Category: Championships

I spent the afternoon listening, talking and photographing Bill “Flash” Flanagan in his home surrounded by over 250 framed photo’s decorating his walls. A true legendary figure known in Illinois and all over the country. He has photo’s autographed by legends Al McGuire, Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose, Dean Smith, Gene Smithson, Ron Ferguson, Shaun Livingston, Joe DiMaggio and numerous legends in basketball and sports history. Flash was born February 23, 1941 and was an all-state football player at Avon High School. A highly successful college assistant coach at Illinois State and Wichita State University. Today he evaluates high school basketball players throughout the state for his Hoops Review scouting service.

-Bob

Friday’s Class 4A state semifinal clash between Southwest Suburban Blue Conference rivals Orland Park Sandburg (24-15) and Lincoln-Way East (27-11) at EastSide Centre was dominated by Eagles senior pitcher Sarah Herold. She limited the Griffins to four hits in the 5-1 victory as Sandburg advances to the IHSA state title game Saturday against Gurnee Warren (28-9). Herold gave up four hits, struck out six and walked one, and also added three hits of her own. The only run was unearned in the fifth and came on an RBI single by Alana Selvaggio bringing home Nicole O’Donnell. Junior first baseman Katie Krzus led the Eagles with three hits including a two-run homer and 4 RBI’s.

-Bob

Sophomore Kendall Duffy hit a fifth-inning grand slam to highlight a five-run inning for Bradley and freshman Jaelen Hull limited Loyola to four hits and one run in three and one-third innings out of the bullpen as the Braves rallied for an 8-7 victory against the Ramblers in the championship game of the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Saturday afternoon. Bradley (27-30 overall), which earned its second NCAA Tournament trip with the victory, trailed twice before Duffy’s fifth-inning grand slam gave the Braves an 8-6 lead after five innings. Madeline Lynch-Crumrine was named the tournament MVP after posting a 2-0 record with a 1.98 ERA in three starts to go with a .273 batting average at the plate. She was joined with team mates Brianne Joseph, Shannon King and senior Marina Groenewegen. Along with the all-tournament honors, senior Mariah Cole was named the MVC’s Elite 18 Award winner, given to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average in the championship game.  A health science major, Cole owns a perfect 4.00 cumulative grade point average. The tournament title was Bradley’s second in program history and first since winning the 2009 event at Eastside Centre in East Peoria, IL. The NCAA Tournament field will be announced Sunday at 9 p.m. (CDT) on ESPNU. Here are a few of my snap shots from the game. I hope you enjoy them. Best of luck to coach Amy Hayes and the team Go Braves!

-Bob

Bradley junior Alyson Clemente belted a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to help the Braves rally from a 5-4 deficit and top Missouri State 8-5 Thursday afternoon in the second round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.  The Braves advance to face regular-season conference champ Wichita State in the semifinals Friday at noon. Bradley (25-30 overall) appeared to be in control early on with senior Madeline Lynch-Crumrine limiting the Bears (28-27 overall) to one hit in the first four innings and she faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four frames. Senior Mariah Cole started a Bradley rally in the bottom of the sixth with a sharp one-out single to third base.  Junior Brittany Burgess and senior Brianne Joseph loaded the bases with back-to-back bunt singles for Clemente, who ripped a towering shot over the left field fence for her fifth homer of the year.

-Bob



Bradley University reserve forward Aaron Birk blasted a shot from the top of the penalty area in the 47th minute and the laser found the top right corner for the game’s only goal as the Braves (13-6-2) earned a 1-0 win against Missouri State (11-5-2) in the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Sunday evening at Shea Stadium. Bradley claims its third MVC Tournament title and secures its seventh appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The start of the championship game was delayed three hours, the result of severe weather that rocked Central Illinois. Bradley allowed only three shots on goal and senior keeper Brian Billings made all three saves to earn the shutout and capture MVC Tournament MVP honors. Bradley will face a familiar foe when the Braves (13-6-2) open their seventh NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship Thursday at Northwestern (10-7-3) in a 7 p.m. first-round game at Lakeside Field.

-Bob



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