Joe's Morning Sports-Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Norfolk High Activities Director Ben Ries has resigned so that he can concentrate his efforts on recovering from the long-term effects of COVID-19.  Ries is a Norfolk alum and worked within the district for 19 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator.  Dr. Jeff Hoffman is currently serving as interim Activities Director and will continue in that capacity.  Amongst Ries’ accomplishments as Activities Director includes leading the transition to the Heartland Athletic Conference, was part of the Class ‘A’ Basketball Scheduling Committee for seven years, was part of the Nebraska Coaches Association Board for ten years, filled ten varsity head coaching positions, started Unified Bowling and Unified Track, and helped Norfolk High host the Boys and Girls State Golf Championships at Norfolk Country Club.  Ries was also head boys basketball coach at Norfolk High for 14 seasons, compiling a 244-95 record and a State Championship Runner-up.

The Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers have evened each of their conference semifinal series at two games apiece.  Trae Young shot just 8-26 but finished with 25 points and 18 assists in the Hawks' 103-100 triumph over Philadelphia.  The Clippers rolled to a 118-104 win against Utah as Paul George and Kawhi Leonard each scored 31 points.

Last night in a game heard on Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM, Willi Castro, Robbie Grossman and Niko Goodrum homered for the Detroit Tigers in a 10-3 rout of the home-team Kansas City Royals.  Miguel Cabrera got three hits and drove in two for Detroit, which ended a four-game skid despite losing starter Matthew Boyd and reliever Alex Lange to injuries.  The Royals drop to 30-35.

The College World Series field is set for TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha later in the week.  Virginia beat Dallas Baptist in Game Three of their Super Regional 5-2 yesterday and Mississippi State outslugged Notre Dame 11-7 in Game Three of their Super Regional to advance.  The six others that have qualified include Arizona, North Carolina State, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, and Vanderbilt.  In games on Saturday, Stanford will play NC State at 1:00 and Vanderbilt will meet Arizona at 6:00.  In contests on Sunday, Tennessee will battle Virginia at 1:00 and Texas will face Mississippi State at 6:00.

The Omaha World Herald reports that the Nebraska football team’s newest quarterback is Richard Torres from Southside High School in San Antonio.  The 6’6, 210-pounder committed to Nebraska yesterday over schools like Kansas State and Washington State.  In a COVID-shortened season, Torres threw for 1,149 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions.  His' size and skill set are similar to Heinrich Haarberg, who is one of three scholarship quarterbacks currently on Nebraska’s team.  Fourth-year starter Adrian Martinez and freshman Logan Smothers are the others.  Torres becomes the fourth commit in Nebraska's 2022 class.

The Omaha World Herald reports that former Husker quarterback Luke McCaffrey announced yesterday he's transferring to Rice.  This will be his second college since he decided to leave Nebraska in January.  First he chose Louisville, but he left there after only a few workouts because he wanted an opportunity to be a starting quarterback, according to the Louisville head coach.  Now he'll head to Rice, a Conference USA school in Houston, Texas known for its high academic standards, though he may still have to compete for the starting job there as well.  Rice played only five games in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and have gone 7-23 in three seasons under head coach Mike Bloomgren, who took over the program in 2018 after seven years as an assistant at Stanford, where he coached Luke's older brother, Christian McCaffrey.

At CHI Health Center Omaha, Olympic champion Ryan Lochte has failed to advance from the preliminaries of the 200-meter freestyle in his first event of the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.  The 36-year-old Lochte is attempting to make his fifth Olympic team.  He posted a time of 1:49.23 seconds.  That was only good enough for 25th place overall.  The top 16 advanced to the evening semifinals and are led by Kieran Smith and Caeleb Dressel.  Smith won the 400 free on Sunday to earn his first trip to the Olympics.  Lochte was also entered yesterday in the 100 backstroke, but he scratched that event.  Katie Ledecky touched the wall far ahead of everyone else at the U.S. swimming trials.  But she was taken aback by the time.  It wasn’t as fast as anyone expected, raising the stakes for an expected Olympic showdown with Australia's Ariarne Titmus.  Ledecky locked up her spot in Tokyo with a dominating victory in the 400-meter freestyle at CHI Health Center in Omaha.  But the winning time of 4:01.27 seconds was far off her world record of 3:56.46.  And it wasn't close to Titmus, known as “The Terminator.” She won the Australian trials with the second-fastest time in history.

The 54th Nebraska Match Play Championship is set for today through Saturday at Wild Horse Golf Club in Gothenburg with a field overflowing with great talent.  The championship begins with 36 holes of Stroke Play Qualifying today and Wednesday, after which the field will be cut to 32 players and seeded into a match play bracket.  Norfolk’s Luke Kluver won last year’s event.  Kluver will be playing in this week’s Sunnehanna Amateur in Pennsylvania.  Current Husker golfer and Aurora native Caleb Badura is the most recent winner in the Match Play Championship field, claiming the title in 2019.  Other past champions competing include the reigning, and four-time Nebraska Amateur Champion Andy Sajevic of Fremont, who won his match play title in 2013.  Travis Minzel of Lincoln (2004) and Ryan Nietfeldt of Elkhorn (2003) are also in the field.  Among the competitors include Norfolk’s Jake Kluver & Lance Lawson, Wausa’s Ted Bengston, Wisner’s Rockney Peck, Plainview’s Jake Lingenfelter & Tucker Knaak, Battle Creek’s Ty Heimes, Atkinson’s Mason Hale, Fordyce’ Matthew Schaefer, and Columbus’ Sam Morse, Marshall Obal, Brock Kuhlman, & Bryce Vuncannon.

The 37th Northeast Nebraska All-Star basketball games will be played on Friday at the Cox Activities Center at Northeast Community College.  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.

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

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

Final    Boston    2    Toronto    1    

Final    Cleveland    4    Baltimore    3    

Final    Tampa Bay    5    Chicago White Sox    2    

Final    Detroit    10    Kansas City    3    

Final    Oakland    8    L.A. Angels    5    

Final    Seattle    4    Minnesota    3    

___

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final    Washington    3    Pittsburgh    2    

Final    N.Y. Mets    5    Chicago Cubs    2    

Final    Colorado    3    San Diego    2    

Final    St. Louis    4    Miami    2    

Final    Cincinnati    10    Milwaukee    2    

Final    San Francisco    5    Arizona    2    

Final    L.A. Dodgers    3    Philadelphia    1    

___

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Final    Atlanta    103    Philadelphia    100    

Final    L.A. Clippers    118    Utah    104    

___

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Final    Vegas    4    Montreal    1   

In other news

The Milwaukee Bucks own a two-games-to-one lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals following a comeback win in Atlanta.  The Bucks have regained home-court advantage by taking Game Three, 113-102 over the Hawks.  Khris Middleton scored 20 of his playoff career high-tying 38 points in the…

Paul George delivered 27 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Phoenix Suns, 106-92 to pull within two games to one in the NBA's Western Conference Finals.  Reggie Jackson added 23 points for the Clippers, who took control with a 21-3 run that gave them a…

For the first time since 2018, Nebraska men's basketball program will host the annual intrastate matchup with Creighton, as the pairings for the 2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games were announced today by the Big Ten and the Big East Conferences.