Joe's Morning Sports-Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Seattle Mariners CEO Kevin Mather has resigned after video surfaced of him expressing his views about some players and club operations.  Mariners Chairman John Stanton says Mather’s comments were inappropriate and do not represent the views of the franchise.  Mather’s resignation is effective immediately.  Stanton will take on the roles of CEO and team president on an interim basis.  Mather issued an apology for his comments, which were made Feb. 5 to the Bellevue, Washington, Breakfast Rotary Club and were posted online over the weekend.

The Washington Wizards extended their longest winning streak in three years to five straight games with a 127-124 overtime victory over the slumping Los Angeles Lakers.  Bradley Beal scored six of his 33 points on three consecutive possessions late in overtime.  Russell Westbrook scored six of his 32 points in overtime for the Wizards.  They rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half and then took advantage of a missed free throw by LeBron James late in regulation to claim their first win over the Lakers at Staples Center since March 2017.  James had 31 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost four of five.

The Creighton men’s basketball team has moved up from 14th to 13th in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll.  The 16-5 Bluejays were idle this past week.  They return to action on Wednesday night when they host 4-10 DePaul at 8:00.  Gonzaga remains first followed by Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State, and Illinois rounding out the top five.

The Nebraska volleyball team remains fourth and Creighton has slipped from 20th to 23rd in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings.  The 7-1 Huskers split home matches with Minnesota last weekend.  They dropped a 3-1 decision last Friday and then swept the Golden Gophers Sunday 3-0.  NU returns to action on Friday and Saturday when they visit top ranked 10-0 Wisconsin.  Creighton, who is 4-2, was idle last week.  They return to action on March 5th when they host 1-3 DePaul.  Wisconsin remains first followed by Texas, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Minnesota rounding out the top five.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Luke McCaffrey’s next stop is the ACC.  The former Nebraska quarterback announced yesterday that he’s transferring to Louisville.  McCaffrey, who started two games at quarterback for the Cornhuskers in 2020 and entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal last month will be a quarterback as the Cardinals have just two quarterbacks listed on their current online roster.  In seven games in 2020 for Nebraska, McCaffrey completed 63.2% of his 76 pass attempts for 466 yards but threw six interceptions against just one touchdown pass.  A dynamic athlete, McCaffrey also rushed for 364 yards (5.6 per attempt) and three touchdowns.  He supplanted junior Adrian Martinez as Nebraska’s starter and helped NU to a 30-23 victory over Penn State in November, but then accounted for five turnovers in a loss the next week to Illinois.  Martinez then started the Huskers’ final three games and played pretty well overall down the stretch.

Checking out the local schedule for today, in basketball, in games that can be heard on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com, Pierce takes on O’Neill at 6:00 and Norfolk Catholic meets Battle Creek at 7:45 in the C-1-8 Boys Sub-District semifinals from Pierce.  Pregame coverage at 5:40.  Elsewhere in basketball, the Lutheran High Northeast boys play Elkhorn Valley in a C-2-5 Sub-District semifinal at Hartington Cedar Catholic at 7:30, the Norfolk High girls visit Kearney in an A-3 District Semifinal at 6:00, the Northeast Hawks women & men host Southwestern Community College of Iowa starting with the women’s game at 5:00, and Nebraska entertains Penn State at 7:00.  Elsewhere, the Northeast Hawks volleyball team visits Ft. Dodge, Iowa to play Iowa Central Community College at 7:00 and the Wayne State baseball team opens their season in Wichita, Kansas with a 12:00 doubleheader against Newman University.

The Norfolk High boys’ basketball team is 7-15 on the season after dropping games last weekend.  They fell at home to Lincoln Northeast last Friday 84-63 and then lost at Lincoln East on Saturday 79-35.  This year the Panthers have beaten North Platte, Lincoln High twice, South Sioux City, Fremont, Omaha Northwest, and Omaha South while falling to Millard South, Bellevue West, Omaha Westside, Kearney, Lincoln Southwest, Lincoln East twice, Omaha North, Bellevue East, Lincoln North Star, Lincoln Pius X, Columbus, Lincoln Southeast, Grand Island, and Lincoln Northeast.  Norfolk is being outscored on average through 22 games 73-64.5.  Kallan Herman, who decommitted from Doane, is leading his team currently at 26.2 points per game, shooting 36% from three-point range, and five rebounds.  The Omaha World Herald reports that the Panthers return to action on Friday when they host 1-16 Lincoln High at 5:00 in the opening round of the A-2 District Tournament.  Norfolk has beaten them twice, 76-71 in overtime in the Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament on December 30th and at home 66-64 on January 21st.

The Lutheran High Northeast boys basketball team is 13-7 on the season but have dropped two games in a row after falling at Howells/Dodge last Friday in their regular season finale 50-43.  This year the Eagles have earned victories over Wisner/Pilger, West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic, Pender, Homer, West Holt, Stanton, Niobrara/Verdigre, Walthill, Clarkson/Leigh, Crofton, Riverside, Omaha Nation, and Creighton while falling to Twin River, Norfolk Catholic, Osmond, Battle Creek, Humphrey St. Francis, Hartington Cedar Catholic, and Howells/Dodge.  Lutheran High Northeast is outscoring their opponents on average through 20 games 54.4-45.7.  They now get ready for a road game in Hartington this evening at 7:30 when they play 12-10 Elkhorn Valley in a C-2-5 Sub-District semifinal.

The Norfolk Catholic girls basketball team is 12-11 on the season and have won three games in a row after upsetting Lincoln Journal Star second ranked Clarkson/Leigh 45-27 in the C-2-6 Sub-District Final at Clarkson last Thursday.  This year the Lady Knights have beaten Hartington Cedar Catholic, Lutheran High Northeast twice, Elkhorn Valley, Ainsworth, Battle Creek, Wayne, Pierce, Neligh/Oakdale, O’Neill, Stanton, and Clarkson/Leigh while falling to Omaha Gross, Grand Island Central Catholic, Bishop Neumann, West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic, Winnebago, Humphrey St. Francis, Columbus Scotus, Boone Central, Crofton twice, and Battle Creek.  Norfolk Catholic, despite the winning record, is being outscored by their opponents on average through 23 contests 42.9-42.7.  They now brace themselves for the C-2-3 District Final on Friday when they visit Omaha World Herald second ranked 22-3 West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic in a rematch from December 19th when the Lady Knights endured a 76-36 home loss.  Friday’s game between Norfolk Catholic and Guardian Angels Central Catholic can be heard on 106 KIX.

The Northeast Hawks women's basketball team is 6-4 on the season after falling at home to second ranked in Division II Kirkwood Community College last Saturday 67-58.  The Hawks this season have beaten Ellsworth of Iowa, Iowa Lakes, Marshalltown of Iowa, Central of Nebraska, Iowa Central, and Southeastern of Iowa while falling to Kirkwood of Iowa twice, Iowa Western, and Des Moines Area of Iowa.  Northeast is outscoring their opponents on average through the ten contests 74.4-63.4. 

The Northeast Hawks volleyball team is 3-9 on the season after a 2-1 week.  They swept Southwestern of Iowa and Iowa Lakes 3-0 at home last Thursday in a triangular and then dropped a 3-1 match last Saturday at Southeastern Community College of Iowa.  This season, Northeast has beaten Iowa Lakes twice and Southwestern of Iowa and lost to North Iowa Area, Hawkeye, Iowa Central, Indian Hills of Iowa, Ellsworth of Iowa, Des Moines Area of Iowa, Central of Nebraska, and Southeastern of Iowa.

Local Scores:  Marquette 65 Creighton 41 (WBB); UNO 25-25-18-25 North Dakota 20-17-25-21 (VB); Oklahoma 8 UNO 5 (Bsbl); Missouri-Kansas City 3 UNO 1 (M. Socc.); UNO 2 North Dakota 0 (W. Socc.).

This Evening:  Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family takes on Cedar Bluffs at 6:00 and Howells/Dodge plays Stanton at 7:45 in the Boys Basketball D-1-3 Sub-District semifinals from Humphrey High.  Pregame coverage at 5:45 on 97.5 KEXL & KEXL.com.

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

    San Antonio    at    Indiana    7 p.m.    (Postponed)

Final    Chicago    120    Houston    100    

Final    Dallas    102    Memphis    92    

Final    Phoenix    132    Portland    100    

Final    Miami    108    Oklahoma City    94    

Final    Utah    132    Charlotte    110    

Final OT    Washington    127    L.A. Lakers    124    

___

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final    N-Y Islanders    3    Buffalo    2    

Final    Calgary    3    Toronto    0    

Final    Florida    3    Dallas    1    

Final    Tampa Bay    4    Carolina    2    

Final    Los Angeles    3    St. Louis    0    

Final    Vegas    3    Colorado    0    

Final    Arizona    4    Anaheim    3    

Final    Minnesota    6    San Jose    2    

___

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

    (10)West Virginia    at    TCU    7 p.m.    (Postponed)

Final    Oklahoma St.    74    (18)Texas Tech    69    

Final    (19)Southern Cal    72    Oregon    58   

In other news

The Nebraska basketball team's leading scorer has left the team.  Six days after scoring 41 points in a game, the second-most points in school history, Teddy Allen is leaving the Nebraska basketball program. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 36 points with 14 rebounds, five assists, and four blocked shots and the Milwaukee Bucks closed on a 9-0 run to earn their fifth straight win since a five-game skid, 105-100 over the Los Angeles Clippers.  The reigning MVP put Milwaukee ahead with a pair of fr…