HIGHLAND'S ERIC JOHNSON TO WRESTLE FOR NATIONAL TITLE: Highland grad and Calumet College sophomore Eric Johnson will wrestle in the NAIA National Wrestling Championships today at the Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines, Iowa.
Johnson (13-8) will face Oklahoma City University's Mike Brown (30-9) in his opening match. This is Johnson's second NAIA National Wrestling Championship. He was eliminated after losing his first two matches last season.
IUN JUNIOR NAMED ALL-CONFERENCE: Indiana Northwest forward Megan Holland was selected to the 2013 AII all-conference first team, the school announced Thursday. Holland ranked first nationally among NAIA Division II players with a 67.6 field-goal percentage. She led IUN with 14.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Holland ranked in the top 10 in the conference in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage, offensive rebounds and blocks.
RAILCATS ADD FOUR PLAYERS: The RailCats signed right-handed pitchers Matt McSwain and Ian Durham, left-handed pitcher Carlos Rivas and infielder Aljay Davis on Thursday.
McSwain is a veteran who spent seven years in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and reached Double-A. Durham was acquired by the RailCats on Feb. 1 in a trade with Florence in the Frontier League. Rivas pitched for the RailCats in 2011 and was 5-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 13 games, 12 starts. Davis last played in 2011 for the Fort Worth Cats in the American Association.
HAWKS EXTEND POINTS STREAK TO 20 GAMES: Jonathan Toews scored twice, and Ray Emery and Corey Crawford combined on a shutout as the Blackhawks extended their NHL-record season-opening points streak to 20 games with a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Andrew Shaw also scored for Chicago, which was coming off a 6-0-1 homestand and improved to 9-0-2 on the road. The Blackhawks, who have won seven in a row overall, have earned 37 out of a possible 40 points this season with a 17-0-3 start.
Chicago, playing its first road game in 18 days, has won four in a row against St. Louis.
Crawford was pulled after making six saves in the first period. He missed four games earlier this month with an upper-body injury and returned to the lineup Sunday.
NOAH'S TRIPLE-DOUBLE TOO MUCH FOR 76ERS: Joakim Noah had 23 points, 21 rebounds and a career-high 11 blocks for his third career triple-double, and the Bulls ended a two-game losing streak with a 93-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng had 15 and 12 points, respectively, as the Bulls completed a three-game regular season series sweep.
Noah tied the Bulls record for blocks in a regulation game, previously set by Artis Gilmore in 1977.
CLIPPERS END PACERS' STREAK: Chris Paul scored 29 points, while Blake Griffin finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Clippers hold off Indiana's late charge for a 99-91 victory Thursday.
David West led the Pacers (36-22) with 22 points. Without the suspended Roy Hibbert, the Pacers barely resembled the team that had won five straight by an average margin of 23.8 points.
Around the horn
Kankakee Valley High School hired Alex Conklin as the new varsity girls soccer coach, K.V. athletic director Doug Greenlee said Thursday. Conklin, a teacher at the high school, replaces John Hufnagel. Greenlee said K.V. is still trying to fill the vacancy for the girls varsity volleyball head coach. ... Purdue Calumet Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Information and Event Planning Jordon Bruner will be the guest on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:20 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230). ... Lenzelle Smith scored a season-high 24 points, and No. 16 Ohio State used a late run to beat Northwestern 63-53. ... Annalise Pickrel scored 18 points to lead Michigan State (21-7, 9-6) to a 68-61 Big Ten victory over No. 25 Purdue (20-8, 9-6). ... Camilo Villegas drilled a 3-wood into 8 feet on the par-5 18th hole and made the eagle putt for a 6-under 64. That gave him a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler, Branden Grace, Graham DeLaet and Robert Streb after the first round of the Honda Classic. ... Darnell McDonald had two hits for the Cubs in a 5-3 win over Oakland, including an RBI double in the fifth against Jordan Norberto.