Hot shots are worth $1,000 for Illinois fan

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Through 15 games no one had made it past the 3-point shot during the seMissourian Christmas Tournament halftime giveaway. On the final game of Friday's schedule, Josh Clinard of Murphysboro, Ill., walked away with the prize.

Clinard sank a layup, free throw, 3-pointer from the top of the key and finally a half-court shot to win the $1,000 prize.

"I didn't know anybody here, so I wasn't really nervous," Clinard said of his performance. "I've never won anything like this in my life."

The Show Me Center still feels like home

Former Southeast Missouri State University sharp-shooting guard Cory Johnson has been part of the Kelly contingent at the tournament.

Johnson serves as an assistant coach to Nick Lanpher after serving as an assistant coach last year at Notre Dame.

It was his second Christmas tournament at the Show Me Center, his former home as a Southeast Indian.

"It makes me want to suit up again any time I come through the doors," Johnson said with a smile.

Johnson, a graduate of Clearwater, last played for Southeast in the 1998-99 season.

Woodland finds inspiration from injured teammate

Travis Elfrink, a senior at Woodland, never misses a game for the Cardinals and always comes to practice. While Elfrink, who was paralyzed in an accident his sophomore year, may not be able to play on the court with his Cardinal teammates, he's still just as much a part of the team, including during the Christmas tournament.

Senior Luke Johnson said Elfrink helps get the other players mentally ready to play.

"He's always getting us going," Johnson said.

Elfrink's No. 52 jersey remains unworn as an tribute to him.

Battling the dunk funk

The expression "It's a slam dunk" means something is a given -- easy, no doubt, a piece of cake.

But slam dunks at the tournament have been anything but a slam dunk.

Charleston players missed three of the variety earlier in the tournament. Central players missed two in Saturday's win over Kelly.

Ryan Delph slammed home a first-quarter basket but saw a second attempt clang off iron early in the third quarter with the Tigers trailing by two points. Minutes later teammate Jake Knepp also saw his slam attempt, which would have tied the game, fail.

-- Jeff Breer, Jeremy Joffray, David Wilson

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