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Friday, December 28, 2012




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Johnson only Lions player on Pro Bowl roster Record-setting wide receiver Calvin Johnson is Detroit's only representative on the Pro Bowl roster, although quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh were announced as alternates Wednesday. Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season yards receiving record and has 1,892 with a game left. He's been one of few bright spots for the Lions, who are 4-11 heading into Sunday's finale against Chicago. Stafford has thrown for 4,695 yards, but with only 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Suh has seven sacks.


Nets fire coach Johnson Coach of the month in November, out of a job by New Year's. The Brooklyn Nets have elevated expectations this season, and a .500 record wasn't good enough. Coach Avery Johnson was fired Thursday, his team having lost 10-of-13 games after a strong start to its first season in Brooklyn. ''We don't have the same fire now than we did when we were 11-4,'' general manager Billy King said at a news conference in East Rutherford, N.J. ''I tried to talk to Avery about it and we just can't figure it out. The same pattern kept on happening.'' Assistant P.J. Carlesimo will coach the Nets on an interim basis, starting with Friday's home game against Charlotte. King said the Nets may reach out to other candidates, but for now the job was Carlesimo's. The GM wouldn't comment on a report that the team planned to get in touch with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson. The Nets have fallen well behind the firstplace New York Knicks, the team they so badly want to compete with in their new home. But after beating the Knicks in their first meeting Nov. 26, probably the high point of Johnson's tenure, the Nets went 5-10 and frustrations have been mounting. The Nets were embarrassed by Boston on national TV on Christmas, then were routed by Milwaukee 10893 on Wednesday night for their fifth loss in six games.


Manningham lost for season Hopes that an MRI would prove negative were dashed Monday night with a report by that San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham is lost for the rest of the season and playoffs with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Manningham suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sunday's 4213 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He was tackled low by Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill and fumbled. Manningham left the team's locker room after the game limping and using crutches. Manningham had 42 catches for 449 yards and one touchdown for San Francisco (10-41), which is already assured at least a berth in the NFC playoffs. If the 49ers beat Arizona in their regular season finale and Green Bay loses to Minnesota, the 49ers will win the NFC West title outright.


Bell finishing up big season for Spartans By Noah Trister AP Sports Writer

EAST LANSING — Le'Veon Bell's 2012 season really began last January, when fellow running back Edwin Baker announced he was skipping his senior year to enter the NFL draft. Suddenly, Bell's carrysplitting arrangement in Michigan State's backfield was a thing of the past. There was no doubt as to who the Spartans would build their running game around — but even after months of preparation, the increased workload was a bit of a shock. "It surprised me, as many carries as I got," Bell said. "I'll do whatever it takes for us to win games."

Michigan State hasn't won as many as in seasons past, but Bell has certainly done his part. The 6-foot-2 junior enters Saturday's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Texas Christian with 1,648 yards on 350 carries — and his 266-yard effort in the regular-season finale against Minnesota is the biggest reason the Spartans are in the postseason at all. Bell was already a bigplay threat before the season. He averaged over five yards a carry in his first two years, running for 948 on 182 attempts as a sophomore. He and Baker seemed interchangeable at times, and sharing responsibility may have helped keep Bell fresh. There has been little

time for a breather in 2012. In the season opener — a win over Boise State — Bell ran for 210 yards on 44 carries. He also caught six passes. Before that game, Bell's career high was 20 attempts. Bell put on some weight before the season and is now listed at 237 pounds, although he said he was actually around 242 at one point and has slimmed down while preparing for the bowl. Michigan State (6-6) fell out of the Big Ten title race amid a slew of close calls in conference play. The Spartans' first seven league games were decided by no Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell won the Colmore than four points, and lege Football Performance Awards Elite Running Back SEE BELL, B2

Trophy. Bell and the Spartans face TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday. AP PHOTO/AL GOLDIS



Hornets open strong

Trine’s Spragg Co-MIAA Player of the Week

By Ed Patino

HILLSDALE — Playing in its annual holiday tournament on its home floor, the Hillsdale High School boys basketball team wasted little time establishing themselves. With four players scoring in double figures to compliment a dominant defensive effort, the Hornets breezed to a 76-18 victory over the Waldron Spartans in the opening round of the Pat Patterson Holiday Classic on Thursday. Hillsdale (5-1) advanced to tonight's championship game in the Don Eby Pool against neighboring rival Jonesville. The game takes place at 8 p.m. at Hillsdale High School. Putting its depth, size and speed advantages to full use, Hillsdale started fast and never cooled off. The Hornets built a 42-point lead by halftime, and the game was played under a running clock in the second half. The Hornets opened the game on a 24-4 run. They continued to pull away from Waldron in the second quarter, eventually building a commanding 53-11 lead by intermission. The Spartans held Hillsdale to 15 points in the third quarter, but were unable to put a dent into the deficit. Brandon Bisher led the Hornets' attack with SEE HORNETS, B2

Hillsdale’s Martin Petersen shoot a jumper Thursday in the Hornets’ victory over Waldron. JIM DREWS PHOTO

ROYAL OAK — The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) has named Trine University forward Sydney Spragg co-Player of the Week in women’s basketball for games played through Dec. 22. Spragg shared the award with Courtney Kust from Hope. Spragg Spragg, a senior from Reading, averaged 14.5 points and 2.5 steals in leading the Thunder to a pair of nonconference victories for the week. She scored 17 points in a 53-42 victory over Manchester University then added 12 points and three steals in a 64-54 win over Edgewood College (WI). Spragg’s defensive pressure helped Trine limit its opponents to 28 percent shooting from the field for the week. She made 8-of20 field goal attempts (40 percent) and 12-of-17 from the line (71 percent) in the two games. Spragg is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time in her career. This is the first time a Trine women’s basketball player has earned Player of the Week honors since Sarah Howe also shared the honor in week 11 during the 2007-08 season.


Hillsdale, Jonesville advance to tournament finals By Ed Patino

HILLSDALE — Hayley Maystead sparked the Hillsdale High School girls basketball team in a record-setting fashion once again. The senior tied her single-game school points record Thursday and lifted the Hornets to a 55-31 victory over the Waldron Spartans in the first round of the Pat Patterson Holiday Classic. Hillsdale will face the Jonesville Comets in today's championship game of the Don Eby Pool at

6:30 p.m. Maystead outscored the Comets by herself, finishing with 36 points. She tied the school record for points in a game which she set earlier this season. "Hayley is a special player, and we've got to have her," Hillsdale coach Nick Langston said. "She's worked hard and she deserves everything she gets. "We enjoy this tournament and we get another shot at Jonesville. We expect it to be a close, hardfought game like it always is." Maystead set the tone for the Hornets early, scoring

her team's first nine points as they opened on an 11-4 run. Hillsdale ran into foul trouble midway through the first quarter, eventually picking up seven fouls by the end of the frame. Waldron capitalized with free throws from Madeline Masters and Lindsey Lockwood to pull to within 12-10. Maystead buried a 3-pointer early in the second quarter, then a jumper by Kim Sanderson gave the Hornets a 20-12 lead. The Spartans answered with a 7-2 run of their own, capped by a 3-pointer from Kaila Fidler with 1:15

left in the half, cutting the deficit to three. Maystead answered with a missile of her own, giving Hillsdale a 25-19 lead at halftime. "I thought we executed well early on, but Maystead is a hard one to stop," Waldron coach John Burke said. "We're smaller and younger than everyone, and there's a big learning curve, but the girls played hard." Fidler pulled Waldron to within four with a layup early in the third quar- Jonesville’s Kalie Spenter, but the Hornets pulled cer goes up for two of her away with a 12-0 run. 12 points in a win over HillSEE HILLSDALE, B2

sdale Academy on Thursday. JIM DREWS PHOTO

Hillsdale Academy Girls vs Jonesville  

Jim Drews Sports Photography

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