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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Bucks play for second straight win

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Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

CLEVELAND - The Milwaukee Bucks will try for the eighth time to get their first back-to-back wins of the season, when they take on the Cavaliers in Cleveland tonight.  

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Milwaukee is an NBA worst 8-33.  They're coming off win No. 8 on Wednesday night, a three-point home victory over Detroit.  Cleveland is not exactly tearing up the league, either, with a record of 15-27.  But the Cavs do have one thing the Bucks don't -- a starter in next month's NBA All-Star Game.  Guard Kyrie Irving was named to the Eastern Conference lineup yesterday, a day after scoring 26 points in a Cleveland loss to Chicago.  The Cavaliers have dropped four-of-their-last-six.  After a shoot-around this morning, Bucks' coach Larry Drew said he'll use the same starting lineup as in Wednesday night's victory -- a so-called "big lineup" with John Henson, Ekpe Udoh, and Ersan Ilyasova in the front-court, and Brandon Knight and Giannis Antetokounmpo at the guard spots.  

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Bucks' center Larry Sanders was passed over for the 28-member USA Basketball player pool for the next two world tournaments.  He took part in the program's training camp in Las Vegas last summer -- but he sprained an ankle on the second day of those auditions.  Sanders said today he was honored to be considered -- and it's nothing he expected would happen.  He said the injury was a setback, and it kept him from working out with his Bucks' teammates until the Training Camp began in October.  A month later, Sanders injured a thumb in a night-club brawl in Milwaukee.   That put him out for almost two months, until just after Christmas.

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With an 8-33 record, it's a safe bet that no Milwaukee Bucks will be picked for the NBA All-Star Game.  But as always, you can still watch players who passed through the Badger State at one time.  Former Marquette guard Dwayne Wade was named yesterday as one of the Eastern Conference starters, as chosen by the fans for the February 16th All-Star Game in New Orleans.  Wade led Marquette to the NCAA Final Four in 2003.  He was drafted by the Heat that summer, and he's gone on to win three NBA championship rings with Miami.  Fans also chose Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant to start for the West, even though he's out with a broken leg.  Coaches will choose the All-Star reserves, and they'll be named next Thursday.  Milwaukee has not had an All-Star since Michael Redd in 2004, but the Bucks have had a few players in the All-Star side events like the Rising Stars' game and the Skills Challenge.  They'll be named in the days before All-Star Weekend.

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The Milwaukee Admirals will open a three-game American Hockey League series against Rockford tonight.  Games One-and-Three will be at the Bradley Center this evening and Sunday.  The second contest will be tomorrow night in Rockford, Illinois.  The Admirals are coming off a 3-2 home victory over Toronto on Tuesday night.  Milwaukee's Vinny Saponari has had three points in his last two games, including an assist in Tuesday night's game-winning goal.  Milwaukee is tied for second in the Midwest Division with 46 points and a record of 19-12-5-3.  Rockford is in fourth in the Midwest with 42 points at 18-19-4-2.

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The Milwaukee Wave will host the Saint Louis Ambush tomorrow night.  The Wave is in first place in the Major Indoor Soccer League at 9-2, one game ahead of second-place Baltimore.  Saint Louis comes in at 4-8.  The Ambush are 0-2 against the Wave this season.

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The UW-Milwaukee men's basketball team will play four of its next five games at home, starting tonight against Detroit.  The Panthers will try to even their 3-4 Horizon League record, after losing back-to-back games for the second time this season.  UWM lost at Wright State by 16 points on Tuesday night, ending a 1-2 road trip.  The Panthers went down by 18 in the first half and never recovered.  Milwaukee is now 13-8 overall.  They'll take on a Detroit team that's 8-12 overall, and 1-4 in the Horizon League.  The Titans are coming off a loss at Youngstown State last Saturday.  Juwan Howard Jr. leads Detroit with just under 18 points a game.  Milwaukee has three players averaging 12-or-more points a night, led by Matt Tiby with 14-point-two.

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Four Concordia schools will square off this weekend in the 63rd annual Concordia Invitational basketball tournament.  The Wisconsin campus in Mequon is hosting this year's event, featuring the home Falcons plus the Concordias of Chicago, Ann Arbor Michigan, and Nebraska.  Today, the Mequon teams will play Concordia-Chicago on the men's side, and the Nebraska school on the women's side.  All of today's winners will play each other tomorrow.  The losers will square off in the consolation games.  The Concordia-Wisconsin men's team won last year's tournament, as did the women from Ann Arbor.  Also tonight, the Northland College men-and-women will host Bethany Lutheran in Ashland.  Most state Division-Three teams will have conference games tomorrow.

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Two coaches with ties to Wisconsin are among three finalists to be the new head football coach at Minot State University in North Dakota.  UW-Stevens Point offensive coordinator Aaron Vlcko is scheduled to be interviewed tomorrow.  Former UW-Eau Claire and Minnesota State-Mankato coach Todd Hoffner is due on campus Monday.  Wayne State defensive coordinator Mike Aldrich will have his interview on Tuesday.  Hoffner built a winning program at Mankato until he was criminally-charged in 2012 over videos on a university-issued cell phone.  The charges were dropped, and Hoffner was later fired by Minnesota State last May.  That matter is still before a Minnesota arbitrator.  Over 100 people applied for Minot State vacancy.  The new coach will replace Paul Rudolph, who resigned this month to become the new offensive coordinator at the University of North Dakota.

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Former Milwaukee Brewers' reliever Grant Balfour is apparently returning to Tampa Bay.  Media reports say the 35-year-old right-hander has agreed to a two-year deal with the Rays worth $12-million.  Balfour was all set to take a 15-million dollar deal with Baltimore for two seasons -- but the Orioles backed out due to issues with his physical.  He missed all of 2005-and-'06 after a torn labrum -- but he threw a career-high 38 saves with Oakland last season.  Balfour is reportedly making his second stint with Tampa, after going 14-7 there from 2007-2010.  He pitched the first part of the '07 campaign with Milwaukee, going 0-2 in 22 appearances.  Balfour also pitched with Minnesota from 2001-'04.

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For the second year in a row, the Wisconsin Special Olympics’ outdoor winter games have been canceled because of the weather.  Last year, there was not enough snow.  This time, organizers say it’s too cold for about 200 Special Olympians from the around the state to compete in several events that were scheduled in the Wausau area.  They included snow-shoe racing, cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing, and snow-boarding.  The games’ indoor events are still on.  And so is a dance scheduled for tomorrow night in Rothschild.  With wind-chills of 15-below predicted for tomorrow, Jerry Lyon of the Special Olympics said the athletes’ and volunteers’ safety was a big concern.___________________________ 

SCOREBOARD

In men's college basketball...

UW-Parkside 76, Bellarmine 74

Maranatha Baptist 70, Northland International 62

In women's college basketball...

Minnesota 64, Wisconsin 53

Wright State 69, UW-Milwaukee 64

Bellarmine 82, UW-Parkside 77

Northland International 53, Maranatha Baptist 48

In Wisconsin boys' high school basketball…

Arcadia 60, Black River Falls 40

Ashland 53, Lakeland 44

Barneveld 53, Pecatonica 42

Barron 43, Bloomer 30

Big Foot 39, Palmyra-Eagle 32

Black Hawk 60, Argyle 40

Brookfield Academy 81, Milwaukee Heritage Christian 42

Cassville 53, River Ridge 37

Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 62, Cumberland 42

Clintonville 33, Berlin 12

Colby 73, Granton 36

Marshfield Columbus 50, Gilman 32

Crivitz 41, Gillett 40

De Soto 40, Kickapoo 44

Edgerton 64, Jefferson 56

Freedom 62, Fox Valley Lutheran 48

Green Bay NEW Lutheran 59, Shiocton 51

Hayward 54, Ladysmith 40

La Farge 62, Weston 45

Lake Country Lutheran 54, Martin Luther 35

Luxemburg-Casco 78, Oconto Falls 35

Madison La Follette 79, Madison East 70

McDonell Central 71, Stanley-Boyd 59

Menomonie 47, Eau Claire Memorial 35

Milwaukee Messmer 66, University School of Milwaukee 46

Middleton 64, Beloit Memorial 58

Milwaukee Academy of Science 53, Milwaukee Tenor/Veritas 34

Monona Grove 50, Madison Edgewood 42

Monticello 41, Juda 38

Neillsville 59, Loyal 28

Niagara 57, Lena 45

North Crawford 54, Wauzeka-Steuben 43

Maple Northwestern 41, Spooner 30

Oconomowoc 50, Slinger 39

Osseo-Fairchild 64, Fall Creek 41

Owen-Withee 49, Augusta 40

Orfordville Parkview 60, Beloit Turner 42

Peshtigo 62, Oconto 43

Eau Claire Regis 66, Altoona 62

Ripon 42, Little Chute 23

Seneca 35, Ithaca 29

Shawano 52, West De Pere 46

Spencer 53, Greenwood 29

Sturgeon Bay 66, Green Bay West 44

Sun Prairie 58, Verona Area 50

Thorp 57, Cadott 26

Waunakee 72, Baraboo 51

Wausaukee 46, Marinette St. Thomas Aquinas 43

Beaver Dam Wayland Academy 68, St. John's Northwestern Military Academy 31

West Bend East 55, Hartford 46

Winneconne 68, Wautoma 54

Wisconsin Lutheran 56, Beaver Dam 37

Appleton Xavier 57, Waupaca 47

In Wisconsin girls' high school basketball…

Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 63, Pittsville 20

Bangor 59, Necedah 8

Baraboo 47, Portage 37

Cameron 64, Minong Northwood 31

Campbellsport 42, Kewaskum 40

Columbus 31, Watertown Luther Prep 30

Cuba City 81, Darlington 17

Deerfield 34, Rio 32

Dodgeland 38, Madison Abundant Life 32

Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran 54, Cochrane-Fountain City 48

Madison Edgewood 51, Monroe 39

Fall Creek 66, Osseo-Fairchild 30

Fennimore 43, Riverdale 32

Hillsboro 58, Royall 52

Hurley 49, Washburn 19

Hustisford 36, Williams Bay 24

Lakeside Lutheran 51, Lodi 22

Lancaster 28, Prairie du Chien 26

Manitowoc Lutheran 53, Hilbert 46

Monona Grove 58, Fort Atkinson 32

Wausau Newman 68, Wausau Northland Lutheran 19

Green Bay Notre Dame 46, De Pere 33

Oostburg 70, Cedar Grove-Belgium 45

Pewaukee 80, Whitnall 41

Port Edwards 32, Wild Rose 25

Randolph 34, Markesan 32, OT

River Valley 46, Platteville 35

Manitowoc Roncalli 32, Chilton 19

Sheboygan Lutheran 53, Random Lake 40

Sheboygan Falls 43, Kiel 40, OT

South Shore 70, Wakefield-Marenisco, Mich. 29

Stoughton 68, Mount Horeb 46

Watertown Maranatha Baptist 45, Kenosha Reuther 42

Waunakee 48, DeForest 45

Whitehall 57, Gilmanton 40

Wilmot 71, Elkhorn 31

Wisconsin School for the Deaf 43, Milwaukee Salam School 16

Wittenberg-Birnamwood 66, Stevens Point Pacelli 23

Wrightstown 42, Brillion 41

In Wisconsin boys' high school hockey…

La Crosse Aquinas 6, Sparta/Mauston 3

Chippewa Falls 9, Altoona 0

Madison Edgewood 2, Middleton 1

La Crescent, Minn. 2, West Salem 2

Madison Memorial 11, Beloit Memorial 3

Onalaska 8, La Crosse 0

Eau Claire Regis/Chippewa Falls McDonell/Bloomer 6, Lakeland 2

Rice Lake 9, Eau Claire North 1

River Falls 11, Baldwin-Woodville 0

Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs 4, Beaver Dam 1

Stevens Point 7, Merrill 2

Stoughton 5, McFarland 0

Viroqua 5, Black River Falls 0

Waupaca 7, Oshkosh 1

Wausau West 5, Wausau East 2

Wisconsin Dells/Reedsburg 9, DeForest 1

Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln 8, Marshfield 0

In Wisconsin girls' high school hockey…

Lake Geneva Badger 3, Marshfield 2

Hayward/Spooner 3, Northland Pines 1

St. Croix Valley Fusion 6, Eau Claire North-Memorial-Altoona 0

USM 6, Onalaska 3

Tomahawk 7, Waupaca/Amherst/Iola-Scandinavia/Manawa 5

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