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Published: Sat, March 25, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


LOCAL
Schedules needed
The Vindicator still needs high school spring schedules from Canfield, Howland, Salem, Lowellville, Mineral Ridge, Springfield, Champion, Brookfield, Hubbard, LaBrae, Lakeview, East Palestine, Lisbon and Southern. Please fax (330-747-6712), e-mail (sports@vindy.com) or mail to 107 Vindicator Square, Youngstown, OH 44501.
Curbstoners
BOARDMAN -- Campbell High boys basketball coach Brian Danilov will be the Curbstone Coaches' guest speaker at Monday's noon luncheon at the Lockwood House.
Luncheons are open to the public. For details, visit www.curbstonecoaches.org.
State basketballofficials
COLUMBUS -- Several area officials were selected to work the state tournament. Rob Lee of Warren was the referee for the Division IV semifinal between South Webster and Lockland. It was his third state tournament selection.
Mike Vaschak and Rob Luklan of Boardman and Jay Dana of Youngstown worked the Division I semifinal Friday night between Lancaster and Trotwood-Madison. Vaschak was the referee and Luklan and Dana served as umpires. The game marked Vaschak's seventh state tournament selection, Luklan's fourth and Dana's second.
Packard leaguemeets April 10
WARREN -- Packard Electric Ladies golf league will hold its get acquainted meeting at the Four Seasons Mobile Home Park Clubhouse on April 10 at 6 p.m.
The league again has two divisions, the regular league at Avalon South which opens May 8 and the beginners league at Vienna Shortholes which opens May 9.
Golfers do not have to be Delphi employees to play in the league. For more information, contact Sharon Gilmore at (330) 373-5191, Carol Calhoun at (330) 372-1812 or Helen Snyder at (330) 637-1250.
REGION
Guthrie sent down to minors
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Cleveland Indians optioned right-hander Jeremy Guthrie to Triple-A Buffalo, trimming their major league roster to 31 players.
Guthrie was 1-1 in spring training with a 4.00 ERA and one save in five games including one start Friday.
The 26-year-old Guthrie is a former first-round draft pick who has struggled to break into the Indians starting rotation or bullpen.
He appeared in one game for Cleveland last season, giving up four runs in six innings.
NATION
Clijsters losesto Craybas
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Playing for the first time in more than a month, Kim Clijsters said she felt rusty, and it showed. The defending champion at the Nasdaq-100 Open squandered leads in the first and final sets and lost to Jill Craybas, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
Clijsters became the first woman in the tournament's 22-year history to lose her opening match the year after winning the title. She double-faulted 11 times and committed 78 unforced errors.
"It was sort of in my hands," said Clijsters, who was seeded second. "I was the one making the mistakes. I was just trying to do a little too much."
The reigning U.S. Open champion received a first-round bye and was playing for the first time since Feb. 19. Slowed by hip and ankle injuries, she has yet to win a title this year.
"I'm a player who likes to play a lot of matches," Clijsters said. "That's something I'll have to build up again. The past few months, that has been a disadvantage. That's what I'm missing right now."
Defending men's champion Roger Federer lost seven consecutive points in a tiebreaker but overcame the uncharacteristic lapse and beat Arnaud Clement 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-0.
No. 9 James Blake was a 6-0, 6-0 winner over Carlos Berlocq, who defeated 16-year-old Donald Young by the same score in the first round. Blake said he wasn't thinking about preserving the shutout -- his first -- as he closed in on it.
Unseeded Tim Henman beat No. 13 Lleyton Hewitt for the first time in their nine meetings, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Henman acknowledged clearing a mental hurdle.
Bruins fireGM McConnell
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins fired general manager Mike O'Connell on Saturday, telling him he wouldn't be back next season so there was no point in finishing out this one. Assistant general manager Jeff Gorton will assume the GM's duties for the rest of the season, team president Harry Sinden said before the Bruins' game against the Buffalo Sabres.
"When you think something has to be done ... you have to do it," Sinden said. "It was not proper to let him keep doing what he was doing -- signing players, making plans for the future -- when we knew that at the end of the year we were going to relieve him of his job."
O'Connell was not surprised by the decision.
"Whenever you don't win in professional sports and you're the general manager of the team, this is to be expected," he said from his home in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
Winona State winsDiv. II tourney
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- David Zellmann scored 26 points and Winona State dominated defensively to win the NCAA Division II national championship with a 73-61 victory over defending champion Virginia Union.
"I know I always pride myself on defense because that's what wins championships," said sophomore guard Jonte Flowers, who had 15 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot.
The win was the 22nd consecutive for the Minnesota school.
"We played tremendous defense," Winona State coach Michael Leaf said. "We played a great basketball team that never gave up and I'm thankful our guys stepped up and took control."
Zellmann hit seven 3-pointers and Winona State (32-4) made 10 of 25 from the arc. Quincy Henderson had 12 points, while John Smith and Zach Malvik -- who played with a broken fibula -- each added 10.
Virginia Union (30-4) had its 13-game winning streak and 17-game postseason victory streak snapped.
Athletics' Thomas cleared for action
PHOENIX -- Oakland designated hitter Frank Thomas was cleared for game action following an examination on his left ankle by the team doctor.
It was as simple as watching him run on dirt with spikes.
"It's the first time he used spikes," Dr. Jerrald Goldman said. "Either it works or it doesn't work. We needed to talk to him and make sure the trainers said he ran well and without any problems. As far as I know he'll play [today]."
Vindicator staff/wire reports


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