May 5, 2008

Garnett Leads Celtics into the Second Round, But Just Barely

Kevin Garnett scored 18 points and had 11 rebounds as Boston beat Atlanta 99-65 in the pivotal game seven of their first round playoff match up, according to the Star Tribune.

Boston, which won 66 games during the regular season to secure home court advantage throughout the playoffs, needed it right away as all four of their wins in the series came at home.

The Atlanta Hawks, a sub-.500 team in the regular season, pushed the Celtics to the brink of an early an unexpected elimination. Despite the close call, Boston remains optimistic about their playoff hopes.

"The pressure of this will probably pay off later," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. (Fox Sports)

This season was supposed to be the year that former Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett finally got his NBA championship that he never could with Minnesota. His arrival along with shooting guard Ray Allen propelled Boston to one of the biggest turnarounds in NBA regular season history. But the playoffs, in which Garnett has only managed to get out of the first round once, is a whole other story.

"For us to be an elite team and one that makes it to the championship," Celtic star Paul Pierce said, "we can't have any nights off, we can't take plays off and we've got to be able to get it done on the road."

If Atlanta had pulled out game seven, it would have been only the second time a number eight seed had knocked off a number one seed in a seven-game series in the NBA playoffs, according to Fox Sports.

April 13, 2008

Florida Teenagers Videotape Brutal Beating of Florida Girl

Eight teenagers have been arrested for the viscous beating of Victoria Lindsay in Lakeland, Fla, according to MyFox Tampa Bay.

On March 30th, two girls told Lindsay,16, to meet them at a house in South Lakeland, were four other girls were also hiding, according to investigators. When Lindsay walked in the six girls beat her to unconsciousness. When she came to they beat her some more, according to sheriff's office documents. Two boys were standing lookout at the house.

Lindsay suffered a concussion, as well as damage to both her left ear and eye. She also has number of bruises, though she is expected to recover, according to the Star Telegram.

The video did not become public until this past week, in which some of the friends tapped the excruciating pummeling on their cell phones. The video shows that Lindsay never fought back during the beating. The Eight teens have charged with third-degree felonies for battery and false imprisonment, reported MyFox Tampa Bay.

The girls were planing to post the video on Myspace and YouTube to embarrass Lindsay and teach her a lesson, according to investigators. Apparently they were retaliating from some trash talk Lindsay had posted on her Myspace page about them.

Lindsay was a senior honor student at Mulberry High School, but will continue her education at home rather than return to school, according to the Star Telegram.

"She's scared. Scared to go back to school, scared to go out in public because she's afraid of repercussions that may happen," Patrick Lindsay, her father, said. (MyFox Tampa Bay)

April 5, 2008

Final Four Composed of All Top Seeds for Fist Time Ever

For the first time in history, all four of the number one seeds in the NCAA men's basketball tournament have reached the Final Four, reported the The Birmingham News on Saturday.

It is a superstar field composed of Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and the number one overall seed, North Carolina. The four teams have a combined record of 143-9 record this year, and whichever teams comes out on top in the championship game Monday will have set the record for wins in a season. (The Birmingham News)

The top four seeds have more or less rolled through the tourney this year, with the closest call coming for Kansas in their regional final game against Davidson last weekend.

Davidson, a number 10-seeded Cinderella, had Kansas in the ropes, reported the New York Times. Down 57-59 in the final seconds, Jason Richards heaved up a three that was off the mark, sending Kansas in as the last final four team.

It was pure relief for head coach Bill Self, who though Richard's shot might have been on the mark. Self had never reached a Final Four before, despite reaching the regional final game four times previously, two times with Kansas.

“It looked like it had a real good chance,� he said of Richards’s shot. (New York Times)

UCLA is undoubtedly the most experience of the field, having reached their third straight Final Four. But each of the last two years they have been knocked off by eventual champion Florida.

Both Memphis and North Carolina have also been stopped in the regional final game recently, so all four teams are hungry and motivated and getting so close before but not reaching their goal.

"All of these teams have clearly separated themselves," said analyst Clark Kellogg. "They have experience that is rather unique and tremendous talent and they've worked through the pain and disappointment of coming close and they are using that as a motivating and galvanizing force." (The Birmingham News)

March 2, 2008

Apple Valley Enjoys Record Setting Day In State Wrestling Tournament

Apple Valley added to their already extensive list of records at the state wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center Saturday, reported the Star Tribune.

In addition to tacking another team title on to bring their all-time record to 16, the Eagles broke the record of most all-time state champs for one team with 52, breaking the previous mark of 50.

Apple Valley simple overpowered all comers in the team portion of the competition, winning their three duals by a combined score of 154-31. They crushed Albert Lea 57-6 in the title match, recording their 9th team title in the last 10 years.

In the individual competition, Apple Valley had 7 finalists, including 5 champs. The Champions for Apple Valley were: eight-grader Eric Devos at 103 pounds, freshman Destin McCauley at 119, junior Justin Lavalle at 130, senior Matt Mincey at 135, and sophomore Tyler Lehmann at 171.

Apple Valley had a finalist in each of the first six weights. For McCauley and Mincey, this was there 3rd consecutive individual title. For Devos it was his 2nd strait. Both Devos and McCauley have a chance to become Minnesota's first six-time individual state champions.

The five chamions for the Eagles tied the state record for most champs in a single year set by Forest Lake in 1993. The record would have been broken if it weren't for brothers Matt and Tom Kelliher both suffering upsets in the finals.

Following the tournament opposes coaches heaped praises on this record setting team, lead by its dominate lower-weights.

"This is the best individual-tournament team they have ever had,'' Cambridge-Isanti coach Neil Jennissen said. "They have seven kids that can win any tournament they walk into, and that includes at the national level. <u>(Pioneer Press)

February 25, 2008

Vikings' McKinnie Arrested

Minnesota Viking Bryant McKinnie was charged with aggravated battery, disorderly conduct, and risiting arrest after being arrested following a fight at a Miami nightclub Sunday, according to the Star Tribune.

It all began when McKinnie was asked to leave Club Space and began to argue with and spit on security guard Eric Otero, according to the police report. Otero,32, said he wouldn't press charges if McKinnie left, reported the Pioneer Press.

McKinnie did eventually leave to a nearby strip club, but eventually returned to Club Space to fight with Otero again. The authorities were called and according to the Miami police McKinnie was "in the middle of a large crowd, throwing punches and again yelling obscenities. (Pioneer Press)

The Vikings lineman was then arrested and bailed out for $9,000 dollars according to the Pioneer Press. He is being charged with aggravated battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

This is not the first time McKinnie has been in trouble with the law. In 2006 he pleaded guilty for disorderly conduct and being a public nuisance in the "Love Boat" incident.

February 18, 2008

Twins Sign Hernandez

The Minnesota Twins signed starting pitcher Livan Hernandez to a one year-year contract Tuesday, reported the Star Tribune.

Hernandez, 32, was 11-11 with a 4.93 ERA for the Arizona Diamondbacks last year.

The one-year contract for Hernandez is worth a guaranteed $5 million and could be worth as much as $7 million based on his performance, according to the Pioneer Press. Hernandez is a two-time all star and was the MVP when his Florida Marlins won the World Series in 1997, and his career record is 134-128 with a 4.25 ERA.

"He's a guy who can give us some innings, a steady guy," said Twins general manager Bill Smith. (Pioneer Press)
Hernandez has indeed been one of the most durable pitchers of his era as he has pitched at least 199 innings in each of his past 10 seasons, including leading the entire league in innings pitched in each season since 2003.

The signing is following the departure of former Twins Johan Santana and Carlos Silva, who combined pitched 421 innings in 2007. Before signing Hernandez, the Twins had no starting pitchers older that 26 or with more than 48 major-league starts.

"We are expecting him to be a veteran leader, a presence on the pitching staff," said Smith, who is counting on Hernandez for another 200 solid innings. (Pioneer Press)

February 11, 2008

Garnett Honored at Wolves Game

Former Timberwolf Kevin Garnett received a 90-second ovation from the sellout crowd at the Target Center Friday night, reported the Pioneer Press.
Garnett was traded to the Celtics this past off-season and it was his first return to the place he played for his first 12 years in the NBA. The Wolves have drawn poorly all year, Friday was only their third sellout, but everyone came to see Garnett Friday, even if it was only for a couple minutes as Garnett is still sidelined with an abdominal injury and was unable to play.
The fans made the short time last though giving Garnett a standing ovation immediately after he emerged from the tunnel onto the court before he went back into the Celtic's dressing room, where he has insisted on watching games since he's been sidelined, according to the Star Tribune.
Garnett was a legend in Minneapolis, the cornerstone and fan favorite of the Wolves since his arrival.
"Kevin's such a good guy and he was here for such a long time," Wolves' vice president of basketball opertaions Kevin McHale said. "We spent so many hours in this gym working on his game. But it's a transient business by nature. Now it's been a while (since the trade). I really enjoy the guys we've got here. You do move on, though. That's part of it." (Pioneer Press)
Unfortunately the new guys couldn't close out the Celtics, even without Garnett, as the fell 88-86 on a last second shot.

February 4, 2008

Gophers wrestlers fall short of number one ranked Iowa

The Minnesota Gophers wrestling team lost 13-20 against Iowa Friday in front of over 7,000 fans at Williams arena, according the Pioneer Press.
The fourth ranked Gophers got off to a great start when number one ranked sophomore Jayson Ness recoded a 14-2 major decision over number three ranked Charlie Falck of the Hawkeyes, giving the Gophers four team points. But consecutive decisions in toss-up matches at 133 and 141 for the Hawkeyes gave them a 6-4 lead in the team score and put a huge dent in Gopher's hope of knocking off thier top ranked rival from Iowa.
Going into the last weight class, the Gophers were trailing the Hawkeyes 13-17 and needed a big win from red-shirt freshman Ben Berhow, but he fell 7-3 to sixth ranked senior Matt Fields of Iowa.
The most highly anticipated match of the night was suppose to be the 149 pound weight class which featured number one ranked Brett Metclaf of Iowa and number two Ranked Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota but Schlatter was not able to wrestle because of an injury that his held him out since late December, according to RevWrestling.
It was a tough loss in what has been a difficult year for the Gophers. Minnesota started off the season ranked number one after winning the NCAA championship last year, but have already suffered four dual meet losses on the year.