs on the 200 freestyle relay.  Qualifying were Kellen Carney (50 freestyle); Annika Harthoorn (50 freestyle) & Caleb Harthoorn (50 & 100 freestyle).  The Panthers, who had their tournament at Hastings cancelled last Saturday, have 18 boys and 30 girls out for the team this year.  They return 13 swimmers that competed in the State Championships last year.  Norfolk will participate in invitationals at Columbus, Lincoln Southeast, Millard South, Millard North, Ralston, and the Heartland Athletic Conference Meet at Lincoln North Star and Fremont.  The Panthers will also host duals with Columbus, and Lincoln Southwest while visiting Fremont, Grand Island, Kearney, and Elkhorn.  Norfolk returns to action on Tuesday when they visit Fremont for a dual.

The Lutheran High Northeast girls basketball team got their season underway last Thursday with a 39-28 home win over Wisner/Pilger.  Morgan Holdorf scored twelve points.  Becca Gebhardt had a double-double with ten points, ten rebounds, and two blocked shots.  Chloe Spence added nine points, five boards, five steals, and four assists in the win.  The Lady Eagles return two starters this season in Spence & Gebhardt and five other letter winners from last year’s 11-11 team.  Two years ago, they were 5-16.  Lutheran High Northeast’s remaining home schedule includes games with Twin River, Pender, Riverside, Howells/Dodge, Hartington Cedar Catholic, Clarkson/Leigh, Humphrey St. Francis, and David City Aquinas.  The team will compete in the Shootout on the Elkhorn Tournament in Wisner December 27-29.  The Lady Eagles game at West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic on Saturday was postponed until this evening at 6:00 due to weather. 

Local Schedule:  LHNE at West Point Guardian Angels CC (G&B BB-6:00).

Local Scores:  Nebraska-Omaha 81 Graceland 39 (WBB).

CBS Sports Radio at Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM Mon-Fri at 6:00 PM; Sat at 4:00; & Sun at 1:00.  Also, the home of the Kansas City Chiefs!

     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION

    

      Final    L.A.  Lakers      120    Phoenix                  96

      Final    New  Orleans      119    Charlotte            109

      Final    Philadelphia    103    Memphis                  95

      Final    Miami                  102    Utah                      100

      Final    Dallas                114    L.A.  Clippers    110

      Final    San  Antonio      131    Portland              118

    

    

          ---

          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE

    

      Final    Anaheim            6    Washington        5

      Final  SO    Winnipeg          4    N-Y  Rangers      3

      Final    San  Jose          3    Montreal            1

      Final    Colorado          2    Detroit              0

      Final    Calgary            3    Chicago              2

      Final    L.A.  Kings      2    Carolina            0

    

          ---

          NATIONAL  FOOTBALL  LEAGUE

    

      Final  OT    N-Y  Giants            30    Chicago                  27

      Final    Baltimore              26    Atlanta                  16

      Final    Arizona                  20    Green  Bay              17

      Final    L.A.  Rams              30    Detroit                  16

      Final    Denver                    24    Cincinnati            10

      Final    Miami                      21    Buffalo                  17

      Final    Houston                  29    Cleveland              13

      Final    Tampa  Bay              24    Carolina                17

      Final    Jacksonville          6    Indianapolis          0

      Final    Kansas  City          40    Oakland                  33

      Final    Tennessee              26    N-Y  Jets                22

      Final    Seattle                  43    San  Francisco      16

      Final    New  England          24    Minnesota              10

      Final    L.A.  Chargers      33    Pittsburgh            30

    

        Washington    at    Philadelphia      8:15  p.m.

    

    

          ---

          TOP-25  COLLEGE  BASKETBALL

    

      Final    (6)  Tennessee      79    Texas  A&M-CC      51

      Final    (16)  Ohio  St.      79    Minnesota            59