Extra points: Hickman dominant in first round

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:30 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No. 3 seed Hickman won its first round game in the Class 5 District 10 Tournament with a 57-27 rout of Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tuesday night in Jefferson City.

Tyler Stevens led Hickman (15-11) with 16 points, including the first six to open the game. Smith-Cotton finished its season at 5-18.

The victory is the fourth in a row for Hickman and gives it momentum heading into its second round game at 9:30 p.m. Thursday night.

NO. 1 FALLS: Wisconsin’s first-ever game as the nation’s top-ranked team went poorly Tuesday night, when Drew Neitzel scored 28 points to lead Michigan State to a 64-55 victory.

Wisconsin gained the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press poll for the first time in school history on Monday.

Neitzel’s 3-pointer with 3:51 left gave Michigan State a 51-49 lead, and the Spartans held on for the victory, giving their NCAA tournament hopes a boost before their home crowd.

The sellout crowd at Breslin Center serenaded the Badgers with a chant of “overrated” as the clock wound down. Students stormed the court at the final horn.

ZAMBRANO REACHES DEAL: Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a $12.4 million, one-year contract Tuesday, avoiding salary arbitration by striking the deal just before the scheduled hearing.

Zambrano earned $6.5 million last season while going 16-7 with a 3.41 ERA and 210 strikeouts. He asked for $15.5 million in arbitration, while the Cubs countered at $11,025,000 — more than any player has been awarded.

“I feel good, ready to go,” Zambrano said. “I’m ready to lead this team to the championship, to win in this city.”

BONDS READY: Barry Bonds insisted he’s unfazed by all his off-the-field issues and is ready to resume his pursuit of the home run record.

“Let them investigate. Let them, they’ve been doing it this long,” Bonds said Tuesday after his first spring training workout with the San Francisco Giants. “It doesn’t weigh on me at all — at all. It’s just you guys talking. It’s just media conversation.”

The slugger arrived at the Giants’ training site in Scottsdale, Ariz., more fit than in recent years following a productive winter of conditioning.

He shagged fly balls and hit five home runs in batting practice, including

a shot to the berm in right-center on a fastball from No. 2 starter Matt Cain.

“He’s an incredible talent,” new Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He showed it today on the first day.”

Bonds was mostly business — with a little fun mixed in — once he got on the field.

He still could be indicted if a federal grand jury determines that he perjured himself when testifying in 2003 in the BALCO steroid distribution case that he hadn’t knowingly taken performance-enhancing drugs.

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