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Wednesday, December 19, 2012




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Rangers in Centreville District The Reading High School girls basketball team will compete in the Centreville district to open the 2013 MHSAA Class C state playoffs. The district tournament will take place Feb. 25-March 1. The Rangers will open the tournament Feb. 25 against Schoolcraft. Host Centreville and Union City will meet in the other first round game that same day. Quincy and Bronson are the other two teams in the district, with both receiving first round byes. The Reading/Schoolcraft winner will face Quincy in the semifinals Feb. 27, while Bronson will face the Centreville/Union City winner. The Class C district final will take place March 1.



Schwartz shoulders blame for Lions' skid By John Kreger Associated Press

ALLEN PARK — Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz admitted Monday that his team's season has "gone off the rails" and the progress made during last year's run to the playoffs has become a distant memory. Schwartz, who has lost at least 10 games in three of his four seasons as Lions' coach, said the blame for the team's unfulfilled 2012 expectations rests entirely with him. "The ultimate responsibility of the team is (with) the head coach, and I need to do a better job," he said. "4-10 isn't good enough." Detroit's 38-10 loss at Arizona on Sunday was

its sixth straight and the team's most lopsided defeat since a 48-3 loss at Baltimore in 2009. It also bucked the trend: After defeating Jacksonville on Nov. 4, Detroit lost its next five games by an average of 5.2 points, only to get hammered by the Cardinals. Tight end Tony Scheffler said the Lions had chances to overcome four turnovers and beat an Arizona team that was riding a nine-game winless skid. "We never thought we were out of it," Scheffler said following the loss Sunday. "We just didn't make the plays to get back in it. Our defense fought hard the whole game. We didn't give them good field position. They kept us in

it." Schwartz's assessment of the loss differed sharply. After defending his team's play in recent weeks, Schwartz said the Lions simply made too many errors Sunday to be competitive. "We've had a lot of games this year that came down to one critical play in the fourth quarter that you look at and say, 'Hey, if we made that one we would have won the game,'" he said. "We can't be naive to think that this was one of those games." The Cardinals intercepted quarterback Matthew Stafford three times, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Stafford Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson sits on the bench during SEE LIONS, B2



Robinson pleads to driving offense Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license but remains eligible to play in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina. Wolverines spokesman David Ablauf2 said Tuesday that Robinson paid a fine and faces no additional punishment from the Ann Arbor school. Bath Township police Lt. Lyle Lindemulder says Robinson was pulled over in the midMichigan community in the early morning hours of Nov. 4 for failing to signal and having an expired license plate tag. The Clinton County district court clerk’s office says Robinson pleaded guilty Monday. Robinson is one of the all-time NCAA leaders in career rushing yards by a quarterback. After sustaining an arm injury this season, the senior from Deerfield Beach, Fla., also lined up at running back and receiver.


Fleck named new WMU football coach Western Michigan introduced P.J. Fleck as its new football coach Tuesday. The Broncos hired the 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Fleck played at Northern Illinois from 1999-2003 and later was an assistant coach there. “It’s great to be back in the MAC,” Fleck said. “My staff and I will make it our mission to bring excitement, energy and a winning tradition back to the Broncos. We will recruit, coach and develop young men of character the Bronco way. I can’t wait to get started on this journey.” WMU fired Bill Cubit with a year left on his contract the day after the Broncos lost their season finale to Eastern Michigan on Nov. 17. Western Michigan finished 4-8 and 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference. Fleck surpasses Matt Campbell of Toledo as the youngest head coach in the FBS. Campbell turned 33 in November. Newly hired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury also turned 33 this year. Fleck turned 32 in November.

the second half against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. ROSS D. FRANKLIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hornets win overtime thriller By Ed Patino

Kitci Williams shoots a free throw on Tuesday night in Litchfield’s win. ED PATINO PHOTO

BROOKLYN — When it needed to make a stand, the Hillsdale High School boys basketball was up to the challenge twice. Key defensive stops and the end of regulation and overtime were the deciding factor for the Hornets in a wild 62-59 victory over the Brooklyn Columbia Central Golden Eagles in a Lenawee County Athetic Association game Tuesday. Hillsdale (3-1, 1-1 LCAA) held a slim lead

for most of the night, but was never able to break away from the Eagles. Then with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Columbia Central took 54-53 lead on a three-pointer. The Hornets tied the game with 17 seconds left when Zach VanOrman hit 1-of2 from the free-throw line. Hillsdale forced the Eagles to work the ball up the court, then successfully defended the final shot of regulation. “The shot was SEE ROUNDUP, B2

Terriers beat Cougars By Ed Patino

HILLSDALE — Devin Conley and Kitcimakwa Williams proved the needed 1-2 punch for the Litchfield High School boys basketball team. The duo combined for 55 points and recorded double-doubles in the process as the Terriers held on for their first victory over the season, a thrilling 72-69 victory over the Will Carleton Academy Cougars in a non-conference game. Litchfield (1-3) used its height advantage to take control of the game in the second half, generating several second-chance

points to build a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Will Carleton (13) didn't go quietly as Joel Wheeler and Chase Harrington sparked a late rally. A layup by Wheeler and three-pointer from Dane Williams pulled the Cougars to within 67-65 with 43 seconds remaining. After an exchange of free throws, Conley went 3-of4 from the charity stripe in the final 10 seconds before the Terriers prevented Will Carleton from getting off a last-second shot. "We hit some big shots at the end, and we work on pressure free throws in practice," Litchfield coach Karl Drake said. "The kids

stepped up, and we rebounded much better in the second half. Will Carleton performed very well and played with a lot of heart." The Terriers held a seven-point lead lead at halftime and maintained their edge for most of the third quarter. A pair of inside baskets by Kitci Williams gave Litchfield a 4639 lead, but a putback by Ben Baxter and four points from Wheeler pulled the Cougars to within one with just over a minute left in the frame. Kitci Williams score another inside basket before Wheeler banked SEE TERRIERS, B2

Hillsdale’s Zach VanOrman shoots a free throw on Tuesday night. JIM DREWS PHOTO


County teams drop league games By Ed Patino

HILLSDALE — A strong performance from Hayley Maystead was not enough for the Hillsdale High School girls basketball team. Maystead recorded a double-double, but the Hornets were shut down in the second half of a 4229 loss to the Brooklyn Columbia Central Golden Eagles in a Lenawee County Athletic Association game Tuesday. Hillsdale (3-1, 1-1 LCAA) controlled the first half thanks to solid team defense. The Hornets led by two after the first quarter,

then extended their lead in the second. With Maystead leading the charge, Hillsdale built a 17-12 lead at halftime. Columbia Central turned the momentum in its favor in the second half, outscoring the Hornets 30-12 over the final two quarters. "We fell behind and had to take chances, and we didn't make shots," Hillsdale coach Nick Langston said. "Hayley had a nice game, but we've got to find other scoring and figure out how to make plays." Maystead finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Hornets. Jessica Ryan added six points, while Jamie Thompson

scored five points. Kim Sandersan grabbed nine rebounds. Hillsdale will travel to Hudson for another LCAA game Thursday.

Concord 44, Jonesville 22 The host Comets hung tough with the reigning Big Eight conference champions for three quarters, but were unable to keep pace in the fourth in a loss to the Concord Yellow Jackets on Tuesday. Jonesville (1-6, 0-4 Big Eight) kept itself within striking distance for most of the night. The Comets trailed by four after the

opening quarter and were down 17-12 at halftime. However, with the game in doubt entering the fourth quarter, Concord outscored the Comets 19-5 in the frame to take the win. Hannah Smith and Kalie Spencer each scored five points to lead Jonesville's offense. Emily Dawson grabbed seven rebounds and handed out three assists, while Camille Hunter added five rebounds. Savanna Brooks scored 18 points to lead the Yellow Jackets. Jonesville will compete in the Pat Patterson Tournament Dec. 27.

Springport 40,

Reading 30 A slow start proved costly for the Reading High School girls basketball team in a home loss to the Springport Spartans in a Big Eight conference game Tuesday. Reading (3-2, 2-2 Big Eight) fell into an early seven-point deficit in the first quarter, then Springport extended its lead to 23-9 by halftime. The Rangers began to find their offensive rhythm in the third quarter and pulled to within 11 by the end of the frame, but Springport matched baskets with the SEE BASKETBALL, B2

Hillsdale High School vs Brooklyn Columbia Central Golden Eagles LCAA  

Jim Drews Sports Photography