Sports Brief - 09.01.14
► Class AAAA Results:
H.D. Woodson, D.C. (0-1) #1 Martinsburg (1-0) 7-24
#2 Capital (0-0) BYE WEEK
#10 George Washington (0-1) #3 South Charleston (1-0) 14-56
Hurricane(0-1) #4 Huntington (1-0) 6-37
Anacostia, D.C. (0-1) #5 Morgantown (1-0) 0-41
Taylor Alderdice, PA (0-1) #6 Wheeling Park (1-0) 13-30
#7 Point Pleasant(1-0) Lincoln County (0-1) 54-0
Riverside (0-1) #8 Cabell Midland (1-0) 13-63
#9 University(1-0) John Marshall (0-1) 21-12
Indian Creek, Ohio (1-0) Brooke (0-1) 9-8
Washington (1-0) Hedgesville (0-1) 38-18
Greenbrier East (1-0) James Monroe - AA (0-1) 21-19
Oak Hill (0-1) Lewis County (1-0) 7-42
Sherando, VA(1-0) Musselman (0-1) 33-24
Elkins (1-0) North Marion - AA (0-1) 50-20
Ripley (0-1) Parkersburg South(1-0) 27-35
Hampshire(0-1) Preston (1-0) 13-22
Princeton (1-0) Shady Spring (0-1) 55-7
Jefferson (1-0) Spring Mills (0-1) 48-24
St. Albans (0-1) Spring Valley (1-0) 16-42
Parkersburg (1-0) Warren Local, Ohio (0-1) 41-22
Winfield (0-1) Woodrow Wilson (1-0) 0-28
► Class AA Results:
#1 Wayne (1-0) Tolsia (0-1) 40-18
Buckhannon Upshur (0-1) #2 Bridgeport (1-0) 7-38
#3 Bluefield (1-0) Graham, VA (0-1) 76-48
#9 Fairmont Senior (0-1) #4 Robert C. Byrd (1-0) 7-28
Chapmanville (0-1) #5 Sissonville (1-0) 14-42
Clearfield, PA (0-1) #6 Keyser (1-0) 30-43
#8 Mingo Central (1-0) #10 Wyoming East (0-1) 37-28
Lincoln (0-1) Braxton County (1-0) 6-13
Berkeley Springs (0-1) Clarke County, VA (1-0) 6-41
Liberty - Harrison (1-0) East Fairmont (0-1) 22-8
Oak Glen (1-0) Edison Local, OH (0-1) 17-14
Petersburg (0-0) BYE WEEK
IdleMidland Trail - A (0-1) Independence(1-0) 8-49
Westside (1-0) Liberty - Raleigh (0-1) 40-28
Grafton (1-0) Philip Barbour (0-1) 47-19
Summers County (0-1) Pikeview (1-0) 41-42 (OT)
Nitro - AAA (1-0) Poca (0-1) 28-12
Mount View (0-1) River View (1-0) 14-53
Clay County (0-1) Roane County (1-0) 14-24
Herbert Hoover (0-1) Scott (1-0) 27-28
Catholic Cent., OH (0-1) Weir (1-0) 20-33
► Class A Results:
Notre Dame (0-1) #1 Wheeling Central (1-0) 21-54
Ritchie County - AA (0-1) #2 St. Marys (1-0) 0-47
Nicholas County - AA (0-1) #3 Greenbrier West (1-0) 14-20
#4 Williamstown (1-0) Tyler Consolidated (0-1) 30-7
#5 Bishop Donahue (1-0) Cameron (0-1) 42-18
Beallsville, OH (0-1) #6 Madonna (1-0) 13-47
#7 Moorefield (0-1) #7 Frankfort - AA (1-0) 12-34
#8 Magnolia (0-0) BYE WEEK
#9 Wahama (0-1) Ravenswood - AA (1-0) 6-27
#10 Man (1-0) Logan - AAA (0-1) 32(OT)-26
Parkersburg Catholic (0-1) Buffalo (1-0) 12-13
Paden City (0-1) Clay-Battelle (1-0) 14-54
Calhoun County (1-0) Gilmer County (0-1) 41-30
Eastern, OH (1-0) Hannan (0-1) 39-14
Fayetteville (0-0) BYE WEEK
East Hardy (1-0) Page County, VA (0-1) 38-14
Tygarts Valley (0-1) Pendleton County (1-0) 8-46
Webster County - AA (1-0) Richwood (0-1) 33-32
Tug Valley (1-0) Sherman (0-1) 20-14
Doddridge County (1-0) South Harrison (0-1) 27-23
Pocahontas County (1-0) Tucker County (0-1) 13-6
Wirt County (0-1) Valley - Fayette (1-0) 15-30
Bridgeport, OH (0-1) Valley - Wetzel (1-0) 14-30
Meadow Bridge (1-0) Van (0-1) 50-8
► 49ERS’ MCDONALD ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning on felony charges of domestic violence.
McDonald was booked in Santa Clara County jail at 5:30 a.m. PT for “inflicting injury on a spouse or cohabitant,“ according to the Santa Clara Department of Corrections. The eighth-year veteran was later released from custody after posting bail.
The Sacramento Bee reported that McDonald was involved in an altercation with his pregnant fiancee while having a birthday party at his home. According to the paper, the woman showed police bruising on her neck and arms when the officers arrived and McDonald was subsequently arrested.
This news comes days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell instituted harsher penalties for players and league personnel over domestic violence offenses, a response to criticism over the two-game suspension he handed Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for an altercation with his now-wife in a New Jersey casino back in February.
The revamped policy calls for a six-week suspension for a first offense while a second offense will result in a lifetime ban. McDonald could face a more severe first-time punishment, however, because the alleged victim is pregnant.
McDonald, who turns 30 on Tuesday, has started 45 games for San Francisco over the last three seasons.
► TEXANS ACQUIRE QB MALLETT FROM PATRIOTS: The Houston Texans acquired quarterback Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots in exchange for a conditional 2016 seventh-round draft pick on Sunday, according to multiple media outlets.
Mallett, who was drafted in the third round out of Arkansas in 2011, has spent each of his three seasons as a backup to Tom Brady. He has seen action in just four games, completing just one pass for 17 yards with an interception.
The 26-year-old will join offseason signing Ryan Fitzpatrick and fourth-round pick Tom Savage as Houston’s quarterbacks.
Houston waived quarterback Case Keenum after a disappointing offseason to make room for Mallett on the 53-man roster.
Keenum started eight games last season, completing 54.2 percent of his passes for 1,760 yards with nine passing touchdowns, one rushing score and six interceptions.
New England had depth at quarterback to deal Mallett because of a solid preseason campaign from Jimmy Garoppolo. The rookie out of Eastern Illinois connected on 46-of-79 passes for 618 yards with five touchdowns and one interception for the Patriots.
► TEXANS ACQUIRE QB MALLETT FROM PATRIOTS: The Houston Texans acquired quarterback Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots in exchange for an undisclosed future draft choice on Sunday.
According to NFL.com, the Patriots will receive a conditional seventh-round pick in 2016 for Mallett, who reunites with current Texans head coach and former New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.
Mallett, who was drafted by New England in the third round in 2011, has spent each of his three seasons as a backup to Tom Brady. He has seen action in just four games, completing only one pass for 17 yards with an interception.
The 26-year-old will join offseason signing Ryan Fitzpatrick and fourth-round pick Tom Savage as Houston’s quarterbacks, as the Texans reportedly waived Case Keenum after a disappointing offseason to make room for Mallett on the 53-man roster.
Keenum started eight games for Houston last season, completing 54.2 percent of his passes for 1,760 yards with nine passing touchdowns, one rushing score and six interceptions.
New England had depth at quarterback to deal Mallett because of a solid preseason campaign from Jimmy Garoppolo. The rookie out of Eastern Illinois connected on 46-of-79 passes for 618 yards with five touchdowns and one interception for the Patriots.
► BROWNS CUT LOOSE QB GROSSMAN: Veteran quarterback Rex Grossman was one of four players waived or released by the Cleveland Browns after the team made a series of roster moves on Sunday.
The Browns were awarded four players on waivers following Saturday’s final cuts, with the club adding wide receiver LaRon Byrd, offensive linemen Caylin Hauptmann and Ryan Seymour and running back Glenn Winston.
Along with releasing Grossman, the starting quarterback on the Chicago Bears’ 2006 NFC champion squad, the Browns waived offensive linemen Karim Barton and Martin Wallace and wide receiver Charles Johnson.
Grossman had signed with the Browns on Aug. 12 and initially made the 53-man roster as the No. 3 signal-caller behind Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel. The 34-year-old attempted just eight passes during the preseason, completing four of them for 80 yards.
Byrd was claimed from Dallas and Hauptmann was waived by Seattle on Saturday. Seymour and Winston both spent the preseason with the San Francisco 49ers.
Hauptmann spent the first two weeks of last season on Cleveland’s practice squad before signing with the Seahawks, though he did not appear in a game as a rookie in 2013.
► AMERICAN LEAGUE SCORES:
Final Score: Toronto 4, New York 3
Munenori Kawasaki’s tie-breaking RBI single in the seventh inning capped a Toronto rally that carried the Blue Jays to a 4-3 decision over the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays trailed 3-0 after 5 1/2 innings before drawing even via three solo home runs off New York starter Brandon McCarthy. Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista went back-to-back in the bottom of the sixth, with Edwin Encarnacion belting the game-tying shot in the seventh. Dioner Navarro followed Encarnacion’s blast by drawing a walk against McCarthy and was replaced by pinch-runner Steven Tolleson, who later stole second and scored on Kawasaki’s clutch two-out hit off Dellin Betances. The comeback made a winner out of J.A. Happ and gave the Blue Jays consecutive victories for the first time since August 9-10. Toronto took the final two tests of this key three-game set. Happ (9-8) permitted three runs on nine hits and fanned six over seven innings, while Casey Janssen stranded the tying run at third in the ninth to record his 20th save. McCarthy (5-4) was charged with all four Toronto runs despite yielding just five hits in six-plus innings of work. Brett Gardner finished a single shy of the cycle for New York, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored.
Final Score: Baltimore 12, Minnesota 8
J.J. Hardy’s grand slam highlighted a seven-run sixth inning that helped the Baltimore Orioles roll to a 12-8 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. Ryan Flaherty and Nelson Cruz also homered in the rout, with Cruz belting his MLB-leading 35th of the season. Caleb Joseph went 4-for-5 and Nick Markakis and David Lough had three hits apiece. Wei-Yin Chen (14-4) was the benefactor of the power surge, earning the win despite allowing four runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. Trevor Plouffe and Danny Santana each hit two-run homers for the slumping Twins, who have dropped seven of their last eight games, including all three so far in this four-game series. Brian Dozier and Chris Parmelee each had three hits in the setback. Twins starter Ricky Nolasco (5-10) was lit up for eight runs on 12 hits over five-plus innings.
Final Score: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 0
Clay Buchholz tossed nine shutout innings to help the Boston Red Sox dispatch the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-0, in the third of a four-game set on Sunday. Buchholz (6-8) surrendered just three hits with six strikeouts and no walks to break a string of three straight losing decisions for his first win since July 18 against Kansas City. Mookie Betts had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Christian Vazquez and David Ortiz each drove in a run for the Red Sox, who bounced back from having just one hit in Saturday’s 7-0 loss to the Rays. Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Joyce, and Jose Molina each had a hit for Tampa Bay, which has dropped three of its last four games. Alex Cobb (9-7), who entered the game 7-0 in his last 11 starts, lost his first game since June 23 against Pittsburgh. The right-hander gave up two runs—one earned—on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 frames.
Final Score: Chicago 6, Detroit 2
Jose Quintana tossed seven strong innings and received plenty of early offensive support in the Chicago White Sox’ 6-2 triumph over the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Quintana (7-10) held the Tigers to a pair of runs on six hits and a walk, with his White Sox teammates putting up five runs in the first two innings to help the lefty record just his second win since late June. Chicago pounded out 12 hits despite trading away its second regular in as many days prior to the game, sending slugger Adam Dunn to Oakland in exchange for a minor league pitcher. The White Sox shipped outfielder Alejandro De Aza to Baltimore on Saturday. Avisail Garcia led Chicago at the plate by going 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Adam Eaton and Carlos Sanchez had two hits and two runs scored to help the White Sox earn a split of this four-game set. Detroit’s Rick Porcello (15-9) failed in his attempt to become the American League’s first 16-game winner this season after being tagged for six runs and 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings. Three of those runs were unearned, however, due to four errors the Tigers committed on the day.
Final Score: Houston 3, Texas 2
Jose Altuve’s single in the eighth capped a two-run rally that gave the Houston Astros a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers in the finale of a four-game set. With one out in the eighth and Houston trailing by a run, Matt Dominguez drove a homer out to left off Neal Cotts (2-8) to tie the game. Cotts then hit Jake Marisnick, who stole second, before getting Gregorio Petit to ground out. Neftali Feliz came on to relieve Cotts, walked Robbie Grossman to put runners at the corners in front of Altuve. The MLB- batting leader laced the first pitch he saw into center that scored Marisnick. Chris Carter followed with a base hit up the middle, but Leonys Martin fired a strike to the plate to get Grossman at home for the final out of the inning. Jose Veras (3-0) got the win for a scoreless eighth and Chad Qualls tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to convert his 16th save of the season.
Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 8, Oakland 1
Matt Shoemaker extended an outstanding run of pitching for the red-hot Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who further distanced themselves from the fading Oakland Athletics with an 8-1 rout that completed a four-game series sweep. Shoemaker (14-4) followed up Jered Weaver’s seven-inning gem on Friday and a three-hit shutout from eight Anaheim hurlers on Saturday by firing seven scoreless frames. The 28- year-old rookie yielded just five hits and fanned seven to win his fifth consecutive start. Mike Trout and Chris Iannetta provided the offense in the Angels’ sixth straight victory, which increased their lead over Oakland to five games in the American League West. Trout went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI, with Iannetta collecting three hits that included a solo home run. The Angels are now 15-4 since Aug. 12, while the A’s have gone 6-14 since Aug. 10 and have dropped four in a row. They managed only a single run over the last three tests of this set. Oakland didn’t get much on the mound from Scott Kazmir (14-7) either, as the lefty lasted only 1 1/3 innings and was rocked for six runs while walking four.
Final Score: Seattle 5, Washington 3
Dustin Ackley smacked a three-run homer and drove in four as the Seattle Mariners topped the Washington Nationals, 5-3, to salvage a three-game set. Hisashi Iwakuma (13-6) allowed three runs on five hits with six strikeouts over six innings for Seattle, which snapped a three-game slide. Austin Jackson went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the triumph. Fernando Rodney tossed a scoreless ninth to notch his 39th save of the year. Bryce Harper cracked two solo shots, with Nate Schierholtz also going deep for the Nationals, who have dropped four of their last six games. Tanner Roark (12-9) surrendered four runs on 11 hits over 6 1/3 frames to garner the loss. The Nationals led 3-1 before the Mariners went ahead following a three-run fifth.
Final Score: Cleveland 4, Kansas City 2 (suspended)
The Cleveland Indians scored two runs in the top of the 10th to take a 4-2 lead over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday night. But bad weather prevented the Royals from batting in the bottom half of the inning. The game was suspended following a rain delay. The teams will resume the contest on Sept. 22 in Cleveland before the start of a three-game series between the AL Central rivals. The Royals entered the game with a half-game lead over the Tigers for first place in the AL Central. Detroit lost to the White Sox earlier Sunday. Cleveland trails Kansas City by 3 1/2 games.
► Kahne wins at Atlanta, Stewart crashes and finishes 41st : Kasey Kahne clinched a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship by winning Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, while Tony Stewart wrecked at the halfway point and finished 41st in his return to racing.
In a long race that featured two green-white-checkered finish attempts, Kahne passed Matt Kenseth for the lead just before they crossed the line to complete the penultimate lap. He held off Kenseth at the finish by 0.6 seconds for his first win of the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season.
Kahne first took the lead on lap 303 when he moved ahead of Denny Hamlin after a restart. Kahne had built a sizeable lead and appeared to be on his way to an easy victory, but Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. collided between turns 1 and 2 in the closing laps, with Truex hitting the wall. It forced the ninth caution and set up the first two-lap overtime finish attempt.
During that caution, Kenseth and Paul Menard came out of the pits 1-2 after both drivers changed only two tires. Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Kahne exited 3-5, respectively, following their four-tire changes.
After the restart, Harvick got sandwiched between Menard and Joey Logano, which caused Harvick to hit the wall and forced the final caution. Harvick, the pole sitter, had dominated most of this race by leading 195 of 335 laps.
Kenseth led the way for the final restart with two laps to go, but as Kahne was passing him for the position while coming out of turn 4, Kenseth wiggled a bit.
Kahne scored his 17th career victory in NASCAR’s premier series but his first since August 2013 at Pocono (39 races ago). It was also Kahne’s third Cup win at Atlanta. His other victories here occurred in 2006 and ‘09.
“We were all over the place during the race, but the guys [No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team] stayed with me and worked hard,“ Kahne said. “On that last restart, I didn’t know what would happen because I had great restarts all night and I’ve struggle with restarts a lot. That’s big because that is one of the things you have to be good at, and it worked really well tonight.“
All four drivers from Hendrick Motorsports are now in the 10-race championship Chase, which begins in two weeks at Chicagoland. Kahne’s teammates—Jeff Gordon, the current points leader, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson—have three wins each this season.
The series will conclude its regular season next Saturday night at Richmond.
“We are locked in [the Chase], but I hate that it comes down to this - Atlanta or Richmond - just about every year for me,“ Kahne said. “Sometimes we are in, and sometimes we are out. I’m thankful that I have been in the Chase all three years now with HMS.“
Kenseth has yet to win a race this season, but his second-place run at Atlanta did secure him a spot in the Chase due to his third-place ranking in points. He led the series with seven victories in 2013, his first season driving the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.
“I’d like to consistently have wins. That’s what I’d like to have,“ Kenseth said. “The team has really been performing at a high level all year. I know when you look at the record books we have some crashes and some bad finishes and we don’t have a win yet, but I feel like our pit stops have been more consistent and faster than they were last year.“
Hamlin, who is Kenseth’s teammate at JGR, finished third, followed by Johnson and Carl Edwards.
Danica Patrick’s sixth-place run marked her career-best finish in Sprint Cup. Patrick started 27th. She had finished seventh at Kansas in May and then eighth at Daytona in July.
“It was a long night,“ Patrick said. “That race felt like it was 700 miles long. Sometimes when you are running well they feel like that because you are hoping it stays there, keeps going well, and you keep improving and don’t lose it. There were definitely a couple of times late in the race when we fell back. In the middle of the race, the car was very good. We took a little step back, and then it came back in the end.“
Stewart, who is Harvick and Patrick’s teammate as well as their team co-owner, made his first start since his involvement in a fatal accident during an Aug. 9 sprint car race at a dirt track in Upstate New York. Stewart struck and killed driver Kevin Ward Jr.
Stewart started 12th and quickly made his way into the top-six, but after a restart on lap 122, he made contact with the wall while battling Kyle Busch for position. He managed to continue in the race.
However, Stewart’s night at this fast 1.54-mile track came to a premature end on lap 172 when he blew his right-front tire and crashed into the wall. He was running outside the top-20 at the time.
“Sorry guys, you deserve better than this,“ Stewart said over his team radio while driving his damaged No. 14 Chevrolet to the garage area.
Stewart declined to comment on his incident.
“We got off to a good start, and the car had speed all weekend long,“ Stewart’s crew chief, Chad Johnston, said. “We went into today with some pretty good hopes of finishing well and possibly coming out of here with a win. But it just didn’t work out in our favor.
“We got into a little bit of trouble with the 18 [Busch] and hit the outside wall. It knocked the tow out of [the car]. There was a lot of heavy right-side damage. And we were trying to fix that and then salvage what we could out of the day. Then we blew a right-front [tire] there. It’s really good to have Tony back.“
Regan Smith (Watkins Glen) and Jeff Burton (Michigan and Bristol) substituted for Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet while Stewart had been in seclusion for the previous three weeks.
Harvick ended up finishing 19th one day after he won the Nationwide Series race at Atlanta. He led 159 of 195 laps in that event.
“We all probably could have given each other more room,“ Harvick said of his accident with Menard and Logano. “I knew the No. 27 [Menard] was going to get a bad restart, and I tried to time it to where I could get on the outside of him. I got on the outside of him, and he just kept coming up, and I wasn’t going to let off the gas. I knew the No. 22 [Logano] was up there. The No. 27 kept coming up and just came up until we all wrecked.“
Ryan Newman placed seventh, followed by rookie Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle, who maintained the 16th and final spot on the provisional NASCAR Chase grid.
Clint Bowyer entered this 500-mile race 15th on the Chase grid, but Bowyer suffered a broken shifter early in the event and had to spend 20 laps in the garage for repairs before he returned. He finished 38th and fell 23 points behind Biffle for the last spot in the playoff field. Larson is only one point in back of Bowyer.
Logano, who claimed his third win of the season last weekend at Bristol, finished 14th, while his Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski, placed 39th after he wrecked on lap 297. Keselowski hit Josh Wise from behind and then made contact with the wall.
Ty Dillon, the 22-year-old grandson of NASCAR multi-team owner Richard Childress, finished 25th in his first career Sprint Cup start. Dillon’s elder brother, Austin, a rookie in the series this season, placed one spot ahead in 24th.
► HENLEY TAKES 1-SHOT LEAD AT TPC BOSTON: Russell Henley fired a 6-under 65 on Sunday and took a 1-stroke lead after 54 holes of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Henley ended three rounds at 12-under-par 201. The 25-year-old will go for his third PGA Tour title on Monday at TPC Boston.
Billy Horschel posted 4-under 67 to move into second place at minus-11. Rory McIlroy, the 2012 winner, and Chris Kirk played together on Sunday and both fired 7-under 64s to jump into a share of third place at 10-under-par 203. They were joined there by second-round co-leader Jason Day (69).
Webb Simpson, the 2011 champion, moved into sixth place at minus-9 thanks to a third-round 68.
Ryan Palmer, who shared the second-round lead with Day, posted his second straight 71 on Sunday. He fell into a tie for seventh at 8-under 205. Palmer was joined there by Kevin Streelman (65), Seung-Yul Noh (68) and Keegan Bradley (69).
► JOHNSON HANGS ON TO WIN IN SCOTLAND: Trish Johnson carded a final- round, 1-over 73 on Sunday, but it was good enough to give her a 2-shot victory at the Ladies Scottish Open.
Despite her second straight round in the 70s, Johnson finished the week at 7- under 209 to claim the title at the Archerfield Links.
The win is Johnson’s first on tour and it is her third top-10 finish of the season. Her best finish of the year was a tie for eighth at the Lalla Meryem Cup.
Johnson started off strong in her final round with back-to-back birdies on two and three. She did not make a birdie the rest of the way, however, and she tripped to a double-bogey on the par-4 seventh.
After making the turn with six straight pars from the eighth, Johnson dropped another shot with a bogey at 14, putting her at 1-over for the day. Johnson stayed strong and finished off her tournament with four straight pars to end at 7-under for the week.
Gwladys Nocera ended in sole possession of second place at 5-under 211 following her final-round 69.
Rebecca Artis (66), Stephanie Na (67) and Sally Watson (70) finished three shots back at 4-under, while Anne-Lise Caudal shot a 71 and she was the only other player to finish under par at minus-2.
► USA TESTED BY TURKEY IN WORLD CUP PRELIM:
Kenneth Faried scored 22 points on 11- of-14 shooting and the United States pulled away down the stretch for a 98-77 win over Turkey on Day 2 of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
The heavily favored Americans owned just a 66-60 lead after three quarters before dominating the fourth to move to 2-0 in Group C.
Faried added eight rebounds, while Anthony Davis put up 19 points while going 8-of-11 from the field for the U.S. James Harden chipped in 14 points and seven assists to the victory, while Kyrie Irving finished with 13 points.
An undermanned but game Turkey squad had given the Americans all they could handle for much of the contest, which was all square at 59-59 following Kerem Tunceri’s 3-pointer with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter.
Faried scored on a putback just under a minute later, however, and Stephen Curry followed with a trey to help start a 17-1 run that finally gave the Americans some breathing room.
Faried netted six points during the surge, which also included 3-pointers from Klay Thompson and Irving and was capped by two Harden free throws that put the U.S. up 76-60 with 7:52 left to play.
Turkey, which edged New Zealand in its opener on Saturday, never got the margin under 13 points the rest of the way.
Cenk Akyol paced the Turks with 12 points, with Sinan Guler, Oguz Savas and Emir Preldzic each scoring nine in the loss.
The U.S. will have an off day on Monday before continuing preliminary play against New Zealand.
► FIBA WORLD CUP UPDATE - AUGUST 31:
Group C: Final - Dominican Republic 76, New Zealand 63
Group B: Final - Croatia 90, Argentina 85
Group D: Final - Australia 89, Korea 55
Group A: Final - France 74, Serbia 73
Group C: Final - Finland 81, Ukraine 76
Group B: Final - Senegal 82, Puerto Rico 75
Group D: Final - Slovenia 89, Mexico 68
Group A: Final - Brazil 70, Iran 50
Group B: Final - Greece 82, Philippines 70
Group D: Final - Lithuania 75, Angola 62
Group C: Final - United States 98, Turkey 77
Group A: Final - Spain 91, Egypt 54
► THE TOUGH WORLD OF AN NFL PLACE-KICKER: The glamorous life of an NFL player is often glorified by the media and among fans. Who wouldn’t want to be Tom Brady with a supermodel wife and three Super Bowl rings?
But that’s just the tip of the sword.
At the other end of the spectrum is the player hanging on to the 53rd spot on a 53-man roster making the league minimum.
Somewhere in between the two extremes, though a lot closer to the bottom than the top, lies a place-kicker.
The Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski and Ravens kicker Justin Tucker weren’t concerned on Saturday’s “cutdown” day. They have a nice contract in hand and little-to-no competition.
But even for the elite kicker, their job security is only as good as their most recent kicks.
This past week was pretty hard on place-kickers. Jay Feely, Shayne Graham, Ryan Succop and Alex Henery felt the sharp edge of the sword. Each had a starting gig in the NFL last season and were likely owned by fantasy owners.
They are all currently looking for employment.
And I know that in at least one of my fantasy leagues (I have five), I’m now in need of kicking help because I had drafted Graham thinking the New Orleans offense appeared to be very explosive this season.
I still like the Saints offense, but thanks to coach Sean Payton’s unusual roster strategy, I don’t know who to select as Graham’s replacement. The coach not only let Graham go, but Graham’s only competition in practice and the preseason - Derek Dimke.
Payton might return to a well-known product, former Saints kicker Garrett Hartley comes to mind, or he could pick up one of the just-released kickers. Only time will tell, though Payton only has eight days until the season begins, so I hope he decides soon.
That’s the life of an NFL kicker. And that’s why fantasy owners should never place a high value on the position. Because’s today’s star may be in tomorrow’s unemployment line.
It should also be a warning to all the fathers out there. Please dad, remember how easily a team is willing to jettison their kicker and when your son (or daughter) comes to you for lessons on how to become a kicker, teach him how to throw the football instead.
Or if he wants a really long NFL career, teach him to be a center, or better yet, a long snapper on special teams. Those guys play forever.
► RYAN MALLETT NOT THE RIGHT FLIER: It finally happened. Ryan Mallett is a Houston Texan.
New England traded the former third-round pick in 2011 to the Lone Star State for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2016. With veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick currently holding the starting job under center for Houston, it is conceivable to see Mallett starting by Week 4.
Talk about steal of the century, right? Potential starting quarterback for a seventh-round pick. Better yet, a quarterback who learned under Tom Brady and is once again paired with his first offensive coordinator in the NFL, now Texan head coach (quarterback guru) Bill O’Brien.
Sounds like a match made in heaven. On paper, it sounds like the perfect fantasy flier pick.
But before owners jump to their computers to pick up Mallett, take notice that there is probably a reason the Patriots traded him. It wasn’t to get value because Houston gave New England virtually nothing. It wasn’t to make cap space: Mallett makes less than $800,000.
This looks like a classic Bill Belichick move, admitting to a mistake and immediately cutting his losses rather than being too stubborn to admit a wrong.
He did it with Chad Johnson, who was a fantasy nightmare with New England in 2011. He caught 15 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown that year. After one reception in the Super Bowl, the Patriots released him that summer.
Belichick did the same with Tim Tebow, who never even made it to the regular season with New England. And although it had no impact on fantasy, Albert Haynesworth was another flier Bill Belichick took that just flat out did not work. He made two tackles in six games, lasting just four months with the team.
Mallett falls in the same category. Someone the Patriots valued highly three years ago, yet this weekend, they could not wait to get him off their hands. Sure, Jimmy Garoppolo helped push Mallett out of town, but with so many other needs and a chance to make one more Super Bowl run with Brady, it is doubtful Belichick would have picked Brady’s eventual replacement if he felt a future NFL starting quarterback was already on his bench.
It is always a good idea to take a flier late in a draft, especially in deep leagues, leagues with lots of bench positions or dynasty leagues. Belichick certainly takes his fair share of fliers and lots of them work out. Mallett, however, is not the flier owners want.
O’Brien really had no choice but to take Mallett as his flier. With very few quarterbacks available even after final cuts, he can either go with Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and Tom Savage or roll the dice and trade for Mallett.
Fantasy owners have a choice. No need to roll the dice on Mallett.
|Major League Baseball - National League|
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|WNBA - Playoffs|
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|Canadian Football League|
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|U.S. Open, 11:00 AM - CBS|
|U.S. Open, 7:00 PM - ESPN 2|