Young Lions try to follow consecutive 16-win seasons

first_imgMIDDLETOWN NORTH By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Middletown High School North’s girls basketball team comes off back-to-back 16-win seasons. However, a young team with only three seniors on the roster and no starter taller than 5 feet 7 inches this year faces a daunting challenge to match or exceed that total.Coach Ed Jones is optimistic for a competitive season in the Shore Conference A North Division, particularly after his rebuilding team battled through two overtimes in its Dec. 20 season-opening loss to Howell High School. Middletown North finished second in the division last season to Middletown High School South.“They have a great attitude,” Jones said. “They come to practice every day working hard. In our first game, we didn’t lose for lack of effort. We made more mistakes than Howell. We have to cut down on turnovers and play better.”Five-foot-seven forward Marissa Reilly and guard Ashley Bird are the lone returning starters from last year’s 16-8 team. That squad won its first holiday tournament in a number of years at Pequannock Township High School, and opening-round games in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III and Shore Conference tournaments against Allentown High School and Toms River High School South, respectively. The Lions lost in the second round of the Shore Conference Tournament to perennial power Rumson- Fair Haven Regional High School.They played in Red Bank Regional High School’s Buc Classic during the holiday break.Middletown North lost in the opening round, 44-40, to the host team on Dec. 29 and played Hudson Catholic Regional High School in the consolation game the following day.“We led for 39 minutes and, when we were ahead by two points, then they got a steal, a layup and a free throw, and that was it,” said Jones, who praised the all-around game of Reilly. The Lions were 16-9 in 2011-12 for their best record in five years. Middletown North would’ve had some height with 5-foot-9 starter Courtney Davis returning, but she is out with a knee injury that will sideline her indefinitely.“She may not return,” Jones said.“We’re learning everybody’s strength,” said senior guard Emilia Weaver, who is starting after missing most of last season with back problems.Weaver is joined by 5-foot-7 junior center Kayla Morford and 5-foot-6 freshman forward Hailee Hallard.“We all get along and are working hard, and know if something’s going wrong, we keep fighting,” Weaver added.What also prides Jones is that his players, like the ones who graduated from last year’s team, are good students. Reilly ranks near the top of her class.The players are filling the void left by graduates Megan DeGrushe, who is a heavily used reserve guard at nationally ranked Brookdale Community College; Emily Lavin, a forward who starts at Eastern University; and Nicole Tollevsen, who plays at The Catholic University of America. Jones said last year’s team succeeded because of good chemistry and players keeping to their roles. Tollevsen was reliable from long range, and Lavin and Davis grabbed many rebounds.“So far, it looks good,” Reilly said. “The younger girls look up to us as leaders. We had so many seniors. Everyone’s working together as a team. We don’t have a star player [this year].”Jones said he sees the leadership in the older players.“The seniors are proud to be part of two 16-win seasons, and [they] want to establish themselves for this season and be better,” he said.“The younger players are doing really well and are adjusting very quickly,” Weaver said. “They follow what we do.”Those players include 5-foot-8 sophomore forward Danielle Terek, 5-foot-6 junior forward Alex Barriero and 5-foot-6 freshman forward Kamani Williams; as well as guards Julia Ferrari, Kristen Lenich and freshman Allison DeGrushe, Megan’s younger sister.last_img read more

City will look to maintain high standard over festive period

first_imgManchester City will not relent in their attacking zeal despite the glut of fixtures to come over the festive period, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday before the weekend’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth.City, who won the title last season by breaking records in terms of goals scored and points accrued, are once again flying high, leading the table on 35 points after 13 games without tasting defeat.It was in the midst of the busy December fixtures last year, however, that Guardiola’s side saw their record 18-game winning run come to a halt in a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.With a plethora of games to come starting with Saturday’s visit of Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, Guardiola maintained that his side will not change their approach to mitigate the short recovery time.“When we are not able to win the games, people will say we cannot keep the standard but we have been at the same level for the last 15 months so I don’t have any reason to think we will not be who we are,” the Spanish coach told a news conference.“That doesn’t mean win or lose but the way we approach the games, I don’t see any signals to see we are not going to try and be who we are.”On Bournemouth, Guardiola commented: “They are so fast up front with (Calum) Wilson, (Ryan) Fraser, (Junior) Stanislas, (David) Brooks. Very well organised. It will be a tough, tough game.”City will at least be boosted by the news that forward Gabriel Jesus is close to recovery, with Guardiola adding that he wants the Brazilian to play a lot of minutes in the coming weeks.However, the manager was more downbeat about reports that 19-year-old Brahim Diaz could be the latest talented youngster to leave the Etihad – possibly following in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho, who is now impressing at Borussia Dortmund since moving there last year.Spanish media outlets said that Real Madrid could be a possible destination and Guardiola urged the youngster to make a decision.“We want him (Brahim), we want to extend his contract four or five years and do absolutely everything for him to stay,” he said. “But it’s in his hands. My advice is if he doesn’t want to stay, he has to leave. So it’s simple… he has to decide.”The Manchester outfit lead the standings by two points ahead of Liverpool, who are also unbeaten in the league so far.last_img read more

Nadal pessimistic about return to action before 2021

first_imgRafael Nadal does not expect to return to play competitive tennis until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has decimated much of this year’s calendar.“I hope we can return before the end of the year but unfortunately, I don’t think so,” the world number two told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Tuesday.The pandemic has led to the cancellation of Wimbledon and the postponement of the French Open to September, while the status of the U.S. Open, scheduled to take place as usual in late August, is still unclear.Nadal, however, said he had practically written off the remainder of the year and was looking to the Australian Open in January 2021 as the next tournament he will play.“I would sign up to being ready for 2021,” the Spaniard added.“I’m more worried about the Australian Open than what occurs at the end of this year. I think 2020 is practically lost. I hope we can start up again next year, I really hope that’s the case.”last_img read more

A lot going on for Murray as Wimbledon defense begins

first_imgTobias Harris’ late 3 seals Sixers’ win over Knicks McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Britain’s Andy Murray rests between shots during a practice session ahead of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday, July 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON — Based on Andy Murray’s body language alone, reporters’ questions can produce an inordinate amount of consternation.He’ll puff his cheeks, then let out a sigh. He’ll rub his forehead, then clutch his chin. When answers do arrive, some are preceded by a hesitant “Ummm.” Others begin with “No” or “I wouldn’t have thought so” — or both. “I don’t know” is a popular refrain.ADVERTISEMENT Truth is, given all that is going on at the moment, the No. 1-seeded Murray could be forgiven for having a lot on his mind as he prepares to start his title defense at the All England Club on Monday.There’s a second child on the way for Murray and his wife — happy news, of course, and on Sunday, he assured a reporter who asked about its potential effect on his tennis this fortnight, “It’s certainly not a distraction in the slightest.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’There’s his inconsistent season and the chance he could relinquish his spot atop the rankings to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Stan Wawrinka two weeks from now.There’s the matter of figuring out how to deal with his unorthodox opponent in the grass-court Grand Slam tournament’s opening Centre Court match. They’ve never played each other, but Murray is somewhat familiar with Alexander Bublik, who is from Russia but represents Kazakhstan, just turned 20 and says he finds watching tennis boring: They had an off-court encounter for an ATP promotional video this year. Among other topics, Bublik discussed the “famous” Russian rappers he expects in his guest box on Monday; the tattoos on his right forearm (a map showing his hometown of St. Petersburg and a couple of quotations attributed to Eminem); and his disdain for following his own sport.“Even Rafa and Fed, you watch, the guys are putting everything in the court. It’s not interesting,” Bublik said with a mischievous grin. “I mean, it’s interesting to see the highlights … but when they’re rallying for 45 shots, you’re sitting and you’re feeling, ‘OK, can I quit tennis, please?’”Very little of Murray’s sort of hemming and hawing there.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LaVine scores 42, Chicago rallies late to beat Cavs Thousands join Kalibo Ati-atihan despite typhoon devastation LATEST STORIES View comments Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte LSU title parade draws massive crowdscenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend MOST READ Still, here was Roger Federer’s assessment of Murray’s chances at a place where in 2013 he became the first British man in 77 years to grab the trophy: “If he’s anything close to 100 percent physically, I consider him one of the big favorites to win the tournament. It’s that simple.”Murray did manage to reach the semifinals at the French Open, but since then he has played only one match — and lost.“I can take some anti-inflammatories if my hip flares up,” he said. “Hopefully that’s not the case.”Could be a lot of running required Monday, given the 134th-ranked Bublik’s penchant for sliced returns, drop shots, lobs and run-around forehands from midcourt.“My game is unpredictable. I don’t even know what I’m going to do,” Bublik said. “When the ball is coming to me, I decide right before I hit. So I don’t have a plan.”Murray is aware of all of that.“Some more sort of shots that guys may play in exhibitions, he tries when he’s out there,” Murray said. “That’s what I’ve heard.”Bublik acknowledges he’ll win more matches when he can “find a balance between making jokes and (being) a showoff.”He lost in the final round of qualifying last week, but made it into the main draw thanks to another player’s withdrawal.Bublik is known on tour for possessing, as Murray put it, “a big personality,” and that came through vividly during a session with a group of reporters at the All England Club. Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ And there’s also the sore left hip that led one British tabloid to ask readers — at psychic Uri Geller’s prompting — to rub that part of Murray’s body in a front-page photo to heal him.“I’ve felt fairly calm the last few days, considering how I’ve been feeling,” Murray said.The hip forced Murray to skip exhibition matches on grass and a few days of training. But he said it’s feeling much better.“Obviously, this is an extremely important tournament, so you worry a little bit,” he said. “It’s a little bit stressful if you can’t practice for a few days. You really want to be preparing, training, as much as you can to get ready and make you feel better, especially when you hadn’t had any matches.”He is 21-9 so far in 2017, and his lone title came with the benefit of facing only one player ranked in the top 25.ADVERTISEMENT UFC fighter who pooped herself will be sponsored by butt-wipes company Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Clippers, Lakers among most-watched NBA teams by Filipinoslast_img read more

Committees in Parliament

first_imgThe passage this week of the Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2016 exposed citizens to the work, possibilities and shortcomings of “Committees” in our parliamentary system of governance. In this system, Members of Parliament (MPs) are supposed to be engaged in three tasks – representing the interests of their constituencies, legislating laws introduced by the Executive, and oversight of the Government’s work.While MPs are supposed to be “representing” at all times, they are afforded the opportunity to selectively perform the last two in the two types of committees of Parliament. These are the “Select” ad hoc committees that consider specific Bills and issues that have been laid before the Assembly and “Standing Committees”, which are constituted with every Parliament and generally exist for the duration of the Parliament. The Committee to which the Telecommunications Bill was sent since 2013 by the then PPP Executive, was an example of the “Select” type. The Public Accounts Committee exemplifies a Standing Committee, in this case one that is supposed to scrutinise the work of the Executive. In addition to “scrutinising”, Standing Committees such as the “Privileges Committee” are also constituted to facilitate the functioning of the National Assembly.Committees are crucial for the entrenchment of substantive democracy in the parliamentary system, but we saw one of the constraints exposed this week. When the Telecommunications Bill was originally introduced, the members of the then Opposition parties APNU and AFC on the Select Committee felt that too many powers were placed into the hands of the subject Minister. Since at that time there was the unique situation where the Opposition parties also had a majority in the Parliament, the Government was unable to pass the legislation.While there must have been some MPs from the Opposition benches that felt strongly enough about the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, because of the power of the political parties to insist their MPs literally “toe the party line”, the duty to represent their constituencies’ interest was sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. The party Whips can “whip” support into line for their party’s position because of their power to “recall” contrary MPs. The political expediency was exposed when the APNU and AFC parties – now in government – supported the bill in the new Select Committee formed for this Parliament and was able to have it passed on the floor of the House since they also had a majority of votes there.The PPP, now in Opposition, objected to the powers placed into the hands of the Telecommunications Minister. The shoe was now on the other foot. The challenge for greater substantive democracy, then, would be to facilitate MPs to take a more independent stance when Bills are being considered in Committee and in the National Assembly. In the US system where there is a more explicit “division of powers” between the Executive and the Legislature, the former does not sit in the latter, as is the case here, and Members of Congress are more independent. One way to rectify this matter here would be to eliminate the “party list” system where the party leaders have total control over which candidate on their list during elections are later selected as parliamentarians. This power, along with the desire of the MPs to move into Executive office, keeps them behind the “party line”. A reversion to a total constituency system of elections would also assist in allowing MPs to better fulfil their representative function.The Parliament of Guyana also has Standings Committees, including the four Sectoral Committees – Economic, Natural Resources, Social Services and Foreign Affairs – which are not used sufficiently to scrutinise the work of the Executive. In the instance of the Telecommunications Bill, the Economic Services Committee could have called officials of the Government and the telecommunications companies to give evidence on the issue. In the presence of the media and with the assistance of experts they could hire, democracy would have been better served. But this was trumped by party discipline.last_img read more

Lone gunman robs Beharry distribution truck

first_imgIn another brazen daytime attack, the driver of a distribution truck attached to the Edward B Beharry and Sons Company was on Friday afternoon robbed in the vicinity of Bourda Market, Georgetown, by a lone gunman.The scene moments after the robbery at Bourda Market where the driver of the delivery truck was attackedReports are at about 14:00h, the driver of the truck was proceeding along Robb Street, Georgetown, when he was ambushed by the lone gunman who relieved him of an undisclosed sum of cash along with other valuables.Guyana Times was informed that the driver, who was unhurt but traumatised, parked the truck in front of a store and then proceeded to the Alberttown Police Station where he made a report of the robbery. Police have since launched an investigation.Only recently, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan had announced that heightened security plans have been put in place around the city as the Christmas season approaches.However, at this latest attack, no law enforcement agents were in proximity.last_img read more

Mourinho calls Wenger ‘failure specialist’

first_img0Shares0000COBHAM, February 15 – Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has gone one step further in his criticism of Arsene Wenger by claiming he would have quit by now if he had been as unsuccessful as the Arsenal boss.The high-profile managers became embroiled in a war of words on Friday as the Premier League title race hots up, with Mourinho labelling his Arsenal counterpart “a specialist in failure”. Wenger, whose side are one point behind their London rivals in the Premier League title race, claimed that many of the teams at the top are afraid to back themselves due to a fear of failure, with Mourinho having labelled Chelsea the “little horse” behind Manchester City and Arsenal.Yet, just hours later, Mourinho hit back with his “failure” jibe, a reference to the fact Arsenal under Wenger haven’t won a major trophy since lifting the 2005 FA Cup.– No trophy no contract –Mourinho said that if he went even half as long as Wenger without winning a trophy at a club he’d resign.“If I don’t win a trophy in four years then I don’t want a new contract – even if the club wants to give me one. It’s as simple as that.“A manager should not be embarrassed if they give everything…But, for my mentality, I think there is a limit and you have to be strong enough and proud enough to admit when it is enough.“The club (Chelsea) gave me a four year contract and that’s the period I will give everything to get results.”When asked if he would be given eight years without a trophy like Wenger, Mourinho replied: “No. But I am not worried about it. I really believe in the quality of work. Sooner or later the trophy arrives.”Mourinho, who apologised on Friday for branding Wenger a “voyeur” in 2005, added an explanation for his latest outburst at the Gunners boss“I am annoyed because he loves to look at this football club. I thought between 2007 and 2013 it was enough time for him to forget it. It looks like he always likes to look at this club. Am I afraid of failure? What is that?“I have lots of respect for him and he is a great manager. But failure is not winning a title for seven or eight years,” added Mourinho, who won the Premier League twice in his first spell as Chelsea manager between 2004 and 2007, as well as claiming the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan and taking league titles in four countries.– ‘Find another special coach’ –Mourinho’s Chelsea side are away to Manchester City in the FA Cup on Saturday, where they will look to end the quadruple hopes of their Premier League title rivals.“If Chelsea win they can’t win four trophies like their manager (Manuel Pellegrini) said was their target for the season,” he said.Mourinho was hailed by Russia coach Fabio Capello, one of modern football’s most successful bosses for all his ll-fated time with England, as the manager of the year,But the Portuguese believes another English top-flight chief is a worthy contender.“I have to say thanks (to Capello), but I do not think I am the coach of the year. I think, always, the coach of the year is the coach of the champion. Always.“And we can also find another special coach in somebody who has got a team in difficult circumstances and did something special.“I’m thinking, for example, about Tony Pulis at Crystal Palace. (He took over when they were) bottom and many managers didn’t want to accept the job because the feeling was that the team had no chance.“But Pulis has got the team and step by step – he’s done amazing job. I don’t think I am the coach of the year.“I feel I am doing a good job with this team. But to be the coach of the year I have to win the Premier League.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Train death stuns Moorpark

first_imgHe was headed west about 3:50 p.m. on Poindexter Avenue, which runs along the tracks, when he turned north onto a private driveway leading to a gate and a dirt road into the hills. The eastbound train hit the driver’s side of his truck, knocking it several hundred feet into a drainage ditch, police said. A drilling contractor who drilled many of Ventura County’s wells, Withington was known as a quiet, hardworking man who had lived in Moorpark since childhood. “He was an absolutely neat guy, the hardest working man you would ever want to meet,” Whitaker said. “He was one of those people who would never retire. It’s a tremendous loss. There is no one with a higher moral character. He was absolutely honest, an upfront guy.” Family members said Withington crossed the tracks every day for decades and had recently warned his wife, Willa, about the need to be extremely careful there. They wondered whether he might not have heard the train coming because of a hearing problem, or might not have seen it until too late because of a tree or nearby curve in the tracks. His son-in-law, Jim Webber, said Withington loved Moorpark and the people in it and wanted to help his neighbors any way he could, clearing the brush with his bulldozer and even fighting a recent brush fire with a hose. “He’s done a lot for this town and the people in it. We’re very upset about this,” Webber said, expressing concern about the danger posed by the railroad crossing – with no warning lights and no barrier to stop vehicles from coming when a train approaches. “There’s a lot of crying.” Neighbor Sam Asadurian said Withington was like a member of his family. “He was a great, great man, one of the nicest there is. It’s hard losing him,” he said. Moorpark City Councilwoman Rosanne Mikos called Withington’s death “a real tragedy.” “You wish you could turn back the clock,” she said. Withington is survived by his wife; his daughters, Toni Webber and Jan Christian; and son, Harvey Withington. A graveside service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, 5400 Valentine Road, Ventura. (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MOORPARK – Lowell Withington must have driven over the railroad tracks on the private road near his home more times than he could count. Knowing the dangers, he even warned his wife recently to take extra caution there. So news of his death this week after his pickup truck was struck by a train came as a shock to everyone who knew him. “I would guess he crossed those tracks 1,000 times at minimum,” said Dale Whitaker, owner of the Whitaker Hardware store in Moorpark. “It’s very sad. We feel very bad about this.” Withington, 76 – known around town as a hardworking man who was always there to lend a helping hand – was killed Monday when an Amtrak train hit his pickup truck at the rural crossing leading into the hills where he owned a home and also leased property on a nearby ranch. last_img read more

Softball coach fears he could lose job

first_imgLANCASTER – Parents and current and former players have vowed to attend tonight’s Antelope Valley Union High School District board meeting in support of longtime Lancaster High softball coach Dean Johnson, who believes he’s about to be displaced from his job. Johnson said he was told by district officials that school officials have selected Krista Humphreys as his replacement, and that her appointment is up for approval at tonight’s meeting. Humphreys, a Lancaster High teacher, coached at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita for four years. Before that, she coached at Dade Christian of Miami, Fla. School and district officials were not immediately available for comment. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsHumphreys said she had not been told that she’d been selected, but acknowledged that she’d applied for the position. Johnson has coached at Lancaster since the softball program’s inception in 1997. He’s been the head coach for five years and was an assistant before that. Under Johnson, Lancaster won its first Golden League title in 2005 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time. It made the playoffs four of the five years he coached the team. “For the school to turn its back on me is arrogant and reprehensible,” said Johnson, an insurance agent. “They didn’t go to bat for me. They tried to strike me out.” He said an administrator told him he was passed up for the job because he was was not a full-time district employee and was less experienced than Humphreys. Johnson said the school began an interview process in early September when Humphreys expressed interest in the position, in accordance with district policy. Johnson said he suspects that the transfer of one of the program’s top players before the start of the 2005-06 school year figured in his displacement. The Daily News received letters from five parents of current players, two current players and one former player in support of Johnson. They credit him with building the program and raising funds that have drastically improved the facility. “I feel a new coach should have to prove themselves at the (junior varsity) level before taking the (varsity) job,” said the parent of a current player, who requested anonymity because he feared repercussions against his daughter for speaking publicly. “The main concern is that we just don’t know what the new coach is going to be like. Some of the kids have (Humphreys) as a teacher, and they say that she’s really nice but a lot of them are concerned about how they’re going to be perceived.” 661-267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

USL League Cup – Rovers, Cockhill drawn apart in group phase

first_imgLAST SEASON’S finalists have avoided each other in the group phase of the 2019/20 Donegal News USL League Cup.Letterkenny Rovers overcame Cockhill Celtic 3-1 in the Finn Park in late April to secure the prize and end a six-season dominance by Cockhill in the competition.BJ Banda’s late brace, after Jimmy Bradley cancelled out Lee Toland’s penalty, saw Rovers claim the silverware. The draw for the 2019/20 Donegal News USL League Cup took place on Monday night at a delegate meeting in the Mount Errigal Hotel.Group A – Fanad United, Finn Harps Reserves, Letterkenny Rovers.Group B – Bonagee United, Cockhill Celtic, Derry City Reserves.Fixtures will be announced in due course. Advertisement USL League Cup – Rovers, Cockhill drawn apart in group phase was last modified: August 20th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BJ BandaCockhill CelticEamonn McConigleyLee TolandLetterkenny RoversUlster Senior Leaguelast_img read more