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New athletic director hopes to change culture at White LakeSubmitted: 07/16/2019

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WHITE LAKE - Bruce Rea lifts alone, hoping to get stronger.

Vinny Propson coaches him, hoping to change a culture.

"Let's get in the routine," Propson said. "Let's get them here and let's get them to love it here."

Propson became White Lake High School's new athletic director roughly two months ago.

He's dealing with a nearly empty weight room and a team that's at the bottom of the conference every year.

"They're in a place of complacency, you know?" Propson said. "And we're trying to build off that and say 'we're better than that, we're White Lake, we should be proud of where we're coming from.'"


Last season, White Lake won twice in volleyball, once in football and boys basketball, and zero times in both baseball and girls basketball.

"Even if you know you're going to lose, still play as hard as you can," Rea said. "You never know who's watching."

Rea is on a boys basketball team that lost by more than 80 points in its season finale.

He's in the weight room to prevent that from happening again.

"I want to play at the best of my ability and I want others to do that too," Rea said.

Propson was hoping that every athlete would show up as frequently as Bruce does.

"He, coming in here, has a different mindset than everyone else," Propson said. "That's the only thing that separates him."

"I'm getting better and I see the results," Rea said. "I just want other people to come in here."

Whether it's wins on the field or athletes in the weight room, sometimes it just takes one to start a trend.

Propson holds workouts every weekday at 4 p.m. in White Lake's gymnasium.

They are open to anyone, not just White Lake students.



Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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THREE LAKES - Three Lakes High School hired a new boys basketball coach.

Brian Diorio is taking over the Bluejays' varsity coaching job from Ryan Bock.

Diorio says his top priority is to keep Three Lakes kids interested in playing basketball.

He thinks that can be done through a combination of training and fun.

"(I want to) just keep the kids interested over the summer and keep it fun, keep it light," Diorio said. "I think that's the best way to keep the kids in the gym so you can see improvement, see them coming together."

Three Lakes finished last season at 8-13.

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WAUSAU - Newman Catholic High School hired Paul Haag as its new girls basketball coach, per a release from the school.

Haag was the assistant varsity girls basketball coach in 2017-'18 and has 10 years of coaching experience, including a stint as head girls coach at Northland Lutheran High School.

Haag replaces Jason Vanden Elzen, who stepped down as Newman's coach after the 2018-'19 season to spend more time with his family.

The Cardinals finished 24-4 last season and made the Division 5 state semifinals.

Basketball practices begin Nov. 18.

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MINOCQUA - Local sports shops waited for what seemed like forever to see open water this year.

The ice did not melt off most area lakes until early to mid-May.

Since then, most of those shops have seen business return to normal.

Kurt's Island Sports Shop in Minocqua saw a surge of customers to make up for the late start.

Business has been strong ever since.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander school district played host to summer league basketball Sunday, as it does every weekend.

Players from four area high schools hit the courts to get some summer work in.

This is the first year Rhinelander has hosted the league; it's usually at Northland Pines.

Rhinelander players say it's a great chance to break up the day-to-day grind of practice.

"It gets kind of monotonous just playing against our team all the time," sophomore Ty Welk said. "It helps, but it also helps us get ready for real game situations because there's only so much you can do in practices."

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

GREEN BAY - Bart Starr, the gentlemanly quarterback and catalyst of Vince Lombardi's powerhouse Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s whose sneak won the famed "Ice Bowl" in 1967, died Sunday. He was 85.

The Packers selected Starr out of the University of Alabama with the 200th pick in the 1956 draft. He led Green Bay to six division titles, five NFL championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls.

The Packers said Starr died in Birmingham, Alabama, where he lived. He had been in failing health since suffering two strokes and a heart attack in 2014.

"A champion on and off the field, Bart epitomized class and was beloved by generations of Packers fans," Packers President Mark Murphy said in a statement. "A clutch player who led his team to five NFL titles, Bart could still fill Lambeau Field with electricity decades later during his many visits."

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- TORONTO (AP) Kawhi Leonard had 27 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Toronto Raptors into the NBA Finals for the first time with a 100-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

The Raptors overcame a 15-point deficit to win the series in six games and will host the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

Pascal Siakam scored 18 points, Kyle Lowry had 17 and Fred VanVleet 14 for the Raptors, who used a 26-3 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to turn the game in their favor.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but the NBA's top team in the regular season saw its bid for a first finals berth in 45 years come to a disappointing end with a fourth consecutive defeat.


Down 76-71 to start the fourth, the Raptors tied it with an 8-2 run while Leonard and Antetokounmpo were both on the bench. Ibaka's dunk with 10:32 to go tied it at 78.

Antetokounmpo returned after a timeout, but Leonard kept sitting. That didn't matter to Toronto, with Siakam's basket giving the Raptors an 80-78 lead, their first lead since it was 6-3.

Leonard's one-handed slam after Lowry's steal gave Toronto an 87-79 lead with 6:46 to go before the Bucks responded. George Hill answered with a layup, Brook Lopez converted a three-point play and Antetokounmpo scored to cut it to 87-86 with 5:19 to go.

Lowry and Lopez swapped baskets before Gasol's 3 put the Raptors up 92-88 with 3:50 left. After another basket by Lopez, Leonard made a 3 to push Toronto's lead to 95-90 with 3:04 to play. It was Leonard's first 3 after missing his first seven attempts of the game.

Toronto made 12 of 27 3-point attempts, including four of eight in the fourth quarter.

Siakam, who missed a pair of free throws late in the fourth quarter of Toronto's double-overtime win in Game 3, hit one to make it 98-94. Leonard grabbed the rebound on the second and was fouled. He made both, putting the Raptors up 100-94 with 3.9 seconds to go.

Brogdon and Middleton each made a pair from long range as the Bucks shot 6 for 9 from 3-point range in the first and closed the quarter with 10 unanswered points to lead 31-18. Toronto shot 6 for 19 in the opening quarter, missing six straight twice in the first 12 minutes.

The Bucks extended their lead to 38-23 on a 3 by Ersan Ilyasova with 7:46 left until half. Toronto cut the gap to 46-43 on a 3 by VanVleet with 1:07 left in the second, but Eric Bledsoe answered with a 3 and Antetokounmpo split a pair at the line, giving the Bucks a 50-43 advantage at the intermission.


The lead went back to 15 in the third before Leonard finished the period with a flourish. He had eight points in the final 2:01 and Toronto closed with a 10-0 run, cutting a 15-point deficit to 76-71.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Milwaukee shot 4 for 16 in the second but three of its made baskets were 3-pointers. ... The Bucks had six points in the paint in the first half. ... Coach Mike Budenholzer was called for a technical foul on Milwaukee's first possession of the second half. Leonard missed the free throw. ... Antetokounmpo shot 5 for 10 at the free throw line.

Raptors: Danny Green, who missed all three of his field goal attempts in 16 minutes in Game 5, had another rough night. Green shot 0 for 4 in 14 minutes. ... Leonard's 17 rebounds were his most in any game this postseason. ... Lowry had eight assists.

DRAKE WATCH

Raptors fan and 'global ambassador' Drake sat in his regular seat adjacent to the Toronto bench. The rapper wore a black hoodie with 'KAWHI ME A RIVER' printed on the back.

UP NEXT

The NBA Finals comes to Canada for the first time when the Raptors host the Warriors on Thursday night. Toronto swept Golden State in the regular season.

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MILWAUKEE - MILWAUKEE (AP) " Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-99 on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Leonard showed no obvious signs of the leg soreness that bothered him in Toronto's victories in the previous two games, hitting the 30-point mark for the fourth time in the series. He made five 3-pointers and had seven rebounds and nine assists.

Fred VanVleet scored 21 points, hitting seven 3s. Kyle Lowry added 17 as the Raptors put themselves in position to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time. A victory at home Saturday would set up a matchup with two-time defending champion Golden State.

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TORONTO - TORONTO (AP) " Kyle Lowry scored 25 points, Kawhi Leonard had 19 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 on Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.

Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who improved to 7-2 at home this postseason. Reserve Norm Powell scored 18 points, and Marc Gasol had 17 points and a team-high seven assists.

The home team has won all four games in the series so far. Game 5 is Thursday night in Milwaukee.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the top-seeded Bucks. Khris Middleton scored 30 points.


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