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Here’s your local sports scores for Thursday, January 29.

Girls:

Gainesville 56
Thayer 33

Bakersfield 53
Cabool 49

Licking 69
Norwood 46 (Mansfield Tourney)

Boys:

Seymour 81
Houston 71

Bradleyville 58
Norwood 57

Mountain Grove 71
Marshfield 62 (Mtn. Grove Tourney)

Hartville 71
Salem, Mo. 48 (Mtn. Grove Tourney)

Tonight’s schedule includes:

Girls:

West Plains vs. Mt. Vernon (Carthage Tournament, KSPQ, 7:30 pm)

New Covenant @ Lutie

Koshkonong @ Thayer

Cabool @ Seymour

Ava vs Niangua (Mansfield Tourney)

Boys:

West Plains vs. Savannah (Bolivar Tournament, KDY, 7:30 pm)

Seymour @ Plato

Lesterville @ Liberty

Niangua @ Norwood

Bakersfield vs. Dora (Mtn. Grove Tourney)

Willow Springs vs. Ava (Mtn. Grove Tourney)

Aurora vs. Gainesville (Rogersville Tourney

Sparta vs. Mansfield (Sparta Tourney)

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Kentucky coach John Calipari, right, discusses the play of Devin Booker, left, as Booker is taken out of the game during the first half of an NCAA college basketball matchup against Missouri on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Kentucky coach John Calipari, right, discusses the play of Devin Booker, left, as Booker is taken out of the game during the first half of an NCAA college basketball matchup against Missouri on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The way his team rolled over Missouri when they met a couple weeks ago, Kentucky coach John Calipari anticipated the Tigers throwing a few haymakers in the rematch.

They wound up playing so physical that three Tigers fouled out.

The top-ranked Wildcats took advantage of their parade to the foul line, too, racking up free points during a decisive second-half run that gave them a 69-53 victory Thursday night.

“It’s going to be like you saw today. We just have to play through the physical play,” said Calipari, whose team waxed the Tigers by 49 points on Jan. 13. “You don’t beat somebody like we did there and – they came back and played like I would have expected them to play.”

In other words, a whole lot better. But still not good enough.

Andrew Harrison had 15 points and twin brother Aaron Harrison had 11 for the Wildcats, who improved to 20-0 for the third time in school history. They are just five wins away from matching the record start achieved by Adolph Rupp’s team in 1953-54.

As usual, Kentucky (7-0 SEC) won with defense. Missouri turned the ball over 15 times and shot just 38 percent from the field in the second half, when the game was largely decided.

“We beat them pretty bad last time,” Andrew Harrison acknowledged, “but we know they’re a better team than they played at Rupp, so we had to come in and play as hard as we could.”

Wes Clark scored 19 points for the Tigers (7-13, 1-6), who have lost six straight for the first time since 2006. Johnathan Williams III added 10 points and five rebounds.

Five players fouled out in the mucky game, resulting in a combined 57 free throws.

“I’m not happy losing, but we played a lot better,” Tigers coach Kim Anderson said. “All I can ask is these guys keep fighting, and that’s what they do, that’s what they’ve done. And it’s not always pretty, but they didn’t quit. They kept fighting.”

The Tigers looked game for most of the first half Thursday night.

Milking the clock with crisp ball movement, Missouri was able to crack Kentucky’s long and lean front line for easy baskets. Keanau Post started it with a rim-rattling dunk a few minutes in, and a pair of dunks by Ryan Rosburg had the fans in Mizzou Arena on their feet. Another dunk by Jakeenan Gant late in the half allowed the Tigers to close within 32-25.

The Wildcats struggled some more early in the second half, throwing up a series of ugly jumpers and missing a couple shots at the rim. Missouri struggled to take advantage, but did close within 38-32 on Clark’s basket with 14:25 to go.

Foul trouble began to set in, though, with Namon Wright and Montaque Gill-Caesar each picking up their fourth with more than 15 minutes left in the game. The Wildcats, with more quality depth, were able to capitalize on their absences and put together a 10-2 run to gain control.

The Harrison twins led the way. Aaron knocked down a jumper, and after Andrew did the same, he proceeded to the foul line on the next four trips down the floor.

Wright fouled out with 8:52 to go. Gill-Caesar joined him less than a minute later. And by the time the Wildcats had hit those free throws, their lead had swelled to 56-36.

The Wildcats cruised from there, running their overall against Missouri to 8-0.

“We lost by 50 there, we only lost by 16 tonight,” Clark said, shaking his head. “Better effort, but we still got beat.”

THROWBACK GAME

Kentucky only hit two 3-pointers, one each from Aaron Harrison and Dominique Hawkins. The Tigers only hit four from the arc, three of those from Clark. The majority of the game was played in the paint, where the teams combined for 48 points.

BLOCK PARTY

The Wildcats were tops nationally with 155 blocks coming in. Karl-Anthony Towns had the only swat of the smaller Tigers on Thursday night.

TIP-INS

Kentucky: Devin Booker had nine points against his father Melvin’s alma mater. He was booed every time he touched the ball. … Towns and Marcus Lee fouled out for the Wildcats.

Missouri: Post also fouled out for the Tigers. … Missouri fell to 4-18 against No. 1-ranked teams. Their last victory came against former rival Kansas in 1997.

UP NEXT

Kentucky: returns to Rupp Arena to face Alabama on Saturday.

Missouri: wraps a three-game homestand against Ole Miss on Saturday.

By NATE LATSCH
Associated Press

St. Louis Blues' Kevin Shattenkirk, right, scores past Nashville Predators goalie Carter Hutton during a shootout of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in St. Louis. The Blues won 5-4 in a shootout.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

St. Louis Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk, right, scores past Nashville Predators goalie Carter Hutton during a shootout of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in St. Louis. The Blues won 5-4 in a shootout.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kevin Shattenkirk took the blame for allowing the tying goal in the final minutes of regulation. He also took advantage of a chance to make up for it later.

The Blues defenseman, who also celebrated his 26th birthday on Thursday, scored the winner in the shootout to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators.

“I felt like that last goal late in the third was something that kind of fell on my shoulders and wanted the opportunity to get it back, especially for Brian (Elliott),” Shattenkirk said. “The opportunity presented itself so I really wanted to make it count.”

Jaden Schwartz, T.J. Oshie, Steve Ott and Ryan Reaves all scored in regulation for the Blues, who improved to 8-0-1 over their last nine games. Elliott made 33 saves, including 14 in the third period and four in overtime.

“We hate to relinquish a point to these guys, but we’re staying on a roll,” Shattenkirk said. “I think we had a pretty solid game. They’re a tough team. They never really die and they never quit, so it was a great way for us to stay with it and finally get one on them.”

Mike Fisher scored twice and added an assist for Nashville and Filip Forsberg and James Neal both scored goals. Carter Hutton made 31 saves.

The Central Division-leading Predators, who finished 3-1-1 against the Blues this season, got a goal from Neal with 2:38 remaining in regulation to tie the score and send it to overtime.

Nashville scored first, with 7:11 left in the first period, when Fisher deflected a shot from Roman Josi that ricocheted off the glass and then off Elliott’s back and into the net. It was the 500th point of Fisher’s career and the Predators’ 13th power-play goal in 14 games.

Forsberg gave Nashville a 2-0 lead at the 5:36 mark of the second period when he knocked in the rebound of a shot from Craig Smith.

St. Louis answered with three straight goals.

Schwartz scored his 17th on the rebound off a shot by Vladimir Tarasenko on a partial breakaway after Tarasenko outraced Mattias Ekholm to the puck.

Then Oshie scored his 14th on a rebound of a Paul Stastny shot with 7:24 remaining in the second period and Steve Ott scored on a rebound of Shattenkirk’s shot just 26 seconds later to give the Blues a 3-2 lead.

Nashville tied the score with 4:28 left in the period on Fisher’s second goal, and 11th of the season.

Then St. Louis took the lead again with 1:45 remaining in the second after Reaves stole the puck from Seth Jones at the blue line and blasted a shot through Hutton’s legs for a 4-3 advantage.

Neal tied it late in the third with his 16th of the season.

“The third period our guys showed up and really I think hit the gas pedal, generated a lot of forecheck play searching for that goal,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “I thought we could have scored four or five goals in that period.”

Elliott and Hutton each made four saves in the extra period.

Oshie led off the shootout and scored for St. Louis. Roman Josi tied it with a goal in the third round. Then Shattenkirk faked out Hutton for the winner and Elliott made a save on Neal to end it.

“They’re a good team,” Oshie said. “There’s a little rivalry going there with us and Nashville. They’re a good team. They’re hard to play against. They play, it seems, for a full 60 and then some. They match up well against us. It’s always fun to rise to these occasions to get the two points.”

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl disputes a call in favor of Texas A&M during an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/AL.com, Julie Bennett)

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl disputes a call in favor of Texas A&M during an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/AL.com, Julie Bennett)

Here are things to watch in Southeastern Conference basketball this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK: Auburn at Tennessee: There may be more important games this weekend in terms of the SEC standings, but for pure theater, nothing can match Auburn coach Bruce Pearl’s return to Knoxville. Pearl coached Tennessee from 2005-11 and led the Volunteers to NCAA tournament appearances in each of his six seasons before getting fired amid an NCAA investigation. Even after his departure, Pearl remained so popular in Knoxville that fans circulated an online petition to bring him back as Tennessee’s coach last year. Pearl instead landed at Auburn and will face his former school for the first time Saturday.

LOOKING AHEAD: Texas A&M has won five straight games and has a chance to solidify its status as the league’s second-best team behind top-ranked Kentucky. The Aggies host Vanderbilt on Saturday and then travel to Mississippi and Missouri before three straight home games against Georgia, Florida and LSU. They have a reasonable chance to win each of those games if they continue playing the way they have lately. The Aggies are on their longest conference winning streak since February 2011, when they still played in the Big 12.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Arkansas guard Michael Qualls scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half to give Arkansas a 69-64 triumph over Tennessee on Tuesday. He also had 30 points in a 93-91 overtime victory over Alabama last week. Mississippi’s Jarvis Summers scored all of his 22 points in the second half to help the Rebels rally for a 79-73 victory over Mississippi State on Wednesday.

NUMBERS GAME: Vanderbilt’s six-game skid is the program’s longest since losing nine straight in February 2003. … Ole Miss is shooting nearly 80 percent on its free throws, which is the best mark in NCAA Division I. It also would lead the NBA. … Dating back to last season, Kentucky has won 24 of its past 25 games. The only loss was in the national championship game to Connecticut. … The SEC had six teams in the RPI top 50, according to the NCAA’s latest rankings on Thursday, including Kentucky (2), Arkansas (18), Georgia (24), Texas A&M (34), LSU (36) and Ole Miss (48).

ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: No. 21 Georgia must play the remainder of the season without leading scorer Shacobia Barbee, who underwent surgery Wednesday after fracturing a bone in her lower right leg three days earlier at Tennessee. Barbee’s injury occurred just two weeks after No. 10 Kentucky lost starting point guard Janee Thompson for the rest of the season due to a broken fibula.

By ROB MAADDI, AP Pro Football Writer

Seattle Seahawks' Doug Baldwin answers a question at a news conference for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in Phoenix. The Seahawks play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Seattle Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin answers a question at a news conference for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in Phoenix. The Seahawks play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) — Doug Baldwin led the Seattle Seahawks in catches and yards receiving.

He ranked 42nd in the NFL in both categories.

Forty-second.

It’s no surprise that Hall of Famer and NFL Network’s Deion Sanders dissed Baldwin and the rest of Seattle’s receiving group.

Few analysts give them any credit. So after Baldwin had six catches for 106 yards in the NFC championship game against Green Bay, he directed one of his rants toward Sanders.

“That’s just what ‘pedestrian, average, mediocre’ receivers do. What’s up my man Deion Sanders?” Baldwin said right after the game.

Criticism of Seattle’s receivers comes from ex-players-turned-broadcasters, other reporters and plenty of fans on social media.

“It’s thrown in my face day in and day out,” Baldwin said. “I have friends that text-message me whatever is out there. I don’t mind it because I use it for extra motivation. I have a shirt underneath my sweatshirt that says, ‘Pedestrians with attitude.’ We enjoy the label because we embrace it.”

The New England Patriots aren’t saying anything this week to motivate Baldwin even more going into Sunday’s Super Bowl.

“They work hard, they play hard and they are very passionate,” Patriots safety Patrick Chung said of Seattle’s receivers. “I see that on film. I’m not going to label them. You can say what you want to say about them, but they are here for a reason. They are here because they are good and they can make plays.”

Baldwin has calmed down as the Big Game approaches. He even said he’d rather Marshawn Lynch win the MVP award on Sunday.

“We are not about statistics here, obviously,” Baldwin said. “We only care about winning games and winning championships. We know the formula that we have put in place is if Marshawn wins the MVP then we have done our job on offense. That means that we have controlled the pace of the game.”

There’s no Megatron, Dez Bryant or A.J. Green on the Patriots, either. They also have an unheralded group of receivers.

Julian Edelman led New England with 92 catches, but he was 25th in the league in yards receiving with 972. Brandon LaFell had 74 catches for 953 yards. Tom Brady has only had one elite receiver — Randy Moss — in his career and they set records together during New England’s 16-0 regular season in 2007.

“It’s a really selfless group, guys that are always putting the team first,” Brady said. “Everybody has a little different skillset. I think that once we hit our stride and everybody found a role for themselves, they really embraced their role. None of them have really played in a Super Bowl before. Hopefully we bring our excitement and as much enthusiasm as possible and we go out and play as best as we possibly can.”

Jermaine Kearse, Seattle’s No. 2 wideout, had 38 catches for 537 yards and one TD in the regular season. But Kearse had three catches for a career-best 129 yards and one TD in a 31-17 playoff win over Carolina. Kearse then caught a 35-yard TD pass in overtime to win the NFC championship game.

“It’s just about maximizing opportunities,” Kearse said. “Just whenever you have an opportunity you’ve got to make the most of it. I just try to go out there and compete no matter what the stage is if it’s regular season or it’s a preseason game or it’s a playoff game.”

The Seahawks thought they got a legitimate No. 1 receiver when they acquired Percy Harvin from Minnesota in March 2013 for a trio of draft picks, including a first-rounder.

But Harvin missed the first 2 1/2 months that year and was traded to the New York Jets last October. His departure opened the way for Baldwin and Kearse.

“Obviously we would get more opportunities because we were down a guy, but it was just business as usual for us,” Baldwin said.

Golden Tate was Seattle’s top wideout last year. He had 64 catches for 898 yards and one TD in an offense built on Lynch’s running and Russell Wilson’s scrambling.

Tate signed a lucrative deal in free agency with Detroit and made his first Pro Bowl this year after catching 99 passes for 1,331 yards and four TDs. Since Tate proved he could thrive in a pass-heavy offense, perhaps Baldwin will try to do the same in two years when he’s an unrestricted free agent.

For now, earning another Super Bowl ring is all that matters.

“I’m just trying to focus on the task at hand and living in the moment,” Baldwin said. “I don’t really think I will be able to fathom what we are doing yet (until) a couple years down the line.”

By MICHELLE R. SMITH, Associated Press

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, center, listens during his murder trial, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Fall River, Mass., as defense attorney Charles Rankin, left, looks on while an image of Odin Lloyd is displayed on a monitor, right. Hernandez is charged with killing Lloyd, 27, a semiprofessional football player, in June 2013.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, center, listens during his murder trial, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Fall River, Mass., as defense attorney Charles Rankin, left, looks on while an image of Odin Lloyd is displayed on a monitor, right. Hernandez is charged with killing Lloyd, 27, a semiprofessional football player, in June 2013. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Jurors heard grim testimony Friday in the murder trial of former New England Patriots standout Aaron Hernandez, who has been portrayed by his lawyers as a man with “the world at his feet” and no reason to kill.

Two men who worked at a business near where semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd’s body was found described a teenage jogger coming to their office early on the evening of June 17, 2013, to alert them to the body, then leading them down to an empty lot.

One of the men, David Swithers, said he stopped about 20 feet away and saw a man on his back.

“He was stiff and motionless. There were flies flying in and out of his nostrils,” he said. “I called 911.”

For the second straight day, Lloyd’s mother left the courtroom in tears as the prosecution showed photographs of his body. Hernandez’s brother, DJ, sat behind the defense table and frequently rubbed his eyes.

Hernandez, 25, is charged in the 2013 shooting death of Lloyd, a 27-year-old who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez’s North Attleborough home, not far from Gillette Stadium.

In a separate murder case that has yet to come to trial, Hernandez was charged last year in Boston with killing two men in 2012 after someone spilled a drink on him at a nightclub.

Hernandez — who had a $40 million contract as a tight end but was cut by the Patriots just hours after his arrest in Lloyd’s slaying — could get life in prison if convicted. On Sunday, the Patriots will meet the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

Prosecutor William McCauley showed the photos of Lloyd’s body as he questioned Captain John White, a firefighter and paramedic who pronounced Lloyd dead at the scene.

Lloyd is shown in the photos lying on his back with his left fist curled in a ball over the gunshot wounds to his chest.

But before prosecutors showed the photos, the judge cautioned jurors that the images would be graphic and that they shouldn’t let their emotions sway them in the case.

Opening statements Thursday offered insights into the prosecution’s case against Hernandez and the defense’s strategy to prove his innocence.

District Attorney Patrick Bomberg showed the jury before-and-after security video to connect Hernandez to Lloyd’s killing.

He played footage that he said showed Lloyd getting into a Nissan Altima rental car driven by Hernandez, then video from the NFL player’s home, taken shortly after Lloyd was killed, without Lloyd in the car.

Prosecutors say Hernandez and two of his friends drove Lloyd to the industrial park and shot him. The two friends are awaiting trial.

The prosecutor also presented an image taken off Hernandez’s video surveillance system that showed Hernandez standing outside his basement, holding what Bomberg said was a gun.

He said a marijuana joint found near Lloyd’s body had Hernandez’s and Lloyd’s DNA. Hernandez’s DNA also was on a shell casing from a bullet found under the driver’s seat of the rental car, Bomberg said. He told jurors that the casing was fired by the same weapon as casings found at the crime scene: a .45-caliber Glock.

Defense attorney Michael Fee told the jury that Hernandez is an innocent man “targeted” by authorities for his celebrity.

He said the evidence would show that Hernandez did not kill Lloyd and did not ask anyone to do so. He said authorities could offer no motive for the killing.

Noting that Hernandez had long-term football contract, a new house, a fiancee and a 7-month-old baby, the defense attorney said Hernandez “was planning a future, not a murder.”

By DOUG FERGUSON

Tiger Woods hits out of the rough on the 11th hole during the first round of the Phoenix Open golf tournament, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Tiger Woods hits out of the rough on the 11th hole during the first round of the Phoenix Open golf tournament, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Four holes into his first tournament of the year, Tiger Woods already was 4-over par and 10 shots out of the lead in the Phoenix Open.

When he reached his tee shot on the par-4 fifth hole, he saw the golf ball partially sunken in a divot. Woods put his hands on his hips, closed his eyes and shook his head, wondering what else could possibly go wrong.

He couldn’t chip.

He made only one putt over 6 feet, which is misleading only because Woods had just three birdie attempts on the green from inside 20 feet.

He hit one tee shot off the wall of someone’s backyard, another in the desert that was marked by a hazard, and yet another that sailed into the gallery on a hill.

This was not the same Tiger Woods the crowd in Phoenix saw 14 years ago.

His last time at this tournament, Woods was No. 1 in the world by a mile and working his way toward Augusta National and a chance to sweep the majors, which he did. Now he is No. 47 in the world, coming off another injury-laden season, without a major in eight years.

He is 39. And he needs time.

“This is my second tournament in six months, so I just need tournament rounds like this where I can fight through it, turn it around, grind through it and make adjustments on the fly,” Woods said.

Woods came up with two big shots on the back nine to salvage a 2-over 73. That left him nine shots behind Ryan Palmer, who had a 64.

It was the first time in his career that Woods shot over par in his first round of the year.

There were a few bright spots.

He was toward the bottom of the leaderboard at 5 over through 12 holes when he hit 5-iron to tap-in range for eagle. With water down the left side and a perilous chip shot awaiting for anything to the right — the last thing he needed — Woods smoked a tee shot on the par-4 17th onto the green, pin-high to right, setting up a two-putt birdie.

And he made it through the par-3 16th hole without too much of an incident.

As he settled over his tee shot and was about to pull the trigger, someone in the stands screamed out, “Knock it in the tooth!” That was a reference to that photograph last week of Woods at a World Cup ski race in Italy missing his front tooth.

On his next try, someone else shouted, “Everybody quiet.”

Woods never lost his poise, hit the middle of the green and made par.

Even so, the focus shifted quickly from the chipped tooth to simply his chipping. Woods twice chipped with a 4-iron, opting to bump the ball instead of loft it. Both came up dreadfully short. One led to bogey, the other a double bogey when he three-putted from 20 feet on the fringe.

He clanked a routine chip some 15 feet by the hole for a bogey. He bladed one across the green at No. 9 and chose to use his putter to go back a slope.

Perhaps the greater indication of the state of his game is that no one was terribly surprised by the struggle, although the chipping is becoming a topic. Woods is working with a new swing consultant, trying to fashion a swing similar to his glory days. He says the change means trying to get rid of the old swing, even in his chipping.

This could be a process.

“It’s not the first time I have gone through this. It takes time,” Woods said. “It’s just a frustrating thing where I just need to get through competitive rounds. I need to get rounds out of my belt and get a feel for it. Eventually I start trusting it, start shaping shots, and then you just go play. Don’t worry about it a whole lot.”

His game was anything but super, but the atmosphere sure was.

The attendance was estimated at 118,461, breaking the Thursday record at the Waste Management Phoenix Open by just over 30,000. Woods and the Super Bowl in town are the reason for that. And while so much attention was on Woods for the opening round, other players benefited from the high-charged atmosphere.

Keegan Bradley and Masters champion Bubba Watson each shot 65, one shot out of the lead.

Watson hit a drive on the 17th that rolled inches by the hole. He missed the 5-foot eagle putt, but picked up an eagle on the third hole. There was a big crowd for that one, for Watson played in the group behind Woods.

“I could feel his crowd was really big,” Watson said. “You could feel it, the energy, even with the weather the way it was. People still showed up. People still had a blast. And obviously, Tiger created a lot of that.”

Bradley could sense it, too, even though he played on the opposite side of the draw. Bradley finished his round on No. 9 and hit what he thought was a great approach, except that he wasn’t sure because no one was clapping. He turned to his caddie and asked him if it went over the green, or maybe even short of the green. And then he walked up to the green and saw it was 10 feet away. That’s when the light came on.

“Tiger was on the second green. No one was watching me,” Bradley said with a laugh. “It’s just amazing to see the draw that Tiger has. Wow, there was a lot of people.”

They saw some good golf — just not very often from Woods.

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates a point won over Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates a point won over Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic reached a fifth Australian Open final, avenged a long and arduous loss to Stan Wawrinka and ensured he’d renew an old rivalry with Andy Murray.

The top-ranked Djokovic was so absorbed in the moment, he lost track of the score during Friday’s semifinal. His mental lapse after the third set probably cost him the fourth, but the four-time Australian Open champion recovered with three service breaks in the fifth set to beat defending champion Wawrinka 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.

“Sometimes these things happen, you get carried away by a moment,” Djokovic said, trying to explain his perplexed expression after he’d taken a lead of two sets to one. “I was very confused when I saw the security on the court.

“The circumstances, obviously playing Grand Slam semifinals against the defending champion … a lot of emotions going around. Sometimes you can’t keep track of the score.”

Djokovic has a 100 percent winning record in finals at Melbourne Park, claiming his first Grand Slam here in 2008 and winning three straight titles from 2011 before losing in the quarterfinals last year to Wawrinka. Only Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg had reached five men’s finals at the Australian in the Open era.

The previous two meetings between Djokovic and Wawrinka at the Australian Open had gone to five sets and lasted a combined nine hours. Friday’s match lacked that kind of intensity and memorable moments.

“Strange,” Wawrinka said. “Not the best.”

At times Wawrinka got on top of Djokovic, who sometimes looked lethargic. Despite dropping serve in four of the five sets, Djokovic kept his composure in the 3-hour, 30-minute match as Wawrinka blasted 42 winners but offset that with 69 unforced errors.

The momentum shifted suddenly in three of the five sets, with both players struggling to turn service breaks into big leads and wasting breakpoint opportunities. Djokovic hit 27 winners — none in the fourth set — and finished with 49 unforced errors.

“The battle was great … in terms of fighting from both sides,” Djokovic said, “but the level of performance was not where I wanted it to be.”

It was good enough to increase his career record to 17 wins in 20 matches against Wawrinka, who won his first major title here last year. The Swiss player didn’t advance past the quarterfinals at his next three Grand Slam events, and will drop to No. 9 when the next rankings are released.

“There’s no pressure for that,” Wawrinka said of the burden of defending a title. “But, no, for sure we had some great battles here last two years. Today was strange match. He was there playing good enough to win and he deserve to win and play the final.”

Murray is moving in the other direction, restoring his position in the so-called Big Four of major winners that includes Djokovic, No. 2 Federer and No. 3 Rafael Nadal, who dominated the Grand Slam titles for so long.

Sixth-seeded Murray, who has lost three Australian Open finals, moved into the championship match with a fiery four-set win over No. 7 Tomas Berdych on Thursday night.

Djokovic has beaten Murray in seven of their last eight matches and is 15-8 overall, but they’re level in Grand Slam finals with two wins apiece — Djokovic in Australia in 2011 and ’13 and Murray at the 2012 U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 2013.

And then there’s the question of fitness, and whether Djokovic can rebound quickly and with one less day to prepare.

“There’s no question about it. Some points of the match I did struggle physically to recover for the next one,” Djokovic said of his semifinal. “I didn’t have many free points on the first serve as I did throughout the tournament, so that was a significant change. But, you know, nothing that will worry me. You know, I’m sure that I’ll be fit and ready for finals.

“Once you’re on the court, you really forget about being exhausted or, you know, sick or something like this.”

Top-ranked Serena Williams had to re-schedule a practice session ahead of Saturday’s women’s final against No. 2 Maria Sharapova.

“I’ve been sick with a cold all week, and I got better, then I got worse the morning,” said Williams, who has won 15 in a row against Sharapova, has won all five Australian Open finals she has contested and is chasing a 19th major title.

She was feeling well enough to return to the practice court in the afternoon.

by Harlin Hutchison

(West Plains) – The Missouri State University West Plains Grizzlies take to the road to play Moberly this Saturday evening at 7 pm. The Grizzlies are coming off an upset of #7 Mineral Area on Tuesday night and are tied for first in Region 16.

The Grizzlies have experienced mixed results at Moberly over the last 5 years, alternating wins with losses from one year to the next. Two year’s ago, the Grizzlies won at Moberly 62-58, but lost in a blowout last year, 91-55.

The Grizzlies are 17-7 overall while Moberly is 16-7. On the road, the Grizzlies are 2-4 while the Greyhounds are 9-2 at home.

by Harlin Hutchison

(Jefferson City) – The new state rankings are out for high school basketball in Missouri, and this week’s coaches poll features some subtle changes.

In Class 4 girls, West Plains stays at number 4 in spite of their upset last week of the then second ranked class 5 team, Kickapoo.

Bolivar is ranked eighth and Hillcrest is ninth.

In Class 2, Skyline is the new number one team. Gainesville is ranked fifth with Plato number seven.

In Class 2 boys, Gainesville is ranked fourth, followed by Hartville at number 5. The Winona Wildcats are ranked eighth.