The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 28, 1996 · Page 30
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 30

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, January 28, 1996
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Page 30
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D2 SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 1996 SPORTS THE SALINA JOURNAL I Twin towers At 6-foot-7 apiece, the Coleman twins give KW inside punch By BOB DAVIDSON The Salina Journal T raveling the highways, byways and back roads of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference isn't how Dwight and Dwayne Coleman planned to end their collegiate basketball careers^ But at least it's an ending. And traveling to foreign places to play basketball is-certainly nothing new for the twin brothers. Kansas Wesleyan University is the latest point of interest for the Colemans, who over the past 12 years have become Globetrotters in their own right. "(Salina is) a nice place," said Dwight, who is the oldest of the two by six minutes. "I like it. It's peaceful." The Colemans' much-anticipated arrival on the KWU basketball team earlier this month has thrust the Coyotes into contention in the KCAC. Ten losses before the arrival of the powerfully built 6-foot-7 Colemans mean the Coyotes must win the KCAC postseason tournament to gain a berth in the NAIA Division II national tournament in March. No problem, according to the Colemans. "If we'd have played first semester we'd be one of the top three teams (in the country)," Dwayne said. "We've got another round of (conference) games to go," Dwight said, but "the big thing is the NAIA tournament. This is our last go-round and we want to win." Early success Winning has not been a problem for the Colemans, either. Finding, a place to settle has. . They drew national attention in high school while playing for legendary coach Floyd Irons at Vashon High School in St. Louis. Vashon won Missouri state tournament titles during the Colemans' sophomore and junior years and placed third during their senior season, losing to Jevon Crudup and Raytown South in the semifinals of the 1990 tournament. Their travels began in earnest after high school. They signed with the University of San Francisco, but failed to meet NCAA academic requirements. They went to Langston (Okla.) University, an NAIA Division I school. Dwight was named Freshman of the Year in the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference while Dwayne came off the bench. • But they aspired for a high level and enrolled at Mid- Plains Community College in North Platte, Neb., where they played for one semester during the 1991-92 season. Their next stop was St. Joseph, Mo., and Missouri Western State College. They were regulars for Coach Tom Smith first semester, but en- DAVIS TURNER/The Salina Journal Twins Dwight.(front) and Dewayne Coleman hope to lead Wesleyan to the NAIA II national tourney. countered trouble during the Christmas break when they went home to St. Louis to be with their ailing mother and didn't return when Smith expected. "We went home because she was in the hospital for surgery," Dwight said. "He gave us permission to go, but things had changed when we got back." They were relegated to the bench the rest of the season, playing in 20 games and averaging five points each as Western finished with a 21-7 record. "After the season he told us we could stay on scholarship, but said we wouldn't be on the team," Dwayne said. "We decided to leave." Jones impressed KWU coach Jerry Jones saw the twins at a tryout camp at Vincennes, Ind., during the summer of 1993 and recruited them to Indiana University South Bend, where he then was coaching. They sat out at the 1993-94 season at IUSB in an attempt to gain eligibility, but didn't play there, opting to return to St. Louis during the summer. Jones left IUSB for Wesleyan after last season and called the twins to see if they were interested in finishing school and resurrecting their basketball careers. January 13th, nearly three years after their last collegiate game, the Colemans returned to the court for their senior seasons. The Coyotes' vast improvement since their arrival — 3-1 entering their game Saturday at Tabor — is no coincidence. Their power inside is un* matched in the KCAC. Dwight plays center and Dwayne power forward. "It's a nice conference, but the refs stink," Dwight said with a laugh. The Colemans are impressed with their KWU teammates, particularly senior guard Jason Gentz. "He came from a Division II team (Central Oklahoma) like us," Dwight said. "When I heard that I knew he had to be good. "There usually aren't any • white boys oh that team unless they can play. They run a lot. When he said he's played'there, I knew he was pretty good. "If you can't play, you won't be there," Dwayne said. "We have a friend in high school who played ball there. He was a good player. They average over' a hundred points a game." They offer similar praise of Jones. • ' "We've had a close relationship with him," Dwight said. "He's the big reason we're here." Tight bond That they are at Kansas Wesleyan together is also no coincidence. Where one goes so goes the other, as the past indicates. They are twins hi every way; "Our mother kept us together," Dwayne said. "She dressed us alike. We did everything together." They are criminal justice majors and plan to receive their degrees this summer. The physical similarities have faded as they've grown older. Dwight is the bigger of the two, weighing in at 230 pounds. Dwayne weights 211.. Dwayne has shaved his head; Dwight has hair. But the close relationship between the two remains as solid as ever. "We're best friends," Dwayne said. The Colemans learned the game of basketball playing- on an alley court in back of their grandmother's house in St. Louis. They learned the inner-city game with inner city rules. "We played against bigger and stronger men who'd been around.a long time," Dwayne said. "There were some rough games. > . "Sometimes they'd get mad . .and start a fight, if they lost." The Colemans'traveling days began in junior high during their two-year association with. The Zips. The Zips were a traveling • • , team of youngsters from St. 'Louis who traveled across the country displaying unique basketball tricks and skills for cha- rieties and halftime performances of major college and NBA games. "It got to a point where some NBA players would see us and say, 'It's you guys again?' " Dwight said. "We were all over the place. We were called The Zips — Kids With The Magic Fingers." The'team would leave for New York during the Christmas break and drive back to St. Louis, stopping at a different arena each night. The list of collegiate and professional players they met reads like a Who's Who. "They'd run a big ad in the paper saying 'come try out.' There'd be hundreds of kids show up," Dwayne said, "If you got a letter telling you totome back, you'd made it. If you didn't get a letter, you were cut." The Colemans hope to play professionally in Europe next year and plan to attend a couple of tryout camps later this year. Failing that, they will enter ihe work force. "School is important," Dwight said. "We'd have stayed (in Salina) w.ith or without basketball to get our degrees." T SALINA CENTRAL GIRLS T AUSTRALIAN OPEN Seles continues dramatic comeback Seles wins first major title since return to tennis, whips Huber By The Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia — In tears and panic, Monica Seles fled the Australian Open, leaving her championship trophy behind and revealing how deeply she still hurts from the stabbing in Germany three years ago. It was a moment that should have been so sweet to savor, a 64,6-1 victory Saturday over Alike Huber for Seles' first major title since her return to tennis. Instead, it was spoiled by insensitive and ill-timed questiohs that brought back all those haunting memories. She had been off the court only a few minutes, had spoken emotionally to the crowd about how much this victory meant to her, how much she missed playing the past few years. She showed her strength in the match, outslugging Huber, but few realized how fragile she really was until Seles reacted to the questions in the post-match news conference. "Are you going to play any tournament in Germany?" she was asked. "I don't think so," she answered, adding that she'd been asked the question so often. She spoke of the "bunch of lies" I The Associated Press Monica Seles returns a shot against Anke Huber Saturday in the women's final. that had been written about her never returning to Germany, though she acknowledged how hard it would be for her to feel safe going back to a country that never punished her assailant. She mentioned the many letters she's received from German fans, and said she hopes that one day soon she would be strong enough to return to Germany. Anyone watching the sadness on Seles' face at that moment could see how difficult it was for her to speak of those things, especially now J when she would like to forget it all, to put it permanently into the past, "into a box," as she often has said. But the questions wouldn't end. "Monica, would that complete your recovery to go back to Germany, do you think?" she was asked, as if this were a psychological session. "I don't know," she started. "I mean, whatever happened there has not been fan*. I don't want to think about that." She began to cry, lowering her head and pleading softly to photographers, "Don't take pictures of this." She kept crying, and the cameras kept clicking. Someone tried to change the subject, talk about the Olympics, but it was too late. Seles couldn't stop the tears or the thoughts that raced through her mind. "I'm blocking you out, I'm sorry," she said, pausing a moment, trying to answer, unable to go on. She wiped her eyes as she left the room, her face white with panic, and fled the stadium with her parents. The silver trophy was brought to her later on, and Seles no doubt will recover quickly from this ordeal. But it was painful to watch her go through such an unnecessary hard tune when she ought to have been cherishing every moment of her triumph. She had, after all, not only recovered from the stabbing in Hamburg to become a Grand Slam champion L Newton for title Central gets revenge, wins 55-53 with big fourth-quarter rally By TROY PALENSKE The Salina Journal NEWTON — Revenge was sweet Saturday night for Salina Central's girls. The Mustangs scored the game's final seven points to cap a fourth- quarter comeback and knock off tournament host and No. 1 seed Newton 55-53 in the finals of the 20th annual Newton Invitational. The win avenged a 16-point loss to Newton before Christmas and hiked surging Central's record to 8-5. "It's incredible," said Central coach Jim Campion, whose team posted its sixth win in its last seven games. "The girls really showed a lot of heart and never gave up. They did a nice job, especially down the stretch." Newton, which lost just its third game this season, appeared poised to win its own tournament for the first tune since 1982 when it led 5348 with 1:27 left. But Central, ignited by its pressure defense, spoiled the Railers' hopes. Six-foot senior Meagan Leahy, who netted 10 of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, scored inside, was fouled and sank the free throw to complete the three-point play and close Central within 53-51. After the two teams traded turnovers, Central forced another when junior Heather Herrman stole the ball from Amber' Selzer, converted a game-tying breakway layup and was fouled. •', Following' a Newton timeout, Herrman sank the free throw that put Central in front 54-53 with 44.7 seconds left — its first lead since it was 10-8 late in the opening quarter. "Those (three-point plays) are the plays that you want when you're down by that much," said Leahy, who also grabbed a game-high 13 re- T SACRED HEART GIRLS again. She had overcome nagging injuries and illness that had plagued her for months — the ten- dinitis that flared up during her run to the final of the U.S. Open; the sprained ankle that kept her out of the WTA Tour Championship; the mysterious virus that hit her last month; the groin pull she suffered two weeks ago in Sydney; and the shoulder she strained before the semifinals. That she could deal with all that and still win the Australian Open, even in the absence of Steffi Graf, is nothing short of amazing. She dug herself out of a 2-5 hole in the third set against Chanda Rubin in the semifinals, came within two points of losing, reeled off five straight games and wound up winning 6-7 (7-2), 6-1,7-5. And that a day after she couldn't lift her left arm because of a shoulder muscle she hurt lifting weights. Then she came back two days later and beat Huber, overcoming an early break of serve to win a first set of brilliant baseline tennis. Seles couldn't serve as fast as she had before she hurt her shoulder, and she couldn't cover the court the way she did before she pulled the groin muscle coming into the tournament. She hit more lunging one-handed shots in desperation than she ever had, but once again she found a way to win — as she has in "all the 28 matches she's played in this championship since 1991. bounds. "That really heljped lis.qut," Newton then missed its final fodf shots, including three cracks on its next-to-last possession. ' Fouled after triggering the ball inbounds, Central's 'Lynsey Ginther hit the front end of a double-bonus with three seconds to account for the final margin. Newton standout Maisha Prewitt grabbed the rebound after Ginther missed the second free throw,, pushed the ball up the floor just pas,t midcourt but failed to get a timeout before the buzzer. ',','. "This was a real big win for us ^s far as tournament play," Campiqp said. "We did what we needed to do on offense and we played super der: fense." Campion, whose team has played primarily man-to-man defense this season, opted for a 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone to counter Newton's speed. Tljfe switch proved disruptive as tl$B Railers shot 38 percent from the floor, committed 16 turnovers arid were held 21 points below their tournament average. -„ "The first time we played thety we basically played man-to-man and they really took the ball to the hole and we didn't adjust very well defensively," Campion said. "And they have some quickness and we really had trouble staying with them, especially Prewitt." Central trailed by as many as 10 (39-29) in the third quarter but, closed the gap behind a pair of spurts to open the final period. Five straight points by Leahy to open the stanza pulled Central with' in two (4240) and prompted Newton to spend a timeout. The Railers answered with a 4-0 run before Sydney Moshier canned a pair of outside shots and Leahy followed in a miss to account for a 62 burst that narrowed Newton's lead to 48-46 with 3:15 remaining. Central then erased the five-point lead Newton established late with an impressive closing flurry tha't produced its fifth Newton Invitational Tournament title. Knights take out Douglass in final Sacred. Heart now 13-0 after 54-38 victory in tournament title game By LARRY MORITZ The Salina Journal ELBING — Thirteen games into the season and the Sacred Heart girls still have yet to experience the disappointment of defeat. , The Knights picked up their 13th victory without a loss Saturday night when they overwhelmed Douglass 54-38 in the championship game of the Berean Academy Tournament. Sacred Heart never trailed in the title game, pulling > away in the fourth quarter for the comfortable win. "It's nice to finally have a game where we didn't have to sweat it out," Sacred Heart coach Barry Fritz said. "We finally took control of a game and put an opponent away when we had them down." "We had to keep our intensity up the entire tournament because it seems like everybody is out to beat us," senior guard Erin Wees.e said. "We just had to stick together and not beat ourselves." It would have been difficult for Fritz to have scripted a better start to the game for his club. The Knights were scoring both inside and outside, while the full-court pressure was causing the Bulldogs all kinds of trouble. "We had a meeting yesterday and the girls were so uptight," Fritz said. "Erin was one who said she was so afraid and scared we were going to lose. "We just told them that we've won 12 basketball games and no one can T ELL-SALINE GIRLS take that away from us, so let's go out and have some fun. That's what they did tonight — let the wins and' losses take care of themselves." Up 17-4 after one period, Sacred-Heart's lead nearly disappeared, when Douglass scored 11 unanswered points to start the second quarter. The Knights regained their' composure and managed to go up by : seven points (29-22) at halftime. ','„ "We let down on defense a little in the second quarter," said senior forward Michelle Ash, one of three Knights along with Weese an,<l Chrissy Blagg to make the all-tour: nament team. "When the defense isn't together then our offense struggles, but coach Fritz called a timeout and we got it together." The Bulldogs (8-4) were still within nine points to start the fourth quarter. But Sacred Heart put the game away with two key defensive plays. Aimee Chaput came up with a steal for the Knights on the defend sive end, then fired a half-court pass to a wide open Blagg. The sophomore center took it hi for an uncontested lay-in, the last of her game- : high 22 points. '.[ After a Douglass timeout, the, Bulldogs' attempt to bring the bal}, upcourt was swiped by junior Sara Wells, and her ensuing layup made it a 46-30 SHHS lead with 4:45 left. :,,. "That second half was by far the best second half we've played all year," Fritz said. "We were patient, on offense and our guards did' a great job of taking care of the ball. "But what I liked best is that we ( played as a team and everybody played well. Even the girls off the" bench did a good job for us in the, first half when I wanted to give the starters some rest." ' Cardinals rally past Clay Center By The Journal Staff MINNEAPOLIS — Melinda Griffin scored 22 points and Kristine Isaacson 13 Saturday as the Ell-Saline girls rallied in the fourth quarter to down Clay Center 66-64 in the fifth-place game of the Minneapolis Classic. • Erica Jensen hit two free throws with eight seconds left to lift Ell-Saline to the victory. Ell- Saline trailed by 10 points in the third quarter. ( Belleville downed Russell 54-49 in the seventh place game. Because of Friday's inclement weather, the chamionship and third-place games will be played Monday. Clay Center (7-4) led 50-46 enter- ' ing the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals scored 20 points in the 1 final eight minutes, 12 of them- free throws. •:. Ell-Saline was 24 of 41 from the"' line in the game. Clay Center was 8 of 18. • .\i, "It was a slugfest all the way,".' Ell-Saline coach Dalen Rathbun' said. "We didn't shoot our free" throws very well, but we hit the two that counted. "The girls could have given up in the third quarter, but they kept going." Jessica Walters chipped in 11- points for Ell-Saline.

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