TOP SPORTS NEWS
Bearcats win 6th straight C-USA title
          The 11 other Conference USA coaches have to be shaking their heads today. This was their year to dethrone the regular-season king of the league.

XU aims to end 5-game drought at UD
        Xavier hasn't won at Dayton in its last five tries. But the Musketeers got some news that could help their chances today.

Johnson, Holmes to visit Bengals
        What's this? The Bengals are holding auditions for "Who Wants to Be A Free-Agent Multi-Millionaire" and many of the NFL's top names are coming. Rob Johnson and Kenny Holmes are the latest to send RSVPs.

Larkin, Reese spell double-trouble
        Though the excellence of double-play combinations is difficult to measure, it's obvious the Reds' tandem of Barry Larkin and Pokey Reese is among the best in the majors.

Boys basketball | Girls basketball
        Check out the results for 24 Cincinnati and N.Ky. girls teams in district finals Saturday. Purcell-Marian and Roger Bacon won the last of the boys sectional titles, and if you missed the headlines from Friday night, West Hi knocked off No. 1 Winton Woods, Moeller escaped Hamilton and N.Ky. teams wrapped up their district titles. Get a complete rundown on the weekend games and all of the games from the past week.

TODAY'S SPORTS HEADLINES

Sports Headlines for  Sunday, March 04, 2001

Best and worst of week in sports
        The Enquirer sports department's look at who rated — good and bad — this week in sports:

SULLIVAN: Bengals dare to think big
        Mike Brown was right about this salary cap stuff. He always said those teams that sought to beat the system with back-loaded, restructured contractual flim-flam eventually would find their ledgers out of whack.

Catching Up With: Ken Riley
        The Bengals could use a cornerback, and one of their greatest was back in town last week. Some mused that Ken Riley consider suiting up again, but Riley is now a 53-year-old grandfather.

Prosser takes pressure off Muskies
        Two weeks ago, Skip Prosser's Xavier basketball team was fraying at the edges, having lost two of three games and then been uptight in an unimpressive victory over Rhode Island.
Atlantic 10 tournament schedule

Xavier women win A-10 opener
        PHILADELPHIA — Jennifer Phillips had 22 points as No. 12 Xavier advanced to the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament Saturday with an 86-64 victory over Massachusetts.
Atlantic 10 women's tournament schedule

C-USA tourney up for grabs
        CHICAGO — The University of Cincinnati has not dominated the Conference USA tournament the way it has the regular season.
Conference USA tournament schedule

UC women make tourney semifinals
        MILWAUKEE — Freshman Valerie King scored 27 points and fifth-seeded Cincinnati beat Alabama-Birmingham 74-56 Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament.
Conference USA women's tournament schedule

Bowling Green 67, Miami 51
        BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Keith McLeod scored 25 points and Len Matela added 16 as Bowling Green beat Miami 67-51 Saturday.
MAC tournament schedule

Miami women win tourney opener
        OXFORD, Ohio — Heather Cusick scored 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting as No.6 seed Miami beat No.11 Marshall 87-58 in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.
MAC women tournament schedule

NKU women ousted from conference tourney
        EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Repeating as NCAA Division II national champion just became much more difficult for Northern Kentucky University.

DAUGHERTY: LaRue learns 'art' from Michelangelo
        SARASOTA, Fla. — Good catchers are con men and mind-messers. Their biggest job is to make a hitter look stupid. You want a fastball? Here comes a slider. You're thinking slider? Hit this fastball.

Reyes' starts suit Boone
        SARASOTA, Fla. — Dennys Reyes might not be a starting pitcher when the regular season begins, but he'll remain in the Reds' spring rotation for at least a little longer than manager Bob Boone anticipated.

Game report: Reds 7, Pirates 5
        Though Scott Williamson allowed five hits in three innings, the Reds were more focused on — and encouraged by — the one walk he issued.

Five Questions With: Randy Marsh
        Major league umpire Randy Marsh, from Edgewood, Ky., spent some telephone time last week with Enquirer sports reporter John Erardi before flying to Florida for spring training. The topic was the “new” strike zone.

Ruiz beats Holyfield in 12-round decision
        LAS VEGAS — John Ruiz didn't look much like a champion, but he was. Evander Holyfield looked like he should retire, but said he wasn't.

Cincinnatian Austin defends IBF title
        LAS VEGAS — For a 118-pounder, Tim Austin hits awfully hard. Jesus Perez found that out Saturday night when Austin knocked him down four times before referee Kenny Bayless finally moved in to stop the IBF bantamweight title fight at 2:02 of the sixth round.

Cyclones 4, Orlando 0
        ORLANDO - Jeff Hereema scored two goals, giving him five in Cincinnati's last three games, as the Cyclones blanked Orlando 4-0 Saturday night in the IHL.

Mighty Ducks 4, Providence 4
        Yuri Butsayev scored his second goal of the game with 1:28 to play in regulation as the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks salvaged a 4-4 tie with the Providence Bruins Saturday in the AHL at the Gardens.

Waltrip used Jarrett's example
        LAS VEGAS — The blueprint for Michael Waltrip's newfound success at Dale Earnhardt Inc. came from Dale Jarrett.

Meeting with Earnhardt impressed Carroll
        Jerry Carroll met Dale Earnhardt only once. And yes, he was intimidated.

Stuff 106, Sioux Falls 91
        SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Nick Sheppard scored a season-high 31 points as the visiting Cincinnati Stuff defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce 106-91 in the IBL Saturday night.

Six local wrestlers win state titles
        COLUMBUS — Before the Ohio state wrestling championships begin, the athletes participate in a “Parade of Champions.” Greater Cincinnati wrestlers put on a parade of their own Saturday, winning six titles out of seven tries.
Ohio state wrestling results

Columbus gymnast tops state meet
        DUBLIN, Ohio — Columbus DeSales sophomore Jillian Stranges placed in the top 2 in three of four events to win the all-around state gymnastics championship Saturday.

Purcell beats odds, McNicholas
        The first words from Purcell Marian basketball coach Mike Gergen after his team beat McNicholas Saturday were congratulations — for exceeding expectations.

Roger Bacon wins sectional title
        Junior forward Frank Phillips scored 17 points and junior guard Josh Hausfeld added 16 as Roger Bacon rolled to a 78-48 victory in the Cincinnati Division II lower bracket finals at Anderson.

N.Ky. boys regional preview
        The top two teams in The Enquirer's Northern Kentucky coaches poll drew into the same half of the boys Ninth Region bracket Saturday.
N.Ky. boys basketball schedule

St. Ursula turns rankings to rubble
        Sophomore guard Monica Naltner scored a career-high 27 points and had 10 rebounds and three blocked shots as St. Ursula upset Colerain 49-43 in a Division I district championship game Saturday at Cintas Center.

Henderson, Boone Co. give championship performance
        When Boone County senior guard Ciara Henderson left the court near halftime of Saturday's 33rd District championship game against Conner, the first thing coach Nell Fookes did was massage Henderson's shooting arm.

Badin 39, Purcell Marian 29
        Cutting the net and accepting a winning medal continues to thrill Angela Vilkoski, a senior point guard for the Badin girls basketball team.

Beavercreek 50, Fairfield 40
        Alison Bales, a 6-2 sophomore center, scored 27 points as the Beavers, the No.12 team in the country according to USA Today, won a Division I district championship at Xavier University.

Bishop Brossart 73, Campbell Co. 61
        Katie Schwegmann scored 25 points to lead Bishop Brossart to its fifth straight 38th District title, 73-61 over Campbell County Saturday night.

Calvary Christian 48, Dixie Heights 47
        Lisa VanBerkel's basket with 40 seconds to play in the second overtime put gave the Cougars the title in their first year in the 34th District.

Chaminade-Julienne 57, Oak Hills 53
        Chaminade-Julienne senior guard Jenny Beane scored five points and junior guard Megan Duffy added four during a 15-3 first-quarter run and the Eagles went on to knock off Oak Hills, 57-53, to earn a Division I district championship at Xavier University's Cintas Center Saturday night.

Highlands 63, Newport Central Catholic 53
        Tara Boothe did it all for the Bluebirds en route to the 36th District championship at Bellevue. She scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, had four assists and three steals and was named tournament MVP.

Jackson Center 53, Cin. Country Day 41
        Keesha Smith scored eight third-quarter points to erase a three-point halftime deficit for Jackson Center en route to victory in the Division IV District finals at Vandalia Butler.

Mason 37, Centerville 19
        Mason senior center Michelle Munoz shook off cramps to score six points in the fourth quarter and help the Comets shake off the Elks in a low-scoring Division I district championship game Saturday night at Cintas Center.

McNicholas 54, Roger Bacon 39
        The first appearance by the McNicholas girls basketball team in the Division II district championship game was a success.

Mother of Mercy 59, Greenville 47
        No.3 Mercy scored 15 unanswered points in a three-minute span in the fourth quarter to clinch its first Division I district title since 1996.

Scott County 78, Walton-Verona 57
        The Bearcats' Jessica Schmidt had game highs with 27 points and 23 rebounds, but Scott County's 37-18 halftime lead was too much for Walton-Verona to overcome in the 32nd District final at Walton-Verona.

West Liberty Salem 38, Mariemont 35
        West Liberty Salem came back from a seven-point halftime deficit behind the play of Amber Coder to win the Division III district finals at Vandalia Butler.

Wyoming 57, Felicity 34
        Jenny McGee scored 15 first-quarter points as Wyoming jumped to a big early lead en route to a 57-34 victory over Felicity for the Division III district championship at Vandalia Butler Saturday.

Ohio boys basketball scores
Ohio girls basketball scores
Kentucky boys basketball scores
Kentucky girls basketball scores
Indiana boys basketball scores
Indiana girls basketball scores
Ohio girls regional pairings
Cincinnati girls basketball schedule

Auto racing coverage
        A Kentucky Speedway preview, plus the latest news from NASCAR, USAC, IRl and ARCA.

S U N D A Y   S P O T L I G H T
High time for 'new' strike zone
In perhaps the game's most revolutionary development since the designated hitter, umpires are being instructed to stop calling them as they see them and start calling them as they are.

SPECIAL REPORTS:
Local athletes' college commitments
Football signings: UC | Miami | Ohio State | Kentucky
The new look of Cinergy Field
2001 Reds schedule
Prep football coverage at Enquirer.com/prepfootball