By Warren Rappleyea Staff Writer JERRY WOLKOWITZ Middletown North’s Mike Niesz drives past Freehold Township’s John Kambon during the Lions’ overtime loss at home on Friday. On the heels of a solid 56-45 win at St. John Vianney in Holmdel on Saturday, the Matawan High School boys’ basketball team is looking forward to the second half of the campaign. Freshman Jason Simmons put up 12 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked five shots, as Lucas Castell contributed 14 points and A.J. Roque added 13 points for the Huskies. “That was a big win for us,” Matawan coach Jack George said. “This is a relatively young team, so it will give us some confidence. The guys really came out with purpose against St. John’s, and they played well from start to finish.” The Huskies are indeed a young team, and to make matters more difficult, a scheduling snafu resulted in just seven home games this season. At this point, Matawan has played more games at St. John Vianney’s (four) than it has at home (three). “These things happen, so we’re just trying to work hard and get better,” George said. “We have an up-and-coming team. We have only two seniors, so most of our guys will be back next year, the jayvee and freshman teams are doing well and the Matawan Avenue Middle School team is undefeated. There’s talent in the program, and more is coming.” Senior Troy Robin, a 6-4 forward, leads the Huskies in scoring with an average of 13 points and also contributes seven rebounds. Simmons, who stands at 6-5, is right behind with averages of 12 points and seven boards, and Castell, a junior, is also averaging in double figures, with 10.5 points and 2.5 assists. Point guard Chris Coachman and Roque are averaging six points apiece, and 6-5 forward Carl Howard, usually the first man off the bench, is averaging two points and three rebounds. Other members of the team include senior swingman Mike Abromowitz and sophomores Rasheed Edwards and Eric Fertig, both guards, and Kevin Edwards and Sandy Perry, two forwards. The 6-5 Perry, a recent transfer student, becomes eligible on Friday when the Huskies host Rumson-Fair Haven. At 4-8, it seems a long shot for the Huskies to earn a state playoff berth this season. However, the young team is overcoming adversity and is getting better as the season progresses, which is all a coach can ask for. With a solid nucleus of players at Matawan now, George has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the program. “We have a lot of potential, and I see a bright future for our team,” he said. “We have talent and height; the only thing we lack is experience. But that’s coming.” By Warren RappleyeaStaff Writer Scheduling mistake leaves team with just seven home games
BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer CBA tops TRN harriers to repeat as SC champions BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer Christian Brothers Academy confirmed that it is the best team in the Shore Conference by convincingly winning its highly anticipated showdown with Toms River North. Saturday’s Shore Conference Cross Country Championships was one of the most highly anticipated meets of the season, pitting the Colts, ranked No. 2 in the state and TR North, No. 3, against each other for the first time this year. The Mariners have emerged in the last three years as a contender to CBA’s Shore crown. Two years ago it was Toms River North prevailing and ending CBA’s 19-year winning streak. Last fall, the Colts got the title back escaping by a single point, 84-85, in one of meet’s greatest finishes. With both CBA (Monmouth) and Toms River North (Ocean) impressively winning their respective county championships, an epic race was expected Saturday. It wasn’t quite as dramatic as last year’s one-points win, but nevertheless, exciting, as CBA topped Toms River North, 42-59. The Colts put four runners in the Top 10 and their fifth man was 14th. The Mariners had two in the Top 10 and placed all five runners in the first 20. Red Bank Regional teammates Joe Kingsbery (15:59.74) and Robbie Dennis (15:59.95) dominated the individual race with Kingsbery tacking on the conference title to his Monmouth County win. The drama took place behind the two Bucs. The Colts’ Will Meolfchik got things going for CBA by out-running TRN’s Ocean County champion Chris Pisano for third place.Melofchik’s 16:07.36 for the 5K Holmdel Park course was the eighth fastest this year. Pisano followed in 16:09.51. Next, Jake Zorski finished one place again of TRN’s Dan Bingham, 16:16.78-16:16:24.56. The Colts then salted the victory away with Chris Horel finishing 10th (16:41), Theo Shaheen 11th (16:45) and Pat Ryan, 16th (16:51). In team scoring they were ninth, 10th, and 14th. CBA’s five-runner average of 16:32.40 was almost a full 10 seconds better than the Mariners (16:42.20). Holmdel’s Hornets were sixth (228) led by Adam Lampell’s 29th place (17:18). Jeff Cody finished second among the Hornets in 40th overall (17:36). John Smith led the Matawan Huskies with his 12th place (16:48). Tom Walsh was 32nd (17:21) as Matawan finished 12th (316). Raritan was 13th led by Matt Dahl, 51st (17:49), and Middletown South was 15th (360) topped by Ryan Brennessel’s 57th (17:57). For the girls, Middletown South’s Jamie Liberti continues to run faster each week. In a race dominated by Ocean County (one-two-three led by winner Jennifer Clausen of Jackson in 18:30), the Eagle senior was the first Monmouth County runner across the line in fourth place, clocking 19:52. She held off Ocean’s Erin Enderly, who had beaten her for the Monmouth County title, who ran 19:54 Saturday. South’s girls finished fifth (211) in the team standings. Toms River East won it all with 134 points. Alex Beaver was South’s second scorer, finishing 23rd overall (20:52). Holmdel was 10th led by the 17th place of Lisa Picascia (20:40). No. 2 scorer Wendy Shuwei Wang was 31st (21:03) and Dannie Shudan Wang, 42nd (21:26). Mater Dei’s Amanda Mahler was 19th (20:44) and helped the Seraphs finish 15th (367). This weekend the NJSIAA state sectionals will be held at Holmdel Park. The top 10 runners from each of the four groups in the Central Jersey section plus the top five teams will advance to the State Group championships on Nov. 15 at Holmdel Park.
By Nemanja BjedovCUP holders Apollon Limassol left it late before securing a narrow 1-0 advantage over Nea Salamina in the first leg of their Coca Cola Cup Round 16 clash after Greek midfielder Fotios Papoulis headed the ball home in the last minute of regular time, yesterday evening at the Tsirion Stadium in Limassol.“This was only the first half. We deservedly won, but who will go through will be decided in two weeks in Larnaca. It was an open game and both teams had chances to score.“Before we start thinking of the second leg we will be fully focused on Omonia who are our next opponents in the league this coming weekend,” assessed Apollon coach Christakis Christoforou.At the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, APOEL beat AEL 1-0, with Irish striker Cillian Sheridan scoring the only goal of the game in the 40th minute.AEL midfielder Dede and APOEL’s Nektarios Alexandrou got into an argument after the final whistle and the referee showed them both yellow cards. Dede will now miss the return leg as he was sent off for his second yellow card of the game.“We lost, but we still have a solid chance of advancement because the second leg will be played at our stadium in two weeks time. Both teams had their chances, but it was APOEL who managed to score and that goal was the difference between the two teams tonight,” said AEL spokesman Ploutis Avraam.“In the second leg we will have to play without Dede, but we are expecting a few new players to arrive in Cyprus by then so our chances should be good to achieve progress into the next round,” he added.APOEL vice-president Vassos Eliades also thinks his side have a good chance of reaching the next round: “This is only the first half of the tie. There are another ninety minutes and maybe more to be played two weeks from now, but I believe we have a good chance after today’s result. However, our focus now shifts to AEK who we play in the league this weekend.”Elsewhere, Doxa Katokopia beat Olympiakos Nicosia 3-1 away from home, while AEK Kouklion celebrated a 1-0 victory over Ermis Aradippou. Enosis Neon Paralimni and Ethnikos Achnas played out a goalless draw.
By Toby DavisDavid Silva sparkled for Manchester City with two goals in a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace that wiped out Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table and added festive spice to the Premier League title race on Saturday.Manchester United’s pursuit of the table-toppers stalled with a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa, their first dropped points in seven games, as local rivals City came through an encounter with Palace that threatened to turn into a frustrating occasion.Silva eased an increasingly tense atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium when he broke the deadlock shortly after half-time and then put an efficient victory to bed with his second goal soon after. Yaya Toure emphatically smashed home a late third.The victory for City, who are having to cope without all their main strikers through injury, moved them level on 39 points with Chelsea, who visit Stoke City on Monday, and ignited a title battle that had looked to be a one-horse parade.Champions City trailed Chelsea by eight points in November, but have cranked into gear heading into the busy festive period, taking 22 points from a possible 24 in their last eight games.United are seven points adrift and one in front of a West Ham United side who will occupy a coveted top four spot at Christmas after a 2-0 home win over bottom club Leicester City.Southampton’s woes were forgotten as they beat Everton 3-0 after four straight league defeats, while Tottenham Hotspur kept up their pursuit of a top-four spot with a 2-1 home win against Burnley to move above Arsenal, who visit Liverpool on Sunday.Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin scored a superb hat-trick as they fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at home to West Bromwich Albion, but second-bottom Hull City’s troubles continued with a 1-0 home defeat by Swansea City.
By Iain RogersWhile there may still be a question mark over treble-chasing Barcelona’s defence, their fearsome attacking trident is firing on all cylinders ahead of Bayern Munich’s visit in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday (9.45pm).The South American trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez reached a scorching 108 goals for the season following the La Liga leaders’ 8-0 destruction of Cordoba on Saturday, eight more than the previous club record set by Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry when Barca won the treble in 2009.Argentina captain Messi is on 51 goals in all competitions, Uruguay striker Suarez, whose ban for biting an opponent at last year’s World Cup finals expired at the end of October, has 24, and Brazil forward Neymar 33.With a defence that has looked shaky at times this season, however, Barca’s hopes of reaching next month’s Champions League final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium may hinge on them scoring more goals than they inevitably concede.The Catalan giants have most of the same personnel at the back, including the likes of Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Dani Alves and Marc Bartra, as when they crashed to a humiliating 7-0 aggregate defeat to Bayern in the last four of Europe’s elite club competition two years ago.The rampant German champions won the first leg in Munich 4-0 and the return 3-0, the heaviest two-legged European defeat in Barca’s history, and Bayern went on to beat Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund in the first all-German final.“It was a fantastic experience, we played brilliantly and astonished the football world,” forward Thomas Mueller said on Bayern’s website (www.fcbayern.de).“We know their strengths and above all they have world-class players up front,” added the Germany international.“As a defender, to try to stop one of Messi’s dribbles is not the most comfortable experience.”Both clubs have changed coaches since 2012-13, with Luis Enrique in charge at Barca in place of Tito Vilanova, who succumbed to cancer last year, and former Barca player and coach Pep Guardiola at the Bayern helm.“We are armed and ready,” Mueller said. “The coach knows this team better than any other. He’ll give us a game plan, but the rest is up to us players.”Four-time winners Barca are seeking their eighth final appearance and five-time champions Bayern, who host the return leg the following Tuesday, their 11th.
Constructors Points 1. Mercedes 4262. Ferrari 2423. Williams-Mercedes 1614. RedBull – Renault 1085. Lotus – Mercedes 506. Force India – Mercedes 497. Toro Rosso – Renault 358. Sauber – Ferrari 239. McLaren 1710. Marussia – Ferrari 0 Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday to increase his lead over Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to 28 points with eight races remaining.Rosberg finished 2.0 seconds behind the Briton for the team’s seventh one-two in 11 races.France’s Romain Grosjean took an emotional third place for Lotus after Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, in his 150th race and the team’s 900th, suffered a right rear tyre blowout on the penultimate lap.Hamilton has now won six races this season, and 39 in his Formula One career. He has 227 points to Rosberg’s 199.Driver and constructor standings after the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday Drivers Points 1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 2272. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1993. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1604. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 825. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 826. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 797. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 578. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 519. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 3810. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 2611. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 2512. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 2413. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 1614. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1215. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1116. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 917. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 718. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 619. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 020. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 0
By Martyn HermanChelsea striker Diego Costa and Arsenal’s Gabriel have both been charged by the Football Association after incidents in Saturday’s bad-tempered Premier League derby at Stamford Bridge.The FA said on its website that Costa had been charged with an alleged “act of violent conduct” after television replays showed him catching Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny with his arm in an incident not spotted at the time by the referee.“Off the ball incidents which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite referees,” an FA statement said.“For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision by the panel must be unanimous.”Brazilian defender Gabriel, who was sent off after tangling with Costa shortly after that incident, was charged with “improper conduct” following his straight red card which Arsenal have since appealed against.Spain international Costa has until 1700 GMT on Tuesday to respond to the charges while Gabriel has until 1700 GMT on Thursday to respond.Both Chelsea and Arsenal were also charged by the FA for failing to control their players.Chelsea won the fractious game 2-0 with Arsenal ending the match with nine men after Santi Cazorla was also dismissed for a second yellow card after a foul on former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was critical of Costa after the derby, saying he is “always involved in provocation”.
Briton Chris Froome cemented his status as one of the greatest Tour de France riders when he secured his third title on Sunday after a three-week rocky ride.Germany’s Andre Greipel won the 21st and last stage, a 113-km ride from Chantilly ending on the Champs Elysees in Paris.Team Sky rider Froome survived two crashes and even a jog up a mountain road to add to his 2013 and 2015 triumphs and become the first rider to retain his title since Spaniard Miguel Indurain in 1995.American Lance Armstrong won seven titles in succession from 1999 but was erased from the winners’ list after admitting to doping.“This tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice and we pay our respect again to those who lost their lives,” Froome said of the recent incident in which a man killed 84 people when he drove a truck through a Bastille Day crowd on the seafront at the Riviera city.“Of course these kinds of events put sport into perspective but they also show why the values of sport are so important to free society.”Frenchman Romain Bardet finished second overall 2:52 behind Froome, who had a 4:05 lead going into the last stage but was caught on the wrong side of a split in the finale of Sunday’s stage.Colombian Nairo Quintana, runner-up in 2013 and 2015 who was expected to push Froome to the limit, ended up a disappointing third, 3:08 off the pace.Pole Rafal Majka won the polka dot jersey for the mountain classification and his Tinkoff team mate, world champion Peter Sagan, clinched a fifth green jersey for the points classification.Sagan, who won three stages, was also voted the most aggressive rider in the three-week race while Adam Yates showed Britain was full of resources, ending up fourth overall and winning the white jersey for the best Under-25 rider.Another Briton, Mark Cavendish, claimed four stages but he pulled out of the race on the second rest day to prepare for the Olympics, where he will be competing on the track.IMPRESSIVE TEAMFroome built his success on an impressively strong Team Sky, arguably the best assembled in recent Tour history, being able to rely on domestique de luxe Wouter Poels in the mountains.The Briton, however, had a few scares.In the 12th stage ending on Mont Ventoux, he crashed when he was involved in an incident with a TV motorbike and even ran up the road after his bike was broken.Froome hit the deck again on a slippery descent in the 19th stage, but he had by then sewn up his win thanks to strong performances in the time trials and surprise attacks on a descent and the flat.The atmosphere was much more relaxed on Sunday when the peloton rode a largely processional stage, Froome drinking beer and champagne in the neutral zone.Things got more hectic once the race entered the Champs Elysees, the bunch even splitting in the finale as a reduced peloton contested the sprint finish.Greipel was the strongest, comfortably beating Sagan and Norway’s Alexander Kristoff.
It was a tough battle with both sides playing at a fast pace which left both sides in a scoreless draw in the first half.In the second half it was Rapatonas backliner Phillip Steven who pus his side in front with his famous powerhouse right footed kick in front of Welgris goal mouth that bounced of the Welgris fullback’s leg and slammed into the back of the net. Welgris FC regrouped with short passes and through balls but couldn’t find the back of the net as Rapatona goa keeper Leslie Kalai was up to the task to ensure all balls were swamped.Rapatona defended their lead until the final whistle. In Lae at the St. Ignatius Kilage Stadium, reigning champions, Lae City Dwellers fought out a gritty nil- all draw with Hekari United.
Photo Getty Images. Caption: Stephen Curry Ball has averaged 8.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists so far this season, shooting 31 per cent from the field and 24.5 per cent from three-point range.Curry did not really struggle his rookie season, at least not for long. Selected number seven overall in the 2009 draft, he averaged 17.5 points and 5.9 assists per game, while shooting 44 per cent from three-point range.Ball has been criticised and questioned for some of his performances, but Curry said the 20-year-old just needed time.”He’s a rookie,” Curry said of Ball on Tuesday, via ESPN. “He’s going through ups and downs like every rookie has. Whether you’re highly touted or not, it’s all a learning experience and you’re trying to find your way and be comfortable.”I’ve always said he’s a great talent, I think he loves to play basketball, so he’ll be able to fight through all that and have a great career. I hope you didn’t judge me off my first 20 games in the league.”Durant chalked Ball’s rough start up to rookie errors and age.”Lonzo is just playing like a rookie, as far as learning the game, finding the ins and outs of the game,” Durant said. “It’s slowing down for him. Picking and choosing his spots. He’s still figuring it out.”He’s 19? That’s what any 19-year-old would go through in the pros. It’s just a matter of him being in LA, where the eyes and scrutiny are on him. He’s playing like he should play as far as learning the game and adjusting on the fly.”The two teams square off on Wednesday with Curry (hand contusion) and Durant (ankle sprain) questionable to play.