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The daily pitch from Sports Editor Matt Daniels: Feb. 27, 2024

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Sports Editor Matt Daniels with a look at what's going on around the area:

Three reasons we love sports today

➜ 1. Belated congratulations to Chloe Hoselton. The Prairie Central junior won an IHSA state title at 235 pounds this past Saturday in Bloomington, defeating Unity sophomore Phoenix Molina by a 2-1 ultimate tiebreaker. Rematch next year?

➜ in a 9-8 win on against the Cardinals on Saturday as the 27-year-old Lindgren makes his case to join the Marlins' opening-day roster.

➜ 3. Speaking of spring and baseball. Can't ask for better weather to start this week, with high school baseball teams opening practice Monday before Illinois baseball hosts Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m. Tuesday in its home opener at Illinois Field.

Numbers game: .875

Winning percentage for Illinois men's basketball this season at State Farm Center. That translates to a 14-2 record in Champaign, with two more home games — Minnesota on Wednesday and a showdown with Purdue on March 5 — for the No. 13 Illini.

Crowd control

Three events I'm paying attention to

➜ 1. St. Joseph-Ogden vs. Flora boys' basketball. The Class 2A Shelbyville Sectional semifinal game at 7 p.m. Tuesday pits an SJ-O team (26-6) trying to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 when the Spartans won a state title.

➜ 2. Unity vs. Teutopolis. The two teams met on Dec. 2, with Unity pulling out a solid 60-52 road win against the Wooden Shoes. The two teams meet again at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a Shelbyville Sectional semifinal game.

➜ 3. St. Thomas More vs. Lexington. STM (22-11) is 17-1 against Class 1A teams this season. Its next chance happens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a Salt Fork Sectional semifinal game at DACC.

Coach's corner

Three questions with Mahomet-Seymour football coach Jon Adkins, who has compiled a 36-13 record, three straight Class 5A playoff berths and three straight Apollo Conference championships in five seasons leading the Bulldogs.

➜ 1. My favorite sports team is ... the Green Bay Packers.

➜ 2. Three coaches I'd like to have dinner with are ... Vince Lombardi, Tom Izzo and Nick Saban.

➜ 3. My biggest pet peeve is ... lack of effort. Just do the best you can and give everything you have, no matter what it is you are trying.