Joe's Morning Sports-Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Dallas Mavericks have regained the lead in their first-round series, going up 3-2 with a 105-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.  Luka Doncic provided 42 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. hit two free throws with eight seconds left to help the Mavericks close out the win.  Hardaway Jr. added 20 points, the only other Mavs player in double figures.

The Utah Jazz completed their NBA first-round in five games by downing the Memphis Grizzlies, 126-110.  Donovan Mitchell scored 26 of his 30 points in the first half before finishing with ten assists and six rebounds.  Jordan Clarkson dropped 24 points and Rudy Gobert had 23 with 15 rebounds to help power the top-seeded Jazz to their fourth straight victory.

Seth Curry scored a playoff career-high 30 points and the Philadelphia Sixers beat Washington 129-112 to end their NBA first-round series in five games.  Tobias Harris added 28 points and teamed with Curry and Ben Simmons to carry the offensive load with All-Star Joel Embiid out with a right knee injury.  Simmons had a triple-double of 19 points, eleven assists and ten rebounds to keep the top-seeded 76ers in the hunt for their first championship since 1983.

The Atlanta Hawks have earned the right to face the 76ers in the second round of the NBA playoffs by disposing of the New York Knicks in five games.  Trae Young put the finishing touches on his impressive first playoff series with 36 points and nine assists, guiding the Hawks past the Knicks, 103-89.  Clint Capela backed up his confident words from a day earlier with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

A person familiar with the situation says Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski will step down at the end of next season.  The person tells The Associated Press that former Blue Devils player and associate head coach Jon Scheyer would then take over as Krzyzewski’s successor.  The 74-year-old Krzyzewski has led Duke to five national championships and has won a record 1,170 games.

Top-ranked Ash Barty has withdrawn from the French Open during her second-round match because of injuries.  The 2019 champion trailed 6-1, 2-2 when she returned to her chair and signaled she was not able to continue against Polish rival Magda Linette.  The Australian started the match with her left thigh bandaged and it was immediately clear she could not move properly.  She dealt with a left hip problem in her first-round victory and had said afterward she was not fully healthy and would adopt a one-match-at-a-time approach.  In May she was forced to retire in the quarterfinals in Rome because of an injury to her right arm.

The Omaha World Herald reports that former Husker offensive lineman Zach Wiegert is on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame's 2022 class.  This is Wiegert's seventh time on the ballot after he was first nominated in 2015.  Wiegert, a graduate of Fremont Bergan, was a unanimous first-team All-American in 1994 and won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman.  He finished tied for ninth in Heisman Trophy voting.  Wiegert started 37 consecutive games at right tackle and earned All-Big Eight honors in 1992, 1993 and 1994.  He was a second-round NFL draft pick in 1995 and played twelve seasons for the Rams, Jaguars and Texans.  There are 19 former Nebraska players in the College Football Hall of Fame: Trev Alberts (inducted 2015), Forrest Behm (1988), Bob Brown (1993), Guy Chamberlin (1962), Eric Crouch (2020), Sam Francis (1977), Tommie Frazier (2013), Rich Glover (1995), Wayne Meylan (1991), Bobby Reynolds (1984), Dave Rimington (1997), Johnny Rodgers (2000), Mike Rozier (2006), George Sauer (1954), Will Shields (2011), Clarence Swanson (1973), Aaron Taylor (2018), Ed Weir (1951) and Grant Wistrom (2009).

The Creighton men's basketball team will host Iowa State on Dec. 4th as part of the BIG EAST-Big XII Battle.  The dates and matchups, which will be played in December, were jointly determined by the two conferences.  The four-year agreement between the two conferences will continue through the 2022-23 season with an equal number of games played in each conference's home market each year.  Creighton is 1-1 all-time in the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle. They defeated Oklahoma 83-73 in Omaha on Dec. 17, 2019 before falling to Kansas 73-72 on Dec. 8, 2020 in Lawrence.  The Bluejays are 15-16 all-time against Iowa State, with the last meeting taking place in 2010 in Des Moines.  Creighton finished 22-9 overall and led the BIG EAST with 14 league victories last season, advancing to the program's first Sweet 16 since 1974.

The best recruiting class in recent Creighton history just got better.  The Omaha World Herald reports that the Jays picked up a pledge yesterday from four-star recruit Trey Alexander.  The 6’4 shooting guard from Oklahoma City announced on Twitter he's committed to CU.  Alexander is the fifth member of Creighton's 2021 recruiting class, a group that already ranked seventh (247Sports) and twelfth nationally (Rivals) before his addition.  It's the highest-rated CU class in the history of the online recruiting services' rankings.  And now the Jays have added another top-100 talent.  Alexander, a former Auburn signee, ranks 73rd overall on the 247Sports composite for the 2021 class.  He's ranked 55th on ESPN.  Alexander earned first-team all-state recognition from The Oklahoman after averaging 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game for Heritage Hall High School this past season.  His team reached the Class 4A state championship game.  Alexander will also be the seventh newcomer to the program this summer.  CU signed 6’7 senior transfer Ryan Hawkins earlier this month and announced the signing of 6’8 senior transfer KeyShawn Feazell this week.  In other Creighton news, guard Antwann Jones has announced he has entered the transfer portal.  Jones, originally from Florida, joined CU’s program two years ago after playing his first season of college ball at Memphis.  He sat out one year because of NCAA transfer rules, then he entered into the Jays’ top rotation last season.  The 6’6 Jones ended up averaging just 10.9 minutes per game on the year. He recorded 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 37.4% from the floor.

The 37th Northeast Nebraska All-Star basketball rosters have been announced for the June 18th games.  The girls’ contest will start at 6:00 followed by the boys game at 8:00.  Making up the boys’ dark squad are Norfolk’s Kallan Herman, Lutheran High Northeast’s Grant Colligan, Wakefield’s Blake Brown & Justin Erb, Oakland/Craig’s Gunnar Ray, Hartington Cedar Catholic’s Myles Thoene, Walthill’s Kaden Sheridan & Jalen Merrick, Pierce’ Dawson Watts, and Wynot’s Anthony Haberman.  The team will be coached by Wakefield’s Joe Wendte & Lutheran High Northeast’s Kenny Blank.  Representing the boys’ light team are Norfolk Catholic’s Christian Mickelson, Madison’s Jakwon Webb, BRLD’s Lucas Vogt, Boone Central’s Ryan Kramer, Osmond’s Graysen Schultze, North Bend Central’s Jaxon Wietfeld, Twin River’s Weston Graham, Battle Creek’s Payton Frederick, Ponca’s Bryar Bennett, and Cael Hartung of Laurel/Concord/Coleridge.  The squad will be coached by Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family’s Joe Hesse & Madison’s Dan Fuhs.  Making up the girls’ dark squad are Norfolk’s Hailey Kleinschmit, Humphrey St. Francis’ Allison Weidner & Alissa Kosch, Chambers/Wheeler Central’s Morgan Ramsey, Summerland’s Brenna Wagner, South Sioux City’s Hannah Strom, Pender’s Ashley Ostrand, Battle Creek’s BriAnna Zohner, Neligh/Oakdale’s Paige Furstenau, and Winnebago’s Keisha Snyder.  The team will be coached by Chambers/Wheeler Central’s Laurel O’Malley & Humphrey St. Francis’ Bryan Reichmuth.  Representing the girls’ light team are Lutheran High Northeast’s Chloe Spence, Crofton’s Lacey Sprackel & Kaley Einrem, BRLD’s Caragan Tietz, Pierce’ Kenzie Moeller, Clarkson/Leigh’s Cassidy Hoffman, O’Neill’s Alyssa Eichelberger, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family’s Riley Jurgens, Hartington Cedar Catholic’s Brynn Wortmann, and West Point-Beemer’s Sidney Swanson.  The squad will be coached by Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family’s Kandee Hanzel & Hartington Cedar Catholic’s Craig Wortmann.

The Tom Dinsdale Auto/Striv Sports All-Star Basketball Games will be held at Grand Island Central Catholic High School on Saturday, June 12th.  The girls' game will tip-off at 5:00, with the boys' contest to follow.  Regarding the girls’ game, Columbus Scotus’ Ava Kuhl & BRLD’s Caragan Tietz will play for the ‘Hyundai’ team while Columbus Scotus’ Kamryn Chohon & Janae Rusher will represent the ‘Cadillac’ squad.  Regarding the boys’ contest, Burwell’s Barak Birch will play for the ‘Chevrolet’ team and Oakland/Craig’s Gunnar Ray and Evan Haisch of Laurel/Concord/Coleridge will representatives for the ‘GMC’ All-Stars.

Two more rounds of match play were conducted yesterday for the 98th Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship at Awarii Dunes Golf Club in Axtell, and only two players remain in the Championship bracket.  Beatrice's Kirsten Baete and Wahoo's Haley Thiele will face-off in the 18-hole Final this morning for the title.  The two former Husker teammates are both looking to win the Nebraska Women's Match Play for the first time.  Baete was the 2016 Nebraska Girls' Amateur Champion, while Thiele owns five Nebraska Golf Association titles, including two Nebraska Women's Amateur wins.  Oakland’s Annette Faudel lost her Flight One quarterfinal match.  Norfolk’s Nita Totten & Bev McKillip dropped their Flight Two semifinal matches.  Norfolk’s Phyllis Hall lost her Flight Three quarterfinal match.

Local Scores:  Iowa 2 Omaha Storm Chasers 0 (Bsbl).

Local Schedule:  Iowa at Omaha Storm Chasers (Bsbl-7:05).  

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INTERLEAGUE

Final    Toronto    6    Miami    5    

Final    Colorado    6    Texas    3    

___

AMERICAN LEAGUE

    Chi White Sox    at    Cleveland    1:10 p.m.    (Postponed)

Final    Baltimore    6    Minnesota    3    

Final    N.Y. Yankees    4    Tampa Bay    3    

Final    Houston    2    Boston    1    

Final    Oakland    6    Seattle    0    

___

NATIONAL LEAGUE

    Philadelphia    at    Cincinnati    6:40 p.m.    (Postponed)

Final    Chicago Cubs    6    San Diego    1    

Final    N.Y. Mets    7    Arizona    6    

Final    Washington    5    Atlanta    3    

Final    L.A. Dodgers    14    St. Louis    3    

___

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Final    Philadelphia    129    Washington    112    

Final    Atlanta    103    New York    89    

Final    Utah    126    Memphis    110    

Final    Dallas    105    L.A. Clippers    100    

___

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Final    Montreal    5    Winnipeg    3    

Final OT    Colorado    3    Vegas    2   

In other news

Student-athletes at Northeast Community College excelled both in the classroom and in their respective sport this past season. Ninety-three student-athletes were named ICCAC Academic All-Region, it was announced by the ICCAC recently. 

The Phoenix Suns have a two-games-to-none lead in the NBA's Western Conference Finals after pulling out a 104-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.  Deandre Ayton capped his 24-point, 14 rebound performance by jamming home an alleyoop pass with 0.7 seconds left.  Cameron Payne finished with…

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay yesterday.  Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he wasn’t doing it for the attention but because he felt representation and visibility were important.  He also said in his short video…