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Archive for February, 2013

     AMES, Iowa (AP) – The start of the Big 12 track and field championships has been postponed by a winter storm that buried parts of the Midwest in more than a foot of snow.
     The meet was scheduled to start Friday on the campus of Iowa State but some teams and officials were not going to be able to arrive in Ames on time.
     The competition will follow the original schedule but now be held Saturday and Sunday.

(West Plains) – Officials with the West Plains School District say that West Plains Middle School 5th/6th grade boys game tonight at Richards has been postponed. The WPHS Boys JV & Varsity Games tonight have also been postponed.

New dates will be determined for both and emailed at a later date.

Also, the WPHS Cross Country/Basketball Krispy Kreme fundraiser pick-up has been postponed until Friday at 3:00pm.

(Eminence) – The Eminence Red Wings played the South Iron panthers in the Championship game of the Class 1 District 3 Tournament.

Brad McNew has the update:

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Again the final score is:

Eminence – 58
South Iron – 53

(Willow Springs) – Wednesday evening the Willow Springs Lady Bears met the Licking Lady Wildcats with hopes to make it to the District Championship game.

Marty Spence has the wrap:

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Again, the final is:

Licking – 57
WS        – 40

COLUMBIA, Mo. • Serving notice that it still has the makeup for a memorable season despite the ups and downs that had marked it to date, Mizzou toppled fifth-ranked Florida 63-60 on Tuesday at Mizzou Arena to avenge a 31-point loss last month in Gainesville.

The Tigers improved to 15-0 at home this season by overcoming a 13-point second-half deficit and managing the final minutes of the game in a way that had eluded them in a series of close losses on the road.

Before a raucous, capacity crowd of 15,061, perhaps one of the most revved-up for any game not featuring Kansas, MU improved to 19-7 overall and 8-5 in the Southeastern Conference as the Gators fell to 21-4 and 11-2 — but not until Mike Rosario’s buzzer-beating 3-point attempt from the corner aired over the rim.

In his most complete game back since returning from last month’s knee injury, Laurence Bowers led Mizzou with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Phil Pressey had 10 assists and five turnovers along with six rebounds, seven points and three steals to flip his six-assist, 10-turnover effort in the 83-52 loss Jan. 19 at Florida.

In contrast to his play there, which Florida coach Billy Donovan said Tuesday night was “crazy,” and some of his struggles down the stretch in several late Mizzou losses, Pressey had seven assists with no turnovers in the last 15 minutes, 50 seconds.

But on a night when Pressey clearly was more attuned to distributing the ball well than he had been, he also dished the credit.

“When I say everybody contributed to that win, I mean everybody,” he said. “Deep down inside, it took everybody for us to win that game.”

Florida entered the game leading the SEC in scoring defense (52.6 points a game), field-goal percentage defense (.371), 3-point shooting percentage (.497) and assist to turnover ratio (1.4), telling traits of a team that plays suffocating defense and fluid, fundamentally sound offense.

And it all coalesced early, with the Gators springing to an 18-6 lead on four 3-pointers and a flurry of MU turnovers and misfires that suggested a long night could be ahead for Mizzou.

But just as the Tigers were starting to lose contact, they hoisted themselves back into contention with nine first-half points by a rejuvenated Bowers and an 8-0 run bookended by a Jabari Brown 3 and a Keion Bell steal for a layup that cut it to 29-26 at halftime.

Florida hit seven of its first 11 from the field but just four of 18 the rest of the half as the Tigers went the opposite way to recover from a four-of-13 start and make seven of their last 13 of the half.

That momentum carried over early in the second half, when MU extended its run to 10-0 on Pressey’s two free throws to cut it to 29-28.

But the Gators found their 3-point eye again, hitting four 3s in five minutes to open the lead back up to 48-36.

A Scottie Wilbekin free throw gave the Gators their biggest lead, but Mizzou stayed afloat on back-to-back 3-pointers by Brown and Earnest Ross and went into overdrive for what became a 12-0 run by adding two Ross free throws, a fastbreak layup by Bell off a Florida turnover and a Bowers dunk from Pressey.

Presto, MU was down just one again.

A Rosario jumper and floater gave the Gators back some space at 53-48, but the Gators bungled a chance to put it away by missing the front ends of three one-and-ones and a fourth straight free throw as the Tigers stayed on their trail with two Brown free throws to make it 54-53.

Ross missed a chance to give MU its first lead after a steal on the ensuing possession, and Florida’s Kenny Boynton converted a three-point play to make it 57-53 with 3:45 left.

But the Tigers finally went ahead, 59-57, on a Brown 3 and a Pressey three-point play.

Wilbekin hit a 3, but Florida couldn’t score again after Bowers put in what proved to be the game-winning basket with 1:15 left.

After Boynton missed a 3, MU might have put it away sooner as it ran off some clock. But Ross fell and drew a traveling call after rebounding Pressey’s missed 3, giving Florida the ball back with 19.1 seconds left.

Boynton then missed another 3, and Bell accounted for the final score with his two free throws with 3.1 seconds left – making for the signature win of MU’s season.

“We really haven’t had a team win like this,” Pressey said.

Vahe Gregorian covers Mizzou and the Olympics for the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @vgregorian
     TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes says he is getting treatment for a bulging disk and will be on anti-inflammatory medication for four to five days.
     Hughes said on Wednesday that he’s getting better every day and is not concerned about the injury being a long-term problem.
     “I’m convinced I’ll be symptom-free in the next four or five days,” Hughes said
     The right-hander had an MRI on Tuesday, one day after experiencing discomfort in the upper back during a defensive drill. Hughes went 16-13 in 32 starts for the Yankees last season.
     AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Lance Armstrong is facing a Wednesday deadline to decide whether he will meet with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officials and talk with them under oath about what he knows about performance-enhancing drug use in cycling.
     The agency has said Armstrong’s cooperation in its cleanup effort is the only path open to Armstrong if his lifetime ban from sports is to be reduced.
     Armstrong has given mixed signals about whether he plans to talk with USADA officials. Armstrong attorney Tim Herman previously suggested Armstrong would not meet with USADA before the agency’s original Feb. 6 deadline. The two sides then agreed to give Armstrong another two weeks to work out an interview with investigators.
     Armstrong previously denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but in January admitted doping to win seven Tour de France titles.
     MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) – Middle Tennessee football players Jared Singletary, Marcus Henry and Adam Stickel are facing charges after being arrest following a nightclub fight.
     Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said in a statement “this is not the reflection of our football program we want at Middle Tennessee and we will react accordingly after gathering all the information.”
     Singletary, a cornerback, and former Blue Raiders wide receiver Anthony Amos were charged with disorderly conduct, according to The (Murfreesboro) Daily News Journal. Henry, a receiver, was charged with disorderly conduct and evading and resisting arrest. Stickel, an offensive lineman, faces charges of underage consumption, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public intoxication. Former defensive lineman Jerrold Frazier was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
     Police didn’t immediately return a message Tuesday night.

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius wept Tuesday as his defense lawyer read the athlete’s account of how he shot his girlfriend to death on Valentine’s Day, claiming he had mistaken her for an intruder.

Prosecutors, however, told a packed courtroom that the double-amputee known as the Blade Runner intentionally and mercilessly shot and killed 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp model as she cowered inside a locked bathroom.

Pistorius told the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court at a bail hearing he felt vulnerable in the presence of an intruder inside the bathroom because he did not have on his prosthetic legs on, and fired into the bathroom door.

In a major point of contention that has already emerged, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Pistorius took the time to put on his prostheses, walked seven meters (yards) from the bed to the enclosed toilet inside his bathroom and only then opened fire. Three of the bullets hit Steenkamp of the four that were fired into the door, Nel said.

Pistorius said in his sworn statement that after o0pening fire, he realized that Steenkamp was not in his bed.

“It filled me with horror and fear,” Pistorius said. The 26-year-old Olympian said he put on his prosthetic legs and tried to kick down the door before finally giving up and bashing it in with a cricket bat. Inside, he said he found Steenkamp, slumped over. He said he lifted her bloodied body into his arms and tried to carry her downstairs to seek medical help.

But by then, it was too late.

“She died in my arms,” the athlete said.

The Valentine’s Day shooting death hocked South Africans and many around the world who idolized Pistorius for overcoming adversity to become a sports champion, competing in the London Olympics last year in track besides being a Paralympian. Steenkamp was a model and law graduate who made her debut on a South African reality TV program that was broadcast on Saturday, two days after her death.

Nel charged Pistorius with premeditated murder and said the athlete opened fire after they engaged in a shouting match.

“She couldn’t go anywhere. You can run nowhere,” Nel said. “It must have been horrific.”

A conviction of premeditated murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in jail.

Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair ruled that Pistorius must face the harshest bail requirements available in South African law. That means Pistorius’ lawyers must offer “exceptional” reasons for the athlete to be free before trial, besides simply giving up his two South African passports and posting a cash bond.

Pistorius sobbed softly as his lawyer, Barry Roux, insisted the shooting was an accident and that there was no evidence to substantiate a murder charge.

“Was it to kill her, or was it to get her out?” he asked about the broken-down door. “We submit it is not even murder. There is no concession this is a murder.”

Pistorius’ emotional outbursts again played a part in how the hearing progessed, as it did during an initial hearing Friday. At one point, Nair stopped the hearing after Pistorius wept as Roux read a portion of the athlete’s statement describing how Steenkamp bought him a Valentine’s Day present, but wouldn’t let him open it the night before.

“Maintain your composure,” the magistrate said. “You need to apply your mind here.”

Pistorius’ voice quivered when he answered: “Yes, my lordship.”

Affidavits from friends of Pistorius and Steenkamp read out by Roux in the hearing described the two as a charming, happy couple. The night before the killing, they said, Pistorius and Steenkamp had canceled separate plans in order to spend the night before Valentine’s Day together at his home, in a gated neighborhood of Pretoria.

Outside the court, several dozen singing women protested against domestic violence and waved placards urging that Pistorius be refused bail. “Pistorius must rot in jail,” one placard said.

As details emerged at the dramatic court hearing in the capital, Steenkamp’s body was being cremated Tuesday at a memorial service in the south-coast port city of Port Elizabeth. The family said members had arrived from around the world. Six pallbearers carried her coffin, draped with a white cloth and covered in white flowers, into the church for the private service.

South Africa has some of the world’s worst rates of violence against females and the highest rate in the world of women killed by an intimate partner, according to a study by the Medical Research Council. Another council study estimates a child or woman is raped every four minutes. While homicide rates have dropped, the number of women killed by current or former partners has increased, said the council’s Professor Rachel Jewkes. At least three women are killed by a partner every day in the country of 50 million, she said.

Steenkamp campaigned actively against domestic violence and had tweeted on Twitter that she planned to join a “Black Friday” protest by wearing black in honor of a 17-year-old girl who was gang-raped and mutilated two weeks ago.

What “she stood for, and the abuse against women, unfortunately it’s gone right around and I think the Lord knows that statement is more powerful now,” her uncle Mike Steenkamp, the family’s spokesman, said after her memorial.

He said the family had planned a big get-together at Christmas but that had not been possible. “But we are here today as a family and the only one who’s missing is Reeva,” he said, breaking down and weeping.

Pistorius has lost several valuable sponsorships estimated to be worth more than $1 million a year.

On Tuesday, the athlete was ousted from a pro-gay campaign being launched in Cape Town, organizers said. In a video axed from the campaign, Pistorius says: “You don’t have to worry. You don’t have to change. Take a deep breath and remember, `It will get better.'”

And Clarins Group, which owns Thierry Mugler Perfumes, said in an email that “out of respect and compassion for the families involved in this tragedy, Thierry Mugler Perfumes have taken the decision to withdraw all of their advertising campaigns featuring Oscar Pistorius.”

Associated Press writer Michelle Faul in Johannesburg and AP photographer Schalk van Zuydam in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, contributed to this report.

Courtesy Missouri State Athletics

San Marcos, Tx. — Tulane cashed in a series of two-out scoring opportunities to build a four-run lead and withstood a ninth-inning comeback bid by the Missouri State Bears to come away with a 6-4 victory Sunday at the CenturyLink Bobcat Invitational. MSU mounted a two-out rally of its own to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the deciding inning, but Tulane reliever Brady Wilson came up with a bases-loaded strikeout to hand the Bears their first defeat of the 2013 season.
One day after being shut out by Texas State, the Green Wave (2-1) came through in clutch situations all afternoon, pounding out 14 hits and plating five of their six runs in two-out situations. Tulane’s two-run eighth was highlighted by an RBI single off the bat of pinch hitter Tyler Oakley, as well as another two-out, run-producing hit to take a 6-2 lead into the ninth inning.

While Tulane clicked throughout the day, the Bears’ offense couldn’t capitalize on several critical scoring opportunities and left 13 runners on base. But Missouri State (2-1) — which would leave the bases loaded in each of the final two frames — came up with one final scoring chance. After Dylan Becker led-off with a walk and Luke Voit reached via a hit-by-pitch, the Bears got a two-out, two-run double from Koby Peebles to slice the deficit in half, followed by back-to-back walks to Spencer Johnson and Tate Matheny to load the bases. In his first collegiate at-bat, Tyler Harris worked the count full before swinging and missing at Wilson’s payoff pitch, ending the Bears’ quest to win their third game in as many days at Bobcat Ballpark.

Peebles clutch hit capped a 2-for-4 day in which the senior also scored a run and drew a base on balls, while Matheny posted the first two hits of his MSU career, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of walks.

After grabbing early leads in each of their first two games of the tournament, the Bears were the ones playing catch-up against the Green Wave. A Missouri State error and a Brandon Boudreaux base hit set up a first-inning Tulane rally against Bears’ starter Tyler Thompson, who recovered momentarily to retire cleanup man Sean Potkay on a tap back to the mound for the second out. But after falling behind in the count at 1-2, Garrett Cannizaro lined Thompson’s next offering off the wall in left to bring home both baserunners for a 2-0 Green Wave lead.

Tulane starter Kyle McKenzie (1-0) experienced few problems with the Bears early on, holding them hitless until a Voit single to left with one out in the fourth set off a string of four straight MSU hits. Peebles lined McKenzie’s next pitch into left-center for a hit, and Conner Wilson bounced one through the right side to plate Voit with MSU’s first run of the game. Next, Matheny struck a big blow with his first collegiate hit–a double down the right-field line to chase home Peebles and knot the score at 2-2. McKenzie avoided further damage by fanning Eric Cheray and getting Joey Hawkins on a fly ball to right, however.

The Green Wave offense went back to work in the bottom half of the fourth, as Richard Carthon’s two-out triple sparked TU, which would reclaim the lead on Cameron Burns’s base hit to right. TU would score once again with two out in the fifth to re-establish a two-run cushion. Potkay doubled with one out to get the ball rolling, moved to third on Cannizaro’s fly to left, then trotted home on Andrew Garner’s base hit to center in front of a diving Matheny. Tim Yandel followed with a double to right to give TU a pair of runners in scoring position, but Grant Gordonrelieved Thompson and promptly fanned Carthon to end inning.

MSU put together a pair of prime scoring chances in the seventh and eighth innings, only to come up empty both times. With one out in the seventh, Dylan Becker reached on an error, and Travis McComack followed with a base hit to left. But TU reliever David Napoli coaxed a come-backer on his first offering to Keenen Maddox to get out of the jam and keep it a 4-2 game. The Bears generated an even bigger threat the next inning, as Peebles and Johnson drew one-out walks, and Matheny singled through the left side to load the bases. Garner, now on in relief of Napoli, found a way out of trouble, however, striking out Trey Massenberg on three pitches, then coaxing a fly to center from Conor Smith to end the inning.

TU produced a pair of big insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning, as Oakley delivered against freshman lefty Andy Cheray to plate Garner, and Briggs Barrios single to right with two out to cap the Green Wave scoring.

Barrios, Boudreaux, Potkay and Garner each enjoyed two-hit days for Tulane, while McKenzie earned the win after completing five innings and allowing two runs on four hits.

Thompson (0-1) suffered the setback for the Bears in his first MSU start, surrendering four runs (two earned) on 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings.

The Bears return to action Friday (Feb. 22) when they open play at the Southern Miss Invitational in Hattiesburg, Miss., with a 1 p.m. game against Alcorn State.