Joe's Morning Sports-Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns as LSU took the College Football Playoff championship game, whipping the defending-champion Clemson Tigers, 42-25.  Burrow also ran for 58 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries while guiding LSU to its third national championship since the 2003 season.  Ja'Marr Chase was Burrow's favorite target with nine receptions for 221 yards and two scores.  Thaddeus Moss also had two touchdown grabs as LSU completed a 15-0 season while ending Clemson's 29-game winning streak.

The Creighton men’s basketball team has entered the Associated Press Top 25 Poll at number 25.  The 13-4 Bluejays split two games in the last week after falling at home to 14th ranked Villanova 64-59 last Tuesday before beating Xavier on the road last Saturday 77-65.  Creighton returns to action on Wednesday at 6:00 when they visit 11-6 Georgetown.  The top five are Gonzaga, Baylor, Duke, Auburn, and Butler.

Former Nebraska volleyball assistant coach Tyler Hildebrand will return to the Huskers as an associate head coach.  Hildebrand, who helped coach the Huskers to an NCAA Championship in his only season at Nebraska in 2017, will replace Kayla Banwarth, who accepted the head coach position at Ole Miss in December.  Hildebrand, 35, is currently serving as the Director of Coaching for the USA Volleyball Beach National Team Program and will assume his associate head coach duties at Nebraska in August this year after the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo conclude.

Six former Nebraska players were named to ESPN’s 150 greatest players in college football’s 150-year history list last night.  Former wide receiver Johnny Rodgers came in 39th on the list.  Rodgers was on the Huskers first two championship teams and remains Nebraska's all-time leaders in touchdown catches (25) and punt return yards (1,515).  Dave Rimington was named 48th.  Ndamukong Suh is 63rd on the list and Mike Rozier landed at number 68.  Former quarterback Tommie Frazier is 97th and former defensive lineman Rich Glover was 112th.

The Creighton softball team earned the fourth spot in the 2020 BIG EAST Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll.  Head coach Brent Vigness and the Bluejays started practice on Sunday for Vigness' 27th season in Omaha.  Creighton finished 2019 with a 20-24 overall record and an 8-13 mark in league play to place sixth.  They return 14 letter winners, including seven position players who started more than half of the team's BIG EAST schedule and two All-BIG EAST performers in senior Ashley Cantu and sophomore Kiara Mills.  Creighton also returns one pitcher who logged more than 30 innings during conference action.  Seven freshmen and two sophomore transfers joined the program for the 2020 season.

The Lincoln Journal Star has updated its high school boys basketball rankings.  Lincoln Pius X stays at number one in Class ‘A’ while Hastings remains at number one in Class ‘B’.  In Class ‘C-1’, Auburn is once again first and Wayne enters the rankings at number seven.  In Class ‘C-2’, BRLD remains first, Oakland/Craig moves up from fifth to fourth, Hartington Cedar Catholic drops from third to sixth, Ponca jumps from ninth to eighth, and Wisner/Pilger enters the rankings at number ten.  In Class ‘D-1’, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family stays at number one, Laurel/Concord/Coleridge remains third, Osmond is once again fourth, and Howells/Dodge stays at number eight.  In Class ‘D-2’, Falls City Sacred Heart remains first, Humphrey St. Francis is once again second, and Randolph slips from eighth to tenth.

The Omaha World Herald & Lincoln Journal Star has updated their high school girls basketball rankings.  In the Omaha World Herald, Millard South remains first in the ‘Nebraska Top 10’ & Class ‘A’ while Oakland/Craig enters the ‘Nebraska Top 10’ at number ten.  Crete stays at number one in Class ‘B’.  In Class ‘C-1’, North Bend is the new number one, Battle Creek is once again eighth, and O’Neill falls from the rankings.  In Class ‘C-2’, Hastings St. Cecilia remains first, Oakland/Craig stays at number two, BRLD is once again third, West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic remains fourth, Crofton stays at number five, and Ponca falls from the rankings.  In Class ‘D-1’, Pleasanton is once again first, Chambers/Wheeler Central remains second, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family stays at number three, and Pender slips from eighth to ninth.  In Class ‘D-2’, Mullen stays at number one, Humphrey St. Francis slips from second to third, and Wynot moves up from seventh to sixth.  In the Lincoln Journal Star, Millard South remains first in Class ‘A’ while Crete stays at number one in Class ‘B’.  In Class ‘C-1’, Lincoln Christian is once again first, Battle Creek enters the rankings at number ten, and West Point-Beemer falls from the rankings.  In Class ‘C-2’, Hastings St. Cecilia remains first, Oakland/Craig is once again second, BRLD stays at number three, Crofton moves up from sixth to fourth, West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic jumps from seventh to fifth, Ponca is up from ninth to eighth, and Clarkson/Leigh enters the rankings at number ten.  In Class ‘D-1’, Pleasanton is once again first, Chambers/Wheeler Central remains second, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family moves up from fourth to third, and Elkhorn Valley stays at number eight.  In Class ‘D-2’, Humphrey St. Francis is once again first, Wynot remains second, and Stuart stays at number ten.

The Norfolk High wrestling team won the Sioux City East Duals Tournament last Saturday.  The Panthers went 5-0 on the day against Iowa opponents.  They beat Hull Western Christian 69-10, Rock Valley 68-9, Sioux City Heelan 49-19, Sioux City East 60-18, and Storm Lake 60-15.  Posting 5-0 marks for Norfolk on the day included Calvin Empkey (113); Aaron Dittmer (132); Josh Licking (152); Austin Miller (182); & Laikon Ames (220).  This season, the team has won titles at Fremont, the Nebraska Invitational Dual Team Championships, and Sioux City East.  Norfolk, who is currently 22-2 in duals, will participate in remaining tournaments at the Heartland Athletic Conference Championships at Lincoln, Lexington, and Districts.  They will host their own invite on February 1st.  The Panthers will also host a dual with Elkhorn and Fremont while visiting Columbus for a dual tonight at 7:00. 

The Pierce wrestling squad claimed the David City Aquinas Invite last Saturday.  They totaled 184 points while the runner-up host team scored 183.  The Bluejays’ Zander Schweitzer (160); Brett Tinker (170); & Dylan Kuehler (220) were champions.  Brock Bolling (113) & Carter Jensen (132) placed second.  Jayden Coulter (120); Jeremiah Kruntorad (138); & Michael Kruntorad (145) finished third.  This season, Pierce has won championships at Osmond and David City Aquinas while finishing third at O’Neill, North Bend Central, and their own tournament.  The Bluejays are currently 3-1 in duals this season.  Their remaining schedule includes a home dual with Plainview, the Schuyler Invite, a triangular at Battle Creek with Norfolk Catholic involved, the Nebraska-Kearney Midwest Duals Tournament, the Plattsmouth Invitational, the Boone Central/Newman Grove Invite, the Mid State Conference Meet at Battle Creek, and hosting districts.  The Blueays return to action when they host Plainview in a dual on Thursday.

The Northeast Hawks men's basketball team is 10-7 on the season after splitting two home games last week.  They lost to Central of Columbus last Wednesday 96-79 and then topped Iowa Western on Saturday 89-83.  This year they have beaten the York JV twice, Iowa Central twice, Lake Region State of North Dakota, the Morningside JV of Iowa, Little Priest Tribal College, the Peru State JV, the Mt. Marty JV of South Dakota, and Iowa Western.  The Hawks are outscoring their opponents on average through 17 games 91.7-86.2.  They return to action on Wednesday when they visit 2-15 Quakerdale Prep of Iowa and then 4-16 Marshalltown of Iowa on Saturday.

The Norfolk High girls basketball team is 7-5 on the season and have won three of their last four games after beating Kearney and South Sioux City over the weekend.  The Lady Panthers outlasted Kearney on Friday 53-47 in overtime before winning at South Sioux City 64-54 on Saturday.  This year the Lady Panthers have beaten Elkhorn South, Columbus, Papillion La Vista South, Lincoln Southeast, Lincoln North Star, Kearney, and South Sioux City while falling to Lincoln East, Millard West, Lincoln Pius X, and Lincoln Southwest twice.  Norfolk, despite the winning record, are being outscored by their opponents on average through twelve contests 47.3-44.4.  Their remaining home schedule includes games with Lincoln North Star, Lincoln Pius X, Fremont, Omaha Benson, Omaha Northwest, and Lincoln East while visiting Omaha North, Lincoln High, Omaha Central, Lincoln Southeast, Grand Island, and Lincoln Northeast.  The Lady Panthers return to action on Friday when they host 4-8 Lincoln North Star and then visit 3-6 Omaha North on Saturday in a game that can be heard on Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & WJAG.com.

The Lutheran High Northeast girls basketball team is 5-7 on the year after claiming the Wausa Post Holiday Tournament last weekend.  They routed the host team last Friday 54-33 and whipped Niobrara/Verdigre on Saturday in the championship game 66-31.  This year the Lady Eagles have beaten Wisner/Pilger, Twin River, Heartland Lutheran, Wausa, and Niobrara/Verdigre while falling to West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic, Pender, Norfolk Catholic, Homer, Wisner/Pilger, Lincoln Lutheran, and Wakefield/Allen.  Despite the below .500 record, Lutheran High Northeast is outscoring their opponents on average through twelve games 47.8-42.9.  Their remaining home schedule includes contests with Battle Creek, Clarkson/Leigh, Omaha Nation, and Creighton while visiting Howells/Dodge, Hartington Cedar Catholic, Walthill, Humphrey St. Francis, and Riverside.  The Lady Eagles return to action this evening when they visit Howells to play 2-10 Howells/Dodge.

Checking out the local schedule for today, in basketball, the Norfolk Catholic girls & boys host Columbus Scotus starting with the girls game at 6:15, the Lutheran High Northeast girls visit Howells to take on Howells/Dodge at 7:30, and the Nebraska men are in Columbus, Ohio to play Ohio State at 5:30.  Elsewhere, the Norfolk High swim & wrestling teams visits Columbus, Nebraska.  The swimmers have a 5:00 dual while the wrestling teams meet in a 7:00 dual.

Local Schedule:  Nfk High at Columbus (G&B SW Dual-5:00); Nfk High at Columbus (WR Dual-7:00); Columbus Scotus at NC (G&B BB-6:15); LHNE vs. Howells/Dodge at Howells (GBB-7:30); Nebraska at Ohio St. (MBB-5:30).

Local Scores:  NECC 101 Hastings JV 69 (WBB).

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     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION

    

      Final OT    New  Orleans        117    Detroit              110

      Final    Indiana                101    Philadelphia    95

      Final    Boston                  113    Chicago              101

      Final    Oklahoma  City    117    Minnesota          104

      Final    Portland              115    Charlotte          112

      Final    Orlando                114    Sacramento        112

      Final    L.A.  Lakers        128    Cleveland          99

    

    

          ---

          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE

    

      Final    Montreal              2    Calgary                  0

      Final    N-Y  Rangers        6    N-Y  Islanders      2

      Final SO    Philadelphia      6    Boston                    5

      Final    Washington          2    Carolina                0

      Final    St.  Louis            4    Anaheim                  1

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