Joe's Morning Sports-Thursday, May 13, 2021

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin their Super Bowl title defense when they kick off the 2021 season against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Sept. 9.  Other highlights from opening weekend include Matthew Stafford playing his first game for the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night against the Chicago Bears with SoFi Stadium welcoming fans for the first time.  The Las Vegas Raiders host the Baltimore Ravens in the first Monday night game.  The NFL also announced it will return to London in October for its first games in the city since the outbreak of the coronavirus.  The Atlanta Falcons will play the New York Jets on Oct. 10, and the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Miami Dolphins a week later.  The NFL says it is ready to return to London following a successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Britain.

Kyle Kuzma’s driving layup with 6.9 seconds remaining gave the Los Angeles Lakers a 124-122 victory over the Houston Rockets.  The Lakers, who unveiled the franchise's 17th NBA championship banner at Staples Center before the game, had a 121-113 lead with 2:57 remaining, but Houston scored nine straight points to go up by one in the final minute.  Talen Horton-Tucker had 23 points for the Defending Champs, who have slim hopes of avoiding the play-in tournament.

New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres was kept out of last night’s 3-1 win over Tampa Bay as a precaution as the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 tests among the team’s coaching and support staff reached seven.  Six of the seven people who have tested positive are asymptomatic and all seven people who tested positive have been vaccinated for COVID-19.  Manager Aaron Boone did not have an update on Torres after the game.

Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs and Casey Mize gave up just three hits over six innings as the Detroit Tigers handed the Kansas City Royals their tenth straight loss, 3-2 last night in a game heard on Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM.  Cabrera’s two run-scoring singles give him 2,878 RBIs, one more than Omar Vizquel for the most among Venezuelan players.  The Royals drop to 16-19 and are now 5.5 out of first place in the American League Central.

The Norfolk High girls & boys track & field squads participated in yesterday’s A-4 District Meet at Lincoln High’s Beechner Athletic Sports Complex.  In the boys’ standings, Gretna was the champion with 111 points.  They won by 18 points.  The Panthers finished sixth in the seven-team competition with 44.5 points.  In the girls’ standings, Millard West was the champion with 139.5 points.  They won by .17 of a point over Papillion La Vista South’s 139.33.  Norfolk totaled 49 points to finish fifth in the seven-team competition.  State qualifiers for the Panthers include Amaya Williams (4th-100 H & 3rd-300 H); Nealy Brummond (2nd-PV); Carly Ries (4th-HJ); Makenna Skiff (1st-Shot Put & 3rd-Discus); Tyler Sellin (1st-110 H); Shon King (1st-LJ); & Daylin Mallory (3rd-Discus & 4th-Shot Put).  Additional qualifiers will be announced in the coming days.  

The Norfolk High girls tennis team competed in yesterday’s Heartland Athletic Conference Championships at the Woods Tennis Center.  Lincoln Pius X was the champion with 100 points.  They won by six points.  The Lady Panthers were eleventh in the twelve-team competition with 19 points.  Sydney Reynolds went 1-2 in #1 Singles while Hope Fossum recorded a 1-2 mark in #2 Singles.  Kylie Freudenburg & Kyla Robinson were 1-2 in #1 Doubles.  Karly Kalin & Chelsea Strom went 2-1 in #2 Doubles.

Checking out the local schedule for today, the Norfolk Catholic and Lutheran High Northeast track & field teams compete in the C-5 District Meet in Atkinson at 10:00.  The State Soccer Championships continue today at Creighton’s Morrison Stadium.  In the Class ‘B’ Boys Tournament, South Sioux City meets Lexington at 10:00, Elkhorn Mt. Michael takes on Columbus Scotus at 1:00, Omaha Skutt faces Platteview at 4:00, and Bennington tangles with Grand Island Northwest at 7:00.  Also, the Omaha Storm Chasers take on the Columbus Clippers in Ohio at 11:05.

This week’s Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week goes to Julien Hearn of the Neligh/Oakdale boys track & field team.  At last Thursday’s Randolph Invitational, he won gold in all three of his events highlighted by clearing 6’7 ¼ in the High Jump, which is a new personal best.  Hearn also jumped 20’3 to claim the Long Jump and was the anchor of the winning 4X100 Relay Team.  He was nominated by Coach Rick Eickholt.  Congratulations to Julien Hearn of the Neligh/Oakdale track & field team, he is this week’s Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week.

Local Scores:  NECC 3 Dakota County Technical College 0 (Region XI M. Socc. Tourn.); Omaha Storm Chasers 5 Columbus, OH 4 (Bsbl).

State Soccer Championships:  Gretna 4 Kearney 1; Lincoln East 6 Papillion La Vista South 4; Millard North 1 Lincoln SW 0 (SO); Omaha Marian 1 North Platte 0 (OT) (Class ‘A’ Girls).

Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week:  Julien Hearn of the Neligh/Oakdale boys track & field team.

Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM the home of the Kansas City Royals & Kansas City Chiefs!

INTERLEAGUE

Final    N.Y. Mets    7    Baltimore    1    

Final    Cleveland    2    Chicago Cubs    1    

Final    Toronto    4    Atlanta    1    

Final    L.A. Dodgers    7    Seattle    1    

___

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Final    N.Y. Yankees    1    Tampa Bay    0    

Final    Detroit    4    Kansas City    2    

Final    Oakland    4    Boston    1    

Final    Houston    9    L.A. Angels    1    

Final    Chicago White Sox    13    Minnesota    8    

___

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final    Cincinnati    5    Pittsburgh    1    

Final    San Diego    5    Colorado    3    

Final    Colorado    3    San Diego    2    

Final    Milwaukee    4    St. Louis    1    

Final    Philadelphia    5    Washington    2    

Final    Miami    3    Arizona    2    

___

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final    Atlanta    120    Washington    116    

Final    Cleveland    102    Boston    94    

Final    Brooklyn    128    San Antonio    116    

Final    Dallas    125    New Orleans    107    

Final    Portland    105    Utah    98    

Final    L.A. Lakers    124    Houston    122    

___

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Final OT    Edmonton    4    Montreal    3    

Final OT    Ottawa    4    Toronto    3    

Final    Vegas    6    San Jose    0    

Final    St. Louis    4    Minnesota    0    

Final    Colorado    6    Los Angeles    0    

___

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Final    Toronto FC    2    Columbus    0    

Final tie    New England    1    Philadelphia    1    

Final    Montreal    2    Miami    0    

Final    Houston    1    Sporting Kansas City    0    

Final    Minnesota    1    Vancouver    0    

Final    Seattle    1    San Jose    0   

In other news

The depleted Brooklyn Nets never led in a 104-89 loss to Milwaukee last night in their NBA Playoff Semifinal Game Six.  Khris Middleton scored 38 points with ten rebounds and five assists and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 30 points and 17 boards to force a seventh game in their NBA second-roun…

The Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers took 3-2 leads in their conference semifinal series by winning on the road.  The Hawks erased a 24-point, second-half deficit and received a game-high, 39 points from Trae Young in a 109-106 stunner at Philadelphia.  The Clippers were 119-111 winner…