Overnight State Sports Briefs: Bucks technically still alive in playoffs, but team isn't buying itWisconsin Sports
-- Milwaukee only has six regular season games left – and coach Scott Skiles and his players are writing off the post-season. Still, Bucks’ center Andrew Bogut says it’s important to show the fans they’re still playing hard and to quote, “finish the season properly.”
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee only has six regular season games left – and coach Scott Skiles and his players are writing off the post-season. Still, Bucks’ center Andrew Bogut says it’s important to show the fans they’re still playing hard and to quote, “finish the season properly.”
The Milwaukee Bucks would still be in the playoff hunt had they defeated Indiana and Charlotte last week. Both those teams lost yesterday, and the Bucks are just a game behind Charlotte and three in back of Indiana for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Bucks came back from a nine-point deficit to edge Philadelphia in overtime before an appreciative Bradley Center crowd on Saturday night. Bogut says he wants to play the remaining games, despite having pain in his right elbow that’s still lingering from the hard fall he took against Phoenix last April. Bogut plans to have arthroscopic surgery on the elbow as soon as the season ends in just over two weeks. Injury problems have contributed to Milwaukee’s 31-45 record this season. Forward Carlos Delfino missed Saturday night’s game with bruised ribs suffered in Friday’s loss at Indiana. Backup center Jon Brockman reinjured his left shoulder in a hard fall at Toronto last week. And forward Ersan Ilyasova has been out since late February with a concussion. But the Bucks have been helped by the returns of Michael Redd and Drew Gooden from long injuries. Gooden has averaged over 10 rebounds in his last four games.
Former Bucks’ coach Larry Krystkowiak is the new men’s basketball coach at the University of Utah. He’s been an assistant with the New Jersey Nets this season. At Utah, he replaces Jim Boylen who was fired after going 69-and-60 for the Runnin’ Utes in four years. Utah has had two straight losing seasons after going 13-and-18 this past year. They’ll play in the newly-expanded Pac-12 Conference this fall. Krystkowiak coached the University of Montana to two straight NCAA appearances from 2004-through-’06. He went 42-and-20 with the Grizzlies before joining the Bucks as an assistant. Krystkowiak was promoted to head coach in early 2007 after Terry Stotts was fired – and he coached all of the following season before being let go. He was 31-and-69 during his brief tenure in Milwaukee. Krystkowiak also coached for Idaho in the CBA in 2003-and-’04. And he played for the Bucks and five other NBA teams in nine seasons, averaging eight points and five rebounds in 420 career games.
A sale of the Telemark ski resort in northwest Wisconsin has been delayed. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said a closing that was scheduled last Friday was called off indefinitely – and the prospective buyers and sellers are negotiating again. The previous owners, the Telemark Interval Owners Association, closed the famous lodge last fall. Missouri developer Dick Short obtained the property in what was called a friendly foreclosure. He announced a deal last month to sell Telemark to a group that planned to turn the site into an Olympic-quality training center. But Mike Kocon, the board president for the sellers, told the Journal-Sentinel the purchase agreement was not acceptable – and he expects it to be rewritten with a deal to follow eventually. Meanwhile, the paper says the hold-up might put the annual American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race in a bind. Race officials say they need to get permission to use the lodge and the some of the property – or else they would to create alternative options. The Birkie says it will need a deal reached within weeks.
UW-Stevens Point is sixth in the NCAA Division-Three all-sports standings at the end of the winter athletic seasons – and UW-Oshkosh is Number-eight. Williams of Massachusetts is still the leader for the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup title. The schools are ranked according to their national finishes in the various sports. Stevens Point scored the most points with their ninth-place finishes in men’s-and-women’s basketball. Oshkosh scored big by winning the Division-Three national title in women’s indoor track-and-field. UW-Whitewater is 14th in the all-sports standings, two-thirds into the school year. Eau Claire is 23rd, La Crosse 29th, and Platteville 36th. Carthage is the highest-ranked Wisconsin school that’s not in the WIAC. The Red Men from Kenosha are 45th. Saint Norbert of the Midwest Conference is 56th.
The Milwaukee Admirals need one point to clinch the American Hockey League’s West Division with three games left. They could have clinched last night, but they didn’t after losing to Peoria at home 4-to-3. The Admirals pulled their goal-tender for an extra attacker with over two minutes left – and Teemu Laakso scored with 1:59 remaining to get Milwaukee to within one. Ryan Thang had two chances to tie the game in the closing seconds but didn’t. Former Admiral Dave Scatchard left on a stretcher in the first period after getting hit in the jaw by Scott Ford – who was given a game misconduct penalty for that. Peoria goal-tender Ben Bishop was also injured, and he left late in the first period.
The University of Wisconsin softball team scored eight runs in the sixth inning to win at Michigan State yesterday, 10-4. The start of the game was delayed by an hour-and-15-minutes due to rain and snow. And there was another delay of just an hour-and-a-half at the top-of-the-second inning in East Lansing. A bunt by Maggie Strange scored the run which the Badgers in front for good in the sixth. Freshman Amanda Najdek got the win in relief, giving up one run in six innings with four strikeouts. It was the Badgers’ first Big Ten victory against three losses. And they improved to 17-13 overall. Michigan State fell to 1-3 in the conference and 19-14 overall.
The UW-Green Bay softball team opened its Horizon League schedule with a split at Cleveland State. The Phoenix took the opener 3-to-nothing before losing the nightcap 9-4. Katie Cooney threw a one-hitter for Green Bay in the first contest, and Kendra Woepse homered to provide the winning run. The Phoenix blew a 3-0 lead in the nightcap. Cleveland State homered twice in the fifth inning to help seal its victory. Green Bay is now 12-10 overall. Cleveland State is 18-and-11, and 3-2 in conference play.
The University of Wisconsin women’s open-weight rowing team took fourth at the San Diego Crew Classic yesterday. Both varsity-eight teams finished fourth in their events.