The Central Jersey Hawks are forming an AAU girl’s 10&U (players cannot be 11 years old before Jan. 1, 2002) basketball team for the upcoming 2002 AAU season. Call (732) 946-4480 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information on tryouts or any other questions regarding Central Jersey Hawk teams. The 17th Annual Husky Indoor Soccer League of Matawan will hold registrations Dec. 1 from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Aberdeen Municipal Building at One Aberdeen Square. The league is open to all ages in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties. One-hour games are played Sundays throughout January and February. For more information, call Art Perri at (732) 566-0154 or e-mail him at email@example.com. The Battle of Monmouth Panthers boys’ U13 MOSA premier team is seeking dedicated, experienced players. Players must be born after Aug. 1, 1988. For information call (732) 431-0219. The following programs are now being offered at GoodSports in Aberdeen: Youth roller hockey leagues, starting Dec. 1 and 2 for ages U8 through U17. Registration dates are now through Nov. 18. Fees are $130 per player ($160 per independent player). Youth recreational roller hockey leagues now forming for Dec. 1 for ages 6-14. Cost is $95 per player. Youth roller hockey holiday camp Dec. 26, 27 and 28. Cost is $75. U10 will run from 9 a.m. to noon, while 12U will run from 1 to 4 p.m. Indoor flag football league for adults starts Dec. 3; Monday night play only. One-day soccer tournaments for U8 to U15 boys and girls. Recreational indoor winter soccer league starting in December. Open to all ages, boys and girls. All games played on turf. Winter Sports academy starting in December. Sunday mornings for U8 to U14 boys and girls travel five-on-five league, starting in December for U9 to U14 boys and girls. Men’s open, and over 30/40 indoor soccer leagues started Nov. 13 and 14. Games played Tuesday/Wednesday nights. Call Scott for more information. Men’s eight-week open cash tournament starts Dec. 2. Games played from 7 p.m. to midnight. For more information on any of the above programs, call GoodSports at (732) 290-0003. The Central Jersey Hawks boys 13U AAU basketball team is hosting tryouts for the upcoming season. Boys must be born on or after Sept. 1, 1988, or be in the seventh grade. Seeking motivated and committed players for winter league and spring travel. Tryouts are being held during November. Call for details Joe Stein (732) 264-1475 or e-mail KJSTEIN2@aol The Monmouth County Park System will sponsor a bus trip to the Jets-Patriots football game at the Meadowlands Dec. 2. The bus will depart from Thompson Park, Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, at 10:15 a.m. The cost of the trip is $96 per person, which includes game ticket, and round-trip transportation. Preregistration is required. For more information, call the Park System at (732) 842-4000. The TDD machine number is (732) 219-9484.
The Peddie School’s girls four boat with coxswain powered past the best boats in the country to capture the Grand Final at the U.S. Rowing National Youth Championships on Harsha Lake in Amelia, Ohio, recently. Junior Brittany Tarabour (bow), of Middletown, teamed with coxswain Chloe Delaney, Roxanne Carini (two seat), Erin Hawes (three seat) and stroke Lauren Libfraind to battle Pomfret School (Conn.) down the 2,000-meter course, winning the gold by 1.16 seconds or about two seat lengths. The Falcon team had about a boat-length lead at the 1,000-meter mark, followed by the gritty Pomfret and Ann Arbor contingents, who slowly cut into the lead over the next 750 meters. In the last 250 meters all three boats had good sprints, but the Falcons held off the hard-charging Pomfret team to claim Peddie’s first official national title in a crew event. “We knew Pomfret had a strong finish, so our plan was to take control early and let everyone else play catch up,” girls head coach Steven Lloyd said. “This was exactly the kind of race that should happen in a national championship – hard-fought and exciting.” This year there was no turning back the Falcons as the varsity four boat swept every regatta entered during the fall and spring seasons. Formerly called the Youth Invitational, US Rowing has designated the event as an official national championship this year. The event featured more than 1,100 high school and junior athletes from more than 120 programs, with titles being contested in the men’s and women’s eight, lightweight eight, quadruple sculls, four with coxswain, lightweight four with coxswain, double sculls and single sculls.
The Middletown High School South girls basketball team heads into the Shore Conference Tournament playing its best ball of the season, coach Tom Brennan said. The 11th seeded Eagles will square off against Brick Memorial, the 22nd seed, this evening in Middletown. The winner will meet sixth-seeded Howell. Middletown South enters the tournament with a 13-5 mark, not including its game Monday against St. John Vianney. The Eagles finished third in the conference’s Class A North division behind cochamps Howell and Colts Neck. South has also qualified for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III Tournament. Coach Tom Brennan said that while his team has played well this season, the girls have not yet scored a signature win. Last week, the Eagles looked like they were on their way to a win over Colts Neck, but lost, 43-41, as Colts Neck scored with three ticks on the clock. Brennan did note, however, that his team has been playing better since downing Shore Regional two weeks ago. In that game Middletown South found itself down at one point by a count of 21-6, but they clawed their way back and eventually won 54- 49. “That was important because it was a game where the girls didn’t play their best, yet they figured out a way to win,” Brennan said. “They deserve a lot of credit for coming back and we were glad to get out of there with a win.” Middletown South has relied primarily on seniors ShawnaHagen and JillianGannon, along with junior Danielle Pankey. Pankey leads the Eagles in scoring, averaging 16 points-per-game- six points better than last season- while also averaging four rebounds and two steals. Her consistency has been a key for South. Gannon continues her remarkable recovery from a serious head injury. The senior is averaging 12 points, six rebounds and three assists, and she has been an inspiration to her teammates, the coach said. Brennan added that Hagen, a center who serves as the Eagles captain, has proven to be a strong leader on and off the floor. The senior averages .75 points, but has had several big games, including a 14-point, 12-rebound performance againstColtsNeck.Hagen averages eight rebounds. A pair of freshmen have shown good promise, guard Meghan McGuinness and forward Kerri Kinsella.McGuinness averages five points and 4.5 rebounds and Brennan has been using her to play the point on occasion. Kinsella has shown grittiness and she played a key role as part of an Eagles press that pulled out a victory against Mater Dei. “Right now we’re focusing on the Shore tournament,” Brennan said. “I think we’re peaking at the right time and nowwe have an opportunity to show what we can do.” The Eagles will get a similar opportunity in CJ Group III when they host Burlington County Institute of Technology Westhampton on Feb. 26. Middletown South earned the fourth seed and a victory likely will earn the Eagles a second home game. “Obviously we’ve had a pretty good year to get to host a state playoff game or two,” Brennan said. “Still, we had high expectations so we’re really looking forward to making our mark in the tournaments.” Girls hoops team qualifies for conference and state tourneys BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer
BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Summertime is not when success in high school basketball is measured by victories in team camps, and the coaches for Middletown High School South’s and High School North’s girls teams like what they saw in Red Bank Regional’sMaroon & White Camp, which was run Aug. 1-4.With twice as many teams in the third year of the camp, and many high-powered programs included, both Middletown teams measured success in their players’ and teams’ improvements as they wrapped up their summer schedule.“This is a growing season for us, and we went from the frying pan against Rumson and St. John Vianney in the first day into the fire the next against Red Bank Catholic,” Middletown South coach Tom Brennan said as each team played eight games, two each day, in the 16-team camp.Brennan said his team competed well, splitting its eight games despite having only two seniors and a handful of experienced players, although many have played on AAU teams. Most of his older players were on either the U16 Wildcats or Central Jersey Hawks, who won the state championship over the Wildcats. Many of Middletown South’s younger players were on the Cardinals U13 team. Top: St. John Vianney High School’s Katie Beriont (l) battles for a rebound with Red Bank Catholic players during their Aug. 3 game played at Red Bank Regional High School. The teams were participating in the Maroon & White Summer Basketball Camp hosted by RBR. Above: St. John Vianney High School’s Zoe Otterman (middle) fights Red Bank Catholic players for a rebound during their Aug. 3 game at RBR. PHOTOS BY ERIC SUCAR staff Guards Kiera Gannon and Carissa Gray started last season as sophomores when Middletown South was 15-8 and runnerup in Shore Conference A North.The Eagles move into Group IV from Group III, where they lost in the NJSIAA Central Jersey sectionals to Neptune last season— not a big-deal switch for Brennan and his team, which has played mostly Group IV teams on its schedule.The key cog is 5-10 junior forward Jackie Dluhi.“We’ll go as she goes,” Brennan said. “She is a great distributor of the ball. When she gets the ball down low, she’ll make a great decision if she has to give it up, who to give it to.”Middletown North, meanwhile, got a break on its Red Bank team camp schedule, but not by much. It played Wall, Mater Dei, Ocean, Raritan, Brick Memorial and Toms River South.“We didn’t play those other teams, but we played a very competitive schedule,” said Middletown North coach Ed Jones, referring to St. John Vianney, Rumson and Red Bank Catholic. “There was a lot of competition, and we came out pretty satisfied.” His team also competed in a team camp at Villanova University back in June, winning five of eight games.“We started off slow and then saw improvement,” said Jones.Middletown North won six games last season, twice as many as the previous season, including victories over postseason tournament qualifiers Mater Dei and Toms River East. With the starting five intact — guards Maggie Cole and Maureen Ciccosani, both seniors, and Megan DeGrushe, forward Emiley Lavin and center Tayna Miller, all juniors — Jones is looking for his team to make the postseason for the first time in seven seasons.“This team camp will help,” said Jones, referring to Red Bank’s camp. “Rebounding is our No. 1 improvement, and we’ve gotten more kids to score over the summer. Our offense and defense improved a little last season from the season before, but we’re looking to improve even more for this season.”Adding reassurance is senior Nicole Tollevson’s jump in improvement through the summer that may move her from the sixth player role last season to a starter.“We have a lot of competition,” said Jones, who also looks to sophomoresAshley Bird and EmiliaWeaver at guard, Marissa Reilly at forward and Courtny Davis at center along with freshman guard Mia Ehling. Middletown South also competed again for the 10th straight year in the Athletes for Better Education team tournament at Kutztown University held July 14-18.“We brought 24 players and had an opportunity to bond there because the girls shared dorm rooms, ate together and played together, but in August, competition is different,” Brennan said. “They know they’re there to play. When we were in Pennsylvania, playing teams from there and New York, there’s no connectivity.”But the players got the chance to adjust to a revamped offense at the expense of their defense, particularly man-to-man coverage when the grind of a long, active summer taxed their resilience.“Defense is mental and it’s heart,” Brennan said. “Something had to give, playing so much over the summer, twice as many games as during the season. We can’t be that upset.”What Brennan said he likes on defense is his players’ length — long arms for disrupting ball movement and long legs for shifting over on coverage. Rebounding still needs some work, he said.The chemistry is good at this point, Brennan said, but with no big-name players, the Eagles will not return to Walt Disney World or the Battle of the Boardwalk for showcases like last season. “At least not this season, but we’re young and we can look at next year,” said Brennan.It all depends on how much the players continue to progress from a productive summer.
By Alexander McCowanWhen George Agathocleous, the Cyprus veteran back, enters the arena in Paphos tomorrow to play the final game of this season against Hungary (3pm), he will surely reflect on the incredible journey he and his team-mates have made since that game seven years ago when they embarked on their international rugby career in a friendly on a rented playing field in Paphos against Greece, in shirts borrowed from a local taverna.Anyone witnessing that dishevelled crew in their ill-fitting attire who stunned the condescending visitors into silence with a 30-point win, would never have imagined that the Moufflons would now be on the brink of their third successive promotion in Europe to division 2B and about to break their own world record of 22 consecutive international wins.The Hungary game is crucial as it is the culmination of the two-year Division 2C campaign with Cyprus winning all their games so far. The Magyars have proved to be their most difficult opponents with no other team causing them so much trouble.According to Paul Shanks, the national coach, it could have gone either way with the Moufflons winning by the narrowest margin of one point in Hungary.The Hungarians are coached by Raphael St. Andre, the brother of the French coach. “He is extremely astute and will play a very tactical game. They have a big pack, and that, combined with their skilful backs, could bother the best of teams,” said ShanksThe Cypriots are missing some key players through injury and unavailability but Shanks claims that “if we can implement and stick to our game plan I am quietly confident, but I guarantee it will be an exciting game.”Rick Wadmore, team manager, told the Cyprus Mail that in his opinion, “the most significant aspect of this game is that we are actually able to field a side at all, given our financial constraints.”The sentiment was echoed by Shanks, when he said: “This is a very young squad with two new caps, and these young players have had to sacrifice so much, either giving up work or study, and paying their own expenses or finding personal sponsors for the honour of playing for Cyprus. I, for one, am deeply proud to be associated with young men of this calibre.”Federation president Laurence Vasilliades added: “It has been a long and arduous journey. We are continually building and that is reflected in the youth of this team. We have now implemented our youth and academy policy and I can foresee a time when all our players will have learned the game in Cyprus.”Wadmore agreed, saying: “We are building for the future which is reflected by the fact that we have four players in the side from the Under-2O’s squad that will be performing in Prague in August.“Whatever happens, the Hungary clash will be our toughest game to date. Paul has brought a side that is well prepared and they will acquit themselves with honour.”
By Andreas VouAPOEL are on course to reach the Champions League group stage but still have work to do to finish off the job when they host Aalborg in the second leg of their playoff in Nicosia on Tuesday (9.45pm), five years to the day since they defeated Danish opponents to reach Europe’s top club competition for the first time.The Cyprus champions hold a narrow advantage following last week’s 1-1 draw in Denmark thanks to a crucial away goal from Vinicius early in the second half which cancelled out Nicolaj Thomsen’s early strike.While slight favourites to progress, Giorgos Donis’ men know that qualification is not a foregone conclusion after last week’s unimpressive display. The Danes outplayed APOEL for large parts of the game and only a lack of composure in front of goal prevented Aalborg from putting the tie out of sight. A score draw away from home is traditionally a favourable result for a team to carry into a second leg but, for APOEL, 1-1 has proven to be a cursed scoreline. The last three first leg 1-1 draws the Nicosia side managed away from home in European knockout ties have all resulted in elimination – in 2012 in the Europa League playoff against Neftchi Baku and last season against Maribor in the Champions League third qualifying round. The defeat against Maribor saw them drop into the Europa League where they suffered the same fate against Zulte Waregem but still entered the groups thanks to a lucky draw after Fenerbahce were disqualified due to a match-fixing case.The scoreline does not instill confidence but if APOEL need to refer to history as a motivator then they do not need to look too far back. Tuesday marks exactly five years to the day when APOEL first qualified for the Champions League groups, and that was against Danish opponents FC Copenhagen, as they overturned a 1-0 deficit from the first leg to win 3-1 in Nicosia.APOEL then went on to become the most successful Cypriot side in European competition, qualifying again for the group stage and going on to reach the last eight in 2012 and qualifying, albeit by default, for the Europa League groups last season. Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s match, they are again guaranteed to enter the group stages of a European competition this season, as the loser of the playoff round automatically drops into the Europa League groups, something which the manager alluded to.“It is important for us that the we sealed (qualification to) the Europa League from the last round and now we have the chance in a packed stadium to chase qualification and achieve something great, to enter the Champions League groups,” said Donis.APOEL are left a little short in attacking options as new signing Raffik Djebour has yet to reach full fitness while the same can also be said about Stathis Aloneftis, Giorgos Efrem and Gustavo Manduca. All made the 23-man squad but it remains to be seen how much of a part they will play.
World number one Novak Djokovic wore down his old foe Andy Murray in a typically gruelling encounter under the lights at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday to reach the semi-finals of the U.S. Open.In a repeat of the 2012 final, which Murray won, the pair combined for some stunning long rallies before Djokovic pulled away for a 7-6 (1) 6-7 6-2 6-4 victory to set up a semi-final against Kei Nishikori of Japan.Wimbledon champion Djokovic took the first set on the tiebreak, 7-1 and led 3-1 in the second set only for Murray, cracking his forehand brilliantly, to hit back and take the second-set tiebreak by the same score.But Djokovic always looked that little bit fresher and after racing through the third set, one break in the 10th game of the fourth set gave him a place in the last four.Tenth-seeded Nishikori registered his second consecutive upset by edging Australian Open champion Wawrinka 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7) 6-7 (5) 6-4 and was again made to work hard.Having already played the longest match of the tournament in the fourth round, a bruising four-hour 19-minute battle with Canadian Milos Raonic, Nishikori had enough left in the tank to get past the Swiss third seed in a four-hour 15-minute test of wills.“I don’t know how I finished the game, but I’m happy,” an exhausted Nishikori, who had a medical timeout in the third set to have his right foot taped, told the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.“I feel amazing. I’m very happy to come to my first semis. I hope I can recover again and hopefully I can play 100 percent tennis next round.”On a sultry evening, Williams sleepwalked through the start of her quarter-final with Flavia Pennetta as the 12th seeded Italian broke twice on the way to a shock 3-0 lead.But the world number one, bidding for a sixth U.S. Open title and third in succession, woke from her slumber, storming through the next six games and romping to a 6-3 6-2 win.Determined to make up for a disappointing season in which she failed to reach the quarter-finals in any of the three previous majors, Williams broke her fellow 32-year-old in the fifth and seventh games to advance in 63 minutes.“It feels so special to be back in the semi-finals for the first time this year,” Williams, yet to lose more than three games in any set this championship, told the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’m so happy to have done it here.”Russian left-hander Makarova made her best mark in grand slam singles by outslugging Victoria Azarenka, the U.S. Open runner-up the last two years, 6-4 6-2 in a snappy 87 minutes.Makarova has hoisted major trophies but always as part of a partnership, as winner of the French Open doubles in 2013 with Elena Vesnina and in mixed doubles at the 2012 U.S. Open with Brazilian Bruno Soares.The Russian, however, has thrived on her own racket at Flushing Meadows, advancing without the loss of a set and dumping seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard in the process.Boldly going for winners at every opportunity against the former world number one, Makarova pressured Azarenka to a dozen break points and cashed in twice in each set for her victory.“Finally I’m in a semi-finals, finally I’m here,” gushed the 26-year-old Makarova at Arthur Ashe Stadium.“It’s a great feeling.”Results from the U.S. Open Men’s Singles Quarterfinal matches on Wednesday 1-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat 8-Andy Murray (Britain) 7-6(1) 6-7(1) 6-2 6-410-Kei Nishikori (Japan) beat 3-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) 3-6 7-5 7-6(7) 6-7(5) 6-4Results from the U.S. Open Women’s Singles Quarterfinal matches on Wednesday 1-Serena Williams (U.S.) beat 11-Flavia Pennetta (Italy) 6-3 6-217-Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) beat 16-Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) 6-4 6-2
By Justin PalmerManchester United’s winless run continued but they gave under-fire coach Louis van Gaal crumbs of cheer with a committed display in an entertaining 0-0 draw with Chelsea while Arsenal went top of the table on Monday night.Arsenal beat Bournemouth 2-0 with goals from Gabriel and Mesut Ozil to move on to 39 points from 19 Premier League games, one ahead of Leicester City who are at home to Manchester City, in fourth, on Tuesday (9.45pm).Dutchman Van Gaal, whose tenure in the Old Trafford hot seat is under intense scrutiny after a Champions League exit and three successive league defeats, was afforded a warm reception by fans who have been critical of his team’s lack of flair.Van Gaal hinted after a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday that he could walk away but, after a performance of attacking intent against Chelsea, he said he would not quit.“No reason to resign for me, maybe the media want that but I shall not do that,” he told BT Sport. “You have seen they (the players) are fighting for me.“Even after this result they (the fans) were applauding. I have full confidence in the board and more importantly, in my players.”United, now eight games without a win in all competitions, struck the woodwork twice in the opening 16 minutes. Juan Mata rattled the crossbar with a fierce left-footed effort and Anthony Martial drilled the ball against the post.But it was not all one-way traffic. Keeper David De Gea kept out John Terry’s powerful header and made a fine double save to deny Pedro and Cesar Azpilicueta at the start of the second half.Opposite number Thibaut Courtois then somehow kept out Ander Herrera’s close-range shot.Chelsea, playing their second game under interim manager Guus Hiddink after Jose Mourinho’s sacking, wasted the game’s best opportunity when Nemanja Matic raced clean through before blazing the ball wildly over.Wayne Rooney might have won it late on but skied the ball over to leave United in sixth spot on 30 points.Champions Chelsea, who were minus the suspended Diego Costa and played without a recognised striker, are 14th with 20 points.Van Gaal bemoaned United’s luck in front of goal.“It was a very good performance but you have to score … we don’t have the luck we need,” he said. “We were the dominant team.”The draw left Hiddink reasonably content.“On one hand I am happy with a point because we had a difficult game but, on the other, we had two big chances to get three points. In general I’m happy,” said the Dutchman.OZIL SPARKLESArsenal, thrashed 4-0 at Southampton on Saturday, got back to winning ways by seeing off Bournemouth at The Emirates.Ozil set up centre back Gabriel for the opening goal on 27 minutes, his first for the club, and scored the second after the break by side-footing home Olivier Giroud’s flicked pass.
Due to the weekend’s Easter celebrations, five matches in the Cyprus football championship will be taking place on Wednesday afternoon.Leaders APOEL are in action on Thursday, knowing a win at home to second-placed AEK will see the Nicosia giants wrap up their fourth straight title, with two rounds of matches remaining.Wednesday, April 27:Anorthosis v ApollonAris v AELDoxa v Ethnikos AchnasOmonia v Nea SalaminaPafos FC v Ermis(All games kick-off at 4pm)Thursday, April 28:APOEL v AEK 4pm
By Alan BaldwinAUSTRALIAN Daniel Ricciardo seized the first pole position of his Formula One career at the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday with world championship leader Nico Rosberg joining him on the front row for Mercedes.“High time,” shouted the Red Bull driver over the team radio after being told the news.The pole, in a time of one minute 13.622 seconds, was the team’s first since Sebastian Vettel at the Brazil Grand Prix in November 2013.It was also the first time since 2012, when Ricciardo’s compatriot Mark Webber was on pole for Red Bull, that Mercedes did not secure the top slot in Monaco.Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton qualified third, a remarkable recovery after his car suffered a fuel pressure problem at the start of the final session and had to be pushed back along the pit lane.Ferrari’s Vettel will join the Briton on the second row for the season’s showcase race, where the harbourside track winds through twisty metal-fenced streets and overtaking is extremely difficult.Ricciardo, who won three races in 2014 and has made three starts from the front row in his career, came to Monaco with a new and more powerful Tag Heuer-branded Renault engine.“I knew coming into the weekend we would have a shot at it,” said the Australian.“I have been driving well but haven’t quite got maximum rewards so I came into this weekend with a lot of confidence and a lot of belief I could be in this position now.”While Ricciardo celebrated, there was disappointment in the other half of the garage with 18-year-old Dutch driver Max Verstappen crashing in the opening session.The teenager, whose victory on his Red Bull debut in Spain two weeks ago made him the sport’s youngest winner, will start on the back row.“I turned in a bit too early, broke the suspension and then couldn’t recover from it. It’s a case of misjudgment,” he said after hitting the curb and smashing into the barrier at the exit to the swimming pool section.Hamilton’s hopes of pole suffered a big blow at the start of the final 12-minute session when Mercedes told him to stop at the end of the pit lane as he headed out.Mechanics ran to recover the car, which was fixed in a frantic flurry of activity in the garage.He then had to abort his first attempt at a quick lap, slowing to avoid being caught in traffic, before setting the third-best time.“I don’t really know what to say at the moment but the good thing is I did get out to do a lap at least,” said Hamilton, whose disappointment was plain to all.“It was as bad as some of the races I have been in, in respect of the engine problems, so I’m grateful to be up in third. Pole was there for the taking but I will do what I can in the race to salvage what I can.”Rosberg leads Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified sixth but has a five-place grid penalty due to a gearbox change, by 39 points after five races. The German has won the last three Monaco Grands Prix.Hamilton is 43 points behind his team mate, who started the season by winning four races in a row.Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg qualified fifth for Force India.Verstappen’s crash and a blown engine in Brazilian Felipe Nasr’s Sauber meant red flags were waved twice to stop the session in the opening phase.