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Sports News

Lincoln – James Palmer Jr. will continue his pre-draft preparations this week, as the senior was invited to play in this week’s Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. The four-day event features 64 of the top seniors in the country and scouts from both the NBA and overseas.

 

Palmer is the third Husker in the last four years to play in the event, joining Tai Webster (2017) and Shavon Shields (2016) in the invitation-only event. Competition begins Wednesday night and live streaming is available on https://www.portsmouthinvitational.com/. Palmer will play at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, and he will play Thursday or Friday depending on Wednesday’s result.

Palmer finished his senior year setting school records in points (708), free throws attempted (282), free throws made (215) and minutes played (1,269).

 

This past season, he averaged 19.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game, ranking third in the Big Ten in scoring and fourth in steals. A third-team All-Big Ten selection and a first-team All-District pick by the USBWA, Palmer had 18 20-point games as a senior, including a 34-point effort against Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament. He is also one of just five Big Ten players in the last 50 years to have 200 field goals and 200 free throws in a season.

 

In his two-year career at Nebraska, Palmer finished with the second-highest career scoring average in Husker history (18.5 points per game) as he started all 69 games in that span.





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The Nebraska vs. Colorado State spring volleyball match will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at the McCook Community College Graff Events Center, 401 E. M St., in McCook. Tickets for the event are sold out. Both the southeast and southwest entry doors will open at 11:30 a.m. Seating is general admission only. Attendees must have a ticket to enter and no one, other than event staff, will be allowed in early. Ticket lines will begin on the north end of both the east and west side of the Graff Events Center. Parking will be available on the east and north sides of the building, but parking on the west side will be prohibited. Tailgating will be allowed in the parking lot prior to the game, however, no alcohol or tobacco will be allowed on site. Restrooms will be available at the city park. In order to promote fairness and equal opportunity to all ticketholders, saving seats for large parties will not be allowed and will be monitored by event staff. The UNL 150th Anniversary Traveling Exhibit will be on display in the Auxiliary Gym for the duration of the event. There will also be an autograph session in the Auxiliary Gym immediately following the game. 

 





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McCook Community College sophomore Julio Seperich (Las Vegas) has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Benedictine University at Mesa, Ariz. next season.

Seperich, who graduated from Bonanza High School in Las Vegas has strong family ties to Mesa, including his mother, who recently moved there, and most of his family. After spending the spring in Nebraska he is looking forward to the weather in Mesa.

For Seperich, the chance to continue playing baseball with any school let alone a highly rated NAIA school, seemed extremely unlikely after an underwhelming freshman year at MCC.

Last year, Seperich played in 41 games and had 131 at bats, but only batted .153 – one of the lowest batting averages in all of Region IX. Of his 20 hits, only two were for extra bases and those were doubles.

“Last year was the most frustrating one ever for me hitting-wise,” Seperich said. “At the end of the season I had to make a decision whether to just give up playing baseball.”

He is grateful to his coach, Jon Olsen for letting him come back for his sophomore year. “He could have given up on me, but he didn’t -- so I didn’t either.”

The decision to come back turned out to be a rewarding one for both coach and player as a whole new hitter emerged – midway through this spring.

Even though he’d improved his batting average by 61 points on March 10 he was still only hitting .214.

That’s when the hits started coming, and haven’t stopped since -- and not just singles, his extra-base hit totals have exploded too. In the past five weeks, Seperich has batted .440 and slugged .760. He hit his first home run March 18 and smacked three since then, including a dramatic pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam last week in an 11-7 win over Colby Community College.

The hot streak has lifted the former .153 hitter into the Region IX batting leaders. His .351 batting average is fifth best among players from all seven schools in the region. His .444 on-base percentage is ninth best and his .545 slugging percentage is 11thbest.

All this from a player who is 5-7, 145 pounds.

“I’m just proud of Julio, he’s worked hard and has shown a big improvement between his freshman and sophomore year.”

Seperich is at a loss to target any one reason for the improvement but his coach has seen it before.

“I think it was important for him to get a lot of at bats as a freshman plus he’s worked hard to improve and always wants to learn,” Olsen said.

The coach said there were maybe one or two little mechanical things that held Julio back, but he believes experience was the main reason for improvement.

“A lot of times a freshman struggles with level of competition coming in to the junior college level and it takes a while to adjust -- sometimes their whole first season, before turning it around as a sophomore,” Olsen said.

Seperich’s new school Benedictine is 35-12 on the season and ranked 16th in the most recent NAIA top 20 poll. The Redhawks play in the California Pacific Division.

“Julio has been playing centerfield for us this year after playing shortstop for us last year,’ Olsen said. “From a defensive standpoint he’s been solid since he got here and moving forward I think he will become a valuable utility player who can take over infield or outfield positions and play at a high-level.”

Seperich said he is just hoping to stay on track and hopes to help his current team stay positive.

“If we catch a hot streak we still have the chance to make it to the Region IX tournament,” Seperich said.





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The McCook Community College baseball team gave up seven runs in the seventh inning to lose the first game of a doubleheader Monday 9-8, then came from behind with a 3-2 win in Game 2 to salvage a split with Northeastern Junior College.

The Indians led 5-2 heading into the seventh inning of Game 1 but couldn’t hold the lead as the Plainsmen scored seven times to lead 9-5. MCC fought back with a couple home runs and loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t score.

It was the Plainsmen who suffered a similar fate in Game 2. NJC starter Cole Halpin had a no-hitter heading into the sixth inning but gave up the lead on a Kade Wroot (North Platte) two-run homer to back the complete-game performance from MCC pitcher Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli (Austin, Texas).

The Plainsmen go to 23-17 overall and 16-9 in Region IX play.

The Indians go to 11-21 and 7-15 in the standings, 7.5 games back of NJC.

On Wednesday MCC will travel to Northeastern Community College for a game with the Hawks. This weekend the Indians are in La Junta, Colo. for a three-game series against Otero Junior College including a nine-inning game Saturday and a doubleheader Sunday.

For more photos from the game, please visit the MCC Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MPCCMcCook/

You can stay up to date with all MCC Indian Athletics including, scheduling changes, live-streaming games, news, photo galleries, schedules and more at MCC Indians Athletics web page at:

https://mccindians.com/index.aspx?tab=baseball&path=baseball

Game 1 -- Northeastern Junior College 9, McCook CC 8: The Indians broke out on top with a four-run second inning with a couple walks, a Kade Wroot triple, a passed ball, an Angel Mojica (Denver) double, and a Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli single.

NJC got to freshman starter Braden Babcock (Oshawa, Ontario) for a pair of runs in the third, but the Indians got one of those back in the bottom of the inning to make at a 5-2 MCC lead on a Justin Lucas (Las Vegas) two-out RBI single.

Babcock went five innings, allowed five hits, two earned runs, three walks and he struck out eight.

Spencer Ray (Greeley, Colo.) followed with a scoreless, hitless sixth inning, but NJC got to three relievers for seven runs in the seventh inning, on a leadoff single, five walks, two wild pitches, a hit batter and two MCC errors.

Trailing 9-5 in the seventh, the Indians started a rally with a Kaleb Taylor (McCook) single and a two-run home run by Trevor Pacheco (Pueblo, Colo.) to make it a 9-7 game. The next batter, Ricardo Jimenez, (Hialeah, Fla.) made it a 9-8 game with a solo homer run to left. A walk, a single by Wroot, and another walk loaded the bases, but the Indians left the tying and winning runs on base.

Game 2 -- McCook CC 3, Northeastern Junior College 2: The Plainsmen scored two runs in the second inning and the score stood until two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Trevor Pacheco broke up the no-hitter with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Justin Lucas drove home Pacheco on a line drive single to left to set up Wroot’s line drive home run crowding the left field foul pole.

Clark-Chipparelli was able to retire the Plainsmen in order to pick up the win. He allowed five hits, two earned runs, walked three and struck out nine.

 





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The McCook Community College softball team lost two games to Western Nebraska Monday, losing the first game 10-2 and the second game 15-6.

Western Nebraska improves to 21-17 and 13-5 in the Region IX standings.

MCC falls to 20-22 and 11-11 in the standings.

The Lady Indians head into a Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference action Wednesday when they travel to North Platte for games at 5 and 7 p.m.

This weekend MCC is on the road for a doubleheader at Northeastern Junior College Saturday and at Western Nebraska Sunday.

MCC has added a makeup date to the schedule and will host Southeast Community College April 29 in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

For more photos from today's games, please visit the MCC Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MPCCMcCook/

You can stay up to date with all MCC Indian Athletics including live-streaming games, news, photo galleries, schedules and more at MCC Indians Athletics web page at:

https://mccindians.com/index.aspx?tab=softball&path=softball

Game 1 – Western Nebraska 10, McCook CC 2: The Cougars came out with two runs in the first and second innings to hold a 4-0 lead until the bottom of the third when the Lady Indians scored two runs. Brooklyn Jensen (West Valley, Utah) led off the inning with a single and Hannah Jensen (Aurora, Colo.) cut the lead in half with a two-run home run to left field.

Western got those two runs back in the fourth and added four runs in the sixth inning,

Freshman Sarah Willier (Ponoka, Alberta) took the loss for MCC. She allowed seven hits and four earned runs over three innings. She struck out two. Angle Valdez (West Jordan, Utah) went the final three innings and allowed four earned runs on four hits, three walks and a strikeout.

MCC was held to six hits including two from Brooklyn Jensen and two extra-base hits, including the Hannah Jensen round-tripper and a double from Chanel Siebenthal (Lakewood, Colo.).

Game 2 – Western Nebraska 15, McCook CC 6: The Lady Indians seized control of the second game with two runs in the first and took a 5-0 lead with three runs in the second inning.

Emma McLean (Willetton, Western Australia) delivered a two-out, two-run single in the first. Sydney McArthur (Washington, Utah) doubled in Sarah Willer to put MCC up 3-0. A passed ball made it 4-0 and a Chanel Siebenthal RBI single gave the Lady Indians a 5-0 lead.

Western pushed two runs across in the third but the Lady Indians got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning when Brooklyn Jensen singled home Willier, who had singled.

The Cougars took a 7-6 lead in the fourth with five runs and tacked on three runs in the fifth and sixth innings and two in the seventh.

MCC had 10 hits in the game with two each from Siebenthal, Willier and Brooklyn Jensen.

Shae Muggridge (Perth, Western Australia) went 4.2 innings and picked up the loss giving up five earned runs on nine hits two walks and three strikeouts. Kayla Harrison (Richmond, British Columbia) went the final 2.1 innings giving up four earned runs on seven hits.





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Team Standings

1 Kearney Blue 39 pts
2 McCook 37
3 Ogallala 22
4 Kearney Gold 20
5 Hastings 19
6 North Platte Blue 17
North Platte/McCook 17
North Platte Black 17
9 Kearney/Lexington 12
10 Lexington 9
 
#1 Singles-Macy Hill, 4-1, 2 nd Place
Def K. Kaiser, Hastings 8-6
Def J. Bamford, Kearney Gold 8-6
Def M. McDowell, Lexington 8-0
Def S. States, North Platte Blue 8-1
Lost to C. Demoss, Kearney Blue 8-5
 
#2 Singles-Emily Kjendal, 4-1, 2 nd Place
Def A. Wibbles, Hastings 8-6
Def K. Heisler, Kearney Gold 8-2
Def T. Berry, Lexington 8-0
Def B. Plaster, North Platte Blue 8-5
Lost to M. Kralik, Kearney Blue 8-6
 
#1 Doubles-Olivia Koetter/Elsa Wilcox, 5-0, 1 st Place
Def K. Zimmerman/D. Bailita, Hastings 8-2
Def H. Wise/C. King, Kearney Gold 8-1
Def C. Montejano/E. Mendez, Lexington 8-0
Def C. Wheeler/J. Wheeler, North Platte Blue 8-3
Def T. Copp/M. Dahike, Kearney Blue 8-6
 
#2 Doubles-Kirstin Collicott/MaKenna Cooper, 4-1, 2 nd Place
Def N. Brandt/L. Pendergast, Hastings 8-1
Def H. Herian/H. Lydiatt, Kearney Gold 8-6
Def Hal. Hernandez/K. Smith, Lexington 8-2
Def M. Coon/H. Empfield, North Platte Blue 8-0
Lost to S. Wilkinson/A. Tran, Kearney Blue 8-7
 
Next action: Varsity/Junior Varsity @ North Platte, Hershey 1:00 / North Platte 4:00





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The McCook Community College baseball team came out flat Sunday, trailed early, and lost a 9-1 decision to Empire-League leading Northeastern Junior College.

The Plainsmen scored four first inning runs on four MCC walks, an error, two wild pitches and a two-run single by the eighth place hitter to lead 4-0. All the NJC damage in the first came against freshman starter Yasnier Laureano (S.C.) who allowed one hit and one earned run in his one inning of work, and struck out three hitters.

Freshman Isaac Vargas (Greeley, Colo.) came on in the second and after retiring the first two hitters, walked two batters and NJC was able to score its fifth run on a dropped third strike and an RBI single by the next batter to put the Plainsmen up 6-0.

MCC scored its only run in the second inning. With two outs, freshman Kade Wroot (North Platte) singled and scored on a double off the bat of Justin Lucas (Las Vegas).

Vargas went seven innings in relief and allowed five hits, walked five and struck out 10 hitters before he was relieved by Jesse Bloom (Centennial, Colo.) who pitched the ninth allowing a run on two hits. He fanned one.

MCC did out-hit NJC 9-8 but he Plainsmen had nine hitters reach via walks while MCC’s offense only reached once on a walk.

The Indians got two-hit games from Trevor Pacheco (Pueblo, Colo.) Lucas, and Angel Mojica (Denver.)

The Plainsmen improve to 22-16 overall and first in the Empire Lague standings with a 15-8 record.

MCC falls to 11-20 and 6-14, in the standings, 7.5 games back of NJC in last place.

The two teams conclude the three-game series Monday with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.

For more photos from the game, please visit the MCC Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MPCCMcCook/

You can stay up to date with all MCC Indian Athletics including, scheduling changes, live-streaming games, news, photo galleries, schedules and more at MCC Indians Athletics web page at:

https://mccindians.com/index.aspx?tab=baseball&path=baseball





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The McCook Community College softball team dropped a pair of games Sunday to Western Nebraska losing the first game 6-4 in 10 innings, and dropping the second game 9-0.

Western Nebraska improves to 21-17 on the season and 13-5 in Region IX. MCC falls to 20-20 on the season and falls three games back of Western in third place with an 11-9 record.

The two teams return to the field Monday at 11 a.m. for a doubleheader at the Jaycees Sports Complex.

For more photos from today's games, please visit the MCC Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MPCCMcCook/

You can stay up to date with all MCC Indian Athletics including live-streaming home games, news, photo galleries, schedules and more at MCC Indians Athletics web page at:

https://mccindians.com/index.aspx?tab=softball&path=softball

Game 1 – Western Nebraska 6, McCook CC 4 (10 innings ): The two teams started the four-game series with three scoreless innings before Western scored the first run in the fourth inning. MCC responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth on a Chanel Siebenthal (Lakewood, Colo.) single and a two-run home run from Jerusha Miner (Gunnison Valley, Utah.)

The Lady Indians made it 3-1 in the sixth inning. Emily Charchuk (Victoria, British Columbia) singled to lead off the sixth. Hannah Jensen (Aurora, Colo.) bunted her to second. Siebenthal then doubled to left to put MCC up by two runs.

MCC got two quick outs in the top of the seventh on six pitches by sophomore transfer Shae Muggeridge (Perth, Western Australia) but then the next two batters were both hit by pitches on a 1-0 count. The next Cougar tripled to tie the game 3-3.

The score remained 3-3 until the ninth when Western once again started a two-out rally with a single and a double to take a 4-3 lead. The Lady Indians were able to mount a two-out, two-strike rally in the bottom of the ninth inning with a bunt single from Brooklyn Jensen (West Valley City, Utah). Charchuk followed with a single and Jensen was able to tie the game at 4-4 on a Cougar error on the infield.

With a runner placed at second to start the 10th inning, Western was able to get a two-out RBI single from Emma McMillen to lead 5-4 and scored another run on a steal of home.

McMillen picked up the win for Western Nebraska striking out 15 Lady Indians. Muggeridge went the distance for MCC allowing 11 hits. She struck out four.

Charchuk had three hits for MCC. Siebenthal, Miner and Brooklyn Jensen each had two hits.

Game 2 – Western Nebraska 9, McCook CC 0: The Lady Indians were held in check by Western’s Emma Glawson who limited MCC to four singles while the Cougars opened up a 1-0 game in the second with five runs and added three more in the third.

Etta Van Burgsteden (Kinistio, Saskatchewan) was charged with the first six runs in her 1.2 innings of work. She allowed five hits, three walks and she struck out two. Kayla Harrison (Richmond, British Columbia) pitched the final 3.1 innings, and allowed five hits.

MCC’s hits came from Emily Charchuk, Taylor Ford (McCook), Hannah Jensen and Sieara Price (Greeley, Colo.).





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Camp starts June 3rd, with instruction based on fundamentals of tennis and conclude with league play for all participants. Fylers will be distrubuted this week to McCook Lettering, the HS, JH, Central offices and St. Pats.





In front of a crowd of 85,946 fans on a beautiful sunny day at Memorial Stadium, the Nebraska football team hosted its annual Red-White Spring Game on Saturday and the Red Team prevailed with a 24-13 win.

Saturday marked the second straight year that Nebraska has had over 85,000 fans for its Spring Game after a record 86,818 fans attend last year’s event.

Offensively, five quarterbacks saw the field and with sophomores Adrian Martinez (110) and Noah Vedral (144) each throwing for over 100 yards. Jaylin Bradley led all rushers with 57 yards on 12 carries while Brody Belt was close behind with 53 yards on 13 carries. Miles Jones, Todd Honas, Wyatt Mazour and Bradley each caught three passes, while Kade Warner led all receivers with 58 yards.

The Red squad opened the scoring on the first drive of the game, marching 75 yards over eight plays. A 3rd-and-10 conversion covered most of the yards with Martinez finding Warner for a 57-yard completion. Three plays later Martinez ran up the middle six yards for a touchdown.

The teams traded possessions before the White team got on the board with a 27-yard field goal from Barret Pickering. The kick came after six plays covered 43 yards, including a 22-yard pass to Miles Jones and an 11-yard pass to Katerian LeGrone, both from Andrew Bunch.

With 1:20 left in the first quarter the White defense posted a fourth-down stop on its own eight-yard line, but then quickly gave the ball back to the Red squad with the game’s first turnover. Marquel Dismuke stepped in front of a pass from Bunch and returned it to the 18-yard line. Two plays later Martinez found Jaron Woodyard streaking across the back of the endzone for 21 yards and the Red took a 14-3 lead.

Two drives later freshman Luke McCaffrey took over at quarterback for the White team and led a 11-play drive that covered 50 yards. They entered the red zone, but were unable to get into the endzone, instead settling for a 33-yard field goal from Pickering.

With its lead cut to 14-6, the Red squad posted its third touchdown of the first half. Vedral methodically marched the offense down the field and Mazour capped a 14-play, 75-yard drive, with a one-yard touchdown.

The Red defense forced a quick 3-and-out and got the ball back for its offense at its own 33-yard line with 55 second left in the half. Vedral moved the team across midfield and Pickering buried a 45-yard field goal as time expired to put the Red up 24-6 into halftime.

With a running clock in the second half, redshirt freshman Matt Masker took over late in the third quarter and led the White team to its first touchdown of the game. On 3rd-and-5 at his own 45, Masker hit Wyatt Liewer for a 55-yard touchdown and after a PAT from Pickering the White cut the Red lead to 24-13.

The White team notched its second turnover of the second half when Chad Alioth Jr. picked off a McCaffrey pass with 6:03 left in the game, while earlier in the half Jordan Paul intercepted Vedral. Unfortunately neither time the White offense was able to covert the turnover into point.

The White team touchdown was the lone score in the quick second half and the Red team held on for a 24-13 win.

The Huskers open the 2019 season on Saturday, Aug. 31, when they host South Alabama at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska will hit the road for week two with a visit to Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 7, before wrapping up non-conference play at home on Saturday, Sept. 14, against Northern Illinois. The Huskers open Big Ten play on the road at Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 21.





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