SPORTS NEWS FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 21, 2004
MND wins state title with national upset
Mount Notre Dame today can claim it is No. 1 in American girls' high school basketball.
Big Blue back at state for first time in 50 years
Complete prep playoff coverage

Bengals stunned Sapp-less
Warren Sapp is a Raider less than 24 hours after coming close to signing with the Bengals.
Stadium: 'We want a lease that's fair'

Illini view Bearcats as bullies
The real game doesn't take place until this afternoon, but the mind games were already in full force Saturday.
Daugherty: With no guards, UC has no chance
XU seeks new 2nd-round tune
Fired-up Blazers ready to put heat on Kentucky

Sports this weekend on TV, radio
Plan your viewing day with our schedule of sports on local TV and radio.
Sports digest
Enquirer Sports: Contact us

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: Season has been one for the ages
A great Cincinnati prep sports season continues to get greater, including Mount Notre Dame's Mel Thomas being named Ohio Ms. Basketball last week.


Ernst: Maysville 'Punk' Sweet 16 legend
LEXINGTON - When future NBA legend Wes Unseld hit a clutch basket and free throw down the stretch, powering his high school team to a 61-58 victory en route to a state title, he was there.

Rams run out of surprise wins
COLUMBUS - Badin fell short Saturday in the girls' Division II state final, but defied the odds by getting there in the first place.

Leininger named Indiana Miss Basketball
INDIANAPOLIS - Jaclyn Leininger, who averaged more than 25 points a game last season and led Warsaw to the Class 4A championship game, is Indiana's high school Miss Basketball for 2004.

Youngstown Ursuline, Minster capture titles
COLUMBUS - Courtney Davidson scored 21 points and got her teammates easy baskets with a deft array of passes, sending Youngstown Ursuline to its first Division III state championship with a 66-52 win over Oak Hill on Saturday at Value City Arena.

Brookhaven returns favor
COLUMBUS - Moeller had the makings to make its next step toward defending its state championship Saturday night. But Brookhaven had the motivation.

After hot start, Devils fall short
Given Reading's recent postseason history, you knew it was going to take a pretty formidable opponent to finish off the unflappable Blue Devils.

CovCath runs out of clock
LEXINGTON - Fate, like it so often does when it comes to Northern Kentucky teams in the Sweet Sixteen, turned its back on Covington Catholic in Saturday's semifinals at Rupp Arena.

Brock shoots Dragons to title
LEXINGTON - Warren Central guard Brock Whitney picked the right time to put on a 3-point shooting display.

REDS / BASEBALL
Kearns eager to play the field
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The life of a designated hitter is an acquired taste. The hitting-only role does not suit Austin Kearns.
Inside Reds camp


Acevedo endures rough outing
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The sweat streamed down Jose Acevedo's face as he recapped the afternoon.

Kelly: Benevolent Devil Rays want McGriff to be seen
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - When no other team presented a legitimate offer, Fred McGriff went home again.

Fantasy BB: Lesser-known players make for key picks
Forget that "other" version of March Madness and set down those brackets for a minute, will you? Because real insanity is trying to figure out whether a hot spring training for a middle-of-the-road player is a sign of a breakout season or just a mirage under the March sunshine.

Astros court postseason success
VIERA, Fla. - Starting pitching won't be the only thing on their side when the regular season starts.

Molitor not intimidated with tasks as hitting coach
PEORIA, Ariz. - The new hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners knows a thing or two about his trade.

Relieving is Riske's business
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - David Riske is the Cleveland Indians' reluctant closer.

FOOTBALL
Curnutte: Buffalo fit the bill for CB Vincent
So why did Troy Vincent choose Buffalo instead of Cincinnati? Simply put, the free agent cornerback thought the Bills were closer to the Super Bowl than the Bengals.


Steelers keep Logan for reworked secondary
Safety Mike Logan signed a three-year contract Saturday as the Pittsburgh Steelers attempt to shore up their unsteady secondary after the most disappointing season in coach Bill Cowher's 12 years.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Huggins doesn't use Tourney failures to motivate his team
COLUMBUS - A win today could help the University of Cincinnati basketball program shake its reputation as a program that can't get past the first weekend of the Tournament.


Johnson's comeback miracle in the making
TORONTO - This season DerMarr Johnson has been cut, relegated to a minor-league team and, eventually, cemented to an NBA bench. Yet despite those struggles, 2003-04 will be remembered not as a disappointing season, but as the most remarkable one of Johnson's young career.

Matta looks for more from Muskie rookies
ORLANDO, Fla. - Their combined stat line from Friday night looks like it should for two average freshmen.

Air back in sails of Redick, Blue Devils
RALEIGH, N.C. - To J.J. Redick, the hoop looked as big as, say, the Georgia Dome. Because of that, Redick and his Duke teammates will be heading there next.

Defending champs nearly lose grip
DENVER - Syracuse is still defending its national title - barely.

Demon Deacons, frosh Paul hold off upstart Manhattan
RALEIGH, N.C. - Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser jokingly refers to the Demon Deacons' recent seasons as the "S.T." era: Since Tim Duncan.

No. 2 Gonzaga gets what comes around
SEATTLE - Now Gonzaga knows what it's like to get knocked out by a plucky underdog.

Connecticut coach departs game early
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, facing one of his former coaches for the first time in the NCAA tournament, left the bench midway through the second half Saturday night with an upset stomach.
NCAA men's tournament at a glance

Wilmington wills its way to first title
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Despite shooting only 29 percent from the field, Wilmington College (27-6) outhustled and out rebounded Bowdoin College (30-1) to claim the NCAA Division III women's basketball championship Saturday.

Ohio State holds off West Virginia, will play BC
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Davenport scored 22 points and Caity Matter hit five free throws down the stretch to lead Ohio State to a 73-67 win over West Virginia on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Other women's regional games
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Ashley Robinson had a big game at the right time for Tennessee.
NCAA women's tournament at a glance

PAGE TWO: GOOD SPORTS
XU grad finds place at the table
Nick Snider grew up playing table tennis in his parents' basement. If he'd known he would someday compete in the table tennis Olympic Trials, he would have paid more attention.


What's up with that?
The New York Daily News reported this week on the home of Jayson Williams, the former NBA star on trial for manslaughter.

A quick chat with ... Julie Isphording
Former Olympic distance runner Julie Isphording is lending her time and name to promoting the Humana Heart Mini-Marathon.

Bolten, Hewitt headed to NCAAs
In the game of college hoops, Sarah Bolten finally got tired of losing.

Local women push teams toward hoops glory
Don't be surprised if you see a few familiar faces in this year's women's NCAA Tournament, as former area hoops players gain national exposure in playing for the biggest title of the season.
This week's poll question
All thumbs

TURFWAY PARK
Sinister G's Lane's End victory muddles Derby
FLORENCE, Ky. -Eleven racehorses gathered Saturday at Turfway Park to try to clarify a murky 3-year-old picture just six weeks before the May 1 Kentucky Derby.


SPECIAL COVERAGE
S P E C I A L   S E C T I O N :  N C A A   T O U R N A M E N T   2 0 0 4
Is March all that matters?

The NCAA Tournament is the crown jewel of sports championships. Prepare for all the March Madness action in our special preview of Xavier, UC and Kentucky teams.

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