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The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Area High Schools Boys Basketball Game Results

(Friday, February 06)

Doddridge County 49     Meadow Bridge 32

#2 Bridgeport 74     Grafton 45

Parkersburg South 77     Wheeling Park 47

#2 Bishop Donahue 61     #7 Notre Dame 52

#8 Ravenswood 62     Tyler Consolidated 29

Wood County Christian 62     Grace Christian 53

South Harrison 54     Clay-Battelle 47

►  Area High Schools Girls Basketball Game Results

(Friday, February 06)

#8 Gilmer County 53     Braxton County 48

Roane County 48     Calhoun County 24

Clay County 74     Webster County 31

Saint Marys 54     Ritchie County 43

Trinity 62     #9 Notre Dame 49

Lincoln 75     Grafton 42

George Washington 82     Parkersburg 77

Robert C. Byrd 35     Preston 33
Elkins 55     Philip Barbour 37

Wood County Christian 72     Grace Christian 49

<The Gilmer Free Press

►  NIT to experiment with rules changes

The 2015 National Invitation Tournament will be played under experimental rules designed to increase scoring and add player safety.

Each game in the tournament will be played with a 30-second shot clock and a four-foot restricted arc in the paint.

NCAA rules currently feature a 35-second shot clock, in place since the 1993-94 season, and a three-foot restricted arc that has been used since 2011-12.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee will collect the information from the NIT games and hope to have initial findings by the 2015 NCAA Tournament Final Four.

“The committee discussed both of these potential rule changes during its May 2014 meeting, knowing that the May 2015 meeting would be the committee’s next opportunity to make a change to either of these rules,“ said Rick Byrd, head men’s basketball coach at Belmont University and chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee.

“Although the committee will discuss a number of potential rules changes at the meeting, having specific data on these two rules should help the committee make a decision about whether such potential rule changes might further improve the flow and competitiveness of college basketball.“

Each of the coaches participating in the NIT will be asked to give their input to help the committee in its evaluation.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Clippers’ Paul critical of female official

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul was critical of the officiating in Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers after receiving a technical foul during the 105-94 loss.

There could be backlash from his comments because they were made about a female referee.

A total of five technical fouls were whistled against the Clippers during the contest and Paul commented negatively on the one he received, which happened to be assessed by rookie NBA official Lauren Holtkamp.

The Clippers tried to inbound the ball quickly after a Cleveland free throw early in the third quarter and Holtkamp stopped play. Paul questioned the decision and Holtkamp followed by calling the technical foul against the All- Star guard.

“There’s no way that can be a technical,“ said Paul after the game. “We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court. When we did that, she said, ‘Uh-uh, no.‘ I said, ‘Why uh-uh?‘ And she gave me a technical. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.“

Social media erupted with negative comments against Paul because of his use of the pronoun “her,“ indicating his remarks were sexist. Although, he may have instead been questioning her experience.

Either way, the NBA officials’ union was unhappy with Paul’s comments.

“The NBRA has carefully reviewed the calls made by Lauren Holtkamp and deems them fully justified,“ the union said in a statement Friday. “Furthermore, the NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. She belongs.“

Holtkamp is one of just two female officials in the league this season.

►  Nothin’ but Net: Paul, Clippers have problem

Chris Paul may find himself in some hot water Friday, but for a totally different reason than the one you’re probably expecting.

After getting a technical foul from referee Lauren Holtkamp on Thursday night, Paul was not pleased.

“There’s no way that can be a technical,“ said Paul after the game. “We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court. When we did that, she said, ‘Uh-uh, no.‘ I said, ‘Why uh-uh?‘ And she gave me a technical. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.“

Some among us are stirring up an issue, perceiving Paul’s use of the word “her” as sexist. Holtkamp is just one of two females referees in the NBA this season.

Let’s dismiss this notion immediately. Holtkamp is a woman, thus Paul’s use of the female pronoun, “her.“ How can it be sexist if Paul is using that describer for a woman? What would the outrage level be if he said “him”?

Paul’s point seemed to be more about Holtkamp’s rookie status in the league than her gender. The beginning of his quote indicated displeasure about the ridiculous nature of the technical foul or at least Paul’s perceived ridiculous nature of the technical foul.

There’s no feminist cause here and, despite my male status, I feel confident saying so. There are plenty of worthwhile causes involving discrimination against women, but assigning the correct pronoun to Holtkamp’s gender is not one of them.

Paul is going to get fined, but before the males among us deride the league for doing so, know why before your cotton Dockers get in a twist. A player can not publicly criticize an official, male or female. That’s why Paul will become poorer. It’s important everyone knows that before spouting ignorance like, “He didn’t do anything wrong.“

The Clippers were whistled for five technical fouls in Thursday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, which was much more of a rout than the final score of 105-94.

Paul got one, DeAndre Jordan got one, head coach Doc Rivers got one and Matt Barnes was the winner with two. He got ejected and didn’t like the calls against him, either.

A quick scan of the NBA leaders in technical fouls shows Barnes vaulted into a tie for first with 11. Blake Griffin is fourth with nine and Jordan is tied for fifth with seven. Paul has four now. Rivers even moved into the top 10 among coaches

They lead the league as a team with 58 T’s and that’s five more than anyone else.

There’s clearly an issue with temperament in LA.

Paul and Griffin are complainers. Show me a superstar who isn’t. Barnes is a supreme agitator prone to techs. They have a reputation and it’s earned. All 58 of those technicals weren’t bad calls.

Here’s the biggest problem for the Clippers - this problem won’t go away anytime soon. Paul and Barnes publicly criticized a member of the fraternity. That won’t be forgotten by the men and women in gray uniforms. And, yes, the referees are displeased.

“The NBRA has carefully reviewed the calls made by Lauren Holtkamp and deems them fully justified,“ National Basketball Referees Association General Counsel Lee Seham said in a statement.

“Furthermore, the NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. She belongs.“

Good luck getting a marginal call now, CP3.

The Clippers need to be more disciplined. There is an subconscious entitlement structure within the officials’ collective minds that gives preferential treatment to the stars. Paul and Griffin earned that. The rest of the group has earned nothing from the officials. They aren’t All-Stars, the Clippers aren’t a championship organization.

Falling apart to the tune of five technical fouls when you’re getting your brains beaten in on the court is not mature nor impressive. Complaining about it to the media following is also not professional and won’t stop the refs from blowing their whistles.

“It’s upon us to do a better job at trying to control our emotions,“ Barnes said. “But you can’t play this game at this level without emotion and without talking and without just being able to play. It’s tough.“

It is upon them.

The Clippers have to do a better job with containing their emotions, Paul included. Just don’t brand him a sexist for correct use of the English language.


- It was time to go for Jacque Vaughn. There was no improvement from his two- plus seasons. Orlando’s roster is not perfect, but there is impressive young talent. Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris comprise a great start. They need the big dog in the yard. None of those players represent such. That’s not Vaughn’s fault, but every season his roster improved and his record hasn’t.

- Brian Shaw, the next hottest seat in the show.

- I wouldn’t add to the All-Star rosters. There’s always going to be people left out. Adding more players won’t change that. If NBA commissioner Adam Silver made the rosters 15, than everyone would complain about the 16th guy not making it. Also, it would be a huge burden on the coach allotting anything close to fair playing time with a larger roster.

- Silver’s proposal of taking the six division winners, then the 10 best teams for the postseason, irrespective of conference, is interesting. If that format existed today, the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder would be in, the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat would be out. It’s not a terrible idea. I also don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. It’s two more teams getting in, not the most revolutionary, sweeping change.

- I’d be very careful about bringing Paul George back if I was Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers. If he’s 100%, and mentally ready to come back (mental angle is huge with that kind of gruesome injury), then he should. If the Pacers believe George could assist in a playoff push, that’s madness. The Pacers don’t want to “tank” the season, especially because they’re 3 1/2 games off the eighth seed and could be a tough out with George. However, adding a talented kid to the team’s equation could be very tantalizing for the future.

- Movie moment - Finally, finally getting back into a movie theater soon. Couldn’t be more excited to see ... “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.“ What’s he going to do out of water? I’m intrigued.

- TV moment - This Brian Williams story is going to end poorly for the NBC News anchor. Reports are surfacing, questioning the authenticity of anything he’s ever said. If it seems witch-huntish from Williams’ enemies, or enemies of NBC News, it’s not totally out of line for a newscaster to be completely forthright and honest in his or her information distribution. I like Williams, but honesty among newsmen is paramount.  ~~  Jim Brighters ~~

►  NBA Game Results

(Friday, February 06)

Final Score: Brooklyn 92, New York 88

Jarrett Jack scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Brooklyn Nets continue their strong recent play with a 92-88 decision over the New York Knicks at Barclays Center. Jack added eight assists and Brook Lopez compiled 22 points and nine rebounds in Brooklyn’s third straight victory, its longest win streak since a three-game run from Dec. 29-Jan. 2. Joe Johnson added 13 points, nine of which came in the final period as well, along with 11 rebounds in the triumph. The Knicks battled back from a 17-point second-quarter deficit to move in front early in the fourth, but struggled down the stretch to fall for the 11th time in 12 road outings. Carmelo Anthony finished with 21 points for New York but went just 6-of-23 from the floor. Jose Calderon and Thomas tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively, in the loss.

Final Score: Indiana 103, Cleveland 99

George Hill’s go-ahead four-point play with 1:26 remaining helped the Indiana Pacers to a 103-99 win over the Cavaliers on Friday night, snapping Cleveland’s 12-game winning streak. J.R. Smith sandwiched two triples around a pair of Hill free throws to get the Cavs within two, but Hill hit two game-clinching free throws with 3.7 seconds left. Hill posted 20 points and seven assists, while David West added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who have won four of their last six games. Kyrie Irving supplied 29 points and five assists and LeBron James provided 25 points, six boards and five assists for Cleveland, which was a win away from matching the franchise’s longest winning streak.

Final Score: Orlando 103, LA Lakers 97 (OT)

Tobias Harris scored a career-high 34 points to lead interim coach James Borrego and the Orlando Magic to a 103-97 overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Harris shot 14-of-18 and tallied seven rebounds. The Magic snapped a 10-game losing streak in Borrego’s coaching debut. Nikola Vucevic added 25 points and 13 rebounds. Victor Oladipo scored all 12 of his points after halftime and finished with 11 boards and five assists. Los Angeles lost for the 12th time in its last 13 games despite holding a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter. Ryan Kelly paced the Lakers with 20 points, and five other Lakers reached double figures, including Jordan Clarkson, Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin, who all had 14.

Final Score: Toronto 123, LA Clippers 107

The Toronto Raptors rallied from an early 20-point deficit and rolled to a lopsided 123-107 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers behind seven double digits scorers. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Kyle Lowry added 21 points in the rout. Lou Williams and James Johnson contributed 18 and 16 points, respectively, off the bench. Los Angeles dropped three in a row for the first time all season despite three players scoring 20-plus points. Blake Griffin totaled 26 points, Chris Paul checked in with 22 and Jamal Crawford netted 20.

Final Score: Atlanta 124, Golden State 116

The Atlanta Hawks staked a claim to the title of NBA’s best team by beating the Golden State Warriors at their own game. Behind a 15-of-27 effort from 3-point range, the high-flying Hawks sent the Warriors to a 124-116 defeat in an exciting showdown between the league’s conference leaders. Seven Atlanta players scored in double figures, with Jeff Teague leading a balanced and potent attack with 23 points. Kyle Korver paced the Hawks’ perimeter onslaught with five 3-pointers in a 17-point effort, while Mike Scott hit 3-of-3 attempts from beyond the arc while chipping in 17 big points of his own off the bench in Atlanta’s 21st victory in its last 22 games. Golden State got its usual big performances from the Splash Brothers duo of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, who combined for 55 points, but couldn’t quite match Atlanta’s long-range success.

Final Score: Boston 107, Philadelphia 96

Jared Sullinger had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 107-96 on Friday night. Avery Bradley netted 18 points and Tyler Zeller and Marcus Thornton added 16 points apiece off the bench for the Celtics, who have won three straight games. Luc Mbah a Moute tallied 18 points to lead Philadelphia, which has dropped three of its last four contests.

Final Score: Detroit 98, Denver 88

Greg Monroe’s career night fueled the Detroit Pistons to a 98-88 victory over the reeling Denver Nuggets on Friday. Monroe scored 21 points, pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds and helped limit the frontcourt of Jusuf Nurkic and Kenneth Faried on the defensive end. Monroe, D.J. Augustin and Andre Drummond all recorded double-doubles by the end of the third quarter as the Pistons built a 22-point lead that was trimmed to six in the final minute. Monroe and Augustin combined to shoot 8-for-8 from the foul line to close out Detroit’s third win in four games. Augustin finished with 22 points and 11 assists, Drummond donated 13 points and 13 rebounds and Jodie Meeks chipped in with 18 points off the bench. Ty Lawson totaled 20 points and nine assists for the Nuggets, who have dropped five straight and 12 of 13 overall.

Final Score: Houston 117, Milwaukee 111

James Harden scored a game-high 33 points as the Houston Rockets held off the Milwaukee Bucks 117-111 on Friday. Trevor Ariza finished with 24 points, six rebounds and three steals, Josh Smith supplied 14 points and 10 boards and Donatas Motiejunas netted 14 on 6-of-8 shooting for the Rockets, who have won six of their last seven games. Houston also improved to 5-1 since star center Dwight Howard suffered a right knee injury against the Suns on Jan. 23. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a career night as he set new highs with 27 points and 15 rebounds. Jerryd Bayless and Jorge Guiterrez each totaled 13 points for Milwaukee, which had its five-game winning streak come to an end.

Final Score: Minnesota 90, Memphis 89

Ricky Rubio scored eight points in the final two minutes of the game to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 90-89 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. Rubio finished with 17 points and five assists as Minnesota won two games in a row for the first time this season. Andrew Wiggins paced the Timberwolves with 18 points and Thaddeus Young chipped in with 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Memphis’ eight-game winning streak came to an end, falling one game shy of a franchise record. Marc Gasol, Jeff Green and Mike Conley all had 15 points to lead the Grizzlies. Zach Randolph was limited to six points on 3-of-7 shooting but finished with 10 boards.

Final Score: New Orleans 116, Oklahoma City 113

Anthony Davis hit a buzzer-beating 3- pointer to give the New Orleans Pelicans a thrilling 116-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. Davis finished with 41 points and 10 rebounds, Tyreke Evans had a triple-double with 22 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds and Ryan Anderson gave 17 points for the Pelicans, who avenged a loss at home on Wednesday to the Thunder to win for a third time in four games. Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 48 points with 11 assists and nine rebounds, Kevin Durant gave 27 points while Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams each had 10 for the Thunder, who had won their previous two.

Final Score: Phoenix 100, Utah 93

Marcus Morris had a career-high 34 points and 12 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Utah Jazz 100-93 on Friday night. Eric Bledsoe posted 15 points, six assists and four steals, while Markieff Morris added 12 points and eight boards for the Suns, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Gordon Hayward tallied 24 points, five rebounds and five assists and Derrick Favors supplied 20 points and five boards for Utah, which has dropped five of its last six contests.

Final Score: San Antonio 98, Miami 85

Friday’s game at AT&T Center may have been a rematch of the last two NBA Finals, but only the Spurs showed they are serious contenders this year. The Heat, meanwhile, are still searching for their identity amid an injury-ridden season. Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points, Tony Parker added 21 and San Antonio cruised to a 98-85 victory in an anticlimactic showdown of the past two NBA champions. Tim Duncan donated 10 points and 12 rebounds for San Antonio, which went 5-1 on a six-game homestand and gave head coach Gregg Popovich his 999th career victory. Luol Deng scored 17 points and Chris Bosh added 14 with seven rebounds for the Heat, who have dropped four of five games since Dwyane Wade began sitting out with a hamstring injury.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Royals avoid arbitration with Duffy

The Kansas City Royals and left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract on Friday.

The deal is for $2.425 million, according to

Duffy went 9-12 with a 2.53 ERA in 31 games (25 starts) for the Royals last year. He also appeared out of the bullpen in three postseason games, including two during the World Series against the Giants.

►  Rangers add OFs Schierholtz and Ludwick

The Texas Rangers have signed veteran outfielders Nate Schierholtz and Ryan Ludwick to minor-league contracts with invitations to spring training.

Schierholtz, 30, batted .195 with seven home runs for the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals in 2014, just a season after hitting a career-high 21 home runs with the Cubs.

In eight big-league seasons with the Giants, Phillies, Cubs and Nats, Schierholtz has batted .253 with 52 home runs in 799 games.

The 36-year-old Ludwick batted .244 with nine home runs in 112 games for the Cincinnati Reds last season.

Ludwick has played 12 seasons in the majors, including an earlier stint with the Rangers. For the Rangers, Indians, Cardinals, Padres, Pirates and Reds, he has hit 154 career home runs, including 37 with the Cardinals in his only All- Star season.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Friday, February 06)

Final Score: New Jersey 4, Toronto 1

Patrik Elias scored his 400th goal and the New Jersey Devils grabbed a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday. Jaromir Jagr, Tuomo Ruutu and Steve Bernier also scored for the Devils, who have won three straight and five of six. Cory Schneider stopped 33 shots in the win. Toronto has lost 11 consecutive games for the first time during its long history, surpassing a mark set from Jan. 15-Feb. 8, 1967. Tyler Bozak had the only goal of the game for the Maple Leafs, who have scored just 11 goals during their losing streak. James Reimer allowed all four goals on 17 shots.

Final Score: Washington 3, Anaheim 2 (OT)

Nicklas Backstrom netted the deciding goal in the shootout, and Washington snuck past Anaheim, 3-2, at Verizon Center. Jason Chimera and John Carlson scored in regulation while Evgeny Kuznetsov added two assists for the Capitals, winners of three straight games. Philipp Grubauer picked up his first NHL victory this season with 23 saves plus turning away two of three chances in the game’s final segment. Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry tallied for the Ducks, who had won their previous two. Ilya Bryzgalov made 32 stops but let two shots slip by in the shootout.

Final Score: Columbus 7, St. Louis 1

Nick Foligno posted two goals and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets ended the St. Louis Blues’ lengthy point streak with an emphatic 7-1 win on Friday. Ryan Johansen tallied a short-handed goal and two assists and Corey Tropp and Scott Hartnell each had a goal and a helper while Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson also scored for the Blue Jackets, who ended a three-game skid. Curtis McElhinney made 32 saves to help give the Blues their first regulation loss since Jan. 2. St. Louis entered the game with seven straight wins and was riding a franchise-long 13-game point streak (12-0-1). Paul Stastny supplied the Blues’ lone goal, Brian Elliott allowed four goals on 14 shots and Jake Allen stopped 16-of-19 shots in relief.

Final Score: Chicago 2, Winnipeg 1 (OT)

Brandon Saad’s strike with 1:59 left in overtime lifted Chicago over Winnipeg, 2-1, at MTS Centre. Patrick Kane added a goal and one assist for the Blackhawks, who beat their Central Division rivals for the first time in four meetings this season. Corey Crawford picked up the win thanks to 20 saves. Mark Scheifele tallied for the Jets, who have lost six in a row but have claimed a point in their last two defeats. Michael Hutchinson made 20 stops in defeat.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Calgary 0

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 21 shots for his eighth shutout of the season to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-0 win over the Calgary Flames. Fleury set a franchise record, as he surpassed Tom Barrasso’s shutout mark that was set in the 1997-98 season. Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist, while David Perron added a goal and an assist and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Penguins, who have won three of their last four. Chris Kunitz had three assists in the win. Jonas Hiller allowed all four goals on 24 shots for the Flames, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Karri Ramo stopped six shots after coming into the game a little over five minutes into the third period.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Serena, Venus lead U.S. in Fed Cup vs. Argentina

The United States will play in a Fed Cup World Group II Playoff against host Argentina this weekend, with Serena and Venus Williams leading the way for the heavily favored visitors.

Saturday’s opening singles in Buenos Aires will pit the former world No. 1 Venus against 121st-ranked Argentine Paula Ormaechea and the currently top- ranked Serena versus 197th-ranked Maria Irigoyen in this best-of-five affair.

The 19-time Grand Slam champ Serena is fresh off her title run at the Australian Open and also the reigning U.S. Open champ.

On Sunday on the red clay at Pilara Tennis Club, Serena is scheduled to meet Ormaechea and Venus will face Irigoyen and a doubles rubber has an American duo of Taylor Townsend and Coco Vandeweghe taking on an Argentine pairing of Tatiana Bua and Nadia Podoroska.

Teenage Aussie Open semifinalist Madison Keys and Varvara Lepchenko were selected for the U.S. team last week, but both opted out this week.

Team USA, captained by Mary Joe Fernandez, is trying to return to the World Group for 2016.

The Americans fell out of the World Group for just the second time since the current format was introduced back in 1995. They must defeat the Argentines then win another series in April to return to the top group next year.

The 33-year-old Serena last played in the Fed Cup in 2013, the previous time the U.S. needed to win to get back into the World Group. She’s a perfect 10-0 lifetime in Fed Cup singles.

The 11th-ranked 34-year-old Venus is 15-2 in her Fed Cup singles activity.

The 17-time champion Americans are 3-1 all-time versus Argentina in Fed Cup play.

►  Sharapova ready for Fed Cup against Poland

Australian Open runner-up and French Open champion Maria Sharapova will play some singles tennis in this weekend’s Fed Cup quarterfinal between her Russian squad and host Poland.

Saturday’s opening singles rubber will pit world No. 8 former Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska against two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, while the second match on Day 1 will have the world No. 2 former top-ranked Sharapova taking on Radwanska’s younger sister, Urszula, on an indoor hardcourt at Krakow Arena.

The five-time major champion Sharapova is 3-1 in her career Fed Cup singles matches, including a win in her last appearance against Spain in 2012.

Sunday’s reverse singles have Sharapova battling Agnieszka Radwanska and Kuznetsova facing Urszula Radwanska, while the potentially deciding doubles rubber pits a Russian tandem of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Vitalia Diatchenko versus a Polish duo of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Alicja Rosolska.

The Russians are captained by Anastasia Myskina, while Poland is guided by Tomasz Wiktorowski in this best-of-five tie.

The winner in Krakow will move on to face either Australia or Germany in a semifinal in April.

The four-time champion Russians and Poland have never met in Fed Cup play.

►  Germans set to meet Aussies in Fed Cup QF

A best-of-five Fed Cup quarterfinal tie between host Germany and Australia will be staged at Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena this weekend, with the Germans featuring two of the top-12 players in the world.

Saturday’s opening singles will pit 10th-ranked Angelique Kerber against Jarmila Gajdosova and world No. 12 Andrea Petkovic versus former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur of Australia.

Sunday’s reverse singles have Kerber taking on Stosur and Petkovic facing Gajdosova, while the Day 2 doubles rubber has a German team of former Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges opposing an Aussie tandem of Stosur and Casey Dellacqua.

The Germans are captained by Barbara Rittner, while Alicia Molik guides Australia.

The winner in Stuttgart will face either Russia or Poland in a semifinal in April.

The seven-time Fed Cup champion Aussies are 8-5 all-time versus the two-time winner Germany, but the Germans have won two of their last three meetings.

Germany was last year’s Fed Cup runner-up to the Czech Republic.

►  Errani will open for Italy against France

This week’s Fed Cup quarterfinal between host Italy and France will get underway Saturday with a singles bout between former French Open runner-up Sara Errani and Caroline Garcia.

Errani-Garcia will be followed by a rubber between the hosts’ Camila Giorgi and Alize Cornet.

On Sunday on the indoor red clay at 105 Stadium, reverse singles will pit Errani against Cornet and Giorgi versus Garcia, while a potentially deciding doubles affairs has Karin Knapp and Roberta Vinci taking on a French duo of Kristina Mladenovic and Pauline Parmentier.

The winner of this best-of-five battle will meet the Canada-Czech Republic victor in the semifinals in April.

Team Italy is captained by Corrado Barazzutti, while the French are guided by Andy Murray’s coach, former world No. 1 woman Amelie Mauresmo.

The Italians are seeking their fifth Fed Cup title in 10 years. The French own two championships, with their last one coming in 2003.

France is 6-3 all-time versus Italy, but the Italians have won the last three meetings.

►  Pliskova will open for Czechs against Canada

Rising star Karolina Pliskova will play in Saturday’s opening singles rubber in the best-of-five Fed Cup quarterfinal between the reigning champion Czech Republic and host Canada.

The world No. 22 Pliskova will take on 18-year-old Canadian Francoise Abanda, followed by a bout between Czech Tereza Smitkova and Gabriela Dabrowski.

Sunday’s reverse singles pit Pliskova against Dabrowski and Smitkova versus Abanda, while the potentially deciding doubles rubber has a Czech tandem of Lucie Hradecka and Denisa Allertova taking on a Canadian duo of Dabrowski and Sharon Fichman on an indoor hardcourt at PEPS. The No. 134 Fichman is the highest-ranked Canadian on the hosts’ roster this weekend.

The Czechs are playing without world No. 4 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, while Canada will have to do without seventh-ranked Wimbledon runner-up Genie Bouchard.

The Czechs are captained by Petr Pala, while the Canadians are led by Sylvain Bruneau.

The three-time champion Czech Republic beat Germany in last year’s final to capture its third Fed Cup title in four years.

The Czechs are 2-0 all-time versus Canada and 5-0 if you include their results as the former Czechoslovakia.

The winner in Quebec City mill move on to face either France or Italy in April’s semifinals.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Derby Trial renamed to honor Pat Day and moved

Churchill Downs announced Friday that the historic Derby Trial has been renamed to honor Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day and will be run on the Kentucky Derby program.

Churchill Downs’ spring meeting begins Saturday, April 25 and will have 38 days of racing concluding on Saturday, June 27. The meet is highlighted by the 141st running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, May 01 and the 141st $2 million Kentucky Derby at 1 1/4 miles on Saturday, May 02.

The Derby Trial was the traditional opening day stakes, but will now be known as the $200,000 Pat Day Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Day won a record 2,482 races at the track, including 156 stakes, from 1980-2005.

“There’s no better way for Churchill Downs to show its appreciation and honor Pat Day - a legendary jockey, great ambassador of horse racing, pillar in the Louisville community and a man known for his devout faith - than to pay tribute with a race named in his honor on Kentucky Derby Day, America’s greatest day of racing,“ said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “We’re thrilled to salute one of our most beloved individuals and role models.“

The new opening day feature will be the six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, $100,000 William Walker, which is named to honor the riding great from the 19th century who is best known for guiding Dan Swigert’s Baden-Baden to a two- length victory in the 1877 Kentucky Derby at the age of 17 for eventual Hall of Fame trainer Edward Dudley Brown.

“We’ve been kicking around the idea of moving the Derby Trial to Kentucky Derby Day for a couple of years now because the race is clearly not a significant step to the Derby anymore with the way horsemen train their horses today,“ said Ben Huffman, Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Director of Racing and Racing Secretary.

“A sprint for 3-year-olds is really the only stakes category that we don’t have covered on Oaks and Derby Days,“ Huffman said. “We think horsemen will appreciate this spot for sprinting 3-year-olds.“

The two featured stakes for older thoroughbreds during the meeting will both be conducted on Saturday, June 13, the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at 1 1/8 miles for older colts and geldings, and the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Woods hurts back again, withdraws from Farmers

Tiger Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open after 11 holes on Thursday because of a back injury.

Woods, who had been grimacing throughout the round, pulled out of the tournament on the No. 3 green at Torrey Pines’ North Course, which was his 12th hole.

His tee time was delayed because of fog, which returned later to further delay action with just the first couple of groups on the course.

Woods was in the midst of his warmup session when the second fog delay hit.

It was the third time in his last eight official PGA Tour starts that he withdrew because of an injury.

Woods was out of action for three months in 2014 after having back surgery.

“It’s just my glutes are shutting off. Then they don’t activate and then, hence, it goes into my lower back,“ Woods explained. “So I tried to activate my glutes as best I could, in between, but it just they never stayed activated.“

Woods, who has won the tournament seven times, hit a poor chip shot to open his round with a bogey at No. 10. After a poor tee shot on No. 11, he came up well short with his second and missed the green with his third but chipped in to save par.

He blocked his tee shot well right at the 12th and chipped to about 10 feet, then two-putted for a bogey. It was on that tee shot that Woods first showed signs of the apparent injury.

Woods scrambled for par on the next three holes, then hit his second shot at the 16th about six feet from the hole and drained the birdie putt to get back to 1-over par.

He parred the next two holes, then had another wait on the first tee. Woods poured in a birdie try from over 20 feet at No. 1 to get back to even-par.

But he made a mess of the second hole. He blasted a chip over the green, came up short with his next chip and after reaching the green with his fourth shot, two-putted for double-bogey. He found the green with his tee ball at the par-3 third, but withdrew before hitting his putt.

►  Nicholas Thompson leads by 1 at Torrey Pines

Nicholas Thompson fired an 8-under 64 on Thursday and he led by one stroke when the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open was suspended due to darkness.

Thompson, who has never won on the PGA Tour, is coming off a missed cut last week in Phoenix.

Michael Thompson, who is no relation to the leader, is one stroke back at minus-7. Last week’s Phoenix Open winner Brooks Koepka opened with a 6-under 66. He was joined in third place by Cameron Tringale.

Ian Poulter, Chad Campbell, Freddie Jacobson, Jhonattan Vegas, Brendon de Jonge and Chris Kirk share fifth place at minus-5.

Play for the first two rounds is spread over the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines. The final two rounds will be played on the South Course.

There were a pair of fog delays that lasted two hours, 29 minutes. The start of the round was delayed an hour, then shortly after the round began, the fog rolled back in and play was halted again. The first round will resume at 11:30 AM ET on Friday with the second round starting as scheduled at noon.

Tiger Woods, a seven-time winner of this event, withdrew after 11 holes due to stiff back. He was 2-over par at the time.

Woods stumbled out of the gate with bogeys at 10 and 12, and after his tee shot on 12 began wincing in pain. He scrambled to three pars in a row from the 13th. Woods carded his first birdie at the 16th.

Around the turn, he birdied the par-5 first to get back to even-par for his round. However, he made a mess of No. 2. Woods flew the green with his short second shot, then left his third short of the green. He chipped on, but 2- putted for double-bogey.

Woods hit the green with his tee ball at the par-3 third of the North Course, but never putted.

“It’s just my glutes are shutting off. Then they don’t activate and then, hence, it goes into my lower back,“ Woods explained. “So I tried to activate my glutes as best I could, in between, but it just they never stayed activated.“

Phil Mickelson, who has won this event three times, stood at 1-over par through 15 holes when play was called for the day. Dustin Johnson, who was making his first tour start since last year’s Canadian Open, stood at plus-2 with one hole to play in his first round on the South Course at Torrey Pines.

Nicholas Thompson got off to a flying start as he made eagle on the par-5 first on the North Course. He came right back with a birdie on the second.

The 33-year-old stayed at minus-3 as he ran off six consecutive pars from the third. Thompson climbed to 5-under thanks to birdies at nine and 10.

After stumbling to a bogey on the par-3 12th, Thompson poured in three consecutive birdies to jump into the lead at minus-7. He capped his round with a birdie at the par-5 18th.

“I played a really good round. I missed maybe one or two fairways, I think I missed only one green and hit a lot of good golf shots. Even the shots that were played safe, I hit them to the right spots,“ Thompson stated. “I had a lot of good looks. I didn’t make many long putts, I made a 20-footer on the first for eagle. After that, I had a lot of good opportunities.“

Michael Thompson started with birdies at the first and second, but he followed with a bogey on the third. He erased that mistake with a birdie at No. 3.

The 2013 Honda Classic winner also birdied the ninth and 10th. He moved to minus-5 with a birdie at 14. Thompson moved within a shot of the lead with birdies at 17 and 18.

NOTES: Nicholas Thompson is the older brother of LPGA star Lexi Thompson ... Nicholas matched his career low round on the PGA Tour ... Defending champion Scott Stallings posted a 2-under 70 on the North Course ... Of the players that finished, there were three bogey-free rounds.

►  Canizares joins Westwood atop leaderboard in Malaysia

Alejandro Canizares fired a second-round, 7-under 65 on Friday and he joined first-round co-leader Lee Westwood atop the leaderboard at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Canizares and Westwood (67), the defending champion, finished 36 holes at 11- under-par 133 and the duo leads by three shots heading into the weekend. Canizares has two career wins on the European tour, with his last one coming at last year’s Trophee Hassan II. Westwood, a 23-time winner on tour, has not won since rolling to a 7-shot victory at this event last season.

The next closest competitor to Canizares and Westwood is Bernd Wiesberger, who has three top-10 finishes in three events so far this season. Wiesberger carded a 6-under 66 on day two at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, putting him alone in third at 8-under 136.

Peter Lawrie also shot a 66, while Paul Waring fired a 68 and they are tied for fourth at 7-under 137. Richard Lee (69) and Richard Bland (70) are one shot further back at minus-6.

Graeme McDowell, who shared the first-round lead with Westwood, struggled in the middle of his round en route to a 1-over 73. McDowell is alone in eighth at 5-under 139.

Canizares, who shot the low round of the day with his 65, went bogey free in his round. The Spaniard started off strong with a birdie at the par-4 first hole before rolling in three straight pars from No. 2. Canizares drained two more birdies on his front nine at five and eight to go along with pars on six, seven and nine.

The 32-year-old started the back nine the same way he did the front nine, with a birdie on No. 10, putting Canizares at 4-under for the day. After rattling off four straight pars from No. 11, Canizares closed his round on fire by making three gains over his final four holes on 15, 16 and 18. The birdie at the last pulled Canizares even with Westwood, who had held the outright lead throughout the majority of his round.

“It was a lot of fun and I played really well,“ said Canizares. “I wasn’t so good off the tee today, but I putted really well. I made some great up-and- downs when I missed a shot, and I’m very happy overall. I can’t wait for the weekend. It will be a lot of fun.“

Westwood was rather slow out of the gate, but a solid back nine kept him tied for the lead at the end of the day. Westwood began with a trio of pars from one before he traded a birdie on four for a bogey on five. His second birdie on No. 7 had Westwood back in red numbers and he made the turn at 1-under following pars on eight and nine.

The 41-year-old Englishman was flawless on the back nine. Westwood was able to stagger four birdies over his final nine holes on 10, 13, 16 and 18 to finish off his 5-under 67.

“I played nicely again,“ Westwood said. “It was pretty solid again and I probably only hit one poor shot all day ... Other than that it was very good and I felt very comfortable out there. I hit a lot of fairways and some good iron shots and made some nice putts.“

Wiesberger, who enjoyed his trip to the desert and grabbed three top-10 finishes in the process the last three weeks, started on the back nine first. A bogey on 11 was Wiesberger’s only dropped shot of the day as he finished up his front side with birdies on 12, 14 and 16.

Wiesberger drained four more birdies on the front nine, his back, including three over his final four holes.

NOTES: Prior to winning this event last year, Westwood had not won since the 2012 Nordea Masters ... Canizares’ other win came all the way back in 2006 at the Russian Open ... Wiesberger played in the final group on the last day of last year’s PGA Championship. He wound up finishing tied for 15th ... Gregory Bourdy and Jake Higginbottom both made hole-in-ones on the par-3 15th a day after Waring did it on the same hole in round one ... Chapchai Nirat and Eddie Pepperell both withdrew from the tournament on Friday ... With the cut falling at 2-over 146, 74 players advanced to play the weekend.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Steelers RB Bell gets 15 months of probation for pot

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was admitted into a program for first-time offenders Friday morning that could lead to the dismissal of drug charges stemming from an incident last summer.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Bell was admitted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time, non-violent offenders after appearing before Common Pleas Judge Robert C. Gallo.

Under the terms of the program, Bell must abstain from drugs and alcohol, complete any recommended treatment, pay a $100 fee and court costs and complete a safe driving class. In addition, his driver’s license will be suspended for 60 days.

Bell was pulled over by Ross Township Police in Pittsburgh on August 20, 2014, when an officer said the car smelled of marijuana. Former teammate LeGarrette Blount was also in the car.

Bell was charged with possession of marijuana and driving under the influence.

Blount was released by the Steelers and signed with New England in November. His marijuana charge was dismissed last week after he completed 50 hours of community service in Boston.

After rushing for 860 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie in 2013, Bell carried the ball 290 times for 1,361 yards and eight scores in 2014. He also led the NFL in running back receiving yards with 854 on 83 receptions with three touchdowns.

Bell will now likely face an NFL suspension. The new substance-abuse policy calls for a two-game suspension for players found legally responsible for driving under the influence.

►  Super Bowl Scuffle: Seahawks, Pats fined

Members of the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots were reportedly fined for their roles in the end zone scuffle at the conclusion of last Sunday’s Super Bowl.

As the Patriots were trying to run out the clock following the game-clinching interception by New England’s Malcolm Butler, the teams became embroiled in a skirmish that featured Seattle’s Bruce Irvin and New England’s Rob Gronkowski.

Irvin, according to, was fined $10,000 and teammate Michael Bennett was slapped with a penalty of $8,268 for their actions. Gronkowski, who pleaded his case on the late-night talk-show circuit this week, was fined $8,268, as was teammate Michael Hoomanawanui.

The Gilmer Free Press

ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary

National Basketball Association
Chicago at New Orleans, 7:00 PM - WGN, FS-New Orleans, NBA TV
Brooklyn at Washington, 7:00 PM - YES, CSN-DC, DSS
Golden State at New York, 7:30 PM - CSN-Bay, MSG, DSS
Charlotte at Philadelphia, 7:30 PM - SportSouth, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Portland at Dallas, 8:30 PM - CSN-Northwest, FS-Southwest, DSS
Boston at Milwaukee, 8:30 PM - CSN-New England, FS-Wisconsin, DSS
Sacramento at Utah, 9:00 PM - CSN-California, ROOT-Northwest, DSS
National Hockey League
NY Rangers at Nashville, 3:00 PM - MSG, FS-Tennessee, DSS
Los Angeles at Tampa Bay, 5:00 PM - FS-West, SunSports, DSS
NY Islanders at Boston, 7:00 PM - MSG+2, NESN, NHL Network, DSS
Dallas at Buffalo, 7:00 PM - FS-Southwest+, MSG-Buffalo, DSS
Edmonton at Toronto, 7:00 PM - CBC, DSS
New Jersey at Montreal, 7:00 PM - MSG+, TVA, DSS
Columbus at Ottawa, 7:00 PM - FS-Ohio, SNET, DSS
Colorado at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - Altitude, FS-North, DSS
Detroit at Arizona, 8:00 PM - FS-Detroit, Arizona, DSS
Pittsburgh at Vancouver, 10:00 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, CBC, DSS
Carolina at San Jose, 10:30 PM - FS-Carolina, CSN-California, DSS
College Basketball
Marquette at Seton Hall, 12:00 PM - CBSSN
Creighton at St Johns, 12:00 PM - MASN2, MSG, ROOT-Rocky Mountain
Illinois at Michigan State, 12:00 PM - ESPN
Wake Forest at Georgia Tech, 12:00 PM - YES, ROOT-Northwest, Pittsburgh, FSN
Baylor at West Virginia, 12:00 PM - ESPN U
Delaware at Northeastern, 12:00 PM - CSN-New England, Philadelphia, Chicago
Tennessee at Georgia, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
South Dakota St at IUPUI, 1:00 PM - HTSN,
Notre Dame at Duke, 1:00 PM - CBS
Providence at Xavier, 1:00 PM - FS1
Temple at Memphis, 1:00 PM - ESPNews
Texas-Arlington at Louisiana, 2:00 PM - ESPN 2
Georgetown at Villanova, 2:00 PM - FOX
Wyoming at Air Force, 2:00 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain
VA Commonwealth at St Bonaventure, 2:00 PM - NBCSN
Illinois State at Southern Ill, 2:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, FS-Midwest,
Texas Tech at Iowa State, 2:00 PM - ESPN U
Kansas at Oklahoma State, 2:00 PM - ESPN
James Madison at Towson, 2:00 PM - CSN-MidAtlantic, New England, Phil, Chi+
Wright State at Cleveland State, 2:00 PM - SportsTime Ohio,
Army at Navy, 2:00 PM - CBSSN
American Univ at Colgate, 2:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Western Mich at Central Mich, 2:00 PM -
Purdue at Minnesota, 3:00 PM - Big Ten Network
South Dakota at North Dakota St, 3:00 PM - MeTV
North Carolina at Boston College, 3:00 PM - ACC Network
Florida State at Virginia Tech, 3:00 PM - RSN, ACC Network
Oklahoma at TCU, 3:00 PM - ESPNews
USC Upstate at Kennesaw St, 3:00 PM -
DePaul at Butler, 3:30 PM - FS1
Fla Gulf Coast at Stetson, 3:30 PM -
New Orleans at Central Arkansas, 3:30 PM -
Texas at Kansas State, 4:00 PM - ESPN
UNLV at Colorado State, 4:00 PM - CBSSN
Indiana State at Loyola-Chicago, 4:00 PM - CSN-Chicago,
South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 4:00 PM - FS-Florida, Detroit+, SportSouth
Miss State at Arkansas, 4:00 PM - SEC Network
BYU at Loyola Marymount, 4:00 PM - ROOT-Northwest, Rocky Mountain, CSN-Cal
George Mason at Saint Josephs, 4:00 PM - MASN
Saint Louis at Fordham, 4:00 PM - NBCSN
Mercer at Furman, 4:00 PM -
Syracuse at Pittsburgh, 4:00 PM - ESPN 2
Nebraska at Penn State, 4:00 PM - ESPN U
Chattanooga at Western Carolina, 4:30 PM - SoCon Digital Network
Arizona at Arizona State, 4:30 PM - FOX
Drexel at Coll of Charleston, 5:00 PM - MyTV
UCF at East Carolina, 5:00 PM -
Texas-El Paso at FIU, 5:30 PM - American Sports Network
Northwestern at Wisconsin, 5:30 PM - Big Ten Network
Alabama at LSU, 6:00 PM - ESPN 2
Texas A&M at Missouri, 6:00 PM - ESPN U
Connecticut at Tulane, 6:00 PM - CBSSN
Nevada at San Jose St, 6:00 PM - Mountain West Network
Princeton at Cornell, 6:00 PM - Ivy League Digital Network
Utah State at New Mexico, 6:00 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain, Southwest
Ole Miss at Auburn, 6:30 PM - SEC Network
Lehigh at Loyola-Maryland, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Duquesne at Davidson, 7:00 PM - Atlantic 10 Network, Time Warner Sports, TCN
Harvard at Yale, 7:00 PM - Ivy League Digital Network
Louisville at Virginia, 7:00 PM - ESPN
Vermont at Stony Brook, 7:00 PM -
UC Irvine at Long Beach State, 7:00 PM -
Charlotte at Old Dominion, 7:00 PM - COX Cable
Oral Roberts at IUPU-Ft Wayne, 7:00 PM - PBS39
Lipscomb at Northern Ky, 7:00 PM -
Buffalo at Akron, 7:00 PM -
New Mexico State at UMKC, 7:05 PM - KSMO,
UCLA at California, 8:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
William & Mary at UNC-Wilmington, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network
SMU at Tulsa, 8:00 PM - ESPN U
Bowling Green at Northern Ill, 8:00 PM -
Drake at Northern Iowa, 8:00 PM - CSN-Chicago,
Rice at Western Ky, 8:00 PM - FCS, WKU PBS, WBNA
South Florida at Cincinnati, 8:00 PM - CBSSN
Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network, MASN
Missouri State at Wichita State, 8:00 PM - ESPN 2
Lamar at Incarnate Word, 8:30 PM -
Kentucky at Florida, 9:00 PM - ESPN
Hawaii at UC Santa Barbara, 10:00 PM - ESPN U
Utah at Colorado, 10:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Grand Canyon at CS-Bakersfield, 10:30 PM - MASN, American Sports Net, CSN-CHI+
Gonzaga at San Francisco, 11:30 PM - ESPN 2
Women’s College Basketball
Temple at Tulane, 12:00 PM - American Network
USC Upstate at Kennesaw State, 12:00 PM -
New Orleans at Central Arkansas, 1:00 PM -
Florida Gulf Coast at Stetson, 1:00 PM -
Bowling Green at Buffalo, 2:00 PM -
Ill-Chicago at Youngstown State, 2:00 PM -
Valparaiso at Wright State, 2:00 PM -
Cleveland State at Green Bay, 2:00 PM -
UNC Greensboro at Mercer, 2:00 PM -
Jacksonville at North Florida, 2:00 PM -
Tulsa at Houston, 3:00 PM -
Kansas State at Oklahoma, 3:00 PM - FS-South, Southwest
Connecticut at Memphis, 3:30 PM - SNY,
Lipscomb at Northern Kentucky, 4:00 PM -
Akron at Northern Illinois, 6:00 PM -
Yale at Harvard, 6:00 PM -
Lamar at Incarnate Word, 6:00 PM -
Cincinnati at South Florida, 7:00 PM - American Network
Columbia at Penn, 7:00 PM -
Coastal Carolina at Liberty, 7:00 PM -
Oklahoma State at Kansas, 8:00 PM - Jayhawk TV,
College Hockey
Wisconsin at Penn State, 2:00 PM - American Sports Network
Miami-Ohio vs. Western Michigan, 4:00 PM - FS-Ohio, Detroit, Wisconsin, SD
Niagara at RIT, 7:00 PM - Time Warner Sports
Notre Dame at Maine, 7:00 PM - FCS
Connecticut at Providence, 7:00 PM - OSN
Michigan vs. Michigan State, 8:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Ohio State at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - FS-North+, SportsTime Ohio
National Lacrosse League
Buffalo at Calgary, 9:00 PM -
Westchester at Maine, 7:00 PM - MSG2
International Soccer
Tottenham vs. Arsenal, 7:45 AM - NBCSN
Club Atletico de Madrid vs. Real Madrid CF, 9:55 AM - beIN Sports
Aston Villa vs. Chelsea, 10:00 AM - NBCSN
Wigan Athletic FC vs. AFC Bournemouth, 11:55 AM - beIN Sports
Everton vs. Liverpool, 12:30 PM - NBC
Juventus vs. AC Milan, 2:40 PM - beIN Sports
EUROPEAN - Malaysian Open, 6:00 AM - Golf Channel
PGA - Farmers Insurance Open, 1:00 PM - Golf Channel
PGA - Farmers Insurance Open, 3:00 PM - CBS
LPGA - Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, 3:00 PM - Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Allianz Championship, 5:00 PM - Golf Channel
Fed Cup - Poland vs. Russia, 6:00 AM - Tennis Channel
Fed Cup - USA vs. Argentina, 8:30 AM - Tennis Channel
ATP - Zagreb, 8:30 AM - Tennis Channel
ATP - Montpellier, 8:30 AM - Tennis Channel
Horse Racing
Withers Stakes, 3:30 PM - TVG
San Antonio Stakes, Donn Handicap, 5:30 PM - FS1
Robert Lewis Stakes, 6:30 PM - TVG
Track and Field
Balance Indoor Grand Prix, 6:00 PM - NBCSN

Falls Church High’s Eric Rivera Signs with Glenville State College

Student accepts a four-year college scholarship Wednesday to college in West Virginia

Eric Rivera didn’t grow up tossing the ball around. He wasn’t wearing a jersey as a young child, he wasn’t being taught a three-point stance or a run block. He didn’t have the team experience. However that all changed after he came to his future high school’s Activities Fair. He stepped into the Falls Church High School gymnasium that night, with coaches lined left and right. He walked around the room and listened to all the different teams and clubs he could get involved with. He also met the head football coach, Said Aziz, who still remembers that day he saw this tall eighth grade student walk up to his table.

The Gilmer Free Press
Eric Rivera and his father at Eric’s signing ceremony, with Coach Said Aziz.

That day started a long journey of growth, of friendships, of hard work, and of success. Eric was immediately a strong member of the program. He was a standout—he hustled day in and day out, a leader by example. He became a critical part of the team—playing on the offensive and defensive lines. Eric Rivera was a star defensive end and tackle.

In his junior year, in a game against Edison HS, he made a dive for a fumbled ball and landed on his elbow—dislocating his shoulder. Surgery was required. Eric was surrounded by support despite such a difficult time. He had the surgery the night of the Bell Game, just a few weeks later and the road to recovery was already being laid.

Eric not only recovered but again became a leader. As a football player (and also as a wrestler—Eric competed in the 220 heavyweight class), Eric was right back out there making plays. He was also a leader in the pre-season work. He broke the school record in the weight room for best hang clear—hitting 280 pounds.

Eric’s work did not go unnoticed. Colleges started visiting. His parents were proud—Eric would be the first in his family to go on to college. On February 4th—the National Signing Day—Eric signed his four year scholarship paperwork with Glenville State in West Virginia. His father was present with him, along with head football coach Said Aziz and the rest of the Jaguar football coaches and head wrestling coach Dustin Payne. Each coach had kind words to share and look forward to what this incredible student-athlete will continue to do at the collegiate level. The Falls Church High School staff are extremely proud of him and wish this Jaguar all the best as he continues his success in college.

~~  Falls Church Patch ~~

Sports News   150206

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Athletes Sign with GSC in National Signing Day

•  Chandler Carrera - Charlottesville, VA

•  Jonathan Peterson - Point Pleasent, WV

•  Eric Rivera-Mejia - Falls Church, VA

•  Deonte White - Baltimore, MD

•  Antonio Williams Jr. - Pineville, NC

•  Thomas Bales III - Lake Gibson, FL

•  Noah Zentz - Haymarket, VA

•  Austin Ratliff - Glenville, WV

•  Jonathan Burkes

•  Tyrell Davis - Charleston, WV

•  Gage Harvey - Man, WV

•  Anthony Mayes - Summersville, WV

•  DeShawn McLaughlin - Norflok, VA

•  Anthony Milord - Pembroke Pine, FL

•  Keshann Cuffee - Chesapeake, VA

•  Antoine Hunt Jr. - Chesapeake, VA

•  Clifford St. Louis - Naples, FL

•  Prince Thomas - Lake Gibson, FL

•  Kquadre Corbin - Virginia Beach, VA

•  Samuel Thomas - Woodbridge, VA

•  Colton Campbell - Hyattsville, MD

•  Barry Deaton - Independence, KY

•  Christia Nelson - Woodbridge, VA

►  WV Athletes Participate in National Signing Day

•  GSC Football - Austin Ratliff – Glenville, Gilmer County

•  WVU Football - Stone Wolfley - Morgantown

•  WVU Soccer - Amanda Saymon - Bridgeport

•  California University of Pennsylvania Football - Jarrod Kellar - Lincoln

•  Concord Football - Justin Noble - Robert C. Byrd

•  ABU Soccer - Chaz Rodeheaver - Robert C. Byrd

•  WVU Tech Baseball - Kurt Latocha - Clay-Battelle

•  Concord Football - Garrett Cain - Morgantown

•  West Liberty Football - Dylan Anderson - Morgantown

•  Charleston Football - Daniel McAllister - Morgantown

•  Oxford College of Emory Soccer - Karina Collins - Morgantown

•  Allegheny Football - Tyler Stouffer - University

•  Lake Erie Lacrosse - Mac Fall - University

•  WV Wesleyan Soccer - Kelly Jones - University

•  ABU Football - Austin Benson – Lincoln

►  Athletes Sign with WVU in National Signing Day

Name Pos.  Ht.  Wt.  Hometown High School/Last School

•  Jacquez Adams ATH 6-0 170 Reisterstown, MD Franklin

•  Jordan Adams CB 6-1 175 Reisterstown, MD Franklin

•  *Kyle Bosch OL 6-5 303 St. Charles, IL Michigan

•  *Chris Chugunov QB 6-1 200 Skillman, NJ Montgomery

•  Tyrek Cole CB 5-10 160 Hallandale, FL Miramar

•  Rasul Douglas DB 6-2 197 East Orange, NJ Nassau CC

•  Rob Dowdy OL 6-6 270 Westerville, Ohio Westerville South

•  Jovon Durante WR 6-1 160 Hollywood, FL Miramar

•  *Michael Ferns TE/FB 6-3 239 St. Clairsville, Ohio Michigan

•  *Larry Jefferson DE 6-5 230 College Park, GA Itawamba CC

•  Gary Jennings WR 6-2 195 Stafford, VA Colonial Forge

•  Matt Jones OL 6-3 325 Hubbard, Ohio Hubbard

•  Deamonte Lindsay S 6-1 190 Martinsburg, WV Martinsburg

•  David Long LB 6-0 205 Cincinnati, Ohio Winton Woods

•  Colton McKivitz OL 6-7 275 Jacobsburg, Ohio Union Local

•  Xavier Pegues DE 6-3 285 Oxford, MS Itawamba CC

•  Jah’Shaun Seider OL 6-3 285 Belle Glade, FL Glades Central

•  Alec Shriner DL 6-3 290 Oviedo, FL Oviedo

•  Adam Shuler II DL 6-5 250 Longwood, FL Lyman

•  *David Sills V QB 6-3 180 Elkton, MD Eastern Christian

•  Ka’Raun White WR 6-2 200 Macungie, PA Lackawanna College

•  Kevin Williams S 6-0 185 Pompano Beach, FL Blanche Ely

•  Stone Wolfley TE/FB 6-4 240 Morgantown, WV Morgantown

*Enrolled in January 2015

►  Herd Signs 25 in 2015 Recruiting Class

Marshall University Head Coach Doc Holliday has announced the Thundering Herd’s 2015 football recruiting class. The group features 25 student-athletes and includes six student-athletes who are already enrolled at Marshall.

“We’re where we want to be,” said Holliday of the recruiting effort by the MU staff. “We’re excited, and we’ve gotten some really good players. It’s all good.

“We’re heading into our sixth class here and it’s a class where we went out and targeted what we had to have and we met those needs and I like this class. We’ve had about five straight classes that have been excellent.”

Marshall has 17 of its 25 signees ranked as three-star prospects by Rivals, Scout or 247Sports – or some combination of the three. Rivals ranks it as the top class in Conference USA and, as usual, among the best in the Group of Five.

Below are biographical capsules on each Marshall newcomer:

Hakeem Bailey
S, 6-1, 180
Pebblebrook High School
Mableton, GA
Recruited by: Chris Barclay
Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Had offers from Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ohio, Temple and Toledo … Had four interceptions and two forced fumbles for Pebblebrook (2-8) … Also scored one touchdown on special teams and three touchdowns on offense … Plans to major in sports management.

Levi Brown
OL, 6-4, 275
Heard County High School
Franklin, GA
Recruited by: Alex Mirabal
Rated a three-star prospect by Scout and 247Sports … Had offers from Coastal Carolina, Elon and Georgia State … Helped Heard County run for 3,771 yards and 43 touchdowns on 532 carries and throw for 1,017 yards and nine touchdowns on 60-of-131 passing with his blocking … Had 28 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick on defense … Helped Heard County (7-6) advance to the third round of the Class AA state playoffs earned All-State first-team honors from The Associated Press and Atlanta Journal Constitution … Runs the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds … Bench presses 280 pounds and squats 505 pounds … Plans to major in physical therapy.

Emanuel Byrd
TE, 6-3, 225
Georgia Military College
Albany, GA
Recruited by: Chris Barclay
Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals … Enrolled at Marshall in January … Played at quarterback and tight end in 2014 for GMC … Completed 3-of-4 passes for 83 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions … Had 15 carries for 22 yards and 15 catches for 263 yards and three touchdowns … Played quarterback in 2013 for GMC … Completed 16-of-35 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns with one interception … Also had 36 carries for 116 yards and one touchdown … Was a four-year starter at quarterback at Albany High School … Was a three-sport athlete at Albany (football, basketball and track) … Advanced to the state track meet in the high jump … Majoring in sports management.

Leron Carn
WR, 6-3, 215
Woodland High School
Dorchester, SC
Recruited by: Mike Furrey
Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Received interest from Georgia, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Tennessee … Had 47 catches for 978 yards and 14 touchdowns … Scored five more touchdowns on defense and two more touchdowns on special teams … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds … Bench presses 280 pounds, power cleans 275 pounds and squats 315 pounds … Averages a double-double in points and rebounds for Woodland’s basketball team … Plans to major in sports medicine or physical therapy.

Marquis Couch
OLB, 6-2, 215
Miami Central High School
Miami, Florida
Recruited by: Alex Mirabal
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals and Scout … Was the first member of the Thundering Herd’s 2015 recruiting class, committing to Marshall on February 18 … Enrolled in January … Received interest from Kentucky and Louisville … Recorded 56 tackles, eight sacks and three fumble recoveries during his senior season … Helped Miami Central win three consecutive Class 6A state titles … Bench presses 255 pounds and squats 325 pounds … Majoring in business or finance.

George Davis
OLB, 6’3, 185
Fort Myers High School
Fort Myers, Florida
Recruited by: Adam Fuller
Received interest from Cincinnati, Florida International, Indiana, North Carolina State and Western Kentucky … Played both outside linebacker and wide receiver at Fort Myers High School … As a senior, had 67 tackles, three sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception … Also had seven catches for 238 yards and three more scores on offense and five kick returns for 205 yards to lead Fort Myers (12-1) to the third round of the Class 7A state playoffs … Named all-conference and all-SWFL … As a sophomore he played in eight games and had five catches for 50 yards, 16 tackles on defense with an interception and forced fumble.

Von Davis
S, 6-0, 175
Mount Dora High School
Mount Dora, Florida
Recruited by: Sean Cronin
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Ranked the No. 78 cornerback in America by Rivals … Had offers from Arizona, Cincinnati, FAU, FIU, Georgia Southern, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Mississippi State and Wisconsin … Made 59 tackles as a free safety in 2014 season, but is projected as a cornerback for the Herd … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds … Has a 33-inch vertical … Bench presses 230 pounds and squats 405 pounds … Plans to major in education.

Damien Dozier
DE, 6-4, 215
Virginia Episcopal School
Raleigh, NC
Recruited by: J.C. Price
Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports … Enrolled at Marshall in January … Had offers from Campbell, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Delaware State, Maine, Virginia and Virginia Tech (early commit) … Could not play his senior season because it was his ninth semester of high school, and North Carolina High School Athletic Association rules allow players only eight semesters of eligibility … Spent a year at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg and had to reclassify upon returning to Enloe … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds … Bench presses 280 pounds and squats 385 pounds.

Larry Dunnon
WR, 6-4, 200
Palm Beach Central High School
Greenacres, Florida
Recruited by: Alex Mirabal
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Had 10 carries for 151 yards and one touchdown along with 11 catches for 134 yards and one touchdown, although those totals do not include one regular-season game that was not reported to the local newspaper … Helped Palm Beach Central (7-4) advance to the Class 8A state playoffs.

Raylen Elzy
WR, 6-4, 198
Georgia Sports Prep Academy
Stone Mountain, GA
Recruited by: Chris Barclay
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals … Spent the fall semester at Atlanta Sports Academy … Enrolled at Marshall in January … Had 20 catches for 376 yards and four touchdowns in eight games for Atlanta Sports Academy (9-6) … Was a two-sport athlete at Stephenson High School, graduating in 2014 … Received interest from Coastal Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Southern and Georgia State … Also attracted attention from Florida State, Stanford, Tennessee and Virginia as a baseball prospect (catcher and pitcher) … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds … Majoring in education.

Keivonte Gallmon
WR, 6-4, 213
Chickasaw High School
Chickasaw, AL
Recruited by: Chris Barclay
Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals … Had offers from Kentucky, Troy and Southern Miss … Had 48 catches for 1,110 yards and 16 touchdowns along with 12 carries for 171 yards and two scores for Chickasaw (4-7) … Transferred from Godby High School in Tallahassee, Florida … Is a four-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball and track) … Plans to major in business.

Doyle Grimes
OLB, 6-2, 210
South Dade High School
Homestead, Florida
Recruited by: Alex Mirabal
Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports … Had offers from Akron, Alcorn State, Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic, FIU, Syracuse and Indiana … Rated the No. 114 outside linebacker in the nation by 247Sports … Had 104 tackles and three forced for South Dade (8-3) … Returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown and a fumble 79 yards for a touchdown … Originally committed to Syracuse in July.

Channing Hames
DE, 6-5, 255
St. Frances Academy
Baltimore, MD
Recruited by: J.C. Price
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports … Ranked the No. 30 overall prospect in Maryland by Rivals … Had scholarship offers from Boston College, Charlotte, Connecticut, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Purdue, Temple, Virginia, Wake Forest and West Virginia … Had 47 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and six sacks for St. Frances … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds … Bench presses 285 pounds and squats 475 pounds … Plans to major in family studies or marketing.

Antonio Howard
CB, 5-10, 163
Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School
Hialeah, Florida
Recruited by: Alex Mirabal
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Decommitted from West Virginia and committed to Marshall on the final weekend before Signing Day … Had offers from UCF, Akron, Alcorn State, Cincinnati, FAU, FIU, Georgia Southern, Kentucky, Miami, Pittsburgh, USF, Syracuse, Temple, Utah State and West Virginia … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds … Has a 33-inch vertical … Bench presses 275 pounds and squats 300 pounds … Father played for Coach Holliday at West Virginia.

Jason Jean
OL, 6-4, 275
Miami Central High School
Miami, Florida
Recruited by: Alex Mirabal
Rated a two-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Had an offer from FIU … Helped Miami Central run 3,306 yards and 41 touchdowns and throw for 1,810 yards and 19 scores with his blocking … Helped Miami Central win two of its three consecutive Class 6A state titles … Bench presses 385 pounds … Plans to major in engineering.

Roosevelt Lawrence
DB, 5-10, 159
Alonso High School
Tampa, Florida
Recruited by: Adam Fuller
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Had offers from South Alabama, Western Michigan and Wisconsin … Had 33 carries for 410 yards and three touchdowns in only five games for Alonso … Had 19 tackles, two fumble recoveries, one interception and one blocked kick … Returned a punt for a touchdown.

Chase Litton
QB, 6-6, 212
Wharton High School
Tampa, Florida
Recruited by: Adam Fuller
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports as a Class of 2014 prospect … Committed to USF last year, but did not sign with the Bulls … Had offers from Marshall, Massachusetts and Tulane as a Class of 2015 recruit and FAU, FIU, LSU, USF, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan as a Class of 2014 recruit … Enrolled at Marshall in January … Threw for 54 touchdowns and ran for 10 scores during a senior season in which he accumulated more than 2,500 total yards … Threw for almost 8,000 yards during his four-year career at Wharton … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds … Bench presses 235 pounds and squats 400 pounds … Majoring in sports journalism.

Alex Locklear
OL, 6-5, 290
Spring Valley High School
Huntington, WV
Recruited by: Bill Legg and Alex Mirabal
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Had offers from James Madison, Holy Cross and William & Mary … Also received interest from Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Duke, Missouri, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wake Forest … Missed nine of Spring Valley’s 11 games after suffering a season-ending knee injury … Helped Spring Valley gain more than 750 totals yards in only two games with his blocking … Runs the 40-yard dash in 5.25 seconds … Bench presses 285 pounds and squats 425 pounds … Plans to major in pre-med biology or chemistry.

Latrell Nieves
WR, 6-0, 168
Colleton County High School
Walterboro, SC
Recruited by: Mike Furrey
Rated a three-star prospect by Scout and 247Sports … Had offers from East Carolina, South Carolina State and Virginia … Played in only three games during his senior season because of an injury, but still scored five touchdowns … Had 48 catches for 890 yards and seven touchdowns during his junior season, which was his first year playing the sport … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds … Plans to major in business and music.

Reggie Rogers
WR, 6-1, 190
Washington High School
Massillon, Ohio
Recruited by: Bill Legg
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Ranked as the No. 53 overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals … Had offers from Akron, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Rutgers, Toledo and Western Michigan … Had 38 catches for 594 yards and three touchdowns along with 15 carries for 147 yards, 10 kickoff returns for 237 yards and four punt returns for 10 yards to help Washington (7-4) advance to the Division II state playoffs … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds … Plans to major in communications.

Devontre’a Tyler
LB, 6-2, 238
Iowa Central Community College
DeSoto County High School
Arcadia, Florida
Recruited by: Adam Fuller
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds … Had a vertical leap of 34 inches … Also offered by Appalachian State, Bowling Green, Idaho, South Alabama and North Texas … Had 75 tackles (29 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss and three pass breakups last season at Iowa Central Community College…Voted team’s most valuable linebacker … Cousin of fellow signee Ty Tyler … Originally a Class of 2013 prospect.

Ty Tyler
DE, 6-3, 231
Charlotte High School
Punta Gorda, Florida
Recruited by: Adam Fuller
Rated a three-star prospect by Scout and 247Sports … Had offers from UAB, Coastal Carolina, South Alabama and Toledo … Had 63 tackles, eight sacks, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two blocked punts and one blocked field goal … Led Charlotte (7-4) to the second round of the Class 7A state playoffs … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds … Bench presses 295 pounds and squats 415 pounds … Has a 34-inch vertical jump … Is a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and weightlifting) … Plans to major in education.

Simino Walden
WR, 5-8, 150
Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School
Hialeah, Florida
Recruited by: Alex Mirabal
Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds … Primarily a running back as a senior, rushing for 596 yards on 48 carries with six touchdowns, but also caught seven passes for 116 yards and two more scores … Had one interception on defense and had an 88-yard kickoff return for touchdown … Played in the fifth annual Miami Dolphins Dade-Broward All-Star Game … Also a track athlete, posting a 11.04 100-meter dash and a 23.21 200-meter dash as a junior.

Delvin Weems
RB, 5-8, 195
Tucker (GA) High School
Tucker, GA
Recruited by: Chris Barclay
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … Had offers from Cincinnati, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Memphis, Old Dominion and Samford … Ran 144 times for 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns … Transferred from Sandy Creek High School, where he played with current Marshall quarterback Cole Garvin … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds … Bench presses 345 pounds and squats 435 pounds … Has a 34-inch vertical … Plans to major in sports marketing.

Reese Wooten
WR, 6-1, 170
Milford Academy (NY)
Cairo, GA
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals … Already enrolled at Marshall … Spent the fall semester at Milford Academy in New Berlin, NY … Received interest from Troy … Had 20 catches for 300 yards and two touchdowns along with 19 tackles and two interceptions in 2013 to lead Cairo (7-4) to the Class 4A state playoffs … Runs the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds … Bench presses 235 pounds and squats 350 pounds … Was a three-sport athlete at Cairo, where he played guard for the basketball team and participated in the 200-meter dash, 400-meter relay and 1,600-meter relay for the track and field team.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Area High Schools Boys Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, February 05)

#5 Gilmer County 66     Parkersburg Catholic 47

Calhoun County 70     South Harrison 50

Webster County 65     Braxton County 52

Saint Marys 70     Ritchie County 53

Williamstown 68     Wirt County 50

#8 Lincoln 61     Grafton 59

East Fairmont 66     Liberty 45

Parkersburg 73     George Washington 64, OT

Buckhannon-Upshur vs. Lewis County   -  Postponed

Clay County vs. Roane County   -  Postponed

Philip Barbour vs. Elkins   -  Postponed

Robert C. Byrd vs. Preston   -  Postponed

►  Area High Schools Girls Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, February 05)

#8 Ravenswood 64     Tyler Consolidated 46

Lewis County vs. Buckhannon-Upshur   -  Postponed

The Gilmer Free Press

►  MEC Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, February 05)

Notre Dame 87, Shepherd 86 | Final Stats

Will Vorhees’ jumper with five seconds left lifted Notre Dame to an 87-86 win over Shepherd on Thursday night at Murphy Gymnasium. 

The Falcons had trailed Shepherd by as many as 12 points in the second half before battling back. The two teams traded the lead four times in the final 1:09, with Vorhees’ shot being the difference for NDC. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field and combined for 23 three-pointers.

All five starters reached double figures for NDC (12-10, 8-8), led by 24 points by Kyauta Taylor. Lawrence DeArmond poured in 19, Vorhees finished with 17, Tyree Gaiter scored 12 and Oliver Megins added 11.

Steffen Davis led Shepherd (12-10, 7-9) with 24 points. Austin Cunningham and A.J. Carr each scored 17, and Morgan McDonald had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

West Virginia Wesleyan 56, Charleston 53 | Final Stats

West Virginia Wesleyan held off a late Charleston rally and defeated the Golden Eagles, 56-53, on Thursday night at the Rockefeller Center.

The Bobcats (9-13, 7-9) won despite not making a field goal in the final four minutes of the game, but did enough from the free throw line (12-of-19) during that stretch to pick up the win. WVWC held UC to just 36 percent shooting from the field in the game.

Chris Dewberry scored 12 points and Tanner McGrew had 11 points and a game-high 17 rebounds for the Bobcats. 

Chris Evans led the Golden Eagles (15-7, 10-6) with 17 points.

Glenville State 99, West Virginia State 90 | Final Stats

Donte Morales scored 26 and Sedric Nady added 22 more as Glenville State earned a 99-90 win over West Virginia State on Thursday night at the Waco Center.

The Pioneers (17-5, 13-3) shot 59 percent from the field and hit 15 three-pointers in the victory. Reggie Williams added 18 points and Juwan Wells came off the bench to contribute 15 points.

Markee Mazyck had 27 points and Dimitrios Jelen-Joy scored 22 more to for West Virginia State (3-20, 3-12).

Fairmont State 94, Urbana 86 | Final Stats

A 12-0 run midway through the second half broke open a close game for Fairmont State as the Falcons downed Urbana, 94-86, on Thursday night at the Grimes Center.

The Blue Knights led by five at halftime, but Fairmont State started quickly in the second half. The Falcons tied the game on three different occasions in the first four minutes, but then finally broke free with the 12-0 run and picked up its eighth-straight win.

Jamel Morris poured in 30 points to lead FSU (16-6, 13-3). Nick Harney (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Thomas Wimbush (14 points, 12 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles. Chase Morgan added 18 points for the Falcons.

Urbana (5-17, 2-14) was led by 22 points from Matt Csuhran. Carlas Jackson had 16 points, and Myles Busby and Ognjen Rebic each scored 15.

No. 10 West Liberty 99, Concord 71 | Final Stats

West Liberty shot 54 percent and forced 20 turnovers as the Hilltoppers picked up a 99-71 win over Concord on Thursday night at the ASRC.

Zac Grossenbacher had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead West Liberty (19-2, 14-2). Seger Bonifant added 16 points for the ‘Toppers.

Concord (14-7, 10-6) was led by 17 points from Aaron Miller. Rob Reed added 15 points for the Mountain Lions, and Terry Hopewell and Jametrius Wade each scored 11.

Wheeling Jesuit 108, UVa-Wise 78 | Final Stats

Wheeling Jesuit earned a convincing 108-78 win over UVa-Wise on Thursday night at the McDonough Center.

The Cardinals (12-8, 8-7) shot 58 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Cavs by 16, 43-27. WJU had six players reach double figures led by 22 points from Pat Moseh. Justin Fritts scored 15 and Chase Lawson and Haywood Highsmith each had 12.

UVa-Wise (1-20, 0-16) was paced by 14 points from Matt Day. Philip Owens and Oliver Thompson each had 12.

►  MEC Women’s Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, February 05)

Charleston 60, West Virginia Wesleyan 52 | Final Stats

Kiara Johnson scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to help Charleston to a 60-52 win over West Virginia Wesleyan on Thursday night at the Rockefeller Center.

With the win, Charleston improved to 17-5 overall and 12-4 in the MEC. The Bobcats fell to 2-17 overall and 2-14 in league play.

Monet Saunders scored 10 points and had nine rebounds, and Nichole Perry scored 12 points to help the Golden Eagles to victory.

WVWC was led by 23 points from Mari Stewart. Adrian Cunningham and Allyson Friermuth each added 11 points.

Shepherd 72, Notre Dame 61 | Final Stats

Shepherd allowed just two field goals over the final 10 minutes to turn a six-point deficit into a 72-61 win over Notre Dame on Monday night at Murphy Gymnasium.

Shepherd led 36-31 at the break, but Notre Dame rallied in the second half and eventually pulled ahead 55-49 with 10:50 to go. The Rams held NDC to just six point the rest of the way to pick up the victory.

Rachel Johnson led SU (15-7, 12-4) with 17 points and four assists. Cara Mason contributed 16 points and five assists, and Briana Vaden finished with 13.

Notre Dame was paced by 17 points from Martha Nagbe. Lauren Langenderfer added 11 points for the Falcons.

Glenville State 77, West Virginia State 63 | Final Stats

Glenville State built a double-digit first half lead it would not relinquish in a 77-63 win over West Virginia State on Thursday night at the Waco Center.

The Pioneers (11-9, 9-7) were led by 20 points from Keyanna Tate and 15 from Katrina Salins. 

Ashley Current had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets (6-14, 4-11). Shealyn Shafer had nine points and 10 rebounds.

West Liberty 98, Concord 61 | Final Stats

Liz Flowers scored 27 points and Kailee Howe dished out a MEC record 17 assists as the Hilltoppers delivered a 98-61 win over Concord on Thursday night at the ASRC.

WLU (15-7, 12-4) shot 60 percent from the field in the game. Flowers had nine rebounds to go with her scoring outburst, and Howe finished with 12 points. Jenn Mohney hit four three-pointers and finished with 18 points off the bench, and Hillary Southworth scored 16 points.

Rachel Artrip added a double-double (25 points, 10 rebounds) for Concord (6-14, 6-10).

Wheeling Jesuit 85, UVa-Wise 56 | Final Stats

Wheeling Jesuit shot 72 percent from the field in the second half as the Cardinals picked up an 85-56 win on Thursday night at the McDonough Center.

WJU (12-7, 9-6) finished shooting 63.6 percent from the field in the game making 35-of-55, including 10-of-16 from the three-point line. Jaila Bryant led the Cards with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting and seven assists, while Breana Butler scored 17 points. 

Blair Harding led UVa-Wise (8-14, 7-9) with 20 points. Taylor Sandidge contributed 11 points.

Fairmont State 86, Urbana 69 | Final Stats

Hallie Gunnoe scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Fairmont State defeated Urbana, 86-69, on Thursday night at the Grimes Center.

In addition to Gunnoe, Emily Lohr scored 20 points and had four assists for the Falcons (18-4, 12-4). 

Kennedy Boggs scored 25 points and Brittany Atkinson chipped in 15 points to lead Urbana (1-21, 1-15).

<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Thursday, February 05)

Final Score: Cincinnati 62, (23) SMU 54

Jermaine Sanders scored 15 points and Farad Cobb added 14 off the bench to help Cincinnati to a 62-54 road victory over No. 23 SMU on Thursday night. Sanders also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and Troy Caupain also supplied 14 points for the Bearcats (16-6, 7-3 AAC), who have won five of their last six. Cincinnati took a 56-50 win over SMU at home on Jan. 3. Cannen Cunningham paced the Mustangs (18-5, 9-2) with 14 points and Sterling Brown had 12. Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy were held to 15 points combined on 4-of-17 shooting, with Moore going 1-for-8 from the floor in the setback. SMU was denied its ninth straight win, which would have been its first nine-game run since 1997-98.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Vaughn out as Magic coach

The Orlando Magic fired head coach Jacque Vaughn on Thursday.

Orlando is just 15-37 this season and mired in a 10-game losing streak. The move comes after a 110-103 loss Wednesday at San Antonio.

Assistant James Borrego has been named the interim head coach.

Vaughn posted a record of 58-158 since taking over the position for the 2012-13 season. The Magic finished 20-62 in Vaughn’s first year and 23-59 last season.

“I would like to thank Mr. DeVos and family for the opportunity of representing the Orlando Magic as head coach,“ said Vaughn in a statement Thursday. “I am a stronger and wiser man and coach because of the opportunity. I look forward to seeing this group continue to grow.“

A 12-year NBA veteran, Vaughn was named Magic head coach on July 28, 2012 after Stan Van Gundy was fired following successful five-year tenure. The Magic reached the playoffs during each of Van Gundy’s seasons.

Vaughn played for the Magic during the 2002-03 season. He spent two years as an assistant with San Antonio before earning his first head coaching job with Orlando at the age of 37—at the time becoming the second-youngest head coach in the NBA.

“Jacque has been a trusted friend and colleague,“ said Magic general manager Rob Hennigan in a statement. “We thank him immensely for his contributions and sacrifices in bringing our team to this point, and we greatly appreciate his unwavering commitment to our organization. We have tremendous respect for Jacque and certainly wish him the best as he embarks on the next phase of his career.“

Borrego is in his third season with the Magic after two years as an assistant with New Orleans. He was also an assistant with San Antonio from 2003-10 when Vaughn played with the Spurs.

►  NBA Game Results

(Thursday, February 05)

Final Score: Charlotte 94, Washington 87

Gerald Henderson scored 27 points on an efficient 10-of-15 shooting to lead the Charlotte Hornets to a 94-87 win over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night. Brian Roberts scored all 12 of his points in the second half for the Hornets, who overcame an 11-point deficit late in the third to win their third straight game, including back-to-back games against Washington. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Lance Stephenson and Jason Maxiell each posted 11 points in the win, with Maxiell blocking a career-high seven shots. The Wizards have dropped five straight games for the first time since they closed the 2012-13 season with six straight losses. Paul Pierce paced Washington with 19 points and John Wall registered 15 points with 13 assists in the loss. Wizards guard Bradley Beal left the game after just 11 minutes of action with soreness in his right big toe.

Final Score: Cleveland 105, LA Clippers 94

Kevin Love had 24 points and nine rebounds, LeBron James added 23 points and nine assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers routed the Los Angeles Clippers 105-94 for their 12th straight win. J.R. Smith hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points and Timofey Mozgov supplied 12 points and nine boards for the Cavs, who led by as many as 32. Blake Griffin posted 16 points and eight rebounds, while Chris Paul provided 10 points and nine assists for Los Angeles, which has dropped three of its last four games on the heels of a six-game winning streak.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Tigers DH Victor Martinez has torn meniscus

The Detroit Tigers announced Thursday that designated hitter Victor Martinez tore the medial meniscus in his left knee during workouts last week.

Martinez will have surgery next Tuesday with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Florida. An additional update will be given at that time.

The injury was revealed after Martinez underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday.

Martinez, who signed a four-year, $68 million contract in November, earned his fifth All-Star nod in 2014 after hitting .335 with 32 home runs, 33 doubles and 103 RBI in 151 games. He also won his second Silver Slugger award last season.

This is the second time Martinez has suffered a serious offseason knee injury as a Tiger. In 2012 he tore his left ACL in offseason conditioning and missed that entire season.

►  Red Sox, Miley agree to contract extension

The Boston Red Sox signed left-handed pitcher Wade Miley to a three-year contract extension on Thursday with a club option for 2018.

The deal is worth $19.25 million, according to a tweet by O’Connell Sports, the agency that represents Miley.

Miley, 28, was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in an offseason trade that sent right-handed pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster and infielder Raymel Flores to Arizona.

In four seasons with the Diamondbacks, Miley owns a 38-35 record in 106 games (102 starts) totaling 638 2/3 innings with a 3.79 ERA. He was an All-Star in 2012 and finished second to Bryce Harper in Rookie of the Year voting.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top Shelf: Rumors swirling around Kane

The Winnipeg Jets have gone down this road with Evander Kane before, but the club may be serious this time.

The rumor mill is starting to churn up Kane’s name as a potential trade target, and with the NHL trade deadline less than a month away, the embattled forward could finally be shipped out of Winnipeg.

It was only this past summer when we last heard whispers of Kane’s departure from the Jets, but nothing materialized. However, recent reports out of Winnipeg suggest Kane could be back on the trading block and there are reasons to believe the latest rumors are for real.

On Thursday morning, Darren Dreger of TSN reported the Jets are listening to teams calling about Kane. Shortly after, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN joined Dreger by saying his sources were reporting the same thing.

If true, Kane could be the biggest name available before this year’s trade deadline, which is set for March 2.

It’s no secret things haven’t gone well for Kane since he hit his high water mark with a 30-goal season in 2011-12, Winnipeg’s first season after relocating from Atlanta. But at only 23 years of age, he could still fetch a high price on the trade market.

Several teams could be interested in taking a flier on Kane, but there are a few factors that could make it difficult to actually get a deal done.

First and foremost is Kane’s contract, which he signed in the offseason following his 30-goal season. Winnipeg bet that Kane’s 2011-12 campaign was just a glimmer of great things to come and the team tried to lock the youngster up for what they believed would be a discount price of $30 million over six seasons.

Obviously, it hasn’t worked out that way as Kane, the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft, has battled injuries and seen his production dip since his breakout season. He has managed to pot only 46 goals in 148 games since the start of the lockout-shortened campaign of 2012-13 and Kane only has 10 goals and 22 points over 37 games this season.

The second issue is the frequent rumors of Kane’s questionable attitude. The most famous example came a few months after Kane signed his lucrative deal when the winger posted a picture to his Twitter feed showing him using a stack of $100 bills as a phone, a la Floyd Mayweather.

It always seemed to me that Kane’s Mayweather moment was much ado about nothing, but there is no question the timing of the photo was ill-advised considering it came in the waning days of the lockout when both sides involved in the labor squabble were trying to paint the other as greedy. Kane, however, was only 21 at the time and probably thought the photo was funny. Chalk it up to immaturity.

The latest rumor about Kane sounds more innocent than the money incident, but it also suggests he still has some growing up to do.

Kane was reportedly scratched from Tuesday’s game in his hometown of Vancouver for failing to follow team dress code rules. Although some folks originally reported he was taken out of the lineup due to an injury, according to the Winnipeg Free Press the scratch stemmed from Kane showing up to a team meeting in sweat pants instead of a suit.

It doesn’t seem like a major infraction, but it’s possible Kane could have been deliberately flouting head coach Paul Maurice’s rules. Then again, it may have been an honest mistake. Either way, the incident does little to alter Kane’s reputation as a guy who can’t stay on the same page as his teammates.

Back in September, fellow Jets forward Blake Wheeler made waves when he said Kane “needs to step up and be a leader on our team.“ Only the people inside the locker room know if Kane has actually tried to take Wheeler’s advice, but the embattled player’s poor performance on the ice and the recent reports of his issues following team rules suggest he has not.

And some folks are suggesting there is much more to the reports of Kane’s clashes with his team. Renaud Lavoie of TVA sports tweeted that the dress code violation was just “the tip of the iceberg.“ It would make sense for the Jets not to divulge everything going on behind closed doors, especially if they are seriously thinking about trading Kane.

Between his annual salary cap hit of $5.25 million and rumors of poor off-ice behavior, the Jets may find it difficult to get a big return if they decide to deal Kane. But at this point, they may simply take what they can get and be rid of a player who may be more trouble than he’s worth.

The tricky part is getting another team to believe Kane’s behavior would change if he was shipped elsewhere. It wouldn’t be impossible to sell people on Kane’s positives, particularly as we get closer to the deadline when teams could resort to desperate measures for a chance to improve their club.

The good news for the Jets is that despite another down season by Kane, the team is currently in line to make the postseason for the first time since the franchise relocated from Atlanta.

There is a distinct possibility Winnipeg could be giving up on Kane too soon, but if the team feels his attitude is hurting the club’s chemistry during a playoff run, then trading him is worth the risk.

►  NHL Game Results

(Thursday, February 05)

Final Score: St. Louis 3, Buffalo 0

Jake Allen made 23 saves for his third shutout of the season and the St. Louis Blues beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Thursday. It was Allen’s fourth career shutout and first since he posted two in a row early in the season. In their seventh straight win, the Blues got goals from Dmitrij Jaskin, Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz. They extended their point streak to 13 games. The Sabres lost for the 15th time in their last 16 games despite 27 saves from Jonas Enroth.

Final Score: NY Islanders 3, Philadelphia 2 (SO)

Cal Clutterbuck tied the game late in the second period and then scored in the seventh round of the shootout to lift the New York Islanders over the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, on Thursday. Mikhail Grabovski also lit the lamp in the second stanza for the Islanders, who snapped a three-game skid. Jaroslav Halak stopped 16-of-18 shots. Nick Schultz and Chris VandeVelde scored for the Flyers, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Steve Mason made 28 saves.

Final Score: Washington 2, Ottawa 1

Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal to lift the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Evgeny Kuznetsov also lit the lamp and Braden Holtby continued his stellar play in between the pipes by making 25 saves for the Capitals, who were coming off a 4-0 win over the Kings on Tuesday. Kyle Turris supplied the lone offense for Ottawa, which was unable to come up with a win on defenseman Chris Phillips’ milestone night. Phillips set the franchise record for most games played by skating in his 1,179th contest on Thursday, surpassing former captain Daniel Alfredsson, who was present for the pre-game ceremony. Robin Lehner stopped 27-of-29 shots in his fourth straight start in place of an injured Craig Anderson.

Final Score: Florida 3, Los Angeles 2

Brandon Pirri scored for a fourth consecutive game, lifting the Florida Panthers to a come-from-behind win. Pirri’s goal 16:55 into the third period gave the Panthers a 3-2 victory over the struggling Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. He scored after collecting a loose puck in the left circle with three Kings players in the vicinity. It came after Nick Bjugstad tied the game 7:26 into the third period and secured a win for Roberto Luongo, who made 29 saves. Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers, who have won two in a row and three of their last five games. The Kings fell to 0-3 on a five-game road trip and have dropped nine of their last 10 on the road (1-7-2). They have lost 10 of their last 12 overall (2-6-4).

Final Score: Anaheim 5, Nashville 2

Jakob Silfverberg scored twice and the Anaheim Ducks put the brakes on the Nashville Predators’ franchise-best nine- game home winning streak with a 5-2 victory on Thursday. The teams entered the game tied atop the NHL standings with 72 points apiece. Sami Vatanen, Matt Beleskey and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, who won despite not having captain Ryan Getzlaf in the lineup. Getzlaf aggravated a lower-body injury during warmups. Frederik Andersen made 44 saves for Anaheim, which improved to 15-6-3 on the road this season. James Neal and Colin Wilson lit the lamp for the Predators, who lost at home for the first time since Dec. 6. Pekka Rinne stopped 21-of-25 shots in his return to the lineup. He missed eight games with a knee injury.

Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Dallas 3

In a matchup of the NHL’s highest-scoring teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning delivered a win. Tyler Johnson scored two third-period goals, including the game-winner as the Lightning ended their four-game road losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov also scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves in the win. Dallas erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 but never led in its second straight loss. Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 28 shots. The Stars received their offense from their defensemen as John Klingberg, Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley lit the lamp in defeat.

Final Score: Detroit 3, Colorado 0

Petr Mrazek made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and the streaking Detroit Red Wings scored two empty-net goals in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. Justin Abdelkader’s power-play goal in the second period was the only one the Red Wings needed to pick up their eighth win in nine games. They got two more after Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater with around 3:05 left in the game—a tactic the Hall of Fame former goaltender is known for. Darren Helm scored about 30 seconds later and Luke Glendening added another empty-net goal in the final minute to wrap things up. Mrazek had 12 saves in the first period, nine in the second and secured his third career shutout with seven stops in the third. Varlamov made 26 saves for the Avalanche, who had a two-game winning streak stopped.

Final Score: Carolina 2, Arizona 1 (SO)

Elias Lindholm scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday. Lindholm, Carolina’s first shooter, moved the puck from his backhand to forehand and beat a sprawled Mike Smith with a well-placed wrister. The Coyotes were unable to score in the skills competition as Lucas Lessio and Antoine Vermette each hit the post and Sam Gagner lost control of the puck. Victor Rask lit the lamp in regulation and Cam Ward made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who ended a three-game skid. David Moss provided Arizona’s lone marker, Keith Yandle extended his point streak to five games with an assist and Smith turned aside 39 shots in defeat.

Final Score: San Jose 5, Vancouver 1

Antti Niemi backed a strong offensive effort with 33 saves in the San Jose Sharks’ 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. Niemi stopped nine shots in the first period, 12 in the second and 12 in the third to improve to 6-0-2 over his last eight starts. Matt Irwin, Joe Pavelski, Melker Karlsson and Andrew Desjardins all scored, Chris Tierney posted his first NHL goal and Logan Couture and Brent Burns each tallied two assists as the Sharks bounced back from a 3-1 loss in Calgary on Wednesday. Radim Vrbata provided a late goal and Ryan Miller allowed all five goals on 38 shots for the Canucks, who won their previous two matchups with the Sharks this season.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Classy Class to challenge favored El Kabeir in Withers

Local stakes winner El Kabeir, trained by John Terranova, has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $250,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct.

The 1 1/16-mile stakes, with a field of seven 3-year-olds, is a prep for Aqueduct’s $1 million Wood Memorial on April 4 and is worth 10 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby points system.

Owned by Zayat Stables, El Kabeir will start from the far outside post in the Withers with jockey C. C. Lopez getting his second ride aboard the gray colt,

Last month Lopez guided El Kabeir for the first time and the pair posted a 4 3/4-length victory in Aqueduct’s $200,000 Jerome Stakes.

“Physically he’s getting stronger, but he’s also maturing mentally,“ said Terranova. “He rated off the pace (in the Jerome) and he relaxed beautifully. Earlier in his career, he wouldn’t do that, but he just needed to grow up. Based on his performance to date and the way he’s gone forward, I expect a big effort from him. He’s a determined racehorse, both mentally and physically focused.“

The 3-year-old has won half of his six career starts for $388,892. The colt broke his maiden by 10 3/4 lengths in his second start last August 30 at Saratoga and was fourth over a sloppy track in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on October 04.

El Kabeir finished second in Aqueduct’s Nashua Stakes on November 02 in the mud, but came back on November 29 at Churchill Downs to post a head victory in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

El Kabeir currently has 21 points, tied with International Star, for first- place in the system that decides the starting field of 20 for the Run for the Roses on May 02.

Getting the nod as the 2-1 second choice is lightly raced Classy Class, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. The colt, owned by Cheyenne Stables, has drawn the inside post with Irad Ortiz Jr. reacquiring the mount.

Ortiz was aboard when Classy Class won by four lengths on October 25 at Belmont Park in the colt’s debut. McLaughlin saddled Classy Class for the 1 1/8-mile Remsen Stakes on November 29 at Aqueduct. Javier Castellano was aboard when the colt finished fourth after pressing the pace.

“We absolutely think he wants two turns,“ said McLaughlin’s assistant, Arthur Magnuson. “(The Remsen) was only his second start; we went from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles - that’s a lot to ask - and he ran very well. We were very pleased with his race. He was ready for the Jerome but we had a bit of an unlucky hiccup; we can’t wait for the Withers. He’s (still eligible for a non- winners of one), but he can run with this kind.“

Here is the field for the Withers from the rail out: Classy Class, Irad Ortiz Jr., 2-1; Far From Over, Manuel Franco, 5-1; March, Jose Ortiz, 6-1; Tencendur, Cornelio Velasquez, 12-1; Unrivaled, Frankie Pennington, 20-1; General Bellamy, Junior Alvarado, 15-1 and El Kabeir, C. C. Lopez, 8-5.

Post time for the Withers is approximately 4:13 PM ET.

►  Look for value in Kentucky Derby Pool 2

California Chrome won last year’s Kentucky Derby at 5-2 odds. However, the son of Lucky Pulpit was a hefty 30-1 in the first 2014 Future Wager.

With the initial 2015 Future Wager starting Friday, it is time to search for another possible 30-1 overlay. Don’t forget, I’ll Have Another, the 2012 Kentucky Derby winner, was just under 30-1 (29-1) in Pool 1, which was his highest odds in all three pools as well as on Derby Day.

A $60 winner in early February does not occur all the time as a horse from the mutuel field in the first Future Wager has won the Kentucky Derby four of the last seven years. The average odds of those four horses was 2-1. Big Brown took care of business in 2008, followed by Mine That Bird in 2009, Animal Kingdom in 2011 and then Orb in 2013.

Will the “field” reign supreme in 2015 or will one of the 23 individual horses become the Derby champion for the fourth time in the last six years?

One thing that should change is the odds of the mutuel field, which has not been higher than 8-5 the last three years. In 2015, the odds could very well be higher than 2-1 due to the number of solid individual entrants.

Still, don’t automatically throw out the “field” as a possible wager because it has come through all four times its odds were higher than 3-2. Ironically, an individual entrant has won the Derby the last three times the “field” was bet down to 3-2.

The one thing not to do is wager on any of the favored individual horses. Since the Future Wager began in 1999, there have been only two colts to win the Derby that paid lower than 17-1 Pool 1, and one of the two was way back in 2000.

Since 2008, there have been 27 horses at 16-1 or lower and 15 of them did not even make the Derby. That equates to 56%. Of the remaining 12, only two have finished in the money (17%) with zero winners.

The average number of horses lower than 17-1 in the first pool over the last seven years has been four. Besides being the mean, four also is the median and the mode.

Since the top “field” horses include Eagle, War Story, Punctuate, Materiality, Vici, Madefromlucky, Danzig Moon and Bayerd, it is very likely the Kentucky Derby winner will be an individual entrant. The key, though, is to find the right one.

This year looks very similar to 2007 when the “field” for Pool 1 was 5-2 and six horses were 14-1 or lower. The Kentucky Derby winner (Street Sense) and second-place finisher (Hard Spun) were both 10-1 behind Nobiz Like Shobiz at 8-1.

Since 2007, just seven individual horses were single digits with Union Rags (7-1) the last one in 2012. Lookin At Lucky (8-1) sports the top Derby finish of the single-digit horses when he was sixth in 2010.


Based on what happens in Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes, there could be six or seven horses lower than 17-1 when Pool 2 betting closes at 6 PM ET on Sunday.

If Dortmund wins the Lewis, he will be the favorite. Even if he finishes a close second, it is doubtful his odds will be higher than 15-1. Firing Line, 30-1 on the morning line, will see his odds cut in half with a victory on Saturday, and a close second could still have him lower than 17-1.

American Pharoah and Texas Red should be the second and third choices, respectively, while Carpe Diem and Upstart also will take a lot of money. El Kabeir, the Jerome winner, might not have what it takes to win at 1 1/4 miles, but if he dominates the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday, his final Pool 2 odds will be lower than his 20-1 morning line number.

One of those horses could easily win the Kentucky Derby. However, the issue this week is what to do concerning the Future Wager. It is best to stay away from all of them this weekend as there is not much of a difference between 14-1 in early February and 6-1 on the first Saturday in May. A lot can happen in three months. Don’t forget, not a single Pool 1 (Pool 2 in 2014) individual entrant below 20-1 has won the Derby in eight years and only one has won over the last 14 years.

Two more of the 23 individual entrants will not see any of my money - Mr. Z and Daredevil. That leaves 14 possible plays. Of those 14, seven have run three or fewer races. Outside of Big Brown, only one Derby winner (Animal Kingdom) since 2006 had run fewer than four times prior to the second week in February.

Khozan (one), J S Bach (one), Competitive Edge (two), Itsaknockout (two) and Ocean Knight (two) all have started once or twice, so it is best to stay away from them. Gorgeous Bird and Ocho Ocho Ocho have made just three starts. (American Pharoah, Carpe Diem and Daredevil also have made fewer than four starts.)

By process of elimination, we are down to seven possibilities: Far Right (50-1 morning line), Frosted (30-1), Imperia (30-1), International Star (50-1), Lord Nelson (30-1), Prospect Park (50-1) and The Great War (30-1).

Far Right had an awful trip in the Delta Jackpot but still finished third behind Ocho Ocho Ocho and Mr. Z. In his first 2015 start, he exacted revenge on Mr. Z, winning the Smarty Jones by 1 3/4 lengths. The $2,500 purchase could very well be the longest-priced horse on the board in Pool 2.

Frosted has not shown any killer instinct of yet with four seconds and just one victory. On the other hand, he has been trapped with poor post positions in his last two stakes-placed efforts. The 3-2 Holy Bull favorite will be at least 30-1 in Pool 2.

Imperia has yet to make his 2015 debut, but he did race four times as a 2-year- old, including one on the dirt - a second to El Kabeir in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. His dam, Cocoa Beach, won close to $2 million, but the last time a Kentucky Derby-winning dam bankrolled over $300,000 was over 25 years ago.

International Star finished behind Imperia in the Kentucky Jockey Club in his final 2014 outing. The son of Fusaichi Pegasus returned to win the LeComte Stakes three weeks ago, running down a determined War Story.

Lord Nelson ran fifth in the Kentucky Jockey Club as the 8-5 favorite. He broke poorly at the start and had to go very wide around the far turn. The Bob Baffert-trained colt returned in the San Vicente defeating Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red. He did so after hopping at the start.

The son of Pulpit should handle the 10-furlong Kentucky Derby distance based on his pedigree, but his running style has yet to match. He still has two more starts before the big race, so do not count him out by any means.

Prospect Park will be much lower than his 50-1 morning line based on his impressive allowance win on January 30. The March foal rolled to a 5 1/4-length score while running the mile in 1:35 3/5, which was two-fifths faster than older colts ran one hour later.

The Great War was perhaps the most impressive winner last weekend making quick work in the 96Rock Stakes at Turfway Park. The BC Juvenile fourth-place finisher rolled by 7 1/4 lengths as the 1-10 favorite. As is the case with Lord Nelson, The Great War is bred to run all day, but he has excelled in sprints far more so than in two-turn events.


Lord Nelson should be either the seventh or eighth choice among the individual entrants, which will place his odds somewhere around his morning line of 30-1. I would place a few dollars on him along with Imperia and The Great War if those two are above their 30-1 morning line odds. Prospect Park is another one to keep an eye on if he can be had at 30-1 or higher. In addition, Far Right and International Star are worth a shot at huge odds.


1) Texas Red - Two remaining starts after decent 2nd in San Vicente

2) American Pharoah - Back on work tab with 36 1/5 on February 2

3) Dortmund - Should remain unbeaten with a win in Robert B. Lewis

4) Carpe Diem - Makes 2015 debut in Fountain of Youth on February 21

5) Firing Line - Will give Dortmund all he can handle on Saturday

6) Upstart - Has risen up the list after scintillating Holy Bull

7) Ocho Ocho Ocho - Could make 2015 debut on March 7 in San Felipe

8) Lord Nelson - Baffert has won Derby before with second-stringers

9) Ocean Knight - Dynamite in Sam F. Davis; Tampa Bay Derby is next

10) Khozan - Has the Apollo 2-year-old curse working against him

11) Imperia - Breezing at Palm Meadows for 2015 debut in Risen Star

12) International Star - Currently on top of War Story for 12th slot

►  Dortmund takes on Firing Line again in Robert B. Lewis Stakes

Dortmund and Firing Line, the first two under the wire in December’s Los Alamitos Derby, renew their rivalry in Saturday’s $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.

The 1 1/16-mile Robert B. Lewis has attracted six 3-year-olds and serves as a prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 4. The stakes, as part of the Kentucky Derby points system, offers qualifying points to start in the Run for the Roses. The winner will receive 10 points with the second, third and fourth place runners receiving four, two and one, respectively.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Dortmund defeated Firing Line in the Los Alamitos Derby, formerly the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park, by a head. Both colts will be making their season debuts Saturday.

Dortmund is the 4-5 morning line favorite and will break from the far outside post in the six-horse field with regular jockey Martin Garcia. The chestnut colt is owned by Kaleem Shah, owner of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern.

Dortmund is undefeated in three lifetime starts. He won first time out on November 02 at Santa Anita and followed on November 29 with a 7 3/4-length victory in an allowance race at Churchill Downs. The colt has earned $359,400.

Firing Line, trained by Simon Callaghan, is the 7-5 second choice and will break from his rival’s inside with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens getting the mount for the first time.

Owned by Arnold Zetcher, Firing Line was second in his debut effort at San Anita and won on November 30 at Del Mar, with Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith in the saddle for both starts. Firing Line has banked $144,800.

Here is the complete field for the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in post position order: Tizcano, Martin Pedroza, 15-1; Rock Shandy, Victor Espinoza, 6-1; Sebastian’s Heart, Agapito Delgadillo, 30-1; Hero Ten All, Tyler Baze, 10-1; Firing Line, Gary Stevens, 7-5 and Dortmund, Martin Garcia, 4-5.

The Lewis Stakes has an approximate post time of 5:30 PM ET.

►  Lea set to defend title in Donn Handicap

Defending race winner Lea will take on nine challengers as the 6-year-old goes for a second straight victory in Saturday’s $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Joel Rosario, Lea defeated Will Take Charge in last year’s Donn and set a track record in what proved to be his last start of 2014. Lea stopped the timer at 1:46.86 to set a new track record for 1 1/8 miles.

For Saturday, Lea is the 9-5 morning line favorite and will start from post 4 in the 10-horse field with Rosario again riding

Owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Lea has already duplicated last year’s start by winning a second straight Hal’s Hope Stakes at Gulfstream. The 6-year-old was the even-money favorite for the mile race with just five in the field.

“I’d say, he’s probably coming into the Donn the same as he was last year,“ Mott said. “He’s coming off a good race and I’m happy with him. He’s good enough to be in the race, but I can’t predict the outcome.“

The Hal’s Hope was his first start since being sidelined with an illness following a victory in the 2014 Donn Handicap. Lea is working on a three-race win streak and has career earnings of $802,618 with seven wins in 13 starts.

“He had been sick. He had a virus and it was a case where he had done enough. He was a Grade 1 winner, and he could have gone to the breeding shed. They opted to give him this chance right here. I told them what the condition of the horse was and how he was doing,“ Mott said. “They made the decision. I told them step by step on a daily and weekly basis the condition of the horse and where we were at with him. I guess I made it sound good enough to keep him in training.“

Here is the field for the 60th Donn in post position order: Constitution, Javier Castellano, 7-2; Commissioner, John Velazquez, 4-1; East Hall, Luis Saez, 15-1; Lea, Joel Rosario, 9-5; Elnaawi, Julien Leparoux, 15-1; Catholic Cowboy, Paco Lopez, 20-1; Sloane Avenue, Jose Lezcano, 15-1; Protonico, Joe Bravo, 6-1; Blue Tone, Corey Lanerie, 15-1 and Prayer for Relief, Edgard Zayas, 12-1.

The Donn will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 with an approximate post time of 5:58 PM ET.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Packers DT Guion busted on gun, pot charges

Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was arrested on felony drug and gun charges following a traffic stop in his hometown of Starke, Florida, on Tuesday night, police said.

According to a news release, an officer who stopped Guion for failure to maintain a lane smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the player’s pickup truck. Guion was found to be carrying 357 grams of marijuana as well as $190,000 in cash inside his vehicle. Police uncovered a 9mm semi-automatic handgun during the search.

Guion was subsequently charged with possession of marijuana over 20 grams and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, a third-degree offense.

Police said Guion was “extremely uncooperative and hostile” during the search of his truck and “kept coming towards the vehicle several times saying ‘hey, man, my money is in there. Don’t let him take my money.‘“

Guion then rushed the truck in an attempt to remove the bag containing the marijuana from the front passenger seat before being restrained in hand cuffs, according to the release.

The 27-year-old was later released from custody on $100,000 bond.

The Packers issued a statement saying, “We are aware of a serious matter involving Letroy Guion. We have not yet spoken to Letroy and we will have no further comment.“

Guion started all 18 of the Packers’ games, including a pair of playoff outings, this past season, his first with Green Bay following a six-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings. He is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

The 315-pound lineman recorded a career-best 3 1/2 sacks along with 32 tackles this past season.

►  The Redskins are surveying fans about a new stadium

The Redskins recently began surveying season ticket holders about what they’d want out from a new football stadium, the latest step in the team’s journey toward a new home.

The team told fans that the brief survey — which was attached to the online invoices sent to at least some season ticket holders — “will help shape your new home and determine unique benefits for Season Ticket Members who have been part of the Redskins family at FedEx Field.”

Twelve multiple-choice questions follow, several of which will make longtime Redskins fans hopeful. The survey asks if fans “would want the lower bowl seats to move/shake similar to the RFK stadium experience,” whether fans would want to be able to view the field from concourses throughout the stadium, how important public transportation would be for a new stadium, and whether dedicated tailgating lots are important. The lack of distinctive character, lack of (convenient) public transportation, and lack of comfortable tailgating options have been among the biggest complaints about FedEx Field, which will turn 18 in September.

Other questions in the survey cover the size of the new stadium, climate-controlled concourses, in-seat waiter service, sit-down restaurants, other food options, and benefits for longtime season ticket holders.

The survey continues a process that became public last August, when owner Daniel Snyder told Comcast SportsNet that the team had started exploring new stadium possibilities, and had already begun meeting with architectural firms. The Post later reported that the Redskins were eying the RFK Stadium site in the District as a site for the new venue. New D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has spoken positively about bringing the team back to Washington, but — like many others — has suggested that the team’s name would be an issue in such a move.

►  Extra Points: Mock-ing season begins

The New England Patriots’ latest coronation as the NFL’s top team puts the lid on the 2014 season and is also the unofficial kickoff to the league’s offseason, specifically free agency and the draft.

For the 31 teams looking up at the Tom Brady and Co., it’s the first opportunity to close the gap and begin their own climb toward the game’s ultimate prize, the Lombardi Trophy.

With that in mind and the Indianapolis scouting combine on the docket for later this month, it’s time to take our first look at the 2015 NFL Draft, which takes place from April 30-May 2 this year in an unfamiliar venue, Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre.

The Sports Network’s first 2015 NFL mock draft:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State - The off-the- field issues are a real concern, but Winston is light years ahead of Oregon’s Marcus Mariota when projecting both to the professional level. Winston is NFL- ready and similar to Teddy Bridgewater in 2014 but possesses better size and physical skills than the Minnesota Vikings’ starter. He does not have Bridgewater’s maturity, though, and that will be a real issue for certain organizations especially after the disaster that was Johnny Manziel’s rookie season in Cleveland. With no real answer at the game’s most important position, the Bucs will roll the dice and keep Winston in the Sunshine State.

2. Tennessee Titans - Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska - Tennessee likes Zach Mettenberger and Ken Whisenhunt isn’t about to change his whole offensive philosophy for Mariota, so if they can’t trade out, expect the Titans to take the best pass rusher available in Gregory, a rangy 6-foot-6 prospect with the speed to make a big difference off the edge.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Williams, DT, Southern California - The Jags have gone offense in the first two years of the David Caldwell/Gus Bradley era (left tackle Luke Joeckel and quarterback Blake Bortles), and it’s now time to get the Gus Bus a difference maker on the defensive side. Williams is the best interior defensive lineman in this year’s process with upper-echelon athleticism and real functional-football strength.

4. Oakland Raiders - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama - Derek Carr showed plenty of flashes as a rookie quarterback, but he needs some help outside the numbers if he plans to avoid a sophomore slump. Cooper will arrive in the NFL as a sharp route-runner with plus hands and tremendous short-area quickness.

5. Washington Redskins - Danny Shelton, DT, Washington - The massive Shelton had a great Senior Bowl week, flashing really impressive movement skills for a 345-pound guy. If he follows things up with a good showing at the combine, he’ll solidify a top-10 spot and the Redskins could use a difference maker in the middle.

6. New York Jets - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon - He’s a project if you plan on running a traditional pro offense, but most rave about Mariota’s athleticism, live arm, football IQ and work ethic, so he’s a project who will pay off in the end. New Jets general time Mike Maccagnan has the time, so he strikes here.

7. Chicago Bears - Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida - A hybrid edge player, Fowler is a great fit for a team looking to rebuild its defense under new coach John Fox. Jared Allen is running on fumes at this point and Lance Briggs has probably played his last down in Chicago, so bringing in a player who can help in multiple spots should be a no-brainer for new GM Ryan Pace.

8. Atlanta Falcons - Shane Ray, DE, Missouri - You know Dan Quinn is going to want to bolster the front seven here and Ray will get the nod because the Falcons have some manageable parts on the interior with Paul Soliai and second-year man Ra’Shede Hageman. Ray, who blossomed last season after getting out of the shadow of Kony Ealy and Michael Sam, has a great first step and blinding 4.45 speed off the edge.

9. New York Giants - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford - The Giants are still in the midst of rebuilding a shaky offensive line and taking Peat could enable them to either kick right tackle Justin Pugh inside to guard, where he would be much more effective, or move on from left tackle Will Beatty, who hasn’t lived up to his big cap number.

10. St. Louis Rams - T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pitt - The Rams have some real issues at tackle because Jake Long’s health is a very serious concern and right tackle Joseph Barksdale is set to test free agency. The talented Greg Robinson should kick out to handle one of those spots and bringing in Clemmings, a natural right tackle with a nasty disposition, could cure everything.

11. Minnesota Vikings - Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa - The Vikings need help on the left side and Scherff could serve two masters, taking over for descending veteran left guard Charlie Johnson and provide insurance for left tackle Matt Kalil, who will get one more chance to prove he can be the player he was as a rookie. The 6-5, 320-pound Scherff is a drive-blocking machine who projects as a very safe pick.

12. Cleveland Browns - Kevin White, WR, West Virginia - The Browns are so dysfunctional you never really know what they are thinking, but with Josh Gordon suspended yet again, getting a rangy 6-3 receiving threat like White would make a lot of sense for whomever is playing QB in the Forest City come 2015.

13. New Orleans Saints - Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington - The Saints had significant issues on the defensive side of the ball this past season and need a significant talent upgrade. Thompson is an instinctive ‘backer who tackles very well, a big issue with New Orleans’ stop unit.

14. Miami Dolphins - DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville - Mike Wallace hasn’t really worked out in South Florida and the Dolphins could be looking to go in another direction. Parker doesn’t have Wallace’s speed nor his questionable attitude. He does, however, bring a big body to the dance, along with soft hands, body control and the leaping ability to high-point the football.

15. San Francisco 49ers - Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State - You simply can’t replace a Justin Smith and the 49ers will likely do everything they can to convince the three-time All-Pro to play another season, but if they can’t, getting a big body like Goldman could be a sound Plan B.

16. Houston Texans - Jalen Collins, CB, LSU - Kareem Jackson is scheduled to be a free agent and Collins is what NFL teams look for in cornerbacks these days, a long 6-2 player with the capability to be physical, along with the closing speed to make up for a mistake.

17. San Diego Chargers - Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami - The Chargers plan on moving the slow-footed D.J. Fluker inside to guard next season and need a more athletic option on the edge at right tackle. Enter Flowers, who is raw but flashes excellent quickness, especially as a run blocker.

18. Kansas City Chiefs - Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State - The Chiefs went through an entire NFL season in the most offensively-skewed era in history without throwing a TD pass to a wide receiver. Translation, they need a receiver badly and Strong is the best one left on the board, a 6-3 physical nightmare for opposing defensive backs.

19. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo) - La’el Collins, OT, LSU - The Browns would like to move right tackle Mitchell Schwartz inside and the 6-5, 310-pound Collins has the quick feet to handle the edge.

20. Philadelphia Eagles - Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State - The guess here is that Chip Kelly doesn’t mortgage the future to go get Mariota and instead attempts to rebuild a shaky secondary. At 6-1, Waynes has the size and length Philadelphia craves on the outside, but he needs to bulk up a bit and get more physical.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky - The Bengals’ pass rush was dismal last season with Carlos Dunlap proving to be the only somewhat consistent threat. Dupree projects as a productive pass rusher rather early with long arms and solid closing speed off the edge.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami - Cortez Allen was a disaster last season and Ike Taylor is on the downside, making cornerback the biggest need in the Steel City. Rollins put himself into the first-round conversation with an impressive Senior Bowl week in which he showed excellent coverage skills and the willingness to hit.

23. Detroit Lions - Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma - The hope is Ndamukong Suh is back, but the fact that both he as well as Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley could be on the open market makes the interior of the defensive line a big issue in the Motor City. Phillips is a big body with surprising athleticism who should be able to be at least a rotational player from Day 1.

24. Arizona Cardinals - Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin - It’s time to stop messing around in the desert and get a legitimate bell-cow back who can take some of the load off a 35-year-old Carson Palmer coming off an ACL injury. Gordon has the vision, balance and strength to be a top-tier back for years.

25. Carolina Panthers - Cameron Erving - OT, Florida State - When your tackles are Byron Bell and Mike Remmers, it’s time for an upgrade and Erving is the best one left at this point, a player who started at both center and left tackle for the Seminoles after moving over from the defensive side. A raw prospect, Erving has the feet to turn into one of the best pass blockers in football with sound and patient coaching.

26. Baltimore Ravens - Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn - Steve Smith is 35 and Torrey Smith is a pending free agent so Coates, a 4.3 speed merchant with size and ball skills, is a solid fit for a deep team with few holes.

27. Dallas Cowboys - Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson - Despite a great season, the Cowboys don’t have a ton of talent on the defensive side and reclamation project Rolando McClain is a potential free agent. Beasley isn’t the most natural run defender, but he’s an athletic marvel with the best first step of any linebacker in the college ranks.

28. Denver Broncos - Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota - The Broncos’ top three tight ends are all scheduled to be free agents, including star Julius Thomas. Williams looks like a younger version of Jason Witten, a true Y-back with the large catching radius and the ability to seal as an in-line blocker.

29. Indianapolis Colts - Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia - The Colts can forget about Trent Richardson and need to give Andrew Luck a little more balance to the offense with Gurley, who would project to go much earlier had he not torn his ACL in November. Gurley is a big, physical back who understands how to stick his foot in the ground, lower his pads and go.

30. Green Bay Packers - Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State - The Packers want Clay Matthews back in his comfort zone on the edge and that means plugging a hole in the middle. Enter McKinney, an athletic thumper who can control the point of attack.

31. Seattle Seahawks - Malcom Brown, DT, Texas - The Seahawks need to add depth to the front seven because there is no guarantee veteran Kevin Williams will be back. Brown is a wide body who could spell Brandon Mebane as a run defender.

32. New England Patriots - Landon Collins, SS, Alabama - The rich get richer. Yeah, the world champs just re-upped Patrick Chung, but he’s limited and Collins is too good to pass up at this point despite having some coverage deficiencies.


Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina

Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State

Carl Davis, DT, Iowa

Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan

Markus Golden, DE/OLB, Missouri

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

Eli Harold, DE/OLB, Virginia

Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA

Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami

Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State

Daryl Williams, OT, Oklahoma

P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

►  Dick LeBeau joins Titans as assistant head coach

The Tennessee Titans have hired Dick LeBeau as their assistant head coach/defense.

LeBeau will be in charge of the defense and defensive coordinator Ray Horton will work with him to implement it.

The 77-year-old LeBeau spent the past 11 seasons as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive coordinator. He helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls following the 2005 and ‘08 seasons.

“This is a unique opportunity to add someone like Dick to our coaching staff,“ said Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt. “He is a proven commodity in this league and great teacher. One of his greatest assets is the rare ability to relate to all different kinds of players and get the most of them. We had a lot of success together in Pittsburgh and I am looking forward to working together again.“

LeBeau has been a coach in the NFL in some capacity ever since his Hall-of- Fame playing career with the Lions ended in 1972. He was the Bengals’ head coach from 2000-02 and compiled a 12-33 record.

The Titans also elevated Mike Mularkey to assistant head coach/tight ends. To complete the staff, Jason Tucker was added as the assistant wide receivers coach.

►  Titans waive OT Oher

The Tennessee Titans waived offensive tackle Michael Oher on Thursday.

Oher started 11 games at right tackle for Tennessee last season before being placed on injured reserve in December with a toe injury. He signed a four- year, $20 million deal with the Titans last offseason after spending his first five NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

The 28-year-old Oher has played and started in 91 regular season games and 10 playoff games over his six-year NFL career.

The Gilmer Free Press

ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary

National Basketball Association
Cleveland at Indiana, 7:00 PM - FS-Ohio, Indiana, DSS
New York at Brooklyn, 7:00 PM - MSG, YES, DSS
LA Lakers at Orlando, 7:00 PM - Time Warner Sports, FS-Florida, DSS
LA Clippers at Toronto, 7:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, ESPN
Denver at Detroit, 7:30 PM - Altitude, FS-Detroit, DSS
Golden State at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - CSN-Bay, SportSouth, DSS
Philadelphia at Boston, 7:30 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, New England, DSS
Milwaukee at Houston, 8:00 PM - FS-Wisconsin, Southwest, DSS
Memphis at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - SportSouth, FS-North, DSS
New Orleans at Oklahoma City, 8:00 PM - FS-New Orleans, Oklahoma, DSS
Utah at Phoenix, 9:00 PM - ROOT-Northwest, Arizona, DSS
Miami at San Antonio, 9:30 PM - SunSports, KENS, ESPN
National Hockey League
Anaheim at Washington, 7:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, CSN-DC, DSS
Toronto at New Jersey, 7:00 PM - SNET-Ontario, MSG+, DSS
St. Louis at Columbus, 7:00 PM - FS-Midwest, Ohio, DSS
Chicago at Winnipeg, 8:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, TSN3, NHL Network, DSS
Pittsburgh at Calgary, 9:00 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, SNET-West, DSS
College Basketball
Harvard at Brown, 7:00 PM - Ivy League Digital Network
Princeton at Columbia, 7:00 PM -
Dayton at George Washington, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Liverpool vs. Bolton, 2:30 PM - FS1

Sports News   150205

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Area High Schools Boys Basketball Game Results

(Wednesday, February 04)

Nicholas County 58     Greenbrier West 57

►  Area High Schools Girls Basketball Game Results

(Wednesday, February 04)

Clay County 80     Calhoun County 17

#1 Morgantown 59     Parkersburg 36

Grafton 60     Lewis County 49

Lincoln 70     Elkins

Robert C. Byrd 43     #9 Bridgeport 38

Parkersburg Catholic 67     Wirt County 49

Herbert Hoover 67     Nicholas County 60

<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Wednesday, February 04)

Final Score: (4) Duke 72, Georgia Tech 66

Quinn Cook totaled 17 points as No. 4 Duke fended off Georgia Tech by a 72-66 count on Wednesday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Justise Winslow added 15 points and 10 rebounds with Jahlil Okafor adding 14 points for the Blue Devils (19-3, 6-3 ACC), who will host Notre Dame this Saturday. Chris Bolden produced 16 points and Marcus Georges-Hunt picked up 14 and nine boards for the Yellow Jackets (10-12, 1-9), losers in nine of their last 10.

Final Score: (7) Villanova 70, Marquette 52

Ryan Arcidiacono hit four 3-pointers and matched a season-high with 18 points as seventh-ranked Villanova shook off a slow start to post a 70-52 victory over Marquette at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. Darrun Hilliard scored 12 points and Josh Hart added 11 with six rebounds for the Wildcats (20-2, 7-2 Big East), who have won three straight since a 20-point loss at Georgetown on Jan. 19. They will look to avenge the setback on Saturday. JaJuan Johnson was the lone Golden Eagles player to reach double figures, finishing with 10. Matt Carlino had nine points and as many rebounds for Marquette (10-12, 2-8), which has dropped six games in a row.

Final Score: (10) Notre Dame 71, Boston College 63

With a rematch against No. 4 Duke on the horizon, it would not be too much of a surprise to see 10th-ranked Notre Dame get caught looking ahead with Boston College entering Purcell Pavilion on Wednesday. The Irish used a strong start to get out to a large lead in the first half, then had to hold off the surging Eagles in the second for a 71-63 win. Jerian Grant and Steve Vasturia each scored 17 points to lead Notre Dame (21-3, 9-2 ACC), which has won six of its last seven entering Saturday’s game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Irish slipped past Duke at home last Wednesday before a 76-72 loss at Pittsburgh over the weekend. Zach Auguste had 16 points with five rebounds and Pat Connaughton added 11 points in the win. Olivier Hanlan poured in a season-high 28 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range for Boston College (9-12, 1-8).

Final Score: (16) Wichita State 62, Bradley 59

Ron Baker scored 14 points and No. 16 Wichita State held off Bradley for a narrow 62-59 victory on Wednesday. Baker shot 4- of-6 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range, Tekele Cotton had 10 points and seven rebounds and Darius Carter also finished with 10 for the Shockers (20-3, 10-1 MVC), who bounced back from a 70-54 loss to UNI on Saturday. Tramique Sutherland finished with a game-high 18 points and Auston Barnes supplied 13 points and 10 boards for the Braves, (7-17, 2-9), who have dropped eight of their past nine games.

Final Score: (17) Maryland 64, Penn State 58

Dez Wells had 23 points and seven rebounds and No. 17 Maryland defeated Penn State 64-58 on Wednesday night. Jake Layman finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for Maryland (19-4, 7-3), which had dropped two of its last three games coming in. D.J. Newbill posted 18 points, seven boards and five assists, while Geno Thorpe added 10 points for the Nittany Lions (14-9, 2-8), who have lost eight of their last 10 contests.

Final Score: (18) VCU 72, George Mason 60

Melvin Johnson scored 17 points to help 18th-ranked VCU overcome injuries to two key players and record a 72-60 victory over George Mason. The Rams played for the first time since NCAA steals leader Briante Weber tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee during Saturday’s upset loss to Richmond, while top scorer Treveon Graham sat out nearly all of the second half with a sprained ankle. VCU (18-4, 8-1 A-10) received strong contributions from their replacements, however. JeQuan Lewis posted 13 points filling in for Weber, while freshman Justin Tillman totaled 10 on 5-of-5 shooting with Graham limited to four points in 12 minutes. Jalen Jenkins finished with 15 points, Shevon Thompson racked up 16 rebounds and Patrick Holloway netted 13 points for George Mason (7-14, 2-7), but the Patriots shot just 30.8 percent in the second half after leading 34-32 at the break.

Final Score: (19) Baylor 77, TCU 57

Rico Gathers pulled down 17 rebounds while pacing a balanced Baylor attack with 14 points as the 19th-ranked Bears cruised to a 77-57 victory over TCU in Big 12 action. Four other players finished in double figures in the Bears’ fifth win in their last seven conference games, a stretch that began with a 66-59 overtime squeaker at TCU on Jan. 10. Kenny Chery had 13 points with six assists for Baylor (17-5, 5-4 Big 12), with Royce O’Neale chipping in 12 points and Taurean Prince and Lester Medford netting 11 and 10, respectively. TCU (14-8, 1-8), which has now dropped five straight—all to ranked teams—during a murderous portion of its schedule, was led by Amric Fields’ 14 points. Kenrich Williams and Trey Zeigler each scored 11 in defeat.

Final Score: Purdue 60, (20) Ohio State 58

Mackey Arena is not the place to be if you’re a ranked team. Just ask Ohio State. Rapheal Davis scored 20 points, Jon Octeus had 14 and Purdue knocked off the No. 20 Buckeyes 60-58 on Wednesday night in another Big Ten clash that went the Boilermakers’ way. It marked Purdue’s third consecutive win over a top-25 team at home following victories over Iowa and Indiana last month. Davis scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half and Octeus had 10 in the half as the Boilermakers (15-8, 7-3 Big Ten) extended their winning streak to four games overall. A.J. Hammons added seven points, seven rebounds and seven blocks in the win. Standout freshman D’Angelo Russell scored 20 points to lead Ohio State (17-6, 6-4), which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Final Score: Providence 74, (24) Georgetown 71

Ben Bentil finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds as Providence defeated No. 24 Georgetown 74-71 in a back-and- forth affair at Verizon Center. LaDontae Henton also netted 16 points along with six rebounds, Carson Desrosiers had 14 points and Kris Dunn scored 12 with nine assists and six steals for the Friars (17-6, 7-3 Big East), who have won four of their last five games. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera paced the Hoyas (15-7, 7-4) with a game-high 21 points and Joshua Smith, Isaac Copeland and Tre Campbell each contributed 10 points in defeat. Providence also defeated Georgetown 60-57 in overtime on Jan. 10.

Final Score: Oklahoma State 65, (25) Texas 63 (OT)

Phil Forte made two free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime to lift Oklahoma State to a 65-63 victory over No. 25 Texas on Wednesday night. Le’Bryan Nash led the Cowboys (15-7, 5-5 Big 12) with 17 points, while Forte finished with 14. The duo struggled shooting as they combined to go 9-of-32 from the floor. Anthony Hickey Jr. scored 15 points and recorded four steals for Oklahoma State. Isaiah Taylor had 18 points but committed seven of the Longhorns’ 18 turnovers. Demarcus Holland supplied 14 points and five rebounds for Texas (14-8, 3-6), which has lost four games in a row.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Rockets’ Howard out at least four weeks

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard received a bone marrow aspirate injection in his right knee and will be re- evaluated in four weeks, the team announced Wednesday.

The procedure was conducted by Dr. Walt Lowe of the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute in Houston.

Howard has missed 16 games this season due to injuries. The Rockets are 11-5 without him on the floor.

In 32 games this season, Howard is averaging 16.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

Joey Dorsey will get the start at center for the time being. He is averaging 2.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 38 games (four starts) this season.

►  Pulse of the NBA

The Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks have grabbed plenty of headlines, as both teams have soared to surprising levels. But it would probably surprise you to learn that neither team is the most improved from last season. That’s not an opinion, but a fact.

That distinction belongs to the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the league’s worst record last year at 15-67, which translated to a .183 winning percentage. This year they’re playing .542 basketball with their record at 26-22. That means the Bucks have improved their winning percentage by 66.2%.

The Warriors winning percentage this season is .826, after playing at a .622 pace the previous year. That’s an improvement of 24.7%.

As for the Hawks, they’ve gone from playing .463 basketball last season, to their current pace of .816, which means an improvement of 43.2%.

The head coaches of the Warriors (Steve Kerr) and Hawks (Mike Budenholzer) have deservedly got plenty of praise, but it’s time for Milwaukee’s Jason Kidd to get his props. He’s the one big change from last season, and it looks like the controversial offseason move to fire Larry Drew and replace him with Kidd has paid off big time.

When you look at the disparity between last years’ numbers and this season, it’s easy to see how the former Brooklyn Nets coach has had such a dramatic impact on his new team:

Note: The numbers in parentheses are for the league rank

2013-14 2014-15

PPG: 95.5 (28) - 98.4 (29)

FG%: 43.8 (26) - 46.4 (6)

3-PT FG%: 35.3 (T-18) - 37.8 (5)

ASSISTS PER GAME: 21.5 (17) - 23.6 (7)

PT DIFF: -8.2 (29) - +1.8 (13)

OPP PPG: 103.7 (25) - 96.6 (4)

OPP FG%: 46.8 (T-25) - 44.3 (3)

OPP 3-PT FG%: 38.2 (30) - 32.6 (4)

STEALS PER GAME: 6.6 (28) - 9.5 (3)

On top of the team-wide improvement, we’ve seen a number of the Bucks players play significantly better than last season.

Starting point guard Brandon Knight, who was in the conversation for All-Star consideration, is having his best year as a pro. He’s currently putting up career-highs in field goal percentage (43.7), 3-point field goal percentage (40.5), free throw percentage (89.2) and assists (5.3).

Second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has seen his game rise dramatically from his rookie season. “The Greek Freak” has been a versatile, high-level defender, able to guard multiple positions, and has made great strides offensively. Antetokounmpo, who turned 20 in December, is averaging 11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting 49.4% from the field this season, after putting up just 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds and shooting 41.4% from the floor his rookie year.

Third-year shooting guard Khris Middleton, who was acquired from the Detroit Pistons along with Knight in the summer of 2013, is also playing the best ball of his young career. He’s third among shooting guards in 3-point field goal percentage at 45.1% and ranks sixth in field goal percentage at 47.5%.

The 23-year old Middleton, who was the 39th overall pick by the Pistons in 2012, has been even better since Jabari Parker went down for the season with a torn ACL in mid-December, averaging 12.4 points, and shooting 50.4% from the floor and 48.7% from 3-point range.

Two veterans have also stepped up their play.

Jerryd Bayless, who is averaging eight points off the bench, is hitting a career-high 45.3% from the field and leads the NBA in free throw shooting at 93.1%.

Meanwhile, Jared Dudley, who was basically a bust in his one season with the Los Angeles Clippers last year, has been a very productive role player for Milwaukee. The seven-year veteran is shooting a career-best 49.8% from the field while connecting on 41.7% from long range.

What’s even more impressive about the level of success the Bucks have achieved under Kidd, is the fact they’ve had to absorb a number of key losses, including the aforementioned Parker, who was the leading candidate for rookie of the year at the time of his injury. In addition, Larry Sanders has missed 21 games, Ersan Ilyasova 21 games, and backup point Kendall Marshall also went down for the season with a torn ACL in mid-January.

Despite the lack of star-studded talent that his division rivals in Cleveland and Chicago boast, Kidd’s team is miraculously three games back of the Cavaliers and 3 1/2 games behind the Bulls.

I guess, in Milwaukee, the Buck stops with Kidd.  ~~  Andy Roth ~~

►  NBA Game Results

(Wednesday, February 04)

Final Score: Indiana 114, Detroit 109

George Hill had a game-high 20 points in his first start in over a month and the Indiana Pacers beat the Detroit Pistons 114-109 on Wednesday night. Roy Hibbert added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Pacers, who won for just the third time in their last 12 games. Hill started for the first time in six games since returning from an injury that kept him sidelined for most of January. He was 8-of-12 from the field and had six assists in the win. Indiana got 15 points from C.J. Miles and 14 each from David West and C.J. Watson.

Final Score: Atlanta 105, Washington 96

After having their franchise-record winning streak halted, it looks like the Atlanta Hawks are all set to start another one. Jeff Teague registered 26 points with eight assists in the Hawks’ 105-96 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. Atlanta, which had its 19-game winning streak end at New Orleans on Monday, got back in the win column for its 11th straight victory at Philips Arena. Al Horford went for 21 points and 13 rebounds despite shooting 10-of-24 from the floor, while DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap had 14 and 11 points, respectively, in the win. The Hawks now set their sights on the best from the West, the Golden State Warriors, who will visit on Friday. John Wall tallied 24 points with nine assists, Bradley Beal had 23 points and Nene added 17 points for Washington. The Wizards have dropped four straight games for the first time since Dec. 6-14, 2013.

Final Score: Boston 104, Denver 100

The Boston Celtics used a balanced attack to edge the Denver Nuggets, 104-100, on Wednesday. Avery Bradley and Marcus Thornton each scored 17 points to pace the Celtics in their second straight win while Tyler Zeller, Jae Crowder and Jared Sullinger all chipped in with 14 points. Denver trailed for much of the game but took a late and brief lead before ultimately falling to its fourth straight loss and 11th in its last 12 games. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 23 points and eight assists, Arron Afflalo scored 18, and Kenneth Faried contributed 17 points and 11 boards.

Final Score: Brooklyn 109, Toronto 93

Jarrett Jack scored 24 points and Alan Anderson added 22 to lead the resurgent Brooklyn Nets to a 109-93 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Nets built off Monday’s 102-100 win over the Los Angeles Clippers by pulling away in the fourth quarter to avenge a 127-122 home overtime loss to the Raptors just five days ago. Jack racked up a career-best 35 points in defeat that night, and hit 9- of-13 shots while dishing out six assists to spark a strong offensive effort from Brooklyn in the rematch. Joe Johnson contributed 12 points and seven assists to the triumph, while Bojan Bogdanovic hit a trio of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and ended with 11 points. The winning streak is the Nets’ first since ripping off three straight from Dec. 29-Jan. 2. Terrence Ross tallied 23 points off the bench to pace Toronto. Kyle Lowry had 13 points and 10 assists in the loss, the fourth in the Atlantic Division- leading Raptors’ past six outings at home.

Final Score: Houston 101, Chicago 90

James Harden scored 27 points and the Houston Rockets defeated the Chicago Bulls 101-90 on Wednesday night. Donatas Motiejunas had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Trevor Ariza added 20 points and Josh Smith pulled down 13 boards for the Rockets, who have won five of their last six games. Houston announced earlier Wednesday that center Dwight Howard received a bone marrow aspirate injection in his right knee and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. Howard has missed 17 games this season due to injuries, but the Rockets improved to 12-5 without him on the floor. Jimmy Butler posted 27 points and six rebounds and Derrick Rose netted 23 points for Chicago, which has dropped three consecutive contests. Pau Gasol supplied 16 points and 12 boards and Joakim Noah snatched 19 rebounds in the loss.

Final Score: Milwaukee 113, LA Lakers 105 (OT)

O.J. Mayo and Giannis Antetokounmpo got the Milwaukee Bucks to overtime. Brandon Knight took over from there, leading the Bucks to their longest winning streak in almost three years. Mayo drained a game-tying 3-pointer in the final second of regulation and Knight scored 12 of his 24 points in overtime as the Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 113-105 on Wednesday night. Antetokounmpo had a career-high 25 points in the win, including four during a 13-0 run in the third quarter that helped pull the Bucks out of a big hole. Later, they trailed by six with just 36 seconds left after Jeremy Lin hit a 3 for the Lakers. Milwaukee had three 3-pointers in the final minute of the game, with Knight’s cutting the deficit to 94-91 with 31 seconds left. After Lin missed a 3 at the other end, Mayo buried his tying 3 from the left corner with Wayne Ellington and Carlos Boozer in his face. The Lakers had just 0.5 seconds remaining and fumbled the inbounds pass as the buzzer sounded. Knight started overtime with a 3- pointer and the Bucks never trailed after that in their fifth consecutive win.

Final Score: Minnesota 102, Miami 101

Kevin Martin hit the go-ahead jumper with 41 seconds remaining to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 102-101 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. Martin poured in 30 points for the Timberwolves, who snapped a six-game home losing streak against the Heat. Thaddeus Young had 16 points and five steals, while Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng each scored 13 points. Hassan Whiteside made his first 11 shots and finished with 24 points and 20 rebounds for Miami, which squandered a 10- point lead in the fourth quarter. Luol Deng scored 18 points and Norris Cole added 15 as Miami lost for the fourth time in five games.

Final Score: Oklahoma City 102, New Orleans 91

Without Kevin Durant for the second straight game, Russell Westbrook had to step up and delivered in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 102-91 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Westbrook tied a career-high with 45 points and added six assists and six rebounds to end Oklahoma City’s four-game road losing streak. Anthony Morrow had 14 off the Thunder bench, while Serge Ibaka and Dion Waiters contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively. New Orleans struggled from the field in having its two-game winning streak halted. The Pelicans shot just 38.9 percent and made 7-of-25 shots from 3-point range. Anthony Davis led the way for New Orleans with 23 points and eight rebounds, and Ryan Anderson netted 19 points.

Final Score: San Antonio 110, Orlando 103

Tim Duncan contributed 26 points and 10 rebounds to the San Antonio Spurs’ 110-103 win over the scuffling Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points with five rebounds and five assists, and Tony Parker added 15 points for San Antonio, which has won four of its last five games. Nikola Vucevic had 25 points with 13 rebounds and Tobias Harris chipped in 23 points and 10 boards for the Magic, who have lost 10 straight games overall. Orlando, which is now 4-23 all-time in San Antonio, has also dropped its last six games in the Alamo City.

Final Score: Memphis 100, Utah 90

Marc Gasol scored 23 points as the Memphis Grizzlies topped the Utah Jazz, 100-90, on Wednesday. Memphis tied a franchise record with its eighth straight win. Zach Randolph added 18 points and 11 rebounds, Mike Conley scored 17 and Jeff Green contributed 13 points. The Jazz lost for the fourth time in five games despite getting 21 points from Trey Burke off the bench. In a battle of tough frontcourts, Utah’s Enes Kanter held his own with 16 points and 10 boards. Gordon Hayward chipped in 15 points and Derrick Favors netted 11 in the loss.

Final Score: Golden State 128, Dallas 114

Stephen Curry knocked down 10 3-pointers and finished with 51 points as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 128-114 on Wednesday night. Curry, who was 16-of-26 from the field and 10-of-16 from beyond the arc, netted 26 points in the third quarter and helped rally the Warriors from an early 22-point hole. Klay Thompson netted 18 points while Leandro Barbosa and Marreese Speights added 14 apiece off the bench for the Warriors, who have won three straight on the heels of a brief two-game skid. Tyson Chandler posted 21 points and 17 rebounds, while Chandler Parsons supplied 24 points for Dallas, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Rounding Third: Who is Yoan Moncada?

The casual baseball fan will tell you that right-hander James Shields is the best remaining free agent available.

They’d be wrong though.

The most sought after player on the market became available to everyone on Tuesday, as Major League Baseball eased up on its rules with regards to Cuban ballplayers and opened the doors for an all-out bidding war for 19-year-old infielder Yoan Moncada.

Cuban players had needed to obtain specific unblocking license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control before they were to enter into an agreement with a team.

But given the new relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, MLB took action and distributed a memo to teams stating that players who present sworn affidavits to it stating they are residents of another country, have no intention of returning to Cuba and are not Cuban government officials can sign with major league teams immediately.

Moncada, who has taken up residence in Guatemala, could fetch a deal close to $40 million. However, since he is under 23 years of age and considered an amateur, he is still subject to the international signing guidelines.

Basically how that works is that each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team’s record in 2013 for the international signing period, which started on July 2 and ends on June 15.

Now, of course, teams have gone over their bonus pools and teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have actually gone over by more than 15-%, putting them in the maximum penalty range for the upcoming 2015-16 signing period.

More than likely, though, any team that goes after Moncada is going to exceed its pool.

The penalty will include a 100% tax on their pool, meaning, of course, that a potential Moncada investment could total close to $80 million.

But, don’t think for a second that means teams will stay away from a player like Moncada, who most observers think will become one of the best prospects in baseball the minute he puts his name on the dotted line.

After making a name for himself by dominating the 16-and-under and 18-and- under leagues in Cuba, Moncada debuted for Cienfuegos in Cuba’s Serie Nacional at age 17 and hit .277 during parts of two seasons. He’s a switch-hitting middle infielder - probably more of a second baseman - who hits for average, has power, above-average runner, good arm.

Still, some feel the 6-foot, 210-pounder’s future may be at third base.

Given the high price tag you can probably already guess who will be amongst the bidders. In addition to the Yankees and Red Sox, Moncada has also held private workouts for the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers.

And you can’t count out the Dodgers, either, although, more than half the league will take interest now that he is freely available. That’s how good some people view him.

Quite simply, everyone will be in on him.

Speaking of Shields, he is supposedly close to finding a team and could be under contract by the end of the week. Where he is going, though, is anyone’s guess.

The St. Louis Cardinals have been the team most recently identified with him. Shields was believed to be in the market for a 5-year, $125 million deal. That probably won’t happen now, as he may have to settle for a 3- or 4-year deal in the $80 million range.

Shields has started 33 or 34 games for seven straight seasons and has never been injured. Maybe he rolls the dice and signs a monster 1-year deal and does this all again next winter?  ~~  Chris Ruddick ~~

►  Rockies sign Kyle Kendrick

The Colorado Rockies agreed to terms on a one-year contract with pitcher Kyle Kendrick on Wednesday.

Kendrick, 30, spent his first eight seasons in the league with the Philadelphia Phillies, posting a 74-68 record with a 4.42 ERA in 226 games/185 starts.

The right-hander went 10-13 with a 4.61 ERA in 32 starts for the Phillies in 2014. Both the 32 starts and 199.0 innings pitched were career-high marks for Kendrick, who has won at least 10 games in each of his last three seasons.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Kendrick, the Rockies designated left- handed pitcher Yohan Flande for assignment.

Flande, 29, made his major league debut for Colorado in 2014, going 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA in 16 games/10 starts.

►  Pirates acquire Caminero from Marlins

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right-handed pitcher Arquimedes Caminero from the Miami Marlins in exchange for cash considerations.

Caminero went 4-1 with 10 saves, a 4.86 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 42 relief appearances with Triple-A New Orleans in 2014. He also made six relief appearances with the Marlins last season.

The 27-year-old Caminero made his MLB debut with the Marlins during the 2013 season and posted a 2.77 ERA in 13 games.

►  Cards sign P Villanueva to minor-league deal

The St. Louis Cardinals signed pitcher Carlos Villanueva to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training on Wednesday.

The right-hander appeared in 42 games, with five starts, last season for the Cubs, going 5-7 with a 4.64 ERA.

Over nine seasons with the Brewers, Blue Jays and Cubs, Villanueva is 45-50 with a 4.26 ERA, appearing in 390 games, including 76 starts.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  NHL Game Results

(Wednesday, February 04)

Final Score: NY Rangers 3, Boston 2

Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan scored in the second period to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead, and the New York Rangers ended up with a 3-2 decision over Boston at Madison Square Garden. Rick Nash added a goal and one assist for the Rangers, who have won three in a row and six of eight overall. Cam Talbot, subbing for Henrik Lundqvist who has been ruled day-to-day with a neck issue, picked up the win thanks to 18 saves. Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins, while Tuukka Rask stopped 22 shots in the loss.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 2, Edmonton 0

Marc Andre-Fleury made 22 saves for his league-leading seventh shutout of the season as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 on Wednesday. Evgeni Malkin scored in his return to the lineup after missing five games with a lower-body injury and David Perron, who was traded from Edmonton on Jan. 2, lit the lamp for the Penguins, who bounced back from a 4-0 loss to Nashville on Sunday. Viktor Fasth allowed both goals on 26 shots in defeat and has yet to win a game at home this season. Edmonton has lost three of five.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Serena will end Indian Wells boycott

World No. 1 Serena Williams announced that she will return to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this year, a tournament she captured twice but hasn’t played for 14 years.

Williams made the announcement in an exclusive for Time Magazine on Wednesday, discussing everything from her happy memories from the tournament, her devastating experiences there in 2001 and now, after 14 years, what brought her to the decision to make her long-awaited return.

“It has been difficult for me to forget spending hours crying in the Indian Wells locker room after winning in 2001, driving back to Los Angeles feeling as if I had lost the biggest game ever—not a mere tennis game but a bigger fight for equality,“ Williams wrote in her exclusive piece for Time.

“I’m fortunate to be at a point in my career where I have nothing to prove. I’m still as driven as ever, but the ride is a little easier. I play for the love of the game. And it is with that love in mind, and a new understanding of the true meaning of forgiveness, that I will proudly return to Indian Wells in 2015.“

Indian Wells was one of Williams’ biggest conquering grounds early on in her career. She won the title in her main draw debut there as a 17-year-old in 1999, including beating Steffi Graf in a riveting final, reached the quarterfinals again the next year, falling to Mary Pierce, and then recaptured the Premier Mandatory-level title in 2001, rallying from a set down to beat Kim Clijsters in the final.

The victory over Clijsters in the ‘01 final was marred by the behavior of some fans who booed and heckled the American and her family, apparently in response to sister Venus withdrawing injured from their semifinal.

“I said a few times that I would never play there again. And believe me, I meant it,“ said Serena. “I admit it scared me. What if I walked onto the court and the entire crowd booed me? The nightmare would start all over.

“I’m just following my heart on this one,“ she adds. “Indian Wells was a pivotal moment of my story, and I am a part of the tournament’s story as well.

“Together we have a chance to write a different ending.“

Indian Wells will stage its lucrative tennis event next month.

►  Karlovic ousted on home soil

Marcos Baghdatis upset top seed Ivo Karlovic in a second-round affair Wednesday at the Zagreb Indoors tennis event.

The 2007 Zagreb champion and former Australian Open runner-up Baghdatis, of Cyprus, saved a match point before upending the 6-foot-10 Croatian crowd favorite Karlovic 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (9-7) in just under two hours. The big-serving bout featured 37 aces, including 26 from the loser. The Zagreb native Karlovic also tallied the only service break of the match in the first set.

Meanwhile, former Zagreb champ Mikhail Youzhny was an easy second-round winner. The sixth-seeded Russian veteran vaulted past fellow former champion Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-2, 6-1 at Dom Sportova.

The 32-year-old Youzhny titled here in 2012. Stakhovsky was the 2008 Zagreb winner.

Youzhny will face Baghdatis in a quarterfinal on Friday.

The first round came to a close with four matches, as eighth-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers topped Austrian left-hander and 2013 Zagreb runner-up Jurgen Melzer 6-2, 7-6 (7-3); Croatian favorite and 2011 champion Ivan Dodig dismissed compatriot wild card Mate Delic 6-2, 6-3; Dutchman Igor Sijsling doused Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic 6-4, 7-5; and Brit James Ward dismissed Croatian wild card Antonio Veic 6-2, 6-4.

“I felt really good today,“ Granollers said of his play against the former finalist Melzer. “I won a very tough match against a very good player.“

On Thursday, second seed Adrian Mannarino of France will play a second-rounder against Sijsling.

The 2015 Zagreb champion will collect $90,000.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Mutuel field favored for second Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will take place beginning Friday, February 6 through Sunday, February 8.

There are 24 betting interests which include 23 individual 3-year-olds and the mutuel field of all others. The three-day Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 opens at noon Friday and concludes Sunday at 6 PMET. The morning line is by Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia.

The mutuel field is the even-money morning line for the pool after closing as the 3-5 favorite in Pool 1 last November.

Eclipse Award winner American Pharoah is the 10-1 second pick and was 12-1 for the Pool 1. Dortmund, the 9-1 second choice in November, is 12-1 along with Holy Bull Stakes winner Upstart.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red is 15-1 in the morning line as is Juvenile runner-up Carpe Diem. Texas Red closed at 14-1 in Pool 1.

Pool 3 will be from Friday, February 27 through Sunday, March 1 and Pool 4 will be Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 29. The 141st Run for the Roses will go off on Saturday, May 2.

Here are the 24 betting interests for the second Kentucky Derby Future Wager:

Number Wagering Interest Morning line odds Final odds:

1. American Pharoah 10-1

2. Carpe Diem 15-1

3. Competitive Edge 30-1

4. Daredevil 30-1

5. Dortmund 12-1

6. El Kabeir 20-1

7. Far Right* 50-1

8. Firing Line* 30-1

9. Frosted 30-1

10. Gorgeous Bird* 50-1

11. Imperia 30-1

12. International Star* 50-1

13. Itsaknockout* 50-1

14. J S Bach* 30-1

15. Khozan* 20-1

16. Lord Nelson 30-1

17. Mr. Z 50-1

18. Ocean Knight* 50-1

19. Ocho Ocho Ocho 30-1

20. Prospect Park* 50-1

21. Texas Red 15-1

22. The Great War 30-1

23. Upstart 12-1

24. All Others even

g - gelding

* - New wagering interest in Pool 2

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Charlie Sifford passes away at 92

World Golf Hall of Fame member and golf pioneer Charlie Sifford passed away at the age of 92.

Sifford was the first African American to join the PGA Tour in 1960. He was also the first African American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 2004.

“Charlie Sifford was a pioneer in our sport, breaking down barriers and paving the way for everyone able to compete at the highest level to succeed on the PGA Tour,“ PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said. “Charlie’s induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame put an exclamation point on a remarkable career, where he proved to be a tenacious competitor and an outstanding player. We truly mourn his passing.“

Along with being a World Golf Hall of Fame member, Sifford was honored by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. Sifford joined Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to earn that distinguished honor.

“On the tour, Charlie was sometimes banned from clubhouse restaurants. Folks threatened him, shouted slurs from the gallery,“ Obama said during the ceremony. “Because golf can be a solitary sport, Charlie didn’t have teammates to lean on. But he did have his lovely wife Rose, and he had plenty of guts and grit and that trademark cigar.“

Sifford, who was born in 1922, served in World War II. He was discharged in 1946 and shortly thereafter was competing in tournaments on the United Golf Association. He won 11 times over the next 14 years.

He won the right to compete on the PGA Tour in 1960 and went on the win a pair of events - the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the 1969 Los Angeles Open. Sifford also won a Champions Tour event in 1980, the year that tour was founded.

Tiger Woods said that his father would have never taken up the game if it hadn’t been for what Sifford had done.

“Terrible loss for golf and me personally. My grandfather is gone and we all lost a brave, decent and honorable man. I’ll miss u Charlie,“ Wood said on his Twitter account.

Among the numerous other honors bestowed on Sifford was an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews as a Doctor of Laws. He received that honor in 2006.

PGA of America president Derek Sprague said: “It is with great sadness that the world of golf has lost a faithful ambassador in PGA Member Dr. Charles L. Sifford. His love of golf, despite many barriers in his path, strengthened him as he became a beacon for diversity in our game. By his courage, Dr. Sifford inspired others to follow their dreams. The PGA of America extends its thoughts and prayers to Dr. Sifford’s family. Golf was fortunate to have had this exceptional American in our midst.“

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Signing Day

While yesterday brought the culmination, West Virginia’s 2015 recruiting class had been developing for more than 17 months, ever since Stone Wolfley gave the first commitment way back on July 01, 2013. In actuality, the pitches and promises began long before that, with the Mountaineers desperate to ramp up the talent collection needed to compete in the Big 12.

Here is the timeline of event as it happened:

10:15 AM Three-star recruit Kevin Williams has signed. Was a top-100 cornerback according to one service and a top-60 safety according to another.

9:55 AM Recently added defensive line coach Bruce Tall, appearing on the school’s web stream, says he practically “jumped off the phone’ when Tony Gibson offered him the job. He said of the 3-3-5 stack: “That’s what you want to coach, with guys attacking and flying around. Everybody talks about being an attacking defense, but when you put the tape on are you really attacking?”

9:43 AM Four-star receiver Antonio Callaway, pursued heavily by West Virginia in recent weeks, has chosen Florida. Probably figures that offense can nowhere but up.

9:30 AM Ron Crook was at Stanford when he recruited Kyle Bosch, who ultimately chose Michigan. That relationship paid dividends when Bosch began looking to transfer last month. … Crook also just commented about WVU signing a gaggle of big O-linemen: “Hopefully I don’t screw ‘em up.”

9:01 AM West Virginia was among the gazillion teams that offered and missed out on four-star receiver Preston Williams. They also missed out on this …

8:58 AM Four-star receiver Jovan Durante has signed. He’s regarded as the most explosive offensive recruit in the class. Mountaineer Nation will love him because he can catch punts.

8:56 AM Jordan Adams has submitted his NLI, completing West Virginia’s twin signings out of Reisterstown, MD. He says “I’m part of the family now,” as he drops happy tears onto the fax machine.

8:50 AM David Long has signed. He’s a K.J. Dillon in waiting.

8:48 AM Stone Wolfley has signed, so it’s officially “Take Your Kid to Work Day” for Dale.

8:36 AM Defensive lineman Alec Shriner has signed out of Oviedo, Florida. Think he’s not serious about creating turnovers? Just look at how he’s trying to punch out that football …

8:21 AM Purdue commit Chazmyn Turner, a 6-5, 240-pound defensive lineman from North Carolina, reportedly was set to sign with the Boilermakers today. His Twitter account says otherwise, so West Virginia remains in the running.

8:16 AM Cornerback Antonio Howard has signed with Marshall, two days after decommitting from WVU. As the alternative version goes, Howard had his WVU offer yanked for visiting other schools late in the cycle.

8:12 AM Defensive end Adam Shuler has signed. He’s a lanky, athletic kid who hasn’t played much high school football, but hey, at least he’s fresh.

7:53 AM Offensive lineman Rob Dowdy has signed. Was a former Pitt commit before Wisconsin threw Paul Chryst a lifeline.

7:42 AM Athlete Jacquez Adams has signed. He’s not supposed to be as fast as twin bother commitment Jordan Adams, but he beat him to the fax machine.

7:40 AM Offensive lineman Jah’Shaun Seider has signed. He got the apostrophe JaJaun always wanted.

7:24 AM Offensive lineman Colton McKivitz has signed. He’s one of at least four Ohio prospects expected to join Mountaineer Nation today, including three on the O-line.

7:20 AM Offensive lineman Matthew Jones has signed. An Ohio kid who played two ways in high school, he’s only headed one way now—east.

7 AM There’s been an interesting development regarding Michigan transfer Michael Ferns. The kid who came out of St. Clairsville High School as a four-star linebacker is being listed by West Virginia as a tight end/fullback. He presumably won’t be eligible until 2016, but when that happens, it looks like Ferns will be on offense.

Needing to replace two game-breaking outside receivers, West Virginia was elated to land Gary Jennings on Wednesday afternoon.

Comfortable with its group of returning running backs, WVU shrugged off unsuccessful attempts to sway south Florida stars Jordan Cronkite and Mark Walton.

Such was the good-not-great signing day haul for the Mountaineers, whose class ranked No. 33 by Rivals and edged TCU for third-best in the Big 12.

The breakdown of the 21 signees—six defensive backs, five defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, three receivers, two quarterbacks and one linebacker—pleased Dana Holgorsen. Though some recent West Virginia classes received higher grades, the coach flashed attitude about the Mountaineers becoming choosier with their recruiting.

“For the first time in five years we were able to be selective at the end of this process,” he said. “There are a couple guys that I’m thrilled are not part of the Mountaineer family.

“We’re not interested in getting guys that want to commit and take a bunch of trips, so we shut some of that stuff down.”

Holgorsen lauded the loyalty of players such as four-star Miramar product Jovon Durante, the nation’s No. 163-rated recruit who committed last April and never wavered. With Kevin White and Mario Alford departing, Durante and Jennings may be in line for immediate playing time.

Jennings, a three-star receiver from Stafford, Va., chose West Virginia over North Carolina, Virginia and Notre Dame during an afternoon ceremony.

“It was a process where he wanted us to wait so we waited,” said lead recruiter Lonnie Galloway. “I told him if you want to come in and compete to play right away, this is the best place for you.

“He was my top guy. I’m very excited that we got him.”

  “I told (Gary Jennings) if you want to come in and compete to play right away, this is the best place for you. He was my top guy. I’m very excited that we got him.” — lead recruiter Lonnie Galloway.

Landing Jennings become even more crucial after two committed receivers flipped Wednesday—Shaquery Wilson back to Georgia, and Kahlil Lewis to Cincinnati.

West Virginia finished second in the chase for Cronkite, who signed with Florida, and Walton, who affirmed his commitment to Miami. Both are four-star prospects who WVU courted during the past two months— a push Holgorsen alluded to as assistant JuJuan Seider “trying to hit a couple of home runs” in the talent-rich coastal area.

“When you battle for the best players, you’re going to come up short sometimes,” Seider said. “We got in on those guys late, because we weren’t going to take (a running back). But we made it interesting and it was a 50-50 deal at the end.”

West Virginia returns four running backs with starting experience and a fifth, redshirt freshman Dontae Thomas-Williams, who was a consensus top-30 running back last season. “We’re not panicking,” Seider said, “because our stable is full.”

The secondary appears well-stocked with five returning starters, and only got deeper with the four-star additions of junior college standout Rasul Douglas and Miramar’s Tyrek Cole, the country’s No. 207 overall recruit.

Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson predicted the newcomers can flourish in his blitz-heavy scheme that trusts cornerbacks to play man coverage.

“I tell all those DBs, ‘If you’re afraid to play man coverage with no safety help, don’t come to West Virginia.’ That’s why I like the mentality and makeup of the kids we did sign. They understand how we want to play. Some kids aren’t a fit for it.”

Brother’s footsteps: Ka’Raun White didn’t have as many offers as his brother Kevin did coming out of junior college, but Holgorsen said “his tape looked remarkably similar to what Kevin did at Lackawanna.”

In-state duo: Along with Morgantown’s Stone Wolfley, defensive back Deamonte Lindsay of Martinsburg represented the Mountaineers’ home-state contingent.

Whereas Wolfley has a family lineage to the program, Lindsay caught the coaches’ attention during last summer’s camp.

“His camp performance was impressive, so we went back and looked at his junior tape and it was impressive,” Holgorsen said. “He followed it up with a great senior year—made a lot of plays, and played a lot of different (positions).”

Lone linebacker: Some recruiting services suggested Cincinnati’s David Long would become a Spur safety at WVU, but Gibson sees him at Will.

“He’s a very explosive kid, and I love the way he plays. He’s going right in at linebacker with me.”

Last fax in: Junior college defensive end Xavier Pegues sent his letter of intent around 3:45 p.m., becoming WVU’s final signee of the day. At 6-3, 270 pounds, Pegues could form a stout presence opposite Itawamba (Miss) Community College teammate Larry Jefferson, who enrolled last month.

“Xavier was a key to this class, giving us some help up front,” Gibson said. “Xavier’s a little thicker and can play tackle. Larry’s more of a true end.”

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Malcolm Butler’s journey from ‘good employee’ at Popeyes to Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX hero

Shennelle Parker, the manager of the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Vicksburg, Miss., could always count on Malcolm Butler. Parker hired Butler as a cashier, and before long Butler began to “cross train,” which meant he could perform every task in the store. Butler showed up on time, washed dishes, took orders up front and graduated to the batter station, where he would drop chicken into sizzling oil.

“He was a good employee,” Parker said Monday morning in a phone conversation. “He kept the customers happy and pleased. I was always pleased. He was a hard worker. Everybody in here really liked working with him.”

Parker last saw Butler about one month ago, during the New England Patriots’ bye week. Butler had gone home to Vicksburg, and every time he traveled home he still stopped by Popeyes to see his old boss and talk. “He was excited about the playoffs,” Parker said. Monday morning, Parker watched Butler give an interview on ESPN. She beamed when Butler mentioned he used to work at Popeyes.

The Gilmer Free Press

Butler, 24, had completed an inconceivable path from batter cook to Division II standout to undrafted rookie to Super Bowl hero. Sunday night, Butler sealed the Patriots’ 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks with an interception at the goal line with 20 seconds remaining, both the deciding play of a classic Super Bowl and the culmination of Butler’s self-made ascension.

“The first thing I want to say is he’s a tremendous young man with a tremendous attitude,” said Will Hall, Butler’s coach at Division II West Alabama. “Every day he wakes up, every time he runs into somebody he makes their day better. He’s just one of those people.”

For the public, Butler’s interception turned him into an overnight sensation. Nothing about his story, though, is instant or easy. Butler earned his place in football history through years of perseverance, through overcoming challenges from childhood with honest, constant work.

Butler grew up in Vicksburg with no advantages. “Earlier in his life, he didn’t have the easiest childhood,” Hall said. “He didn’t have a whole lot of money, a whole lot of extra things.” Butler started working at Popeyes on the weekend in high school to help his mother make ends meet.

Butler struggled in school and did not make grades to qualify for Division I football. He attended Hinds Community College. He played five games before Hinds dismissed him. (According to the Providence Journal, he was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.) Butler moved back to Vicksburg and worked at Popeyes, hoping for another chance.

Hinds took Butler back for his sophomore season, and he capitalized on his second chance. On weekends, he still returned home to work at Popeyes. Teams from Conference USA and the Sun Belt recruited Butler, but his grades still weren’t good enough to qualify for Division I. During his time at West Alabama, Hall coached seven players who played professionally, and all of them came to him for academic reasons.

“He’s never had anything given to him,” Hall said. “Anything he’s got in his life, he’s had to work for and get for himself. You see a lot of guys that are in that situation, and they go the other way. Malcolm realized early on no matter what hand you’re dealt, you’re responsible for your success and failures. Just like all of us, as he grew and got older, he realized what mattered.”

Butler continued to work away from football, taking a work-study job at the school fitness center under Hall’s wife. Butler sopped sweat off spinning bikes. He washed towels. He mopped locker room floors. He never complained.

“Malcolm’s just a guy that brightens your day,” Hall said.

Immediately, Hall saw Butler possessed the potential to play in the NFL. He had decent size and decent speed, though he wasn’t the biggest or fastest defensive back on his team. But Butler stood out with his ability to break on passes, to play the ball in the air. He also had a penchant for making his best plays in the biggest moments.

West Alabama had never won an outright Gulf Coast Conference championship. Those usually went to North Alabama, a league power that historically dominated West Alabama. In Butler’s senior season, North Alabama returned an interception for a touchdown to tie the score, and in the stadium, Hall said, a sense of inevitability set in that North Alabama would beat West Alabama again. Then Butler returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. West Alabama beat North Alabama and won its first conference title.

“Obviously,” Hall said, “that’s not the biggest play that he’s made now.”

Early in his career at West Alabama, the Patriots showed interest in Butler. Joe Judge, the Patriots’ special teams coordinator, noticed Butler’s ability to return and cover kicks. The Patriots value versatility, and Butler showed promise as a special teams contributor. Hall knew New England wanted him, and after Butler went undrafted, the Patriots signed him as a free agent.

The Patriots do not affix numbers to players’ uniforms early in training camp, so it can be difficult even for veterans to identify new teammates. Quarterback Tom Brady kept seeing one defensive back on the scout team, a quick runner and a good leaper, make one play after another. “Who is that?” Brady asked himself. “Who’s that guy running down balls?” It was Butler.

During the season Butler played mostly on special teams, active for 11 of 16 games. He made an impression on his teammates with his tireless work and his improvement during the week, and his playing time grew late in the season.

“He’s been picking me off all season in practice,” Brady said at Monday morning’s post-Super Bowl news conference. “So it was nice to see him do it to someone else.”

All game long, Butler hounded Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse – he knocked away the pass that Kearse caught, miraculously, sitting on his back to set up the Seahawks with a first and goal at the 5-yard line in the final minute.

On second and goal from the 1, Butler set up on the right side of the Seahawks’ formation, the Patriots’ third cornerback. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia had told him to look for Ricardo Lockette, the outside receiver, to run a slant and try to run him into another crossing receiver.

“I knew they were going to throw it,” Butler said.

Lockette slanted across the middle. For a moment, he came wide open at the goal line, with Butler standing three yards deep in the end zone. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson fired the ball. Butler darted forward, doing what he did best during his time at West Alabama — making a play on the ball in the air. He knocked shoulders with Lockette as the ball arrived and snared the pass. Butler surged forward, dropped to his knees and rested his head on the turf.

“I was so emotional,” Butler said. “I had a feeling I was going to make a big play, but not this big.”

Back in Vicksburg, Shennelle Parker roared in celebration. Her former employee, her Facebook friend, had just won the Super Bowl, four years removed from frying chicken to make a living. Butler has not forgotten where he came from. “He always tells me he loved working at Popeyes,” Parker said.

Parker plans to buy a Patriots jersey with Butler’s name and number. She looks forward to seeing Butler again on his next trip home to Vicksburg. Parker knows he’ll stop by again. She plans to take a picture with Butler, the former batter cook turned Super Bowl hero. She will pin that picture on the wall, for every person who walks into the Vicksburg Popeyes to see.

►  Bill Belichick made a sneaky-smart decision that might have contributed to fateful play call by Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll’s confounding last-minute play call Sunday night will be dissected, debated and mocked for as long they play Super Bowls. It might have been prodded by a sneaky-brilliant decision by Bill Belichick.

With 1 minute, 6 seconds seconds left and the Seahawks down by four points, Marshawn Lynch rumbled to the 1-yard line on first down. The Patriots possessed two timeouts, and the Seahawks had one left. The clock ticked down, and at first it appeared odd for Belichick not to exhaust one of his timeouts. With the Seahawks on the doorstep, New England needed to conserve seconds for a desperation drive in response.

Belichick’s choice to not use a timeout, though, made life more difficult for the Seahawks by complicating their play-calling options. It may have even convinced them to throw their ill-fated pass on second down.

The Gilmer Free Press

Imagine Belichick had called a timeout in hopes of saving seconds for Tom Brady. The Seahawks would have had enough time to hand off the ball three times without fear of the clock running out, particularly because they had a timeout of their own.

But with Belichick allowing the clock to tick, Seattle’s calculus became more complex, especially as they used almost the entire play clock. They did not snap the ball until there were 26 seconds left in the game. If Seattle ran on second down and the Patriots stuffed them, the Seahawks would have needed to use their final timeout immediately, with about 20 seconds remaining.

The situation would have dictated their ensuing third down. The Seahawks would have no choice but to pass, or else they would have risked the clock running out on their season. The Patriots would have known this, too, which would have made the play far easier to defend. On a potential fourth down, the Seahawks would have had their entire playbook at their disposal.

It’s possible, if not likely, that Carroll passed on second down because he didn’t want to be in a position where the Patriots knew they would pass on third down. And that reality arose because Belichick kept his timeouts holstered.

Belichick would have known that Carroll didn’t want to box himself in on a possible third down, which is how the Patriots could have anticipated that second-down pass that Malcolm Butler intercepted to ice the game. Even with the ball on the goal line, the Patriots used three cornerbacks on the field. The third? Butler.

It should be noted that the Seahawks’ suboptimal clock management contributed to their downfall. After Jermaine Kearse’s circus catch set up Seattle with a first-and-goal at the 5, the Seahawks burned their second timeout because they didn’t get a play to Wilson quickly enough. That timeout could have made Belichick not calling one moot. And as noted above, the Seahawks took too long after Lynch’s first-down run.

Anyone could still argue the Seahawks should have relied on their strength and given the ball to Lynch or let Russell Wilson run a zone-read play at the 1. Studying all of the permutations of the clock could be overthinking it. But as you rip Carroll for not running the ball at the goal line, credit Belichick for making him have to consider it, for making a tiny decision that had an enormous impact.

►  NFL suspends Josh Gordon at least 1 year

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended by the NFL for at least one year after his latest violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

It’s the second year in a row Gordon received such a suspension, although his ban for the 2014 season was eventually reduced to 10 games.

The Browns said in a statement Tuesday they were “disappointed to once again be at this point” with the talented but often in trouble wide receiver.

Gordon, 23, has said his latest positive test came after he consumed two beers and two drinks during a private flight to Las Vegas with several teammates on January 2, five days after the end of the regular season.

He said it was the first time he consumed alcohol since being charged with driving while intoxicated on July 4 of last year.

Under terms of his reinstatement this past season, Gordon agreed to abstain from drinking alcohol for the remainder of the season and to submit to drug and alcohol screens.

“Throughout his career we have tried to assist him in getting support like we would with any member of our organization,“ Browns general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement issued by the team. “Unfortunately our efforts have not resonated with him. It is evident that Josh needs to make some substantial strides to live up to the positive culture we are trying to build this football team upon.

“Our hope is that this suspension affords Josh the opportunity to gain some clarity in determining what he wants to accomplish moving forward and if he wants a career in the National Football League. We will have no further comment on Josh as he will not be permitted in our facility for the duration of his suspension.“

In an open letter posted on last week, Gordon addressed his many critics in the media for what he said was a rush to judge him over his latest failed test.

Gordon said he doesn’t have an alcohol problem and hasn’t smoked marijuana since before he was taken by the Browns in the supplemental draft in 2012, despite the public perception that he uses the drug.

His 10-game suspension to start the 2014 season included two games for the DWI charge and an eight-game ban over a positive test for marijuana that he says was due to inadvertently inhaling second-hand smoke.

Gordon’s initial season-long suspension was reduced under the NFL’s revamped drug policy.

He said he thought his league-imposed restriction on drinking alcohol expired at the end of the regular season, which is why he consumed the drinks on the flight to Las Vegas.

Gordon led the NFL in 2013 with 1,646 receiving yards on 87 catches despite missing the first two games because of a suspension over substance abuse.

In five games this past season, he had 24 receptions for 303 yards without a touchdown. The Browns suspended him for the final game of the season for a violation of team rules, which Gordon said was for missing a team walkthrough.

►  Two Irish guys sneaked into the Super Bowl without tickets and snagged $25,000 seats

While hundreds wallowed over their Super Bowl ticket deals falling through on Sunday, two NFL fans from Ireland managed to sneak into University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and snag $25,000 seats for free.

“Our game plan was to be super confident,” Richard Whelan, who attended with friend Paul McEvoy, told RTE Radio One Morning Ireland (via the Independent). “We just thought if we pretend we belong there, nobody will question us.”

Apparently, no one did. The two said they took advantage of the hullabaloo at one gate at the stadium, where they saw crowds of first aid workers entering.

“Between one layer of security and another we just walked in behind these 20 first aid workers, straight up to the front door and hid in behind them,” Whelan said. Meanwhile, “Paul was looking at his phone, pretending to text me, as if we had just popped out to look at an email we got or something.”

From there, things got even better for the Irishmen. They were able to make it past another security guard who they say simply “wasn’t paying attention” before spending the first part of the game hopping from seat to seat when people would temporarily leave to grab food or go to the restroom. That was when they ran into a glorious stroke of luck — a man who presumably paid for his ticket told the pair that two women sitting by him in the fourth row would be permanently leaving in the second quarter so they could perform in the halftime show with Katy Perry.

“So we ended up in the fourth row, sitting beside a former Super Bowl champion Lawyer Milloy who gave us a play-by-play of the game,” Richard said. “It was pretty cool to have the Super Bowl champion sharing all the details.”

  .@LawyerMilloy Good to meet you man – can’t believe it made all the papers!

Whelan, a hardcore Seattle fan, wasn’t even upset by his team’s loss, which came due to a controversial slant pass call at the 1 yard line.

“It was a good day of hustling,” Whelan said. “What seemed like impossible came true.”

The Gilmer Free Press
Richard Whelan @richiewhelan
Getting ready for the long trip back to Dublin. Hopefully I’m allowed back home smile
4:43 AM - 03 Feb 2015

►  Colts LB Jackson arrested on assault charge

Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was arrested Tuesday on a charge of simple assault, according to Washington, D.C., police.

A police report obtained Wednesday by reveals that Jackson was arrested after an argument with a driver over a parking space. The driver told authorities that Jackson punched him in the left side of the face and in the back of the head during the dispute.

Officers responded around 8 PM ET to a call about a disturbance at the 1900 block of 12th Street NW in Washington. Jackson was transported to the department’s third district and released later that night.

According to multiple media outlets in Washington, the driver was a pizza delivery man who told Jackson that he was going to use the parking spot momentarily. Jackson became upset and allegedly assaulted the driver.

Jackson, 31, started all 16 games for Indianapolis this past season, recording 140 tackles and four sacks. He signed with the Colts last spring after his release from the Cleveland Browns.

►  Cowboys’ Randle charged with pot possession

Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was charged with possession of marijuana over an incident in Wichita, Kansas, early Tuesday morning.

According to Wichita police, Randle was charged of unlawful possession of marijuana at 2:53 AM Tuesday.

Officers responded to a domestic violence call involving a weapon at a hotel in the city, according to KSN-TV. They found Randle and a 22-year-old woman and observed a small amount of marijuana in the room, which was rented to Randle.

According to the report, an associate of Randle’s had taken a handgun from the scene.

Randle was cited for possession and given a date to appear in court and police considered it an arrest because of the small amount of marijuana found in the room.

Randle’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, disputed the use of the term “arrest.“

“Joseph Randle was NOT arrested,“ Burkhardt tweeted. “He was cited with a ticket, and the police officer then left his hotel room.

“There was zero ‘violence’ of any kind, domestic or otherwise. He was asking 3 (people) to exit his room, who didn’t want to leave. It was loud. Cops were called. Ticket issued. People and officer left. He went to bed.“

In October, Randle was arrested at Dillard’s department store in Frisco, Texas, on a class B misdemeanor charge of theft between $50 and $500. The items he was accused of stealing were men’s underwear and cologne.

Randle carried the ball 51 times for 343 yards and three touchdowns this past season.

►  Cardinals name Bettcher defensive coordinator

The Arizona Cardinals named James Bettcher defensive coordinator on Wednesday.

Bettcher replaces Todd Bowles, who left the position to become head coach of the New York Jets in mid-January.

Bettcher, 36, coached the Cardinals outside linebackers the past two seasons after working in the same capacity with the Indianapolis Colts in 2012.

He was part of a defensive coaching staff that helped the Cardinals finish with the NFL’s top ranked run defense (84.4 yards per game) in 2013 while collecting 47 sacks, the third-highest total in franchise history.

In 2014, Arizona’s defense allowed just 18.7 points per game, the fifth-lowest average in the league while allowing 20 points or fewer in an NFL-high 13 games.

The Cardinals also named Bob Sanders linebackers coach and Wesley Goodwin assistant to the head coach, and promoted Mike Chiurco to defensive assistant/assistant defensive backs coach.

The Gilmer Free Press

ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary

National Basketball Association
Washington at Charlotte, 7:00 PM - CSN-DC, SportSouth, DSS
LA Clippers at Cleveland, 8:00 PM - TNT
Dallas at Sacramento, 10:00 PM - FS-Southwest, CSN-California, DSS
Phoenix at Portland, 10:30 PM - FS-Arizona, TNT
National Hockey League
St. Louis at Buffalo, 7:00 PM - FS-Midwest, MSG-Buffalo, DSS
NY Islanders at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - MSG+, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Los Angeles at Florida, 7:30 PM - FS-West, Florida, DSS
Washington at Ottawa, 7:30 PM - CSN-DC+, RDS, DSS
Anaheim at Nashville, 8:00 PM - FS-Prime Ticket, Tennessee, DSS
Tampa Bay at Dallas, 8:30 PM - SunSports, FS-Southwest+, DSS
Detroit at Colorado, 9:00 PM - FS-Detroit, NBCSN
Carolina at Arizona, 9:00 PM - FS-Carolina, Arizona, DSS
San Jose at Vancouver, 10:00 PM - CSN-California, SNET-Pacific, DSS
College Basketball
Richmond at LaSalle, 6:30 PM - NBCSN
Colgate at Holy Cross, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Tulsa at Houston, 7:00 PM - ESPNews
Oral Roberts at IUPUI, 7:00 PM -
Auburn at LSU, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
Iowa at Michigan, 7:00 PM - ESPN
Mount St. Mary’s at Bryant, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Samford at Western Carolina, 7:00 PM - SoCon Digital Network
William & Mary at College of Charleston, 7:30 PM - MyTV
Georgia State at Georgia Southern, 7:30 PM - WSAV
UTEP at Florida Atlantic, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network, MASN
Nebraska Omaha at North Dakota State, 8:00 PM - MeTV
Fairfield at Rider, 8:00 PM -
Milwaukee at Green Bay, 8:00 PM -
Western Ill at South Dakota, 8:00 PM -
North Texas at Western Kentucky, 8:00 PM - FCS, WKU PBS
Texas-Pan American at UMKC, 8:05 PM - American Sports Network
Belmont at Eastern Kentucky, 9:00 PM - ESPN U
St. Francis (PA) at FDU, 9:00 PM - MSG, FCS
Portland at San Francisco, 9:00 PM - CSN-Bay
Cincinnati at SMU, 9:00 PM - ESPN
UCLA at Stanford, 9:00 PM - ESPN 2
Louisiana Tech at UAB, 9:00 PM - CBSSN
Washington State at Oregon State, 10:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
UC Davis at UC Irvine, 10:00 PM -
USC at California, 11:00 PM - FS1
BYU at Pepperdine, 11:00 PM - Time Warner Sports
Gonzaga at Santa Clara, 11:00 PM - ESPN U
Women’s College Basketball
Youngstown State at Wright State, 12:00 PM -
Siena at Rider, 5:00 PM -
LSU at Auburn, 7:00 PM -, FSN
South Carolina at Georgia, 7:00 PM - SEC Network
Maryland at Penn State, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network+
Virginia at Notre Dame, 7:00 PM -
North Carolina at Syracuse, 7:00 PM - Time Warner Sports,
Duke at Wake Forest, 7:00 PM -
Michigan at Michigan State, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network+
Valparaiso at Detroit, 7:00 PM -
Nebraska at Rutgers, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Northwestern at Indiana, 7:00 PM - Big Ten Network+
Ohio State at Iowa, 8:00 PM - Big Ten Network+
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 8:00 PM - SEC Network+
Texas A&M at Missouri, 9:00 PM - SEC Network
Minnesota at Illinois, 9:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Chicago State at New Mexico State, 9:00 PM -
International Soccer
CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations, 2st Semi-Final, 1:50 PM - beIN Sports
EUROPEAN - Malaysian Open, 2:00 AM - Golf Channel
LPGA - Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, 11:30 AM - Golf Channel
PGA - Farmers Insurance Open, 3:00 PM - Golf Channel

#24 Pioneers Fall at Home to Fairmont State 79-72

The Gilmer Free Press

The #24 Glenville State Pioneers had four players score in double figures but would come up short as they dropped a home game to MEC rival Fairmont State, 79-72.

After an exciting and fast pace first half the Glenville State Pioneers would find themselves up by four points over Fairmont State, 38-34, at halftime.

In the second half Fairmont State would come out and tie the game up at 42 all at the 17:28 minute mark. After that tie the Fighting Falcons would go on a 9-2 run as Fairmont State took a, 51-44 lead with 14:40 left to play.

Fairmont State would then extend their lead to 11 points at the 10:12 minute mark, 59-48.

Glenville State would then make a late run as Brien Winston would make a layup and get fouled. Winston would then make the free-throw as the Pioneers pulled within three points, 71-68, with only 3:37 left to play.

Despite the late run the Pioneers would come up short as they fell at home to Fairmont State by seven, 79-72.

There were seven ties and four lead changes in the game.

Fairmont State scored 26 points off of turnovers while Glenville State only scored seven points. The Falcons also scored 26 second chance points while the Pioneers only scored nine second chance points.

Both teams shot 44 percent from the floor however Fairmont State shot 25 percent from behind the three-point line while Glenville State shot 23 percent from behind the three-point line.

Donte Morales scored a team high 21 points and grabbed a team high nine rebounds. Brett Morris scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds, and finished the game with three blocks. Sedric Nady chipped in with 12 points while Reggie Williams finished the game with 10 points.

Fairmont State was led by Jamel Morris as he scored a game high 22 points.

The Pioneers (16-5, 12-3) will host West Virginia State on Thursday, February, 05, 2015. Game time is set for 7:30 PM.

Official Basketball Box Score
Fairmont State vs. Glenville State
02.02.15   7:30 PM   at Waco Center
VISITORS: Fairmont State 15-6 (12-3)

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
00 Nick Harney…...... *  5-12   0-1    5-6    8  4 12   5  15  1  2  0  1  28
04 Shammgod Wells…... *  7-8    3-4    2-3    1  0  1   3  19  0  1  0  3  28
20 Thomas Wimbush…... *  1-3    0-1    2-4    1  4  5   3   4  1  1  2  0  27
21 Jamel Morris…..... *  6-19   2-11   8-10   2  2  4   3  22  4  1  0  2  37
30 Caleb Davis…...... *  4-8    0-1    1-2    1  4  5   3   9  0  1  0  0  30
01 Brandon Vega….....    1-2    0-0    2-2    0  1  1   2   4  0  2  0  1  12
03 Chase Morgan….....    1-6    1-6    0-0    1  1  2   1   3  0  1  0  1  25
24 Trevor Andrews-Evans    1-1    0-0    1-2    0  1  1   2   3  0  0  1  1  13
   TEAM….............                         1  3  4
   Totals…...........   26-59   6-24  21-29  15 20 35  22  79  6  9  3  9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-32 40.6%   2nd Half: 13-27 48.1%   Game: 44.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-13 30.8%   2nd Half:  2-11 18.2%   Game: 25.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-8  50.0%   2nd Half: 17-21 81.0%   Game: 72.4%    3

HOME TEAM: Glenville State 16-5 (12-3)

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Sedric Nady…...... *  5-12   1-5    1-2    0  3  3   4  12  0  5  0  0  37
03 Donte Morales….... *  7-15   1-7    6-6    4  5  9   1  21  2  2  1  0  39
11 Reggie Williams….. *  3-8    1-2    3-6    1  4  5   5  10  2  1  0  0  24
12 Luke Campbell….... *  1-2    0-1    0-0    2  1  3   1   2  1  3  0  1  21
23 Brett Morris…..... *  5-10   2-5    4-5    3  3  6   3  16  2  1  3  1  39
00 Brien Winston…....    2-4    0-1    3-5    1  2  3   2   7  0  0  0  1  17
20 Marcus Schofield….    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  1  0   0
32 Juwan Wells…......    1-3    0-1    2-2    1  1  2   4   4  1  3  0  2  23
   TEAM….............                         1  4  5             2
   Totals…...........   24-54   5-22  19-26  13 23 36  20  72  8 17  5  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-26 50.0%   2nd Half: 11-28 39.3%   Game: 44.4%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-12 33.3%   2nd Half:  1-10 10.0%   Game: 22.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  8-10 80.0%   2nd Half: 11-16 68.8%   Game: 73.1%    4

Officials: Thomas Wilson, Anthony Chiazza, Michael Mckee

Technical fouls: Fairmont State-Nick Harney. Glenville State-None.

Attendance: 1058

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Fairmont State….............   34   45  -   79
Glenville State…............   38   34  -   72

Lady Pioneers Fall at Home to Fairmont State 92-83

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville State’s Keyanna Tate scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Pioneers dropped a home game to the Fairmont State Lady Falcons on Monday night, 92-83.

In the first half Glenville State would build a seven point lead over Fairmont State at the 11:29 minute mark, 19-12. But the Lady Falcons would make a run and take a 10 point lead their selves, 32-22, with 5:32 left till halftime.

Fairmont State would eventually take an 11 point halftime lead over Glenville State, 47-36.

In the second half the Lady Pioneers would battle back and retake the lead at the 14:08 minute mark, 58-57. Glenville State would then stretch their lead to four points, 68-64, with 9:53 left to play.

However Fairmont State would go on a 10-0 run at the 8:45 minute mark as they led by six points, 74-68. Again the Lady Pioneers would battle back but they would not have enough gas in the tank as Glenville State fell at home to Fairmont State, 92-93.

There were three ties and 11 lead changes throughout the game. Glenville State would outscore Fairmont State in the paint 32 to 28, however Fairmont State scored 14 second points while the Lady Pioneers scored 11 second chance points.

Fairmont State finished the night shooting 55% while Glenville State shot 43%.

Keyanna Tate finished the night with a double-double as she scored a team high 20 points and game high 11 rebounds. It was also Tate’s third game in a row with a double-double.

Katrina Salins scored 15 points and dished out a team high four assists while Brittany Jackson scored 11 points in the game.

Fairmont State was led by Hailey Garrett as she scored a game high 29 points while Hallie Gunnoe chipped in with 26 points.

The Lady Pioneers (10-9, 8-7) will host the West Virginia State University Yellow Jackets this Thursday, February 05, 2015, tip-off is set for 5:30 PM.

Official Basketball Box Score
Fairmont State vs. Glenville State
02.02.15   5:30 PM   at Waco Center
VISITORS: Fairmont State 17-4 (11-4)

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
02 Emily Lohr…....... *  4-10   2-5    2-3    3  5  8   3  12  3  2  0  0  39
05 Gabrielle Etter….. *  2-2    0-0    2-3    0  2  2   3   6  0  8  0  3  26
10 Emily Puskarich….. *  1-2    1-2    0-0    1  3  4   2   3  0  0  0  0  18
12 Hailey Garrett…... * 11-16   0-0    7-9    1  1  2   2  29  0  1  0  0  26
13 Hallie Gunnoe….... * 11-18   1-2    3-5    2  5  7   2  26  5  5  0  5  40
14 Amanda Ruffner…...    1-3    0-0    0-0    0  2  2   2   2  1  0  1  0   8
20 Tess Zufall…......    0-1    0-1    2-2    0  2  2   0   2  2  3  0  0  14
31 Kelli Jo Harrison…    1-2    0-0    4-4    0  1  1   2   6  0  0  0  1   7
32 Deidra Combs….....    3-7    0-1    0-0    0  6  6   3   6  1  1  1  0  22
   TEAM….............                         2  5  7
   Totals…...........   34-61   4-11  20-26   9 32 41  19  92 12 20  2  9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-31 54.8%   2nd Half: 17-30 56.7%   Game: 55.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-5  60.0%   2nd Half:  1-6  16.7%   Game: 36.4%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 10-10 100 %   2nd Half: 10-16 62.5%   Game: 76.9%    0

HOME TEAM: Glenville State 10-9 (8-7)

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Katrina Salins…... *  6-12   1-6    2-2    0  0  0   2  15  4  1  0  1  22
04 Keyanna Tate…..... *  8-16   0-0    4-6    4  7 11   5  20  2  3  0  2  20
12 Kayla Tibbs…...... *  3-10   2-7    0-0    1  0  1   1   8  1  2  0  1  19
20 Briauna Nix…...... *  2-3    0-0    0-0    0  6  6   4   4  0  0  0  1  10
32 Brittany Jackson…. *  3-6    2-4    3-5    1  2  3   4  11  2  1  0  2  21
02 Paige Tuttle….....    0-6    0-3    0-0    0  0  0   5   0  1  2  0  4  20
03 Tayana Stewart…...    1-2    1-1    0-0    1  1  2   1   3  1  0  0  1  15
10 Skyy Lewis….......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  0  0   5
13 Chanice Lee…......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
24 Madison Martin…...    2-4    2-4    0-0    1  0  1   1   6  1  2  0  2  20
25 Briana Smythe…....    3-6    0-0    2-3    2  3  5   0   8  0  1  1  0  17
34 La’Shaughn Jones….    1-2    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   3   2  1  2  0  0  11
35 Julie Bishop….....    2-4    2-3    0-0    0  1  1   1   6  1  1  0  1  19
   TEAM….............                         1  3  4             1
   Totals…...........   31-71  10-28  11-16  11 24 35  27  83 14 17  1 15 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-31 41.9%   2nd Half: 18-40 45.0%   Game: 43.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-9  33.3%   2nd Half:  7-19 36.8%   Game: 35.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  7-12 58.3%   2nd Half:  4-4  100 %   Game: 68.8%    2

Officials: Christopher Derico, Jon Anderson, Jeff Feldhaus

Technical fouls: Fairmont State-None. Glenville State-None.

Attendance: 1002

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Fairmont State….............   47   45  -   92
Glenville State…............   36   47  -   83

Sports News   150204

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Area High Schools Boys Basketball Game Results

(Tuesday, February 03)

#5 Gilmer County 67     Roane County 49

Doddridge County 72     South Harrison 47

Wirt County 65     Calhoun County 56

Ritchie County 58     Tyler Consolidated 56 (OT)

Tygarts Valley 59     Pocahontas County 53

#8 Lincoln 84     Liberty 53

Charleston Catholic 57     Parkersburg Catholic 41

Buckhannon-Upshur 54     Elkins 42

Parkersburg 71     Riverside 53

Grafton 76     Philip Barbour 56

Williamstown 69     Ravenswood 55

#5 Robert C. Byrd 70     East Fairmont 43

►  Area High Schools Girls Basketball Game Results

(Tuesday, February 03)

Wood County Christian 55     Calhoun County 28

#2 Parkersburg South 67     #1 Morgantown 60

#3 Tucker County 41     #9 Notre Dame 29

St. Marys 69     Williamstown 40

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Hield, No. 21 OU routs No. 15 WVU

Buddy Hield scored 21 points and No. 21 Oklahoma earned a bit of revenge with a 71-52 victory over No. 15 West Virginia on Tuesday.

The Mountaineers embarrassed the Sooners on January 13 in a 21-point rout that saw West Virginia force 22 turnovers, but it was Oklahoma (15-7, 6-4 Big 12) that won the turnover battle (15-13) in the rematch.

Hield shot an efficient 8-of-13 from the floor and 5-of-7 from 3-point range to highlight an offense that made 61% of its shots. Jordan Woodard added 12 points, and Ryan Spangler chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds in the Sooners’ third straight win.

“They were very, very good,“ West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said of the Sooners.

Juwan Staten and Gary Browne went for 15 and 12 points, respectively, for West Virginia (18-4, 6-3), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Devin Williams, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds against the Sooners last month, sat out due to an illness, and the Mountaineers certainly missed his presence inside.

Backdoor cuts, pinpoint passes and forced turnovers sparked Oklahoma’s 13-0 run in the first half. Khadeem Lattin scored off a steal to cap the five- minute surge and give the Sooners a 27-11 cushion.

A Hield 3-pointer stretched the margin to 34-15 with under four minutes left in the half, and it was a 35-24 advantage in Oklahoma’s favor heading into halftime.

West Virginia trimmed its deficit down to nine, 49-40, with 10 minutes to play, but the Mountaineers missed their next 10 field goal attempts. The Sooners extended their lead to 59-43 during the drought, and led comfortably the rest of the way.

“I thought our guys responded with some good stops and boards and pushed it back out there midway in the second half,“ OU head coach Lon Kruger said. “Any Big 12 win is good and against a really good club like this it makes it even better.“

Game Notes

West Virginia did not attempt a free throw until 4:21 elapsed in the second half and finished 5-of-11 from the line ... Oklahoma only made half (11-of-22) of its free throws ... West Virginia fell to 10-2 away from home ... Oklahoma improved to 10-1 at home ... The Mountaineers came in No. 1 in the nation in turnover margin (10.0) ... The Sooners were playing their 10th game (5-5) against a ranked opponent.

<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Tuesday, February 03)

Final Score: (1) Kentucky 69, Georgia 58

Andrew Harrison scored 23 points and No. 1 Kentucky remained the country’s only unbeaten team with a 69-58 win over Georgia on Tuesday. Karl-Anthony Towns added 15 points and 13 rebounds in the win and was the only other Kentucky scorer in double figures. The Wildcats (22-0, 9-0 SEC) extended the program’s best start since 1965-66, when the team began the season 23-0. They led by as much as 18 early in the second half but allowed Georgia (14-7, 5-4) to get back into it with a 9-1 scoring burst over a couple of minutes.

Final Score: (5) Wisconsin 92, Indiana 78

The proverbial gap between Wisconsin and the rest of the Big Ten was never more evident than in Tuesday’s 92-78 victory over Indiana. Frank Kaminsky led the fifth-ranked Badgers (20-2, 8-1 Big Ten) with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, highlighting an offense that shot 60 percent from the field and 28-of-31 from the foul line. Nigel Hayes scored 16 points, Bronson Koenig added 15, and Sam Dekker checked in with 14 points and six rebounds in Wisconsin’s fifth straight win. All five Indiana starters finished in double figures, with Nick Zeisloft hitting five 3-pointers en route to a team-high 17 points. Robert Johnson and Troy Williams netted 16 and 14 points, respectively. The Hoosiers (16-7, 6-4) came in tied for second in the conference standings and were looking to snap a 12-game losing streak at Kohl Center.

Final Score: (9) Louisville 63, Miami-Florida 55

Rick Pitino’s salt-and-pepper scruff will remain. Terry Rozier had 22 points and six rebounds, Montrezl Harrell added 16 points and eight boards and No. 9 Louisville defeated Miami-Florida 63-55 on Tuesday night. The Cardinals began growing “rally beards” following their loss to Duke on Jan. 17, something the team also did last season. They’ve won four straight since and don’t plan on seeing a razor until they lose again. Louisville shot a scorching 68.2 percent (15-of-22) in the first half and held on over the final 20 minutes despite hitting on just 30.8 percent (8-of-26) of their attempts in the second.

Final Score: (14) Northern Iowa 61, Indiana State 51

No. 14 Northern Iowa took over control of the Missouri Valley Conference on Saturday and continued its roll with a convincing road win over Indiana State. Seth Tuttle scored 15 points with eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Panthers in their 10th straight win, a 61-51 decision over the Sycamores at Hulman Center. Northern Iowa (21-2, 10-1 MVC) grabbed first place in the conference standings with a 70-54 home win against then-No. 12 Wichita State over the weekend thanks to Tuttle, who supplied a career-high 29 points against the Shockers. The Panthers had not won 10 straight since a 15-game winning streak during their 30-win campaign in 2009-10. Jeremy Morgan had 12 points and nine rebounds in the win. Indiana State (11-12, 7-4), which entered the game ranked third in the conference standings, has lost four of its last six overall. The Sycamores had won five straight at home, all in conference play, until Northern Iowa sent them to their sixth straight loss against a Top-25 foe.

Final Score: (21) Oklahoma 71, (15) West Virginia 52

Buddy Hield scored 21 points and No. 21 Oklahoma earned a bit of revenge with a 71-52 victory over No. 15 West Virginia on Tuesday. The Mountaineers embarrassed the Sooners on Jan. 13 in a 21-point rout that saw West Virginia force 22 turnovers, but it was Oklahoma (15-7, 6-4 Big 12) that won the turnover battle (15-13) in the rematch. Hield shot an efficient 8-of-13 from the floor and 5-of-7 from 3- point range to highlight an offense that made 61 percent of its shots. Jordan Woodard added 12 points, and Ryan Spangler chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds in the Sooners’ third straight win. Juwan Staten and Gary Browne went for 15 and 12 points, respectively, for West Virginia (18-4, 6-3), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Final Score: (22) Butler 85, St. John’s 62

Kellen Dunham’s 21 points led the way as 22nd-ranked Butler rolled to an 85-62 victory over sliding St. John’s in a Big East matchup from historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. In a game it never trailed at any stage, Butler (17-6, 7-3 Big East) got strong contributions from all five starters in winning its fourth straight conference test. Alex Barlow went 5-of-5 from the field in a 15-point effort for the Bulldogs, who shot 56.4 percent as a team. Andrew Chrabascz tallied 14 points and Roosevelt Jones added 13, with Kameron Woods pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds in the rout. St. John’s (14-8, 3-6) shot just 37.3 percent and played the majority of the contest without top rebounder Chris Obekpa, ejected for elbowing Butler’s Tyler Wideman in the head with 8:26 remaining in the first half. Sir’Dominic Pointer paced the Red Storm with 19 points and Rysheed Jordan had 17 in the loss. St. John’s has now dropped seven of 10 after an 11-1 start.

►  The March To March: Backloaded schedules offer opportunity

The last 10 games of a college basketball season can make or break you when it comes to making the NCAA Tournament.

Just ask Iowa.

The Hawkeyes nearly missed out last year after a promising 19-6 start. They dropped six of their last seven games prior to the start of the tourney, including a loss to lowly Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. They then lost to Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

A strong finish, however, can either help you sneak in or vault you up the seed line.

Virginia won 16 of its last 17 contests a year ago prior to the NCAA Tournament, defeated Duke in the ACC Tournament title game and earned a No. 1 seed. The aforementioned Volunteers got hot to close last season.

The stacked Big 12 has seven of its 10 teams inside the top 50 of the RPI rankings. While they might be beating up on each other, a few of those squads with backloaded schedules can improve their seedings in the NCAA Tournament come March. Of course, if some of those teams free fall, they might miss out on the tournament all together.

West Virginia has already built a case for being a potential top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament, but can strengthen its resume if it can navigate through its last 10 games.

WVU, which played just three top-50 teams over its first eight conference games en route to a 6-2 start, will square off with nine of them down the stretch. Six of those clashes will be against the top 25. The Mountaineers still have to play Kansas and Baylor twice and visit Oklahoma and Iowa State, respectively. If they can win five of those nine tilts, it may be enough to earn them a No. 2 or 3 seed.

Five of Oklahoma State’s last nine contests are against the top 25—six against the top 50. The Cowboys, who sport a 4-5 conference mark and sit seventh in the standings, have dropped four of their last six games. OK-State is currently in that 9-11 seed range and a dismal closing stretch may lead to an NIT appearance. Some signature wins, however, will get the Cowboys in.

Kansas State is an interesting case. The Wildcats have a respectable 4-6 mark against the top 50 of the RPI—2-4 against the top 25—but have already piled up 10 losses.

K-State, which has dropped three of its last four Big 12 games following a 4-1 start, can still get into the NCAA Tournament discussion. The Wildcats have five tilts remaining against the top 25 and seven of their last nine overall against the top 50. Kansas State is just 84th in the RPI and isn’t sniffing the NCAA Tournament discussion at the moment, but a red-hot finish and a run in the conference tourney just might be enough for a bid.

Moving away from the Big 12 and to another impressive league with a chance to accumulate key wins is the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Syracuse has yet to garner a top-50 win in four opportunities, but will have several chances to acquire signature victories to close the year.

The Orange have five games against the top 25 and six of their last 10 against the top 50. Jim Boeheim’s boys haven’t been in my projected bracket for weeks, but they play Duke twice, have Louisville and Virginia at home and will travel to Notre Dame and NC State. If they can get a pair of wins against the likes of Duke, Louisville, Virginia and Notre Dame, that might be enough to warrant an NCAA Tournament selection.

Washington has been in free-fall since an encouraging beginning to its campaign, but the Huskies have lost seven of their last 10 tilts and are 3-5 in Pac-12 play. They have also dropped four against teams outside of the top 100 of the RPI.

But UW still has a chance to turn its season around. It will have a pair of shots to knock off one of the Pac-12 heavyweights at home with matchups against Arizona and Utah. As long as it doesn’t keep recording bad losses, the Huskies could sneak into the tourney field.

Tulsa is atop the American Athletic Conference with an unblemished 9-0 mark, but has work to do to make the NCAA field of 68 if it doesn’t win the conference tourney. The Golden Hurricane are just 1-3 against the top 50 of the RPI, but has home games against Temple and Cincinnati and a road tilt at SMU. A win at Connecticut would also help.

Davidson has raced off to a respectable 5-3 Atlantic 10 record, although it suffered a bad loss at Saint Joseph’s Saturday. The Wildcats still have four key games remaining in conference, two against George Washington, a home showdown with top-25 RPI foe VCU and at Rhode Island. If they knock off the Rams, win three of those four games overall and don’t suffer any more bad losses, Davidson might be chosen for the NCAA tourney field.

Saint Mary’s is 17-5 and 9-2 in the West Coast Conference, but has only had two occasions to knock off top-50 RPI foes and dropped both. The Gaels also have a pair of defeats against schools outside the top 100. They will, however, get an opportunity to beat Gonzaga at home and a triumph at BYU should help as well. If they can finish the year undefeated and reach the final of the WCC tourney, that might allow them to dance come March.

The Southeastern Conference currently has just unbeaten Kentucky ranked in the polls and two in the top 25 of the RPI—the other is Arkansas. The league may struggle for several bids, but if any squad can knock off Kentucky, it could go a long way toward being selected.

Of the seven teams in the conference with above-.500 marks, Kentucky not included, five have games remaining against the Wildcats. Florida and Georgia will meet UK twice, LSU and Tennessee will get the opportunity to clip the ‘Cats at home and Arkansas will face them in Lexington.

While a strong finish can help solidify an NCAA Tournament selection, a woeful one may not garner an invitation at all.

Down the stretch they come.


MIDWEST (Cleveland)

1. Kentucky* vs. 16. New Mexico State*/Saint Francis-NY* winner

8. Xavier vs. 9. Colorado State

4. North Carolina vs. 13. Long Beach State*

5. Baylor vs. 12. Iona*

6. Oklahoma vs. 11. NC State/George Washington winner

3. Louisville vs. 14. Murray State*

7. Georgetown vs. 10. Georgia

2. Wisconsin* vs. 15. Florida Gulf Coast*

SOUTH (Houston)

1. Duke vs. 16. Albany*

8. Oklahoma State vs. 9. Dayton

4. Maryland vs. 13. Western Kentucky*

5. Wichita State vs. 12. Green Bay*

6. Providence vs. 11. Ole Miss

3. West Virginia vs. 14. William & Mary*

7. SMU vs. 10. Iowa

2. Arizona* vs. 15. High Point*

EAST (Syracuse)

1. Virginia* vs. 16. Sacramento State*/Bucknell* winner

8. San Diego State* vs. 9. Cincinnati

4. Utah vs. 13. Stephen F. Austin*

5. VCU* vs. 12. St. John’s/Michigan State winner

6. Ohio State vs. 11. Tulsa*

3. Iowa State vs. 14. NC Central*

7. Arkansas vs. 10. Miami-Florida

2. Villanova* vs. 15. Georgia Southern*

WEST (Los Angeles)

1. Gonzaga* vs. 16. Texas Southern*

8. Stanford vs. 9. LSU

4. Butler vs. 13. Yale*

5. Northern Iowa* vs. 12. Wofford*

6. Indiana vs. 11. Old Dominion

3. Notre Dame vs. 14. Akron*

7. Seton Hall vs. 10. Texas

2. Kansas* vs. 15. South Dakota State*


Texas A&M







Kansas State


* - denotes conference leader. In a result of a tie atop the standings, the team with the higher RPI was choSenator

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Nothin’ but Net: Still not buying Hawks, Warriors?

Two teams have clearly separated themselves this NBA season, and it’s not too early to start thinking of the Finals.

The Golden State Warriors have led the Western Conference wire-to-wire. The Atlanta Hawks have lost three times since Thanksgiving and own a seven-game lead in the Eastern Conference.

Their coaches - Steve Kerr for Golden State and Mike Budenholzer of the Hawks - are guiding the All-Star teams. Five members of the teams will be headed to Madison Square Garden in less than two weeks, and if Dwyane Wade’s hamstring remains Pringles-brittle, there could be a sixth.

Golden State’s Steph Curry is the favorite to win the MVP award. His teammate, Draymond Green, is likely to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year. One of the above-mentioned coaches will be the coach of the year, barring a miracle.

And what’s not to love about these teams, and I’d like you to stress the word “team” when reading. Both the Warriors and Hawks are units.

Golden State has two former All-Stars still in their prime in Andre Iguodala and David Lee, who were benched for children in Green and Harrison Barnes. That takes a lot for two veterans, who also combine to make $27.3 million this season, to accept coming off the bench. However, Kerr works them into the rotation effectively and even at the ends of games.

Budenholzer’s Hawks mirror the San Antonio Spurs. Bud studied at the altar of Gregg Popovich and Atlanta plays the same way. It’s a system based on passing, movement and unselfishness.

Both teams are two-way threats. The Hawks rank third in opponents’ scoring, while Golden State is 15th, but the Warriors are first in opponents’ field- goal percentage (Atlanta is fifth.) Offense isn’t a problem, either. The Warriors are the top-scoring squad in the NBA and the Hawks are sixth. Both are top 10 in forcing turnovers.

Depth is not an issue as evidenced by Iguodala and Lee for Golden State. Atlanta’s starters are relied on more heavily, but six second-unit guys average over 4.5 points per game.

So why then is there such little faith in both, or either, making the NBA Finals?

Read people like me or other pundits. Listen to the experts and few believe this is the matchup we’ll see in June.

The wise guys and gals still love the Cleveland Cavaliers. Most pick the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. Charles Barkley likes the Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies. How can we forget the defending champion San Antonio Spurs?

Heck, some people fancy the chances of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West more than Golden State. Let’s not dwell on the fact that OKC is three games behind the Phoenix Suns for the eighth seed and has to jump the New Orleans Pelicans for a postseason berth.

Why no love?

Most have not bought into the Warriors and Hawks completely for a few reasons, as best I can speculate.

(I’m sticking by my picks of Cleveland and the Los Angeles Clippers because I think it’s still possible and no need to flip. But the analytical side of me would take Golden State and Atlanta right now for the worst-imaginable Finals for the NBA.)

First, the coaches are sensational, but untested. Kerr is in his first season, Budenholzer is in his second. His Hawks took the Indiana Pacers to seven games as the eighth seed last year.

However, neither has been close to the cauldron of a conference finals, or an NBA Finals. How will they react to the Xs and Os? How will they react to the increased scrutiny, the media commitments that come with that ascension?

The players are another story. Postseason experience is light on both rosters. Only Atlanta’s Thabo Sefolosha has appeared in the Finals. His Hawks teammate Paul Millsap made a Western Conference Finals appearance with the Utah Jazz 10 years ago.

On the Warriors, Leonard Barbosa made it to a pair of conference finals with the Phoenix Suns.

The current incarnation of the Hawks has been together for a season-plus. Continuity is important, but even Al Horford and Jeff Teague, the longest- tenured Hawks, don’t have deep playoff runs under their belts.

This Warriors group has made the playoffs the last two seasons, but advanced past the first round once. Last season, the lost in the opening round. That doesn’t bathe oneself in confidence come playoff time.

Inexperience is one thing, but style comes into play. Both teams are primarily thought of as jump-shooting groups. Playoff basketball is a fistfight. Are these teams physically tough enough to endure?

The Warriors are the scrappiest litter in the zoo. They’ve started more fights than cheap beer. Andrew Bogut is a premiere defensive big man and a bad dude in the paint. Green is as well, although he’s less a bulky force than a versatile agitator.

Would you want to start a scrap with Horford over a game of Scrabble? Of course not, but the Hawks are a little softish. They could use help on the interior and a rim protector.

There’s nothing wrong with liking other teams more. My unconditional love in Memphis is unmatched, but the Grizzlies made one conference final. Everyone loves the Spurs and they may get it together by the summer, but this team hasn’t played at the level they’re capable.

The Thunder? I draw the line. The Warriors are 14 1/2 games ahead of OKC, so let’s dismiss them.

In the East, there’s a presupposition the Bulls or Cavaliers will get it together before the postseason. Fifty games is a pretty strong sample size, so why would one assume either was better positioned to make a deeper run than Atlanta?

Parity exists in the NBA and it’s a good thing. This season, there are several legitimate teams that could make a run at a ring, so the relative lack of fanfare for the Warriors and Hawks is explainable.

It’s also wrong. We aren’t talking about the two teams who happen to be atop the standings at the moment. The Warriors and Hawks have run through the league. They score, they defend, they’re deep, they’re professional and committed.

I, for one, looked at this point in the season and believe that Golden State and Atlanta can sustain high levels. I believe this is a future Finals matchup. Get on board, world.  ~~  Jim Brighters ~~

►  NBA Game Results

(Tuesday, February 03)

Final Score: Philadelphia 105, Denver 98

Hollis Thompson hit four 3-pointers and finished with 23 points as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Denver Nuggets 105-98 on Tuesday night. Michael Carter-Williams posted 15 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds and Robert Covington added 17 points and eight boards for the Sixers, who have won three of their last five games on the heels of a six-game slide. Danilo Gallinari netted 22 points off the bench, Wilson Chandler poured in 19 points and Ty Lawson dished out 14 helpers for Denver, which has dropped 10 of its last 11 games.

Final Score: Detroit 108, Miami 91

D.J. Augustin had 25 points and a season-high 13 assists and the Detroit Pistons never trailed over the last 3 1/2 quarters on the way to a 108-91 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 18 points and Andre Drummond scored 14 and had 14 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won two in a row on the heels of a four- game losing streak. Detroit got 13 points from Kyle Singler, 12 from Greg Monroe and 10 from Jodie Meeks in a well-balanced offensive output. Chris Bosh scored 21 of his points while shooting 9-for-9 in the third quarter for Miami, which played a third game without Dwyane Wade (hamstring). Hassan Whiteside had 11 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.

Final Score: Boston 108, New York 97

Avery Bradley scored 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting to lead the Boston Celtics to a 108-97 win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. Jared Sullinger posted 22 points with nine rebounds and six assists for Boston, which snapped its three-game losing streak. Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder each tallied 13 points for the Celtics. Carmelo Anthony contributed 21 points, while Jose Calderon and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 and 14 points, respectively, in the loss. New York had its four-game home winning streak halted.

Final Score: Portland 103, Utah 102

LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds and hit the clinching free throws to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 103-102 victory over the pesky Utah Jazz. Damian Lillard scored 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting and Wesley Matthews added 21 for the Blazers, who had dropped three straight and eight of 10 coming in. Robin Lopez contributed 11 points in his return from missing 23 games with a broken hand. He suffered a facial laceration in the third quarter of this nip-and-tuck battle but returned in the fourth quarter. Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 27 and 20 points, respectively.

Final Score: Golden State 121, Sacramento 96

Stephen Curry had 23 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals as the Golden State Warriors routed the Sacramento Kings 121-96 on Tuesday night. Klay Thompson finished with 14 points, half of that total coming in the third. Thompson famously set an NBA record for points in a quarter with 37 against the Kings on Jan. 23. Marreese Speights posted 17 points and eight boards off the bench, while Andre Iguodala added 17 points for the Warriors, who have won seven of their last nine games. DeMarcus Cousins tallied 26 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento, which has lost nine of its last 10 games.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  WVWC Tabbed As MEC Softball Preseason Favorite

West Virginia Wesleyan has been picked by the coaches in the Mountain East Conference to win the 2015 softball conference title. 

The Bobcats finished with 116 points and were picked to finish first on six ballots. West Virginia Wesleyan won the MEC regular season title last year and advanced to the NCAA Atlantic Region finals. WVWC returns first team All-MEC performers Megan Malenstyn, who hit .365 and drove in 45 runs last year, and Olivia Gore, who led the team with a .379 batting average and 43 runs scored.

UVa-Wise was picked to finish second with 107 points and earned five first-place votes. The Cavs picked up the conference tournament championship last year and returns team captain Alexa Hernandez who hit .328, but coach Karen Bitter’s squad will have to replace seven seniors from last year’s squad.

Fairmont State was picked third with 93 points and had the final first-place vote, and Charleston was next with 92 points. Shepherd was fifth with 70 points, followed by Concord (62), Urbana (59), West Virginia State (56) and Notre Dame (51). Wheeling Jesuit (42), Glenville State (30) and West Liberty (14) rounded out the poll.

2015 MEC Softball Preseason Poll
1. West Virginia Wesleyan (6) 116
2. UVa-Wise (5) 107
3. Fairmont State (1) 93
4. Charleston 92
5. Shepherd 70
6. Concord 62
7. Urbana 59
8. West Virginia State 56
9. Notre Dame 51
10. Wheeling Jesuit 42
11. Glenville State 30
12. West Liberty 14
() Indicates first place votes * Coaches not able to vote for own team

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Shepherd Picked To Win 2015 MEC Baseball Title

The Shepherd Rams have been picked by the baseball coaches in the Mountain East Conference to repeat as conference champions in 2015.

The Rams, the MEC regular season champions in 2014, finished with 116 points and were picked to finish first on eight ballots. Catcher Spencer Wolfe, a preseason All-America honoree, returns to the lineup after hitting .388 and slugged a team-best .624 with seven home runs. Starter Ryan Pansch went 7-4 last year with a 2.81 ERA.  

West Virginia State and Concord finished in a tie for second with 107 points. The Yellow Jackets, the 2014 MEC Tournament champions, were picked first on three ballots. WVSU’s pitching staff will be led by Tyler Hall and first team All-MEC reliever Josh Falbo. The Mountain Lions had one first-place vote. CU returns second baseman Jerrod Groves, a second team All-MEC honoree last year, and will be led on the hill by Chris Kelly who went 8-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 2014.

Notre Dame was picked fourth with 87 points, followed by West Liberty (76), Urbana (75) and Charleston (60). Wheeling Jesuit was selected to finish eighth with 47 points, and West Virginia Wesleyan (36), UVa-Wise (32), Fairmont State (26) and Glenville State (14) completed the poll.

2015 MEC Baseball Preseason Poll
1. Shepherd (8) 116
2.(t) West Virginia State (3) 107
Concord (1) 107
4. Notre Dame 87
5. West Liberty 76
6. Urbana 75
7. Charleston 60
8. Wheeling Jesuit 47
9. West Virginia Wesleyan 36
10. UVa-Wise 32
11. Fairmont State 26
12. Glenville State 14
() Indicates first place votes * Coaches not able to vote for own team

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Royals, Moustakas agree on one-year deal

The Kansas City Royals and third baseman Mike Moustakas avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year contract Tuesday.

Moustakas, 26, hit just .212 with 15 homers and 54 runs batted in over 140 games last season. In the postseason, he batted .231 with a franchise-record five homers and seven RBI in 15 games for the AL champions.

For his career, the four-year veteran has a .236 average with 52 homers and 199 RBI. His best season came in 2012 when he hit .242 with 20 home runs and 73 RBI.

►  Angels avoid arbitration with Richards

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim avoided salary arbitration with pitcher Garrett Richards, agreeing to terms on a one- year deal.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but reports over the weekend indicated the contract to be worth $3.2 million.

Richards will enter the 2015 season recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. He was hurt last August while covering first base on a ground ball in Boston.

The 26-year-old right-hander was 13-4 with a 2.61 earned run average in 26 starts last season. He owns a career record of 24-17 with a 3.66 ERA in 110 games, including 55 starts, since making his major league debut in 2011.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top Shelf: Dubnyk out to save reputation, Wild

The Minnesota Wild desperately needed a solution to their goaltending problems, but few people would have believed Devan Dubnyk could be the answer.

Considering the season Dubnyk has gone through, the Wild would have to be desperate to give him a chance. But beggars can’t be choosers and presently Minnesota couldn’t be happier with its choice.

Sometimes the most impactful moves come several weeks before the NHL trade deadline and are accompanied by little fanfare. Both Dubnyk and the Wild are hoping their union was one of those deals - the kind that makes hardly any splash at the time, but looks like a stroke of genius in retrospect.

The Wild’s issues in the crease have been well documented. The problems began before the season when Josh Harding broke his foot while reportedly kicking a wall in anger. Harding, who led the Wild with 18 wins last season, has since recovered from the broken bone, but is currently not an option for Minnesota due to issues related to multiple sclerosis.

Sans Harding, the Wild gave Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper plenty of chances to take the No. 1 job and run with it, but that plan didn’t work out for either guy.

Enter Dubnyk, who came to Minnesota from the Arizona Coyotes on January 15 for the price of a third-round draft pick in 2015. It marked the second straight year Dubnyk was traded on January 15, as he was shipped from Edmonton to Nashville on the same day in 2014.

After getting dealt from the Oilers, Dubnyk saw his reputation take a nose dive. Once a first-round pick by Edmonton (14th overall in 2004), the Saskatchewan native played in only two games with the Predators before getting shipped to Montreal and ending the season as the fourth-string goaltender in the Canadiens organization.

The lowest point came after the trade to Montreal when Dubnyk could barely stop pucks at the AHL level, posting a 3.33 goals against average and .893 save percentage in eight appearances for the Hamilton Bulldogs.

“It was a difficult time for me mentally and where I was with my game,“ Dubnyk said of the depths he reached at the end of 2013-14. “From a goalie standpoint, if a guy crosses the blue line with the puck and you are thinking about what you are doing, you are going to get torched, and that’s kind of where I was.“

Despite his awful stretch at the end of last season, the Arizona Coyotes thought Dubnyk deserved another chance. He signed a one-year deal to serve primarily as Mike Smith’s backup, and proved himself to be a competent No. 2 option, going 9-5-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .916 save percentage.

During his time in Arizona, Dubnyk regained the confidence needed to re- establish himself as an NHL-quality goalie. Former NHL netminder and Coyotes goaltending coach Sean Burke gets credit from Dubnyk for getting his mojo back.

“Right from the get-go, he just put so much confidence in me,“ Dubnyk said of Burke. “There’s no words, it’s not like he pumps your tires every day, it’s just the unspoken, you know he’s got your back, you know he believes in you and you know he’ll go to bat for you.“

Burke’s faith in the lost goaltender is paying dividends now that Dubnyk has traded the scorching deserts of Arizona for the frozen tundra of Minnesota. After proving himself as a worthy backup with the Coyotes, the Wild offered Dubnyk a chance to log No. 1 minutes and he’s been able to seize the opportunity.

In seven games since relocating to St. Paul, Dubnyk has outperformed Minnesota’s other goalies by leaps and bounds, going 5-1-0 with a 1.71 GAA and .935 save percentage. Dubnyk also has recorded two shutouts with the Wild, leaving him just one shy of Kuemper for the team lead less than three weeks into his tenure.

The Wild’s fortunes have risen right along with Dubnyk. It’s been a difficult season in Minnesota to say the least and it’s amazing head coach Mike Yeo survived the firing rumors and lasted long enough to see this Dubnyk-inspired turnaround.

With Dubnyk in tow, the team enters Tuesday’s game against Chicago only three points out of a playoff spot. The new goaltender will get his eighth consecutive start in net and hopes to continue the process of rehabilitating his own image while helping give another boost to Minnesota’s once slim postseason chances.

It’s always interesting when a trade that is barely a blip on the news cycle when it happens becomes a major story line only a few weeks later. In this case, it’s possible that both a player’s career and a team’s fading playoff hopes turned for the better thanks to one “minor” trade.

“With Devan coming in as a new face and fresh start, we knew he was a good goalie, so we just kind of wiped the slate clean and it clicked,“ said Wild center Charlie Coyle.

“He has definitely given us confidence, but it goes both ways.“    ~~  Dan Di Sciullo ~~

►  NHL Game Results

(Tuesday, February 03)

Final Score: New Jersey 2, Ottawa 1

NMike Cammalleri scored in the third period as the New Jersey Devils hung on for a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at Prudential Center. Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan, a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, had an open net in the dying seconds but couldn’t get a shot off. Adam Henrique had the other goal for the Devils, who have earned a point in a season-high five straight games (4-0-1). Cory Schneider stopped 19-of-20 shots in his career-best 44th start. Curtis Lazar scored and Robin Lehner made 17 saves for Ottawa, which has dropped four of its last six games.

Final Score: Florida 4, NY Islanders 2

Jimmy Hayes potted a pair of goals, including the go-ahead score 2:10 into the third period, to lead the Florida Panthers to a much-needed 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders. Al Montoya stopped 32 shots to help the Panthers salvage the finale of a three-game road trip through the New York metro area, with Brandon Pirri contributing a goal and an assist to the win. Florida had gone 1-6-1 over its previous eight games and was outscored by a 9-4 margin in recent road setbacks to the Devils and Rangers. The Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders matched a season high with their third straight loss despite Anders Lee’s two-goal effort. Jaroslav Halak turned aside 26-of-29 chances in defeat.

Final Score: Washington 4, Los Angeles 0

Braden Holtby made 27 saves for his sixth shutout of the season to guide the Washington Capitals to a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. Troy Brouwer had two goals, Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist and Eric Fehr lit the lamp for the Capitals, who had dropped six of seven coming into the game. Jonathan Quick allowed all four goals on 27 shots for the Kings, who have lost six of their last seven.

Final Score: Arizona 4, Columbus 1

Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, while Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Shane Doan netted power-play goals in the second period as Arizona claimed a 4-1 victory over Columbus at Nationwide Arena. Lucas Lessio and Tobias Rieder also rippled the net for the Coyotes, who have won three of their last four since losing seven in a row. Keith Yandle and Antoine Vermette added two assists each. James Wisniewski potted the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, losers of three straight and eight of their last 11. Anton Forsberg made 25 saves in defeat.

Final Score: Buffalo 3, Montreal 2

Finally! The Buffalo Sabres ended a pair of franchise-worst losing streaks by holding on for a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. Buffalo snapped team-record skids that had reached 14 overall and on the road, posting its first victory since Dec. 27 against the New York Islanders. The club’s last road win came Nov. 29 against these same Canadiens. Drew Stafford, Matt Moulson and ex-Montreal captain Brian Gionta had first-period goals for the Sabres, who got 32 saves from Jhonas Enroth. Brandon Prust and David Desharnais scored for Montreal, which has dropped two straight following a five-game win streak. Carey Price, coming off consecutive shutouts, gave up three goals on 18 shots.

Final Score: St. Louis 2, Tampa Bay 1 (OT)

Jaden Schwartz scored 1:16 into overtime and the St. Louis Blues slipped past Tampa Bay, 2-1, at Scottrade Center. Vladimir Tarasenko picked up the other goal for the Blues, who have won six in a row and 11 of their last 12 to challenge Nashville for Central Division supremacy. Brian Elliott picked up the win thanks to 30 stops. Cedric Paquette provided early offense for the Lightning, who have recorded a point in six of their last seven games (5-1-1). Ben Bishop made just 16 saves.

Final Score: Nashville 4, Toronto 3

Colin Wilson recorded the game-winning goal with 8:42 remaining, sending the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 10th consecutive loss and giving the Nashville Predators a 4-3 come-from-behind victory. The Predators trailed 3-2 before goals by Wilson and Mike Fisher lifted the Central Division leaders to a franchise-record ninth straight win on home ice. Fisher added a pair of assists and Wilson had one of his own in support of Carter Hutton’s 25 saves. Seth Jones and Shea Weber also scored for the Predators. Toronto overcame a 2-0 deficit after one period on goals by Daniel Winnik, Nazem Kadri and Mike Santorelli, but couldn’t hold the lead in tying a club mark for consecutive defeats. The Leafs fell to 0-9-1 in their last 10 road outings as well. Santorelli also registered an assist and Jonathan Bernier finished with 24 saves for Toronto.

Final Score: Minnesota 3, Chicago 0

Devan Dubnyk turned away 24 shots for his third shutout of the season to lead the Minnesota Wild in a 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Mikko Koivu had a goal and an assist while Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund also scored for the Wild, who have ripped off four straight wins. Corey Crawford allowed all three goals on 43 shots for the Blackhawks, who have gone just 2-3-0 during a seven-game road trip.

Final Score: Colorado 3, Dallas 2 (SO)

Maxime Talbot scored in the 11th round of the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche rallied to beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 at American Airlines Center. Talbot skated in wide and fired the puck past Kari Lehtonen and in off the left post. Colorado wasted six earlier chances to win the shootout and were down to its last shot twice. Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for the Avalanche, who erased a 2-0 third-period deficit with goals from Ryan O’Reilly and Tyson Barrie, the latter coming with 20 seconds remaining in regulation. Colorado improved to 9-3-3 in its last 15 games.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  PBZ Zagreb Indoors Men’s Tennis Update – February 03

Zagreb, Croatia

Total Prize Money: $560,000


Andreas Seppi (5) leads Robin Haase, 3-0
Mikhail Youzhny (6) defeated Blaz Kavcic, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
Viktor Troicki (7) defeated Illya Marchenko, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3)
Marcos Baghdatis defeated Toni Androic, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3
Damir Dzumhur defeated Michael Berrer, 6-2, 0-6, 7-5
Go Soeda defeated Matthias Bachinger, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5

►  Open Sud de France Men’s Tennis Update – February 03

Montpellier, France

Total Prize Money: $560,000


Jarkko Nieminen defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (8), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
Lucas Pouille defeated Alexander Kudryavtsev, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
Dudi Sela defeated Jurgen Zopp, 6-3, 6-4
Paul-Henri Mathieu leads Taro Daniel, 6-3, 1-2
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs. Benoit Paire
Edouard Roger-Vasselin defeated Andreas Beck, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Kenny De Schepper defeated Marsel Ilhan, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Bethpage Black to remain in Barclays rotation

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday that Bethpage State Park’s Black Course will host The Barclays again in 2021 and 2027.

The Black Course, which opened in 1936, hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens. The Barclays, the first FedExCup Playoff event, was first played there in 2012 and will again be contested there in 2016.

“Bethpage State Park is one of the best public golf courses in the nation, and we are proud to welcome The Barclays back for two more tournaments,“ Governor Cuomo said. “We look forward to welcoming golfers and spectators to these world-class competitions and urge them to also experience all that Long Island has to offer.“

Tiger Woods (2002) and Lucas Glover (2009) won the two U.S. Opens contested on the Black Course, while Nick Watney claimed the 2012 Barclays.

“Today’s announcement continues this tournament’s stellar rotation of playing on some of the area’s best courses. I’d like to thank the New York State Parks Department, Governor Cuomo and Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey for their partnership over the years at Bethpage State Park, which now extends well past the next decade,“ said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. “We’re thrilled to bring the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs to such a well-respected and challenging course again in 2021 and 2027, and we look forward to announcing additional venues in the rotation in the near future.“

The PGA of America announced last year that the Black Course will host the 2019 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup.

Bethpage is one of a four-course rotation for the Barclays. Plainfield Country Club, Liberty National Golf Club and Ridgewood Country Club, which hosted in 2014 when Hunter Mahan won the title, are also part of the Barclays rotation.

►  This Week in Golf—February 05-08

PGA TOUR - FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN, Torrey Pines Golf Club (North & South Courses), San Diego, California - The PGA Tour returns to California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open.

Torrey Pines has long been one of Tiger Woods’s favorite stops. He has won this event seven times, and claimed his last major there at the 2008 U.S. Open, when he beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff.

However, Woods is coming off a last place finish in Phoenix, so it is hard to say what we will see out of the 14-time major champion this week. Last year, Woods stumbled to a 79 in the third round and missed the secondary cut in his title defense.

With Woods out of contention last year, there was a battle for the title. Scott Stallings closed with a 4-under 68 to win by one stroke over five players and by two shots over three more.

The victory was the third for Stallings on the PGA Tour. Like Woods, Stallings is coming off a missed cut last week in Phoenix. After his win last year, Stallings went into a tailspin as he missed 13 cuts in his next 23 starts. However, his missed cut last week was the first in six starts this season for Stallings.

Along with Woods and Stallings, the field will include 13 of the top 25 players in the world. World No. 5 Justin Rose is the highest ranked player in the group that also includes Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker and Bill Haas.

Johnson will make his first PGA Tour start since last years Canadian Open. His best finish at this event was a tie for third in 2011.

Golf Channel will have coverage all four days. Their coverage on Saturday and Sunday will be early, before they hand off to CBS.

The PGA Tour heads to Northern California next week for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Walker stumbled to a 2-over 74 in the final round last year, but he held on for a 1-stroke win over Johnson and Jim Renner.


MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN, Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - The European Tour heads to Kuala Lumpur this week for the Maybank Malaysian Open, where Lee Westwood was a runaway winner last year.

Westwood did enough in the first two rounds to earn the title. He opened the week with rounds of 65-66 to end 36 holes at 13-under par. The Englishman picked up five more strokes over the final two rounds to end at 18-under par, seven shots clear of Louis Oosthuizen, Nicolas Colsaerts and Bernd Wiesberger.

The win was the 23rd on the European Tour for Westwood. In his first start of 2015 last week in Dubai, Westwood shared ninth place, eight strokes behind winner Rory McIlroy.

Westwood will be on hand to defend his title against a field that includes Miguel Angel Jimenez, Stephen Gallacher, Robert Karlsson, Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell.

Golf Channel has early morning coverage of all four rounds this week.

The European Tour shifts to Thailand next week for the inaugural Thailand Classic.


PURE SILK BAHAMAS LPGA CLASSIC, Ocean Club Golf Course, Paradise Island, Bahamas - The LPGA Tour is in paradise this week with the third playing of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Jessica Korda broke par in all four rounds en route to a 1-stroke win over Stacy Lewis last year. Korda closed with a 7-under 66 on the par-73 Ocean Club Golf Course.

Korda rallied by third-round leader Na Yeon Choi, who closed with a 72. Korda picked up her third LPGA Tour win later last year when she won the Airbus LPGA Classic. She shared second place last week at the Coates Golf Championship, where Choi came from behind to win that crown.

Both Korda and Choi will be in the field this week, along with newly minted world No. 1 Lydia Ko as well as Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Suzann Pettersen, Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie.

Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds of the event.

After a week off, the LPGA Tour heads to Australia and Asia for three events. First up is the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Karrie Webb rallied to win in her homeland last year as Chella Choi stumbled in the final round.


ALLIANZ CHAMPIONSHIP, The Old Course at Broken Sound, Boca Raton, Florida - After a week off, the Champions Tour is in Florida this week for the Allianz Championship.

Michael Allen fired a 12-under 60 in the opening round, then followed with a pair of 69s. Duffy Waldorf posted a 67 in the final round to catch Allen at 18-under-par 198, which set the tournament’s scoring record.

The duo headed back to the par-5 18th, where they both 2-putted for birdie on the first extra hole. Allen birdied the hole for a second time to fend off Waldorf and win for the sixth time on the Champions Tour.

Golf Channel will have coverage of all three rounds.

The Champions Tour shifts to Naples next week for the ACE Group Classic, where Kirk Triplett beat Waldorf, Bernhard Langer and Olin Browne by a single stroke last year.



Colombia - The Tour continues its trek through Central and South America this week with the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship.

Weather problems plagued the tournament last year when Alex Cejka was declared the winner after he wrapped up a third-round 63. He beat Andrew Putnam by three strokes.

All three rounds were finished the day after they started. Cejka played just one hole of his third round on Saturday, but had gotten nine holes into the fourth round before play was suspended on Sunday.

Players were unable to return to the course after that suspension so scores reverted back to the end of the third round and Cejka was declared the winner. It was his first Tour title.

There is no television coverage this week.

The Tour will take three weeks off before returning with a new event, the Karibana Championship, which is also in Colombia.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Marshall among possibilities for son of former West Virginia receiver Antonio Brown

Three-star cornerback Antonio Howard, the son of former West Virginia receiver Antonio Brown, decommitted from the Mountaineers on Monday.

The 5-foot-10 speedster from Hialeah, Florida, had pledged to West Virginia in August but reportedly put himself on shaky ground by visiting other schools recently. Howard previously decommitted from Florida International last April and Cincinnati in June.

antonio howard @speedyhoward:
“Just decommited from West Virginia gotta do what’s best for me I will announce Wea I’m going for college on signing day Wednesday at 11AM”

That preceded a curious exchange of tweets involving West Virginia assistant coach JaJuan Seider, who has plucked numerous players from south Florida and had served as the lead recruiter for Howard:

JaJuan Seider:
When you play game, eventually run out of tokens. #WVU

Seider’s tweet subsequently was deleted but not before Howard responded: “He really sneak dissing me this what happens at West Virginia.”

Finally, amid speculation that West Virginia pulled Howard’s scholarship offer when he continued checking out other programs, the player tweeted:

antonio howard @speedyhoward:
“Listen I never got cut loose from West Virginia I cut them loose remember no disrespect”

With players able to sign their national letters of intent Wednesday, Howard appears to be down to Marshall, UCF and Miami.

At various stages Howard, who was timed at 4.32 in the 40, also held offers from Kentucky, Pitt, Syracuse, South Florida, and Temple.

With 21 commitments as of Monday night, West Virginia’s class ranked No. 29 nationally and third-best in the Big 12, according to Rivals.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Shanahan, Smith join Falcons coaching staff

On the day Dan Quinn was introduced as head coach, the Atlanta Falcons named Kyle Shanahan offensive coordinator and Richard Smith defensive coordinator on Tuesday.

The Falcons also named Raheem Morris assistant coach/defensive passing game coordinator, Bobby Turner running backs coach and Mike LaFleur offensive assistant. Keith Armstrong will stay as special teams coordinator as will defensive line coach Bryan Cox, tight ends coach Wade Harman, wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie and assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovich.

Shanahan joins the Falcons after spending last season with the Cleveland Browns. Prior to the Browns, Shanahan spent four years with the Washington Redskins as offensive coordinator.

“I was fortunate to get connected with Kyle Shanahan and look forward to the opportunity to be partnered with him,“ said Quinn during his press conference on Tuesday.

Quinn had long been rumored as the Falcons’ head coach choice, but the club had to wait until he finished his duties as defensive coordinator for the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks.

On the defensive side, Quinn said he will be involved, but didn’t commit on calling the plays over Smith, who spent the last four seasons as the linebackers coach for the Denver Broncos.

Prior to joining the Broncos, Smith was linebackers coach for two years with the Carolina Panthers. He has over 25 years of coaching experience in the NFL, having also coached for the Texans, Dolphins, Lions and Oilers.

Morris is the only coach on the staff with prior head coaching experience. He was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-11 before spending the last three seasons as defensive backs coach for the Redskins.

Robiskie has been an interim head coach with Washington in 2000 and Cleveland in 2004.

►  Texans name Pasqualoni, Devlin line coaches

The Houston Texans named Paul Pasqualoni as defensive line coach and Mike Devlin as offensive line coach.

Pasqualoni spent the 2014 season as defensive line coach for the Chicago Bears and will enter his 40th year as a coach on the pro or college level. He was the head coach at Syracuse from 1991-2004, guiding the Orange to a record of 107-59-1 with nine bowl berths in 14 years, then struggled as head coach at Connecticut with a mark of 10-18 in two-plus seasons from 2011-13.

As an NFL assistant, he was the tight ends coach and linebackers coach for the Dallas Cowboys from 2005-07, then spent two years as defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins before returning to Dallas as defensive coordinator and line coach for the 2010 campaign.

Devlin spent the past nine seasons with the New York Jets, first as tight ends coach from 2006-12 and then as offensive line coach from 2013-14. He played seven years in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills (1993-95) and Arizona Cardinals (1996-99), and also spent time as an assistant coach with the Cardinals from 2000-03.

The Texans also named Pat O’Hara as offensive assistant and Brian Bell as a strength and conditioning assistant, while Anthony Pleasant will now serve as a defensive assistant after spending the 2014 season as a strength and conditioning assistant.

►  Extra Points: Quinn gets the big chair

He didn’t go out like he wanted but Dan Quinn’s reputation was already secured in Arthur Blank’s mind.

The worst-kept secret in football unveiled itself Monday when Quinn, one of the key architects of the generation’s best defense in Seattle, was officially named the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

“This is an exciting day for the Atlanta Falcons franchise and our fans,“ said Blank, the Falcons’ owner. “Dan is a talented football coach who has a deep and diverse history in the game, which will serve us well. As we got to know Dan during the interview process, it became clear that he has a definitive plan for our football team and what it will take to win on a consistent basis.“

It was bittersweet for Quinn, who was less than 24 hours off a gut-wrenching 28-24 Super Bowl defeat to New England, one in which it was the Pats’ defense which made the signature play, a goal-line interception by little known cornerback Malcolm Butler in the waning seconds.

Quinn refused to discuss his impending move south after Super Bowl XLIX, preferring to honor the Seahawks and the game itself, a masterpiece which set a new U.S. television record with an average of 114 million viewers tuned in.

“In respect to this game, what a terrific game we were all a part of,“ Quinn said Sunday night. “So for tonight, I’d like to make the focus all about our players and both teams.

“It was a great contest. You could see how hard guys played. As a coach, that’s really what you’re looking for, great effort first. You see the guys in the locker room, they gave everything they had. You can’t ask for more than that as a coach.“

Quinn’s top charges did leave it out on the field.

All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman played with a compression sleeve on what was described as a hyperextended elbow until reports emerged after the game that the Stanford product would need Tommy John surgery to repair ligament damage.

Meanwhile, impact safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor also played hurt with Thomas wearing a harness to protect a dislocated shoulder suffered in the NFC Championship Game against Green Bay, and Chancellor sporting a brace on a shaky knee tweaked in practice two days before the Super Bowl.

“My respect for so many of these players is so high, and we’re so connected,“ Quinn said. “I really feel for them. They put everything they had into this.“

That admiration is a two-day street and few Seattle defenders are feeling abandoned, with linebacker K.J. Wright calling his now ex-mentor “a defensive mastermind,“ while also praising the Falcons for waiting out the process and sticking with a guy who wasn’t free until February 2.

“I think he’ll be a really good head coach,“ Wright told The Sports Network. “I know a lot of guys want him (back), but he should’ve been gone last year with what he did.

“Let’s talk Atlanta. They’ve got a good offense, but the defense is struggling. So if he comes out there and gets that defense right, they’re an automatic playoff team.“

Quinn’s stifling defense was the calling card in the Pacific Northwest in the most offensively-skewed era in pro football history and it’s built on the K.I.S.S. principle—keep it simple stupid.

“We just honestly try to find unique guys and how fast we can play,“ Quinn said when describing his philosophy. “Then, within each team, there are unique guys and how you feature the players. Really, it is just about featuring the guys and the roles they can do best.“

The unique guys in Seattle for Quinn were athletic middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and the best secondary in football, led by Sherman as well as Thomas and Chancellor.

“(The Falcons) are getting a great coach,“ Wagner said. “I feel like he’s very open and easy to talk with. It’s not like you have to do it his way. He’s going to talk to you and say why his way is great. I think the biggest thing is that he’s a great communicator.“

The cupboard is not similarly stacked in Atlanta, though, where the Falcons allowed an NFL-worst 398.3 yards per game in 2014, a number fueled by their appalling third-down defense which permitted opponents to convert at nearly a 50% clip (46.8).

There is some moldable clay, however, especially at cornerback where Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford showed significant upside at times. Meanwhile, Quinn is set to get control of the Falcons’ 53-man roster so expect significant changes in the front seven.

“I am grateful for this opportunity, and I am excited to be the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons,“ Quinn said. “This felt like the right fit from the beginning, and I want to thank Mr. Blank for his resolve as this was an extended and complicated process. My goal is to build upon the foundation that has been laid here and to play a physical brand of football as we build a championship caliber team.“    ~~  John McMullen ~~

►  Carroll’s finest moment is in defeat

Mistakes were made and Pete Carroll took the heat.

That’s what leaders do and that’s why Carroll’s finest coaching moment came after his most gut-wrenching loss, a 28-24 setback to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

A second straight NFL title for the Seahawks was there for the taking if only Darrell Bevell made the right decision, or Russell Wilson took a poor choice and didn’t make it worse, or something called Malcolm Butler didn’t decide he was Mike Haynes in the waning seconds on the NFL’s biggest stage.

It was a perfect storm that slammed into the Seahawks and one that rendered all of Seattle helpless in one fell swoop, except for Carroll.

It would have been easy for the Seahawks mentor to pass the buck and point the finger of blame at his offensive coordinator or quarterback but those two had already earned his trust, along with the rope to hang themselves in front of a record 114 million television viewers.

The most casual fan knew what Seattle had to do. Just hand the football to Beast Mode, pass go, and collect your 200 dollars along with another Lombardi Trophy.

Yet, Bevell, in a classic case of over-thinking, called an ill-conceived slant for Ricardo Lockette out of a bunch formation.

Off the line, Lockette looked like he had plenty of separation and Wilson pulled the trigger just as Butler, who looked nothing like a third-stringer out of West Alabama, reacted.

He was more like Deion Sanders being shot out of a cannon, beating Lockette to the spot and stealing Super Bowl XLIX for the Pats.

Carroll had plenty of prospects to throw under the shuttle buses that they were evidently trying to hide from media at University of Phoenix Stadium but he took the high road, focusing the blame on himself.

“We sent in our personnel, they sent in goal line,“ Carroll said. “It’s not the right matchup to run the football.“

It’s always—repeat always—the right decision to run Marshawn Lynch from inside the 1-yard line.

Instead, Wilson threw the ill-conceived slant toward Lockette and Butler pounced, sending all of New England into a frenzy and giving Bill Belichick and Tom Brady their fourth Super Bowl title.

Carroll, meanwhile, was left to defend the tortured logic.

“On second down we throw the ball really to kind of waste the play,“ teh coach said. “If we score, we do, if we don’t then we’ll run it on third and fourth down.“

Unfortunately Seattle never got that opportunity.

“The guy (Butler) makes a great play and jumps in front of the route and makes an incredible play that nobody would ever think he could do and that changes the whole outcome,“ Carroll said.

“There’s really nobody to blame but me.“

If you broke out the Sodium pentothal and injected Carroll, the real answer would have been: “Bevell and Wilson earned my trust and I left them to do their jobs.“

Great coaches delegate to a superior supporting cast and that’s exactly whant Carroll did but on Sunday night, for one egregious play, a really good offensive coordiantor and the winningest third-year QB in NFL history failed their boss.

So the Jedi jumped on his own lightsaber for his Padawans.

“There’s no reservation in (the call), and don’t make it out like there is,“ Carroll said at his Monday press conference. “First off, Darrell is an incredible play-caller. He’s done a fantastic job. We are so lucky to have him. He has been absolutely instrumental in what we have done. He is an awesome guy on our staff and crucially important to our future, as well.

“And let me say this, too. We don’t ever call a play thinking we might throw an interception. I don’t ever think that. There was not a thought in my mind that we would make a mistake on the play. It was a tremendous play by the guy on the other side.“  ~~  John McMullen ~~

The Gilmer Free Press

ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary

National Basketball Association
Detroit at Indiana, 7:00 PM - FS-Detroit, Indiana, DSS
Washington at Atlanta, 7:30 PM - CSN-DC, SportSouth, DSS
Denver at Boston, 7:30 PM - Altitude, CSN-New England, DSS
Brooklyn at Toronto, 7:30 PM - YES, TSN, DSS
Chicago at Houston, 8:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, ROOT-Southwest, ESPN
LA Lakers at Milwaukee, 8:00 PM - Time Warner Sports, FS-Wisconsin, DSS
Oklahoma City at New Orleans, 8:00 PM - FS-Oklahoma, New Orleans, DSS
Miami at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - SunSports, FS-North, DSS
Orlando at San Antonio, 8:30 PM - FS-Florida, Southwest, DSS
Memphis at Utah, 9:00 PM - SportSouth, ROOT-Northwest, DSS
Dallas at Golden State, 10:30 PM - FS-Southwest, CSN-Bay, ESPN
National Hockey League
Boston at NY Rangers, 8:00 PM - NBCSN
Pittsburgh at Edmonton, 8:00 PM - ROOT-Pittsburgh, SNET, DSS
San Jose at Calgary, 10:00 PM - CSN-California, SNET1, DSS
College Basketball
Ohio State at Purdue, 6:30 PM - Big Ten Network
Temple at South Florida, 6:30 PM - ESPNews
New Hampshire at Albany, 7:00 PM -
Navy at Boston University, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Bowling Green at Central Michigan, 7:00 PM -
Youngstown State at Cleveland State, 7:00 PM -
Akron at Ohio University, 7:00 PM -
Georgia Tech at Duke, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2
East Carolina at Connecticut, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Marquette at Villanova, 7:00 PM - FS1
Massachusetts at Fordham, 7:00 PM - SNY
VCU at George Mason, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Bucknell at Lafayette, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Army at Lehigh, 7:00 PM - Patriot League Network
Boston College at Notre Dame, 7:00 PM - NESN, RSN, FS-South, Florida, Detroit+
Texas A&M at Ole Miss, 7:00 PM - SEC Network
Eastern Michigan at Toledo, 7:00 PM -
Liberty at Winthrop, 7:00 PM - MASN,
Loyola-MD at American University, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network, MASN2
Wichita State at Bradley, 8:00 PM -
Oakland at Ill-Chicago, 8:00 PM -
Detroit at Valparaiso, 8:00 PM -
Jacksonville State at Memphis, 8:00 PM -
Oklahoma State at Texas, 8:00 PM - Longhorn Network
Southern Ill at Drake, 8:05 PM - MC22
TCU at Baylor, 8:30 PM - ESPNews
Penn State at Maryland, 8:30 PM - Big Ten Network
New Mexico at Air Force, 9:00 PM - ROOT-Rocky Mountain
Missouri at Alabama, 9:00 PM - SEC Network
Clemson at Florida State, 9:00 PM - RSN, FS-South, Florida, Detroit+, AZ, PT
Providence at Georgetown, 9:00 PM - CBSSN
Loyola-Chicago at Missouri State, 9:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, FS-Midwest,
Washington at Oregon, 9:00 PM - ESPN 2
Kansas State at Texas Tech, 9:00 PM - ESPN U
Creighton at Xavier, 9:00 PM - FS1
Colorado State at Wyoming, 9:00 PM - Mountain West Network
San Jose State at Fresno State, 10:00 PM - Mountain West Network
San Diego State at Nevada, 10:00 PM -
Women’s College Basketball
Iowa State at Oklahoma, 11:30 AM - Sooner Sports
Memphis at Temple, 12:00 PM - American Network
Cleveland State at Ill-Chicago, 6:00 PM -
Central Michigan at Bowling Green, 7:00 PM -
Toledo at Buffalo, 7:00 PM -
Texas at Kansas State, 7:00 PM - FS-Midwest
Miami-Ohio at Northern Ill, 8:00 PM -
Baylor at Oklahoma State, 8:00 PM - FS-Southwest
Texas Tech at Kansas, 8:00 PM - Jayhawk TV,
Oakland at Green Bay, 8:00 PM -
College Football
National Signing Day, 8:00 AM - ESPN U
International Soccer
Liverpool vs. Bolton, 2:30 PM - FS1

Sports News   150203

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Area High Schools Boys Basketball Game Results

(Monday, February 02)

#4 Richwood 88     #5 Doddridge County 59

#1 St. Marys 59     #8 Meadow Bridge 42

►  Area High Schools Girls Basketball Game Results

(Monday, February 02)

Braxton County 48     South Harrison 16

#8 Ravenswood 61     Ritchie County 38

Parkersburg 76     Riverside 29

Parkersburg Catholic 59     Notre Dame 55

Williamstown 55     Wood County Christian 42

►  AP High School Boys Basketball Ranking

Class A
Team Record Pts Prv
  1. Wheeling Central (6)  13-2   96   1
  2. Bishop Donahue (3)  13-1   92   2
  3. Greater Beckley Christian (1)  13-2   82   3
  4. Magnolia   11-4   62   4
  5. Gilmer County   12-2   49   5
  6. Williamstown   12-2   44   7
  7. Notre Dame   10-5   42   6
  8. Tucker County   12-3   32   8
  9. Valley Fayette   10-2   24   9
  10. Tug Valley   8-4   15   10  
Others receiving votes: St. Marys 7, Charleston Catholic 3, Saint Joseph Central 1, Madonna 1.

Class AA
Team Record Pts Prv
  1. Poca (10)  13-0   100   1
  2. Bridgeport   14-0   86   2
  3. Fairmont Senior   14-0   82   3
  4. Westside   12-1   71   4
  5. Robert C. Byrd   9-5   50   5
  6. Mingo Central   10-6   39   8
  7. Ravenswood   10-3   36   9
  8. Scott   10-5   31   7
  (tie)Lincoln   12-2   31   6
  10. Sissonville   10-5   19   10  
Others receiving votes: Grafton 4, PikeView 1.

Class AAA
Team Record Pts Prv
  1. South Charleston (9)  14-1   99   1
  2. Morgantown   13-2   80   3
  3. Parkersburg South   13-2   69   4
  4. Greenbrier East   13-1   57   7
  5. Huntington   12-3   55   5
  (tie)Logan (1)  11-1   55   6
  7. Capital   11-3   51   8
  8. Woodrow Wilson   10-3   42   2
  9. Preston   12-2   20   9
  10. Wheeling Park   9-5   13   10  
Others receiving votes: Jefferson 4, Hurricane 2, George Washington 2, Martinsburg 1.

►  AP High School Girls Basketball Ranking

Class A
Team Record Pts Prv
1. Wheeling Central (7)      12-2   88 1
2. Saint Joseph Central (2)    9-5   78 2
3. Tucker County           12-2   74 3
4. Williamstown             12-4   65 4
5. Pocahontas County         11-4   55 5
6. Charleston Catholic       6-9   36 7
7. Clay-Battelle           13-5   33 6
8. Gilmer County           9-5   24 9
9. Notre Dame             10-5   20 8
10. Madonna               10-5   14 10
Others receiving votes: Trinity 4, Meadow Bridge 2, Fayetteville 1, Union Grant 1.

Class AA
Team Record Pts Prv
1. Wyoming East (5)          15-1   85 1
2. Fairmont Senior (2)        15-2   77 3
3. North Marion (2)          14-1   76 2
4. Sissonville             14-2   65 4
5. Keyser                 15-1   50 6
6. Summers County           13-3   40 5
7. Clay County             14-2   33 7
8. Ravenswood             15-1   21 8
9. Bridgeport             13-4   20 10
10. PikeView               10-4   17 9
Others receiving votes: Bluefield 8, Lincoln 3.

Class AAA
Team Record Pts Prv
1. Morgantown (9)          16-0   90 1
2. Parkersburg South         15-3   78 2
3. Logan                 13-3   68 5
4. Huntington             13-2   62 4
5. South Charleston         13-3   55 3
6. St. Albans             13-4   49 6
7. Greenbrier East           14-3   27 8
8. Spring Valley           11-5   24 9
9. Hurricane               11-4   23 7
10. Parkersburg             9-5   9   NR
Others receiving votes: Buckhannon-Upshur 5, Martinsburg 3, Jefferson 1, George
Washington 1.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  MEC Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Monday, February 02)

Charleston 67, Wheeling Jesuit 63 | Final Stats

Charleston trailed 30-27 at halftime, but opened the second half on a 14-3 run and went on to win 67-63 over Wheeling Jesuit on Monday night at the McDonough Center.

The Golden Eagles (15-6, 10-5) hit three three-pointers during the second half burst to help spark the run. Tino DiTrapano had 17 points to lead UC, and Octavius Green had 16 points, including four threes. Aleksander Kesic finished with 11 points.

Kyle Ritz had 18 points and six rebounds for WJU (11-8, 7-7). Pat Moseh scored 11 points.

Fairmont State 89, Glenville State 82 | Final Stats

Fairmont State used a 17-4 second half run to erase a four-point halftime deficit in an 89-82 win over Glenville State on Monday night at the Waco Center.

With the win, Fairmont State extended its winning streak to seven games and improved to 15-6 overall and 12-3 in the MEC. The Pioneers dropped to 16-5 overall and 12-3 in conference play. The two teams are now tied for second in the league, one game behind West Liberty.

Jamel Morris led FSU with 22 points. Nick Harney had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Shammgod Wells contributed 19 points.

GSC was paced by 21 points from Donte Morales. Brett Morris scored 16 and Sedric Nady added 12. The Pioneers were plagued by 17 turnovers, while Fairmont State committed just nine.

Shepherd 69, West Virginia Wesleyan 66 | Final Stats

Shepherd forced outscored West Virginia Wesleyan 12-2 in the final 3:35 to come away with a  69-66 win over the Bobcats on Monday night at the Rockefeller Center. 

After a Tanner McGrew dunk gave the Bobcats a 64-57 lead with 3:35 to go, the Rams forced turnovers on WVWC’s next seven possessions to help spark its rally. 

Morgan McDonald and Ryan McTavish each scored 15 points for the Rams (12-9, 7-8). Austin Cunningham had 13 points and six assists and Steffen Davis scored 10.

McGrew had a huge night for WVWC (8-13, 6-9) with 34 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. Chris Dewberry added 14 points for the Bobcats.

Notre Dame 69, UVa-Wise 65 | Final Stats

Tyree Gaiter scored Notre Dame’s final six points to help the Falcons defeat UVa-Wise, 69-65, on Monday night at the Prior Center. 

With the game tied at 63-63, Gaiter knocked down a jumper with 1:31 to go to put the Falcons in front. The Cavs failed to convert on a pair of free throws on the other end, and Gaiter went to the line and made two from the charity stripe to make it 67-63 with :18 seconds left. Charles George made a quick layup for UVa-Wise, but Gaiter got the ball and was fouled and again went 2-for-2 from the line to help seal the win.

Gaiter led all scorers with 17 points for NDC (11-10, 7-8). Will Vorhees scored 16 and pulled down seven rebounds, and Lawrence DeArmond had 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists. 

Matt Day had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead UVa-Wise (1-19, 0-15). Brian Sydnor had 16 points and six rebounds.

No. 10 West Liberty 119, West Virginia State 82 | Final Stats

Six players reached double figures and No. 10 West Liberty nailed 16 three-pointers in a 119-82 win over West Virginia State on Monday night at the ASRC.

The Hilltoppers (18-2, 13-2) took sole possession of first place in the league with the win. West Virginia State slipped to 3-19 overall and 3-11 in conference play.

Seger Bonifant scored 19 points, C.J. Hester scored 17 and Joe Lococo and Devin Hoehn each added 16 points. Mike Lamberti added 12 points and Brandon Smith chipped in 10. Indiana Faithful dished out 12 assists to go with eight points.

Markee Mazyck had 20 points for WVSU. Dominic Phillips scored 13 points and Damion Harris and Dimitrious Jelen-Joy each added 10.

Concord 91, Urbana 70 | Final Stats

Concord shot 53 percent from the field as it claimed a 91-70 win over Urbana on Monday night at the Carter Center.

The Mountain Lions (14-6, 10-5) shot 53 percent from the field and out-rebounded Urbana, 43-32. Mike Boyd led the way with 23 points and six assists, and Aaron Miller poured in 22 more for CU. Rob Reed had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. 

Carlas Jackson scored 20 points for Urbana (5-16, 2-13). Rodney Clark added 11.

►  MEC Women’s Basketball Game Results

(Monday, February 02)

Charleston 56, Wheeling Jesuit 53 | Final Stats

Kiara Johnson’s layup with :38 seconds left stood up as the game-winner as Charleston defeated Wheeling Jesuit, 56-53, on Monday night at the McDonough Center.

In a game that saw neither team lead by more than eight points at any point, Charleston trailed 53-52 with just over a minute remaining. Johnson executed on the other end to give UC the lead, and the two teams traded turnovers on ensuing possessions. The Golden Eagles forced another with just seven seconds left and Nichole Perry went to the line and made a pair of free throws to seal the win. 

Deja Gibson was the only player to reach double figures for Charleston (16-5, 11-4) scoring 12. LeAnne Ross scored nine and Johnson finished with five points to go with a game-high seven rebounds.

Jaila Bryant led Wheeling Jesuit (11-7, 8-6) with 19 points, six assists and five rebounds. 

Fairmont State 92, Glenville State 83 | Final Stats

Hailey Garrett scored 29 and Hallie Gunnoe added 26 to lead Fairmont State to a 92-83 win over Glenville State on Monday night at the Waco Center.

Trailing 19-12 with 11:29 to go, Fairmont State went on a 20-5 run over the next five minutes and never trailed the rest of the way. The Falcons shot 56 percent from the field in the win. 

Gunnoe finished with seven rebounds and five assists to go with her 26 points to lead FSU (17-4, 11-4). Emily Lohr added 12 points and eight rebounds in the victory.

Keyanna Tate registered a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Pioneers (10-9, 8-7). Katrina Salins had 15 and Brittany Jackson scored 11. 

UVa-Wise 65, Notre Dame 57 | Final Stats

UVa-Wise jumped out to a 22-6 lead and fought off a late Notre Dame rally to defeat the Falcons, 65-57, at the Prior Center.

The Cavs (8-13, 7-8) were led by 18 points and six rebounds from Blair Harding. Kayla Carey scored 15, Kehana Grayer added 12, and Taylor Sandidge led the team in rebounds (7) and assists (6) to go with seven points.

Lauren Langenderfer led NDC (13-8, 9-6) with 16 points and six rebounds. Kelsey Miller scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Martha Nagbe was limited to nine points but has seven assists and six rebounds.

Shepherd 72, West Virginia Wesleyan 62 | Final Stats

Shepherd snapped its two-game losing streak with a 72-62 win over West Virginia Wesleyan on Monday night at the Rockefeller Center.

The Rams (14-7, 11-4) were led by 18 points off the bench from Gabby Flinchum. Morgan Arden scored 12, Rachel Johnson had 11 and Liz Myers netted 10. Cara Mason scored nine points, had nine assists and pulled down six rebounds.

Mari Stewart had 18 points and eight rebounds to lead West Virginia Wesleyan (2-16, 2-13). Adrian Cunningham added 12 points.

Concord 83, Urbana 64 | Final Stats

Concord trailed by two at halftime, but went on a 15-0 run early in the second half on its way to an 83-64 win over Urbana on Monday night at the Carter Center.

The Mountain Lions (6-13, 6-9) outscored Urbana (1-20, 1-14) 50-29 in the second half. CU shot 68 percent from the field in the second half. 

Rachel Artrip led Concord with 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Kylie Molisee added 20 points and Jacqueline Kestner had 17 points. Melea Smith added 10 points off the bench.

Kennedy Boggs led all scorers with 28 points for Urbana. Jillian Conneely had 11 points and Katy Barkley scored 10.

West Liberty 89, West Virginia State 53 | Final Stats

Five players reached double figures to help West Liberty to an 89-53 win over West Virginia State on Monday night.

West Liberty out-rebounded West Virginia State, 54-29, including 17-3 on the offensive glass. The Hilltoppers (14-7, 11-4) were led by Liz Flowers who filled the box score with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Kailee Howe did the same with 16 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Jenn Mohney hit four three-pointers and scored 14 points, and Jasmin Kiley added 13 points and Baylen Dyrlund finished with 12 points.

Aurreshae Hines led WVSU (6-13, 4-10) with 13 points. Shealyn Shafer had 10 rebounds to go with seven points.

►  MEC Men’s Basketball Players of the Week

Fairmont State’s Nick Harney has been named Mountain East Conference Player of the Week after helping the Falcons extend their winning streak to six games last week. 

Harney, a senior from Cleveland, Ohio, averaged 24.5 points and 7.5 rebounds as FSU picked up wins over West Virginia State and West Virginia Wesleyan. After scoring 24 points against the Yellow Jackets, he scored 25—including the game-tying layup to force overtime—in a win over the Bobcats. 

Other Top Performances

Justin Fritts (WJU) averaged 25 points as the Cardinals continued their winning ways ...

C.J. Hester (WLU) averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds to keep 10th-ranked West Liberty tied atop the conference standings ...

Aaron Miller (CU) averaged 20.5 points as the Mountain Lions went 2-0 ...

Donte Morales (GSC) scored 30 points in a win over Shepherd ...

Austin Cunningham (SU) averaged 16.5 points in two games ...

Tanner McGrew (WVWC) added two more double-doubles to his total averaging 21 points and 13.5 rebounds ...

Lawrence DeArmond (NDC) averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in a pair of games.

2014-15 MEC Players of the Week
Week Player (Team)
November17 Seger Bonifant (WLU)
November 24 Donte Morales (GSC)
December 01 Mike Boyd (CU)
December 8 C.J. Hester (WLU)
December 15 Devin Hoehn (WLU)
December 22 Morgan McDonald (SU)
January 06 Sedric Nady (GSC)
January 12 Seger Bonifant (WLU)
January 19 Jamel Morris (FSU)
January 26 Justin Fritts (WJU)
February 02 Nick Harney (FSU)

►  MEC Women’s Basketball Players of the Week

Notre Dame’s Martha Nagbe has been named Mountain East Conference Player of the Week for the third time this season after guiding the Falcons to a pair of conference victories.

Nagbe, a junior from Lakewood, Ohio, averaged 29.5 points, seven rebounds and three assists in two games last week. She poured in 33 as the Falcons toppled West Liberty, and then scored 26 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out four assists to pace NDC in a road win over Concord. Nagbe is second in the league in scoring averaging 18.8 points to go with 7.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals.

Other Top Performances

Keyanna Tate (GSC) averaged a double-double with 16.5 points and 11.5 rebounds as the Pioneers extended their winning streak to four games ...

Hailey Garrett (FSU) averaged 24.5 points and six rebounds in a pair of wins ...

Kailee Howe (WLU) filled the stat sheet with 20.5 points, 8.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds in a 1-1 week ...

LeAnne Ross (UC) went over 1,000 points for her career as UC split its two games ...

Mari Stewart (WVWC) helped the Bobcats to a 1-1 week averaging 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds ...

Cara Mason (SU) averaged 15 points and four assists in two games for the Rams ...

Jacqueline Kestner (CU) averaged a double-double with 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds.

2014-15 MEC Players of the Week
Week Player (Team)
November17 Hallie Gunnoe (FSU)
November 24 Hailey Garrett (FSU)
December 01 Nichole Perry (UC)
December 08 Jacqueline Kestner (CU)
December 15 Cara Mason (SU)
December 22 Martha Nagbe (NDC)
January 06 Emily Lohr (FSU)
January 12 Kailee Howe (WLU)
January 19 Martha Nagbe (NDC)
January 26 Monet Saunders (UC)
February 02 Martha Nagbe (NDC)

The Gilmer Free Press

►  West Virginia vs. Oklahoma

Rather astonishingly, No. 15 West Virginia finds itself in the thick of the Big 12 race. Staying there won’t be easy.

Beginning with Tuesday night’s trip to Oklahoma, the Mountaineers face a 10-game stretch against opponents with an average RPI of 26. Mathematically speaking, it’s the toughest stretch any West Virginia team has ever faced during the regular season.

Point guard Juwan Staten says bring it on.

“We’ve played tough teams. We’ve played teams with size. We’ve played athletic teams,” he said. “We’ve been tested.”

After ripping through the Sooners 86-65 in Morgantown on January 13, creating 22 turnovers in the process, West Virginia expects the return game to be much closer, though not impossibly daunting. After all, the Mountaineers are 10-1 away from home this season.

“I think the way we play cancels out a lot of normal factors other teams worry about on the road,” Staten said. “We feel like we have the tools and the bodies to make anybody turn the ball over.”

The Mountaineers, trapping baseline-to-baseline, are on pace to obliterate the single-season school record of 648 forced turnovers set in 1998. That pressure fuels transition opportunities that WVU leads the Big 12 in field-goal attempts and ranks second in scoring (77 points per game).

Freshman Daxter Miles, after making eight steals in the past three games, feels the Mountaineers’ press can be just as effective against Oklahoma the second time.

“I remember we had a lot of deflections, and I’m looking forward to same type of game,” he said. “The energy has to be crazy when we go on the road.”

After winning three straight, West Virginia (18-3, 6-2) enters Tuesday in sole possession of second place in the Big 12, only one loss behind Kansas.

No. 21 Oklahoma (14-7, 5-4) was tied for fourth place after winning 64-56 at Oklahoma State on Saturday, which brought the Sooners’ record to 3-6 when scoring fewer than 70 points. The celebration over a Bedlam sweep quickly gave way to talk about a rematch with the Mountaineers.

“We’ve got to stay positive and stay calm as a group,” said guard Buddy Hield, the league’s top scorer at 17.4 per game. “We’ve got a tough one against West Virginia. They’re going to be scrapping.”

The most striking stat from that first meeting was West Virginia’s massive 55-8 edge in bench scoring, which featured 18 points from Jevon Carter and 10 by Nathan Adrian.

“From the beginning what we tried to sell them was the fact that everyone can play and have an opportunity to play,” said coach Bob Huggins. “I wanted them to play as hard as they could play. Our rule is and always has been, if I take you out for not playing hard, you won’t get back in there.”

#15 WEST VIRGINIA (18-3, 6-2) vs. #21 OKLAHOMA (14-7, 5-4)

Tipoff: 8 PM Eastern at Norman, OK. (ESPN2)

Scouting the Sooners: Hield leads the league in 3-point tries (151) is fourth in accuracy at 37.7 percent.  … Junior guard Isaiah Cousins (12 points, 5.4 rebounds) is the most unpredictable of the Sooners. A 45-percent 3-point shooter, he hasn’t produced consecutive double-digit scoring games in a month and was held to two points at Oklahoma State. Though he scored 11 at WVU, he also committed a team-worst five turnovers. … 6-8 forward Ryan Spangler (10.3 points, 8 rebounds) is the Big 12’s second-leading rebounder, a deft passer and a guy who beats opposing bigs down the floor. He’s also the reigning conference player of the week. Spangler’s joined by 6-8 transfer TaShawn Thomas (10.8 points, 5.9 rebounds), who hasn’t missed a start in 117 college games. … Sophomore point guard Jordan Woodard (8.7 points, 4.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds) isn’t shooting 3s as well as last season, but he’s third in the Big 12 in assists.

Coaching the Sooners: Lon Kruger (551-349) is in his fourth season at Oklahoma, where he’s 72-45 and on pace for a third consecutive NCAA berth. Since the blowout loss at West Virginia he senses his team has improved at “being strong with the ball, more aggressive to loose balls and being more physical.”

Mountaineers musings: West Virginia’s Devin Williams (11.3 points, 8 rebounds) scored seven field goals against Texas Tech, one off his career high. He scored five times from point-blank range and made two short-corner jumpers. … Staten (14.8 points, 4.4 assists) is just 17-of-30 on free throws the past four games, dropping his overall rate to 71 percent. He’s averaging 30 minutes per game, with Williams the next highest at 23. … In his 33rd season, coach Bob Huggins (758-305) can move into a tie with Ed Diddle for 12th place on the NCAA all-time wins list. … Jonathan Holton (9.2 points, 6 rebounds) has sone basket and five turnovers in his past two games, but he grabbed eight boards vs. Texas Tech. … Gary Browne (6.8 points, 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals) explains how defense is fueling the Mountaineers: “It’s like when you get paid, you want more and more money. So every time we dive and get the ball, we get excited. There’s nothing that gets us more excited than getting the ball back.”

<The Gilmer Free Press

►  Top-25 College Men’s Basketball Game Results

(Monday, February 02)

Final Score: (3) Virginia 75, (12) North Carolina 64

Malcolm Brogdon had 17 points, Justin Anderson scored 16 with seven assists and third-ranked Virginia got back on track by topping No. 12 North Carolina 75-64 Monday night. Coming off their first loss of the season, the Cavaliers pulled away in the second half against the Tar Heels to post just their seventh win in 72 trips to Chapel Hill. London Perrantes finished with 15 points and Anthony Gill supplied 13 with seven rebounds as Virginia (20-1, 8-1 ACC) rebounded from Saturday’s 69-63 home loss to No. 4 Duke. Marcus Paige had 15 points to pace the Tar Heels (17-6, 7-3), who have dropped two straight on the heels of a six-game win streak.

Final Score: (8) Kansas 89, (11) Iowa State 76

Wayne Selden netted 19 of his 20 points in the second half and No. 8 Kansas defeated No. 11 Iowa State 89-76 on Monday night. Perry Ellis posted 17 points and six rebounds and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 16 points and five boards for Kansas (19-3, 8-1 Big 12), which had dropped its last two games against Iowa State. It was the first time the Jayhawks had lost two in a row to the Cyclones since a five-game slide from Feb. 1999-Feb. 2001. Georges Niang tallied 24 points, six boards and five assists for the Cyclones (16-5, 6-3), who had won four of their last five games coming in.

►  College Men’s Basketball Ranking – February 02

Associated Press Top 25
1. Kentucky
2. Gonzaga
3. Virginia
4. Duke
5. Wisconsin
6. Arizona
7. Villanova
8. Kansas
9. Louisville
10. Notre Dame
11. Iowa State
12. North Carolina
13. Utah
14. Northern Iowa
15. West Virginia
16. Wichita State
17. Maryland
18. VCU
19. Baylor
20. Ohio State
21. Oklahoma
22. Butler
23. Southern Methodist
24. Georgetown
25. Texas

Coaches Poll
1. Kentucky
2. Gonzaga
3. Virginia
4. Wisconsin
5. Duke
6. Arizona
7. Villanova
8. Louisville
9. Kansas
10. Notre Dame
11. Utah
12. West Virginia
13. North Carolina
14. Iowa State
15. Northern Iowa
16. Maryland
17. Wichita State
18. VCU
19. Baylor
20. Ohio State
21. Oklahoma
22. Butler
23. Southern Methodist
24. Georgetown
25. Indiana

Top 25 (and one)
1 Kentucky
2 Virginia
3 Gonzaga
4 Duke
5 Wisconsin
6 Villanova
7 Kansas
8 Arizona
9 Louisville
10 Notre Dame
11 North Carolina
12 Utah
13 Northern Iowa
14 Wichita State
15 Maryland
16 Iowa State
17 West Virginia
18 Baylor
19 Texas
20 Oklahoma
21 VCU
22 Butler
23 Southern Methodist
24 Ohio State
25 Georgetown
26 Seton Hall

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Rondo sidelined with facial fractures

Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo is sidelined indefinitely with facial fractures he suffered in Saturday’s game against Orlando.

Rondo was hurt early in the first quarter after a collision with teammate Richard Jefferson. Jefferson’s knee hit the face of Rondo, whose head then struck the floor.

The Mavericks updated Rondo’s status Monday, saying he has an orbital fracture to the left eye and a nasal fracture. He will be further evaluated during the week, but will sit out at least the next three games.

Rondo will miss Monday’s game against Minnesota and won’t travel to California for games Wednesday at Golden State and Thursday at Sacramento.

Since joining the Mavericks in a December trade with Boston, Rondo has averaged 9.2 points, 6.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 21 games.

►  Irving, Randolph named NBA Players of the Week

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph were named NBA Players of the Week on Monday.

Irving led the league in scoring with 31.5 points per game, helping the Cavaliers win all four of their games last week.

The Grizzlies also went 4-0 behind Randolph, who averaged 20.5 points and 13.8 rebounds.

►  Budenholzer, Kerr named NBA’s top coaches for January

Mike Budenholzer and Steve Kerr, whose teams currently own the NBA’s best records, have been chosen as the NBA’s January Coaches of the Month.

Budenholzer claimed his third consecutive Eastern Conference monthly award after his Atlanta Hawks went a perfect 17-0 in January. It’s the first time in league history a team has won that many games without a loss in a single month.

The Hawks are currently riding a franchise-record 19-game winning streak and own victories in 33 of their last 35 outings while topping the NBA with a 40-8 overall mark.

Kerr guided the Golden State Warriors to a 12-3 record in January to earn the nod for the Western Conference. The Warriors presently pace the West with a 37-8 mark, the club’s best ever after 45 games.

Budenholzer and Kerr will serve as the head coaches for the upcoming All-Star Game, which will take place on February 15 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

►  NBA Game Results

(Monday, February 02)

Final Score: Cleveland 97, Philadelphia 84

Kyrie Irving totaled 24 points, five assists and five rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers ran their winning streak to 11 straight with a 97-84 victory over the pesky Philadelphia 76ers. LeBron James scored all but four of his 18 points in the first half and added 11 assists for the streaking Cavs, who are two wins shy of matching the franchise record of 13 in a row set during the 2009-10 season. Jerami Grant and Robert Covington led the Sixers with 18 points apiece.

Final Score: Charlotte 92, Washington 88

Al Jefferson had 18 points and 12 rebounds to guide the Charlotte Hornets to a 92-88 win over the Washington Wizards. Brian Roberts had 18 points, Gerald Henderson added 17 points and five assists and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist gave 13 points and 13 boards for the Hornets, who have won three of their last four. Bradley Beal had 18 points and 11 rebounds and John Wall added 16 points and 10 assists for the Wizards, who have lost their past three.

Final Score: Brooklyn 102, LA Clippers 100

Jarrett Jack’s tie-breaking jumper with 1.3 seconds remaining capped a furious late comeback that lifted the Brooklyn Nets to a stunning 102-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Nets were down by 10 with four minutes left before outscoring Los Angeles by a 21-9 margin the rest of the way to halt a seven-game home losing streak. Brook Lopez added 24 points to help the Nets overcome a monster 22-point, 20-point effort from Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. Los Angeles also received 20 points and eight assists from Chris Paul and 18 points from Jamal Crawford, but had its fate sealed by lousy free throw shooting. The Clippers went just 8-of-25 from the foul line, with Jordan missing 10 of his 12 attempts.

Final Score: Milwaukee 82, Toronto 75

Khris Middleton had 25 points and nine rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Toronto Raptors 82-75 Monday night. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 12 points and 12 boards and Jared Dudley added 14 points and five assists for the Bucks, who won their fourth straight game. Jonas Valenciunas tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan netted 16 points for Toronto, which had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Final Score: New Orleans 115, Atlanta 100

The Atlanta Hawks’ surprising 19-game winning streak came to a crashing halt in New Orleans on Monday. Anthony Davis made sure of it, totaling 29 points and 13 rebounds in leading the Pelicans to a thorough 115-100 victory over the NBA’s hottest team. The Hawks suffered their first defeat since losing to the Bucks on Dec. 26. They went unbeaten in January (17-0) and were one win shy of becoming the sixth team in NBA history to win 20 in a row. Eric Gordon scored 20 points in 28 minutes, while Tyreke Evans finished with 15 points, 12 assists and no turnovers for the Pelicans, who are 4-1 on a six-game homestand that concludes Wednesday against the Thunder. Atlanta was beaten at its own game, as the Pelicans earned a 52-32 rebounding advantage and managed easy looks offensively with good ball movement. Jeff Teague scored a team-high 21 points, while fellow All-Stars Paul Millsap and Al Horford combined for 23 points on 9-of-23 (39 percent) shooting.

Final Score: Oklahoma City 104, Orlando 97

Russell Westbrook posted a triple double of 25 points 14 assists and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma City downed Orlando, 104-97, on Monday. Dion Waiters picked up 24 points and Serge Ibaka added 16 with eight boards for the Thunder, who had dropped four of five coming in. Victor Oladipo clocked in with 22 points and Nikola Vucevic had 20 for the Magic, whose losing skid reached nine games.

Final Score: Dallas 100, Minnesota 94

Monta Ellis scored 23 points and the Dallas Mavericks staved off a late comeback attempt from the Minnesota Timberwolves to hold on for a 100-94 win. The Mavericks led from start to finish in their first game since point guard Rajon Rondo fractured his nose and orbital bone in Saturday’s victory at Orlando. Boosted by Ricky Rubio’s long- awaited return from a serious ankle injury, the Timberwolves pulled within 96-94 with 1:52 left before missing their final four shots. Chandler Parsons added 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting for Dallas after missing two games due to illness, with Dirk Nowitzki going 7-of-10 from the field in a 16-point effort. Rubio finished with 10 points in 21 minutes in his first action since Nov. 7. Kevin Martin paced Minnesota with 19 points and Andrew Wiggins netted 14, though the star rookie was held to a 4-of-14 effort from the floor.

Final Score: Memphis 102, Phoenix 101

Jeff Green’s three-point play with 4.5 seconds remaining put the Grizzlies ahead, and Marc Gasol’s block just before the buzzer sealed Memphis’ hard-fought 102-101 road victory over the Phoenix Suns. The Grizzlies ended the game on an 8-0 run en route to their seventh straight victory. Mike Conley scored 23 points, Zach Randolph chipped in with 19 points and nine rebounds, and Gasol finished with 15 points, eight assists, six boards and three blocks for the victors. Thomas was held scoreless in the first half and still wound up with 24 points, 16 in the fourth quarter alone. Bledsoe added 21 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, while Goran Dragic and Morris scored 15 and 14 points, respectively.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Nats make Janssen signing official

The Washington Nationals agreed to terms with reliever Casey Janssen on a one-year contract, the team announced Monday.

The deal also includes a mutual option for 2016.

“We are happy to add Casey Janssen to our stable of relief arms,“ Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. “We’re excited about what he will bring to our bullpen - on the mound, as one of the most effective and consistent relievers the last several years, as well as in the clubhouse. He is a veteran guy who has a plethora of experience in late, high-leverage innings, and we’re thrilled to add him to our mix.“

Janssen, 33, joins the Nationals after spending 10 years in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He spent the last three seasons as the club’s closer, converting 81 of 91 save opportunities.

The right-hander owns a career record of 29-24 with a 3.52 ERA in 389 games.

To make room for Janssen on the 40-man roster, the Nationals designated pitcher Eric Fornataro for assignment.

►  Former Tigers 1B Bergman dies

The Detroit Tigers announced Monday that former first baseman Dave Bergman died at the age of 61.

“It is with heavy hearts we extend our condolences to the family of Dave Bergman. Dave was as spirited a person as he was a player. He will forever hold a special place in Tigers history for the versatile roles he played, and his significant contributions as a member of the 1984 World Champion Tigers. We will miss seeing ‘Bergie’ at the ballpark and in the community,“ the club noted in a statement.

Bergman was already an eight-year pro by the time he was traded twice in one day, from San Francisco to Philadelphia and then to Detroit on March 24, 1984. The latter trade saw the Phillies ship Bergman along with future AL MVP and Cy Young winner Willie Hernandez to the Tigers for Glenn Wilson and John Wockenfuss.

In 1984, he hit .273 with seven homers and 44 RBI over 120 games, while also spending time in the outfield, but collected just one single in seven postseason at-bats as the Tigers beat the Royals in the ALCS and Padres in the Fall Classic. His most notable contribution to that 104-win team was a three- run, walk-off homer against the Blue Jays at Tiger Stadium on June 04, capping a 13-pitch plate appearance against Roy Lee Jackson.

“One of our best teammates. Bergman was a guy who knew his role. He was a competitor and just a good person too,“ said Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris of his former teammate.

Bergman remained with the Tigers until the end of his career following the 1992 season. In 1,349 career games for the Yankees, Astros, Giants and Tigers, he was a lifetime .258 hitter who collected 54 home runs, 100 doubles and drove in 289 runs.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Price, Paquette, Dubnyk earn NHL weekly honors

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette and Minnesota Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk were named the NHL’s top players for the week on Monday.

Price earned the First Star after posting three wins with a goals-against average of 0.66, a .980 save percentage and two shutouts in three outings last week. He made 40 saves in a 3-2 win over Dallas, then followed with consecutive 1-0 shutouts against the Rangers and Capitals.

Paquette picked up the Second Star after leading the league with five goals last week. He scored at least once in each of his three games, including a hat trick against Detroit, to help the Lightning maintain first place in the Atlantic Division.

Dubnyk notched the Third Star after matching Price with three victories, but only one came by shutout. He did finish with a 1.00 GAA and a .967 save percentage.

►  NHL Game Results

(Monday, February 02)

Final Score: NY Rangers 6, Florida 3

Rick Nash scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist came up with 33 saves as the New York Rangers tripped up Florida, 6-3, at Madison Square Garden. Kevin Hayes, Marc Staal, Dan Boyle and Mats Zuccarello also lit the lamp for the Rangers, who have won two in a row and five of their last seven. Aleksander Barkov, Dave Bolland and Brandon Pirri tallied for the Panthers, losers in seven of their last eight. Roberto Luongo surrendered five goals on 37 shots but stopped a Carl Hagelin penalty shot late in the contest.

Final Score: Calgary 5, Winnipeg 2

Raphael Diaz scored the game-winning goal in the third period to guide the Calgary Flames in a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. David Jones, Mason Raymond, Sean Monahan and Brandon Bollig also scored for the Flames, who have won three of their last four. Jonas Hiller turned away 17 shots in the win. Bryan Little had a goal and an assist and Blake Wheeler also scored for the Jets, who have dropped their past four. Michael Hutchinson allowed four goals on 23 shots and was pulled early in the third period. Ondrej Pavelec stopped all four shots he faced in relief.

Final Score: Edmonton 5, San Jose 4 (SO)

Rob Klinkhammer scored in the 13th round of the shootout to give the Edmonton Oilers a 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks. After Viktor Fasth turned aside Matt Irwin’s attempt, Klinkhammer flew in and buried a shot past Antti Niemi for the victory. Jordan Eberle had two goals, Justin Schultz added a goal and an assist and Derek Roy also lit the lamp for the Oilers, who have won two of their last three. Fasth stopped 33 shots and turned away 12-of-13 attempts in the shootout. Joe Pavelski had two goals and an assist, while Scott Hannan and Matt Tennyson also scored for the Sharks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Joe Thornton added three assists and Niemi had 36 saves.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Stakhovsky advances in Zagreb

Former champion Sergiy Stakhovsky was among Monday’s first-round winners at the Zagreb Indoors tennis event.

The 2008 winner from Ukraine handled promising Croatian teenager Borna Coric 6-2, 6-4, while another result saw Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis vanquish Slovak and 2012 runner-up Lukas Lacko 6-0, 6-2 at Dom Sportova.

Two-time reigning champion and four-time overall titlist Marin Cilic of Croatia is unable to defend his titles this week due to a shoulder injury.

This week’s top seeds are towering Croatian favorite Ivo Karlovic and Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

The 2015 Zagreb champion will collect $90,000.

►  Ecuador Open Quito Men’s Tennis Update – February 02

Quito, Ecuador

Total Prize Money: $495,000


Horacio Zeballos leads Austin Krajicek, 7-6 (7-3), 4-3
Facundo Arguello vs. Albert Montanes

Paolo Lorenzi (5) vs. Adrian Menendez-Maceiras
Thomaz Bellucci (6) vs. Giovanni Lapentti
Dusan Lajovic (7) vs. Luca Vanni
Joao Souza vs. Alejandro Falla
Facundo Bagnis vs. Alejandro Gonzalez
Marton Fucsovics vs. Daniel Gimeno-Traver

►  Open Sud de France Men’s Tennis Update – February 02

Montpellier, France

Total Prize Money: $560,000


Jerzy Janowicz (5) defeated Dustin Brown, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-5
Joao Sousa (7) defeated Laurent Lokoli, 6-2, 6-4
Tobias Kamke defeated Vincent Millot, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5

Jan-Lennard Struff (8) vs. Jarkko Nieminen
Lucas Pouille vs. Alexander Kudryavtsev
Dudi Sela vs. Jurgen Zopp
Taro Daniel vs. Paul-Henri Mathieu
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs. Benoit Paire
Edouard Roger-Vasselin vs. Andreas Beck
Kenny De Schepper vs. Marsel Ilhan

►  At the Net: Serena, Djokovic keep on keepin’ on

Well, it was business as usual for the world’s No. 1 tennis stars at the 2015 Australian Open.

Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic entered the first Grand Slam event of the year as the top seeds and the favorites ... and they did not disappoint.

The irrepressible Serena captured her 19th career Grand Slam singles title by handling “rival” and former No. 1 star Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the women’s final, while Djokovic conquered good friend Andy Murray for a third time in the men’s Down Under finale.

Serena has now gotten the better of Sharapova in two Aussie finals and hasn’t lost to the Russian woman anywhere in 11 years (16 straight wins). The reigning French Open champion Sharapova is a former Aussie champ who has now lost in three finals in Melbourne.

Murray dropped to 0-4 in his career Aussie finals, including 0-3 versus the high-flying Djokovic.

The 33-year-old Serena is now the reigning U.S. and Aussie Open champ after nailing down an incredible Open Era-record sixth Aussie title, while the 27- year-old Djokovic now holds the Wimbledon and Aussie crowns after securing his men’s Open Era-record fifth Down Under championship.

Serena improved to 6-0 in her career Aussie finals, while Djokovic is 5-0 in his, including four titles there over the last five years.

Serena actually ran the table in Melbourne for the first time in five years.

Oddly enough, the Aussie also marked the first time that both Serena and Djokovic came out on top at the same Slam.

Serena surpassed Chris Evert (18) and Martina Navratilova (18) for the second- most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era, with only Steffi Graf (22) standing in her way to tennis immortality. The great Margaret Court is the all-time leader with 24 major championships, but only 11 of those came during the Open Era (or since 1968).

“I would love to get to 22,“ Serena said. “I mean 19 was very difficult to get to. Took me 33 years to get here, so I would love to get there.

“But I have to get to 20 first, and then I have to get to 21. There’s so many wonderful young players coming up, so it will be a very big task.“

With his victory, Djokovic joined legends Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi as an eight-time Grand Slam champ in the Open Era. That exclusive list is paced by Roger Federer (17), Pete Sampras (14), Rafael Nadal (14) and my tennis hero, Bjorn Borg (11).

Serena now has 65 career titles on the WTA, while Djokovic boasts 49.

Serena already has the career Grand Slam (all four major titles), while Djokovic still needs a French Open to complete his major resume.

Did You Know?: The last time Djokovic failed to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal was at the 2009 French Open.

Djokovic is 3,800 points clear at the top of the ATP World rankings following his latest success in Oz. The Serbian star is well ahead of second-ranked Roger Federer, who lost ground to Djokovic with a stunning third-round exit in Melbourne.

Serena is 1,566 points ahead of Sharapova in the WTA rankings.

Serena is probably the early favorite for the next major - the French Open, beginning May 24 - while Djokovic may still have to take a backseat to the incomparable Nadal on the clay. Obviously, that’s the one tournament the Serb desperately wants to win from here on out.

Serena is a two-time French Open champ, while Djokovic is a two-time runner-up there to Nadal. Will this be the year for Nole to secure the career Slam?

We’ll find out in the first week of June.    ~~  Scott Riley ~~

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Texas Red begins his ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red began his 3-year-old campaign Sunday with a runner-up finish to Lord Nelson in Santa Anita’s $200,000 San Vicente Stakes.

The San Vicente did not offer any points as part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points system, but the seven-furlong stakes serves as a prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 04.

Lord Nelson, also making his 2015 debut, defeated the 2-5 favorite by a neck and covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.15.

“I had a perfect trip. He broke a little slow but then he took off and I was able to find position right away,“ said winning jockey Rafael Bejarano. “I let him go once we were clear and I knew at the five-eighths pole. Texas Red was the horse to beat and I was waiting for him. When he came to us I let him (Lord Nelson) go and my horse took off again.“

Texas Red will make his next start in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds, February 21 at 1 1/16 miles followed by the Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles.

Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs was the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes which again offered no points. Ocean Knight, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., defeated pacesetter Divining Rod by a neck in the 1 1/16-mile race.

“I had ridden (Ocean Knight) before so I knew he would wait until I asked him. We were good from the gate,“ Ortiz noted, “and I was able to get position just outside the lead group. When I asked for run he just went after the horse on the lead like a good horse should. I really hope I get to ride him back in those big races coming up.“

The $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby is March 7 and offers 50 points to the winner.

El Kabeir and International Star are tied with 21 points followed by Upstart (16), Carpe Diem (14), Texas Red (12), Mr. Z (12), Far Right (12), Ocho Ocho Ocho (10), American Pharoah (10), Daredevil (10), Dortmund (10) and Lucky Player (10).

Coming up on Saturday are a pair of 1 1/16-mile stakes with 10 points going to the winners. At Aqueduct will be the Withers and at Santa Anita will be the Robert B. Lewis Stakes.

►  Untapable continues workouts at Fair Grounds

Champion filly Untapable had another four-furlong workout Monday morning at Fair Grounds as she prepares for her 2015 campaign.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Untapable went the half-mile in 51 seconds, 4/5ths of a second faster than last Monday.

Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Untapable won last November’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff and was the unanimous choice as 2014 champion 3-year-old filly.

She won the Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing prior to winning the Distaff. The filly began 2014 with consecutive victories at Fair Grounds in the Rachel Alexandra and Fair Grounds Oaks. She won the Kentucky Oaks on May 02 by 4 1/2 lengths and posted a 9 1/4-length victory in the Mother Goose Stakes on June 28 at Belmont Park.

Her only loss of the year came when she finished fifth as the 7-5 favorite versus males in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 27. Bayern won that race going wire to wire and repeated in both the Pennsylvania Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Untapable has earned $2,996,725 in 11 lifetime starts with eight wins.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Koepka climbs to No. 19 in world rankings

Brooks Koepka rallied to win for the first time on the PGA Tour on Sunday, and that victory helped him enter the top 20 in the world rankings.

Koepka climbed 14 spots to No. 19 thanks to his win at the Phoenix Open.

Rory McIlroy won the Dubai Desert Open for the second time and he stretched his lead atop the world rankings from 3.36 average points to 4.04 average points.

Henrik Stenson remained the second-ranked player in the world. Bubba Watson shared second place at the Phoenix Open for the second straight year and he improved to No. 3 this week. That pushed Adam Scott down a spot to fourth.

Justin Rose held steady at No. 5 and he was again followed by Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar.

Martin Kaymer inched up one to 11th and that bumped Rickie Fowler down a spot to No. 12, while Jimmy Walker stayed put at 13. Hideki Matsuyama, who shared second place with Watson and Ryan Palmer, jumped four to No. 14 and Victor Dubuisson climbed a notch to 15th.

Patrick Reed dipped one to 16, Billy Horschel fell three to 17 and Phil Mickelson slipped a spot to 18th. Koepka moved into the 19th position and Graeme McDowell was down one to 20th.

Chris Kirk tumbled out of the top 20 as he dropped two places to 22nd.

Tiger Woods, who missed the cut badly in Phoenix, tumbled nine spots to No. 56 and is in jeopardy of not qualifying for the first World Golf Championship of the season in four weeks at Doral.

►  Ko becomes youngest ever world No. 1

Lydia Ko failed to hang on to win the Coates Golf Championship on Sunday, but with her tie for second place, Ko earned enough points to become the new No. 1 in this week’s women’s world golf rankings.

The 17-year-old Ko becomes the youngest golfer ever, male or female, to ascend to the top spot in the rankings. She is nearly four years younger than Tiger Woods was when he first claimed the top spot in the men’s world rankings.

Inbee Park shared 13th in Ocala and she dipped 0.03 average points behind Ko. Stacy Lewis, who also could have moved to No. 1 with a win this past weekend, shared eighth at the Coates Golf Championship.

Lewis remained No. 3 and she was again followed by Shanshan Feng, Suzann Pettersen and Michelle Wie. So Yeon Ryu and Hyo-Joo Kim exchanged places with Ryu up to seventh. Karrie Webb, Lexi Thompson and Kyu Jung Baek were Nos. 9-11 again this week.

Coates winner Na Yeon Choi jumped five places to No. 12. Anna Nordqvist dipped one to 13, Azahara Munoz held steady at 14 and Cristie Kerr fell two to 15th.

Mi Rim Lee remained No. 16, while Sun Ju Ahn slid two to 17th. Ha Na Jang and Jessica Korda shared second place with Ko. Jang improved three to 18th and Korda jumped five to 19th.

Brittany Lincicome dipped two to No. 20. In Gee Chun and Paula Creamer both dropped out of the top 20 as they dipped three to 22nd and 23rd respectively.

The Gilmer Free Press

►  2015 Marshall football schedule announced

Marshall University has announced its 2015 football schedule.

Here is the schedule, according to Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick:

September 05, Purdue

September 12, at Ohio

September 19, Norfolk State

September 26, at Kent State

October 03, Old Dominion

October 10, Southern Miss

October 17, at Florida Atlantic

October 24, North Texas

October 31, at Charlotte

November 07, at Middle Tennssee

November 14, Florida International University

November 21, Open

November 28, at Western Kentucky

The Gilmer Free Press

►  Browns’ Manziel enters rehab program

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel entered a rehab program last week.

The Browns confirmed the news in a statement Monday, saying the 2014 first- round pick began his treatment last Wednesday.

“We respect Johnny’s initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process,“ said Browns general manager Ray Farmer in a statement Monday. “Our players’ health and well-being will always be of the utmost importance to the Cleveland Browns. We continually strive to create a supportive environment and provide the appropriate resources, with our foremost focus being on the individual and not just the football player. Johnny’s privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same.“

Manziel had a rough rookie season, both on the field and off the field, in 2014.

Reports of his partying circulated all summer after the Browns used the 22nd overall pick to select the former Heisman Trophy winner in May’s draft. He was fined $12,000 by the NFL for a hand gesture he made in a preseason loss to the Washington Redskins, then started the season on the bench behind journeyman Brian Hoyer.

In late November, a fight at a high-end apartment complex in Cleveland between a fan and people associated with Manziel took place in the early morning hours.

Manziel eventually started two games late in the season, then was placed on injured reserve for the finale because of hamstring issue. He then overslept the day before the last game against Baltimore and was fined.

“Johnny knows there are areas he needs to improve on to help him be a better family member, friend and teammate, so he decided to take this step in his life during the offseason,“ said Brad Beckworth, a friend and advisor to Manziel and his family. “On behalf of Johnny and his family, we’re asking for privacy until he rejoins the team in Cleveland.“

Manziel’s starting debut was nothing short of a disaster in Week 15 against Cincinnati on December 14 when he managed just 80 passing yards with two interceptions in a 30-0 loss to the Bengals.

The former Texas A&M star was back on the field the following week against Carolina and was 3-for-8 for 32 yards before exiting late in the first half with the hamstring injury.

►  Sherman needs elbow surgery

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will require elbow surgery.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll confirmed on Monday that Sherman will undergo Tommy John surgery, a procedure popular for baseball pitchers due to the strain on the elbow ligament.

Sherman is expected to be ready for next season.

He finished the regular season with 57 tackles and four interceptions. Over four professional seasons with the Seahawks, Sherman has 24 picks in 64 regular-season games.

Additionally, Carroll said Monday that defensive back Jeremy Lane suffered a broken arm after landing awkwardly after a first-quarter interception of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. It’s unclear how much time he will miss.

Lane had 13 tackles and no interceptions in seven regular-season games for the Seahawks.

►  Sapp arrested, fired by NFL Network

Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute and assault.

Phoenix police arrested the 42-year-old Sapp at 7 AM MT on Monday at a downtown hotel.

A woman told police that she and another woman were working as escorts and an argument about money in a guest’s room turned physical. Sapp told investigators that he had paid one of the women for sex but denied any assault, according to police.

Sapp was in Arizona for Sunday’s Super Bowl, working for the NFL Network, which has terminated his contract.

►  Falcons announce Quinn as head coach

Just one day after directing the Seattle Seahawks’ defense in Super Bowl XLIX, Dan Quinn has been named the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Multiple reports earlier on Monday stated that Quinn, the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, had agreed to a five-year contract with the Falcons to take over for the fired Mike Smith. The 44-year-old is set to be formally introduced at a news conference scheduled for Tuesday.

The Falcons’ interest in Quinn, whose units in Seattle yielded the fewest yards and points in the NFL in both 2013 and 2014, was well known around league circles, and the team was willing to wait until the Seahawks completed their playoff run before finally making the move.

Atlanta, which fired Smith in late December after a second consecutive losing season, had previously interviewed Quinn twice for the job before making him its top choice.

“I would like to personally thank Seahawks coach Pete Carroll for his patience and support during our head coach search,“ said Falcons owner Arthur Blank. “I’m sure the Seahawks will be sorry to see Dan leave, but no one has been more supportive of this opportunity for Dan than Pete.“

Quinn emerged as a sought-after candidate by constructing a Seahawks defense that allowed just 14.4 points and 273.6 total yards per game during the 2013 season, which the group capped with a dominant performance in Seattle’s 43-8 rout of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

It was Quinn’s first season as an NFL defensive coordinator, though he previously served in that role at the University of Florida for two years prior to returning to Seattle. Quinn was the Seahawks’ assistant head coach and defensive line coach from 2009-10.

The Seahawks were equally as strong on the defensive side this past season. Seattle permitted 15.9 points and 267.1 yards per game en route to a second straight NFC title.

“This is an exciting day for the Atlanta Falcons franchise and our fans,“ said Blank. “Dan is a talented football coach who has a deep and diverse history in the game, which will serve us well. As we got to know Dan during the interview process, it became clear that he has a definitive plan for our football team and what it will take to win on a consistent basis.“

According to, the Seahawks will promote defensive backs coach Kris Richards to defensive coordinator in Quinn’s place.

Former Cleveland offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is expected to join Quinn’s staff as the primary play-caller. Shanahan resigned from the Browns following the conclusion of this past season over differences with the team’s front office.

►  Colts snag Cris Carter’s son from CFL

The Indianapolis Colts on Monday agreed to terms with wideout Duron Carter—son of NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter.

The Ohio State product and native of Florida totaled career highs in receptions (75), yards (1,030) and touchdowns (7) in his second season with the Montreal Alouettes.

In two CFL seasons, the younger Carter has compiled 124 catches for 1,939 yards and 12 TDs.

The Gilmer Free Press

ABC - American Broadcasting Company
CBS - Columbia Broadcast System
FOX - Fox Entertainment Group
NBC - National Broadcasting Company
JIP - Joined in Progress
TSN - Sports Network (Canada)
SNET/SN - Rogers SportsNet (Canada)
RDS - Reseau des sports
MSG - Madison Square Garden Network
TNT - Turner Network Television
TBS - Turner Broadcasting System
SNY - SportsNet New York
CBSSN - CBS - College Sports Network
CSN - Comcast SportsNet
TCN - The Comcast Network
NBCSN - NBC Sports Network
NESN - New England Sports Network
MASN - Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
ROOT - Root Sports (Pittsburgh, Northwest, Rocky Mountain)
CST - Cox Sports Television
FCS - FOX College Sports
FS - FOX Sports Regional
RSN - Regional Sports Networks
CPTV - Connecticut Public Broadcasting
TVG - Horse Racing Channel
FS1 - FOX Sports 1
TWC - Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
* - If Necessary

National Basketball Association
Denver at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - Altitude 2, CSN-Philadelphia, DSS
Boston at New York, 7:30 PM - CSN-New England, MSG, DSS
Miami at Detroit, 7:30 PM - SunSports, DSS
Utah at Portland, 10:00 PM - ROOT-Northwest, CSN-Northwest
Golden State at Sacramento, 10:00 PM - CSN-Bay, California, DSS
National Hockey League
Ottawa at New Jersey, 7:00 PM - RDS2, TSN5, MSG+, DSS
Florida at NY Islanders, 7:00 PM - FS-Florida, MSG+2, DSS
Los Angeles at Washington, 7:00 PM - FS-West, CSN-DC, DSS
Arizona at Columbus, 7:00 PM - FS-Arizona, Ohio, DSS
Buffalo at Montreal, 7:30 PM - MSG-Buffalo, RDS, DSS
Tampa Bay at St. Louis, 8:00 PM - SunSports, FS-Midwest, DSS
Toronto at Nashville, 8:00 PM - TSN4, FS-Tennessee, DSS
Chicago at Minnesota, 8:00 PM - CSN-Chicago, NBCSN
Colorado at Dallas, 8:30 PM - Altitude, FS-Southwest, DSS
Winnipeg at Vancouver, 10:00 PM - TSN3, SNET-Pacific, DSS
Carolina at Anaheim, 10:00 PM - FS-Carolina, Prime Ticket, DSS
College Basketball
Hartford at Binghamton, 7:00 PM -
St. John’s at Butler, 7:00 PM - FS1
Radford at High Point, 7:00 PM -
Paine College at Kennesaw State, 7:00 PM -
Georgia at Kentucky, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Miss State at Tennessee, 7:00 PM - SEC Network
Indiana at Wisconsin, 7:00 PM - ESPN
Northwestern at Nebraska, 7:30 PM - Big Ten Network
Saint Joseph’s at Saint Louis, 7:30 PM - CBSSN
Evansville at Illinois State, 8:00 PM -
Louisville at Miami-Florida, 8:00 PM - ACC Network,
West Virginia at Oklahoma, 8:00 PM - ESPN 2
UNC Greensboro at VMI, 8:00 PM - American Sports Network, MASN
NC State at Wake Forest, 8:00 PM - ACC Network,
South Carolina at Arkansas, 9:00 PM - SEC Network
Seton Hall at DePaul, 9:00 PM - FS1
Virginia Tech at Syracuse, 9:00 PM - ESPN U
Florida at Vanderbilt, 9:00 PM - ESPN
Rutgers at Illinois, 9:30 PM - Big Ten Network
Boise State at Utah State, 9:35 PM - CBSSN
Women’s College Basketball
Cincinnati at Connecticut, 7:00 PM - SNY,
UCF at South Florida, 7:00 PM - American Network
Tulane at SMU, 8:00 PM - American Network
International Soccer
Cambridge vs. Manchester United, 2:30 PM - FS1
Lille OSC vs. Paris Saint Germain, 2:55 PM - beIN Sports

Pioneers Pick Up Big Road Win at Shepherd 82-76

The Gilmer Free Press

Glenville State’s Donte Morales scored a game high 30 points as the Pioneers picked up a big road win on Saturday as they defeated the Shepherd University Rams, 82-76.

The Pioneers would fall behind early as Shepherd held an 11 point lead at the 15:16 minute mark of the first half, 18-7. But Glenville State would battle back and take a one point lead with 2:06 left till halftime, 34-33.

However the Rams would still lead the Pioneers at the half, 39-37.

In the second half both teams would go back and fourth. Glenville State would lead most of the second half however Shepherd would tie the game up at 70 all with just 2:30 left to play. After that tie the Pioneers would make a 6-0 run as they took a 76-70 lead with 1:19 on the clock.

The Pioneers would eventually hold off the Rams as Glenville State picked up a big road win, 82-76.

There were nine ties and 16 lead changes in the game. The Pioneers shot well from the floor as they shot 51 percent and shot 48 percent from behind the three-point line. The Rams shot 51 percent from the floor and 50 percent from behind the three-point line.

Glenville State also connected on 12 three-pointers in the game.

Donte Morales had a great game as he scored a game high 30 points for the Pioneers. Morales also grabbed seven rebounds and handed out three assists.

Sedric Nady scored 20 points and handed out a team high four assists while Brett Morris scored 12 points in the victory.

Shepherd was led by Ryan McTavish as he scored a team high 26 points.

The Pioneers (16-4, 12-2) are on a four game win streak. They will host rival Fairmont State on Monday, February 02, 2015 tip-off is set for 7:30 PM (TODAY).

Official Basketball Box Score
Glenville State vs. Shepherd
01.31.15   4:00 PM    at Shepherdstown, WV - Butcher Center
VISITORS: Glenville State 16-4, 12-2 MEC

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Sedric Nady…...... *  6-11   4-6    4-4    0  0  0   3  20  4  2  0  3  35
03 Donte Morales….... * 11-15   3-5    5-8    3  4  7   3  30  3  5  0  1  39
11 Reggie Williams….. *  2-6    0-2    1-2    0  3  3   4   5  2  1  0  3  28
12 Luke Campbell….... *  1-4    1-4    0-0    0  0  0   1   3  2  3  0  0  26
23 Brett Morris…..... *  4-7    3-4    1-2    1  2  3   1  12  2  2  1  2  25
00 Brien Winston…....    0-4    0-2    5-6    3  1  4   0   5  3  1  1  3  26
32 Juwan Wells…......    3-5    1-2    0-0    2  3  5   4   7  2  0  0  2  21
   TEAM….............                         1  1  2
   Totals…...........   27-52  12-25  16-22  10 14 24  16  82 18 14  2 14 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-26 53.8%   2nd Half: 13-26 50.0%   Game: 51.9%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  8-13 61.5%   2nd Half:  4-12 33.3%   Game: 48.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-4  75.0%   2nd Half: 13-18 72.2%   Game: 72.7%   2,1

HOME TEAM: Shepherd 11-9, 6-8 MEC

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
02 Steffen Davis….... *  3-9    1-5    2-2    0  2  2   4   9  6  0  0  1  29
15 Ryan McTavish….... * 10-13   6-7    0-0    0  2  2   2  26  4  0  0  1  37
23 Austin Cunningham… *  6-11   4-7    2-3    0  1  1   1  18  3  3  1  0  29
32 Mike Reed…........ *  1-1    0-0    0-2    0  1  1   0   2  0  1  0  0   9
44 Morgan McDonald….. *  3-9    0-2    4-4    1  5  6   2  10  1  7  0  2  35
04 Naim Muhammad…....    1-2    0-0    1-2    3  0  3   1   3  0  2  0  0  16
11 Skyler Roman….....    0-2    0-1    0-0    1  1  2   0   0  2  2  0  1  11
25 AJ Carr…..........    1-3    0-0    4-4    2  2  4   4   6  2  3  0  2  13
33 Gavin McTavish…...    1-1    0-0    0-0    2  3  5   3   2  1  1  1  0  21
   TEAM….............                         4  1  5
   Totals…...........   26-51  11-22  13-17  13 18 31  17  76 19 19  2  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-26 50.0%   2nd Half: 13-25 52.0%   Game: 51.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  7-12 58.3%   2nd Half:  4-10 40.0%   Game: 50.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-9  66.7%   2nd Half:  7-8  87.5%   Game: 76.5%   1,1

Officials: Todd Gallupe, Dave Schattauer, Steve Settle

Technical fouls: Glenville State-None. Shepherd-None.

Attendance: 797

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Glenville State…............   39   43  -   82
Shepherd…...................   39   37  -   76

Lady Pioneers Win Fourth Straight Game as they Beat Shepherd 77-66

The Gilmer Free Press

The Glenville State Lady Pioneers pushed their win streak to four games as they went on the road Saturday and defeated the Shepherd University Lady Rams by 11 points, 77-66.

The Lady Pioneers would find their selves down early at the 18:04 minute mark of the first half as Shepherd led Glenville State, 8-0. However the Lady Pioneers would battle back and claim a nine point lead at halftime, 39-30.

In the second half Glenville State would extend their lead to 12 points, 44-32, with 19:29 left to play.

Despite the Lady Pioneers large lead Shepherd would cut Glenville State’s lead to just one point several times however the Lady Pioneers would answer back ever time they had to as they claimed an 11 point road win, 77-66 over Shepherd.

The Lady Pioneers defense caused 20 turnovers and converted them into 24 points. Glenville State also held the advantage in the paint as they outscored the Lady Rams 28 to 22 in the paint.

Glenville State had three players score in double figures with freshman Kayla Tibbs scoring a game and career high 19 points. Keyanna Tate finished the game with a double-double as she scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, Brittany Jackson chipped in with 11 points.

Shepherd was led by Cara Mason as she scored 15 points but also had five turnovers.

Glenville State (10-8, 8-6) returns home on Monday, February 02, 2015 when they welcome the Fairmont State University Fighting Falcons to the Waco Center. Game time is set for 5:30 PM (TODAY).

Official Basketball Box Score
Glenville State vs. Shepherd
01.31.15   2:00 PM   at Shepherdstown, WV - Butcher Center
VISITORS: Glenville State 10-8, 8-6 MEC

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
02 Paige Tuttle…..... *  0-3    0-2    0-0    1  0  1   2   0  3  3  0  2  22
04 Keyanna Tate…..... *  6-9    0-0    4-6    3  7 10   2  16  0  5  0  2  23
21 Kristin DesRocher… *  1-6    1-5    0-0    1  4  5   1   3  1  4  0  1  19
25 Briana Smythe….... *  1-2    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   1   2  1  0  0  0  13
35 Julie Bishop…..... *  1-5    0-3    2-3    2  0  2   0   4  0  1  0  1  17
01 Katrina Salins…...    3-9    1-5    2-3    1  2  3   2   9  3  2  0  1  18
03 Tayana Stewart…...    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   4
12 Kayla Tibbs…......    6-10   4-8    3-4    0  0  0   0  19  2  2  0  1  20
20 Briauna Nix…......    3-6    0-0    2-2    1  1  2   3   8  0  1  0  1  21
24 Madison Martin…...    1-4    1-4    0-0    0  1  1   0   3  2  0  0  1  21
32 Brittany Jackson….    4-6    1-2    2-2    1  3  4   1  11  0  0  0  0  15
34 La’Shaughn Jones….    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   2  0  1  0  0   7
   TEAM….............                         1  3  4
   Totals…...........   27-62   8-30  15-20  11 26 37  14  77 12 19  0 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-35 42.9%   2nd Half: 12-27 44.4%   Game: 43.5%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-15 33.3%   2nd Half:  3-15 20.0%   Game: 26.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-4  100 %   2nd Half: 11-16 68.8%   Game: 75.0%   2,1

HOME TEAM: Shepherd 13-7, 10-4 MEC

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
10 Cara Mason…....... *  7-18   0-2    1-2    2  2  4   1  15  0  5  0  1  39
11 Briana Vaden…..... *  3-10   1-4    6-6    3  4  7   5  13  2  3  0  1  26
14 Rachel Johnson…... *  2-12   0-4    0-0    2  5  7   1   4  4  1  0  1  30
20 Liz Myers…........ *  2-7    0-0    0-0    1  3  4   1   4  1  2  1  0  34
35 Alex Weakland….... *  2-4    0-1    0-0    2  4  6   4   4  2  1  0  2  21
00 Gabby Flinchum…...    5-8    0-0    2-6    2  3  5   2  12  0  3  2  2  15
03 Morgan Arden….....    3-9    1-3    0-0    3  2  5   2   7  1  3  0  1  28
22 Maggie McLoughlin…    2-2    1-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   5  0  0  0  0   1
24 Kristina Prange…..    1-3    0-2    0-0    1  2  3   0   2  1  2  0  0   6
   TEAM….............                         2  1  3
   Totals…...........   27-73   3-17   9-14  18 26 44  16  66 11 20  3  8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-33 36.4%   2nd Half: 15-40 37.5%   Game: 37.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-10 20.0%   2nd Half:  1-7  14.3%   Game: 17.6%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half:  5-8  62.5%   Game: 64.3%   6,1

Officials: Tom Wolcott, William Morant, Mary Jane Mellott

Technical fouls: Glenville State-None. Shepherd-None.

Attendance: 911

Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Glenville State…............   39   38  -   77
Shepherd…...................   30   36  -   66

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