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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: New rules on prep football practice could be on the way

STEVENS POINT - Wisconsin high school football practices might be a little safer as early as this August.  The WIAA Sports Advisory Committee has endorsed new rules to keep players from getting overheated at practices during a hot summer.  The association's Board of Control will act on them this month.  

Schools would have to alternate between long days with two practices, and short days with one workout.  The short days could run no longer than three hours, with a player recovery period of 30 minutes in a cool environment with pads-and-helmets off.  Long days would consist of three-hour practices, followed by a three-hour break and then a 90-minute workout in just helmets and mouth guards.  Full-padded practices would not be allowed until the seventh day of training, rather than the current fourth day.  Once the season begins, practices can max out to two-and-a-half hours with no recovery breaks needed.  Dan Brunner, a long-time coach who's now the director of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association, says most coaches already follow some type of player protections during the summer heat.  He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it would put a formal policy in writing, and convince parents that the schools are trying to make football safer for their youngsters.


Germantown leads Division I in the season's first Associated Press boys' state high school basketball poll.  The two-time defending state champions received a top score of 100 points from a statewide panel of sports-writers and broadcasters.  Neenah is second in Division 1, followed by Brookfield Central and Milwaukee Rufus King.  West De Pere tops Division 2, with Mount Horeb second and Ashwaubenon third.  Lodi is the season's first leader in Division 3, with Manitowoc Roncalli and Edgerton in the two-and-three spots.  Whitefish Bay Dominican tops Division 4, with Mineral Point second and Racine Saint Catherine's third.  Green Bay Northeast Wisconsin Lutheran is the Division 5 leader, followed by Cassville and Central Wisconsin Christian which is located in Waupun.


In the AP girls' poll, Kimberly is the year's first Division 1 leader.  Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels is second, and Sheboygan North third.  Superior and Oak Creek are tied for fourth.  Green Bay Notre Dame tops Division 2, followed by Pewaukee and Milwaukee Pius XI.  Neillsville is the Division 3 leader, with Brodhead and Kettle Moraine Lutheran second-and-third.  Racine Prairie is No. 1 in Division 4, followed by Algoma and Amherst.  Barneveld is the year's first Division 5 leader for the girls, with Wisconsin Rapids Assumption second and Milwaukee Heritage Christian third.


The undefeated University of Wisconsin men's basketball team will go for win No. 17 in a row tonight, when it plays at Indiana.  The Badgers moved up one spot to third yesterday in both national polls, and they're No. 1 in the RPI Rankings.  They'll face a Hoosiers' team that leads the Big Ten with almost 15 offensive rebounds per game.  Indiana averages 12 more offensive boards than their opponents -- and they turn those rebounds into 16 second-chance points per night.  If there's anything Wisconsin has not done well, it's controlling their opponents' offensive glass.  In their last two games, the Badgers gave up a total of 41 offensive boards and 41 second chance points in defeating Iowa and Illinois.  Badgers' associate head coach Greg Gard says it's a matter of focus and discipline, and paying attention on every possession.  The Hoosiers also commit the most turnovers in the league, with just over 16 a game. That's one reason they're 1-2 in Big Ten play, while the Badgers are 3-0.  Indiana is 11-5 overall. UW has won 12 straight over IU including five in a row in Bloomington. No school in the country has beaten Indiana on its home floor that many times in a row in school history. Besides the Badgers, Purdue is the only school to rack up a 12-game winning streak against Indiana.  Wisconsin has won its last dozen over the Hoosiers by an average of almost 14 points -- and they scored at least 70-or-more in five of those contests.  Badgers' associate head coach Greg Gard insists that his team never talks about the streak.  He says the Badgers focus on their next game, and what they must do to win -- and that's always been in true in the 12-plus years he's served under coach Bo Ryan in Madison.  Gard says it's an attitude in which the Badgers have remained consistent.  A win tonight would tie the modern UW school record for winning streaks at 17 in a row. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.


Former Indiana center Luke Fischer from Germantown officially transferred to Marquette University yesterday.  He enrolled at the Milwaukee Jesuit school, and he took part in his first practice with the Golden Eagles last night.  Under NCAA transfer rules, Fischer can practice with the team but cannot travel to its road games until he's eligible to play next season. He'll be allowed to play starting December 14th.  The 6-11 Fischer will play at either center or power forward alongside another newcomer, 6-11 center Satchel Paige Pierce from Akron Ohio.  Fischer was in his freshman year at Indiana when he decided to transfer.  He's expected to talk about the reasons for that move today.  Fischer played in 13 games off the bench for the Hoosiers, averaging about three points and two rebounds per game.  His scoring high was 10 points against Kennesaw State on December 22nd.  Fischer led Germantown to a pair of state high school titles and undefeated seasons. 


The University of Wisconsin moved up one spot to No. 3 in both major men's college basketball polls.  The Badgers are 16-0 as they get ready to play at Indiana tonight.  Arizona is still No. 1 in both the AP media survey and the USA Today coaches' poll.  Syracuse is second, followed by the Badgers in both polls.  Arizona is 17-0, while Syracuse joins the Badgers in being unbeaten over 16 contests.  Michigan State is fourth in both polls.  They were ranked fifth last week by the media, and were tied with Wisconsin for fourth by the coaches.  Meanwhile, the Badgers are still first in the RPI Rankings which often play a big role in determining seeds for the NCAA Tournament.  UW-Green Bay, which has won eight straight games, is 55th in the RPI's.  Marquette is 89th, and UW-Milwaukee is 126th.  


For the second week in a row, Keifer Sykes of UW-Green Bay was named the Horizon League men's basketball player-of-the-week.  It's the fifth time this season that the junior guard was chosen for the league's weekly honors.  Sykes had 21 points and nine assists in Green Bay's win at Chicago State.  He then scored 34 points with eight rebounds and five assists yesterday in Green Bay's overtime victory at UW-Milwaukee.  Meanwhile, UWM guard Sydney Snower was named today as the Horizon women's freshman of the week.  Snower had 11 points off the bench on Saturday, when Milwaukee ended a 17-game losing streak to Green Bay.  Snower went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in that game.


NFL Network says Green Bay quarterbacks' coach Ben McAdoo is interviewing with the Miami Dolphins for their offensive coordinator's post.  The Dolphins fired ex-Packers' coach Mike Sherman after their 2013 season ended.  The Miami job would give McAdoo a chance to reunite with Dolphins' head coach Joe Philbin, who's a former Green Bay offensive coordinator.  McAdoo has also interviewed for the New York Giants' offensive coordinator's vacancy, and the head coaching job at Cleveland.


The final numbers show just how much the Green Bay Packers missed Clay Matthews this season.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Bob McGinn keeps his own detailed statistics -- and he wrote today that Mike Daniels replaced Matthews as Green Bay's top pass rusher in 2013.  Daniels had 31 pressures -- a combination of sacks, hurries, and knockdowns.  That's the lowest since 2000, when John Thierry led the team with 31 pressures.  Matthews was still third on the list, even though he played just 51-percent of the snaps due to thumb and hamstring injuries.  Until this past season, Matthews was the Packers' top rusher in each of his four NFL campaigns.   McGinn also writes that the Packers had their lowest number of takeaways since coach Mike Sherman's final season in 2005.  The Packers had 22 fumble recoveries and interceptions -- and they committed 25 mistakes for a minus-three turnover differential.  That was the lowest since 2005, when Sherman's final team had the Green Bay's all-time worst differential at minus-24.   On the plus side for the Packers, they did commit fewer penalties.  Eighty-six were accepted by their opponents this year, the eighth-lowest in the NFL. Also, McGinn said Green Bay receivers dropped an average of one-point-five-three passes per game -- their lowest since 2003, despite the absence of Aaron Rodgers for seven games.  Jordy Nelson only dropped three-of-134 passes, his best rate since 2008.


Packers' CEO Mark Murphy says the team will do a survey to see what can be done better, after fans didn't buy all the tickets to the January 5th home playoff loss to San Francisco.  Ticket sales were unusually slow all week.  It took corporate sponsors and three Fox TV stations to buy up the final seats so the game could be shown on local television.  Murphy says he wants to consult with fans, so the Packers can handle the situation better next time.  Normally, season ticket holders buy up all the tickers in November for two January playoff contests.  This year, however, the purchase deadline came while the Packers were losing week-after-week without the injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  And for the first time, season ticket holders could not get refunds for post-season games that were not played.  Those amounts will be carried over to next year's season tickets -- and it caused some grumbling among those customers.  That left about 40,000 tickets for sale the week before the game.  Also, a cold weather forecast caused many folks to hesitate -- although it turned out to be a bit warmer than expected.


Tyler Tillema of UW-Stevens Point and Kaitlyn Thill of Whitewater are the men's-and-women's basketball players of the week in the WIAC.  Tillema, a senior guard, scored the game-winning basket for the top-ranked Pointers last Wednesday night over UW-Stout with 15 seconds left.  And he scored 26 points against Superior last Saturday.  Thill, a senior guard, averaged 15-and-a-half points in a pair of Whitewater victories.  The WIAC also recognized Willie Hess of River Falls and Cassandra Salmen of Stevens Point in men's-and-women's hockey --  Amy Spaay of Whitewater and Nicholas Brehmer of La Crosse in swimming -- Justin Bublitz of La Crosse and Sierra Becker of Whitewater in diving -- Elizabeth Stubbs of Eau Claire in gymnastics -- and Dustin Wozniak of Stevens Point in wrestling.


UW-Stevens Point is still at No. 1 in the new national Division III men's basketball poll from  The Pointers are 14-0, after beating UW-Superior by 17 at home last weekend.  UW-Whitewater rose two spots in the new poll to Number-eight.  Saint Norbert jumped one spot to 12th.  UW-Platteville also received votes. In the D-III women's poll, Carthage of Kenosha rose two places to No. 14, with a record of 12-2.  Whitewater jumped one spot to 17th.  Oshkosh fell two places to 19th.  Stevens Point went up one spot to 23rd.  DePauw is still the women's No. 1.


There's a full schedule of men's-and-women's basketball double-headers tonight in the Midwest Conference.  Ripon College travels to De Pere to play Saint Norbert.  Beloit plays in Waukesha against Carroll.  And Lawrence has a twin-bill at Lake Forest.  The Saint Norbert men have a two-game lead over both Ripon and Grinnell.  The 12th-ranked Green Knights are 7-0, with the second-place teams at 5-2.  On the women's side, Saint Norbert and Illinois College are both tied at 6-1, with Monmouth a half-game back at 6-2.  Illinois College has their double-header at Knox this evening.  Grinnell plays at Cornell in Iowa.  In the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, three games are on tap involving men's teams tonight.  Wisconsin Lutheran hosts Milwaukee Engineering.  Marian travels to Mequon to play Concordia-Wisconsin.  And Madison Edgewood is at Lakeland.  The Mount Mary women are home in Milwaukee against Silver Lake.  Northland has a men's-women's double-header in Duluth against Saint Scholastica.


Austin Stueck of the Milwaukee School of Engineering is the men's basketball player-of-the-week in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference -- and Kristen Schulz of Wisconsin Lutheran is the top women's player.  Stueck, a sophomore forward, hit a game-winning half-court shot at the buzzer to beat Aurora by three points last Wednesday night.  He finished with 26 points, as MSOE overcame a 15-point deficit with less than four minutes left.  Schulz, a junior center, recorded a pair of double-doubles last week -- her seventh and eighth of the season.  She averaged 19 points and 14 rebounds in a pair of Wisconsin Lutheran victories.  Also, the NACC honored Michael Van-Alstyne of Milwaukee Engineering and Lisa Rodriguez of Aurora in men's-and-women's indoor track.  Van-Alstyne, a freshman, won the long jump at the Phoenix Invitational in Chicago last weekend.


For the fifth time, UW-Whitewater football coach Lance Leipold  has been named the national Division III Coach-of-the-Year by his peers.  Leipold also won the coaches' association award in 2007, 09, 10, and '11.  His Warhawks went 15-0 this past season, winning the D-III title for the fifth time in seven years.  Leipold was also named  Coach-of-the-Year last month, and was a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach-of-the-Year award.  Also, named Whitewater defensive coordinator Brian Borland as the Division-Three Coordinator-of-the-Year.  He led a Whitewater defense that gave up just over nine points a game.  They also forced 44 turnovers, the most in college football in 2013.


The UW-Stevens Point men's hockey team remains at No. 2 in the new Division III poll from U.S. College Hockey Online.  The Pointers are 12-1-1 this season, and they trail only Adrian of Michigan in this week's survey.  Saint Norbert of De Pere remains at No. 4.  Eau Claire rose two places to eighth.  River Falls is still 13th.  Concordia-Wisconsin was among those outside the Top-15 that received votes. In the Division III women's poll, Stevens Point remains fifth.  River Falls moved up one place to sixth, and Superior jumped one spot to eighth.  Plattsburgh of New York is still the women's No. 1


The Milwaukee Bucks remain winless in the New Year, after falling at Toronto last night 116-94.  The Bucks lost their sixth straight, and they dropped out of this one early.  The game was tied at 19 when the Raptors ended the first quarter with a 19-to-5 run go by up 14.  Toronto led by eight at the half, by 15 early in the third quarter, and by as many as 31 later on.  The Raptors out-shot the Bucks 51-to-42 percent, and out-rebounded Milwaukee 46-40.  The Bucks did have a scoring edge in the paint 40-to-32.  But the Raptors didn't need to score inside as they hit 24-of-30 free throws -- including all 12 of their shots from the stripe in the first quarter.  Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 23 points, as he hit 4-of-5 from downtown.  Former Bucks' guard John Salmons had 10 points off the bench.  Former Marquette guard Steve Novak hit a three which gave the Raptors their biggest lead, on a night when they scored their highest point total of the season.  Ersan Ilyasova led Milwaukee with a season-high 29 points and nine rebounds.  Bucks' center John Henson returned after missing seven games with a high-ankle sprain.  He had eight points, five rebounds, and four blocked shots.  The Bucks ended a five-game winning streak at Toronto, as they dropped to 4-and-15 on the road.  Milwaukee is the first NBA to lose 30 games, with only seven wins.  They'll host Memphis tomorrow night.


Bucks' coach Larry Drew told his players yesterday to be smarter, and not just throw elbows when they need to be physical.  Center Larry Sanders drew a Flagrant-Two foul and an automatic ejection in Saturday night's loss at Oklahoma City.  He threw a pair of elbows to the head-and-neck of rookie center Steven Adams, who had pushed him.  Drew said Adams is good at getting under his opponents' skins.  Vince Carter of Dallas and Nate Robinson of Denver drew ejections earlier this season after having run-ins with Adams.  Drew said he did not take Sanders aside -- which he's done in the past after Sanders had five ejections and 14 technicals last season.  Drew said opponents know they can get the best of Sanders -- and the coach and Sanders' teammates need to quote, "pull his coat tail ... just to avoid these situations altogether."  In last night's loss at Toronto, Milwaukee players John Henson and Giannis Antetokounmpo drew technicals.  The rookie from Greece was tabbed for throwing an elbow -- and he was upset about it.  Drew calls it "part of the process of growing as a player."  He said Antetokounmpo will need to learn how to play through those situations.  


The University of Wisconsin moved into the Top-10 today in the national men's hockey Division I poll from U.S. College Hockey Online.  The Badgers rose five places in the past week to No. 9.  That's after they swept a pair from Michigan over the weekend, 5-2 and 3-1.  Mike Eaves' Badgers have won nine-of-their-last-10.  Michigan dropped five spots in the new poll to No. 13.  Minnesota is still at No. 1 in both the men's and women's Division I polls. The U just completed a sweep of Penn State in State College Sunday and MOnday and are in first place in the Big Ten with Wisconsin second and Michigan third.  The Wisconsin women remain at No. 2, despite splitting a home series with fourth-ranked North Dakota.  Wisconsin is 17-3-2 overall, after winning six-of-its-last-seven.


The Unversity of Wisconsin wrestling team lost its first Big Ten dual meet of the season, after falling at Minnesota 28-6.  Ryan Taylor and Tyler Graff won the Badgers' first two matches, but the Gophers took all the rest.  The 23rd-ranked Badgers are now 9-4 overall, 3-1 in the Big Ten.  Second-ranked Minnesota improved to 3-0 in the conference, and 6-0 overall.


Jerry Kelly of Madison jumped 51 places in the new World Golf Rankings released this morning.  Kelly is now 152nd, after taking third place over the weekend at the PGA's Sony Open in Honolulu.  Pewaukee native Mark Wilson dropped seven places to 214th, after he tied for 51st at the Sony Open.  Steve Stricker of Madison did not make the trip to Hawaii as he remains on a limited schedule.  He's still at Number-nine in the new World Rankings.  Tiger Woods is still the World Number-One.  In the Fed-Ex Cup season point stands, Kelly catapulted 84 places to Number-22.  Wilson claimed eight places to 154th. 


Wisconsin boys high school basketball

Algoma 59, Sevastopol 13

Athens 45, Edgar 41

Auburndale 61, Nekoosa 43

Belmont 57, Wauzeka-Steuben 51

Cambria-Friesland 62, Oakfield 58

Cameron 64, New Auburn 30

Clayton 48, Bruce 44

Cochrane-Fountain City 78, Lewiston-Altura, Minn. 54

Columbus 44, Lomira 38

Crandon 61, Northland Pines 43

Cuba City 58, Platteville 55

Dodgeville 62, Darlington 43

Whitefish Bay Dominican/Eastbrook Academy 57, Racine St. Catherine's 48

Eleva-Strum 52, Royall 49

Elk Mound 52, Spring Valley 18

Florence 70, Wabeno/Laona 54

Frederic 69, Prairie Farm 50

Gilmanton 65, Cornell 32

Goodman/Pembine 83, White Lake 31

Hillsboro 62, Kickapoo 41

Independence 55, Elmwood 45

Jefferson 57, Delavan-Darien 39

Juda 48, Johnson Creek 45

Kiel 57, Howards Grove 47

Laconia 64, Winnebago Lutheran 48

Lake Holcombe 56, Gilman 51

Lakeside Lutheran 68, Belleville 52

Lancaster 62, Iowa-Grant 42

Lodi 56, Portage 54

Manitowoc Lincoln 59, Kewaunee 56, OT

Marathon 50, Abbotsford 41

Marion 45, Bowler 41

Markesan 59, Dodgeland 31

Greendale Martin Luther 56, Somers Shoreland Lutheran 47

Medford 66, Phillips 38

Mondovi 52, Colfax 38

Monona Grove 69, Baraboo 44

New Lisbon 61, Weston 56

Oconto 58, Sturgeon Bay 46

Pittsville 52, Northland Lutheran 39

Poynette 87, Wautoma 38

Solon Springs 80, Wakefield-Marenisco, Mich. 59

Marinette St. Thomas Aquinas/Lena 52, Niagara 44

Stillwater, Minn. 72, Hudson 63

Stoughton 31, Oregon 29

Turtle Lake 74, Boyceville 56

Unity 74, Ogilvie, Minn. 22

Waterford 50, Elkhorn  41

Westby 63, Melrose-Mindoro 45

Westfield 48, Waterloo 30

Westosha Central 57, Kenosha Reuther 47

Girls' high school basketball

Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 53, Auburndale 40

Barron 70, Cameron 66

Beloit Memorial 61, Beloit Turner 50

Black Hawk 50, Orfordville Parkview 35

Brodhead 57, Madison La Follette 41

Cadott 53, Abbotsford 44

Cedar Grove-Belgium 44, University School of Milwaukee 33

Colby 57, Chequamegon 16

Coleman 50, Suring 14

Deerfield 43, Williams Bay 16

East Dubuque, Ill. 60, Potosi 51

Frederic 51, Prairie Farm 43

Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau 63, Onalaska Luther 49

Germantown 71, West Bend East 38

Gillett 48, Crivitz 20

Gilman 42, Lake Holcombe 20

Greendale 61, West Allis Hale 57

Greenwood 59, Rib Lake 37

Homestead 52, Greenfield 36

La Crosse Central 48, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln 33

Ladysmith 48, Flambeau 10

Lancaster 33, Iowa-Grant 22

Little Chute 66, Wrightstown 52

Madison East 60, Brown Deer 49

Manitowoc Lutheran 41, Manitowoc Roncalli 28

Marion 45, Bowler 23

Marshall 73, Edgerton 35

Niagara 41, Lena 33

Nicolet 37, Wauwatosa West 32

Minong Northwood 36, Drummond 30

Onalaska 45, West Salem 29

Osseo-Fairchild 44, Whitehall 41

Palmyra-Eagle 49, Albany 25

Platteville 46, Benton/Shullsburg 42

Randolph 50, Berlin 23

Marinette Saint Thomas Aquinas 40, Wausaukee 34

Shell Lake 47, Winter 31

South Shore 61, Washburn 21

Stanley-Boyd 55, Athens 50

Thorp 53, Prentice 13

Unity 33, Bruce 29

Waupaca 44, Mosinee 39

Weston 50, Necedah 37

Whitewater 71, Westosha Central 34

Aopleton Xavier 51, Appleton East 30

Boys' high school hockey

Green Bay Notre Dame 16, Manitowoc 0

Onalaska 5, Baraboo/Portage 3 

Wausau East 3, Marshfield 1 

Girls' high school hockey 

Hayward/Spooner 5, Chippewa Falls 1 

Point-Rapids 4, Marshfield 1 

Sun Prairie 7, Lake Geneva Badger 0 

Tomahawk 4, Lakeland 1