Hall of Famer Pat Gillick on the BitOBaca Show……

We had a chance to talk to Hall of Famer, Butte County native and co-owner of the Chico Heat Pat Gillick today. We chat about the return of summer baseball to Chico, plus his continuing work with the Philadelphia Phillies in trying to rebuild their organization……

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*header photo courtesy of the Chico Orion*

 

Denver and Carolina head to Santa Clara for Super Bowl 50

(AP) — Super Bowl 50 is set. The Denver Broncos have reached the title game for the second time in three years, and the eighth time in franchise history. They will take on the Carolina Panthers, who will make their second Super Bowl appearance and first in 12 years

The Broncos captured the AFC championship game as Peyton Manning threw a pair of TD passes to Owen Daniels while in the first half of a 20-18 win over the New England Patriots. Manning completed 17 of his 32 passes for 176 yards and no interceptions.

Brian McManus hit two field goals, a 52-yarder with 33 seconds remaining in the first half and a 31-yard kick that gave Denver a 20-12 lead with about 10 minutes left. C.J. Anderson had 72 yards on 16 carries for the Broncos, who have tied Pittsburgh, Dallas and New England for most Super Bowl appearances.

It was the fifth time Manning and Tom Brady have locked horns in the AFC title game. Manning now has a 3-2 edge in those battles.

The Broncos’ defense hounded Brady all afternoon, recording four sacks and knocking him down 14 times. Denver linebacker Von Miller was one of the stars of the game, recording 2 ½ sacks and one interception.

Brady completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes, hitting on 27 of 56 for 310 yards, one TD and two interceptions.

However, Brady converted a pair of fourth-down plays on the Patriots’ final drive, including a four-yard TD pass to Rob Gronkowski on fourth-and-goal with 12 seconds left. The Patriots would have tied the game with a successful two-point conversion, but Brady’s pass was tipped by Aqib Talib (ah-KEEB tah-LEEB’) and intercepted by Bradley Roby. The Pats had to go for two after Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra-point try following Steven Jackson’s one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

The NFC Championship game was a total blowout as Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others in the Panthers’ 49-15 laugher against Arizona. Newton was 19 of 28 for 335 yards through the air, including an 86-yard scoring pass to Corey Brown in the first quarter. Newton’s five-yard TD toss to Devin Funchess in the fourth quarter iced the victory.

Ted Ginn had a 22-yard TD run and Luke Kuechly (KEEK’-lee) capped the scoring by returning Carson Palmer’s fourth interception 22 yards. Brown and Greg Olsen each finished with 113 yards receiving.

The Panthers held the Cardinals to 287 total yards. Palmer was 23 of 40 for 235 yards, one touchdown and six turnovers, including a pair of fumbles.

The Super Bowl is slated for Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif. The Panthers are the early four-point favorite.

(AP) — In the San Francisco Bay Area, where high housing costs are notorious, residents looking to make a quick buck are offering to rent their homes at super-sized prices to the 1 million visitors expected for Super Bowl 50 festivities.

There’s a luxury 8,500-square-foot home in San Jose, California, listed for $10,000 a night. A four-bedroom apartment near San Francisco’s “Super Bowl City” is listed at $1,495 a night, with a minimum six night stay.

And let’s not forget a treehouse for two in a 150-year-old oak tree a half hour drive from downtown San Francisco. It’s listed at $495 a night.

Whether customers will pay such prices is uncertain, even in an area where hotel rooms are limited for the week-long extravaganza with festivities in San Francisco culminating Feb. 7, when the Denver Broncos square off against the Carolina Panthers.

The Wonderful Side of Sports

By. Michael Vislosky

A couple of weeks ago I found a video of tennis player Jack Sock telling his competitor that the referee made the wrong call in their match and that he should challenge the call so he received the point that he deserved. Last night I saw this gem where a ball girl at the first tennis major of the year, The Australian Open seemed to be injured and Frenchmen and Top 10 player Jo Wilfred Tsonga did this…

 

Dubs dismantle Cavaliers in Finals rematch

(AP) — The Golden State Warriors bounced back from their ugly, blowout loss in Detroit by completing a two-game season sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Stephen (STEH’-fehn) Curry nailed seven 3-pointers and scored 35 points before sitting out the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 132-98 pounding of the Cavs in Cleveland. Curry’s final trey put Golden State up by 40 late in the third quarter, and the lead stretched to 43 before the Cavaliers avoided the worst home loss in team history. Curry says it was a great bounceback win for the Dubs….

Andre Iguodala (ihg-ah-DAH’-lah) finished with 20 points for the Warriors, who held LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to a total of 27 points on 11 of 32 shooting. James scored 16 points, Irving had eight and Love delivered just three.

The Warriors improved to an NBA-best 38-4 as they try to win their second straight title. They top the Western Conference by two games over San Antonio.

Also in the NBA:

— The Hornets had dropped nine of their previous 10 games before Kemba Walker poured in a franchise-record 52 points in a 124-119 win over Utah in double overtime. Walker shot 16-for-34 from the field, including six of his 11 3-point tries. He also was 14 of 15 from the line in breaking the previous team mark of 48 points, set by Glen Rice in March 1997.

— The Los Angeles Clippers squandered a 12-point lead over the last three minutes of regulation before Jamal Crawford, J.R. Redick and Chris Paul drained consecutive 3-pointers in a 140-132 overtime win against Houston. Redick shot 9-for-12 from beyond the arc and finished with 40 points in the Clippers’ 10th victory in 11 games.

— Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points and Deron Williams added 10 of his 20 points in overtime to push Dallas past Boston 118-113. Nowitzki contributed 14 points in the final period and seven in OT after the Mavericks blew a 17-point, first-half lead.

— Chicago knocked off Detroit 111-101 behind Pau Gasol’s (pow gah-SAHLZ’) 31 points and 12 boards. Derrick Rose had 20 points for the Bulls, who dominated after falling behind by 13 in the first quarter.

— Marc Gasol (gah-SAHL’) had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Grizzlies’ third straight win, 101-99 over New Orleans at Memphis. Matt Barnes, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee also had 16 points apiece for the Grizzlies, who trailed 80-75 before putting together a 10-1 run.

— Kyle Lowry hit for 31 points and DeMar DeRozan added 30 as Toronto beat Brooklyn 112-100. Lowry hit three of his seven 3-pointers while scoring 13 points in the third period to help the Raptors tie a season high with their fifth consecutive win.

— Al Horford scored 15 points and Jeff Teague (teeg) had 14 in Atlanta’s second straight win, 98-81 over Orlando. Paul Millsap had 13 points and 12 rebounds as the Hawks dealt the Magic their seventh loss in eight games.

— C.J. McCollum dropped in 25 points and Damian Lillard had 16 in Portland’s 108-98 win at Washington. The Trail Blazers blew a 17-point, first-half lead and trailed in the third quarter before responding with a 23-1 run.

— Carmelo Anthony drained a tying 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds left in regulation before finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in New York’s double-overtime win against Philadelphia, 119-113. Arron Afflalo led the Knicks with 25 points, and rookie Kristaps Porzingis (KRIS’-tahps pohr-ZIHN’-gihs) delivered 16 points and 12 boards before sitting out the overtimes because of an injured right foot.

 

 

Chico State men prevail in Double OT; Home teams reign supreme in NFL Playoffs

By Mike Baca

The Chico State men’s basketball team is in a tie for first in the CCAA after gritting their way through two games this weekend without top scorer and rebounder, Robert Duncan.

The Cats knocked off San Francisco State 60-51 on Friday in a grind-it-out affair sweeping the season series from the Gators. Saturday night saw the Cats trailing for most of the game against a Sonoma State team that had beaten them in late December behind the super-human effort of James Davis (33 points/30 in the 2nd half) in Rohnert Park. On this night it was the Wildcats who would outlast Sonoma and Davis winning in Double OT 75-70. It marked a big weekend for the Wildcats showing they could win two tough games against tough opponents without Duncan.

Corey Silverstrom scored 21 on Saturday and Jalen McFerren scored 18 as Chico moves to 14-3 overall, 12-3 against Division-II opponents and 8-2 in CCAA play. The Cats are in a flat-footed tie with UC San Diego who stumbled at Monterey Bay on Saturday. Humboldt State and Cal Poly Pomona both sit one game back after Humboldt split their weekend match-ups and Pomona was stunned on back-to-back nights on the road versus Cal State LA and Dominguez Hills.

Chico only plays one game over the next 12 days as they travel to San Diego to take on Cal State San Marcos on Thursday. Chico beat the Cougars in early December after McFerren buried a 60-foot heave as time expired giving Chico an improbable 83-82 win. You can hear the game on Newstalk 1290 KPAY and right here on KpaySports.com

The Butte College Roadrunner men’s basketball team lost their first road game of the Golden Valley Conference season. The Shasta Knights nipped the Roadrunners 71-61. Butte was led by Josiah Wood with 23 points.

Butte only trailed by one at the break but went eight minutes without a bucket to start the second half and that would doom them. Butte now sits at 12-7 overall and 1-1 in the GVC

(AP) — The AFC and NFC championship game matchups are set. The Denver Broncos will be home against the New England Patriots, and the Carolina Panthers will host the Arizona Cardinals.

The Broncos have advanced by rallying in the fourth quarter of a 23-16 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers led 13-12 with less than 10 minutes left when cornerback Bradley Roby punched the ball from Fitzgerald Toussaint’s arms before teammate DeMarcus Ware recovered at the Denver 35. Peyton Manning led a methodical drive into the end zone as C.J. Anderson scored the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard run before Demaryius (deh-MAR’-ee-uhs) Thomas caught the 2-point conversion for a 20-13 lead with three minutes remaining.

Pittsburgh’s last opportunity to tie the game ended on Ware’s sack of Ben Roethlisberger on the next drive. Brandon McManus iced the victory with his fifth field goal of the game, a 45-yarder with 53 seconds left. The five field goals tied an NFL playoff record.

Manning was victimized by several drops, yet he was able to complete 21 of his 37 throws for 222 and no interceptions. Anderson finished with 72 yards on 15 carries.

Roethlisberger threw for 339 yards, with Martavis (mahr-TAY’-vihs) Bryant grabbing nine passes for 154 yards as the featured receiver in place of the injured Antonio Brown.

The Broncos are in the AFC title game for the second time since 2005. They had lost three of their four previous divisional playoff games.

In Sunday’s NFC divisional game, the Panthers carried a 31-0 lead into the second half before holding off the Seattle Seahawks 31-24. Carolina built its lead on two touchdown runs by Jonathan Stewart, a TD pass by Cam Newton, a pick-six by Luke Kuechly (KEEK’-lee) and a 48-yard field goal by Graham Gano (guh-NOH’).

However, the Panthers couldn’t move the ball in the second half, allowing the Seahawks to close their deficit. Russell Wilson threw two of his three touchdown passes to Jermaine Kearse before Steven Hauschka’s (HOWSH’-kahz) 36-yard field goal got Seattle within a touchdown with 1:12 remaining. The Seahawks’ rally ended when the Panthers recovered the onside kick.

Stewart finished with 106 yards rushing on 19 carries for the Panthers, including a 59-yard burst on the first play from scrimmage. Newton completed 16 of his 22 passes for 161 yards and no interceptions.

Wilson’s two interceptions led to 10 Carolina points. Kearse finished with 11 receptions for 110 yards, and Wilson was 31 of 48 for 366 yards.

The Panthers are in the NFC title game for the fourth time, and first since 2005.

In all four divisional playoff games this weekend the home teams prevailed.

(AP) — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope held his own against Stephen Curry for most of the night, scoring 20 points as the Detroit Pistons handed the Golden State Warriors their second loss in three games, 113-95 on Saturday.

Much of the pregame talk centered around how well Caldwell-Pope might be able to defend Curry. The Golden State star scored 38 points, but Caldwell-Pope gave the Pistons a boost offensively. The Warriors (37-4) reached the midway point of the regular season a win short of the best 41-game start in NBA history. The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers and 1995-96 Chicago Bulls started 38-3.

Detroit retired Ben Wallace’s No. 3 jersey at halftime, and by that time the Pistons led 65-49 on a raucous night at the Palace.

The Warriors have a showdown match-up against the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight in Cleveland. Golden State knocked of the Cavs in 6 games to capture the 2015 NBA FINALS Championship in June and also beat Cleveland in Oakland on Christmas Day.

(AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Omri Casspi added 17 points and the Sacramento Kings stopped the Los Angeles Clippers’ 10-game win streak with a 110-103 victory on Saturday night.

J.J. Redick scored 22 points, hitting five 3-pointers, and reserve Jamal Crawford added 20 points for the Clippers, who were tied with the idle Spurs for longest active win streak in the NBA.

Chris Paul, who finished with 15 points, hit two free throws that drew the Clippers to 104-101 with a minute left. Rajon Rondo turned the ball over on a bad pass, but his former Celtics teammate Paul Pierce missed a 3-pointer for Los Angeles and Rudy Gay grabbed the rebound. Gay got fouled and made the first and missed the second, leaving the Kings ahead 105-101.

PHOTO COURTESY of Chico State Athletics go to ChicoWildcats.com for more Wildcat news

Dubs and Kings both fall; Heat unveil 2016 uniforms

(AP) — Danilo Gallinari scored 28 points and the Denver Nuggets withstood a 38-point performance by Stephen Curry to hand the Golden State Warriors their third loss of the season, 112-110 on Wednesday night.

The defending NBA champion Warriors (36-3) had won seven straight since their previous defeat, 114-91 at Dallas on Dec. 30.

Harrison Barnes added 18 points and Klay Thompson had 17 for the Warriors.

Will Barton scored 21 for the Nuggets, who snapped a four-game losing streak to the Warriors. Gary Harris added 18 points.

A dunk by Brandon Rush gave the Warriors a 68-64 lead, but Denver outscored Golden State 19-5 over the last 5 1/2 minutes of the third quarter to take a 10-point lead into the fourth.

(AP) — Eric Gordon made six 3s and scored 24 points, Anthony Davis also had 24 and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped a four-game skid by beating the Sacramento Kings 109-97 Wednesday night.

The Pelicans tied a team record by making 16 3-pointers. Gordon was 6 for 12 from long range and New Orleans was 16 for 33 overall.

New Orleans led by 15 at halftime and used a 15-0 run in the third quarter.

Norris Cole scored a season-high 18 points and Ryan Anderson hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 for the Pelicans, who had lost six of seven.

Davis (bruised back) missed the previous two games and his status was questionable earlier in the day. His importance to the Pelicans is evident in their 0-5 record without him this season. He had 10 rebounds and two steals.

DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings.

 

By Mike Baca

The Butte College Roadrunners open up Golden Valley Conference play with a 78-66 win over College of the Siskiyous. Michael Shoemaker led the way for the Roadrunners with 22 points. Butte travels to Redding on Saturday to take on the Shasta Knights.

The Chico Heat baseball team unveiled the familiar colors they will don for the upcoming 2016 season. Back is the familiar pinstriped home jersey and the navy road jersey. Added the ensemble is the camo jersey which the players will wear during special occasions, holidays and games in which the organization honors our veterans.

Fans can start purchasing their Heat jerseys in the next few weeks. The Heat open play in June of 2016.

 

 

Rodgers and Pack move on; Walsh’s shank spares Seahawks

(AP) — The road team is 4-0 thus far in the NFL playoffs, which means each wild-card team has advanced to the divisional playoffs. The Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks each shook off slow starts to win on Sunday.

Chico’s Aaron Rodgers threw for a pair of first-half touchdowns and the Packers also ran for two scores in a 35-18 win at Washington. Green Bay’s first venture into the end zone was when Rodgers was sacked for a safety early in the first quarter, helping the Skins take an eventual 11-0 lead. But he threw scoring passes to Randall Cobb and Davante Adams while the Packers were scoring the last 17 points of the first half to take a 17-11 lead.

Green Bay didn’t allow another point after quarterback Kirk Cousins ran for a three-yard touchdown on the first possession of the second half. James Starks put the Packers back on top to stay with a four-yard run on the next possession. Eddie Lacy’s two-yard run was followed by a two-point conversion that gave Green Bay a two-touchdown lead with 12:23 remaining.

The Butte College and Pleasant Valley High product Rodgers was 21 of 36 for 210 yards and no interceptions for the Packers, who take on the Cardinals in Arizona next weekend.

The Seahawks went the first three quarters of their NFC wild-card game without scoring a single point, but they still managed to advance to the divisional playoffs against the Panthers in Carolina.

The Seahawks were able to celebrate a 10-9 win at frigid Minnesota only after Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal with 26 seconds left. Walsh had converted kicks of 22, 43 and 47 yards to help the Vikings take a 9-0 lead into the fourth quarter before his potential game-winning kick sailed very wide of the left goalpost.

The bad kick wasn’t the only major fourth-quarter mistake by the Vikings. Adrian Peterson’s fumble set up Steven Hauschka’s (HOWSH’-kuhz) 46-yard field goal, putting the Seahawks ahead with 8:04 remaining. The fumble occurred one drive after Russell Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for the game’s only TD.

Wilson had trouble throwing the ball with game time temperature at minus-6 degrees and a -24 wild chill factor, completing 13 of 26 passes for 142 yards and an interception. His best play came on a scramble as he gathered a fumbled snap and rolled away from the Vikings’ defense before hitting Tyler Lockett for a 35-yard completion that set up Baldwin’s touchdown.

Minnesota’s offense also struggled in the deep freeze. Peterson gained just 45 yards on 23 carries, and Teddy Bridgewater was 17 of 24 for 146 yards.

The Vikings finish the season 11-6.

(AP) — Regardless of the outcome of Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game between No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama, a case can be made that no team in the history of the sport has had a better run than the Crimson Tide under coach Nick Saban.

If Alabama beats the Tigers to win a fourth national title in seven seasons, the argument may be settled.

There was talk early in the season after Alabama lost to Mississippi that the Tide dynasty was in decline. Now Alabama (13-1) is one victory away from an unprecedented achievement.

The Tide can become just the third school in college football’s poll era, dating back to the creation of The Associated Press media poll in 1936, to win four championships in a 10-year span.

 

The Bengals Deserved to Lose

By. Michael Vislosky

In arguably the craziest football game I have seen in my 28 years on this earth, the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. That was not a mistake what I said just now, the Bengals did defeat the Bengals. They fought all the way back after being down 15 to 0 heading to the 4th quarter only to put on the most disgraceful display of sportsmanship I have ever seen.

Up 16 to 15 the Bengals intercepted back up quarterback Landry Jones who was replacing injured Ben Roethlisberger. On the very next play running back Jeremy Hill fumbled after picking up 9 yards. The Steelers then got the ball just past midfield, and that’s when everything went crazy. On first down, Roethlisberger, who came back into the game, threw a pass intended for Antonio Brown, and Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict knocked out Brown. The hit was horrible, it looked as if he was intending to injure Brown. That’s only where the crazy began. Adam Jones then received a unsportsmanlike penalty after getting into it with linebackers coach Joey Porter. Without running a play, the Steelers gained 30 yards, kicked a field goal and won the game 18 to 16.

This game was chippy from the start. These two teams have a history that goes back many years, but that does not excuse what took place. The Bengals lost their minds, plain and simple. A franchise that has not won a playoff game in 25 years showed why they haven’t. Watching it happen in front of my eyes I was speechless. Coach Marvin Lewis seemed to have absolutely no control of his team. In my opinion, I think there is a chance that Marvin Lewis may have coached his last game as Bengals head coach.  A team with a coach in control, does not display what the Bengals showed on national TV. Suspensions will come from this. Vontaze Burfict will miss time next year, that is not a question.

The Steelers who let this game slip away, pulled it out in the end, but it came at a price. Who knows right now if Ben Roethlisberger will play next week, but I will be shocked if Antonio Brown plays. He could barley walk off the field after the hit, and it was amazing that he was even able to get up. After all the dust settles, this game could change a lot of things for these two teams.