The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 27, 1998 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, May 27, 1998
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Page 21
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THE SALINA'UOURNAL Sports SCOREBOARD / D2 BASEBALL/ D3 FRENCH OPEN / D4 D T HIGH SCHOOL STATE GOLF Syracuse captures 2- 1A title Ellis' Mickelson takes individual crown with playoff win over Cline By LARRY MORITZ The Saiina Journal Chris Mickelson would not allow the three words "one stroke short" to define his high school golf career. A 20-foot birdie putt helped Mickelson avoid what would have been another disappointing, near- miss finish. The Ellis senior wrapped up his final high school meet with medalist honors Tuesday at the Class 2-1A State Tournament at Saiina Municipal Golf Course. Mickelson defeated Berean Academy's Ty Cline in a one-hole playoff after • Ellsworth wins 4A title/ Page D4 both finished with rounds of 1-over-par 71. A year ago, Mickelson was one shot short of qualifying for a similar playoff at the state meet, instead settling for third place. "This has been one of my goals all four years to win this thing," Mickelson said. "It took awhile, but I got it done." Mickelson got it done by shooting an impressive 3-under 32 on the front nine, then hanging on as Cline missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole that could have won the Berean sophomore the title outright. On the first playoff hole — a 402- yard, par 4 — Mickelson went well right with his tee shot, but reached the green in regulation with a 9- iron from 165 yards out. Cline was also on the green in two, but missed right with his 25-foot birdie attempt. See GOLF, Page D4 TOM DORSEY/The Saiina Journal Sacred Heart senior Chris Mergen watches his second shot on the first hole Tuesday during the Class 2-1A state tournament at the Saiina Municipal Golf Course. Mergen finished ninth. Central places fourth in 5A meet By The Journal Staff WINFIELD — The Saiina Central golf squad saved its best for last. The Mustangs turned in their best score of the season at the Class 5A State Tournament at Quail Ridge Country Club, finishing one stroke shy of their first state golf trophy in more than a decade. Central has qualified for state 10 of the last 11 years and Tuesday's fourth-place finish matches its best showing in that time span. Central's score of 311 was one stroke behind Wichita Carroll in third place. "For us to finish hi that posi- tion, it was a remarkable effort," Central coach Chris Crank said. "These kids really got the job done today." The team title went to Wichita Kapaun for the second year in a row, as the Crusaders won a state golf tournament for the fifth time in the 1990s. Kapaun's remarkable team score of 299 was five strokes better than Overland Park-St. Thomas Aquinas in second. Sophomore Tyler Alt led the Mustangs with a round of 3-over par 75 to place him sixth in the medalist standings. Senior Ryan Rackley was a shot back and took 10th overall. "I like the course and felt I could shoot a pretty good number," said Alt, whose round included 15 pars and three bogeys. "I was two groups, behind (teammate) Pat Dreier and when he came in with a 77 and I had a 75, we figured if Ryan and another player came in with a pretty good score, we might have a chance for a team trophy. We're happy with how we did,' but it would have been nice to get third and get a plaque and' team medals." The Mustangs' effort included a remarkable turnaround for Dreier. After struggling to.a 102 at last week's regional meet in Great Bend, the Central senior turned in one of the best rounds of his high school career with a 77 to finish tied for 16th. Central freshman Jamie Barnett came in with an 83, while junior Steve Wilson and freshman Adam Lebahn had 89s. The Mustangs' score was 20 strokes better than their total at regional, when they finished second, one stroke behind McPherson. "We didn't have anything to lose," Alt said. "We weren't one of the top contenders going in so we just played as hard as we could. Pat and Jamie both had great rounds and it was just a good team effort." Saiina South sophomore David Dupy finished one shot out of medal contention with a 78. T PRO BASKETBALL V COLLEGE ATHLETICS Eight schools pulling out of WAC in 1999 By The Associated Press DENVER — The nation's largest collegiate conference is on the Verge of splitting in half. Citing the loss of traditional rivalries, rising travel costs and insufficient revenue growth, eight of the 16 Western Athletic Conference schools announced plans Tuesday to form their own league. Air Force, Brigham Young, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah and • Related story / Page D3 Wyoming said they will file their- intentions to leave the WAC before Sept. 1 as required by league bylaws. They also will ask the NCAA to recognize the new unnamed conference immediately. "You've got a group of eight institutions that are committed to making a new conference work," said Colorado State president Al Yates, who is also chairman of the WAC board of directors. "We've spent most of our time in conversation trying to respond to the question, 'Is there a way to make this 16-team conference work?' Our conclusion in all that was that there was not," Yates said. The schools not planning to leave the WAC are Fresno State, Hawaii, Rice, San Jose State, Southern Methodist, Texas Christian, Texas-El Paso and Tulsa. None were charter members of the con- NBA benches Pacers'Rose for one game League also fines Jackson $10,000 for criticizing the officiating By CHRIS SHERIDAN The Associated Press CHICAGO — Another debatable call in the Bulls-Pacers series. The NBA on Tuesday suspended Jalen Rose of Indiana one game for leaving the bench area during a scuffle between Reggie Miller and Ron Harper. Miller and Harper received fines — but not suspensions — for the fracas late in the fourth quarter of Indiana's 96-94 victory Monday, which tied the series at two games apiece. Rose will be barred from the United Center when the series resumes tonight (8 p.m., NBC). Chicago coach Phil Jackson was fined $10,000 for his comments about the officiating. He compared the refereeing to the 1972 Olympic gold-medal game in Munich, Germany, when the United States lost to the Soviet Union. Rose was fined $2,500, Harper was penalized $3,500 for initiating the fight and Miller was fined $2,500 for retaliating by pushing Harper. The lack of suspensions for Miller and Harper meant the league had determined no actual punches were thrown. "I'm sincerely sorry Jalen was suspended since I thought that, while he was removed from the bench, he was (under the) control of our coaching staff and never entered the fray," Pacers president Donnie Walsh said. Rose declined comment. "There were no punches thrown," Miller said. "It was one of those things where everyone wanted to be macho, stick their ROSE JACKSON ference when it formed in 1962. "I obviously knew that there were problems out there," WAC commissioner Karl Benson said. "Needless to say I was shocked and surprised, not necessarily surprised that this is what ended up happening, but I think the timing of it was more surprising." Presidents of the defecting schools said they will honor their 1998-99 athletic schedules and withdraw from the WAC on June 30,1999. chests forward, but nothing really happened. Typical NBA fight." I The moment in dispute happened as the Pacers, trailing 94-93, were getting three chances to pull out the victory. Jordan blocked a jumper by D|r- rick McKey with 6.4 seconds left', and Scottie Pippen then stole the ensuing inbounds pass after it was deflected by Harper. Harper yanked Miller by the arm, sending him tumbling into the Chicago bench, and Miller lunged at Harper as he got up. League rules mandate a one- game suspension for throwing, a punch or leaving the bench during an altercation, and Rose was punished for the latter violation — running along the sideline toward midcourt before Indiana assistant coach Rick Carlisle pulled him back. f Pacers coach Larry Bird claimed Rose was merely heading to the scorer's table to check into the game. "Jalen got a little excited and got down there too quick," Bird said today. "The only punch I saw was Harper hitting Reggie in the back, which I wouldn't even calL a punch." j ! Miller, Jackson and Harper spoke to league security officials Tuesday as the NBA was conducting its investigation. '', "I didn't feel like either Reggie Miller or Ron Harper deserved suspensions for what occurred, ^and the incident never really turned into an altercation," Walsh said. Sonics fire Karl after disappointing finish By JIM COUR Tlie Associated Press SEATTLE — Two weeks after his Seattle SuperSonics were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs, George Karl was fired as coach on Tuesday. Karl, 47, coached the Sonics for 6'/2 seasons and had the best winning percentage (.719, 384-150) in the team's regular-season history. Under Karl, the team had three 60-victory seasons. "I've had an interesting couple of weeks," team president and general manager Wally Walker said in announcing Karl's firing. "It was an extremely difficult decision to make." It might have been difficult but it wasn't unexpected — after the Son- ics were beaten four straight by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals, the first four-game losing streak of Karl's tenure in Seattle. Karl was paid $3.2 million in the last season of a contract that expires July 1. "Our decision is based entirely KARL on what we believe in the team's best interest of going forward," Walker said. "It's not about mojiey. It's not personal." • . Walker said the decision to 'fire Karl was his alone, and not that,of owner Barry Ackerley. Walker made it during the weekend :'and told Karl on Tuesday morning, j He said he believed Karl wanted to stay in Seattle and "was di^a'p- pointed" when he found out found he wasn't going to be re-hired. • : Two years ago, Karl coachedjtne Sonics into the NBA Finalsjj kn which they lost in six games to the Chicago Bulls. \ While Walker said the decision not to retain Karl wasn't about money and wasn't personal, those were two factors that weren't on Karl's side of staying in Seattle. He isn't expected to stay unemployed long and probably will command a salary of $5 million fjx>m some team next season. J I Karl's Columbus, Ohio-baspd agent, Bret Adams, said he thinks his client will have another ch4n!pe soon. "If he's unemployed, I tljink it's going to be his decision to: decide what he wants to do. I mean; a coach that has a winning percetage like he did and makes the playoffs for seven straight years, he should be a commodity." T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Royals puzzled over inability to win consistently on home turf By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After one more night in Anaheim, the Kansas City Royals will be forced to play a few games at home. It hardly seems fair. But there's nothing they can do. Those are the rules. As much as the Royals might prefer to spend the rest of the season winning and • losing on the road, they've got to come -back to the place where most of the time -they lose. ". ; "I'm not happy we're leaving Kansas ^Gity and going out on the road," manager *T.pny Muser said last week after Cleveland routed his team three in a row. "But if we play better, I'm happy." The contrast between the home and road Royals befuddles players and front-office executives alike. After beating Anaheim on Monday night for their second straight road win, they're 12-13 away from home — not great, but far from terrible. At home, they're a major-league worst 6-18 and have lost six straight, two short of the franchise record. "I don't know what it is," said outfielder MUSER Shane Mack. "It seems like you ought to be able to win more at home than you do on the road. But we can't." There's something about sleeping in their own beds and eating home cooking that slows reactions, dims eyesight and melts the Royals' resolve. In 25 road games, Royals' hitters are batting .273 with 23 home runs. In 24 home contests, they're hitting .252 with 18 homers. The staff ERA on the road is 4.78. At home, inflated by the 36 runs the Indians scored in just three games, it's an unsightly 6.08. With the crowd against them, they've committed 16 errors. With the crowd for them, they've committed 22. "We've aplayed better and pitched better on the road," said Muser, a grimly puzzled expression furrowing his ruddy face. "I'm not sure I have any answers." In the real world, every team in every sport plays better at home. Officiating tends to favor home teams. Players are more familiar with the footing, lighting, sightlines and terrain of their home stadiums. They feed off the energy of the crowd, which can intimidate visitors. But maybe there are psychological factors as well. Behavioral biologists speak of "the territorial imperative," noting that in their home region, everything from chip- munks to Bengal tigers are bolder and more aggressive. Players are feeling the pressure and embarrassment of their home failures. "You talk about our home record, and the reason we're not winning at home, and maybe that's part of the reason right there," said infielder Shane Halter. "We're putting too much pressure on ourselves. I think that's the key. Everybody's trying to do too much." "A team should be at least as consistent on the road as it is at home," Muser said., "You should have a little more relaxed at; mosphere at home, around your family who gives you support." : SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbdavidson@saljournal.com

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