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SPORTS

WPXN Updates

As promised all of the games that were played today are up in podcast format on the website! The games that are there are the PBL vs Princeton quarterfinal matchup that happened Saturday afternoon, and the two SJO games that took place at Red Bird Arena in Bloomington. Also as a little bonus, I will be starting a podcast for all things sports, that will be local IHSA events, as well as all things professional. There will also be a recap of all things Fighting Illini in the podcast tab, as well as the daily blogs. Big updates coming to the website! I will keep everybody updated!

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Bulls' Coby White becomes youngest player is NBA History with Five 3-pointers in consecutive games

NBA

The Milwaukee Bucks countered another historic night by Chicago rookie Coby White to beat the Bulls 124-115. White shot 5 of 8 from 3-point range in the first half, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to hit five 3-pointers in consecutive games. 

 

IHSA Football Saturday

1A Arcola at Central A&M 1:30pm

2A Clifton Central at Fieldcrest 3:30pm

3A PBL at Princeton 1pm

4A Prairie Central vs Effingham 2pm

 

8 Man Milford/Cissna Park vs Flanagan Cornell Woodland

 

NCAA Football

Michigan St. at Michigan

Indiana at Penn St.

Wisconsin at Nebraska

Massachusetts at Northwestern

Ohio St. at Rutgers

Minnesota at Iowa

 

NFL 

Chicago Bears at LA Rams

Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Green Bay Packers have a bye

 

Today on WPXN it’s IHSA Class 2A State Volleyball action as the St. Joe Ogden Spartans take on Breese Mater Dei at Noon.

 

Saturday on WPXN it’s On the Sidelines from 7-8 brought to you by Compass Insurance Partners in Paxton and Cissna Park, MATCO Fire Protection Services in Paxton and Monical’s Pizza in Paxton.

 

Then it’s IHSA Class 3A Football playoff action as the PBL Panthers travel to take on the Princeton Tigers.

 

You can hear the Milford/Cissna Park 8 Man Football Game against Flanagan Cornell Woodland on 100.9 WHPO around 1:30. 

 

On Sunday it’s the final Race to the Chase with the Monster Energy Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Race at Homestead Florida with a 1pm broadcast time.

 

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MLB Cy Young and MVP Winners

The MLB awards season is finally among us. I was waiting to post this to the site until the MVPs of both leagues were named, and they were named just hours ago. I’m going to go over both the Cy Young winners and the MVPs of both the National and American Leagues. 

 

American League: 

Cy Young award winner: Just Verlander of the Houston Astros.

Not much surprise with this one, Verlander dominated almost every start this season, including the postseason. Verlander’s numbers this year look like this: 

W/L: 21-6

ERA: 2.58 

WAR: 7.8

I could throw in more advanced sabermetrics but those are the most important, at least the import metrics that will win you your second Cy Young of your career. There would only be one pitcher in the AL that I would see giving him a run for his money, Gerrit Cole, who was traded from the Pirates before the deadline in mid-July, Cole just didn’t have enough starts in an AL uniform that could compete with Verlander. Verlander, on the other hand, let up more home runs(30) this season than he has than any other in his career. He called out the MLB around the All-Star break in early July about “juiced balls” which seemed to disappear during the postseason. Add that to another era of MLB baseball. 

 

MVP: Mike Trout

Mike Trout is a no-doubter. Trout is the best baseball player that I have ever seen, and the best that I will more than likely see in my lifetime. Trout plays the game the way you want to see the game played. Busting it out of the box down the line, always chasing down fly balls, and setting up his team for wins day in and day out. Here are Trouts numbers for this season: 

BA: .291

WAR: 8.3

SLG: .645

HR: 45 

Another stellar year to add to his already historic eight-year career. This is Trout’s second MVP, but I can tell you right now he will win a lot more. 

 

National League: 

Cy Young Winner: Jacob deGrom 

deGrom is the best part about the New York Mets franchise second would be rookie Pete Alonso who also won NL ROY(Rookie of the Year). deGrom’s numbers this season:

W/L: 11-8

ERA: 2.43

WAR: 7.9

deGrom lost eight games this season, but that can all be blamed on zero offensive production. If you look at those eight that he lost, they are all by two or fewer runs. This is deGrom’s second Cy Young and he won them in back to back years. 

 

MVP: Cody Bellinger

We all saw the commercials that aired during the second half of this season, yes I’m talking about the game of MVP that Bellinger and Yelich played. Bellinger won. With the knee injury that Yelich suffered late in the Brewers postseason run(missed 19 games), I feel like it would have been a different story. Yelich may not have won back to back MVPs but he at least would have been in contention. Bellinger’s numbers this season:

BA: .305

WAR: 9.0

SLG: .629

HR: 47 

If you’re a fan of the long ball, Bellinger is your guy. He was three away from joining the “50 club” Bellinger also had an OPS of 1.035 this season. This is Bellingers first MVP of his career, and he is the first Dodger since 2014 to claim the honor. 

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Whitman Extension

Josh Whitman gets pay raise and contract extension approved by the board of trustees this morning. Whitman was hired in 2016 with starting pay at $600,000 per year. The three-year extension(original contract due to expire in 2021) will now run through the end of 2024 and will raise his salary to $750,000 per year. With that, his salary will rise to $850,000 by 2024. 

 

The extension comes with the success of coach Lovie Smith’s continued success in Big Ten play in recent weeks. As most of you know, Whitman extended Smith’s contracts another three seasons prior to the start of this season. With the faith in his guys that Whitman has hired, he earned the payday himself. 

 

As the cool kids are saying these days, “bag secured.”

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Senate Halts College Athlete Bill

The Illinois Senate has held up the bill that flew through the House, the bill that would allow collegiate athletes in the state to get paid for their name, likeness, has been halted in the Senate.

 

 This bill would allow all collegiate athletes in the state of Illinois to get paid for using their name(behold the used car dealership commercials) but not directly from their college or university. I think there is a lot misconstrued in the bill, meaning that some people might think that they are receiving a paycheck on top of already being on a full scholarship. That is not true. All the bill would permit is to allow college athletes to profit off their name. If the bill were to make it through, Illinois would become the second state in the country with a bill of this style since California passed it earlier in the fall.

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Updates To The Website!

Check out the new changes to the website! When you pull it up, you will see the new logo right underneath the “download our app” slot. Make sure you click on that tab if you are on the website! Also, we are going to now start posting all audio for any game that is going to be broadcast on WPXN’s airwaves. Youll be able to find that under the “podcast” tab on the website! The St. Joe-Ogden VS Chicago Christian from last Friday is under that tab in its entirety. As always make sure you give us a like on Facebook, give us a follow on Twiter, and become a member on of our email list!

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IHSA State Volleyball Friday at Redbird Arena in Normal

NHL

Erik Gustafsson scored his first goal of the season, Corey Crawford made 39 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Vegas 5-3

 

IHSA State Volleyball Friday

2A at Redbird Arena in Normal

St. Joe Ogden vs Breese Mater Dei noon 

 

GCMS Senior Madi Eberle has signed on to continue her softball career at Southern Illinois University. Madi is a two-time News-gazette All Area Softball First Team pick.

 

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Cardinals manage Mike Shildt Named National League Manager of the Year

NBA

Coby White made a franchise-record seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and the Chicago Bulls pulled away from the slumping New York Knicks for a 120-102 victory.

 

NCAA

LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia, are the top four teams in the playoff selection committee's second top 25. LSU replaced Ohio State as No. 1 after the Tigers won at Alabama on Saturday.

 

MLB

Mike Shildt was honored for piloting the St. Louis Cardinals back into the playoffs, narrowly beating Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers to win NL Manager of the Year.

 

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College Football Playoff Thoughts

ESPN came out with the updated College Football Playoff ranks, and I think they need to put extra thought into it. 

 

  1. LSU

  2. Ohio State

  3. Clemson

  4. Georgia

  5. Alabama

  6. Oregon

Let’s stick with the top six teams of the week. 1 through 3 I don’t have an issue with. LSU dogwalked Alabama on the road this past Saturday and Ohio State is the best team in the Big Ten. Clemson got off to a slow start earlier in the year or not beating teams in a weak ACC conference like they should have. Georgia being 8-1 on the year and being in the fourth spot is jaw dropping. Everybody that reads this will tell me that “they beat Notre Dame and Florida.” Yes, I agree but they also lost to NC State, at home no less. 

 

In my brain, there should be a different order. There is one team in the Big Ten that we are forgetting about since they are in the weaker half of it. Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are 9-0 on the season and beat a Penn State team that was also undefeated last Saturday, and we will figure out this weekend if Penn State is the real deal or not when they head to Iowa City this Saturday. Minnesota should be in that fourth playoff spot. Strength of schedule gets looked at, and Georgia has beaten two quality teams like I stated earlier, but Minnesota is 9-0 and took down at the time 8-0 Penn State.

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Look Into Illini Basketball

The Fighting Illini went on the road this past weekend to take on Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, and later #21 Arizona(Nico Mannion is a stud) and the trip was not a total loss. Here some thoughts from the first three games this season to get you prepared for what is to come. 

 

What we need:

Scoring- We need more production out of our top tier talent. Guys like Ayo and Trent. Trent in the first game of the season went 0-9 from the field to start the season against Nicholls State. According to Sports Refernece.com Ayo is only averaging 15.0 PPG. That should be at minimum 20, especially if you are looking to become a lottery pick in the NBA draft, scoring is a must in modern basketball. 

 

Stop Turning The Ball Over: The turn over bug has bit the Illini bad, it’s an infection that won’t wont go away, at least through the first 3 games of the season. The Illini have turned the ball over 62 times this season. Limit the amount of turnovers you commit and it’s amazing how much easier it is to score the ball. 

 

Get Girogi Involved: With the addition to Kofi Cockburn, who will punish opposing players in the low-post, the Illini offense needs to figure out how to get Giorgi B offensive opportunities. He on the other hand has a big transition period to get through, going from the “go too” big man down low to playing the four. Giorgi has shot the three ball pretty well on limited attempts(.750 on 1.3 attempts per game) which will in turn space the floor out. The lane is clogged as we know it, Kofi takes up half, Ayo and Feliz are dominant slashers and make their living creating opportunities at the rim, there is too much happening under the basket. If Giorgi can keep shooting at a high clip or maintain it, it will spread the floor for more offensive opportunities. 

 

Overall the road trip was successful. The Illini played a great first half against the Wildcats, but the second showed their weaknesses. Starting 2-1 on the year is about what I expected from our Illini. Now it’s time to get back to Ubben, enjoy the week off and get back to business as we have three games in seven days starting with Hawaii next week.

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Update for PBL Football

Quick update for Saturday football this week! PBL will kick off Saturday afternoon at 1pm in Princeton. If you can’t make the game, we will have it on WPXN airwaves.

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Denny Hamlin Advances to NASCAR's title Race

NCAA

Nico Mannion scored 23 points, Josh Green added 20 and No. 21 Arizona's freshmen dominated in a 90-69 victory over Illinois. 

 

NFL

Mitchell Trubisky tied a season high with three touchdown passes, and the Chicago Bears withstood a late charge by Detroit, beating the Lions 20-13 to snap a four-game losing streak.

 

Aaron Jones scored three rushing touchdowns and the Packers used a goal-line stand to beat the Panthers, 24-16. 

 

NHL

Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist, Robin Lehner made 53 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks struck early and then held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4

 

NASCAR

Denny Hamlin saved his season by winning at ISM Raceway near Phoenix to advance into NASCAR's title-deciding race. Hamlin will race Gibbs teammates Busch and Martin Truex Jr., as well as Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing, for the championship. Of the four, Hamlin is the only one without a previous championship. Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano were eliminated.

 

Tonight on WPXN it’s Fast Talk. Get the latest news in NASCAR from 6-7.

 

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Illini at Arizona First Half

The Illini are taking on the Arizona Wildcats tonight on the PAC-12 Network. Here are some quick first half thoughts:

 

Scoring is coming in runs for both teams. The Illini came right off the tip hot in the scoring column but sort of fell off the bandwagon in that area. Once again the turnover bug is still biting them committing 11 to the Wildcat 7. 

 

Kofi needs to get more touches in the low post. I said this yesterday on the pregame show on the PXN airwaves yesterday with JC, the more offense that is ran through Kofi, will spread the floor and create more shots for either Giorgi B, or Trent at the top of the key. 

 

If the Illini can come out of the gate scoring hot like they did in the first ten minutes of the game, we are in good shape. Halftime score is 39-38 in favor of the Wildcats. 

 

First Half highs and scoring totals: 

Trent- 12 points, 4-6 FG, 3-3 3PT, 

Feliz- 5 rebounds, 

Ayo- 3 asst. 

 

I will break down the game and get a post up as quick as I can(might be tomorrow afternoon). GO ILLINI!

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I-L-L

I-L-L! 

 

That’s it. That’s the title. What a game, what a comeback, what a win. Coach Lovie Smith has the UIUC campus rocking these last couple weeks, mainly yesterday. 

 

Our Fighting Illini traveled to East Lansing yesterday to take on the Spartans of Michigan State. Illinois was riddled with injuries including, Jake Hansen(did not travel), Bitikou Jr. Ricky Smalling, and Travon Sydney. The linebacker core for the Illini got even weaker when Milo Eifler was kicked out of the game in the first quarter because he threw a punch in the endzone when MSU scored in the first quarter. 

 

Onto halftime we go, the Ilini were down 28 to 10 at half, coming right out of the gate in the third quarter being down 31-10 after a MSU field goal.

 

Then the fourth quarter started. The Illini outscored Sparty 27-3 in the quarter with scores coming from Josh Imatorbhebhe who caught an 83 yard touchdown pass to start it off, Reggie Corbin with a 6 yard run, Sydney Brown with a 76 yard pick six, and in the final seconds of the game, Peters threw a 5 yard pass to Daniel Barker to make the game 37-34. Brining it our final. 

 

With the Illini being down by over 25 and coming back and winning the game, that is the largest comeback victory in school history. This is the first time under Coach Lovie Smith that the Illini have been bowl eligible with a record of 6 and 4 with two games left against Iowa on the road on the 23rd and Northwestern at home on the 30th to cap the Big Ten season. The ride isn’t over yet, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Let’s enjoy the ride.

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Panthers Advance!

The PBL Panthers secured a victory yesterday evening over Farmington to head to the IHSA quarterfinals for the first time since 1998. After a small delay due to the Panther bus having a mechanical issue on Towanda-Barnes Road, the game was kicked off at 5:45 originally scheduled for 5. 

 

It was all PBL in the contest, the first score came from a 2 yard run by Drake Schrodt with the two-point conversion attempt no good making the score 6-0 PBL early in the first quarter. Later on in the first half another score came for the Panthers. Gunner Belt competed a 10 yard pass to Drake Schrodt and the 2 point conversion was successful to Gavin Coplea making it a 14-0 Panther lead. 

 

Those two PBL touchdowns coming in the first half were the only scores for the half. The second half however was a different story, especially in the third quarter. 

 

Hunter Anderson started the scoring in the second half with a 37 yard touchdown run with the PAT good from Wilson making the score 21-0 PBL. Farmington was able to get on the board after that score by Anderson, with a Blake Springer 11 yard TD run and a succssfeul PAT made it a 21-7 game halfway through the third quarter. PBL’s special teams also had to get in on the scoring action. Hunter Anderson blocked a punt and scooped and scored. The PAT was blocked making it a 27-7 game. 

 

There was no scoring in the 4 quarter of play but there was no need. PBL was able to secure the victory and move on to the quarterfinals. Next week’s game in Princeton will be broadcast on WPXN as well as the SJO WVB contest on Friday from Red Bird Arena in Bloomington.

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Area IHSA WVB

Area IHSA WVB 

 

SJO took on Chicago Christen in Palos Heights this evening in Chicago. JC was on the call for tonight's Elite 8 IHSA volleyball action. SJO dropped the first set 15-25, but battled back to win the next two, 25-23 and 25-16 to secure a spot at Red Bird Arena in Bloomington in the Final Four next Friday at 12pm. They will take on Breese Mater Dei and tickers are only $8. 

 

Meanwhile, Milford took on Glasford this evening. They were eliminated from the playoffs in 2 sets scores resulting, 25-22 and 25-20. Congratulations to both teams for all their hard work and dedication on the court and most importantly in the classroom!

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ILLINI at GCU Halftime Thoughts.

The Illini travel West to Arizona for a two game stint with Grand Canyon and Arizona Universities. In my eyes, this will be a “tell all” road trip for the Illini for the upcoming season. The Illini need to take these two on the road in a loud, and proud GCU stadium, and if all possible(which it is) stealing a W against Sean Miller’s squad. Post game blog soon to follow.

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Area High School Athletes Participating in Cross Country, Volleyball, and Football State Series this Weekend

IHSA Class 1A, 2A, & 3A State Cross Country Meet at Detweiller Park, Peoria. 9am today

Boys 

1A Individual-Ryder James-PBL

                       Connor Price-Iroquois West

1A  Team-St. Joe Ogden

                  

2A Team-Mahomet Seymour

 

Girls 

1A Team-St. Joe Ogden

2A Team-Mahomet Seymour

 

 

AREA HIGH SCHOOL 2ND ROUND PLAYOFF TIMES AND DATES

CLASS 1A

#8 Fisher (8-2) at #1 Central A & M (10-0), Sat., Nov. 9, 1:00 pm

 

#5 Greenfield [G.-Northwestern Coop] (8-2) at #4 Arcola (8-2), Sat., Nov. 9, 2:00 pm

 

CLASS 2A

#8 Watseka (7-3) at #1 Knoxville (10-0), Sat., Nov. 9, 1:00 pm

 

#5 Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (9-1) at #4 Sterling (Newman Central Catholic) (9-1), Sat., Nov. 9, 6:00 pm

 

#6 Aledo (Mercer County) (7-3) at #3 Clifton Central (10-0), Sat., Nov. 9, 3:00 pm

 

#8 Oakwood (8-2) at #1 Pana (9-1), Sat., Nov. 9, 1:00 pm

 

#5 Nashville (9-1) at #4 Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin (9-1), Sat., Nov. 9, 2:00 pm

 

#2 Maroa-Forsyth (9-1) at #10 Auburn (7-3), Sat., Nov. 9, 1:30 pm

 

#6 Tuscola (8-2) at #3 St. Teresa (9-1), Sat., Nov. 9, 1:00 pm

 

CLASS 3A

#5 Paxton-Buckley-Loda (8-2) at #4 Farmington (8-2), Sat., Nov. 9, 5:00 pm

 

CLASS 4A

#4 Unity (9-1) at #12 Kankakee (McNamara) (7-3), Sat., Nov. 9, 1:30 pm

 

IHSA Volleyball

1A Super Sectional at Verna Midland

Milford vs Illini Bluffs 6pm

 

2A Super Sectional at Palos Heights

St. Joe Ogden vs Chicago Chistian 6:30pm

 

Big Ten Football

Maryland at Ohio St.

Penn St. at Minnesota

Purdue at Northwestern

Illinois at Michigan St.

Iowa at Wisconsin

 

NFL

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts


 

Tonight on WPXN it’s IHSA Elite 8 Volleyball as the St. Joe Ogden Spartans are on the road at Palos Heights to take on Chicago Chistian. Pre game at 6:15.

Then its Fighting Illini Basketball as the Fighting Illini are on the road at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. 

 

Saturday on WPXN it’s On the Sidelines from 7-8 brought to you by Compass Insurance Partners in Paxton and Cissna Park, MATCO Fire Protection in Paxton and Monical’s Pizza in Paxton. 

 

Then it’s the WPXN Annual Ag Auction. Bid Buy and Save on items for the farm, the home and even a few Christmas Gifts. 

 

Saturday afternoon it’s 8man Football Playoff Coverage as the Milford/Cissna Park Bearcats take on Bunker Hill at Sam Fanning Field in Milford. Scott Hudson and Joel Cluver will have the call of the game. Our pregame begins at 1pm with kickoff at 2pm. 

 

Then it’s IHSA Class 3A Football as the PBL Panthers travel to take on the Farmington Farmers. Jay Eshleman and Rocky Marron have the call of the game. Pregame to follow the conclusion of the Milford/Cissna Park Contest. Kickoff at 5pm. 

 

On Sunday it’s the Monster Energy Blue Green Vacations 500 NASCAR Race from Avondale Arizona with a 12:30 broadcast time.

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Milford and St. Joe Ogden advance to Super Sectional

IHSA Volleyball

1A Sectional Final

Milford def Illinois Lutheran

25-14, 25-13

Caley Mowery had 12 kills

 

Milford Volleyball Coach Christy Duis talks about the historic win

 

 

Milford Volleyball Coach Christy Duis

 

2A Sectional Final

St. Joe Ogden def Herscher 25-19, 12-25, 25-23

Payton Vallee had 11 kills

 

NBA

Chicago Bulls def Atlanta Hawks 113-93 

 

 

(Phoenix--jc)  Two races remain in the Nascar Monster Energy series for 20-19. I-S-M racetrack in Arizona is the destination for racers on Sunday. Nascar Driver  Joey Logano reacts to the reconfiguration of the racetrack and crazy racing…

 

 

Nascar Driver Joey Logano.

You can hear the race live on Sunday starting at 12-30 with the BlueGreens Vacation 500.

 

(Paxton--jc) — The Paxton Buckley Loda football Panthers head on the road in the second round of the 3-A Football playoffs on Saturday afternoon. After a running clock win this past Saturday, the Panthers take on Farmington. First year P-B-L Football Coach Josh Pritchard says his Senior Class is one with great kids and coachable kids…

 

 

P-B-L Football Coach Josh Pritchard.

You can hear the game live on saturday afternoon starting at 4pm with the preview show. We will join Jay Eshleman and Rocky Marron for their pre-game at 4-30 with the kick off from Farmington High School at 5pm

 

 

 

 

 

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SJO WVB Heads to Elite Eight

Watseka Il,

 

The SJO and Herscher IHSA playoff volleyball game took place this evening and JC had the call. Both teams looking to advance to the sectional final, and move on in the playoffs at Chicago Christin High School in Palos Heights. 

 

SJO was able to secure set one, 25 to 19 over Herscher. SJO led the entrity of the first set, including a 7-2 lead in set one forcing an early timeout by Herscher. Herscher was able to put together a late run to bring it back within 5 late in the first set but SJO had built to large of a lead. 

 

In set number two Hercher came out playing a lot more aggressive forcing SJO into an early timeout. Herscher has been able to control most of the second set with a lead of at least 6, huge plays coming from the Lady Tigers in the middle. The Lady Tigers, were stuck on the set point for a long time. After letting up 5 unanswered points, Herscher was able to close it out and 25-12 to tie it up at one set each.

 

Set three started off with all Lady Tigers. They started off with a 3-0 lead which forced a Herscher timeout. SJO on the other hand rallied back to tie the game back up at 6 all. Ties were the name of the game in set number three. The Lady Spartans and the Lady Tigers both wanted to punch their ticket to the Elite Eight. Due to a couple miscues from Herscher, SJO was able to keep a 4 point lead and force another timeout. The Lady Spartans found some momentum in set three, and built a 21-15 lead late. The Lady Tigers found a 24-21 disadvantage looking down on them and they had to be perfect on their final three serves. 

 

SJO was able to keep the momentum rolling, and was able to win set three 25-23. SJO has punched their ticket to Elite Eight in Palos Heights this Friday.

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Wong Wins First GG

I want it to be known that I am not a St. Louis Cardinals fan. I am obviously a fan of the North Siders. But I have to give credit where credit is due. The MLB is going through all of the defensive winners for each position that is airing live on the MLB network, and they just released the best defensive second basemen.

 

Kolten Wong this season as a Cub fan was impressive to watch on defense. He is an absolute vacuum on defense. Not very impressive at the plate but his athletic ability is off the charts. He is able to range to his left, right, and he can track down those tricky bloop pop flys in no mans land behind the first base bag. 

 

In 147 games this season, Wong had 250 putouts, 412 assists, turned 103 double plays, and only committed 9 errors. Wong had an impressive season on the defensive end, and he won a Gold Glove, the first of his career.

 

Hats off to Kolten Wong on his stellar performance this season at second and for winning his first(of many) gold gloves in his young career. 

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Weekend Sports Outlook

We have a full slate of sports coming up on WPXN’s airwaves, starting tonight. JC will be on the call for the SJO vs Herscher IHSA playoff volleyball game. We will have the pregame at 5:45 with opening volley at 6. 

 

Coming up on Saturday, we will be covering most of the IHSA football playoffs. PBL takes on Farmington Saturday at 5pm, as Jay and Rocky will have the call for that. We will have a pregame blog Friday night or Saturday morning as we look into that game. 

 

As always don’t forget to follow along with all our socials, and become a member of our website so you can get up to date news, and keep up with your sports beat!

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Illinois wins Opener in OT

NCAA

Andres Feliz scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Illinois beat Nicholls State 78-70 in overtime in a season opener for both teams. Ayo Dosunmu scored 21, Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 11 points, and freshman big man Kofi Cockburn had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Fighting Illini.

 

Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky's latest freshman star, scored 26 points and the second-ranked Wildcats opened the season with a 69-62 victory against No. 1 Michigan State in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden. 

 

NBA

Lakers def Bulls 118-112 

 

NHL

San Jose Sharks def Blackhawks 4-2

 

Ohio State, LSU, Alabama and Penn State are the top four in the College Football Playoff selection committee's first rankings of the season. Next up were defending national champion Clemson, Georgia and Oregon. The 13-member committee will produce four more sets of rankings each Tuesday before the only ones that really count come out on selection Sunday, Dec. 8.

 

IHSA Volleyball tonight

1A

Milford vs Illinois Lutheran 6pm

2A

St. Joe Ogden vs Herscher 6pm

 

Tonight on WPXN it’s IHSA Class 2A Volleyball Sectional Championship from Watseka with St. Joe Ogden and Herscher. Our pregame begins at 5:45 with open volley at 6pm.

 

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Illini Give Us A Scare

The first game of the season is now over after a thriller against Nicholls State. The Illini are now 1-0 on the year as they head out for a stint in the West Coast starting with Arizona on Friday night. The Illini held the lead by 8 or more throughout the game, and looked dominate other than the turnover bug. Most of the story starts in the second half. With about 8 minutes remaining in the game, the Illini let up a 14 point run. When Nicholls went on that run, they cut the lead down from 13 to a tie with under three minutes to play. Trent Frazier had the play of the game getting the steal, and forcing a travel in crunch time, following with sinking two free throws, the Illini tied the game and forced OT. Andres Feliz took over at this point and sealed the game with the Illini coming out on top 78-70. 

 

The Illini might be 1-0 to start the year, but there was a lot of mistakes and miscues that came with it. Let's start off with scoring:

 

The Illini where 27-61 from the field as a whole in the win against Nicholls, who came to play. In my keys to the game I said one of the things that needed to happen was that Ayo Dosunmu needed to turn up the scoring from the exhibition played in Champaign last Friday, which he did. Ayo had 21 total points, went 8-11 from the field, 1-1 from deep, and racked up 7 rebounds. When it comes to the statistics, he looked like a top ten draft pick. Not only did Ayo have a great game, Kofi Cockburn tallied a double-double in his Illini debut going 4-6 from the field, with 10 points and 11 rebounds. We can’t forget about Andres Feliz. He was the most impactful throughout the night. Feliz had 23 on the night, went 7-14 from the field, 1-4 from deep, 8-10 from the line, and tallied 11 rebounds. But, the Illini missed a lot of open shots, and more often than not, passed on open looks. Offensive possessions are going to have to be cleaned up before Big Ten play opens up in January. One of the things that needs that “touch up paint” first is turnovers. 

 

The Illini had 23 turnovers in the game. That is far to many. And it about came back to haunt them. The first half was filled with sloppy offensive possessions that resulted in turnovers. You can’t win games turning the ball over 23 times. I’m sure this won’t happen again, there wasn’t much offensive rhythm(first half) when most of them occurred. 

 

My player of the game of course has to go to Andres Feliz(statline listed above) for taking over in OT and shutting the game down. 

 

Like I stated the Illini have a real test this upcoming Friday when they travel out to Arizona to take on the Wildcats. I’m curious to see how they respond on Friday.

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Illini vs Nicholls State Preview.

Preview for tonight’s Illini Men’s Basketball against Nicholls State:

 

We are a little under a half hour from opening tip here in Champaign. Let’s take a look at Nicholls State. 

 

Projected Starters: 

 

D’Angelo Hunter-

Kevin Johnson

Dexter McClanahan 

Elvis Harvey Jr

Warith Alatishe 


 

Illini Probables:

Ayo Dosunmu

Trent Frazier

Andres Feliz 

Giorgi Bezhanishvili

Kofi Cockburn 

 

Pregame Thoughts:

 

After coming off a W against D-II Lewis last Friday night in Champaign, the Illini are looking to start the season 1-0. During warmups, Nicholls looks long, athletic, and fast. They are lacking size down in the paint which should create opportunities in the low-post for Kofi and Giorgi B. 

 

Cale’s Keys:

Post presence- Get Kofi and Giorgi B rolling early 

“Jets up”- prove it year for Ayo, meaning that he has to be the faciliter we are needing him to be. 

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