Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Two added to Packer Hall of FameWisconsin Sports
-- Two Green Bay Packer standouts from the past two decades were named today to the team’s Hall-of-Fame.
GREEN BAY - Two Green Bay Packer standouts from the past two decades were named today to the team’s Hall-of-Fame.
Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and kicker Chris Jacke will be inducted on July 20th during a banquet at the Lambeau Field Atrium. Also going into the Hall is the late Emil Fischer, a former team president, board member, and executive committee member. He served from 1926 until his death in 1958. Gbaja-Biamila was on the practice squad in 2000, before his sack abilities became evident. He became the Packers’ all-time sacks leader with 74-and-a-half from 2000-through-2008. Gbaja-Biamila had double-digit sacks for four straight years – and in 2002, he returned an interception 72 yards for a touchdown. Jacke was Green Bay’s kicker during the Packers’ Super Bowl era of the 1990’s. He had 820 points from 1989-through-’98, the third-highest in team history. Jacke holds several Packer records, including the most career field goals of 50-yards or more with 17.
Milwaukee Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke says he’s comfortable with Mat Gamel starting the season at first base – as long as the knee he tore last year is okay. On Milwaukee’s ESPN Radio today, Roenicke said Gamel was playing well during the first month of last season – until he tore an ACL ligament while going after a foul pop-up at San Diego. For now, Roenicke is penciling Gamel into his line-up, while Corey Hart recovers from knee swelling and an expected operation. Hart is expected to miss about the first six weeks of the regular season. Roenicke said he spoke with Hart just a few days before the news of his injury – and Hart said he was feeling well at the time. The skipper said the impending surgery was a surprise to everyone. Roenicke was asked about the chances of Double-“A” first baseman Hunter Morris coming up. Morris was the Southern League’s player-of-the-year at the Brewers’ affiliate in Huntsville. Roenicke said Morris had a great 2012, but it’s a lot to expect a player to make the leap from Double-“A” to the Majors. He said some players have done a good job of making the switch – and he cited shortstop Jean Segura, whom the Brewers acquired last July.
The Milwaukee Bucks are 5-2 since coach Jim Boylan replaced Scott Skiles two weeks ago. And the Bucks are getting to be in a more comfortable place among the Eastern Conference playoff contenders. Milwaukee currently holds the seventh of eight East playoff spots, with a one-and-a-half game advantage over eighth-place Boston and a five-game edge over ninth-place Philadelphia – whom the Bucks play tonight at home. Milwaukee improved to 21-18 overall following a 3-1 road trip, which ended on Saturday night with a six-point victory at Portland. Brandon Jennings – whom the Bucks are touting for the Eastern Conference All-Star team – scored 30 against the Trail Blazers. And he leads a Milwaukee offense that has scored just over 100 points a game since Boylan took over – almost four-and-a-half points than when Skiles was running the bench. Forward Ersan Ilyasova says the Bucks are finally finding their rhythm under Boylan. As Ilyasova put it, “We play more together, we share the ball well, and we have a couple of new plays we execute well.” The Bucks need Ilyasova to succeed. They’re 12-4 when he scored 10-or-more points. Tonight, the Bucks will play a struggling Philly team that has lost 15-of-its-last-20 games. That includes a five-point home loss to San Antonio last night. Evan Turner had 18 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists for the Sixers in that contest.
The Marquette University women’s basketball team will host 13th-ranked Louisville tonight. The Golden Eagles have won two-in-a-row, and six-of-their-last-eight. Marquette is 2-2 in the Big East, and 10-7 overall after a nine-point victory at Pittsburgh last Friday night. Louisville is 3-2 in the conference and 15-4 overall. The Cardinals are coming off a 72-33 rout of Cincinnati last Friday night. Marquette junior Katherine Plouffe was named to the Big East weekly Honor Roll yesterday, as she averaged 13 points and nine-and-a-half rebounds in a pair of victories. Plouffe is Marquette’s leading scorer and rebounder for the season, with averages of 13 points and seven-point-six boards. Louisville is led by Soni Schimmel, who scores almost 13 a night. Sara Hammond is the Cardinals’ top rebounder and just over six boards per contest.
The top women’s teams in the Northern Athletics Conference are in action tonight. North Division leader Concordia-Mequon hosts the Milwaukee School of Engineering, while South Division leader Wisconsin Lutheran is at home against Rockford. Concordia is 10-2, with a one-game lead over second-place Alverno in the North. Wisconsin Lutheran is 9-0 in league play, with a three-game lead over Benedictine. Alverno hosts Edgewood this evening. Maranatha Baptist is at home against Lakeland. And Marian has a non-conference home matchup against Chicago. Elsewhere, the Northland College men-and-women host a double-header against Finlandia. And the Maranatha men entertain Silver Lake of Manitowoc.
Taylor Koth of Ripon College is the men’s basketball performer-of-the-week in the Midwest Conference, and Tasha Giese of Saint Norbert is the top women’s player. Koth, a senior forward, averaged 29 points in a pair of Ripon victories last week. He scored 33 points against Lawrence, and 25 points with a career-high 19 rebounds against Grinnell. The 19 boards were tied for the sixth-highest for a single game in Ripon history. Giese, a sophomore forward, made the game-winning free throws for Saint Norbert against Beloit College. And she broke a tie with a three-pointer with 1:40 left in a win over previously-unbeaten Cornell.
The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team dropped one place to eighth in this week’s poll from U.S. College Hockey Online. The Badgers are 15-7-2 overall, after splitting a two-game series at North Dakota last weekend. The Fighting Sioux moved up to the Number-10 spot, with a record of 14-and-10. Unbeaten Minnesota remains atop the poll. Meanwhile, UW-River Falls dropped one place to seventh in the women’s Division III College Online poll. River Falls is 10-4-2 on the year. Superior rose one place to ninth. Plattsburgh is still at No. 1