By Greg AregoniLUXEMBURG, Wis. (May 13) – On a night that had everyone huddling up to stay warm, Andy Kleczka stayed hot on the track and picked up the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified feature win at Luxemburg Speedway.Kleczka started up front and never looked back. He put his right rear tire right on top of the track and pulled the field around the 1/3 mile. Kleczka’s only concern was a lap three yellow but after the caution it was a Friday Fun night for Kleczka.Kleczka went untouched the rest of the way and built a lead up to a straightaway in the eventual win. Sean Jerovetz made a run to second half way through the race but could never cut in to the lead. R.M. Van Pay finished third after a race-long duel with Brian Joski.Tom Brumlic opened as the king of the castle in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car showdown. Brumlic had quick company from Troy Muench who charged from his 11th starting spot to the front of the field. Muench made a three-wide pass for the lead on lap six and seemed to have his bases covered.A couple cautions mid-race allowed Brandon Czarapata to find where his car worked best. Czarapata ran to the back bumper of Muench and with three to go got inside of the leader. Muench was forced to try to run the middle but Czarapata was quicker down low. Czarapata held Muench off in the final laps to take home the “W.” Rob Waechter finished third with Dave Bouche and Shawn Havel rounding out the top five.Race Van Pay was way out front in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature after a couple laps. Van Pay held court while the big dogs made their way to the front. Wyatt Block started in the 12th spot and had his racer hooked up everywhere on the track.Block grabbed the lead halfway through the race and never looked back. He had a straightaway lead with five laps remaining and picked up the win. Lucas Lamberies finished second. Todd Weiss won a late race battle for third over Kelsy Hayes and Randy Lemieux Jr.
By Olawale Ajimotokan in AbujaThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has blocked the coaches of the national U20 female team, the Falconets from inviting professional players to camp in preparation for the FIFA U20 Female World Cup that holds in November in Papua New Guinea.The order, THISDAY gathered from reliable in-house sources, was made by the NFF board in the light of the excruciating effect of lack of funds that has almost paralysed the running of the secretariat.The federation kicked against the move by coach Peter Dedevbo for early camping of foreign based players, because it was wary of the huge cost to be incurred on flight tickets, camp allowances and accommodation of foreign based players.Dedevbo submitted his programme to the technical committee in August and proposed that 36 home based players be invited to camp. However, the coach has been under pressure from the foreign based players to be invited to camp.Since last year, NFF has been groaning to the severe effect of cash crunch arising from its inability to access its funds trapped in the Treasury Savings Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).Officials have determined that it would amount to wastage by inviting the foreign based players to camp along the home based at this stage when the World Cup is just two months away.The Falconets defeated South Africa to seal their place to the World Cup. The team which won silver at the 2014 event in Canada will be aiming to improve on that feat by becoming the first African team to win the competition.Nigeria is drawn in Group B against Spain, Canada and Japan. They play their first game against Japan on November 13, before meeting Canada three days later also in Port Moresby. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoThe seniors of the University of Michigan men’s basketball team are no strangers to fast starts.Over the course of their careers, Courtney Sims, Dion Harris, Lester Abram and Brent Petway have seen plenty of pretty records in January. The problem is they haven’t seen many at all come March and April.Take last season, when the Wolverines watched a 16-3 start lead to a 2-7 finish down the stretch.There was also 2005-06, when Michigan was red hot at 12-5 and a perfect 3-0 in conference play. Injuries, however, led to the Wolverines going on to lose 10 straight games and 13 of 14 overall.Even in 2004-05, the freshman year for Sims, Harris and Petway, the group watched a 10-2 start lead to a 7-8 finish, though the team did rebound and go on to win the National Invitation Tournament that season.But since winning the NIT their freshman year, the careers of the four Michigan seniors have basically been drenched in disappointment, having never reached the NCAA Tournament, despite it seemingly being a lock at midseason on several occasions. That is the single goal surrounding Michigan this season: to reach the Big Dance for the first time since 1998.”I’m pretty sure that with the recruiting class they had as freshmen, that they are getting tired of hearing they can’t make the tournament,” Wisconsin guard Kammron Taylor said. “They always get close, but they always come up short. Every team they play they are going all-out.”Maybe that’s why this year’s edition of the fast-starting Wolverines are flying under the radar despite a glistening 16-4 (4-1 Big Ten) record, with three of those losses coming against teams in the RPI’s top 50.How under the radar are they? They are only receiving two total votes in the polls. “They are going to come in here hungry,” UW senior forward Alando Tucker said.”They’ve got a chip on their shoulder.”It all adds up to a very dangerous home game for No. 2-ranked Wisconsin (19-1, 5-0 Big Ten), who represent the perfect marquee win for Michigan to add to their NCAA Tournament résumé.”We know that they are thinking that if they come in here and beat us, it is the perfect game to put on their résumé to get them to the tournament,” Tucker said. “They are definitely a dangerous team. They can put up some numbers.”And as UW’s senior forward Jason Chappell pointed out, there might be some extra motivation for this team, as Michigan’s seniors have never made it to the NCAA tournament.”It’s definitely a feeling of the need to do it now,” Chappell said. “So they are definitely probably playing with a little more motivation.”Unlike many of the teams in the Big Ten, Michigan comes in with a wealth of experience, with Sims, Harris, Abram and Petway all starting as three-time letter winners.”You can’t teach experience and leadership, and they have plenty,” junior forward Brian Butch said.The seniors are the Wolverines’ top four scorers with Harris (13.4) and Sims (12.0) leading the balanced Michigan attack, which at its finest is one that utilizes a frenetic pace to take advantage of the team’s considerable athleticism.”They bring a lot of athleticism, and this year they bring leadership,” Tucker said. “Harris can really light it up at times, and Sims is really also good defensively and alters a lot of shots.”There are also early indications that this is a different Michigan team — one that won’t fade down the stretch as past Wolverine squads have.One example came last week as Michigan picked up a 26-point victory against Purdue, only seven days after falling to the Boilermakers by 14.”Purdue went into Michigan with some confidence, feeling that … if they do certain things, they’re going to be competitive, which they are,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “And then Michigan just kind of took them out of it. That just shows how far Michigan’s come this year.”As usual, the Badgers have the bull’s-eye on their jerseys, but that is nothing new and thus, the Badgers are more concerned with themselves than their opponent.”We know what Michigan is going to offer and bring to the table,” Butch said. “It’s up to us to go out there and match their intensity.”
Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The disparity in free throws grew larger and larger. It was only the first half, but North Carolina had developed rhythm.As Syracuse fell into foul trouble, the Tar Heels attacked the paint more. They didn’t shy away from contact, rather went up against it. The result was a 34-for-37 performance from the free throw line, as No. 5 North Carolina (23-5, 13-2 Atlantic Coast) pulled away from Syracuse (18-10, 9-6) late in a 93-85 win inside the Dean Smith Center. The Tar Heels are now winners in 11 of their last 12. The Orange, meanwhile, finished 13-of-23 from the charity stripe, a 56.5-percent clip, their seventh-worst performance all season.“Our free throw shooting was bad, and theirs was very good,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “And they got a lot more of them, so that was a contributing factor in the game.”Last season, Syracuse had been a successful free-throw shooting team, one that found its way to the line often and converted. The Orange added two sharpshooters to their 2019 squad, establishing a reason for optimism and another successful performance from the line. Syracuse ranked fourth among the ACC in free throw percentage last year, yet have dropped to dead last in 2019.In over half its games this season, Syracuse has shot under 66 percent from the free throw line. The majority have come in conference play, too.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFree throws are an area the Orange address each practice, senior point guard Frank Howard said. The frequency changes based on the day and circumstances — like how soon after the game, how the team has done from the line recently or the nature of practice as a whole — but each player works at them in some capacity each day.One of those players that Boeheim said continually works on his shot — both free throws and around the perimeter — is sophomore forward Oshae Brissett. His dominance around the rim has begun to take the next step, as seen by his multiple and-1 opportunities on Tuesday night. But the free throws that followed went in-and-out.Brissett missed all five of his free throws against UNC and made 1-of-4 versus Duke three days prior. He ranks fifth among consistent rotational players in free throw percentage, and his season average from the free-throw line has dropped 11.5 percent since last season.The reason behind his and the rest of the team’s struggles from the line is unclear. Multiple players said the team needs to just go to the line and shoot, not letting a miss affect confidence. Boeheim said the team just couldn’t finish its opportunities.“When you go to the foul line that many times,” Tyus Battle, who finished with 29 points and shot 11-of-14 from the free-throw line, said, “especially in the first half, you start to get better at the line. It becomes easier.”North Carolina, meanwhile, remained aggressive throughout. Heading to the free throw line, at least for Tuesday, seemed to have correlated with success. In the first half alone, the Tar Heels took 21 free throws to the Orange’s five. SU missed three, while UNC missed just two.Coby White shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line on a career night where he added 34 points. By game’s end, nearly 37 percent of the Tar Heels’ points came via the charity stripe. Only 15.3 percent came from the free throw line for SU, and outside of Battle, the Orange combined to finish 2-for-9.“You have to read how the refs are calling the game,” Battle said. “When they’re calling fouls like that, and you’re shooting that many foul shots, you got to attack us every time.”It was a blip on an otherwise successful day for Syracuse. The Orange led by three at halftime and finished the game shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 45.2 percent from 3. Both of those are among SU’s top-six performances on the year. But it was overlooked because the game ultimately came down to free throw success.Nearly 30 minutes into the game, with Syracuse trailing by a pair, Elijah Hughes stood at the free throw line with a chance to tie the game. The Orange had just battled back from down nine, in a game that seemed to have slipped away.Both Hughes shots clanked off the rim and out. The second miss seemed to have deflated the Syracuse bench, while the Tar Heels faithful erupted. The Orange would never tie the game again.“We got to make free throws, simple as that,” Hughes said. “They went to the line, they made their free throws and that was a huge difference in the game.” Published on February 27, 2019 at 1:05 am Contact Charlie: [email protected] | @charliedisturco