Posted by – February 26, 2011
The Lady Hawks didn’t have too much trouble in winning a first-round game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament at Pepsi Arena.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s stars:
1. Courtney Shuman
If Saturday’s game was her last at Pepsi Arena, she made it count. The senior from Clark County poured in a career-high 30 points to lead the way for QU (25-2). The Tritons had no answer for her play in the low block. They tried to front her with little success. They tried to stay between her and the basket, and that didn’t work either. She also had nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Not too bad for someone who couldn’t even get out of bed three days ago because of an illness.
2. Jessica Vaughn
The Lady Hawks wound up scoring 62 points in the paint, which has to be a season high. Vaughn was a big part of that as she abused the Tritons in the low block to the tune of 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting. She also had nine rebounds and played solid defense as the Tritons didn’t do much of anything in the low block.
3. Ali Schwagmeyer
For all of those GLVC coaches who check in on DOBservations for your Lady Hawk updates, there’s some bad news for you— Schwagmeyer’s nearly back to 100 percent. The newly crowned GLVC Player of the Year had another solid all-around game with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists. She moved much better on the floor than she has in past weeks as the nine-day layoff did her a world of good. With another week off until QU’s next game, she’ll likely be back to her old self.
Credit 12th-seeded UMSL, it wasn’t going to go down without a fight. The Tritons fell behind by 21 points early in the second half, but used a 14-2 run to cut the lead to single digits with 13 minutes left. The Lady Hawks’ inside game was too much. UMSL had its own stars in senior Kelly Mitchell (21 points), freshman Hana Haden (18 points after averaging just 4.5 coming in) and forward Normeka Holder (five offensive rebounds in the second half). … The pregame rundown assigned by the GLVC was rather goofy. The teams stood for the national anthem with 15 minutes before the game, exchanged handshakes and then went to the locker. Usually the anthem is done right before the starting lineups. The starting lineups didn’t take the entire five minutes and the game actually started at 12:59, a minute before it was supposed to. Hopefully, the GLVC doesn’t suspend anyone over the early start. … QU assistant coach Brittany Carper served her one-game suspension for violating the GLVC’s sportsmanship code. … Darla Gatschenberger returned to action after a near three-week layoff because of a foot injury. … As the No. 1 seed in the tournament, QU receives a second-round bye and won’t play again until an 8:30 p.m. semifinal game Saturday at Maryville.
Posted by – February 26, 2011
It was a busy day in the office on Friday, which is why it’s taken me a bit longer than usual to hand out a “Slap” honor this week.
And this week’s Slap will be a rare positive one. Quincy city officials deserve a “Slap” on the back for a job well done in trying to get the Quincy Notre Dame girls basketball team’s games at the state tournament on the air this weekend. Quincy Mayor John Spring and his staff worked feverishly to get the games on Channel 15.
While the broadcast was a bit off at first, the bugs were worked out by the second quarter and viewers got to see the Lady Raiders at their best in a 34-25 victory over Nashville. Channel 15 is also going to have the title game at 8:15 p.m. tonight when QND and Bloomington Central Catholic meet for the title for a second straight year.
So if you see Spring or Jim Murphy, the city’s director of information technology, out and about, tell them thanks. They came through when Comcast couldn’t.
You might not think the city should be worried about what goes on TV, but a quote from Spring on Friday tells you otherwise.
“I’ve received more calls on (the games being on TV) than the (city) budget or hydro,” Spring said.
Posted by – February 23, 2011
The best time of the year is here — basketball postseason. The Quincy Notre Dame girls have already punched their ticket to state. How many teams will follow the Lady Raiders’ path? It will be fun to watch. Maybe some of those teams will pop up on the grades over the next few weeks. Here’s this week’s grade book. Listen to WGEM SportsCenter host Josh Houchins and I break these down around 8:20 on Wednesday’s program. Feel free to text us your grades at 217-617-9437 or tweet me or the program. Here we go:
A — Trevor Bayne. The sports world hasn’t seen a “come-out-of-nowhere” story like this since Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson. The 20-year-old Bayne wound up beating an elite field of NASCAR’s best drivers in the “Super Bowl of stock car racing” on Sunday. Loved how Bayne carried himself after the race. Heck, they had to point him to Victory Lane. Hopefully true NASCAR fans enjoyed Bayne’s improbable win as much as I did.
B — Hannibal swimming. You don’t hear much about the Lady Pirates’ swim team. They swim under the radar (bad pun intended). But last week they made a big splash (another bad pun intended) at the MSHSAA state meet. Led by University of Nebraska-bound Rebecka Land, the Lady Pirates placed second in the state meet in St. Peters. Land won titles in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events, while teaming with Kay Gieseke, JaLynn Gieseke and Meredith Voss to win the title in the 200 free relay. The Lady Pirates finished six points behind state champ Parkway West for the best finish in program history.
C — St. Louis Blues. I don’t claim to be a hockey fan, but I don’t understand what the Blues were trying to accomplish with their trades over the weekend of captain Eric Brewer and former No. 1 pick Erik Johnson. Blues fans seem to be OK with sending Johnson to Colorado for a scorer in Chris Stewart. Brewer, an impending free agent, went to Tampa Bay for a prospect and a draft pick. Most are OK with this deal, too. Just seems to be like the team is waving the white flag on 2011, but what do I know?
D — NBA’s dunk contest. Michael Jordan never had to jump over a car to wow people. Dominique Wilkins didn’t try to grab a stuffed toy with his mouth when was looking to amaze people back in the 1980s. The 2011 NBA dunk contest featured props a plenty with Clippers rookie Blake Griffin leaping over the hood of a Kia on his way to the title. There were other goofy props used in the event in LA. Maybe all of the extra mustard was due to the contest being held near Hollywood. I would have liked to have seen the dunkers try their best without the props.
F — Isiah Thomas. If had had my own “Mount Rushmore” of sports athlets I hate, Zeke would be on the mountain. The current Florida International coach is somehow taking credit for selling Carmelo Anthony on going to the Knicks. According the story I’ve linked here from yahoo, Thomas is forcing his way back into the Knicks’ front office. That would be bad news for Knicks fans, but good for the rest of the league. As a player, Thomas was a Hall of Famer. You can’t take that away from him. But as a businessman and executive, Thomas has a track record of screwing things up.
Posted by – February 22, 2011
Believe it or not, we’re almost to the end of February. Here are two thoughts for your Tuesday:
1. I’m still trying to figure out who Trevor Bayne is.
The youngest Daytona 500 winner ever is basking in the limelight after his improbable win on Sunday. The only problem is that Daytona won’t give him much momentum. He can’t win the Sprint Cup title because he opted to challenge for the Nationwide series championship this season. A new NASCAR rule made drivers decide before the season which series they wanted to run for a title in. This was mainly done to keep the big guys from winning the Nationwide title, but it may keep an up-and-comer from competing for the series’ top championship. Bayne didn’t have much of a hope in making the Chase anyway since his team wasn’t schedule to run more than 17 Sprint Cup races at the start of the year. A star may have been born on Sunday, but it might be a while until we see him really shine.
2. Thank goodness the Melodrama is over
So, the New York Knicks have won the race for Carmelo Anthony’s services. The Knicks gave up a ton to get him, maybe too much. Can’t see how this makes the Knicks into a viable contender this year. It’s going to take the team a little while in order to put some players around Anthony and star center Amare Stoudamire. At the very best, the Knicks are the fourth-best team in the Eastern Conference, behind Boston, Miami and Chicago. They’re still trying to catch up to those teams when it comes to being the best in the East.
Posted by – February 21, 2011
Posted by – February 18, 2011
What did he do?
That was the No. 1 question at Pepsi Arena on Thursday night.
What did Quincy University women’s basketball coach JD Gravina do to get suspended for one game by the Great Lakes Valley Conference for violating its sportsmanship policy?
At this point, neither Gravina nor QU nor the GLVC will go into the details of what Gravina did to get him knocked out of the Senior Night game, which the Lady Hawks won 86-71.
One area news outlet reported my name in connection with what happened with Gravina. Citing anonymous sources, the report said the school was upset with Twitter feeds by Gravina and myself, and that I had deleted posts on my Twitter feed. For the record, I’ve not removed anything from my Twitter feed from that game.
The Wisconsin-Parkside athletic administration was upset with my postgame blog on the Rangers’ win over QU. They felt that some of my comments were inappropriate. I was trying to be humorous but, after listening to their complaints, I edited my blog.
We are still trying to get a source on the record about why Gravina was suspended.
When we get that confirmation, the readers will be the first to know.
UPDATE: Here’s your confirmation. Gravina released a statement this morning saying that a comment he made on a social media site led to his suspension. Click here for the story.
Posted by – February 18, 2011
Last Sunday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in the spotlight again. This time it was actually for doing something on the track as he won the pole position for Sunday’s Daytona 500. It was Earnhardt’s first pole at Daytona. On the 10th anniversary of his father’s tragic death, it looked like Earnhardt was ready to give Daytona a magical start.
Winning a pole position for a 500 mile race is basically like winning a jump ball at the beginning of a basketball game, but it was something Earnhardt needed to be seen as a viable candidate to capture the Sprint Cup title this season.
That all fell apart on Wednesday when Earnhardt wrecked his primary car during practice. He wound up colliding with five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and slid into a wall. NASCAR rules state that if you wreck the car you qualified in, you have to go to the back of the pack to start the race. So Earnhardt will be well off the pace to start.
Will Earnhardt ever be able to step out of his father’s shadows and become a force in NASCAR? I’m no Stevie Dirt, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Posted by – February 17, 2011
The Hawks capped the regular season by winning their fifth straight game, beating the Flyers at in front of a good Senior Night crowd at Pepsi Arena.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s stars:
1. Josh Edmonds
Edmonds saved his best game as a Hawks for his last-ever game at Pepsi Arena. He joined the school’s 1,000-point club in style by pouring in a career-best 29 points. He was a sizzling 9 for 13 from the field and made all seven of his free-throw attempts. It brought back memories of his 28-point night earlier this season against Truman State.
2. Courtney Belger
He didn’t start because of Senior Night, but it didn’t matter. Belger still made his mark on the game. He had the kind of night that QU coach Marty Bell dreams about Belger having. Belger, the team’s point guard, had eight assists against just one turnover. He added eight points and six rebounds. The only knock on Belger was that he missed all three of his free throws.
3. Andrew Kueker
He only had seven points and made one 3-pointer, but it was a big one. Kueker sailed a 3-pointer in from the top of the key with 17:59 left to give the Hawks their first lead since early in the game. From that point, the Hawks took control of the game and never relinquished the lead.
The Hawks played without freshman Chris Babbitt, who was suspended for the game for what coach Marty Bell deemed “a violation of team rules.” … Edmonds pulled off a sweet playground move in the second half. On an inbounds play, Edmonds tossed the ball off the back of Lewis’ David Bryant. He caught the ball near the basket and scored while being fouled by Bryant. Edmonds completed the unconventional conventional three-point play by making the free throw. … The game featured two nice dunks. Lewis’ Lonnie Lawrence threw down a thunderous dunk after a nice dish by Chris McClellan on a fast break. In the second half, Tyler Thompson added his own throwdown after a steal. … Edmonds and Kueker, the only four-year members among the five QU seniors, finish their careers with a home record of 52-11 during their careers. … The Hawks will have to wait to see how things play out during Saturday’s final day of regular-season play in the GLVC to see where they’re going for a first-round game on Feb. 26. QU has the bye on Saturday.
Posted by – February 17, 2011
The Lady Hawks wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament and the North Division title by getting a big win on Senior Night.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s stars:
1. Courtney Shuman
Like fellow her fellow seniors, Shuman received her own jersey in postgame ceremonies. She shored up the Lady Hawks’ interior with her excellent play. She dominated inside, making 8 of 11 shots en route to a 24-point performance. She was part of a stout defensive effort for the Lady Hawks, blocking a shot and picking off three passes as the Lady Hawks decided to front Lewis’ dangerous post players.
2. Ali Schwagmeyer
If there’s a tougher player in the GLVC, I’d like to see her. Schwagmeyer finished with 15 points five rebounds and four assists, playing 31 minutes in her second game back from an ankle injury. She slapped the walking boot back on that right foot and left QU with her crutches after the game, certainly looking forward to the nine-day break until the Lady Hawks’ first GLVC Touranment game.
3. Brittany Carper
The fourth-year Lady Hawks assistant coach was thrown into the fire after head coach JD Gravina was suspended by the GLVC for violating the conference’s sportsmanship policy. She did a solid job in Gravina’s absence. Shuman and Jessica Vaughn both said that a timeout Carper called just over three minutes into the game with Lewis leading 13-6 helped settle them down. QU went on to score 31 of the next 38 points to take control of the game.
Gravina showed up right after the game was finished to celebrate with his team and take part in Senior Night festivities. He said that he spent some of the game cleaning his house. … QU’s redshirted players showed their support of Gravina by wearing “Coach JD Gravina Show” T-shirts at the end of the bench. … Four-year seniors Shuman and Vaughn are now 56-4 at Pepsi Arena during their careers. They’ll play at least one more home game on Feb. 26 in the GLVC Tournament and the Lady Hawks are still in the running to host the NCAA Midwest Regional. … Clark County brought a group of 30 sixth, seventh, and eighth-graders to the game to watch alumns Courtney Shuman, Kassidy Shuman and Daryle Goldie play. … QU likely will play Missouri-St. Louis in a first-round GLVC Tournament game. The pairings won’t be set until after Saturday’s play. The Lady Hawks have a bye on Saturday.
Posted by – February 16, 2011
Class is back in session. Make sure to listen in to WGEM SportsCenter around 8:20 on Wednesday as host Josh Houchins and I break these down. If you have a a grade send it in via our text line at 217-617-9437 or you can zip me or the show a note via Twitter. All of the cool kids are doing it. Here we go:
A — D.A. Points. The PGA Tour’s latest winner has plenty of connections to Quincy. His parents are from here and he whipped up on fields at the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships on a regular basis during his formative years. Had a chance to do a story on him at the John Deere Classic a few years ago and he seemed like a decent enough guy. I’ve followed him on Twitter for a while. Seems like a normal guy. Loves his Illini and is, obviously, very blessed with a great golf game. He’ll be heading to Augusta National and the Masters for the first time this April, giving us all someone else to root for.
B – The state of Wisconsin. The cheeseheads have had quite a run over the last few weeks. First, it was the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl. The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team followed that up by handing Ohio State its first loss of the season last weekend. You can even toss in the Wisconsin-Parkside women’s team’s win over QU on Monday night, which snapped an 18-game winning streak into the mix. It’s a great time for the Badger State.
C — Sports Illustrated. The sports magazine came out with another swimsuit issue on Tuesday. What better way to warm up than seeing what the upcoming swimsuit line looks like? I know I thumb through the issue and mark out the ones I plan on buying for the women in my life. Who am I kidding? I pick up the issue for the articles. SI sells millions of copies of this every year, a pure stroke of genius. Too bad it has nothing to do with sports, but maybe that’s part of its brilliance.
D — Tony LaRussa. You have to feel for the St. Louis Cardinals’ manager a bit. Unless there is some sort of miracle, he’ll find out today that his best player is going to become a free agent after the season. La Russa, as is his job, has to do some spin control. He says Albert Pujols’ contract situation will not be a distraction for the team. Then he says the union is forcing Pujols to take every available dollar on the table and to not take any kind of discounted deal. La Russa has no real idea of what the union may or may not be advising Pujols to do. I give La Russa credit for making an effort, but his execution hasn’t been the best. He isn’t looking too good right now, but you can’t blame him. He’s in survival mode for his team.
F — DeMarcus Cousins. The NBA seems to have its newest problem child. The one-time University of Kentucky player was suspended by the Sacramento Kings this week after getting into a fight with teammate Donte Green after a game on Saturday and the team wouldn’t let him on the plane. Some are wondering if Cousins is the next Dennis Rodman, a guy with a ton of talent but no self-control. It will be interesting to see how the Kings handle him from this point forward.