The Region 1 Sports Report M-F 4p-5p.
The Region 1 Sports Report M-F 4p-5p.
The Region 1 Sports Report M-F 4p-5p.
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Pekka Rinne was beaten early, but never again.

Ryan Ellis scored his first game-winning goal of the season, Rinne made 25 saves and the Nashville Predators defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Austin Watson and Craig Smith also scored for Nashville, which halted a two-game skid.

Zack Smith scored for Ottawa, which has lost four of five.

Nashville improved its record against Eastern Conference opponents to 9-0-0 this season.

"I thought tonight we were pretty good defensively for most of the game," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "I liked the fact that we didn't turn the puck over. Their neutral zone can be tough to get through. We did a good job of just playing a smart, simple game."

Zack Smith scored the first goal on the game's first shot 26 seconds into the opening period. Carrying the puck into the Nashville zone on the right side, Smith sent a backhand from the left faceoff dot by Rinne on the far side.

"It's a bad goal and you never want to start the game like that — it's the first shot," Rinne said. "It's not the first time I've given up a soft goal. You just focus on making the next save, focus on the things you can control. Guys responded really well."

Watson tied it 1-all at 15:38 of the first.

From the left boards, Mattias Ekholm sent a shot toward the Ottawa net. In the low slot, Watson tipped the puck high to the glove side of goaltender Craig Anderson for his sixth goal of the season.

Prior to Ekholm releasing the puck, Watson tapped his stick on the ice to get the attention of the Swedish defenseman.

"It was a great play by Ekky to get that back to the front of the net," Watson said. "I'd kind of created a little space off the other side. Great look by him."

Anderson finished with 33 saves.

Ottawa's road record is 3-10-1.

"I don't think we played poorly, but I don't think we played our best," Senators forward Mark Stone said. "The road is a different beast. Teams come into our building, we play pretty well. We know that teams are solid on home ice. That's the nature of the NHL. You have to have a good home record, but also you have to find a way to win on the road."

Ellis hooked up with defensive partner Roman Josi on a give-and-go at 9:01 of the second to give Nashville a 2-1 lead.

At the right point, Ellis sent a pass to Josi on the right boards. From there, Josi tapped the puck back to Ellis skating through the slot, where he snapped a one-timer over Anderson's left shoulder.

Rinne made his best save in the final minute of the second period when he denied Brady Tkachuk's attempt from just outside the Nashville crease.

"Tkachuk gets it, but it's on his backhand and it's fumbling and goes back the opposite way," Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. "It that one goes in, it's 2-2, so again, it's a different game."

Craig Smith made it 3-1 at 1:59 of the third when he skated into the Ottawa zone along the right boards. Near the goal line, he cut toward the net and slipped a backhand past Anderson inside the near post.

NOTES: D Stefan Elliott played his first game with the Senators since being acquired from Pittsburgh in a Dec. 5 trade. ... Nashville C Colton Sissons had an assist, extending his point streak to three games. ... The Predators have defeated Ottawa five consecutive times in Nashville. ... The Senators are 8-7-3 when scoring first this season. ... One night ahead of their induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Red Berenson, Natalie Darwitz, Paul Stewart and Predators general manager David Poile attended the game.


Senators: At the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.

Predators: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

McCracken County High School recognized the following seniors for their accomplishments and signing college scholarships:

Harper Burkeen - McKendree University - Bass Fishing

MCHS Bass Fishing Team - Vice President (2 years) and Student Tournament Coordinator

2018 Co-Team of the Year

2017 Doc Morehead Award for Sportsmanship Recipient

9th Place TBF/FLW Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship

12th Place in the High School Fishing World Finals

3 year qualifier for the KHSAA Regional Tournament

First high school student in this region to receive a scholarship for Bass Fishing

Presidential Academic Scholarship

Reidland United Methodist Church Member

MCHS FFA - 2018-2019 Community Chair

Junior Rotarian – February 2019 Student of the month

Katelyn Operle - Centre College - Soccer

            District Champions 2015-2018

            All District Team 2015-2018

            District MVP 2018

            All Region Honorable Mention 2016

            Region 1 First Team 2017-2018

            All State Honorable Mention 2017-2018

            Most Assists in the State 2017

Jasmine Perry - Bethel University - Soccer

            Top Attacking Player 2018 Season

            2nd All-Region Team 2016, 2017, 2018

            All-State Academic Team 2016, 2017, 2018

            All-District Team 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

            4 Year Varsity Player

            4 Year Varsity Starter

            Most-Assist Award 2015

            6 Year McCracken County Soccer Player

Luis Lopez - Berea College - Soccer

            2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 District Champions

            2016 Region 1 Champion

            2016 McCracken Defensive Player of the Year

            2016 River Region Rumble Tournament Team

            2017, 2018 All-District Team

            2017, 2018 Region 1 First Team

            2017 Honorable Mention All-State Team          

            4 Year Varsity Player

Jacob Ehling - Rend Lake College - Baseball

2018 Co-Pitcher of the Year

2018 All-Purchase Team

2017 and 2018 Academic All-State Honorable Mention

2018:  Top 25 in State in Wins

2018 Regular Season:  17th in State in ERA with a  .99

2018 Season (including post-season):  Finished with a 1.4 ERA

Summer 2018:  Won Pastime National Championship with Evansville Razorbacks

·         23 college commits on team

·         Pitched second most innings on team (23)

·         Third lowest ERA with 1.83

Desires to play baseball at Division I level with academic focus on physical education and coaching or special education.

Logan Verble - Southeastern Illinois College - Baseball

            2016 IHSA State Champion

            2017 IHSA Third Place Finish

            2018 IHSA Third Place Finish

            2018 Perfect Game Super-25 Midwest All Tournament Team

            2018 Black Diamond First Team All Conference

Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen has been named first-team All-America as announced Tuesday by Sporting News. 

Allen's honors add to a growing list of accolades for the senior from Montclair, N.J.

  • Bronko Nagurski Award, National Defensive Player of the Year
  • Chuck Bednarik Award, National Defensive Player of the Year
  • Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy, National Defensive Player of the Year
  • First-Team All-America by Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sports Illustrated,, ESPN, Associated Press, College Football News, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News
  • SEC Defensive Player of the Year by AP, Coaches
  • First-Team All-SEC by AP, Coaches

Allen has been a pass rush terror this season. With 28.5 career sacks and 14 sacks in 2018, he now holds UK's career and single-season records. His 11 career forced fumbles tie former Wildcat and current Chicago Bear Danny Trevathan for UK's career mark (forced fumbles stats available since 1988).  He leads the team with 84 tackles and paces the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss (18.5) and forced fumbles (5). He also ranks among the NCAA leaders in sacks, TFL and forced fumbles. Twelve of his 14 sacks have come in the second half of games, including eight in the fourth quarter. In five of UK's nine wins this season, Allen had a sack in the fourth quarter that was crucial to the Wildcat victory.

Allen has helped lead Kentucky to a 9-3 record, UK's best regular-season record in 41 years, and UK's 5-3 SEC record is the team's first winning league mark in 41 years. The Wildcats conclude the season Jan. 1 vs. Penn State in the VRBO Citrus Bowl. 

Here are Tuesday night's high school basketball scores featuring local teams.

Boys Scores

Carlisle County 77, Fulton City 36
Lyon County 67, Webster County 65
Hickman County 67, Ballard Memorial 61
Trigg County 47, CCA 40
UHA 62, Hopkinsville 56
McCracken County 66, Mayfield 65
Murray 64, Marshall County 49

Girls Scores

Crittenden County 50, Dawson Springs 27
Hickman County 65, Ballard Memorial 39
McCracken County 58, Mayfield 51
Murray 47, Marshall County 35
Webster County 49, Graves County 41
Little surprise, Nikola Jokic had another big game.

Pleasant surprise, Monte Morris found a groove.

Jokic had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Morris tied a career high with 20 points and the injury-depleted Denver Nuggets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 105-99 on Monday night.

Morris gave the Nuggets the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 5:22 remaining. The reserve also had five assists and five rebounds.

"Monte Morris was MVP of the game," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "He was phenomenal tonight. His floor game. His shot making. His rebounding. His playmaking. We do not win that game without Monte."

Over the offseason, Morris overhauled his jumper — more of a follow-through, less of a flicking motion — and it has given him added confidence. He also received some recent advice from Malone that he has taken to heart — if a defender is guarding him too close, don't run the play, just attack the basket.

So that's what he's been doing. He scored 15 points in the second half.

"I have to change my mindset from being that facilitator and scoring here and there to being more in attack mode for the team," Morris said. "Especially with guys out."

Mason Plumlee added 12 points and 10 rebounds in his first start of the season for the Nuggets, who were missing Gary Harris, Paul Millsap and Will Barton due to injuries. Jamal Murray also was dealing with a bruised right shin and took a hard hit on a screen just before halftime, knocking the wind out of him. He finished with 16 points.

"We're just a deep team," Plumlee said. "We have a lot of guys that can play and we have some guys that you haven't even seen yet."

This was a tightly contested game that featured 15 lead changes. Neither team opened more than an eight-point advantage.

"They made extra plays," said Mike Conley, who had 19 points for Memphis despite playing with a dislocated right pointer finger. "On our end, we didn't execute our offense. Guys weren't ready to shoot the ball. We weren't all in sync at the right time. When you aren't playing on the same page late in the game like that, it's hard to win."

Conley pulled the Southwest Division-leading Grizzlies to 98-97 with 3:44 left on a three-point play, but the Nuggets responded with baskets from Jokic and Murray.

It was a little more high-scoring than their Nov. 7 contest, when the Grizzlies won 89-87. In that game, Jokic attempted just one shot.

This time, Jokic was more aggressive in going 9 of 14 from the floor.

"He had to play better with all those guys out," said Marc Gasol, who scored seven points for Memphis. "Tonight, there wasn't much we could do about him."


Grizzlies: The Grizzlies had a stretch in the first half where they hit 11 straight shots. ... F JaMychal Green had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Nuggets: The Nuggets returned home after a 3-2 trip. ... Denver and Memphis each had 22 assists.


Jokic was pretty much hitting everything in the first half, including a shot when he was inbounding the ball toward the rim with 2.9 seconds remaining before halftime.

Of course, it didn't count.


Conley briefly left in the third quarter with a hamstring that tightened up on him.

"We went back in the room and we stretched it out," Conley said. "I played a lot better after I returned."


On Monday, the Nuggets signed veteran guard Nick Young under the injury hardship relief exception granted by the NBA. He didn't get in the game against the Grizzlies, but the team plans on getting Young up to speed quickly. Malone said Young brings a little more of a long-range threat to the floor.

Young has been a 37.6 percent shooter from 3-point land for Golden State, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia, Los Angeles Clippers and Washington.

"Whatever uniform he's worn, he's a proven scorer and a proven shooter," Malone said.


Grizzlies: Host Portland on Wednesday.

Nuggets: Face Oklahoma City on Friday in the second of a four-game homestand.