The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 15, 1997 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Thursday, May 15, 1997
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THURSDAY MAVIS, 1997 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports SCOREBOARD / D2 NBA PLAYOFFS / D3 AUTO RACING / D4 D T COMMENT T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL v BERNIE MIKLASZ St. Louis Post-Dispatch Four-run seventh sparks Royals NBA becoming increasingly unwatchable The NBA semifinals are all but set: New York vs. Chicago in the East, Houston vs. Utah in the West. Thank goodness. We're safe. Home free. : The rest of the NBA postseason is your basic Anti-Knucklehead Tournament. The NBA title will be decided by real men, who know how to play basketball. Oh, author Dennis Rodman is still doing a parody of himself in Chicago, and every circus needs one freak. But, for the most part, the spoiled brats have been chased out of the arena by their elders. : Pouty Nick Van Exel? See ya. Time for Shaquille O'Neal to be cast in another bad movie. The Seattle SuperSonics can go get their rabies shots now. The Orlando Magic need a coach so point guard Penny Hardaway can do what he does best: hire and fire his own boss. Outta here. Please just go. Nothing personal. There's a party going on out there. Just find it. Have some fun. Spend some money. Add another hanger-on to the :iK>sse. Go make another commer- '"cial. Whatever. -;'.!• Let the basketball purists enjoy • the final month of the season. It should be a pleasant experience. ;" Chicago is Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. New York is Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley. 7 Utah is Karl Malone and John Stockton. '*.; Houston is Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler. .This group won't cheat the fans. These legends want to win. They come to play, throw their bodies around, compete like :crazy. They believe in hustle and teamwork and finding the open man. These players elevate the game and raise the game's standards. These true stars and their teams represent the vanishing ideal. And it's satisfying that ihese qualities — even in a diminished state — still have the potency to overcome the NBA's inattentive frauds. Character prevailed. . The NBA has become increas- ; ingly unwatchable. I dearly love the game, but I was bored by the 1996-97 season. Scoring was down, and the egos went up. Only eight teams averaged at least 100 points per game; that's five fewer teams .than last season. X The fundamentals are eroding *— can anyone hit a medium- range jump shot? — but many shoe deals were made. The NBA is all about pre-packaged manufactured stars with propped-up, hollow statistics. They get coaches fired in their spare time. "A star to me is going in and selling a place out," Magic Johnson said. "It's when your son • says, 'Oh, Daddy, come on, let's 'go see him.' That's a star. Now, we've got commercial-built stars. ; Because you've got a commercial, you're a star. What these guys see are the commercials. They just want a commercial. They don't want to win." The NBA is so juvenile that .Barkley has emerged as a voice of ; wisdom and maturity. Sir Charles • s'ays the young NBA players are "getting dumber. They run like deer, they jump like deer, and they think like deer." ;';.' Well, NBA franchises are fighting back. They're spending incredible sums of money to hire enforcers, strict fathers and CEO coaches who have the paychecks and the clout to maintain leverage over the Generation X creatures. Rick Pitino, Larry Brown Jmd Larry Bird have the muscle JO control the house party. -! "Our game has changed a lot," «aid Brown, who recently was fared to supervise the Allen Iverson Day Care Center, operated by the Philadelphia 76ers. "I think the players think it is about show instead of substance. We have one -of the greatest team games, and ,.*bey are making it into an indi- ladual sport — and I want to see that changed." Best of luck, Larry. The NBA can't take back the ball. It's a losing cause. For now, the play:|pound mentality is winning. Kansas City snaps 1-1 tie late to complete two-game sweep of 'struggling Red Sox By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Either Tim Wakefield couldn't explain Boston's latest loss, or he just didn't want to. "Nothing to say tonight," Wakefield said Wednesday night following a 6-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals. "Nothing to say." The Red Sox have lost six straight games and 10 of 11. This one, though, was especially painful for the club. After Wakefield pitched a solid 6V& innings, Boston reliever Kerry Lacy gave up four runs on three pitches in the seventh as Kansas City rallied. The Red Sox also hit into four double plays and caught a bad break that cost them a run in the fifth. "We just have to keep our heads up and keep going," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. "We can't feel sorry for ourselves because we're professionals. That's the way I look at it." With the scored tied 2-2, Wakefield (1-2) hit Mike Sweeney with a pitch with one out in the seventh and then Tom Goodwin singled and Johnny Damon walked, bringing Lacy from the bullpen. Jose Offerman hit Lacy's first pitch for a two-run, tie-breaking double and Jay Bell ripped Lacy's third pitch through the middle for a two-run single. Wakefield went 6% innings, giving up five hits and four runs with three walks and three strikeouts. Randy Veres (3-0) got the win, pitching 1 % innings in relief of starter Glendon Rusch. Royals' manager Bob Boone called it "a strange game full of weird plays." Williams, thought, refused to blame the loss on bad luck. "I'm not going to get into that. We're going to keep going, keep playing," Williams said. "This game will humble you a lot. There are a lot tougher things than this." Hipolito Pichardo pitched the final two innings for his sixth save. His wild pitch in the ninth scored Nomar Gar- ciaparra, who had tripled. The Red Sox have lost four in a row to the Royals this year and have only two victories to show for their last 13 meetings against Kansas City. Boston loaded the bases against Rusch in the sixth and scored their first run off Kansas City in 19% innings on Reggie Jefferson's sacrifice fly to tie it 1-1. Rusch gave up six hits and four walks in 5 1 A innings. He also struck out seven. Chili Davis hit his fourth homer in the eighth to make it 6-1. Game notes Offerman has led off the last four games with a single. ... The Red Sox last had a six-game losing streak when they dropped seven in a row April 1117, 1996. ... The Royals' two-game sweep was their first sweep of any kind against Boston in Kansas City since August of 1991. TGOLF Freshmen lead way for city teams Central's Alt, South's Dupy post 74s to finish in tie for third place at league meet By LARRY MORITZ The Salina Journal David Dupy and Tyler Alt made their first appearance in an 1-70 League golf meet look fairly routine. Dupy, a Salina South freshman, and Alt, a freshman at Salina Central, both turned in rounds of 3-over-par 74 Wednesday to lead their respective teams and share third place in the league meet at Salina Country Club. Dupy had what he called his "best round of the year", and did so by getting off to a strong start. He sank a 12-foot birdie putt on hole No. 1 and played the front nine in 1- under 35. "On the front nine I played really well," Dupy said. "I pulled my drive on No. 1 but — —— —— hit a nice 3-iron, and then * Meet results / a sand wedge about 12 Page D2 feet from the hole. I made that first putt and it gave me some confidence." Dupy's only bogey on the front side came on the par-3,181-yard No. 7, but he followed that with birdie at No. 8 and made some scrambling saves on the back nine. "When I got into trouble today, I saved myself a couple of times when I could have made double bogey by getting up-and-down or making a putt," Dupy said. "I am peaking at the right time and it's nice to tie for third here. Especially with Tyler, because we're pretty good friends and have been playing quite a bit out here." Alt was in medalist contention when he covered the first 14 holes in even par, but struggled some coming in with three consecutive bogeys on Nos. 15-17. "I was hitting the ball pretty solid and played consistently until the last four holes," Alt said. "But then I hit some bad iron shots and wasn't getting the ball on the green." Manhattan golfers continue to find the SCC layout to their liking. The Indians won their fourth consecutive league title, all at Salina Country Club, with a team score of 305. Manhattan had all six team members finish among the top 10 individuals. Manhattan's T.J. Vilkanskas, fifth at league a year ago, won medalist honors with an even-par 71. Topeka West's Jarrod Forbes finished second with a 73, while Daryn Soldan of Manhattan, league champion last year as a freshman, traded places with his teammate and finished fifth with a 75. DAVIS TURNER/The Salina Journal Salina Central's Andy Frank blasts out of the sand trap on the fourth hole at Wednesday's 1-70 Lengue meet at Salina Country Club. Topeka West and Central both finished with four-man team scores of 322, but West was determined the second-place finisher based on the Chargers' fifth-best individual score. South was fifth with a team score of 338, an improvement of 31 strokes from a year ago. The Cougars' Craig Kuder was the on- ly additional Salina golfer to finish among the top 10. Kuder's 41-40—81 tied for 10th place, while Central's Tony Alt and Chris Bowman were a shot back at 82, earning medals for a top 15 finish. Both South and Central will compete at the Class 5A regional meet Monday at Salina Municipal Golf Course. Topeka High 6; 5 T TENNIS Central sweeps way to 1-70 crown Four-time league champ Huseman leads 'Stangs; South finishes second By ARNE GREEN The Salina Journal JUNCTION CITY — John Huseman felt right at home Wednesday at the 1-70 League tennis tournament. Of course, when it comes to the league tournament, anywhere is home for the Salina Central senior. "In my whole high school career, I've never lost a match in Junction City," Huseman said after teaming with sophomore Jeff Lamb for the No. 1 doubles title. "I should try to get a bid for the re- gionals here." The league title was Huseman's fourth in four tries and helped lead Central to a clean sweep with victories in all three singles and both doubles divisions. The Mustangs, who won for the fifth straight year, finished with 47 points and were followed by Salina South with 31, Topeka West with 30 and Topeka High with 29. "It's unbelievable to win four tournaments in a row," said Huseman, who collected his third straight gold in No. 1 doubles to go with a No. 2 doubles championship his freshman year. "(Central coach Bob) Warkentine really focused in practice (Tuesday). He put a lot of emphasis on winning the tournament and keeping the trophy at home. "Today the Mustangs showed up and played. I'm really proud of our whole team." Huseman arid Lamb had little trouble in their title run, beating Topeka West's Ryan Snell and Chris Humphrey 6-3, 6-0 for the championship. Chris Wilson and Ben Hoffman topped South's Mike Bittenger and Wes Burt 6-1, 7-6 (75) in the No. 2 doubles final. Central sophomore Pete Stroer breezed to the No. 1 singles title, Daniel Koeppl won No. 2 singles and Lance Jones No. 3 singles. "We were focused," Warkentine said. "Yesterday we had a practice and there wasn't a lot of noise. We knew we would have to beat a good South and Topeka West team, but we came in and really focused in as a team. "This is one of the more competitive leagues this year. We just had a good day. This is the best Salina South team I've ever seen and without a doubt Topeka West's got a great team. I knew we'd have to play well as a team and wow — we sure did." Huseman and Lamb, who had a first-round bye, warmed up for the championship match with a 9-3 semifinal victory over Manhattan's Mike Barlow and Chester Klotz. They faltered briefly in the first set of the final, dropping three straight games after leading 4-0, but won the last eight games to close out the match. "Once it was 4-3, we had to stop the bleeding," Lamb said. "You See TENNIS, Page 03 T HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL Mustangs earn split; with High After losing opener in eight innings, Central •prevails in game two : By HAROLD BECHARD The Salina Journal ^ It was a doubleheader sweep for the taking, but Topeka High and Salina Central each went home with one win Wednesday night after the two teams swapped 6-5 vie? tories at Evans Stadium. ; Topeka High came back from a two-run deficit in the opener to win in eight innings, while Central scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings in the nightcap to battle back from a 5-4 deficit. -' The split left Central with a 9--U record (4-6 in the 1-70 League) heading into next Tuesday's Class 6A regional in Topeka. But Central coach Bill Bartbw and his players know it could have easily been a sweep for them. The Mustangs lejt 21 runners on base and committed eight errors in the doubleheader. "We left 10 guys on base (11 in the second game) in both games, but just didn't get the big hit," Bat- tow said. "Time and time again, we couldn't come up with a hit when we needed it. It's unbelievable." The Mustangs made six errors to the opener as Topeka High (7-11) scored two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game and one hi the eighth to win. ; The Mustangs took a 5-3 Iea4 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Clete Wilson walked with one out and went to third on a double to right by Todd Just. Dan DivilbisS was intentionally walked and Brian Lamone drove in a run on a fielder's choice. Parker Wallace"al; so added an RBI single. " The Mustangs then had the tying run thrown out at home in the bot- torn of the eighth when Zak Fellers tried to score from second on a sin; gle to left by Wilson. " '. In the second game, Central jumped on Topeka starter Russ Emerick for three runs in the bofc torn of the first as Bobby BartoW, Wilson, Just, Divilbiss and Brian Gary all singled. The Mustangs left the door open with the bases loaded and no outs, but failed to score any more runs. ! The Mustangs took a 4-1 lead' hi the bottom of the third on an KBJ single by Joe Williams, but Topdka High came back with two runs' in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 5-4 lead. : ". Central got the game tied in the bottom of the sixth. Bartow singled and scored after a single by Wilson led to the ball being thrown into the Mustang dugout. The Mustangs won the game in the seventh when a high-bounding ball to third by Wilson was misplayed, allowing Wallace to score the winning run. Bartow had three hits in the game and scored twice to help Craig Norris pick up the win. Now it's on to regional tournament play for Central with Salina South, Topeka Seaman and Topeka West. "Salina Central has never had a team get to the state tournament, but we're capable of being there," Bartow said. "When you look at our 9-11 record, it's not where any of us wants to be. We're looking, at 14 or 15 wins if we just played a little better ball." SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjnews® saljournal.com

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