Playing with Tradition

Wednesday night at Douglass Park.

The concrete is a murky green, with chipped white lines marking the edges of the basketball court. New nets were put up recently, though the nets are really no more than metal wire covered in plastic and looped through the bottom of the rim.

Simpson brings vocal leadership

Free safeties are known for playing deep downfield as a last line of defense against the long pass. So it is uncommon that a free safety would lead a football team in tackles for a loss.

Jason Simpson is no common player.

Alumni return for final lap

John Putnam and Paulus Lawson were there when the MU Natatorium opened in 1964. On Saturday, they were there at its last event.

Putnam and Lawson were part of the first Missouri team to swim in the pool in 1964. So they swam the last race on Saturday as the Missouri swimming and diving program said goodbye to the place it has called home for the past 40 years.

Taming tumultuous Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Martin Truex proved he is just as good at restrictor-plate racing as his boss is, winning his second consecutive Busch Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday.

Truex, who drives a car co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., battled back after an early accident damaged his Chevrolet. Then he avoided several other crashes, a flurry of late cautions and an intense overtime finish to win the Aaron’s 312.

After close loss, Rock Bridge focuses on making contact

Hitting hasn’t been Rock Bridge’s strength this season.

In the Bruins most recent outing, a 3-1 loss Wednesday to Jefferson City, they collected eight hits but couldn’t capitalize late in the game.

Tigers staying ahead with hard-hitting bats

A foul ball off the bat of Tiger shortstop Heather Kunkel had just whizzed by Missouri coach Ty Singleton’s head during Wednesday’s doubleheader.

The close call had left Singleton, who coaches third base when the team is at bat, grinning like he had gotten away with something.

Missouri hopes recent success will lead to title

One year ago, Mark Leroux was disappointed.

His Austin Peay State University’s golf team had just finished third in the Ohio Valley Conference championship. Austin Peay had won three consecutive titles in the conference, and the third-place showing was unexpected.

Extra points

A former Barton County Community College assistant men’s basketball coach pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges that he falsified academic credentials and work-study time sheets for athletes, including former Missouri player Randy Pulley.

Mark Skillman, 30, of Russellville, Ark., entered his plea at an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kan.

Tigers’ hitters put it outside the park

Cups and soda cans mingle with the twigs and leaves in the grassy section beyond the left field fence at University Field.

A few paces from the litter is an old John Deere tractor, the paint of its yellow lettering slowly chipping from the Kelly green-painted body.

Sole Senior

Marc VanDover, the Rock Bridge girls’ soccer coach, knew he was going to have a young team this season.

But he had no idea he would have only one senior.

MU pitcher charged in stabbing

Missouri pitcher Michael Anthony Cole, 20, was dismissed from the baseball team on Wednesday after he was arrested on charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action in connection with the stabbing of a 21-year-old man after a party early Sunday.

According to a release from Columbia Police Sgt. Stephen Monticelli witnesses said the stabbing occurred at about 5:30 a.m. after Cole went uninvited to a party on Tessa Way in south Columbia.

Bruins lose late lead against Jefferson City

Bob Coons, the Jefferson City baseball coach, said John Wilson, his sophomore shortstop, always does the little things needed to win.

But against Rock Bridge on Wednesday, Wilson came through with several big plays.

Extra Points

Cornell cruises past competition

It was the third leg of the boy’s 4x800-meter relay, and Hickman senior Tim Cornell could feel the excitement — or was it butterflies? — in his stomach. Cornell, a distance star for the past three years at Hickman, has been hampered this season by injuries.

Tuesday’s 800-meter run was his first of the season. It looked to be a tough race, too.

Breaking ties no easy task

Dan Saab has been close to winning matches all season. He sends matches to third-set tiebreakers but keeps coming up short.

Tuesday at Hickman’s tennis courts, Saab lost his singles and doubles match in third-set tiebreakers. His team also came up short, losing to Jefferson City 6-3. Hickman (3-7) received all three points from Nate Bohon and Omeed Latifi. Bohon and Latifi won their singles matches and then won 6-3, 6-3 against brothers Josh and Zach Roling in doubles.

Strong finish helps Bruin shoot even par at Gustin

Despite three stellar rounds, including freshman Joe Neal’s even-par 35, the Rock Bridge boys’ golf team lost to the Hannibal Pirates on Tuesday at A.L. Gustin.

Neal’s 35 was the best round turned in by any golfer, but the Bruins shot 164 on the afternoon, three strokes behind the Pirates.

Lone Tiger takes fifth in nationals

Alisha Robinson ended her gymnastics career at Missouri on a high note.

The senior All-American finished fifth in the vault at the NCAA Championships on Saturday in Auburn, Ala.

Kewpie star shines off court, too

For Megan McCabe, sports has always been about being a team player.

The humble Hickman senior, a standout in basketball and soccer, has never worried about how many points or goals she scored. She just wants her team to win.

Bears silence MU bats

The Missouri baseball team matched a season low with three hits Tuesday night, losing to Southwest Missouri State 2-1 in Springfield.

Missouri (30-11) has lost its last two games against the Bears (13-25), who now lead the all-time series with MU 17-16.

Big Ben

Ben Scott had a choice to make.

Boys growing up in Lancashire, England, are encouraged to play soccer and cricket, and Scott’s cricket abilities were good enough to play past high school.