The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 4, 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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Thursday, June 4, 1998
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Page 21
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THURSDAY JUNE 4, 1998 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports SCOREBOARD / D2 CHIEFS / D3 FRENCH OPEN / D4 D NBA FINALS Jazz wins opener in OT Utah turns back defending champion Bulls behind play of veteran Stockton in overtime By CHRIS SHERIDAN The Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY — It wasn't about the old MVP, the new MVP, which team was tired or which team was rusty. Game 1 of the NBA Finals turned out to be about a certain future Hall of Famer, and John Stockton showed he wants to head there with a ring. Stockton, after missing a desperation jumper at the end of regulation, showed the savvy that has defined his career as he scored seven of his 24 points in overtime Wednesday night and the Utah Jazz defeated the defending champion Chicago Bulls 88-85. GAME1 Bulls 85 Jazz 88 In a sloppy game that seemed to take forever to be decided, the Bulls missed a chance to steal a game and wrest homecourt advantage away from the Jazz. "You couldn't ever ask for a better opportunity to win on their court," Chicago coach Phil Jackson lamented. "I feel like we let one slip away." That's because Stockton made all the big plays in overtime and Scottie Pippen missed a tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. And the Jazz walked off leading the series, something they never did in last year's finals. Stockton ended up shooting 9-for-12 from the floor with eight assists and two steals. Karl Malone added 21 points and Bryon Russell had 15 to help Utah overcome 33 points from Michael Jordan. Stockton started his overtime flurry with an assist to Malone for a layup that broke a 79- all tie. Pippen, yelled at by Jordan late in the fourth quarter for rushing a 3-point shot, then had the ball poked away by Jeff Hornacek as he drove to his right. Stockton gathered the loose ball and went in for a three-point play that put Utah ahead 84-79. Jordan made one of two free throws and a jumper to cut the deficit to two with 2:07 left, but the Bulls would not score for another two minutes. With 43 seconds left and the ball in Chicago's hands, it ended up going to Luc Longley. He tried going to the hoop and had the ball deflected away for Chicago's third turnover of overtime. Bryon Russell recovered, the Jazz ran the clock down and Stockton made the shot of the game. Guarded by the slow-footed Steve Kerr, Stockton drove to his right, jumped off the wrong foot and shot from about 10 feet away. All net. The Associated Press Utah Jazz guard John Stockton (left) and Bryon Russell surround Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen as he chases a loose ball during Wednesday's game. Toni Kukoc hit a 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds left, and Stockton made two free throws with 3.5 seconds left to give the Jazz another three- point lead. "They just kept coming back. We're going to have to play better than that if we're going to win this thing," Stockton said. The Bulls fired the ensuing inbounds pass upcourt and tipped it to Pippen at the 3-point line, but his shot was too long. "Stock's got the ice water in his veins," Russell said. "You know he wants that ring." T PRO FOOTBALL Holthus: Left tackle still a Chief concern Team's play-by-play announcer addresses state of the Chiefs By ARNE GREEN The Salina Journal Ever since Marcus Allen called it a career and Greg Hill was told to shop elsewhere for a team, the focus in Kansas City has been on the Chiefs' lack of a star-quality running back. But there are more pressing concerns in Kansas City, said Chiefs play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus, who was in Salina on Monday for a speaking engagement. "It's left tackle — not even close," Holthus said. "Everybody talks about running back, but Jeff Criswell needs to have a huge year. I believe if the Chiefs still had John Alt, they would be the best team in the NFL. (Right tackle) Glenn Parker saved their bacon last year." That is not to say that the Chiefs are in dire straits, according to Holthus, who will begin his fifth year as the team's play-byplay voice after more than a decade doing Kansas State football and basketball. "They're a potential Super Bowl contender," Holthus said. "The (AFC Western) Division is difficult as always, but for the first time in my five years, I see the division in a state of flux. "It will be interesting to see what will happen with the Chargers and Denver is solid, but they've got to prove that they can repeat. "The Jets are improved, the Patriots will be there — I'm still not a believer in the Dolphins — and the Jaguars might be my favorite." While the Chiefs already are solid, don't be surprised if they make some more moves before the season starts, Holthus said. There is still time to find a running back. "This is the start of the next 4 Chiefs open their three-day minicamp / Page D3 phase of free agency where some of the veterans are cut," he said. "I really think the Chiefs will shop around in this stage. Sherman Williams of Dallas and (Leeland) McElroy are possibilities. "I call this the after-Christmas sale. The first stage is like the day after Thanksgiving. This (the second phase) is where you get the bargains. Remember (wide receiver) Andre Rison was signed in June last year and (defensive lineman) Dan Williams in August. The key word in the NFL is value. What type of value do you get for what you give up." If the Chiefs don't find a free agent runner, it's not the end of the world, according to Holthus. "Donnell Bennett is an excellent running back," he said. "What they are missing, I think, is a third-down back or a scat- back. Maybe (third-round draft pick) Rashaan Shehee is the answer. I don't know yet." One running back who raised eyebrows during spring workouts was Jesse Haynes, an un- drafted free agent from Northwest Missouri State, who spent the 1997 season on the practice squad. But Holthus said he is not ready to jump on that bandwagon just yet. "I think Jesse Haynes is the modern-day version of Paul Bunyan," he said. "His legend might be greater than any guy who has yet to play one down in the NFL." The Chiefs have yet to grab a running back in the free agent market, but they picked up some key players at other positions. Chester McGlockton and Leslie O'Neal will solidify the defensive line, but the biggest acquisition should be receiver Derrick Alexander. "I think Derrick Alexander will have a big impact," Holthus said. "I think he'll help (tight end) Tony Gonzalez as much as he'll help Rison. I think Tony Gonzalez, if he stays healthy, in the next two years will be the best tight end in the NFL." T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 'Remorseful' Martinez sent to minors Disciplinary action may be severe when Budig rules Friday on brawl By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press The Associated Press Kansas City Royals shortstop Felix Martinez was pulled away from Anaheim Angels designated hitter Frank Bolick In the ninth inning of Tuesday's bench-clearing brawl. T AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Calling the brawl between the Anaheim Angels and Kansas City Royals "a low point for major league baseball," American League president Gene Budig hinted Wednesday that disciplinary action would be severe. Budig happened to be in Kauffman Stadium Tuesday night when the Angels and Royals exchanged five beanballs and the game degenerated into a ninth-inning melee that led to 12 ejections. Budig said he would announce his decision on Friday, and indicated that managers Terry Collins of the Angels and Tony Muser of the Royals could be in trouble. Both were ejected, along with three coaches. "I was distressed by the utter disregard for safety on the field," Budig said. "There was a clear breakdown in leadership on the part of the teams. Managers and coaches. Leadership on the field. I will respond in what I believe is a fair but very firm way." Felix Martinez, Kansas City's trouble-prone rookie shortstop • Royals fall for fourth time in last five games. Page D3. Season gets started tonight for Falcons Meis back to guide traditionally strong program, which will be back at state a 9th straight year By LARRY MORITZ The Salina Journal After milking 35 victories and a third-place finish at state out of a borrowed ballclub, Kris Meis is ready to see what he can do with a team of his own. Meis begins his second season as head coach of Salina's senior American Legion baseball squad when the MarketAide Falcons face Newton today in a doubleheader starting at 6 p.m. at Dean Evans Stadium. A year ago, Meis led the Falcons to a 35-20 record and through a rugged postseason schedule where the team finished one win short of playing for the Class AAA Legion state title. "One upside this year is I'm a little more comfortable and relaxed with my role," Meis said. "When you come in your first year, you feel like you are borrowing the team from somebody else. It doesn't really feel like your ballclub. This year I feel like this is my ball- club." The Falcons come into the season with two streaks of considerable length, one they are already assured of extending. Salina will make its ninth consecutive AAA state tournament appearance July 30-August 3, earning an automatic qualifier as the host team. It is currently the longest streak in the state. There are no guarantees for the other streak. The Falcons have posted a winning record for 14 consecutive years, although that string appeared in jeopardy early last season when Salina started 6-15, before finishing with a 29-5 run. Meis filled the 16-man roster for this year's Falcons after tryouts earlier this week and the team is split directly down the middle — eight returning players and eight newcomers. "I can already tell this is going to be a fun group and they should mesh pretty quickly," Meis said. "It will take some time, but it won't take very long." The returning players are infielders Todd Just, Brian Lamone, Shaun Puvogel and Jimmy White; outfielders Justin Stein and Jason Lantz, catcher Clete Wilson and pitcher Doug Hill. First-year players will be outfielders Bobby Bartow, Jason Meysenburg and Matt Moody; infielders Jason Anderson and Chance Ptacek, catcher Troy St. Clair, utility man Jason Myers and pitcher Mike Ascher. Puvogel, Stein, Hill, Meysenburg, Moody, Ascher and St. Clair play their high school ball for Salina South; Just, Lamone, Wilson, Bartow and Anderson are from Salina Central; White, Myers and Ptacek play at Southeast of Saline; and Lantz is an Ell-Saline product. "Defensively I feel really comfortable," Meis said. "We had some holes to fill and lost some awfully talented players, but I think this bunch is going to do a good job for us. "We return Shaun at shortstop and Todd at third base, Justin in left field and Clete behind the plate, so the entire left side is returning. But we are also going to have good backups and I'm real comfortable being two deep at every position." The Falcons have six games over the next four days and Meis said he will use the early portion of the schedule to try different line- See FALCONS, Page D3 who appeared to throw a sucker punch that greatly inflamed the situation, was optioned Wednesday to Triple-A Omaha. The Royals, who were contemplating moving Martinez anyway since he was hitting just .129 with six errors, said he became emotional when demoted. "He cried," manager Tony Muser said. "He was very remorseful." Hostilities began brewing in the fifth inning when Royals starter Chris Haney hit Angels catcher Phil Nevin with a pitch. When reliever Jim Pittsley plunked Nevin in the back in the seventh, Nevin charged the mound and the two wrestled to the ground and were ejected. T COLLEGE ATHLETICS After a couple more hit batsmen in the eighth, a brawl erupted in the bottom of the ninth. The players were massed behind home plate, pushing, shoving and jawing when Martinez reached into the mass and punched Anaheim infielder Frank Bolick from behind. Infuriated, several Anaheim players rushed Martinez, who be-! gan backpedaling but went down in a heap with Angels piling on. Muser, who had been kicked out of the game earlier, then came running out of the dugout to rescue his player. Martinez built a reputation in the minor leagues for being hotheaded and was suspended for five days in Double-A in 1995 for bumping an umpire. K-State football reports possible rules infraction Snyder: Matter involves a player 'who is in the program and competing' By The Associated Press MANHATTAN — Kansas State University has notified the NCAA about a potential rules infraction involving its football program, coach Bill Snyder said Tuesday. Snyder said it involved a "football student-athlete" he would not identify. "There is not, nor was there ever, a recruiting violation," Snyder said. "We were made aware that there was a potential problem with one of our athletes. The athletic department immediately researched everything we could gain information on. That information was shared with the NCAA." NCAA director of enforcement David Berst said he could not comment on the specifics of the information received from Kansas State. He said the NCAA was "in communication" with the school and would continue to be. Snyder said the matter involved a football player "who is in the program and competing." He said he was "not at liberty" to indicate what if any steps Kansas State had taken toward self-discipline. Athletic Director Max Urick said no coaches or athletic department personnel were implicated. "I am confident the football program is not in any jeopardy of incurring penalties," he said. "At this time, we are awaiting the NCAA's review of our investigation and would anticipate a final disposition on the matter in the near future." 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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