severe weather


Sports Today: National Signing Day gives way to big basketball night

Published: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 9:03 AM

Springfield's Leonard Taylor throws a pass against Xenia on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, at Xenia. David Jablonski/Staff
HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff
Springfield's Leonard Taylor throws a pass against Xenia on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, at Xenia. David Jablonski/Staff(HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff)

Today is National Signing Day and a notable night for college basketball. 

As I write this, we’re still waiting to see how the winter weather will affect college announcements, but at last check three of the area’s best players were planning to make an announcement today. 

Stay tuned to find out what’s next for star running backs Tavion Thomas and Ra’veion Hargrove plus all-around Springfield athlete Leonard Taylor. 

Ohio State signed most of its class in December but is looking to add a couple of players today — offensive tackle is of particular interest and need… 

Ohio State basketball will take over the spotlight tonight as the 14th-ranked Buckeyes head to Purdue to take on the third-ranked Boilermakers. 

The game matches the top two contenders for Big Ten Player of the Year: Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State and Vincent Edwards of Purdue. 

Edwards, a Middletown graduate, and Bates-Diop are both seniors who figure to be under-drafted by NBA teams in June before going on to long, productive pro careers. 

This is the only meeting between the two teams, and a win for Purdue would certainly put them in the driver’s seat for a Big Ten championship as they would maintain a two-game lead over Michigan State, a winner last night and Purdue’s next opponent. 

Ohio State doesn’t have much to lose tonight if you ask me. 

A win would mean they have a chance to hang a banner this season, but they have already surpassed expectations. 

Even if the Buckeyes lose, they would have a three-game cushion in terms of staying in the top four, which is important for seeding in the conference tournament that is stupidly being held a week early in New York City… 

Meanwhile, Dayton is back home tonight to take on Duquesne at UD Arena. 

The Flyers’ loss in Pittsburgh to start Atlantic 10 play looked like a bad one at the time, but since then the Dukes have been having the better season. 

First-year coach Keith Dambrot’s team has already won five more games than last season despite dropping a pair of heart-breakers in the previous eight days. 

Exactly what’s ailing Dayton is hard to put a finger on. 

I mean, there are obvious statistical things to look at, but everything feels interconnected, doesn’t it? 

»PREVIEW: What you need to know about Wednesday’s gameBench seeing minutes decline

Overall, things just aren’t right. 

There’s plenty of talent there, but experience is lacking of course. 

Darrell Davis is a veteran but playing in a new role, and Josh Cunningham barely played the previous two seasons. 

Of course, they’ve also had 22 games to figure out how to play together but seem to be going in the other direction.

Their improvement in shooting percentage over the course of the season is definitely eye-opening. I thought this team would be athletic but struggle to makes shots. 

The lack of improvement on defense is kind of baffling. 

So are the fluctuations in the way coach Anthony Grant has substituted. 

It seemed like a lot of guys were on yo-yos in the first half of the season, and now the rotation has been severely curtailed. 

I can imagine that makes getting comfortable and building confidence hard. 

I’m sure it’s tough for any new coach to establish what he wants, never knowing just how youngsters are going to react to a given situation. 

That’s why they make the big bucks though. 

Perhaps short-term pain will yield long-term gain. 

The rest of the schedule isn’t a cakewalk. Finishing over .500 in the regular season could be a challenge… 

Trending - Most Read Stories

District softball: Kenton Ridge beats Monroe to reach regionals for first time in five years

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 9:27 PM

Highlights: Kenton Ridge beats Monroe in district softball

After postponements Friday and Saturday because of rain and a one-hour delay because of thunder on Sunday, Kenton Ridge and Monroe finally got to play their Division II district championship.

The Cougars (23-1), ranked second in the state, advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2013 with a 6-2 victory at Brookville High School. The game started at 7 p.m. and finished just before it got too dark to play.

» RELATED: Bradford wins district softball title | Lebanon beats Fairfield

Monroe, which was seeking its first district championship, finished the season 18-3. Senior Faith Hensley, a Ball State recruit, hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning in the last at-bat of her high school career.

Kenton Ridge will play another Central Buckeye Conference team, Jonathan Alder, at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Mason High School. The teams split in the regular season. Both games went to extra innings. Kenton Ridge won 4-3 in Springfield on April 18 and lost 7-6 at Jonathan Alder on April 27. The Cougars have won 10 straight games since their only loss.

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Kenton Ridge beats Northwestern in sectional final

No. 4 Greenville and No. 7 Clinton Massie will play at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the other regional semifinal at Mason.

Carly Turner earned the victory on the mound, striking out nine, and drove in the first run of the game for Kenton Ridge in the fourth. Her double scored Lexee Trainer.

Paige Williams added an RBI single in the fourth. Then a squeeze bunt by Maddy Hall scored a third run. Trainer made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the fifth. Jordan Rucker drove in two runs with a triple in the sixth.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Schwarber, Cubs hammer Reds, win series

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 5:08 PM

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 20: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 20: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)(Joe Robbins)

Yu Darvish recovered from a shaky start to earn his first win with the Cubs, and Kyle Schwarber hit one of Chicago’s three home runs Sunday in a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Schwarber, a Middletown native, launched a two-run drive, and Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist each had a solo shot to help the Cubs take three of four in the series. Darvish (1-3) went six innings and allowed only two hits, both in the first, during his eighth start since signing a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago last offseason.

»RELATED: Reds have played winning baseball since 3-18 start

»RELATED: Prospect to resume baseball activity

»RELATED: Votto weighs in on Reds’ historically bad start

In his second outing since coming off the disabled list Tuesday, the four-time All-Star overcame a 39-pitch first inning and finished six for the third time this season. He allowed one run with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Tyler Mahle gave up all three Chicago long balls, passing Homer Bailey for the team lead in homers allowed with 13. The Cubs reached Mahle (3-6) for seven hits, two walks and four runs. He struck out six.

Chicago outscored the Reds 16-1 over the final two games of the series while completing a 4-2 road trip. The Reds are 2-5 since sweeping the Dodgers in a four-game series at Los Angeles for the first time since August 1976.

The Reds scored their only run on Scott Schebler’s bases-loaded infield single with two outs in the first. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell went deep into the hole to backhand the ball, but he couldn’t hang onto it. Darvish retired the following eight batters and nine of the next 10.

Schwarber gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the second with his first home run since April 26. Baez, who went into the game leading the National League with 37 RBIs, followed with his first since May 7.

Zobrist led off the fifth with his second homer of the season and first since April 8. The Cubs capitalized on first baseman Joey Votto’s throwing error to add two unearned runs in the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Right-hander Michael Lorenzen (right shoulder strain) was scheduled to throw two innings of relief in his third rehab appearance for Double-A Pensacola.

UP NEXT

Right-hander Matt Harvey (0-2) makes his home debut for Cincinnati in Tuesday’s series opener against Pittsburgh.

TUESDAY’S GAME

Pirates at Reds, 7:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410

Trending - Most Read Stories

NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell released from hospital

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 11:56 AM

Hall of Famer Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles.
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Hall of Famer Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles.(Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell confirmed on Twitter he was released after an overnight stay in the hospital for dehydration.

>> Read more trending news

According to TMZ, the 84-year-old Boston Celtics great was taken by ambulance from his Seattle-area home to a nearby hospital Friday night. 

Russell tweeted Saturday that he was doing all right, writing that “Yes, I was taken to the hospital last night and as my wife likes to remind me I don’t drink enough.”

Russell also dismissed earlier reports by TMZ about being admitted to the hospital because of heart problems, tweeting “As most of my friends know, I don’t have a heart to give me trouble.”

Russell later posted a tweet that included a photo of him holding a glass of water


The Celtics legend was also hospitalized in 2014 after collapsing at a speaking engagement.

Russell made it home in time Saturday to watch the Celtics lose 116-86 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics lead the series 2-1.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens told ESPN that he was relieved to hear that Russell was all right.

"Yeah, that was obviously scary news, and happy to hear that he's doing better and he's been released from the hospital,'' Stevens said in Cleveland before Game 3. "He's the ultimate basketball winner. The way he impacted winning, the unselfishness of a teammate, what he stood for off the floor -- everything about him.” 

Russell won 11 titles with the Celtics and was named the NBA’s most valuable player five times. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Sinclair baseball team advances to national junior college World Series

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 5:16 PM


            Sinclair first baseman Eddie Pursinger is headed to the University of Dayton next season. Tom Archdeacon/STAFF
Sinclair first baseman Eddie Pursinger is headed to the University of Dayton next season. Tom Archdeacon/STAFF

The Sinclair College baseball team saved the best for last in its regional baseball tournament in Sandusky on Saturday.

The Tartan Pride rode a late rally to an 11-7 win over Kellogg Community College in the championship game, sending Sinclair to the National Junior College Division II World Series.

ARCHDEACON: A spring tradition — Sinclair baseball one of nation’s best

Sinclair had been on a dominating run through much of its season. In fact, hadn’t lost a game since late March. That 31-game streak was snapped in the first game of the double-elimination tournament Saturday morning as Kellogg scored nine runs in the first two innings and went on to a 10-4 win.

Just like the first game, Steve Dintaman’s team got off to a slow start in Game 2 when the Bruins scored four times in the top of the second inning.

Down 5-1 in the fourth inning, the Tartan Pride got back in it with a solo home run from Eddie Pursinger to lead off the inning. Then Dylan Carpenter nailed a two run shot, and the deficit was down to one run at 5-4.

Kellogg held a 7-4 advantage in the eighth inning when Sinclair sent 11 batters to the plate. Carpenter started the scoring with an RBI single. Tyler Zaluski followed that with a two-run double, and Sami Mehmed drove in two more runs with a single to left field.

Justin Clarke capped the inning with a two-run single to right field. The Tartan Pride scored seven runs on seven hits in the inning.

Chaney Morgan got the win out of the bullpen, but he needed help in the ninth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Jake Webb came in to get a ground ball for the final out.

Sinclair now heads back to Enid, Okla., to another National Junior College World Series next week. The Tartan Pride finished third in the World Series in 2016.

Trending - Most Read Stories