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Bucks clinch top seed in Eastern ConferenceSubmitted: 08/06/2020
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks are the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference after a 130-116 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday.

Miami led by as many as 23 points, but the Bucks closed the game on a 20-5 run to complete the comeback victory.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 66 points on just 31 shots. Giannis went 13-of-17 from the field with 12 rebounds and four assists. Middleton shot 9-of-14, including 5-of-6 from beyond the three-point line, to go with eight assists.

Milwaukee shot 33-of-38 from the free throw line as a team.

The Bucks are now 2-2 in the restarted NBA season and 54-14 overall. They have four more games to play before facing off against the eight-seed in the first round of the playoffs on Aug. 17.




Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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 LOCAL SPORTS

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RHINELANDER -

Cycling Club Coach, Steve Engel has a tough job.

"They were all stars last year, and they don't get to show it this year," Engel said about his athletes who will not compete in any races this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So, how do you keep your athletes involved when you can't have a normal season?

"We're focusing more on adventure and fun this year. Because it's a lifetime sport, so if you can't race you can still have fun on a bike."

That refocus has taught these athletes how much they love their sport.

 "It has been a real blessing in disguise for me because I am a multi-sport athlete. So, it's been nice to spend time doing easier, longer rides, and more training," Said Jakob Craig, a Junior at Lakeland Union High School. 

"I think it's for the best and it helps you realize how much you enjoy riding...it's made me really appreciate it more," added Megan Lester, a student at Three Lakes. 

With a different training regime these riders are making a difficult adjustment. 

"It's hard because I'm used to training longer and stuff," said Macy Lester, "but it's fun."

Despite the disappointment, being out on the trails is still a silver lining. 

"I was really looking forward to it, but now that we can't have it, I can still ride my bike which is okay," said Joey Belanger, a Rhinelander student. 

Even though the season won't have the normal race schedule, Coach Engel said the team will try and get involved with timed trials and give the kids a chance to compete in a different way.


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WAUSAU - The Wisconsin Valley Conference announced Monday that fall sports practices could not start earlier than Sept. 1.

Low-risk sports will begin practice that day, but cannot participate in games, meets or contests any earlier than Sept. 17. The WIAA said that low-risk sports could begin practice as early as Aug. 17 if local authorities allowed. These sports include tennis, golf, swimming and cross country.

The WVC said high-risk sports like soccer, football and volleyball could not proceed until Sept. 7, with no contests before Sept. 25.

"Gradually introducing athletics and co-curriculars to school programming provides the best chance of successfully reopening," the Wisconsin Valley Conference said in a press release. "This action is being taken to allow for monitoring and reacting to COVID-19 transmission rates within the coming weeks. Our goal, collectively, is to have a successful reopening of schools."

WVC includes seven schools spread out across Lincoln, Marathon, Portage and Wood Counties. 

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EAGLE RIVER -
We've all seen a driveway basketball hoop, but a driveway pole vault pit?

"This is just a response to not being able to train anywhere else," said Paige Hickson.

Hickson, a pole vaulter, needs a whole vaulting pit setup to stay in shape for her upcoming freshman season at Minnesota State.

With school facilities closed due to COVID-19, she decided to make her own.

"My dad and I drove to get the mats and we loaded them up in a horse trailer," Hickson said. "And mind you, it was the day after it had rained, so they were drenched and we were covered in mud loading them into the trailer."

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MERRILL -

Lobos FC played host to Hayward United. The team sat 4 points behind league-leading Eau Claire in the standings on Sunday.

After a scoreless first half, Lobos FC got on the board after Adhemar Lino Cortez torched the net for his 8th score on the season. Minutes later, Gilmar Yoshihide Kogiso redirected a corner kick into the net to make it 2-0. Sergio Camargo iced the game on a penalty kick to extend the Lobos lead by 3. 

Lobos FC won by a final of 5-0, they now have 11 points on the season. 



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 REGIONAL SPORTS

GREEN BAY -
The Green Bay Packers announced today that they will not host fans for the first two home games of the season due to concerns about COVID-19.

Green Bay hosts the Detroit Lions in its home opener Sept. 20 and the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football on Oct. 5. The earliest game that the Packers could host fans for is on Nov. 1 against the Minnesota Vikings.

"Lambeau Field will not be the same without our fans' energetic support in the stands," Packers president Mark Murphy said in a press release. "Given the extraordinary circumstances this year and the additional protocols in place, though, we determined it was best to take incremental steps to start the regular season. These two games will allow us to focus our attention on safely conducting games inside the stadium with all necessary participants."

All other public areas of Lambeau Field will be closed on those first two game days, including the parking lot and the atrium.

The Packers will consult with local health officials about whether or not to allow fans in after the first two games.

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer and Oklahoma City Thunder Head Coach Billy Donovan are the 2020 recipients of the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award.

The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award recognizes the dedication, commitment and hard work of NBA Head Coaches and is presented annually to a Head Coach who helps guide his players to a higher level of performance on the court and shows outstanding service and dedication to the community off the court.

It honors the spirit of Michael H. Goldberg, the esteemed long-time Executive Director of the NBCA, who set the standard for loyalty, integrity, love of the game, passionate representation and tireless promotion of NBA coaching. It is unique in that it is the only award voted upon by the winners' peers, the Head Coaches of all 30 NBA teams.

This year's voting was based on games played from the start of the 2019-20 regular season through games played on March 11.

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MILWAUKEE - Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain has informed the team that he will sit out the remainder of the season due to concerns over COVID-19.

'We fully support Lorenzo's decision, and will miss his talents on the field and leadership in the clubhouse," said Brewers general manager David Stearns.

Cain is the first Brewer to opt out of the season. Milwaukee has had two consecutive games postponed due to positive COVID tests on the St. Louis Cardinals.

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MILWAUKEE - The Brewers' rescheduled home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals has been postponed yet again after more Cardinals tested positive for COVID-19.

According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, between four more Cardinals tested positive; one player and three staff members.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told players' union president Tony Clark that a potential league shutdown could come as early as Monday if there's a significant spike in COVID positives over the weekend, per Keith Olbermann of ESPN.

Milwaukee's initial home opener was slated for yesterday, but got cancelled by two positive COVID tests on the Cardinals. None of the Cardinals interacted with the Brewers, who have not announced any positive tests of their own.

The two teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 1:10 p.m. CT. That doubleheader has not been postponed or cancelled yet.

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