Local Sports 9-23-2020

The Nebraska volleyball team will begin the regular season on January 22nd.  The NCAA Board of Directors has approved a plan to move the NCAA Tournament to the spring.  The tournament field will be reduced from 64 teams to 48, with 32 automatic qualifiers and 16 at large selections.  The Final Four will take place April 23-25.  The Final Four was scheduled to be in Omaha in December and the city may still host the event in the spring.  Last month, the Big Ten Conference postponed the volleyball season due to COVID 19 concerns.  Some conferences, including the Big 12 and the SEC will play a split season with matches in the fall and the spring.


The Nebraska soccer team can begin the regular season on February 3rd with a 48 team NCAA Tournament to follow.  The championship match is scheduled for May 17th.  The cross country championship meet is scheduled for March 15th.


Former Nebraska place kicker Barret Pickering has entered the transfer portal.  Pickering left the team in February for health reasons.  He started 12 games for the Huskers in 2018, but an off season hip injury limited him to just four games in 2019.  Pickering connected on 14 of 18 field goals with a long of 47 yards in 2018.  He was just 3 of 5 in 2019 with a long kick of 30 yards.


Football is back at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.  UNK, Missouri Western State and Pittsburgh State have announced a scheduling alliance that allows the three MIAA members to play a partial 2020 schedule beginning in late October.  The “scheduling alliance” was created following the cancellation of the 2020 football season by the MIAA and the 2020 NCAA Division II Fall Championship by the Division II Presidents Council.  UNK will play at Pittsburgh State on October 31st followed by a home game against Chadron State on November 7th.  The Lopers will play at South Dakota Mines on November 14th and will play at home against Missouri Western State on November 21st.


The Hastings High volleyball team split a pair of games yesterday.  Gothenburg beat the Tigers 25-22, 25-15, but Hastings beat Crete 25-12, 25-12.  The Tigers are now 9-8. Top ranked and undefeated St. Paul beat Adams Central 25-18, 25-10, 25-19.  The Patriots are now 10-4. Hastings St. Cecilia beat Doniphan/Trumbull 25-14, 25-11, 25-18.  The Hawkettes are now 11-3.


In some other games, Aurora went five games to beat Northwest, Deshler defeated Red Cloud, Gibbon swept Arcadia/Loup City, Giltner beat Harvard, Grand Island Central Catholic swept Aquinas, Kearney Catholic defeated Centura, Kenesaw beat Silver Lake, Lincoln High got by Kearney and Superior defeated Fairbury.


In high school softball, Hastings High beat Lexington 10-0.  The Tigers are now 19-1.  St. Cecilia improved to 16-7 with wins over Gothenburg and Minden.  Adams Central lost to Northwest 12-2.  The Patriots are now 14-8.  In some other games, Grand Island Central Catholic lost a pair of games yesterday, losing to Wahoo 10-7 and York 4-3.  Fremont shut out Grand Island 6-0 and Lincoln Southwest rolled past Kearney 16-6.


ROYALS> Austin Gomber threw six innings of four hit ball with three strikeouts as the St. Louis Cardinals beat Kansas City 5-0 last night.  The same two teams play at 7:05pm tonight.  Pre-game show begins at 6:30pm on “The Breeze,” KLIQ 94.5FM.


NBA> The Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-106 last night in game three of the NBA Western Conference Finals.  The Lakers still lead the series 2-1.  Game four is Thursday night.  Tonight, its game four of the Eastern Conference Finals as Miami will play Boston.  The Heat lead the series 2-1.  Tip-off will be at 7:30pm.  We’ll have it on ESPN Tri Cities  beginning with the pre-game show at 7:00pm.


The Chicago Bulls have hired former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan as their new head coach.  Donovan was 243-157 in Oklahoma City with five straight trips to the playoffs in the Western Conference.  Before that he coached at Florida, where he lead the Gators to two national championships.


NHL> The NHL playoffs continue tonight with Game three of the Stanley Cup Final between Dallas and Tampa Bay.  That series is tied at one game apiece.


NFL> The New York Giants have signed former Pro Bowl running back Davonta Freeman to a one year deal worth up to three million dollars.  The Giants were looking for a replacement for Saquon Barkley, who tore  the ACL in his right knee in Sunday’s 17-13 loss to Chicago and is lost for the season.



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