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MEET THE COACH OF THE YEAR:
St. Joseph-Ogden’s Brian Brooks
All-Area First Team
NAME SCHOOL YR. HT. POS
Dedric Byrd Centennial Jr. 5-9 G
Michael Finke Centennial Jr. 6-9 F
URBANA — When the day was done, when the scorebooks were closed, when the bats were put away, Illinois’ softball team had a doubleheader split to show for its 41/2 hours at Eichelberger Field on an overcast Saturday.
The UI win — 5-4 in the second game against No. 24 Nebraska — was the eighth in school history at home against a nationally ranked opponent.
In girls’ track & field
■ At Urbana. Mahomet-Seymour won the nine-team Champaign County Meet, compiling 158 points. ELISE HOCKING won three events for the Bulldogs, placing first in the 100-meter hurdles (16.20 seconds), 300 hurdles (49.20) and the high jump (4-feet-10).
MANHATTAN, Kan. — With time to kill the night before their next postseason game, Adrienne GodBold and about six of her Illinois women’s basketball teammates were hanging out together at the team hotel.
There was plenty of laughter and some confident talk about going all the way in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
AUSTIN, Texas — Freshman Morolake Akinosun ran the second-fastest 100 meters in the history of Illinois women’s track and field Saturday at the Texas Relays.
The former state champion from Waubonsie Valley placed sixth in 11.29 seconds. The UI record of 11.28 was set by Aspen Burkett in 1998.
It’s crunch time already.
Mike Thomas has less than two months before he meets with the UI Board of Trustees to announce funding plans for the Assembly Hall.
At that point, 80 percent of the funding must be in place. So we can be relatively certain that a major naming-rights corporation has stepped forward.
Here are aspects rattling my brain:
Illinois’ season ended a week ago today, so it’s time to look ahead. Eight players are leaving, so there’s plenty of uncertainty.
We asked beat writer Marcus Jackson for an early outlook on next season — from returning players to the schedule and more.