Stories by Adam
Fatima picked up three double-digit victories against Helias, Jefferson City and Blair Oaks at a basketball jamboree Friday night at Helias.
No. 8 Missouri (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) must win its final two games — starting with No. 24 Mississippi (7-3, 3-3 SEC) at 6:45 today (ESPN-TV) in Oxford, Miss., before a regular-season finale against No. 12 Texas A&M — to capture the SEC East division title and advance to the SEC championship Dec. 7 in Atlanta.
The trend of tilts against unheralded opponents continues when Missouri (3-0) hosts Gardner-Webb (2-2) at 2:30 p.m. today at Mizzou Arena. The lack of fan interest certainly has reflected that light schedule, as the Tigers brought in just 14,720 combined fans for the first two home games.
It was the perfect remedy for an inexperienced frontcourt struggling to make its mark. The return of Missouri senior forward Tony Criswell gave the Tigers a much-needed boost during Saturday’s 92-80 victory against Hawaii in Kansas City. He had missed the first two games due to suspension after an unspecified violation of team rules.
Maty Mauk is a step ahead. Ahead of James Franklin. Ahead of Blaine Gabbert. Ahead of Chase Daniel. Missouri’s redshirt freshman quarterback earned valuable playing experience while starting four games for the No. 8 Tigers (9-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference), going 3-1 during that stretch. Mauk also closed out the Oct. 12 victory against Georgia.
It’s James Franklin’s team again.
Following a scoreless opening half, the Carthage Tigers broke the stalemate soon after the intermission. The flood gates then busted opened as fourth-ranked Carthage ousted 10th-ranked Helias 4-0 in a Class 2 state quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon at the 179 Soccer Park.
There’s no break on the horizon.
There’s just a bit more at stake today.
Jake and Jackson Walker have played baseball together in Japan. In Florida. In Virginia. They’ve shared the diamond their whole lives. That’s not going to change when the twins at Jefferson City High School head off to college next year, as both signed a national letter of intent with Missouri State on Wednesday.
The Missouri Tigers had one option last season. Missouri was forced to stick with the enigmatic Phil Pressey at point guard through good times and bad. Pressey, now plying his trade with the Boston Celtics, averaged a team-high 33.9 minutes per game in 2012-13 due to a lack of quality backups.
The Missouri Tigers eventually will have to get some scoring from their frontcourt. It just hasn’t become a necessity yet. Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross — a terrific trio of guards — can’t do it all alone every time out. But they were able to do it against the Southern Illinois Salukis, as the threesome combined for 59 points to carry Missouri to a 72-59 victory Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena.
The first game that counts is under the belt. So the nerves should start to fade away, right?
Rock Bridge now ranks among the state’s powerhouses in boys soccer. The Bruins have reached three straight Class 3 Final Fours.
The Russellville Lady Indians are entering dynasty territory. Miranda Hill captured first-place individual honors to lead Russellville to its third Class 1 cross country title in four years Saturday at the Oak Hills Golf Center.
After the Russellville girls team captured its third Class 1 cross country title in four years, the boys squad followed with their first state title since 1985 and second in program history Saturday in the Missouri State High School Activities Association Cross Country Championships at the Oak Hills Golf Center.
The Blair Oaks Lady Falcons took sixth place in the Class 2 Missouri State High School Activities Association Cross Country Championships on Saturday at the Oak Hills Golf Center.
Jefferson City placed 15th out of 16 teams at the Class 4 Missouri State High School Activities Association Cross Country Championships on Saturday at the Oak Hills Golf Center.
Sports Commentary: A look at the college basketball season
The 2013-14 college basketball season is a mere two days old, so it’s not too late for a little early-season prognostications.
The Lincoln Blue Tigers have come so close lately. So close to picking up that first Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association victory of the 2013 season, only to see it slip just through their fingertips the past three games. Lincoln’s (1-8, 0-8 MIAA) best opportunities of the year come these next two weeks, starting with Northeastern State (1-8, 1-7 MIAA), out of Oklahoma, at 2 p.m. today at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.
The Jefferson City Lady Jays want a better showing.
Missouri is giving Kentucky the benefit of the doubt.
A familiar face is back.
No Frank Haith, no problem.
John Redmond wants to put Lincoln basketball back on the map. He believes he finally has the team to do it. “This is the first group I can honestly say I feel real confident about making some changes in Lincoln basketball,” the fifth-year men’s coach said. “I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people. The kids we have feel like they want to make a change, they want to get Lincoln basketball back where it’s supposed to be.”
Out with the old, in with the new. After a 2012-13 campaign Lincoln women’s basketball coach Nicole Collier dubbed “disappointing,” the second-year head coach brought in a whopping nine newcomers to go along with just three returnees heading into the 2013-14 season. Lincoln gets a fresh start as it opens the season in the Central Methodist Eagles Classic at 8 p.m. today against Trinity International.
It’s a most unusual beginning. The Missouri Tigers kick off the 2013-14 basketball season without their head coach when they meet the Southeastern Louisiana Lions at 7 p.m. today at Mizzou Arena.
E.J. Gaines is like most college football players — the Missouri senior wants to play in the NFL.
There’s a new man at the top.
It’s a luxury not many teams are afforded, not even in the mighty Southeastern Conference. “It’s very rare when your backup quarterback can play close to what the starter can play,” Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said Monday. But the Missouri Tigers have been blessed, as backup Maty Mauk has performed admirably while starter James Franklin has missed the last few weeks with a sprained right (throwing) shoulder.
Leads Missouri past Tennessee, 31-3
Maty Mauk eschewed efficiency in favor of effectiveness. Missouri’s redshirt freshman quarterback, making only his third collegiate start, completed just 12-of-25 attempts for 163 yards but tossed three of those completions for touchdowns as the No. 10 Tigers bounced back from their lone loss in style with a 31-3 victory against Tennessee on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 65,869 at Faurot Field.
There aren’t many firsts still available this late in the football season. But either the Lincoln Blue Tigers or Central Oklahoma Bronchos will notch a first when they meet at 2 p.m. today in Edmond, Okla.
The Tennessee Volunteers boast an accomplishment the Missouri Tigers can’t match.
A reversal of roles brought about the end of Jefferson City’s season.
Fancy seeing you again. Jefferson City and Rock Bridge will square off for the second consecutive week. There’s a little more on the line this time around. The third-seeded Jays (6-3) host the sixth-seeded Bruins (4-5) in the first round of the Class 6 District 3 Tournament at 7 p.m. Friday at Adkins Stadium.
Shane Ray wants to be better than Michael Sam. So does Kony Ealy, Markus Golden and the rest of the Missouri defensive line. That’s just the competitive nature of the Tigers’ best defensive unit, a group that has pushed Missouri near the top of the nation in a few major categories — sacks, tackles for a loss and rushing yards allowed.
There’s still plenty to play for. Sure, Missouri’s heartbreaking loss to South Carolina on Saturday ruined an undefeated season and likely killed any dreams of playing for a national championship. But as the No. 10 Tigers (7-1, 3-1 SEC) get set to host Tennessee (4-4, 1-3 SEC) at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN-TV) at Faurot Field, this season can still be one to remember.
Connor Shaw ruins Tigers' dream season
Missouri had one foot planted in Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference title game, holding a 17-point third-quarter lead. Then Connor Shaw happened, putting those plans on hold.
The Jays took care of business with a 31-21 victory against Rock Bridge at Wayne Sells Family Field, guaranteeing at least one playoff game at the friendly confines of Adkins Stadium.
Last two matchups have been oh so close
A combined five points have separated his Lincoln Blue Tigers from Fort Hays State in two meetings under Jones. Lincoln (1-6, 0-6 MIAA) looks to get over that hump when it hosts Fort Hays State (3-4, 2-4 MIAA) at 2:37 p.m. today at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.
Are Tigers bound for Atlanta?
It wasn’t an unpopular opinion in 2012 that the Missouri Tigers didn’t belong in the Southeastern Conference. Fast forward to 2013, and those very same Tigers are just a win away from planting one foot in Atlanta for the SEC title game.
Frank Haith and Norm Stewart have shared conversations over the past couple years. Now the two will share the same court.
No. 9 Jefferson City (5-3) travels to Columbia to take on No. 10 Rock Bridge (4-4) at 7 p.m. Friday in a regular-season finale that has huge district seeding implications.
Best defensive lineman in the Southeastern Conference. Heisman Trophy candidate. No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Those are just a few of the superlatives that have been tossed around when it comes to Jadeveon Clowney, the imposing 6-foot-6, 274-pound junior defensive end for the South Carolina Gamecocks.
After 27 months of investigation, the NCAA finally levied its punishment against Missouri head basketball coach Frank Haith for his role in the University of Miami scandal.
Gary Pinkel just doesn’t care. Not about the quality of his football team. Just how outsiders view it. “For me honestly, I never looked at one poll,” the Missouri head coach said regarding his thoughts on the Tigers’ No. 5 ranking in both the BCS standings and the Associated Press poll. “I’ve got friends who throw texts at me. I don’t get caught up in it."
Missouri wasn’t supposed to do all of this. Not in the Southeastern Conference. Not against the league’s best defense. Not with a redshirt freshman making his first collegiate start at quarterback.
News Tribune Sports Commentary
What seemed beyond unfathomable just a couple weeks ago now seems a strong possibility. After consecutive wins against Georgia and Florida, the No. 14 Missouri Tigers are in the driver’s seat in the SEC East Division.
This one ranks right up there with the best of them. Another classic rivalry game between Jefferson City and Rockhurst ended with the Hawklets making that one extra play when it was most needed. After the No. 7 Jays stormed back from 10 points down at halftime to take a fourth-quarter lead, No. 8 Rockhurst scored a late touchdown to take a 20-16 decision Friday night at Adkins Stadium.
Mike Jones can finally breathe a sigh of relief. His Lincoln Blue Tigers just completed a stretch of three consecutive games against ranked opponents that now own a collective 18-0 record. The Blue Tigers were outscored by 110 points during that string of losses. Now Lincoln (1-5, 0-5 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) enters the softer portion of its schedule, beginning with today’s 1 p.m. contest at Nebraska-Kearney (1-5, 1-4 MIAA).