WNBA kiss breaks tension, ref calls technical fouls

Published: Friday, September 27, 2013 @ 6:01 PM
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 @ 6:01 PM

A kiss is just a kiss until it ends with double technical fouls being called.

“See what happened here, they’ve been playing against each other since they were 10 and 12 years old.” (Via ESPN)

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and longtime friend/competitor Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx battled hard in Game 1 of the WNBA Western Conference Finals. (Via StarTribune)

See more irresistible stories.

In a push-comes-to-love type of moment, the chest-bumping turned into a peck. And the ref wasn’t having it. But the fouls didn’t make much of a difference in a game Minnesota won by 20-plus points.

“Can we all agree that this is excessive?,” a USA Today writer asks. “The fouls, not the peck. Male and female opponents have solved their differences in a variety of innocuous ways. There are butt taps, head pats, hugs, fist bumps, and now there’s a friendly cheek peck.”

 Right? Like this smooch Sports Illustrated featured in a “Memorable Kisses in Sports” slideshow — between Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.

Then there’s this explanation on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that turned into a demo.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: “I don’t understand.”

REPORTER: “It was so intense she had to break the tension. There was tension. So she had a sense of humor. So she gave her a kiss.”

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: “I’ll try that sometime. That’s weird.”

What’s truly weird, a New York Post writer suggests, is Diana Taurasi’s surprised reaction to the call on the court. “The league’s perennial leader in technical fouls is no stranger to being singled out by the officials. Taurasi led the WNBA in techs in five of the past six years.”

The show went on in postgame interviews, where Augustus said, “She just wanted some of my deliciousness.” And Taurasi told reporters, “We were just trying to make sweet love.”

They’re making people pay attention, that’s for sure. Game 2 is Sunday in Phoenix.

Archie Miller: Flyers have to be more forceful in rematch with VCU

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 11:18 AM

Archie Miller: Flyers have to be more forceful in rematch with VCU

The Dayton Flyers haven’t lost since they played Virginia Commonwealth on Jan. 27 in Richmond, Va., winning eight straight games and completing their first perfect February since 1971. 

The Flyers have yet to lose this season with a full and healthy rotation that includes Josh Cunningham. They won two games with him at the beginning of the season and have won five since he returned to action. They have not lost at UD Arena since the third game of the season Nov. 19 against Saint Mary’s. They’re 14-1 at home.

The Flyers are on quite a run, but that doesn’t guarantee a victory at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Senior Night when VCU visits Dayton with the Atlantic 10 championship on the line. Coach Archie Miller made his first comments about the game Monday morning during the weekly A-10 coaches teleconference.

RELATED: Dayton seniors among highest-scoring classes in school history

The Flyers fell 73-68 in the first game against VCU. The Rams dominated the boards 41-24 and outscored Dayton 26-8 in second-chance points. VCU broke open a close game in the last six minutes, pushing its lead to 11 points before UD made a late run.

“Looking back on game one, clearly we were in a great environment that night against a very charged-up team as well,” Miller said. “I thought they played extremely hard and physical, and I just thought they were very, very forceful in the way they played. The way they rebounded the ball, not just from the big guys but from the guards, the way they attacked us in the second half downhill in the paint constantly, we’re going to have to match that in game two. We’re going to have to be a lot more forceful.

“Our guards, in particular, have to do a much better job of defending the ball. I think they have to do a much better job getting in there and rebounding the ball. We haven’t been as great rebounding the ball from the guard spot. We’re going to have to win some one-on-one battles on the glass. That’s what it’s going to come down to for us.”

TWITTER REACTS: Relive Scoochie Smith’s performance

BONSU FEATURE: Senior Night will be emotional for walk-on

Dayton (23-5, 14-2) leads VCU (23-6, 13-3) by one game with two games to play. The Flyers will clinch the outright championship, their first ever in the A-10, if they win Wednesday.

“We’re playing against arguably the best team in the league, and you have to play at a high level,” Miller said. “You can’t turn the ball over against them. You have to be efficient, get quality shots, find a way to be ourselves. VCU’s going to play different styles during the game. We have to be able to adjust. Most important, we have to be a lot better, a lot more forceful, a lot tougher than we were in game one. It was a good game, but I thought they outplayed us in a lot of areas in the second half.”

Girls high school basketball sectional schedule

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 10:06 PM

Girls high school basketball sectional schedule

The girls high school basketball Southwest District sectional final and district final tournaments continue this week at various locations. District final winners advance to next week’s regional semifinals.

GIRLS SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

SECTIONAL/DISTRICT BASKETBALL

Mon., Feb. 27

Sectional finals

D-I at Lakota East

Ursuline vs. Walnut Hills, 6 p.m.

Princeton vs. McAuley, 7:30 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 28

D-I at Lakota East

Sectional final

Mason vs. Turpin, 6 p.m.

FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

Fri., March 3

District finals

D-II at Mason

Tippecanoe (20-3) vs. Bellbrook (20-3), 5 p.m.

Alter (21-2) vs. Goshen (17-5), 7 p.m.

Carroll (20-3) vs. Mariemont (21-2), 9 p.m.

Sat., March 4

District finals

D-I at Princeton

Mount Notre Dame (20-4) vs. Wayne (19-4), 11 a.m.

Springboro (19-4) vs. Princeton (16-6)/McAuley (19-2) winner, 1 p.m.

Ursuline (17-7)/Walnut Hills (16-4) winner vs. Mason (18-3)/Turpin (14-7) winner, 3 p.m.

Lakota West (21-2) vs. Beavercreek (16-6), 5 p.m.

D-III at Springfield

Bethel-Tate (18-4) vs. Versailles (19-3), 11 a.m.

Summit Country Day (24-0) vs. Arcanum (17-7), 1 p.m.

West Liberty-Salem (21-1) vs. Badin (16-6), 3 p.m.

D-IV at Troy

Covington (19-5) vs. Russia (19-5), 11 a.m.

Cin. Christian (11-13) vs. Jackson Center (18-3), 1 p.m.

Cedarville (20-3) vs. Tri-Village (22-0), 3 p.m.

Fenwick rallies to sink Wildcats in sectional opener

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 9:00 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 1:30 AM

Fenwick rallies to sink Wildcats in sectional opener

Fenwick High School’s boys basketball team snatched an emotional victory Saturday in its Division II sectional opener, leaving David Luers with a feeling that he could only describe as “pure joy.”

“Everything just comes out at one time, and then after you yell and everything, you realize how tired you are,” the junior guard said. “But it’s great. It’s great.”

He was among the key figures for the Falcons in their 55-53 triumph over Franklin at Fairmont’s Trent Arena, with Fenwick overcoming a 15-point deficit in the process.

C.J. Napier scored all 15 of his points in the second half and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Falcons (13-10), while Luers totaled 15 points and five boards. Paul Blodgett marked all seven of his points in the last 2:21, Sammy DeBiasi chipped in five points and seven rebounds, and Luke Bradshaw had seven points.

“There was a lot of emotion, a lot of hype, a lot of ecstaticness when it was over,” said Blodgett, a senior guard. “This isn’t the first time we’ve had a comeback of double digits. We’ve always been a resilient team. It’s all about the team staying together and staying confident and playing with a lot of heart.”

Blodgett’s 3-pointer with 1:26 left gave eighth-seeded Fenwick its first lead of the day at 54-51.

The Wildcats got a layup from Jared Kinzer at 1:05, but Franklin sandwiched two turnovers in the last 10 seconds around a Luers free throw with 5.0 on the clock.

The Falcons earned a return trip to Fairmont for a sectional semifinal against No. 6 Ponitz on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

“I’m so proud of the way our kids handled themselves in the second half,” Fenwick coach Pat Kreke said. “It was nice to see them respond to the challenge at halftime. We play this (Greater Catholic League) schedule, and we’ve been down to GCL teams by double digits more than a few times this year and come back for good games. We didn’t win all of them, but we came back and put ourselves back in ballgames like we did today.”

The first half wasn’t so good for the Falcons. They were on the short end of a 29-18 score at the break.

“We had a good week of practice,” Kreke said. “I really thought we were ready to come out and play with energy, and to a T, every coach back here at halftime said we looked like we had no energy and were playing soft. It’s disappointing to watch these kids playing with no energy in this kind of atmosphere. But they turned it around in the second half.”

What did he say to his troops at halftime?

“I did not light them up,” Kreke said. “I told them we’ve been here before. We were down by 11, and I said, ‘You’ll get beat double that if you play with the same energy you played with in the first half. But if you come out and play the way Fenwick basketball’s supposed to be played, we’ll be all right. We can get back in this game.’ ”

Blodgett found his stroke at just the right time. Going scoreless for nearly 30 minutes wasn’t part of his plan.

“I was pretty mad at myself about my performance,” Blodgett said. “I knew I could not let my team down and let this be the way we go out in the tournament with my bad play. My teammates stayed confident in me, and I was able to knock down the shots in the end.”

“To be honest, we had taken him out because I just didn’t think he was playing real well,” Kreke said. “One of my assistant coaches said, ‘Are you going to give Paul a second chance?’ I said OK, and he was huge. Paul’s been a captain and a leader all year.”

Luers collected seven points in the fourth period after failing to score in the third.

“The coaches trusted me with the ball down the stretch, and my teammates were trusting me to make good decisions,” Luers said. “We all played a role and finished out strong to win a game.”

It was a brutal defeat for fourth-seeded Franklin (18-5), which lost four of its final seven games.

Ryan Montgomery had 15 points for the Wildcats, who were just 2 of 7 from the foul line (0 of 4 in the fourth quarter). Noah Kremer added 12 points and eight rebounds.

“Hats off to Fenwick. They made big plays at the end,” Franklin coach Brian Bales said. “Free throws have been our Achilles tendon all year. Even with that, I thought we played well enough to win that game. We had a lot of looks at the basket that we would want. We just didn’t finish some plays that we normally would finish. I guess it wasn’t supposed to be for us today.”

Cole Bundren, Konnor Black and Kinzer all scored seven points for the Wildcats. Black nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth stanza.

But Franklin got no points from leading scorer Payton Knott, who fouled out with 1:56 left. Knott did contribute six rebounds.

The Wildcats, who captured their sixth straight Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division title this year, are losing four seniors: Will Kercher, Greg Wyatt, Black and Kremer.

“I’m proud of our seniors and thank them for everything they did for the program,” Bales said. “Not on their watch were we not going to win that league.

“We had 18 wins. I don’t care what league you’re in, I don’t care what people say. We’re a good basketball team. We can play with anybody.”

In Saturday’s other D-II games at Trent Arena, Badin beat Monroe 55-36, Trotwood-Madison buried Ross 124-59, Carroll edged Meadowdale 66-64 on a last-second shot, and Ponitz defeated Oakwood 55-41.

Fenwick 10-8-19-18—55

Franklin 13-16-10-14—53

FENWICK (13-10): Caleb Davis 0 1 1, Paul Blodgett 2 2 7, Sammy DeBiasi 2 1 5, C.J. Hurley 1 0 2, C.J. Napier 7 1 15, David Luers 7 1 15, John Engelmeier 1 0 3, Luke Bradshaw 3 1 7. Totals: 23-7-55

FRANKLIN (18-5): Noah Kremer 6 0 12, Cole Bundren 3 0 7, Braden White 2 0 5, Ryan Montgomery 7 1 15, Jared Kinzer 3 0 7, Konnor Black 2 1 7. Totals: 23-2-53

3-pointers: FE 2 (Blodgett, Engelmeier), FR 5 (Black 2, Kinzer, White, Bundren)

Mohawks fall to Clinton-Massie, make first-round sectional exit

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 1:23 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 1:48 AM

Mohawks fall to Clinton-Massie, make first-round sectional exit

It was a celebration of sorts, just not the one Madison High School’s boys basketball team really wanted.

The Mohawks went one-and-done in Division II sectional play Friday night, suffering a 62-48 loss to Clinton-Massie at Fairmont’s Trent Arena. But the team then boarded a limousine and headed for Donatos Pizza.

“It’s the only place that’s open until midnight,” Madison coach Jeff Smith said. “We’re taking them to do something fun. We didn’t want the end of their journey to be a 14-point loss. We’re going to have some fun because the journey was fun. It’s a super-young team and most of our talent is in our younger classes, so I think we have a bright future.”

Smith’s crew finished 9-14 after starting the season with a 5-3 mark. The Mohawks led 7-6 midway through the first quarter Friday, then watched the Falcons go on a 15-2 run.

Madison made several mini-surges, but never could get close enough to make Clinton-Massie sweat.

“Coach had written on the whiteboard, ‘Why not us?’ ” said freshman forward Grant Whisman, who led the Mohawks with 20 points and 12 rebounds. “He said, ‘This may be some of you guys’ last game, so why not leave it all out on the court?’ That’s what we tried to do.

“They’re a really good team, but we could’ve beaten them. We just didn’t capitalize when we had the chances.”

Kevin Duritsch had nine points and seven rebounds for 14th-seeded Madison, which committed 20 turnovers and never trailed by less than seven points in the second half.

Clinton-Massie (11-12), the No. 16 seed, got double-digit scoring from Thomas Myers (13), Noah Greathouse (13), Trey Uetrecht (12) and Griffin Cook (11).

“We knew we would have to play real well to beat them,” Smith said. “We played well in moments. We’re a little offensively challenged, and that was exposed at times because our best defensive group is not our best offensive group. We tried to mix those up so we could get a little scoring on the floor and still guard, but it was tough to guard man-to-man with our best offensive group.”

Falcons coach Todd Cook wasn’t impressed with his squad’s performance. Clinton-Massie has been a strong team down the stretch after beginning the year with a 1-8 record, but Cook felt Friday’s showing wasn’t very good.

“I don’t think we came out and played well at all,” he said. “I didn’t think we executed the offensive plan very well. We shot too many 3s. Even though we’ve been shooting the ball well, we outsize them, so we needed to do a better job of getting the ball inside. And when we did get it inside, our bigs missed a lot of easy shots.

“We played in spurts. Whenever we got the lead to 10 or 12, it’s like, ‘OK, when are we going to get to that 20 mark? Let’s put them away.’ And we never could.”

Myers grabbed 11 rebounds, Uetrecht hauled in 10 and Nick Chowning added eight for the Falcons, who were just 8 of 16 from the line (the Mohawks were 15 of 22).

Still, Cook admitted that leaving Trent Arena with a victory was a big deal for his players.

“This school hasn’t won a tournament game I think in nine years, so this was a goal of theirs at the beginning of the year,” Cook said. “We came out and did a mediocre job, but it’s still good to get a win.”

Clinton-Massie advances to face second-seeded Dunbar in a 7:30 p.m. sectional semifinal Monday at Fairmont. Greathouse sprained his ankle Friday, but his coach is hopeful that he’ll be ready to play against the Wolverines.

“Yeah, we get Dunbar,” Cook said. “But you know what? That’s why you play games.”

Madison is focusing on the future, despite the fact that it’s losing four seniors: Logan Gomia, Ryan Friend, Ethan Limon and Donovan King.

“I told our seniors, ‘This is not how you would’ve dreamed this would end,’ but all of them had particular good moments during the season,” Smith said. “I hope they can gather that a little bit.

“We knew this season was going to be a tough sled. Obviously with Grant, we have a chance to be very good over the next couple years. We think if we get the right pieces to fall into place around him, we’ll be OK. And we’re going back to Division III next year, which will help.”

“There were some rough times this year, but I think we’ll bounce back,” Whisman said. “We’ll keep working and getting better and see how it goes next year.”

In Friday’s first two games at Fairmont, Chaminade Julienne beat Waynesville 67-41 and Dunbar defeated Bellbrook 75-51.

Madison 9-17-13-9—48

Clinton-Massie 18-18-10-16—62

MADISON (9-14): Mason Whiteman 0 4 4, Donovan King 1 1 3, Ryan Duritsch 2 0 4, Cameron Morgan 1 0 3, Grant Whisman 7 6 20, Ben Paarlberg 1 2 4, Kevin Duritsch 4 1 9, Tyler Baumgartner 0 1 1. Totals: 16-15-48

CLINTON-MASSIE (11-12): Thomas Myers 6 1 13, Griffin Cook 4 0 11, Nick Chowning 2 2 6, Noah Greathouse 5 0 13, Trey Uetrecht 3 5 12, Chris Demler 1 0 2, Daulton Wolfe 1 0 2, Bailey LeForge 1 0 3. Totals: 23-8-62

3-pointers: M 1 (Morgan), C 8 (Cook 3, Greathouse 3, Uetrecht, LeForge)