Phantoms win 3-1
BOARDMAN -- Bob Collar scored in the first and second periods, and Jerry Kuhn made 34 saves to lead the Youngstown Phantoms to a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Jr. Barons in a North American Hockey League game at The Ice Zone Friday night.
The Phantoms improved their record to 21-13-3.
Cleveland is 15-17-3.
Collar opened the scoring at 2:55 of the opening period on a rebound from Mike Maltese. Owen Meyer also assisted on the score.
Collar struck again at 4:25 of the middle period, again off a feed from Maltese. Drew Fortney was also credited with an assist on Collar's sixth goal of the season.
Cleveland gained momentum on a power play, when Kirk Golden converted off a rebound opportunity, beating Kuhn at 6:25 of the third.
Rob Rassey sealed the win when he stole the puck at the Cleveland blue line and skated in uncontested, beating the goalie on a backhand.
The Phantoms outshot Cleveland, 45-35.
The Phantoms will hit the road for the first time tonight since Dec. 12, when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face the U.S. National Under-17 team. Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game can be heard on WBBW-AM (1240).
Free throw contest
GIRARD -- The Girard Knights of Columbus Council No. 2935 is sponsoring a Free Throw Championship on Sunday at the St. Rose School gymnasium in Girard. The contest will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. and is open to boys and girls ages 10-14. Participants can register at the door beginning at 2 p.m.
NCAA visits OSU
COLUMBUS -- NCAA investigators were in Columbus on Friday to interview a booster about giving an unspecified amount of money to Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, athletic director Andy Geiger said.
Smith was suspended after the NCAA rules violation became known. He sat out the Alamo Bowl and may have to miss next season's opener Sept. 3 against Miami of Ohio.
The NCAA also is investigating allegations by former running back Maurice Clarett that coaches arranged for players to receive cash from boosters and players being paid for no-show jobs.
Geiger, who is retiring on June 30, said he had no idea of the investigation's timetable.
Geiger has said Robert Q. Baker, of Springfield, is being stripped of all ties to the university, including losing his share of a suite on the 35-yard-line in Ohio Stadium and barring him from purchasing tickets or having any contact with the football program.
A message seeking comment from Baker was left at his home Friday. The NCAA can't comment because the investigation is ongoing, spokesman Kent Barrett said.
Smith has said he would cooperate in the investigation.
Cavs fall to Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Mike Bibby had 17 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the second triple-double of his career, and the Sacramento Kings shut down LeBron James in their sixth straight victory, 123-96 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.
Chris Webber had 27 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Kings, who streaked to a big lead in the third quarter with an impressive exhibition of arguably the NBA's best passing offense. Sacramento took control with a 16-5 run early in the third quarter, with each basket seemingly resulting from an excellent pass or an eye-catching steal.
Peja Stojakovic scored 19 points and Cuttino Mobley had 18, while Brad Miller added 16 on 7-of-7 shooting. With Bibby leading the way, Sacramento racked up 34 assists and just eight turnovers in its highest-scoring game of the season.
One night after becoming the youngest player in NBA history to get a triple-double, James had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists while disappearing for long stretches. Drew Gooden scored 17 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs, who also lost guard Jeff McInnis in the fourth quarter with an apparent foot injury.
Bellisari to playindoor football
DAYTON -- Former Ohio State quarterback Steve Bellisari has signed with the Dayton Warbirds, an expansion team in the United Indoor Football Association.
"It's something I felt never really ended on my terms," Bellisari said of his football career. "I had some opportunities that haven't panned out, so I'm obviously excited to start playing again."
Bellisari passed for 5,878 yards, fifth all-time at Ohio State, from 1998-2001. His 6,496 yards of total offense rank third in school history.
The St. Louis Rams drafted Bellisari in 2002 to play safety. He spent most of that season on injured reserve with a knee injury, then was released after 2003 training camp.
Diaz defends title
HOUSTON -- Juan Diaz had little trouble defending his WBA lightweight title Friday night, stopping Billy Irwin at 1:27 in the ninth round of a lopsided fight.
Diaz, the youngest reigning world champion, got off to a fast start and controlled the action throughout with his devastating left hook.
Diaz (27-0, 12 KOs) dropped Irwin in the second round, staggered him plenty more times and then finished him off with a flurry against the ropes that forced referee Earl Morton to stop the bout in the ninth.
By that time, Irwin (42-6) was squinting through a badly swollen right eye and was rarely fending off Diaz.
Vindicator staff/wire reports