The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 26, 1998 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, May 26, 1998
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Page 13
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THE SALINA JOURNAL ;C' V ,Hi £/ l?0 BASKETBALL Sports er Time stuns Bulls MAJOR LEAGUES / B3 FRENCH OPEN TENNIS / B3 CLASSIFIED / B4 T HIGH SCHOOL GOLF B .Miller's 3-pointer with : ;0.7 seconds left pulls ; Pacers even in series By CHRIS SHERIDAN The Associated Press , c£j][| "INDIANAPOLIS — Once again, Reggie Miller did what Reggie Miller does best. Miller had yet another moment of playoff greatness Monday, mak- ing.a.3-pointer with 0.7 seconds remaining to give the Indiana Pacers si-fS-94 victory over the Chicago tying the Eastern Confer- inals at two games apiece. chael Jordan had a chance to Miller, but his 26-footer at buzzer hit the backboard, around the and spun [sending et Square i?na into pandemonium. It was a wild finish to what was probably the best game of the series, and the Bulls stormed out of the arena feeling they had been ripped off by several controversial calls and non-calls late in the game. were so many debatable ate in the game, but Reggie to make that shot," said coach Phil Jackson, who compared the officiating to the 197$ i.Olympic gold medal game the United States lost to the Union. ney had many, many opportunities they didn't deserve in that oallgame. I don't know if I'll be able to w,atch the last 10 minutes of that gante! without calling Rod Thorn," he said, referring to the NBA vice- president who was in attendance. But more than anything the officials did, the Pacers won the game because they had three chances to do so. .With Chicago leading 94-93, Jordan blocked a jumper by Derrick McEey with 6.4 seconds left. Scottie Pifipen then stole the ensuing inbounds pass after it was deflected by teammate Ron Harper. ', A'^cuffle broke out in front of the Qhicago bench after Harper yanked Millgr out of bounds by the arm, "and it appeared that Miller threw a punch in retaliation. !.-"Iididn't throw a punch. I'm not d|umb enough to throw a punch in a pjajrpff game," Miller said, refer- r jffgji) the automatic one-game sus- • Jazz relaxing / Page B3 pension for throwing a punch. "I was trying to get out of the ruckus. I was pushing my way out of there." No technical fouls were called after order was restored. "They backed off, acted like they were afraid," Jackson said. "It's a technical foul, if not a punching foul, but they didn't have the courage to make that call." Pippen went to the line with a chance to give the Bulls a three- point lead, but missed both free 1 throws. Indiana called its final timeout in order to inbound at halfcourt, and Miller circled around the top of the key, shoved Jordan away, then received the pass and turned to shoot in one motion. He let fly from a step behind the 3-point arc, and the shot hit nothing but net. "The play was designed for him," Pacers coach Larry Bird said, "but I didn't think he was going to be as wide open as he was." In a display of emotion similar to what followed his Game 3 heroics (three 3-pointers and 13 late points), Miller, still bothered by a sprained right ankle, jumped up and down and twirled in circles as he headed back to the Indiana •• bench. "This is the game they wanted, to go back home," Miller said of the Bulls. "We never wanted to quit. "I saw tliat Michael was trailing a bit," he said of the winning play. "I stayed focused on the rim and my rhythm, and the rest is history." The Bulls still had another shot, though, and Jordan managed to get open about two steps behind the arc for the final shot of the game. "I knew it was long, but I had an angle on the backboard," Jordan said. "It was out of my hands once it left my hands." The "best-of-7 series resumes Wednesday night at the Uniied Center, and the Bulls will be in an unfamiliar position. This will be the first time since 1993 that they have been tied 2-2 in the conference finals. '$ "Utah, Indiana, it doesn't matter," Jordan said. "They still 'haVei got to come through Chicago." Game 6 is Friday night back in Indianapolis, and Game 7, if necessary, would be next Sunday in Chicago. Knights ready for state test Prickett, Mergen return to 2-1A state tourney; Central in 5A state meet By LARRY MORITZ The Salina Journal The Associated Press Indiana's Reggie Miller goes up for the game-winning shot Monday against the Chicago Bulls during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. 4|agry Jackson lashes out: It was Munich 72 revisited By TJie Associated Press ~> « '.INpIANAPOLIS — This time, it was Chicago's turn to gripe about the calls. ; A; livid coach Phil Jackson accused the officials of giving Indiana 1 its 96-94 victory Monday in Giajjip 4 of the Eastern Conference fuiajs, ignoring hits by the Pacers I anchcalling Chicago for fouls that ; didn't exist. • 'The Pacers' victory evened the Eastern Conference finals at two '. g&tttes each. Game 5 is Wednesday ' njghtat the United Center. ! V COMMENT "Our players felt like it was Munich '72 revisited," Jackson said, referring to the 1972 Olympics when the U.S. team thought it had won the gold medal game, but the referees allowed the Soviet Union a last-second inbounds pass, which it converted into the game-winning points. "They had many, many opportunities they didn't deserve," Jackson added. From Reggie Miller pushing Michael Jordan without a whistle to an offensive foul on Dennis Rodman to a fight in front of the Bulls bench that seemed to bring Jalen Rose onto the court from the Pacers bench, Jackson said the referees missed countless calls. And all of them ended up costing the Bulls. The Bulls led 94-93 with 22 seconds left and had the ball when Rodman was called for an offensive foul away from the ball. Jackson stood up to protest, and Rodman went after the referee to complain, but the call stood. Jordan blocked a jumper by Derrick McKey with 6.4 seconds left, knocking it out of bounds, and Scottie Pippen stole the inbounds pass after teammate Ron Harper deflected it. McKey was called for a foul on Pippen, but before he could head to the free throw line, a mini- brawl broke out in front of the Bulls bench. After deflecting the shot, Harper started falling into his teammates and he grabbed Miller's arm as he fell, dragging him out of bounds. Miller shoved Harper, and the rest of the Bulls stood up and started crowding around Miller. "The scuffle was the scuffle," Jordan said. "No one saw what happened, but then I think every- one saw Reggie become the aggressor." Not true, Miller said. "Harp hit me in the back and I was pushing my way out to see," he said. "I was just trying to get free." The Pacers who were on the floor came over, but the referees managed to separate everyone before things got too out of control. No technicals were called, even though replays showed Rose, who coach Larry Bird said he was sending into the game, still wearing his warm-ups and on the floor. Members of the Sacred Heart golf team are back on familiar ground. The defending Class 2-1A state champions wrap up the 1998 season at home today, playing on the same Salina Municipal Golf Course where they won their state title a year ago. First-year coach Tony Canacari and four of Sacred Heart team members were not a part of that team, but the Knights have two seniors with valuable state tournament experience to draw from. "The kids obviously are ready to go and are looking forward to playing in this tournament," Canacari said. "We have the two seniors — Ryan Prickett and Chris Mergen — who are planning on doing well and going out and shooting a good score. The kids just need to play to their abilities and we'll be fine." Prickett is making his fourth state tournament appearance, qualifying as an individual his freshman year, then playing for the Knights when they finished sixth in 1996. Prickett was one of three Sacred Heart players to finish among the top 10 medalists last year. Mergen tied Rossville's Garrett Donovan for low score at state a year ago when both shot a 5-over par 75, but lost in a one-hole playoff to Donovan for medalist honors. The two met again at last week's regional meet at St. Marys Country Club, where Donovan edged Mergen by one stroke for the top spot. "That experience makes it nice because you know Chris and Ryan will play their game," Canacari said. "If they, see other guys from the team out on the course, they can go over and give them some advice, maybe settle them down some. That's the kind of leaders they've been for us all season." * Today's 12-team meet begins at 8 a.m., with competitors going off both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees; Mergen and Donovan are among the medalist favorites, along with Ellis seniors Chris Mickelson and Brett Neumann. I Ellis finished second to Sacred Heart in the team standings a year ago, when Mickelson finished third behind Mergen and Don* van. Neumann also finished in th§ top 10 at state and matched MickJ elson for low score at last week'| Ellis regional. "I think Ellis is probably a favorite," Canacari said. "They've been shooting pretty good scoreS. all year long and have some kidfi that can shoot in the low 70s,j Hutchinson Trinity is another; team that I've seen some scores from and know they can be ijj there. But if we play to our capa* bilities we can be in the running: tOO." ;;• Joining Mergen and Prickett for the Knights today will be Ryaq See GOLF, Page B3 Got a question? Mr. Know-It-All has the answer : - It's.as though planet Earth is spinning ; out,of,control. ; i Tji§ Kansas Jayhawk basketball and Wi; cmWState Shocker baseball teams finish • the regular season ranked second respec- : tiyely, but fall flat on their collective faces ; early in the postseason. ! 'Fans are few and far between for the Na; tibnal Junior College Athletic Association ; wonien's basketball tournament, and-just , oyer half of the seats are filled for a Statler Brothers concert at the Bicentennial Center. But all 5,500 tickets for a professional ;. wrestling show are gone in just four hours. i Mark McGuire has 25 home runs and is ; tied with Juan Gonzalez with 61 runs batted i in. And June 1st is still seven days away. • The Los Angeles Lakers, the hottest team in pro basketball, with Shaquille O'Neal, '. the game's most dominant player, are swept ; aside by the Utah Jazz in four games. ! The abnormal has become customary, the ] unexpected commonplace. i Is there anyone who can sort out the mad'• nesa_and return order, sense and structure f "la .the cosmos? ; ' , , Yoji betcha. Mr. Know-It-All. £**• w-What's the deal with the Chiefs and *— JJan-Williams? I say pay him what he wants. He had a great year. K-I-A: Yes, he did. But Williams believes he's worth a lot more than the Chiefs do. As a designated franchise player, other teams are free to sign him, but interest been minimal because the price tag is a first-round draft pick to KG, and most figure he's not worth that much. Williams has said he won't play for the Chiefs again and has filed a grievance against them with the NFL Players Association over the matter. Dan ain't the man now that Leslie O'Neal and Chester McGlockton are on board. Let him go and give the money to Andre Rison, who deserves a hefty pay hike. Q: Tony Muser isn't gettin' it done as the Royals' manager. His winning percentage is worse than Bob Boone's. Wouldn't you say it's time for a change? K-I-A: I say be patient, friend. Name tags will be in order when the Royals gather next spring. It's a safe bet the new owner- BOB DAVIDSON The Salina Journal ship will clean house, starting with GM (general menace) Herk Robinson and spreading throughout Kauffman Stadium. The new owner will inherit an organization headed in no discernable direction. The on-field product is a hodge-podge collection of talent that appears doomed to another last-place finish in the mediocre A.L. Central. Thank heavens for the Florida Marlins. Their fire sale has taken baseball's focus away from the raunchy Royals. Q: Roy Williams and Gene Stephenson are overrated as coaches. How can two teams with so much talent be so good during the regular season and so lousy in the postseason? I say dump 'em both. K-I-A: You've stopped taking your medication again, haven't you. No, the Jayhawks and Shockers didn't go the distance. They weren't alone. How many people honestly picked Arizona and Kentucky to win the last two NCAA basketball tournament titles? Look what Williams and Stephenson have done, not just this season, but over the long haul. Few coaches, if any, can match their accomplishments year in and year out. Each season they field teams capable of contending for a national title — a glorious fact some fans take for granted. These are the best of times for Jayhawk basketball and Shocker baseball fans. No, neither team won it all this year. But I wouldn't count them out next season, or any season. Q: Wichita Eagle writer Adam Knapp says it's a mistake to move the Region 6 basketball tournaments from Wichita to Salina. "My question is why," he wrote recently. "I'm sure Salina is a nice town, but Region 6 had a heck of a thing going at Wichita State's Henry Levitt Arena." He cites Wichita's three TV stations, the number of City League players in the juco ranks, and access to Mid-Continent Airport as reasons. Some good points, wouldn't you agree? K-I-A: Nosiree. Bigger isn't always better. The television argument is overrated. A couple of 60-second sound bites on the 6 and 10 o'clock news had little impact on the tournaments or schools involved. As for attendance, the majority of fans came from outside Wichita to support their hometown team. The number of Wichita fans drawn to the tournaments because of the handful of City League players was mini- mal. Salina fans will support the event much| better, just as they did in 1990 and 1991. ,-| And, at last check, Salina had an airport, g too, for all those teams and hordes of fans who fly in for the tournaments. (Yeah, right). Division I recruiters can fly to Sail- 3j na, or can fly to Wichita, rent a car and make the grueling 90-minute drive up I-135jl For that matter, so can those TV guys. Oncw they get here, there's even a motel or two ; they can stay in. With running water! hi Salina, the tournaments will be mar- ~ quee events, unlike Wichita where they've ^ had to battle for headlines. : Knapp is right on one account. Salina is a. nice place. And it's a great place for the Region 6 tournaments to be played. See ya in March, Adam. Q: I know summer hasn't even arrived, but who's going to win the Big 12 football championship this fall? K-I-A: OK, I'll bite. How about... Kansas 7 State. j. Q: K-State? Are you insane? First, they'vej gotta beat Nebraska, which no Bill Snyder- ? coached team's ever done. Let's try this again. What about the national championship? K-I-A: Kansas State, again. Trust me. , SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbdavldson@saljournal.com

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