The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 7, 1997 · 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 7, 1997
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Page 21
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WEDNESDAY MAY 7, 1997 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports SCOREBOARD / D2 HGH SCHOOL SPORTS / D3 D V COMMENT BASKETBALL DOUG TUCKER The Associated I'ress Pitino successor on long list LAFRENTZ PIERCE KU in national title hunt with stars returning LAWRENCE — The NBA's loss is more than just Kansas' gain. It's Kansas' salvation. Without Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz, college basketball's most successful program in the '90s (not counting the NCAA Tournament, but that's another story) was in danger of sinking into also-ran status. The dip probably would not have lasted long. Roy Williams is too good and too driven to let that happen. But for a year or so at least, the haughty Jay- hawks and their followers might have been stuck in steerage with the scruffy likes of Kansas State. Now, the decision by the sophomore star and the junior all-American to delay NBA millions means Kansas will once again be the team to beat in the Big 12. By the beginning of the spring semester when LSU transfer Lester Earl becomes eligible, they'll probably be ready to challenge for national respect. When the season starts next year, most national pollsters will consider the loss of senior starters Jacque Vaughn, Jerod Haase and Scot Pollard and rank the Jay- hawks significantly below the No. 1 status they enjoyed for most of last season. But with a little luck and a lot of Williams' coaching and motivational savvy, it isn't far-fetched to believe the 1997-98 Jayhawks could, by tournament time, approach the skill level of last year's 34-2 squad. At power forward will be the 6- foot-11 LaFrentz — Big 12 player of the year, all-American, NBA lottery pick, early favorite for national player of the year. Williams' research indicated LaFrentz would have gone in the top five in this year's draft. Given another year to mature, how thoroughly will he overwhelm most college kids unhappily matched against him? Pierce should also blossom into a superstar. Overlooked much of the season in Williams' share-the- wealth system, the 6-7 smoothie led the Jayhawks in scoring in all their postseason games. If he makes the same stride between his sophomore and junior years as LaFrentz, the Jayhawks could have two all-Americans. Point guard was one position Williams failed to address in an otherwise banner recruiting year. But there's nothing alarming about having Ryan Robertson bring the ball up court. He was 100 as a starter while Vaughn healed his injured wrist. And while he may not be as slick a ball-handler, he may give the Jayhawks more of an offensive threat. Now into the mix add three high-profile newcomers. Replacing Pollard at center will probably be T.J. Pugh, a two-year backup. But 7-1 freshman Eric Chenowith, a McDonald's all-American, is certain to make an immediate impact. Another freshman who could contribute right away will be McDonald's all-American Kenny Gregory, a 6-4 guard. If the Jayhawks, as expected, '. win their appeal to the Collegiate Commissioners Association, the 69 Earl will be eligible about 10 games into the season. A gifted athlete, the LSU transfer could step in right away at center. Without Pierce and LaFrentz, Williams would probably have been forced to use his freshmen much more than he would prefer. Now, he'll be able to season them slowly and more effectively. With Pierce and LaFrentz, the Jayhawks ought to go charging into next season in the top 10. "I have a plan, and I have a plan, and I have a plan," said Williams, flashing that crafty "I-know-something-you-don't-know" grin — the one adoring fans have come to love and frustrated foes have learned to loathe. "And if that doesn't work, I have ' another plan." Kentucky may turn to disciple of new Celtics coach for replacement From Wire Reports BOSTON — Rick Pitino gave in to the "magical" lure of the Boston Celtics and left Kentucky on Tuesday for a deal believed to be the richest for any coach in any sport. He moves from the team with the most wins in college basketball to one with the most wins in NBA history. But the Celtics are coming off the worst record in their 51 seasons, 15-67. The club gave him plenty of time to turn that around, handing him a 10-year contract worth a reported $70 million. "We're going to win in Boston," Pitino said at a news conference at the school he led to the 1996 NCAA Pltlno resume Date of birth: Sept. 18, 1952. Hometown: New York. Family: Married to Joanne Minardi Pitino. They have five children. College: University of Massachusetts (1974). Head coaching positions: Boston University (1978-83); Providence College (1985-87); New York Knicks (1987-89); and University of Kentucky (1989-present). Assistant coaching positions: University of Hawaii (1974-76); Syracuse University (1976-78); and New York Knicks (1983-85). Coaching achievements: Led Providence to NCAA Final Four in 1987 and Kentucky in 1993,1996 and 1997, winning national title in 1996. Coached Knicks to NBA Atlantic Division title in 1989. Highest paid NBA coaches • Rick Pltlno, Boston Celtics, signed a deal reportedly worth $70 million over 10 years. • Larry Brown, Philadelphia 76ers, signed a five-year deal this week reportedly worth $25 million over five years. • Pat Riley, Miami Heat, signed a five-year deal in 1995 reportedly worth more than $30 million, including $3 million in annual salary and 10 percent ownership of the team. • John Callpari, New Jersey Nets, signed a five-year deal in 1996 reportedly worth $15 million. championship. "It may not show up right away ... but I guarantee, the Boston fans will have a smile on their face." Now that Pitino has left, he leaves behind a rebuilt power in Lexington that can attract an elite successor — and weaned a number of candidates in the process. Pitino, who left the New York Knicks eight years ago to become coach of a Kentucky program freshly slapped with NCAA probation, led the Wildcats to the 1996 national title and the 1997 NCAA Tournament final. Meanwhile, a number of his disciples have gone on to head coach- ing jobs, building resumes that could return them to UK, including Georgia's Tubby Smith, Pittsburgh's Ralph Willard, North Carolina State's Herb Sendek and Florida's Billy Donovan. "You want someone who's fairly See PITINO, Page D4 Kickin' up the dust TOM DORSEY/The Salina Journal Sacred Heart third baseman Ginger Brown (left) is too late with the tag of Lincoln's Anna Huehl at third base during the fifth inning of the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Bill Burke Park. Sacred Heart won both games. Details on Page D3. HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL South clinches 1-70 League title Cougar pitchers Hamel, Mitchell silence Topeka West bats in sweep By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal The time-worn adage of "good pitching beating good hitting" held true Tuesday afternoon at the Salina South softball fields. Topeka West came to town unbeaten in the 1-70 League, but left with no runs and only four hits to show for 14 innings of work as South edged the Chargers, 2-0 and 1-0. "When you play good defense and get good pitching, you're going to be in a lot of ballgames," South head coach Daryl Hoelting said. "And today, we needed to have it." The Cougars got it. Senior right-hander Nichole V PRO BASKETBALL Hamel fired a one-hitter in the opener and combined with Sara Mitchell for a three-hit shutout in the second game as South won its sixth straight 1-70 League championship." "The seniors got together and talked about it yesterday," said Hamel, who struck out five West batters and SOFTBALL walked only Topeka West o o three in 10 innings of work. "We were real- Salina South 2 1 ly excited about playing today. This was our last chance to win another league title, and we wanted it." Hamel (7-1) allowed just two West baserunners to reach third base as she helped the Cougars improve to 10-0 in the league and 14-2 overall and drop Topeka West to 62 and 9-5. "I'm just real lucky to have such a good defense behind me," Hamel said. "I really didn't do that much. They did most of the work." South got all the runs it needed in the opener in the bottom of the second inning. Leah Wahlgren blooped a one-out double down the right field line and scored on a two- out single by Tai Kerbs. The Cougars added an insurance run in the fourth inning when Liz Mattison doubled to right center to score Wahlgren with two out. Hamel did the rest, retiring 16 of the final 17 batters she faced. "The girls really challenged themselves this season," said Hoelting, whose team is 64-4 in league games in the last six years. "A lot of people thought we wouldn't be the same without (last year's ace) Amanda Reed, but our players accepted the challenge. We did have a void to fill (on the mound), but our pitchers have really come The Associated.Press Rick Pitino, shown above with Ron Mercer of Kentucky during last season's NCAA tourney, will put his proven talents; to work with the Boston Celtids. T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Royals turn Red Sox 22-year-old Rosado; gives KG another sdljd pitching performance; By The Associated Press •;"BOSTON — Kansas City ma$ag- er Bob Boone must be impressed with Jose Rosado. He compared him to Whitey Ford. ,-• The 22-year-old left-hande? allowed two runs and five hits in, 7 23 innings as the the Kansas~ City Royals beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 Tuesday night. "He pitches beyond his years," Boone said. "He uses both sides of the plate and changes speeds.^He's brought this with him since-he's come up. He pitches much Dicier and with more experience than he has." .»v , Rosado np| A^jS struck out |PJ Royals.--7 and through." South scored the only run of the second game in the second inning when Karmen Hannebaum led off with a single and scored on a single by Mattison. Hamel pitched the first three innings of the second game and Mitchell the final four. Mitchell allowed just one hit, struck out three and walked one to improve her record to 7-1. In the previous 14 games this season, the two South pitchers had each started seven times. "We decided before the game that if Nichole was in a groove, we were going to go with her," Hoelting said. "It's nothing derogatory toward Sara. In fact, it worked out for the best. She came in and threw a little more heat." The Cougars wrap up the regular season next week against McPherson and Hutchinson. seven aim g^j ^30*" 2 walked none •*"*^ '!,"' before Hipolito Pichardo got four outs for his fifth save. n:-S "He has a lot of poise out 1 Boston's Mike Stanley gives you different looks. Tfidre wasn't anything you could siton." Rosado has a 2.12 ERA. ;, r t "I'm not surprised by the job I'm doing right now," he said. "My.job is to throw strikes. If I'm thrdwing strikes, I'm not surprised." •.•<.' Tom Gordon (1-4) gave ug^Jive runs and nine hits in 8 1-3 innings, struck out nine and walked three. Jose Offerman and Jay Bell singled in runs in a three-run fifth-inning as the Royals beat thef$ed Sox for the 15th time in their; last 19 games at Fenway Park. ',',' 1 Kansas City (15-14), which^ed, 32 before a four-run ninth, H^ed over .500 for only the secon(Hl|ne this season and sent the Red Sox" to their season-high fourth consecutive loss. ":^ Gordon allowed only one hit before the fifth, when Scott Cqoper led off with a double and scored on Johnny Damon's groundout. Offerman and Bell hit RBI singles,.with two outs. ;,',:" Boston had taken a 2-0 lead.-in the fourth on Wil Cordero's^sjxth homer and John Valentin's 'RBI double. Valentin got someJielp when left fielder Bip Roberts slipped and the ball bounceAjJJjsst him, allowing Tim Naehri»jj£to score from first. ?.X Bulls escape Hawks' attack in Game 1 triumph By The Associated Press CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls lost their cool. They lost Dennis Rodman, too. They didn't lose the game, however, thanks to Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. Pippen capped a 29-point game by making a go-ahead 3-pointer with 43.9 seconds left and Jordan scored 34 points Tuesday night as Chicago opened the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 100-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The defending NBA champions rallied from a 16-point third-quarter deficit despite Rodman's ejection for two technical fouls. Toni Kukoc also was assessed a "T," and the Bulls spent a good chunk of the game either whining to the officials or trying to calm each other down. But not all the Bulls lost their composure. Pippen's sixth 3-pointer of the game, after taking a handoff from Luc Longley and curling around a Longley pick, snapped a 97-all tie and finished the scoring. The Hawks couldn't take advantage of Longley's two missed free throws with 34.5 seconds left and Jordan's missed layup with 10 seconds to go as Mookie Blaylock spoiled an otherwise outstanding individual performance. Blaylock, who had career playoff highs with 31 points and 12 rebounds, badly missed a 3-pointer with about 35 seconds left, stepped out of bounds after taking an inbounds pass with 32 seconds to go and shot an airball on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Chicago will play host for Game 2 Thursday before the best-of-7 series shifts to Atlanta. The Hawks were supposed to be tired following their grueling five- game opening series against Detroit. Instead, Chicago looked sluggish despite — or maybe because of — having five days off after sweeping Washington. Atlanta took a 55-39 lead with 10:23 left in the third quarter be- fore getting outscored 38-15 the rest of the period. Pippen opened the surge with three consecutive 3- pointers before Jordan took over, scoring 20 points as Chicago went up 77-70. Rodman received his second technical foul with 5:57 left in the third for putting his hand in Dikembe Mutombo's face after Mu- tombo's pointed his index finger at Rodman. After leaving the court, Rodman knocked over a rack of basketballs and a garbage can on his way to the locker room. He was assessed his first technical just 2:01 into the game for shoving Christian Laettner. SECOND ROUND Monday's Gam* ':•$. Houston 112, Seattle 102, How- Ion leads series 1 -0 12!r. Tuesday's Game* *fc<« Chicago 100, Atlanta 97, Chicago leads aeries 1-0 „..• LA. UKere at Utah (late) Today's Games '-' New York at Miami, 6 p.m. fJ3{ Seattle at Houston, 8:30 p.m-SKS SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (91tfl 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjnewstfsaljournal.com

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