The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 31, 1996 · Page 17
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 17

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Thursday, October 31, 1996
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THURSDAY OCTOBER 31, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports SCOREBOARD / D2 JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL / D3 COLLEGE FOOTBALL / D4 D T SPORTS JOURNAL T BIG 12 HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal Kansas City gets another opportunity • KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The folks promoting women's basketball for the Big 12 Conference are willing to give Kansas City another chance. They're willing to let bygones be bygones. They're hoping things will be much different in March when the Big 12 Women's, Basketball Tournament returns to Kansas City for the first time since 1986. To refresh your memory, the last time the women played a conference tournament in K.C., it was . a disaster. A crowd estimated at 250 to 300 people showed up in Kemper Arena to watch Missouri and Colorado play in the championship game. It was an embarrassment. Goodbye Kansas City... hello Salina. The tournament spent 10 years in Salina and drew big crowds annually. Even the staunchest of op, ponents of the move to Salina admitted later it was the right one. Salina may not have saved Big Eight women's basketball, but it certainly enhanced its popularity. But the 10-year run is over. When the Big 12 was formed, one of the first things administrators looked at was a site for the women's tournament. Salina was considered, but not seriously. It was quickly decided the 6,200 seats in the Bicentennial Center weren't enough, especially with the likes of powerhouse programs Texas and Texas Tech entering the league. The Longhorns and Red Raiders drew an average ~. of 7,400 and 8,700 fans, respectively, last season for home games. Kansas City got another look, after promising to upgrade the facilities at the 10,000-seat Municipal Auditorium. According to Big 12 assistant , i' commissioner Tim Allen, Kansas City has all but done its part to improve Municipal. He said close to ; $6 million has been spent on improving the seating, renovating the ^locker rooms and creating new and better restroom facilities. .' "What they've done for the facil- - r ity has taken the Big 12 women's tournament to a new level," Allen said. "But, I for one, thought Salina did a fantastic job with the • tournament." Colorado coach Ceal Barry doesn't believe the move to Kansas City will help her program. ;,; "I think it's a necessary move, but I loved the tournament in Salina," Barry said Wednesday at the "Big 12 Conference media day. "It gave our fans, and the fans from the Oklahoma schools the opportunity to support their teams and offset the advantage Kansas or Kansas State might have had. "It didn't give Kansas or Missouri the homecourt advantage they'll have here." Most of the coaches interviewed said they support the move. "Kansas City is a great city and I think we're all excited about the challenge," Texas A&M head coach Candi Harvey said. "It's a great basketball town. The only thing that concerns me is that we- get equal billing." Candi, that's a lot to ask. The Big 12 men's and women's tourna- '- ments will be played during the week of March 4-9. The format calls for all 24 teams coming to Kansas City with first- and second-round women's games Tuesday (March 4) and Wednesday (March 5) at Municipal Auditorium. But on Thursday, March 6, the men and women knock heads. While the women play their semifinal games at Municipal, the men 1 will have four first-round games at Kemper Arena. The men follow with four second-round games on Friday. Saturday will feature two inen's semifinal games at Kemper and the women's championship game at Municipal. On Sunday, March 9, the men hold their title game in Kemper. Most of the coaches said Wednesday they expect the tournament to be rotated among different sites in the future. Salina won't be one of them, but that doesn't mean the city and its people will soon be forgotten. "Salina embraced it, nurtured it and loved it," Allen said. "We Qould not have taken the tournament to the next level without Salina's support." Review of revenue plan sought Decision not to televise Nov. 9 intrastate rivalry upsets KU, KSU officials By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Officials at Kansas and Kansas State, upset because their Nov. 9 game was turned down for television, say they'll ask the Big 12 Conference to re-open the touchy issue of revenue distribution. How to divide the tens of millions that flow annually into Big 12 coffers was one of the most delicate problems the schools dealt with when they formed the new super conference. A final plan was T BASEBALL one of the last things they all agreed to. "We were led to believe all along that the Kansas State-KU game was going to be televised," said Kansas athletic director Bob Frederick. "They told us that as long ago as the spring meetings in Colorado. I was stunned when I heard it wasn't going to be." Not getting on television will cost each school about $70,000. Although Kansas State (7-1) is ranked No. 14, the Wildcats will not make a dime off the game because the Big 12 revenue formula mandates that home teams keep 100 percent of gate receipts, minus expenses. Big 12 officials said ABC's decision to show the Texas A&M-Baylor game in the prime 2:30 slot on Nov. 9 instead of Kansas State- Kansas was based on the fact Texas has more people and more television sets than the Northern Division states of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa. Although the Big 12's three ranked teams — Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas State — are all in the North Division, the schedule for Nov. 9 will not have any of thenj on TV. The Kansas-Kansas State game was on ESPN two years ago and shown locally last year. "When we set up the television, revenue distribution formula, we were rewarding people for performance," said Frederick. "If we're going to make those decisions based on the number of TV sets, then we're going to have to redo the distribution formula because clearly, the Southern Division teams are going to benefit greatly." The Big 12 formula guarantees each conference team $750,000 per year in football television revenues. Beyond that, schools split $142,000 for each appearance on ABC and $72,000 for playing in regionally televised games. "I was on the revenue, distribution committee and we thought games would be picked on the basis of performance," said Frederick. "I'm going to ask that this be revised because it clearly is a disadvantage to the schools that are in lesser populated areas." "I think it needs to be revised," said Kansas State athletic director T HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL Max Urick. "If we're going to (televise games) on the number of TV sets, then let's take the TV money and split it equally among everybody." Urick said ABC representatives told him the KSU-KU game was "too regional." "Well, what is Texas A&M-Baylor? I don't want to be critical of other schools, but we've got a ranked team here with a great opportunity to be in a prime bowl game," he said. " When we got into this, it was decided there would be an equal distribution to begin with, then you'd have opportunities to increase revenues by having good matchups and doing well. But that's not borne out by our experience." , South spikers seti for next challenge Cougars respond at sub-state to earn return trip to state tournament By LARRY MORITZ The Salina Journal The Associated Press St. Louis skipper Tony La Russa was named the Associated Press manager of the year Wednesday. Cardinals' La Russa honored Manager of the year brings St. Louis similar success he had in AL By BEN WALKER The Associated Press NEW YORK — Tony La Russa, who brought his intense style to a new league and led the St. Louis Cardinals to the NL Central championship, won The Associated Press manager of the year award Wednesday. La Russa earned the honor for the third time. He also won in 1983 with the Chicago White Sox and in 1992 with Oakland. La Russa received 49 votes in balloting by a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters. Bruce Bochy of NL West champion San Diego was second with 30 votes and Johnny Gates of AL West champion Texas was third with 27. Joe Torre of the World Series champion New York Yankees was fourth with 19. Voting was completed before the start of the playoffs. La Russa, who spent 17 years managing in the AL, left the Athletics last October to join the Cardinals. Several of his players, such as Dennis Eckersley and Todd Stottlemyre, also joined him in St. Louis and helped the Cardinals reach the playoffs for the first time since 1987. La Russa's serious, tense demeanor was a big change for many Cardinals players and fans, who had become accustomed to easygoing managers such as Whitey Herzog and Torre. At the start of the season, he ruffled some people in the St. Louis family by benching Ozzie Smith and starting Royce Clayton. Eventually, that controversy went away and the Cardinals, coming off the second-worst record in the NL, began to win. "I take the responsibility of managing serious," La Russa said during the NL championship series. "The biggest responsibility is on the players. But being a manager or coach, you're supposed to contribute a piece. "I hate when players feel they have to overcome a bad manager. That's embarrassing." The Cardinals passed the .500 mark for good until June 29, and clinched the Central title on Sept. 24. It was sixth division championship for La Russa, who won the World Series with the A's in 1989. La Russa's work habits are well known throughout the majors. He usually gets to the ballpark six hours before games, and was always among the early arrivals in spring training. Salina South's late-season slide was nearing the point of no-return. After a 15-5 start to the 1996 season, the Cougar volleyball squad was struggling home with a 4-8 record in the month of October. Extended postseason prospects looked dim, as South matched up with Salina Central in the sub- state finals. Central had beaten the Cougars in each of their three earlier meetings this season. But South (21-13) put together back-to-back wins for only the second time this month, defeating McPherson and Central in sub- state play to earn a spot at the Class 5A State Tournament starting Friday at the Kansas Expocen- tre in Topeka. "I think the girls finally looked inside themselves, because all year they've been doubting what they could do," said South coach Stef Curchy, who will take her team to state for a second consecutive year. "These girls deep down know how to win and they finally believed in themselves and decided they can win, no matter what the challenge is." The challenge Friday will be to advance beyond the pool-play portion of the tournament and into Saturday's semifinals. Only the top two squads from the four- team pools move on, and South's pool play opponents will be Shawnee Mission-Miege (36-5), Great Bend (27-6) and Topeka Seaman (24-13). A year ago the South's state team went 1-2 in pool play (both losses in three games) and failed to advance. The Cougars have faced two .of their state opponents already this season, having beaten Seaman in late September and losing to Great Bend in early October. SALINE COUNTY GAME DAY Canton-Galva (4-4) at Ell-Saline (8-0) No playoff spot has been locked up yet in Class 2-lA's District 9, but Ell-Saline is the one team that controls its own destiny. Forget about point systems and tiebreakers. All the Cardinals need is a victory by any margin and they will be in the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. Canton-Galva has won four of its last five games, including a 39-22 victory over Inman last week that kept the Eagles' postseason hopes alive. In those four victories, Canton- Galva has averaged 46.8 points a game. The one loss during that streak was a 47-0 shutout against Sacred Heart. The Eagles would make the playoffs with a victory tonight and an Inman win over Sacred Heart in the other District 9 contest. If Ell-Saline can keep its season going, junior place kicker James Anderes could make a run at a Kansas high school record. Anderes has 40 successful extra-point attempts this season, and needs only two more to move into the state's top 10 single-season list. Only three players have 50 or more PAT kicks in one season, with the state record held by Wichita Collegiate's Jamie Rheem at 55. Sacred Heart (7-1) at Inman (5-3) Postseason possibilities still exist for Sacred Heart, but the Knights would need a lot of help from a Canton-Galva team they defeated 47-0 two weeks ago. TONIGHT'S SCHEDULE Sacred Heart at Inman, 7:30 p.m. Canton-Galva at Ell-Saline, 7:30 p.m., (KSAL, 1150-AM). Minneapolis at SE-Saline, 7:30 p.m. First Sacred Heart must win by 13 points or more over Inman. The Knights also need Canton-Galva to defeat Ell-Saline by the same 13-point margin. The district would then end in a three-way tie, with all three teams equal at plus-13 points in the tiebreaker system. The district champion is then determined by lot. If Sacred Heart can pick up its eighth win tonight, it would be the most victories by a Knights' squad since 1987 and the best winning percentage by a Sacred Heart team since 1981. This will also go down as one of the highest scoring teams in Sacred Heart history. The Knights are averaging 31.9 points a game, trailing only the 1968 team that averaged 32.9 points and slightly ahead of the 1979 squad that put up 31.7 points per outing. There will also be some personal numbers to shoot for tonight. Junior running back Nathan Knipp needs less than 60 yards to become the Knights first 1,000-yard rusher in 10 years. Senior receiver Mike Losik owns the school record for career receiving yards, but is 135 yards shy of Bruce Gerleman's single-season record of 936 yards. Minneapolis (4-4) at SE-Saline (7-1) With all possibilities of a postseason berth wiped away, Southeast of Saline will turn its focus toward a school record that has stood for more than a quai'ter of a century. A victory tonight would be the Trojans' eighth this season. No Southeast team has won eight games since the 1969 squad went 8-0-1. There is also the possibility Southeast could earn a share of the North Central Activities Association league title with a victory. If Belleville defeats Beloit and Southeast closes with a victory, the three teams tie for the league lead with 4-1 records. Minneapolis could also improve its finish in the NCAA standings with a win. The Lions can finish no worse than third and possibly tied for second with a victory tonight, and are attempting to post their first winning season since 1992. —By Larry Moritz South's schedule 5A STATE TOURNAMENT At Kansas Expocentre, Topeka FRIDAY'S MATCHES ".. 8:30 a.m. — South vs. Shawnee Mission-Miege 11:30 a.m. — South vs. Great Bend 1:30 p.m. — South vs. Topeka Seaman 4 Class 2A, 1A state tournament advance / Page D3 "Going in our goal is obviously to cmake it out of pool play," Curchy said. "I'm sure both Great Bend and Seaman have improved since we played them earlier this year, but going into state we know a little bit about our opponents, which we didn't last year. We'll go in focusing on what we need to do to get the job done." "We know a little more about what to expect this year," South junior Jessica Watson said. "There will be a lot of tough competition, but if everything comes together as it should, we should have a good chance to advance." Watson is one of five Cougars returning from last year's state squad along with seniors Abby Snavely, Darcy Durfee and Michelle Stein, and junior Tai Kerbs. When you add the volleyball team's success with that- of the Cougar basketball and softball squads, South teams have now made six consecutive state tourney appearances. "The. experience is there w,ith people like Watson, who has gone to state in volleyball, softball and basketball the last two years," Curchy said. "Darcy and Leah Wahlgren were both on the basketball team last year and Abby Snavely has gone to state in track. "They've been to the big show and that's going to help. Composure is a key and that comes down to mental preparation." T COLLEGE FOOTBALL Jayhawks suspend 2 players By The Associated Press •' LAWRENCE — Kansas strong safety Maurice Gaddie, who leads the Jayhawks defensive backs with 51 tack-, les, was suspended Wednes* day by coach Glen Mason for violating team rules. Caddie will not travel with the team to Iowa State on Saturday, said Masoni who declined to say what rule the junior had violated. Also suspended was fresh-; man linebacker Dariss Lomax, who has not played this season and probably will be redshirted. Gaddie is the second key player to be suspended. Running back June Henley sat out the Nebraska game after he was arrested on suspicion, of drunken driving. Henley: has since been reinstated. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORT§ EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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