BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer What a difference a healthy Amy Gaudious means to the Brookdale Community College women’s basketball team. For most of the season, the Jersey Blues were getting by with their 6-foot-0 forward hampered by hip and leg injuries that limited her mobility and overall effectiveness. Gaudious, a sophomore out of Long Branch High School, played through the pain and limitations without a complaint. “She was upset that she couldn’t play like she’s capable,” BCC co-head coach Joanne Cobb noted. “She never asked out of practice. We had to keep her away. She’s a workhorse and never complains. “She just wants to go and play ball,” she added. “She’s always double-teamed, but never grouches about it. She makes no excuses. Amy has a great attitude.” Since mid-January, Gaudious has been a new player. She was finally able to put her injuries behind her and play pain-free again. “Her lateral movement just keeps getting better,” said Cobb. “She’s moving around quicker and handling the ball in transition. How many 6-footers can bring the ball up the floor?” Just how good Gaudious is when she is healthy was clearly demonstrated last month when she became the first Brookdale women to be named the Division III College Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 16-22. All she did was lead BCC to a 3-0 record that included two wins over tough Division II teams. Gaudious had a triple-double — 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in Brookdale’s 72-61 win over nationally-ranked Lackawanna (Pa.). She followed that up with eight points, 14 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks in a 69-58 win over Burlington. She capped her week with 11 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in a the 78-41 win over Burlington. The new, old Gaudious has Brookdale running on all cylinders for the first time this winter. Although the Blues are only 12-8 overall, they are still ranked No. 10 in the country in the national polls. Voters obviously took BCC’s rugged schedule into account. The Blues have played a number of games against Division I and II teams (six of their eight losses have been to the higher-up divisions) and that was enough to convince voters that they are among the nation’s best Division III teams. “It’s where we are at the end that counts,” Cobb said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us.” To coaches Cobb and Marianne Campacci, the only record that counts is Brookdale’s 7-1 Garden State Athletic Conference mark. It’s good enough to have the defending champions in first place and headed toward a top seed for the Region XIX tournament that gets under way on March 1. Brookdale improved to 12-8 overall with its 69-39 win in Lincroft over Ocean on Feb. 1. Gaudious had 13 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, while Danielle Vitalone, from Middletown South, had a team-high 17, including three treys. South River’s Tammy Wood added a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds. For Gaudious, the double-double was her 11th of the season. She also has two triple-doubles. Brookdale, though, as Cobb pointed out, is much more than Gaudious. “Our stats across the board for the other players are just under hers,” she explained. “This team is a real family and has the team concept.” Gaudious is ranked 10th in the county in rebounding at 10.45 per game. But Wood is 25th, pulling down 8.35 caroms a game. Perhaps more impressive, Gaudious ranks 15th in assists (4.05). That’s a high number for a frontcourt player. Teammate Becky Piper is 25th (3.4). Piper, a Colts Neck grad, leads the team in scoring (14.25) and ranks 24th in the country. She is one of four Jersey Blues averaging in double figures. Wood is averaging 11.4, Gaudious, 10.65, and Vitalone, 10.3. A coach can’t ask for better balance. Piper is also 17th in steals (3.05). Vitalone ranks sixth in the country in three-point field goal percentage (41.05), with Piper 15th (33.85). Wood is fourth in field goal percentage (54.86) and Ashley Healy (Howell) is 17th (48.12). The Jersey Blues have team national rankings as well. Their 68 points a game is 12th best in the nation, and on defense they are allowing just 58.947 per game — 10th in the country. Brookdale is home for two big GSAC games this week, Saturday against Passaic (1 p.m.) and Tuesday, Gloucester (5 p.m.) Their final home game is a GSAC game on Feb. 24 against Bergen. The Region XIX Tournament, whose winner advances to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Championships in Delhi, N.Y., starts on March 1 with games at the home of the highest seed. The tournament moved to Salem Community College in Carney’s Point for the semifinals and final, March 3 and 5. The national tournament is March 17-19. BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer
MIDDLETOWN SOUTH By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Middletown High School South’s softball team is finding ways to win games lately, but hitting has not been much of a factor in that. Although different batters have come up with goodhitting games as of late, coach Tom Erbig said there continues to be a lack of support in that regard, a problem that stems back to last season.Erbig said his team, which has a good 14-8 record despite its hitting woes, may sneak away with a state tournament win or two, but it will be hard to get much further without healthier and more reliable contact at the plate. The Eagles play the Allentown High School vs. Hopewell Valley Central High School winner in the next round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III tournament after pulling out a 2-1opening round victory over Hightstown High School, as Maddie McMahon pitched a three-hitter.They also began play in the Shore Conference Tournament on May 20 in a game scheduled against Manalapan High School. The Eagles are concentrating on those two tournaments this season, as they passed up playing in the Monmouth County Tournament because Erbig said it was too hard to get the games in.“My pitching — no complaint,” said Erbig, as McMahon and Tiffani Lambert have shared those duties capably. “We just don’t perform on offense enough. We’re batting .333 as a team, which is not saying much in softball. Our hitting has been anemic. Our defense has been sometimes suspect, but lately it’s been all right. We’re like a Jekyll and Hyde team. One day we come out and play very well, and another day we’re sloppy.”The Eagles had perhaps their best day of the season on May 14 when they knocked off perennial Monmouth County power St. John Vianney High School, 3-1. Julia Beck smashed a two-run single and Julia Blarr knocked in another run. Beck has been the bright spot, hitting around .400. “They hit the ball right at us, and we made the plays we needed to make,” Erbig said. Grace Heller belted a tworun homer that decided a 2-0 victory over Raritan High School on May 13. McMahon pitched the shutout. It came a day after Middletown South flubbed in the field in a 5-4 loss to Red Bank Catholic High School. “We had that game won, but we threw the ball away and did not capitalize on opportunities late in the game after we started off good,” Erbig said. “Every at-bat by the opposing team becomes important because the games are close. I don’t understand it because we looked so good in the preseason, a different team from what we’ve had out there [lately].” There’s no room for error with the light hitting, and that includes on the mound, where Lambert got one pitch up that was hit for a deciding home run in a loss to Middletown High School North, 2-1. It was part of the Eagles’ three-game losing streak before last week’s games, when the Eagles went 4-1, including a 4-3 victory over Ocean Township High School that started the week.Erbig can only be cautiously optimistic about whether the hitting will get better for a team that has been tournament tough over the years.
By Martyn HermanHarry Redknapp has resigned as manager of Premier League Queens Park Rangers, the club said on Tuesday.The 67-year-old spent just over two years in charge of the London side, gaining promotion to the top flight last season.Redknapp said ill-health had been a factor in his decision.“Sadly I need immediate surgery on my knee which is going to stop me from doing my job in the coming weeks,” he said in a statement.“It means I won’t be able to be out on the training pitch every day, and if I can’t give 100 per cent I feel it’s better for someone else to take over the reins.”QPR are second from bottom of the Premier League.
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Tour de France leader Tony Martin abandoned the race on Thursday after breaking his collarbone in a sixth stage crash that also sent 2014 winner Vincenzo Nibali and others tumbling in the final 500 metres.“He abandons,” an Etixx-Quick Step spokesman said of the German.Briton Chris Froome, Team Sky’s 2013 Tour winner, will take over as race leader going into Friday’s seventh stage, a 190.5 km ride from Livarot to Fougeres.He leads American Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) by 13 seconds.After a few days of crashes and nervous racing the peloton took it relatively easy on the Normandy coastline until the last kilometre when Martin lost his balance and several leading contenders followed him down.Among the casualties were Italian Nibali, Colombian Nairo Quintana and van Garderen as Martin’s team mate, Zdenek Stybar of the Czech Republic, sprinted to victory in the 191.5-km leg from Abbeville to Le Havre.Nibali had bruises on his knee while Quintana had blood on his arm.Quintana’s Movistar team mate Alejandro Valverde also crashed earlier in the stage, hurting his leg and buttocks. Both will continue the race, the team said.Slovakian Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) was second in the stage and France’s Bryan Coquard (Europcar) took third place.Regulations state that on a flat stage a rider held up in an incident in the final three km is credited with the same time as the winner.That meant Martin retained the overall lead, until he withdrew, after being pushed by two team mates to the finish line.“I was unlucky. I don’t even remember how I went down. I touched the rear wheel of the rider in front of me (Coquard) but it’s the Tour, luck and bad luck are always close,” Martin told reporters.Swiss Fabian Cancellara, who held the overall leader’s yellow jersey earlier in the event, had to pull out because of a back injury after crashing on Monday.Froome narrowly escaped Thursday’s carnage, managing to keep his balance while Nibali leaned on him as he fell.Spain’s Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) is seventh, 36 seconds behind, while Nibali (Astana) is 12th and 1:38 adrift. Quintana lies 17th, 1:56 off the pace.“I don’t know why this happened like this 500 metres from the line. I’m ok, my shoulder and my leg touched the ground,” said Nibali.Daniel Teklehaimanot became the first African to wear the polka dot jersey for the mountains classification after the MTN-Qhubeka rider grabbed precious points in the three minor climbs of the day.
Cristiano Ronaldo faces a race against time to get fit for Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Manchester City on Tuesday after he picked up a thigh muscle injury.“Ronaldo has been diagnosed with a muscle strain in his right thigh. His recovery will continue to be assessed,” Real said in a statement on Friday.Spanish newspaper Marca reported that the prolific striker has been ruled out of Madrid’s La Liga game at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.The Portuguese, who is the top scorer in La Liga with 31 goals, was seen limping off clutching his thigh at the end of Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Villarreal on Wednesday.
APOEL moved a step closer to their fourth consecutive league title after beating arch-rivals Omonia while second-placed AEK, who beat Anorthosis, remained four points adrift with three games to go. In the relegation scrap, Paphos FC increased their advantage to Ethnikos Achnas to three points following their narrow 1-0 win over Aris while Ethnikos could only draw with Ermis. APOEL showed their mettle against Omonia and bounced back from their midweek Cup exit and the subsequent sacking of coach Temur Ketsbaia with a comfortable 2-0 win. Greek winger Yiannis Yianniotas was the hero for APOEL who took advantage of sloppy Omonia defending and scored both goals. The first came midway through the first half when the winger headed past Omonia keeper Panayi with his marker Margaca guilty of ball watching.A minute before the break, Omonia’s defence was caught napping again and Yianniotas duly obliged by slotting the ball past the oncoming Panayi.The 12,000 Omonia supporters that turned up for the game were bitterly disappointed not only by the score but also by the performance. It is now more than three years since Omonia last beat their fierce rivals and on this showing they may have to wait a while longer.AEK overcame suspensions and injuries to defeat Anorthosis 3-2 to keep up the pressure on the leaders.AEK were without their midfield quartet of Larena, Tomas, Bolievic and Lamban and had to dig deep to claim all three points.They were offered a helping hand by some bizarre Anorthosis defending that gifted them the first two goals and some even worse Anorthosis finishing that saw their players stumbling just before they were about to pull the trigger.AEK took the lead through a Triscovski penalty while an Avraam own goal doubled the score before the break.Laifis, who was later sent off for lunging at Triscovski, pulled one back, before Triscovski restored his team’s two-goal lead with a volley from the edge of the penalty area six minutes from the end.Ndlovu got Anorthosis’ second from the penalty spot with practically the last kick of the game.Apollon had few problems in defeating Nea Salamina 3-0. The goals came from Angeli, a da Silva penalty and Stojanovic.A 61st-minute goal by Ogoyie was enough to give Paphos FC the three points against Aris. The Paphos team were the better side and should have won more comfortably with the scorer Ogoyie, de Melo and Agivi all guilty of glaring misses.A penalty eight minutes from the end denied Ethnikos Achnas the three points away to Ermis. The visitors were the better side and took the lead through de Vrysse but were unable to put the game to bed and were made to pay when Keita converted Ermis’ late penalty.In the final game, Doxa beat AEL courtesy of an Aguinaldo goal and are now level on points with the Limassol team at the top of the relegation group.Omonia vs APOEL 0-2AEK vs Anorthosis 3-2Nea Salamina vs Apollon 0-3 Paphos FC vs Aris 1-0Ermis Aradippou vs Ethnikos 1-1AEL vs Doxa 0-1(Highlights courtesy of the Cyprus Football Association)
Leicester City must wait at least one more day for their first-ever Premier League title after drawing 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.Claudio Ranieri’s side failed to get the victory that would have brought the silverware but they will be crowned champions on Monday if second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who trail them by eight points, fail to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where they have not won since 1990.Hopes of a Leicester triumph on Sunday suffered an early setback when striker Anthony Martial put United ahead with a neat right-foot finish from Antonio Valencia’s eighth-minute cross.The goal galvanised Leicester, who equalised nine minutes later when captain Wes Morgan headed home a Danny Drinkwater free kick.The visitors thought they deserved a penalty when Riyad Mahrez clashed with Marcos Rojo in the United area, but without the suspended Jamie Vardy they lacked their usual threat on the break.United could have grabbed a late winner but Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel was quick off his line to foil the advancing Memphis Depay.“It was very tough. Manchester United dominated possession and we had to dig in and be resilient. It’s a point and it’s a step in the right direction,” Morgan told reporters.“It proved to be an important goal and to score at Old Trafford was a great feeling. It’s not ours until we get two hands on the trophy.”Leicester finished the game with 10 men after Drinkwater was sent off for a second bookable offence five minutes from time.The midfielder will now miss Leicester’s next game at home to Everton, when victory will secure the title even if Tottenham beat Chelsea.“We knew it was going to be tough,” Leicester fullback Danny Simpson said.“The last thing you want is to go 1-0 down early on but credit to the boys, we kept going. We’re happy with the point – it would have been nice to have won it here. We’ll try and get together tomorrow and watch the game. We’ll keep going and see what happens.”United climbed one place in the table to fifth but are four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who play later and Sunday and occupy the final Champions League qualifying place, with three games left.“I think we played one of our best matches of the season, but it was not enough,” United manager Louis van Gaal said.“Leicester City deserves to win this championship. They have very good organisation, but we had a lot of chances.”
He first stepped onto the Olympic mat as the first Papua New Guinean Judo athlete in the 2012 London Olympics and three years later, he is on another Olympic voyage, this time for Rio de Janeiro sadly this will also be his last for Team PNG.Currently ranked 122 in the world and competing in the 66kg division, Ovinou will be Team PNG’s lone Judo representative to Rio.He is currently in PNG on break and will head back to Japan next week for more intensive training until the lead up to the South American qualifier-Panama Open in Argentina in March which will see him through to Rio.Ovinou told the media yesterday evening during the Rio Olympic 100 Day launch at Ela Beach Hotel that training in Japan was tough for him but he stands tall and proud to represent PNG in a sport that is rare to Papua New Guineans and encourage other young people to master Judo and carry on the legacy of the sport.Ovinou also thanked his family, friends, relatives and of course the Olympic Committee for their continued support to see him through and urged Papua New Guineans for their support on game day.
Can the Roosters mount a charge for the finals?It might’ve been just their second win of 2016, but Roosters players are still confident of playing at the business end of the season. The Tricolours won just four of their first nine matches in 2015 before going on a 12-match unbeaten run to charge home and lift their third minor premiership in a row.While they’re in a slightly worse predicament this year, their skipper is hopeful Saturday night’s crushing win could be the impetus to send them on a similar winning run. “It’s one win and we know where we’re sitting on the ladder now,” Jake Friend said. “It was a good performance, but I think for us it’s got to be the standard now and we’ve got to keep moving forward.”Hopefully we can string a few on the trot to get us in a position to fight for that top eight spot at the back end of the season. The belief is definitely there between the boys.”Brock Lamb shines on debutRookie five-eighth Brock Lamb made the step up from Holden Cup to the NRL in what was a highly impressive first grade debut. The debutant made 24 of his 26 tackles, took the line on seven times and kicked for a whopping 389 metres in what was a tough initiation into life as a first grade footballer. “I thought he played really controlled and did really well considering when you look at the circumstances he played in,” Knights coach Nathan Brown said. “Obviously there will be some parts that he’ll look at and think he can do better, but as a whole he had Boyd Cordner coming at him and he handled him reasonably well. “I thought he kicked the ball reasonably well and he looked comfortable out there. He’ll only continue to improve as the team can only improve.”Roosters bring back their famed Bondi wallAfter starting the year as the worst defensive team in the NRL, the Roosters showed glimpses of why they have been the most frugal team over the past three years by shutting out the Knights for the first time in their head-to-head history.The Roosters only missed 17 tackles on Saturday night against a Newcastle side that wasn’t afraid to throw the ball around, and that was the most pleasing of the big win according to five-eighth Jackson Hastings. “We feel like our heartbeat is sort of coming back in defence. We sort of live and breathe it at this club,” Hastings said. “I think a lot of teams talk about it but we actually do pride ourselves on our defence and when it does all go to [sic] as they say, you can have that backbone in defence. It was good to have a couple of those leaders back that really helped with the chat out there.”Trent Robinson said the Knights had been difficult to contain and was proud of the way his side protected the line. “I thought they were really hard to tackle. They were coming at us, creating some momentum and we had to control that.” Returning troops provide the Roosters with much needed artilleryRoosters halfback Mitchell Pearce looked like he hadn’t missed a beat as he played a starring role in his first game back in the NRL in 2016. The Roosters No.7 ran for 122 metres, scored a try and was involved in two more in a performance that had the home crowd on its feet when he left the field close to full time. “I wasn’t surprised with how well he played,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said after the game. “It’s a real credit to him on what he’s done and we’ve been lucky enough to see when he came back how well he was talking, how well he was clear with his training and physical and the way that he sees the game. “He’s been ready for at least a month to play. We had our conductor back and it allowed us to move around freely around him.”It was also a successful return for teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who played his first NRL game since tearing his ACL in Round 24 last year.The Kiwis enforcer made 77 metres and produced 11 tackles in a 21-minute hit out that ticked all the boxes for his coach. “It’s a tough thing to come back from…probably the toughest an ACL. There are always those thoughts leading into your first game so it was good for him to get that run out of the way,” Robinson said.”We wanted to get him off the bench and get him back into the rhythm of the game and I thought he did his job really well.”Battered Knights looking forward to week offNewcastle coach Nathan Brown hinted his players would be in for a relaxing week ahead with the bulk of his squad either missing through injury or playing busted.With rep round looming, Brown said the Knights would be on very light duties, but admitted he wasn’t expecting the week off to ease the ever-growing casualty ward that includes Jarrod Mullen, Kade Snowden and Robbie Rochow. “We’ll have a little bit of training early in the week and then at the back end of the week they’ll need some time away,” Brown said. “We’re pretty much down to only 18 players so there are some blokes playing today that obviously have bodies that aren’t in the best state at the minute but we’ve only got 18 blokes left. “Even our 18th man probably wasn’t quite fit to play either so thankfully we didn’t have to introduce him. There are a few fair guys out there [who are busted] so a week off is timely. “I don’t suspect we’ll get anyone back over the next couple of weeks but at least the bodies that are playing will get a good rest which will be pleasing.”