Wisconsin Weed – Will Marijuana Ever Be Legalized?

Pot, Weed, Bud, Devil’s Grass, Marijuana or Cannabis –whatever you prefer to call it in the more recent years has become controversial topic. More specifically the complete legalization and decriminalization of the commonly used illegal drug.

It’s been year Colorado and Washington legalized Marijuana. Since then many other states have made attempts at legalizing medicinal Marijuana, decriminalizing Marijuana or legalizing the schedule I drug for recreational use.

Cannabis Laws of America

Since the beginning of Obama’s presidency, public approval ratings of marijuana have increased from 50 percent to 56-58% according to Galluppolls.com. Progressively, Americans have begun changing their perspective on the drug.

Madison is considered by many people in Wisconsin to be the most progressive city when it comes to legalization. After the April 1st election, Dane County appears to be ready to follow in the steps of Colorado and Washington.

Dane County Board Supervisor Leland Pan of District 5 feels that as long as Republicans dominantly control Wisconsin’s state government, Marijuana will remain illegal.

Wisconsin has made small steps towards legalization. In April of 2014, Governor Scott Walker signed a very limited medical cannabis bill. Law A.B. 726 allows individuals with a doctor’s approval to use a non-psychoactive cannabidoil to treat seizure disorders.

The oil is a byproduct of marijuana and has very low levels of THC and is intended for use by children. The law is considered a very small step towards legalization.

While legalization of medial marijuana may be closer for the state of Wisconsin, some people are still not convinced the drug should be legal at all. Many people believe that marijuana is a gateway drug towards harsher more dangerous drugs.

Dr. Michael Miller has been working in the field of drug and alcohol addiction for thirty years. He believes that Nicotine is the most addictive legal drug. In fact, according to Dr. Miller only 9 percent of people who use cannabis become addicted.

There are no FDA approved drugs to help cannabis addicts stop using. Rather treatments like a twelve step referral program or individual and group therapy sessions are used to combat cannabis addiction.

Dr. Miller stresses that teens are the most susceptible to marijuana addiction and can experience developmental problems if they use the drug at an early age. The brain has not fully developed until 25.

“If you want to believe that a drug is not addictive or not harmful and it is not supported by facts that’s your preference,” Dr. Miller said.

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, voiced their opinions about the idea of legalizing Marijuana in Wisconsin.

Many of the students at UW-Whitewater were for the legalization of Marijuana in the state of Wisconsin. They believed that by legalizing the drug our state could benefit in many ways such as boosting the states economy and lowering crime.

UW-W students believe that crime rates would decrease and officers would be able to focus on harsher drugs like Heroin or Cocaine. The chart below reports that from 1965-2012 the annual number of marijuana arrests in the United States has dramatically jumped from two per hour to 86 per hour.

In the state of Wisconsin if a first time offender for possession of any amount of Marijuana can receive a fine up to $1,000 and/or face up to six months of imprisonment. The first offense is only a misdemeanor, but any other offense is consider a felony and a person could face up to three and a half years of incarceration and have to pay a maximum fine of $10,000.

As of May, 2 2014, the number of adults locked up in a Wisconsin state facility designed to hold 17,127 inmates is 22,080 people. In 2012, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections reported that 16% of their inmates were incarcerated on drug charges.

According to ACLU.org if Wisconsin were to cut its marijuana possession arrests in half, taxpayers would save an estimated $3.5 million. That’s just the act of the arrest itself, not including the cost of jailing, court costs, or the cost of incarcerating a person which roughly costs Wisconsin $31,000 a year per person.

Supervisor Pan believes that the money spent on marijuana related arrests and imprisonments is a waste of time.

“For me, this is money that could be going to things like higher education. To things like health care. For me those things are much bigger priorities.”

Besides costing the state money, cost of bail, fines and court costs will average out to $1,675 a person. This can cost a person more than a few bucks. Misdemeanor’s on a record can hinder a person from finding a new job.

Wisconsin’s tight tenant laws (Assembly Bill 183) also can make it difficult for a person convicted of a marijuana related crime to find a home. Supervisor Pan has personally heard of that exact thing happening.

“I knew of a veteran who was down on his luck,” Pan said. “He finally had enough money to afford a home but was denied housing based on a misdemeanor charge for Marijuana possession in 1970.”

However, the issue remains on how laws and regulations for police would go. Currently legalization is just too confusing and risky for lawmakers. Even some UW-W students had reservations about legalization.

Although the numbers coming from Colorado’s marijuana profits do make for a tempting argument. Legalizing marijuana has already brought more than a  $20 million profit to the state of Colorado. Colorado began legally selling marijuana on January 1, 2014.

UW-Whitewater students agree, Dane County agrees, but the question remains does the state agree?

Wisconsin could benefit from the legalization of marijuana. Whether through economic boosts, medical purposes, decreases in crime. However, Governor Walker is not yet convinced. For now the state of Wisconsin will just have to sit back and watch as other states reap the benefits of legal marijuana.

Snappers Bring Business to Beloit

The Beloit Snappers bring more than just baseball to the community of Beloit. Since 1982, the community-owned minor league team has provided Beloit with family-fun entertainment.

Visitors to Harry C. Pohlman Field are not only watching baseball when coming to a Snappers game. The team’s friendly staff has more than one way of getting fans involved. Activities can include; answering trivia for prizes, participating in raffle drawings or getting out on the field to compete against others in promotional races, the Snappers know how to get their crowd excited.

However, fans have not always known the Class A affiliate team they cheer on during warm summer nights as the Beloit Snappers. From 1982-1994 the team was known as the Beloit Brewers. In 1995, the same year they won the Midwest league championship, the team became the Beloit Snappers.

Over the course of 33 years, the Snappers have been associated with three major league teams.  From 1982-2004 the team was associated with the Milwaukee Brewers, before becoming associated with the Minnesota twins. For eight years the team stayed with the Twins until 2012 when they switched to affiliate with their current major league team the Oakland Athletics.

The Snappers are one of the only teams left that are community-owned and are one of 3 teams with the smallest markets. Making money is an issue frequently on the teams mind.

“On a good year the team can bring in around 40 – 50 thousand dollars,” said Beloit Snappers President and Chairman Dennis Conerton. But on a bad year the team can lose that same amount.

Last year the team actually lost money. If the community isn’t making a profit on the team, why haven’t they been sold to a private owner?

Owning the Snappers could also be an investment risk for a private owner. While the team has had offers from private investors, Conerton said, “We really want to keep the Snappers in Beloit,” Dennis said. “If a private investor came in they would more than likely move the team and that’s just not what we want.”

Private investors may also be weary of making an investment with the team. With the Snappers unable to consistently have profitable years, business owners may not want to chance losing their money.

If the team is not profitable every year, how are they able to continue functioning as an organization? “Wisconsin honors us as a non-profit,” Conerton said. “We are proud to say everything we do here has the community in mind.”

Beloit residents and the city of Beloit would be sad to see the team moved to another city. “On average, the Snappers bring five million dollars annually to the city of Beloit,” Conerton said. “While we may not as a team always make a profit, the city definitely does benefit from us being here.”

Fundraising and advertising helps pay a lot of the Snappers’ bills, as well as, volunteers from the community and surrounding areas help keep the stadium and up and running. According to Conerton, everyone who works in the stadium, besides their cashiers, volunteer.

Even the players don’t make much money playing ball in Beloit. “Every player is paid the same,” Conerton said. “No matter how long they have been with us, on average each player will make about $20,000.”

The players only get paid during the time that they are playing. While they do get their meals and hotel stay paid for when they are traveling, they don’t get the same treatment when at home.

“Many players live with host families,” Conerton said. “these families help house and feed the athletes during the season. This program helps the players out and allows them to be closer to the community.” In fact, Conerton this year is hosting four players.

The Snappers hope to eventually be able to raise enough money to build a new field and stadium. The city of Beloit does own the field that the team currently plays on and Conerton hopes that if they are able to build a new venue, the team will be able to attract more visitors.

 

“Under Their Thumb” Author Speaks To UW-W Students

Bill German's first issue of his fanzine dedicated to the Rolling Stones.

Bill German’s first issue of his fanzine dedicated to the Rolling Stones.

Standing over Mick Jagger on his hands and knees as he dabs at a puddle of juice with a towel to prevent staining his expensive Persian rug – that is how journalist Bill German spent his 21st birthday. The Rolling Stones’ Fanzine writer thought he had blown his chance after nervously knocking over that glass of orange juice his idol was now cleaning.

“He was kind and gracious as could be at that moment,” German said. “But that was the thing with Mick – you never knew what you’d get.”

That is just one of the many tales from German’s “Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy From Brooklyn Got Mixed Up With the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It).” Students at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater had the opportunity learn about German’s experiences with The Rolling Stones on Tuesday, April 1.

German was instantly intrigued by The Rolling Stones after his sister turned him onto their music when he was 10-years-old. “I was totally fascinated by these guys,” German admitted. “They seemed so rebellious.”

Germans fascination turned into a harmless obsession which led to the creation of his fanzine Beggars Banquet. The Stones super fan told UW-W students that unlike today, where a cut and paste takes only a second, piecing together a fanzine took hard-work and a lot of passion.

“It was the real cut and paste,” German explained. “I had to find a typewriter to borrow, type up an article, cut the article out with scissors and glue it to the pages. And then run off copies.”

German’s hard-work paid off. At the age of 17, The Rolling Stones hired the aspiring journalist to turn Beggars Banquet into the official newsletter of the band. Over the next 17 years, the fan from Brooklyn covered the band — eventually becoming close friends with the Stones.

Keith Richards and Ron Wood developed close friendships with German, but Mick Jagger preferred to keep things strictly business. “He’s one nice guy,” German joked about Jagger. “Because you never knew which guy you were going to get that day.”

According to German, Jagger could one day be yelling in your face over a single detail in a story he didn’t like. Then the next day, the guy who was cleaning up spilled juice and telling you not to worry about it.

Eventually the Stones went from musicians to businessmen, disenchanting German’s experience with the band. He had seen the highs and lows of the Rolling Stones reckless career. From breaking record charts to almost breaking up the band, German covered everything.

But what’s next for German? “I am actually writing another book,” German told UWW students. “But my next book will be a family memoir with occasional appearances by The Stones.”

Inside Division Three Sports With Amy Edmonds

Running the athletic department at a division three school is no easy task. But if you love sports as much as UW-W interim Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Amy Edmonds, who handles everything from finances, mentorships, managing a staff and keeping track of student athletes, the job according to Edmonds is “very rewarding”.

“No day is the same,” Edmonds said, “there is never a dull moment and I get to mix my professional life with my hobby — I love it.”

Division three athletics can be difficult to manage. There are 445 division three institutions and over 80 percent of those institutions are private universities with large endowments.  As a state school, the University of Wisconsin — Whitewater has no endowment to help their athletic programs thrive. A majority of Edmond’s job involves planning out the financial needs of UW-W athletics. “You have to have a good strategic plan for finances,” Edmonds said. “Success costs money.”

Every time a UW-W athletic program has success the university’s enrollment increases as well as the amount of applications the university receives. “We have become students first choice instead of their third or fourth,” Edmonds said. However, because UW-W has had an abundance of success with their programs in the recent years (national champions in football in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, three-peat national champions in women’s gymnastics 2012, 2013 and 2014, and national champions in men’s basketball in 2012 and 2014) some people are wondering why UW-W doesn’t become a division two school.

Finances are one major issue according to Edmonds as to why UW-W doesn’t make the switch. Edmonds does not believe we are financially ready to move to division two, “If we changed divisions you would need to have money to support scholarships… We are just not there yet.” Also, making the switch would put extra pressure on the athletes to perform and hinder their abilities to gain the most out of their academic experience. UW-W Chancellor Richard Telfer believes that all of his athletes are “students first and athletes second.”

However, division three is still rapidly expanding and according to Edmonds there have been conversations about possibly subdividing division three or even creating a division four. If a division four was created, UW-W would fall into the division four category based on the schools voting preference for more restrictive rules. Edmonds and Telfer both want to avoid the subdivision of the divisions and the creation of a fourth division if possible. “It’s not in our philosophy,” Edmonds said. “If there was a division four our coaches and chancellor would have a tough time recruiting athletes and we just can’t financially support our program if we moved to division two.”

For now UW-W will remain a dominating force in division three athletics and its program will continue to thrive under the direction of Edmonds. Edmonds has applied for the permanent Director of Intercollegiate Athletics position and is in the middle of the hiring process right now.

NCAA Tournament 2014 – Presidential Upset

It’s time to lace up those Hyperdunks and hit the court—March Madness is on my mind and I couldn’t help but fill out a bracket… or two. Generally when the office sports junkie comes to my office and slaps a few brackets onto my desk, I grab a quarter out of my purse and proceed down the list. This year, the thought of leaving the majority of my picks to the fate of the flip George Washington’s head was not an option. Neither was picking a team to win because my boyfriend urged me to. This year my picks were all mine… at least that’s what I thought.

After sorting through all the potential upsets, sleepers, Cinderella stories and championship teams, I finally decided to go with no. 4 Louisville to win it all. With an overall record of 29-5, the Cardinals could be the top pick for many people. Even President Obama has filled out his top choices, which after completing my bracket I stumbled upon a video with President Obama making his choices for the 2014 tournament. I was completely caught off guard to see that the President and I had a very similar final four match ups and championship match up. Our picks were Florida vs Michigan and Arizona vs Louisville with Louisville and Michigan State in the final. The president and I disagreed in the final round. Obama chose Michigan State, while I stayed with Louisville—sorry Obama, but you may just lose your bracket again this year.

While Michigan State will be coming off of a win against number one (and popular pick) Florida, Louisville will have to face Arizona who has just as good as a record as Florida. Both teams will come into the final with tough wins, but Louisville’s coach Rick Pitino is one of the top coaches in college basketball with one sharp mind. On top of having a stellar leader with Pitino, the Cardinals have not had an easy regular season. They play in one of the most difficult conferences and had one of the most difficult schedules this year. They are a team that is hardened and prepared to fight for a win. Especially after receiving the No. 4 seed, Louisville may feel like they were ignored by the Selection Committee. The Cardinals deserved at least No. 3 or No. 2. Not to mention the Cardinals have Russ Smith, a six foot senior from Brooklyn, New York. Expect Smith to be a clutch player for the Cardinals both on offense and defense. But overall, Louisville is the reigning national champ of 2013 and they are hungry for another title.

While Obama’s picks are admirable, Michigan State couldn’t capture the win from the Cardinals last year. They won’t be able to do it again this year. Louisville has the experience, drive and talent to win the championship this year. Despite our president’s pick, I’m going to have to disagree. The Louisville Cardinals can snag back to back championships.

Deputies’ Pact Sanctioned by County

Sheriffs officeJEFFERSON — The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors approved a new three-year contract with the county’s law enforcement union on Tuesday night with a vote of 27-1.

The new contract with Jefferson County Law Enforcement Officer’s Association, Law Local 102, will last from Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2016. The contract also offers deputies a 2.5 percent wage increase effective Dec. 19, 2013, another 2.5 percent increase effective Dec. 2014 and a 3 percent wage increase in Dec. 2015.

However, the new contract agreement will force the deputies starting this June to pay 2 percent of their gross pay toward the Wisconsin Retirement System. In June 2015, the amount will increase to 4 percent and in June 2016 the deputies will pay the employee’s entire share.

Before the meeting, Chairperson John Molinaro commented about the Sheriff’s displeasure over the contract. “Of course they aren’t happy,” Molinaro said. “The Sheriff wants everything to remain the same, but everyone has to make sacrifices.”

Also, the county will pay for 93 percent of the premium for the health plan the county selects.

In the past, law enforcement has been exempt from the requirements of Act 10. Act 10 is the state law that restricts bargaining rights for public employees.

The contract also includes; increasing the probationary period from 12 to 18 months, having union members follow the existing sick leave policy other county employees follow, SWAT MAIT, CERT and hostage negotiators must now live within the county, and a few minor changes involving vacation/holiday time and part-time employees.

Highway Shop

Also on Tuesday at the Jefferson County Courthouse, the board awarded $1.2 million to the lowest bidder, Miron Construction for the pre-cast concrete component for a new highway facility project.

The total project is estimated to cost around $15 million. The new facility for the Jefferson County Highway Department will include meeting rooms, a truck wash, repair facilities, garages and materials storage.

Sustainability and cost were also discussed by the board after an amended decision was made to rescind a Sept. 2013 resolution that included using a geothermal system in the project. A geothermal system uses the grounds temperature to either heat the building or cool it off.

Supervisor Dwayne Morris favored the idea of an eco-friendly system, “We need to keep both science and taxpayer money in mind,” said Morris.

The system would save the county around $5,000 a year, but cost roughly $350,000 to build, 69 years to payback for the construction and have to be replaced four times.

The board argued over the systems ‘green’ qualities but in the end decided with a 28-0 vote that the system would not be good use of taxpayer money.

“We have a responsibility to look down the road and look to the future.… That being said, geothermal doesn’t make sense,” Supervisor Dick Schultz said. “We are looking at alternatives in solar…. We should not take our focus off the future.”

Other Business

Also on March 11, the County Board looked at other topics of interest and concern.

– Jefferson County Coroner Patrick Theder reported his last report as coroner on Tuesday. The County Coroner’s office, by 2015, will transition into the Medical Examiner’s office. This means that no longer will the coroner position be an elected position.

Until the Medical Examiner’s office is ready to operate, an “on call” coroner or deputy should be notified of a death by calling the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Dispatch.

– County Clerk Barb Frank announced that the new voting machines will be ready for use in the April 1 election.

– The County approved a $112,714 contract with Wisconsin Community Services. The contract will be used for the newly formed Jefferson County Alcohol Treatment Court. The court intends to require repeat drunken driving offenders to get treatment for their indiscretion.

– Designated the Daily Jefferson County Union as the official newspaper of Jefferson County.

– Authorized the purchase of property at 211 E. Washington St. The house will be demolished to create a bigger parking lot across the street from the Sheriff’s Department.

– The public finance office was presented with the Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finances Officers Associations. The award was presented by former county finance director, Dave Ehlinger.

Ehlinger noted that the public finance office now joins an “elite group of committed staff”. Out of the state’s 2,300 public finance offices, only 52 others have earned this award.

Coming Up

The County Board will meet on April 15 at five p.m., this meeting is an organizational meeting where members will select a chair. On April 1, all 30 board member chairs will be up for election. Chairperson John Molinaro and five other members will face opponents.

Board members Pam Rogers, Sarah Bregant and Gregg Torres will not seek reelection. The three were honored for their work and service by their co-supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting.

Admirals’ Slow Start Ends Win Streak

MILWAUKEE— The lack-luster performance given by the Admirals in the first period against the Iowa Wild Wednesday night resulted in a 3-2 decision at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Admirals were unable to comeback in time, ending their win streak at four.

The Wild skated onto the rink ready to play. Left wing Brett Bulmer scored the Wild’s first goal and Bulmer’s eleventh goal of the season after 6:46 in the first period. The Admirals let Zack Phillips increase the Wild’s lead to 2-0 off a power play 11:08 in the first.

The Wild played hard against the Admirals who seemed to forget to show up in the first period. Last time the two teams met, the Admirals demolished the Wild 9-1. “We shot ourselves in the foot,” Admirals head coach Dean Evason said. “We didn’t play with desperation and they did.”

In fact the Wild scored all three of their goals in the first period. With 6:25 remaining in the first, Stephane Veilleux capitalized on another power play and scored his fifth goal of the season. The Admirals in the past four games have scored 25 goals, their inability to score Wednesday night proved to be an addressable issue.

“We didn’t move the puck around,” Evason said. “We can’t have a start like that again.”

The Admirals’ had chances to put the puck into the net, but were unable to capitalize on any of their power plays. The first Admiral goal didn’t happen until 9:04 into the second period when Miikka Salomaki, assisted by Scott Ford and Austin Watson, put the Admirals on the board 3-1.

After the second period the Admirals came back onto the ice with more energy than they had all night. From the blueline came a goal from Joe Piskula at the eight minute mark. Piskula’s third goal of the season closed the gap 3-2 increasing the Admirals chances to pull out with a win.

Arguably the most exciting moment in the game came down to the last few seconds when the Admirals attempted to tie up the game. With an delay of game penalty committed by Wild’s Marc Hagel with 1:57 left in the game, the Admirals pulled goalie Marek Mazanec from the goal to try and sneak one final goal in against Wild goalie Johan Gustafsson. The six on four advantage was ineffective for the Admirals who left the arena defeated.

The Admirals will be back in action on Friday, March 14 to host the Rockford Icehogs at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday.

 

Comets’ Keeper Eclipses Wave’s Offense

By: Amanda Skrzypchak

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Wave concluded their regular season play with 4-9 loss to the Missouri Comets. The Comets’ Goal Keeper, Danny Waltman, greatly assisted the Comets by shutting down the Wave’s aggressive offense.

The Comets (14-6) are the only team to have beaten the Wave (16-4) during regular season play. Both teams played with fierce intensity, but Waltman’s 17 saves for 19 attempts on goal, cost the Waves a victory.

“Danny Waltman has shown he is one of the best keepers in the league,” Wave coach Keith Tozer said. “I think we gave him a lot of great shots and he was able to make some incredible saves.”

The Comet’s midfielder, Lucas Rodriguesz scored the opening goal of the game at 2:13 left in the first quarter. In the second quarter midfielder Bryan Perez, increased the Comets lead to 4-0 with 12:55 left before the Wave’s forward, Nick Perera put his team on the scoreboard with 10:46 left in the first half.

The Wave’s Keeper, Marcel Feenstra, felt the Comet’s offensive pressure. Feenstra saved eight goals on 12 attempts on goal. Aggressive play and the Waves inability to space out the field challenged the Waves scoring success.

The Wave’s second and final goal for the game was scored by midfielder Marcelo Fontana with 13:26 left in the fourth quarter. Fontana’s goal put Milwaukee down by only two points (4-6). Rodriguez’s three point goal at 7:52 left in the game inevitably subjected the Wave to a loss.

“They played well.” Milwaukee’s midfielder Marcio Letite said. “But next time I believe they won’t play as well. We just have to find a way to get by Waltman.”

Waltman’s superb day in the goal still could not overshadow the apparent tension the Wave (seed number two) and the Comets (seed number three) on the field. At the end of the second quarter a disagreement between the Wave’s Fontana and the Comets’ forward Leo Gibson escalated quickly causing referees to step in and defuse the situation.

Despite player animosity and a Wave loss, fans in attendance for the fan appreciation game including Milwaukee Buck’s Guard/Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, enjoyed the high pressure game. Antetokounmpo was thrilled to be at the game and expressed his love for soccer by showing off his juggling skills at half-time for the fans in attendance.

Rowdy Wave fans were unable to push the Wave towards a victory on Fan Appreciation Day at the U.S. Cellular Arena.  In order for the Wave to attempt to capture their seventh championship, they will have to face the Comets again during the playoffs.

Playoffs for the MISL will begin next weekend on Sunday, March 9 in Missouri for the sixth meeting between the Wave and Comets during the 2013-2014 season. If Milwaukee wins, the Wave will host the second game of the semi-finals on Monday, March 10.  If the teams each win a game, they will play a 15-minute game as a tie breaker.

UW-Whitewater Women Untouchable in WIAC Tournament

Fans hoping to see their team clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in March shouldn’t get their hopes up to much. That is unless you are rooting for the number one seed, UW-Whitewater.

Throughout the 2013-2014 season the Lady Warhawks dominated over their opponents, finishing with a perfect season (16-0). The Warhawks join an elite rank, being only the sixth team in league history to enter the WIAC Tournament undefeated.  Nationally ranked at 11, UW-W has a well-rounded roster made up of both new and seasoned athletes. They are directed under Coach Keri Carollo, who after Thursday’s game will have 230 career wins – the most in UW-W women’s basketball history.

Some people may try and argue that the Warhawks are not the best team in the tournament. However, they simply are mistaken. To say that UW-W won’t win the WIAC tournament is like saying the Milwaukee Bucks have a chance at the play-offs this year. They are too good of a team to not sweep their competition under the rug. UW-Whitewater fluidly executes plays, places tremendous amounts of pressure on their opponents and most importantly plays like a team who has been together since they were in elementary school.

Out of the six teams competing in the WIAC tournament, there is only one team that may have a chance to upset UW-W and steal an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. UW-W already beat UW-Superior (84-79, 86-73), demolished UW-Stevens Point (80-69, 75-55). Also, since they were awarded a first round bye they won’t even have to play UW-Stout or UW-Platteville who were already knocked out of play. The Warhawks only real problem will be the UW-Oshkosh Titans who will more than likely play UW-W for the WIAC Championship title on Saturday, March 1. The Titans will take on UW-Stevens Point before meeting the Warhawks and could potentially be exhausted after the tough match-up. The Titans are however, only a very minuscule bump on Warhawks road to the National Championship Tournament.

The Titans finished their season with a 13-3 WIAC record. Two out of the Titans three losses were to the Warhawks. In the January 8 match-up between the two teams, UW-O fought hard to attempt to beat UW-W but just like every other team in the conference lost 72-66.  UW-W embarrassed UW-O on their home court during their second match-up on February 15, winning the game by 18 points (64-46). If the championship comes down to UW-O and UW-W fans are in for quite a game. UW-O currently has the top scoring defense in the conference averaging 54 points a game, but that won’t be enough to stop UW-W who maintains the top scoring offense and averages 80 points a game.  UW-O won’t be completely out of the running for a national title after they lose to UW-W. The Titans can still receive a bid into the NCAA Tournament based on

UW-Whitewater has all the right qualifications a national championship team needs. They have size with 6’2” power house senior Kristen Ruchti and 6’ senior Amy Mandrell, who are not afraid to get under the basket and power up quick two pointers. Guards with quick feet and hands like Andrea Olsen (20 steals), Mary Merg (38 steals), and Kaitlyn Thill (104 steals), who have the ability to play almost the whole game without losing any of their strong defensive positioning. Sharp shooters like Merg, Thill and Mandrell, who average almost 13 points a game, make the Warhawks dangerous inside the paint and outside the three point arc. Plus coming into the tournament with a 14 game win streak means the Warhawks are hot and ready to continue showing the state and the nation why they deserve to go to nationals.

The Warhawks drive to win nationals is also fueled by their defeat at nationals the previous year. Last year the Warhawks made quite an impressive run to the NCAA Championship game on March 16in Holland, Michigan where they placed second after their loss to DePauw (69-51). This year the women’s team will not let the title slip through their hands.

Warhawk fans won’t have to travel far to see their women make it to nationals this year either. The semifinals and championship games will take place on March 21-22 at the Quandt Fieldhouse in Stevens Point. Good luck to the UW-Whitewater women’s team, bring home yet another national championship to Whitewater and continue proving that UW-W is the best at Division three athletics!

 

Pelicans Pressure Bucks in Second Half

MILWAUKEE — The New Orleans Pelicans pulled out a win against the Milwaukee Bucks 102-98 last night. The Bucks fall to a record of 9-43, while the Pelicans advance to a record of 23-29.

Both teams competed almost evenly, but the Pelicans seven double-digit scorers helped secure the win in Milwaukee.  Aminu, Davis, Ajinca, Roberts, Babbitt, Morrow, and Gordon racked up points for the Pelicans. Eric Gordon led the team with 21 points and Center Alexis Ajinca shot 7-7, putting up 16 points towards the Pelican’s victory.

During the match up the two teams had a tied score four times and four lead changes. During these lead changes the Pelicans biggest lead was 9 points while the Bucks managed to lead by 7 points at one point.

Turnovers were also an issue for the two teams. The Bucks gave up 12 points off of their 11 team turnovers. The Pelicans only turned the ball over 10 times but gave the Bucks 13 points off their mistakes.

The Bucks are no stranger to defeat this season. While they shot almost 48.8 percent from inside the arc, they struggled outside shooting only 37.5 percent. Five of the Bucks players scored double digits. Wolters, Middleton, IIlyasova, Neal and Knight put up points for the Bucks with Knight leading the team with 22 points.

“We’ve just got to get out there and be ready to play,” Bucks guard Nate Wolters, who shot 14 points for the night said, “Having Davis out for most of the game helped, but we just have to make our plays count.”

Pelicans’ 6’10” Center Anthony Davis sat for most of the night in Milwaukee – a blessing for the young Bucks team. The big guy, who will see more playing time during Sunday’s All-Star Game, quickly got into foul trouble in the first half.

With Davis out of most of the game the Bucks were able to keep up with the Pelicans. Just before half time Gary Neal shot a three putting the Bucks ahead of the Pelicans 49-46. Neal shot 11 of his 18 points during the first half.

Injuries plagued the Bucks who played without shot blockers Larry Sanders (eye) and John Henson (ankle). The young Bucks also played without O.J. Mayo, Luke Ridnour, and Ekpe Udoh. The Pelicans only had one injured player, Jason Smith (Right Knee).

Head Coach Monty Williams also did not play two players last night, Jeff Withey and Darius Miller. Inactive players for the Bucks included Butler and Delfino and the Pelicans inactive players were Holiday and Anderson.

Although there season is nowhere near a winning one, Milwaukee Bucks Assistant Coach, Scott Williams looks towards the remaining season for the Bucks. “We’ve got 30 games left. We’ve got to get back to the joy in basketball and having some fun with basketball,” Williams said.

The Pelicans pulled away from the Bucks in the third quarter scoring 37 points. However, the Bucks fought hard to get back in the game. Davis played in the fourth quarter with four fouls, limiting the Bucks looks in the lane.

In the fourth quarter, a layup by Tyreke Evans and a jumper from Brain Roberts put the Pelicans ahead of the Bucks 100-95. With 1:06 left in the game a much needed three point shot by IIyasova kept the Bucks in the game.

Two last minute turnovers helped the Pelicans secure the win against Milwaukee. After a missed layup by Brian Roberts, which would have tied the game score 100-100 the Bucks still had a chance to tie. However, with 9 seconds left in the game the Bucks turned the ball over giving the Pelicans the chance to win the game 102-98.