Raritan BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff Raritan junior forward Qa’raan Calhoun consoles his teammates following their Tournament of Champions semifinal loss to St. Anthony’s of Jersey City on Friday at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway. PISCATAWAY — There were tears, but no regrets. Disappointment, but no shame. The Raritan High School boys basketball team walked out of the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway with their heads held high on Friday, and for good reason. Despite losing to eventual Tournament of Champions winner St. Anthony’s of Jersey City in their semifinal game, 56-42, the Rockets had plenty to be proud of after winning the school’s first-ever Shore Conference, state sectional and group titles, and earning a TOC quarterfinal win over Haddonfield (63-44) which earned them the right to call themselves the top public school team in the state. It was a landmark season for a program which is not accustomed to such success. And a loss to St. Anthony’s (30-0), who went on to beat Bloomfield Tech, 67-55, for their ninth title in the 16-year history of the event, does nothing to diminish what the Rockets accomplished this year. Raritan senior Mike Nunes drives past St. Anthony’s Ahmad Mosby during the TOC semifinal game at Rutgers University on Friday. In fact, it added to the team’s already impressive status, as they managed to give the nation’s second-ranked team a bit of a scare early on. Led by juniors Marques Johnson (11 points) and Qa’raan Calhoun (12 points), the Rockets outscored the Friars 15-5 in the first quarter, giving the Friars the biggest deficit they faced all year. However, the Friars’ erratic shooting in that first stanza led to an early rebounding edge — something that allowed them to claw back into the game and eventually pull away. The comeback was quick and explosive, as the Friars used a 10-0 second-quarter run to take the lead and head into the second half with a 29-27 edge. Another 10-0 run in the third quarter was the turning point in the game, as the Friars entered the final quarter up 45-35, and never looked back, outscoring Raritan 11-7 over the final eight minutes. It was quite a run for the Rockets, who exceeded everyone’s expectations this year and provided fans with several memorable moments along the way. Qa’raan Calhoun slams home two of his team-high 12 points during the Rockets’ loss to St. Anthony’s on Friday. And while the Rockets will lose key players like Mike Nunes, Joe Reyes and Joe Kirby to graduation, they will return both Johnson and Calhoun, as well as sharp-shooting sophomore Dave Lonnay, and should be among the state’s top teams next year. That squad will have a tough act to follow, but with a championship season under their belts, the Rockets should be ready for another magical run.
BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer Lancers hope for rematch with Golden Falcons BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY staff Above, St. John Vianney’s Shantel Brown takes a shot to the face while trying to drive past a Monmouth Regional defender during the Lancers’ loss to the Golden Falcons in Tinton Falls on Saturday. At left, Courtney Calderon shoots over the Monmouth defense. Saturday’s match-up between St. John Vianney and host Monmouth Regional had all the hype of a heavyweight championship prize fight. In one corner, the top-ranked Lancers, led by one of the top playmakers in the state is point guard Shantel Brown. The Lady Lancers entered the game at 9-4, but an impressive 9-4 when you consider the quality opponents they’ve faced. With players like junior forward Courtney Calderon, junior forward Kristine Perez, and experienced seniors like Kat Gooch and Colleen Light, as well as some talented underclassmen in sophomore Alisa Apo and Jessica Nimbley, it was easy to see why the Lancers are considered the team to beat in the Shore Conference. And in the other corner, the underdog Golden Falcons — the second-ranked team in the Shore, but a squad still reeling from an upset loss to a good Colts Neck team two days earlier. The Golden Falcons may have been caught looking ahead a bit last Thursday, and the Cougars took full advantage, executing a strong defensive game plan to top the athletic Monmouth team, 32-29. Colts Neck held Monmouth scoreless in the third quarter of that game, and shut out Monmouth’s top player Kristen Dalton, leading many to predict a similar outcome on Saturday when the defensively savvy Lancers strode into the Falcons’ Tinton Falls gym. Needless to say, Monmouth was ready for them. The Falcons posted what is being called the biggest victory in the program’s history, knocking off the Lancers, 59-55, behind Dalton’s 16 points and eight rebounds. It wasn’t easy, as Brown’s fifth 3-pointer of the game just beat the fourth-quarter buzzer to force overtime. But in the extra session it was all Monmouth, as the Golden Falcons outscored the Lancers 8-4 to get to 13-2 on the season. Vianney was led by Brown’s 23 points — a heroic effort from the senior as she seemingly carried the team on her back for much of the game. However, in the extra session it was clear that the Falcons were the fresher team, and the final result reflected that. Monmouth Regional was looking forward to this game all season as a chance to prove itself the equal of the top team in the Shore, and one of the most respected programs in the state. As for St. John Vianney, it was yet another game against another good team looking to make a point in beating the Lancers. Surely they were disappointed with the loss, as any great competitor would be. But the Lancers have been down this road before, and know that there are plenty of big games to come over the next few weeks. They’ll have plenty of shots at redemption. These two teams may very well meet again in a couple of weeks in the Shore Conference Tournament, where they seem destined to be the top two seeds. If they do meet again, expect another classic.
Matawan Regional High School’s Kahlil Haskins tries to push an Ocean Township High School defender away during the Sept. 27 B North Division game played in Aberdeen. The visiting Spartans eked out a 7-3 win with a late touchdown. STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR Top left: Holmdel High School’s Keira Yonclas, left, and Middletown High School South’s Julia Beck fight for control of the ball as their sticks smack together during the Shore Conference Field Hockey Tournament game held Oct. 23 in Holmdel. The Hornets advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-0 win. No. 6 seed Holmdel had its Shore Conference Tournament run ended in the quarterfinals by No. 3 seed Freehold High School, 1-0. Top right: Holmdel’s Aimee Minich (r) tries to bring the ball upfield as Middletown South’s Julia Valkos tries to impede her progress during the game.
By Mike Collett-WhiteRussia’s Winter Olympics officially got underway on the Black Sea coast on Friday with a grandiose opening ceremony that President Vladimir Putin hoped would dispel fears of militant attacks and a row over gay rights that marred the buildup.Putin has staked his reputation on hosting a safe and successful Games in the resort town of Sochi, where a colourful, sometimes muddled show before 40,000 spectators at the gleaming Fisht Stadium signalled the start of full sporting competition.“I declare the 22nd Winter Olympic Games open,” said Putin, launching an event he has personally overseen and expects will burnish Russia’s, and his own, image on the world stage.In an embarrassing early technical glitch, one of the five Olympic rings suspended high above the stage failed to unfurl, meaning that the giant structure could not be illuminated by fireworks as planned.But the show went on, blending cartoon-style inflatable domes, spectacular ballroom dancing amid towering imperial columns, and giant avant-garde shapes hovering above symbols of revolution and upheaval in a sweep through Russian history.Fireworks filled the sky above the Olympic park surrounding the arena in a rousing finale to a show that drew heavily on Russia’s rich heritage of classical music, literature and dance.As the ceremony unfolded, a security scare aboard a passenger plane flying from Ukraine to Turkey underlined concerns that the Games could be targeted, although the exact circumstances were not immediately clear.Turkey scrambled an F-16 fighter jet to accompany a plane carrying 110 passengers arriving in Istanbul after a bomb threat was made by a passenger demanding to go to the Winter Olympics venue of Sochi, Turkish officials said.The passenger was believed to have drunk alcohol and was calmed down by the crew and persuaded to let the plane land in Istanbul, according to Dogan news agency.The scare came after the U.S. Transportation Security Administration had temporarily banned carry-on liquids, aerosols, gels and powders on flights between Russia and the United States.The United States issued a warning on Wednesday to airports and some airlines flying to Russia for the Olympics to watch for toothpaste tubes that could hold ingredients to make a bomb on board a plane.Some 37,000 security personnel are on high alert in Sochi over threats by Islamist militant groups based in the nearby north Caucasus region to attack the Feb. 7-23 Games, the most expensive ever staged at an estimated cost of $50 billion.Separatist guerrillas seeking an independent Islamic state in Chechnya and neighbouring regions of southern Russia have vowed to disrupt the Olympics, which they say are taking place on land seized from Caucasus tribes in the 19th century.Despite a “ring of steel” around venues, Russian forces fear a woman suspected of planning a suicide bombing may have slipped through.Security analysts believe that an attack is in fact more likely elsewhere in Russia to humiliate Putin, who launched a war to crush a Chechen rebellion in 1999.Twin suicide bombings killed at least 34 people in December in Volgograd, 400 miles (700 km) northeast of Sochi.Putin was joined at the ceremony by leaders from China, Japan and about 40 other countries in a show of support despite international anger over Russia’s “gay propaganda” law passed last year, which critics say curtails the rights of homosexuals.U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German President Joachim Gauck are not attending the Games, and the U.S. delegation includes openly gay representatives.Putin says legislation banning the promotion of gay propaganda among minors is designed to protect young people, and has stressed that homosexuals would not face discrimination at the Olympics.In a speech at the opening ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach called for an inclusive Games.“Yes, it is possible – even as competitors – to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason,” he said beneath a fluttering Russian flag.As he spoke, gay rights activists said Russian police had detained activists who tried to protest on Moscow’s Red Square and in St Petersburg.Police did not immediately comment on the reports by the activists, who said 10 protesters were detained in Moscow and four in Russia’s second city.In St Petersburg, the protesters were detained after unfurling a banner declaring “Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement”, gay rights group All Out said.Google placed a rainbow version of its logo on its search page featuring the six colours on the gay pride flag – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.The page also includes a quote from the Olympic charter underlining the right to practise sport without discrimination.Google Inc. declined to comment.Organisers have defended the costs of staging the Sochi Games amid concerns from Olympic officials that the huge price tag could put potential bidders off in future.They said much of the infrastructure built for 2014 was designed to be used long after the Games finished, and the plan was to turn Sochi into a year-round resort, international sports centre and amusement park.Despite grumblings about poor accommodation and tight security, the mood among competitors and officials after a handful of early qualifying events in Sochi and at the mountain base 40 km (25 miles) to the northeast was upbeat.“Conditions offered to the athletes are absolutely outstanding,” said French Olympic Committee President Denis Masseglia on a clear, crisp day.Saturday is the first full day of sporting action, with five gold medals to be decided.
A bomb hoax Thursday evening temporarily halted proceedings at what was an already stormy meeting of the Anorthosis football club.At around 7.40pm a call was placed to the DIAS media group warning that a bomb had been planted at the Hilton Park Hotel, in Nicosia, where the meeting was being held.The call was traced to a public phone booth in Limassol, police said.The bomb squad combed the hotel for explosive devices, but found nothing. The all-clear was given at around 9pm.Anorthosis members were meeting to vote on proposal to turn the historic football club into a corporation. A 75 per cent approval was needed for implementation of the proposal.
By Andreas VouAndreas Krassas earned Cyprus a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games following his impressive run in the under-66kgs judo class.The 23-year-old eventually lost out in the final against Englishman Colin Oates, who put in a dominant display to beat a defiant Krassas. The 31-year-old currently ranked seventh in the world proved too tough a competitor for the Cypriot, ending the bout with a quick throw and armlock combination to which Krassas submitted.Few had given any of the Cypriot athletes who travelled to Scotland a hope of achieving any significant success but Krassas defied the odds and sent out a clear message to the doubters by winning four straight matches en route to the final.Alex Amoako of Ghana was his first victim, followed by Australia’s Steven Brown in the last-16, Mathews Punza of Zambia was then swiftly dealt with in the quarter-final. The semis saw Krassas go head-to-head with South Africa’s Siyabulela Mabulu, a former African Championships bronze medalist. A solitary yuko score was enough to guarantee a medal for Cyprus.“I have been working hard on matters of physical condition lately, with intense training sessions in order to be able to last this series of matches. I had a problem in three tendons on my feet but, during the matches, I was not thinking about it at all. Really, I should not be here, because I risked worsening the state of my foot. In the final, my opponent was more experienced, and I think that is where the game was decided,” Krassas said. The silver medal earned by Krassas makes it just the second that Cyprus has won in judo in the history of the 20 Commonwealth Games, after Christos Christodoulides’ silver in 2002 in Manchester.17-year-old Christos Trikomitis, in the 60kg category, was unable to overcome the challenge of Brandon Dodds and was knocked out in the first round, coming ninth in the final standings.
Gigira took a 1-0 lead before half time when July Elijah scored in the 34th minute to put Gigira in front.FC Port Moresby responded in the second half through a double from Jamal Seeto to see them steal a 2-1 lead in the 69th minute.But Gigira leveled up a minute later through Ian Yanum.The game looked certain to go into a draw with the clock winding down.But it took brilliance to steal the win during extra time and Gigira ‘ s Moses Arisim when given the ball didn’t let his his team down powering a ball through from outisde the penalty box to beat the goal keeper.
The world number one tried “a spoonful” of food meant for her dog Chip before beating fellow American Christina McHale in straight sets in Rome.”I thought ‘what the heck, I’m gonna try a piece, it looks good’,” said the 34-year-old.”Fast forward two hours – I just ran to the toilet like I thought I was going to pass out.”In a video posted on Snapchat before her match with McHale, Williams explained she sampled a dish of chicken and rice offered on a ‘doggy menu’ at her hotel.”It did taste weird,” she said. “I force-swallowed it. It tasted kind of like house cleaner. I don’t know what they put in these dog foods, but Chip liked it.”I don’t think it’s consumable for humans – they should have wrote that! So now I feel really sick. It was just a spoonful but I don’t feel so good.”Williams recovered in time to defeat McHale 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 and set up a meeting with Svetlana Kuznetsova – who beat fellow Russian Daria Gavrilova – in the last eight.
All eyes will be on how the Hunters perform on the road after three straight defeats put a dent in their minor premiership aspirations.Hunters have now won three consecutive games, courtesy of a generous run at home. They are now in the winners’ circle, downing the desperate Wynnum Manly Seagulls 18-4 last weekend on home soil in Port Moresby.For this weekend, Hunters team is set with co-captain Adam Korave allowed to play and the return of fullback Stagroth Amean.Korave is free to play after the Queensland Rugby League judiciary found there was no case to answer after he was placed on report for a reckless high contact tackle to a Wynnum Manly Seagulls player last Sunday.Amean is also set to make his return after passing a medical test. Amean has been out for the past three weekends after suffering a concussion.Meanwhile, despite occupying 10th position on the Intrust Super Cup ladder, the Devils believe they can feature in this year’s semi-finals.A win over the PNG Hunters will certainly enhance those claims.Hunters squad:1. Bland ABAVU, 2. Justin OLAM, 3. Noel ZEMING (captain), 4. Thompson TETEH, 5. Adex WERA, 6. Ase BOAS, 7. Watson BOAS, 8. Enoch MAKI, 9. Wartovo PUARA Jnr, 10. Esau SIUNE, 11. Edward GOMA, 12. Adam Korave (co-captain), 13. Brandy PETERInterchange: 14. Warren GLARE, 15. Atte Bina WABO,16. Tuvi LEPAN, 17. Stargroth AMEAN,18. Henry WAN, 19. Butler MORRIS, 20. Benjamin HETRA
“While programs and services provided by High Performance Sport Papua New Guinea will remain unchanged, it will be the approach that will be enhanced going forward.”This was made clear by the High Performance Director Aaron Alsop when presenting the updates aligning the programs for 2016-2017.“The programs and services won’t change a lot in terms of what we are doing next year, but it will just mean that the amount or the level of services the athletes and coaches get access to depend on what tier structure they fit in,” Alsop said.Generally, the tiered program is a system for defining different levels of services and support for various sports teams and athletes.“So obviously, tier 1 sports being our absolute elite athlete that we have, right down through our tier three program,” Alsop said.He stressed that another program also gaining momentum going into 2017 is the Talent Pathway program, which aims to develop athletes through development scholarships.The opportunity of what High Performance is looking to do, as well with coaching scholarships, will mean that some of these programs may have been delivered before informally but haven’t been really structured.Other programs facilitated by HP were the tertiary schools sports days, which saw up to 10 colleges and institutions both in Port Moresby and Lae participate in games of volleyball, touch, futsal, mixed netball and basketball.Alsop said the developments in the HP programs are set to enhance the participation of the country in international events, including the various Oceania championships in the region, the Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas, the Asian Indoor Games, the Universiade (World University games) in Chinese Taipei, the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Youth Olympics.
Liverpool have been ravaged by injuries in the Premier League this season, with stars Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Jordon Henderson and Joel Matip all spending time on the sidelines.Klopp has lamented the number of injuries in 2016-17 and the German manager knows Liverpool must be active in the transfer market as they juggle the addition of another tournament – the Merseyside club currently occupying the fourth and final Champions League qualifying berth heading into the final game of the season.”We need to be strong because around us we’ll have a lot of quality and they will be stronger so we will be strong – one hundred per cent,” Klopp told Omnisport.”Yes, different options, we have another tournament to play. So that’s clear, we know about everything and still then, you need to be kind of lucky with injuries. Because the injuries we had this year were not injuries from training but in the games it was knocks and ankle and ligament and really, things you have no influence on. It happened in the challenge, we didn’t do it on the training ground and problems here and problems there.”So these significant injuries they were all from the pitch, they were all from the game. So can you say, can you sort this problem? One hundred per cent, no. But again we learnt a lot and we will bring in quality.”Liverpool are yet to cement a top-four place as the race for the Champions League goes down to the wire.Klopp’s men are fourth, two points adrift of third-placed Manchester City but only a point clear of Arsenal, who sit in the Europa League position.While Klopp is happy to finish in the top four, nothing compares to claiming silverware – the club’s most recent title coming via the EFL Cup in 2011-12.”The good thing is to win the Champions League, so you win a trophy and you have Champions League football next season,” added Klopp, whose Liverpool close out their season at home to relegated Middlesbrough on Sunday.”That’s the best thing, or being champions, so you have a trophy and the Champions League. Or the FA Cup.”Maybe top four is more important from a financial point of view but there’s no alternative to winning trophies. There’s no alternative. It’s always what we’re all playing for. No one goes into a final and thinks it’s not that important.”
Under the MOU, the parties will work together to develop the content knowledge and best practiced skills of the sport of athletics to the next level, targeting Physical Education teachers, coaches, trainers and athletes.PNG Sports Foundation Director of Major Events and Marketing, John Susuve was on hand to sign the MOU on behalf of the Executive Director, along with APNG President Tony Green.Talks are underway for APNG to provide the course materials for the Human Movement Studies branch of the NSI to make a submission to the University of Goroka for teaching.It is anticipated that if all goes well, a number of promising athletes will be identified through APNG’s own High Performance Division and NSI activities, to enrol at what will become a National Sports Academy, with enrolment complying with the set procedures of Stem 101 and the TVET Institute of UOG. In signing the MOU, Susuve said that the Foundation was very happy to work closely with National Federations and especially a sport like athletics which, being a key sport for PNG on the international stage, will lift the profile of the country. Green added that NSI is the logical place for athletes to train because of its central location, great climate and the training and accommodation facilities.He said he hoped that the government will see the benefit in upgrading the facilities instead of focusing all its efforts on infrastructure in Port Moresby.Apart from the pursuit of tertiary education programmes, APNG and NSI plan to re-introduce the scholarship program, whereby a small number of quality developing athletes will relocate to NSI and attend high school.
The Hebou PNG Barramundis:1. Assad Vala (Captain)2. Vani Vagi Morea3. Lega Siaka4. Tony Ura5. Sese Bau6. Mahuru Dai7. Damien Ravu8. John Boge Reva9. Alei Nao10. Jason Kila11. Chad Soper12. Kipling Doriga13. Norman Vanua14. Jack Vare-Kevere15. Charles Amini JnrCoach: Joe Dawes“The World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe are arguably one of the most important tours in our recent history not just in terms of possible World Cup qualification but also in respect of cementing our ODI rankings for the future,” said CPNG chairman of selectors, Daniel Faunt.“The Cricket PNG Selection Panel have selected a 15-man squad which comprises the core group of players who travelled to Dubai at the end of 2017.”The 10 teams taking part in the Qualifier will be split into groups of five teams.PNG is in Group A which is made up of the West Indies, Ireland, the Netherlands and winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.Group B is formed by Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and runners-up of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.The ten teams will be fighting for the two available spots available in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.“Notable exclusions from that tour include Nosiana Pokana, who was not eligible for selection and Dogodo Bau, who has missed selection also on basis that we have elected to include some variation within our bowling group.“In that regard, we have selected Charles Amini Junior who provides us with a leg spinning option, middle order batting depth and dynamism in the field.“We have also selected Jason Kila primarily due to his left arm orthodox spin capability which we feel is a missing piece of our attack.“Jason’s pedigree as a batsman is also well known and he is an excellent fielder also.“Both Charles and Jason will add variety to our Barramundi attack particularly in the spin bowling department which is an area we feel that has been lacking in recent times.”
England international Ross Barkley would be a good addition to the Chelsea squad, manager Antonio Conte said on Friday after media reports the Everton midfielder had undergone a medical.“We are talking about an English player and a young player – he is a good prospect for Chelsea. Good opportunity for the club to buy this player,” Conte said at his weekly news conference.Barkley, 24, has yet to feature for Everton this season as he recovers from a long-term hamstring injury, having turned down a move to the English champions in the close season, according to the Merseyside club’s chairman Farhad Moshiri.“He’s very young. I think he has a lot of space for improvement… He’s strong physically and has good technique,” added Conte.“It’s important to understand about when he can recover from his injury. This player has not played for seven months. If this player signs for the club we must have patience and help him recover quickly.”
An own goal by Timothy Fosu-Mensah gave Huddersfield Town their first Premier League win of the season as they beat fellow strugglers Fulham 1-0 to climb off the bottom of the table.The win lifted Huddersfield, who before Monday had scored only four away goals this season, into 18th place on six points, with Fulham now bottom on five points after 11 games.Huddersfield fans must have expected another frustrating night as they saw an early shot from Danish midfielder Philip Billing come crashing back off the crossbar in the 15th minute.Having not seen their side score a league goal at home since a 1-0 win over Watford in April, the home fans finally got to celebrate when Fosu-Mensah headed into his own net under pressure from Christopher Schindler.“I don’t care who scored it, I don’t care how we performed football-wise, because I think, with the ball, everybody knows that we are able to play much better,” Huddersfield coach David Wagner told Sky Sports.Celebrating the third anniversary of his appointment, Wagner sent out his side to defend in the second half and they had little trouble frustrating the visitors.“Everybody has seen that the pressure was on for both teams, but how the players have fought, the spirit and attitude which they have shown, I think they have left everything on the grass, and I have to say it was a deserved win,” he added.Fulham lacked creativity and despite Andre Schuerrle having a goal ruled out for offside, they barely managed to trouble Huddersfield keeper Jonas Lossl as they slumped to their fifth defeat in a row.“We are without power, we are without intensity, especially the first 45 minutes,” beleaguered Fulham coach Slavisa Jokanovic told Sky.“At the end, we didn’t find enough quality, enough pace for the goal.”