Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Final weekend of Badger State Winter Games this weekendWisconsin Sports
-- The third-and-final weekend of the Badger State Winter Games is underway in the Wausau area.
WAUSAU - The third-and-final weekend of the Badger State Winter Games is underway in the Wausau area.
The figure skating competition began yesterday at the Mosinee Ice Arena. The director of the Games, Darien Schaefer, said things were looking bleak for the outdoor events until the region got 4-to-10 inches of snow this week. He called it great news, especially for the Nordic skiing events at Wausau’s Nine Mile Forest which will now have excellent conditions for tomorrow. Curling, billiards, and trap-shooting are also on tap for the final weekend of Wisconsin’s Olympic-style winter sports festival.
The NBA’s All-Star Saturday will become a team event for the first time between the Eastern and Western conferences. Former Marquette guard Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat will be the captain for the East, while Chris Paul of the LA Clippers will lead the West. The Shooting Stars, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest, and Slam Dunk Contest will run as usual – but contestants from each conference will accumulate points during the events. And the winning contest will get a half-million dollars for charity, while the losers get to donate $150,000. State Farm Insurance and NBA Cares donated the money. The charities are Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Boys-and-Girls clubs, and the “No Kid Hungry” campaign by Share Our Strength. All-Star Saturday will take place on February 16th in Houston. Competitors for the various events have not been finalized yet.
Northland College of Ashland is the only Wisconsin Division-Three school playing tonight. The Lumberjacks-and-Jills are hosting Martin Luther in a men’s-women’s double-header in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The Lakeland men are struggling at 1-7 in conference play, and they’re 2-16 overall. One of those victories came over Martin Luther on January 19th, 79-71. The Northland women are faring somewhat better. The Lumberjills are 3-5 in the conference and 5-12 overall. Tonight, they’ll try to avenge a 10-point win by Martin Luther almost two weeks ago. Virtually all of Wisconsin’s other Division-Three teams will return to conference play tomorrow.
The Milwaukee Admirals only have one American Hockey League game this weekend, and it’s tonight at home against the Chicago Wolves. It’s the first game for both teams since the All-Star events of last Sunday and Monday. Milwaukee starts the second-half of its schedule in third place in the Midwest Division with 44 points, one behind second-place Chicago. Grand Rapids leads the division with 52. Austin Watson has the hot hand for the Admirals against Chicago, with four goals and three assists in five contests against the Wolves. Former Admiral Darren Haydar has been heating up for Chicago. He’s had 21 points, including nine goals, in his last 18 outings.