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Northland Pines loses to SPASH in sectionalsSubmitted: 02/20/2019

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EAGLE RIVER - Three second-period goals propelled the SPASH Panthers to a 4-2 victory over the Northland Pines Eagles.



Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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MEDFORD - Brooklyn Bilz and Makala Ulrich are far from your typical freshmen.

"(Gymnastics) is really one of those sports that I've always thrived in and been driven for," Bilz said.

Medford gymnastics won the GNC small school championship in Ashland last weekend with Bilz and Ulrich finishing first and second in the all-around events.

"We kind of all had a good idea that we were going to be higher up on the rankings," Ulrich said.

Raiders head coach Steve Cain has coached both gymnasts since they were children and observed their unending dedication to the sport.

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MEDFORD - When people think of winter sports….basketball hockey or wrestling might come to mind.

But in Medford, curling is a hot commodity.

"It was kind of unexpected that we would do so well this season," said senior curler Sarah Thumes.

The Medford Girls Curling team started the season in the W column.

But with the multiple snow days, the team didn't get in the proper prep for state.

"These last two weeks, normally you get a one on one practice or a team on team practice but it really didn't happen," said Medford Curling coach Stu Amundson.

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STEVENS POINT - Blink and you just might miss a whole match.

Wisconsin's state arm wrestling tournament defies almost everything you know about the sport.

"It's not the regular bar atmosphere, to arm wrestle," event organizer Steve Southworth said. "This is an organized sport."

The first thing you need to know is that arm wrestling isn't just for kids, although that tends to be how most of them get their start, including champion arm wrestler Malique Garcia.

"I started out in grade school," Garcia said. "I was arm wrestling at lunchtime and arm wrestling just about any time I could. I was always drawn to it."

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Friday Night Blitz 2.15.19Submitted: 02/15/2019

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NORTHWOODS - Medford-59 Pines-46
Crandon-45 Tomahawk-47
Mosinee-66 Lakeland-57
Antigo 60 Rhinelander 74
Laona/Wabeno-43 Phelps-64
Newman Catholic-42 Assumption-53
Phillips-43 Rib Lake-64
Marathon-52 Stratford-65
Athens-35 Chequamegon-43
WI Rapids-62 Wausau East-66
SPASH-53 Wausau West-43

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

GREEN BAY, WIS. (AP) -  Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater lined up for a field goal but seemed a little antsy, gesturing with his arms like a quarterback calling for a shotgun snap.

It turns out that was exactly what it was.

Prater's 8-yard pass on a fake field-goal try was a high and a little wobbly, but Levine Toilolo was so wide open in the end zone that it didn't matter.

The Lions' beleaguered season ended on a high note on Sunday, when almost everything went right for Detroit in a 31-0 win over the Green Bay Packers.

"Basically I was trying not to screw it up," Prater said. "It worked out, so it was fun."

Not so much for the Packers (6-9-1), who trailed 21-0 at the half and lost Aaron Rodgers early in the second quarter after to a concussion. The quarterback was sacked and lost his helmet on the second play of the game.


Rodgers played two more series before departing. The offense never got going even when he was behind center.

"Yeah, it was hard. We just didn't have any rhythm," interim head coach Joe Philbin said.

Both teams had long been eliminated from playoff contention. But the Lions (6-10) at least got a little positive push at the end of Matt Patricia's first season as coach.

Matthew Stafford threw for 266 yards and two scores, both to T.J. Jones . Zach Zenner had a 13-yard touchdown run for the Lions, who have won four straight against their NFC North rival for the first time since 1982-83. That was one bright spot for a last-place Detroit team.

"I think those guys fought all year. I think they're tough â€" mentally and physically tough," Patricia said. "It showed up in the game today."

SHORT ON RECEIVERS

The Lions' passing game clicked despite a depleted receiving corps, with Kenny Golladay missing the relatively meaningless game with a chest injury. The Lions had decisive edges in total yards (261-67) and first downs (16-3) by halftime, with 11 of the first downs coming through the air.

Zenner finished with 93 yards on 21 carries. Stafford was 20 of 32, while rookie Brandon Powell had six catches for 103 yards

"It was an opportunity for them and obviously it was a big stage," Stafford said about working with the young receivers. "Not an easy day to catch the football, wind swirling, cold, Lambeau Field."

FINE FAKE

Prater's touchdown pass gave the Lions a 14-0 lead with 10:36 left in the second quarter.

"Slow delivery, lollipop, but it was on target so that was a plus," Stafford joked when asked about the kicker's throw.

OVER AND OUT

Rodgers walked back to the locker room around the same time his teammates were getting over the shock of Detroit's trick play.

It was unclear exactly when Rodgers got hurt. He was 3 of 5 for 26 yards, not the way he wanted to finish even in a meaningless game.

"I said, 'How long are you playing?' He said, 'I'm going the distance,'" linebacker Clay Matthews said, recounting a pregame talk with Rodgers. "I said, 'All right, I'll be out there with you in the fourth.' But it didn't play out like that."

The Packers were also without receiver Davante Adams, who missed practice this week with a knee injury. Adams finished the season with 111 catches, one shy of tying the single-season franchise record set by Sterling Sharpe in 1993.

Backup DeShone Kizer finished 16 of 35 for 132 yards and an interception, while Jamaal Williams managed just four yards on eight carries.

Green Bay didn't top 100 yards in total offense until the third quarter.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE

There is uncertainty in Titletown following a second straight losing season and the firing of coach Mike McCarthy in early December. Philbin, the offensive coordinator, went 2-2 as interim coach.

When asked when he would interview for a chance to take the job permanently, Philbin deferred any questions to team president Mark Murphy, who is leading the search.

Rodgers and Adams have each voiced support over the past couple weeks for Philbin.

"I was very appreciative of all the things they did all season and in the four weeks that I was leading them," Philbin said in recounting his postgame message. "And that we would get together tomorrow, we're going to have a brief team meeting tomorrow and we'll go from there."

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MILWAUKEE - National television, overtime thriller, century-old rivalry. This year's Marquette-Wisconsin game had it all; an electric atmosphere, a national TV audience and overtime. 

Sam and Joey Hauser, two kids from Stevens Point, were right in the middle of it.

"Just growing up in the state of Wisconsin, everybody's a Badger fan, so me and Sam were really happy to get this win," Joey Hauser said.

Sam and Joey played important roles in Marquette's 74-69 win over the Wisconsin Badgers.

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GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy after 13 seasons in the wake of the team's 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

"The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers," said team CEO Mark Murphy in a statement. "As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately."

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin has been promoted to interim head coach.

McCarthy went 125-77-2 in his time as head coach of the Packers, including a Super Bowl championship in 2010.

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MINNEAPOLIS - Kirk Cousins bounced back from his worst game for Minnesota with 342 passing yards and three touchdowns without a turnover, and the Vikings overcame some early gaffes to outlast the depleted Green Bay Packers for a 24-17 victory on Sunday night.

Completing 29 of his 38 attempts, Cousins found Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen for scores. Sheldon Richardson had two sacks to lead the defense's game-long stifling of Aaron Rodgers, and the Vikings (6-4-1) pushed the Packers (4-6-1) further back in the NFC wild card race.

Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Davante Adams and Aaron Jones scored on a short run for a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, but the Packers fell to 0-6 on the road and 1-5-1 against the Vikings in their last seven meetings.

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