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Timberwolves to hire shooting coach

Head coach Flip Saunders plans to hire a shooting coach to assist several veterans, including point guard Ricky Rubio.

Rubio and at least two other veterans on the roster are working with shooting coaches this offseason.

Saunders identified Rubio and Chase Budinger as players who had partnered with shot-focused coaches. Rubio shot 38 percent from the field in 2013-14 and with All-Star Kevin Love, the team’s top threat inside and outside, moved to Cleveland via trade, defenses will clamp down on Rubio and rookie guard Andrew Wiggins.

Minnesota finished 21st in adjusted field goal percentage last season.

Saunders said Monday he wasn’t confident the Love trade would happen.

“There were so many different dynamics and so many working parts, I wasn’t sure a trade was going to get done,” Saunders said.

Prep Pigskin Picks is back for 2014

The West Central Tribune invites you to play High School Football Prep Pigskin Pics contest this fall.

All the features are here for you: private groups with message boards, picking until one hour before game time and prizes.

Go to the Tribune’s website: and scroll down near the bottom of the home page to “Inside West Central Tribune” click on the “Prep Pigskin Picks” tab and follow the directions.

Good luck and see how your picks stack up against the WCT sports staff.

BBE No. 2, CMCS No. 10 in first prep volleyball poll

Perennial prep volleyball powers Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa and Central Minnesota Christian School are the only area teams ranked in the first Class A poll released Monday.

BBE is second, behind only Bethlehem Academy, and CMCS is No. 10. The Bluejays are one of three Camden Conference teams in the poll as Tracy-Milroy-Balaton is No. 3 and Minneota No. 7.

Chaska is the top-ranked team in Class AAA and defending champion Marshall is No. 1 in Class AA.

Lynx to open Western Conference Finals Thursday in Phoenix

The Minnesota Lynx, who finished off a two-game sweep of the San Antonio Stars on Saturday, will open up the best-of-three Western Conference Finals in Phoenix at US Airways Center on Thursday at 8 p.m.

The Lynx will face the Phoenix Mercury, who swept the Los Angeles Sparks in their Western Conference Semifinals matchup. This series is a rematch of the 2013 Western Conference Finals which saw the Lynx sweep the Mercury, 2-0.

This season marks Minnesota’s fourth straight trip to the Conference Finals, previously reaching the WNBA Finals in each of the past three seasons.

— Reuters/Staff reports