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SPORTS digest

Monday, January 2, 2017

South Range-Mooney game rescheduled

YOUNGSTOWN

Saturday’s South Range-Cardinal Mooney girls basketball game has been rescheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The game was changed to not conflict with Saturday’s Youngstown State football game.

Illinois edges OSU

CHAMAPAIGN, Ill.

Malcolm Hill was placed into a familiar position at the end of Illinois’ 75-70 win over Ohio State.

With five seconds left on the shot clock, Hill received the inbound pass and drove to his left for a layup to give the Illini a 71-67 lead with 55-seconds left. A Tracy Abrams rebound and free throws from himself and Jalen Coleman-Lands sealed the thriller for the Illini.

The Illinois bench out-scored Ohio State’s 25-9, led by big men Michael Finke and Maverick Morgan with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

JaQuan Lyle led Ohio State (10-4, 0-1 Big Ten) with 26 points, 18 of which came in the second half.

Vick returns to Georgia Dome

ATLANTA

Michael Vick made a triumphant return to the Georgia Dome on Sunday, riding onto the field in a convertible to a raucous ovation that made it clear Atlanta Falcons have forgiven their former franchise quarterback.

Despite an online campaign calling for the Falcons to revoke their invitation over a dogfighting case that sent Vick to prison for nearly two years, he received by far the loudest ovation from the sellout crowd of 70,835 during a ceremony honoring the final regular-season game at the team’s home of 25 years.

“There are a lot of people who forgave me,” Vick said before the game. “It gives me another opportunity to show a different side of myself. I’m just thankful I have a lot of supporters.”

Bettman says Olympics remain unlikely

TORONTO

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr offered competing visions Sunday on the likelihood that NHL players will attend the next Winter Olympics.

Speaking ahead of the Centennial Classic, Bettman reiterated that NHL owners were reluctant to return for a sixth consecutive Olympics. Fehr, on the other hand, said he was “more optimistic now than I ever have been” that players would go to South Korea in 2018.

Fehr said he was confident that a deal would be reached with the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee that would allow for that possibility.

Bettman, however, said there was nothing new to report from early December when the NHL’s Board of Governors met in Palm Beach, Florida, and voiced “strong negative sentiment” to the Pyeongchang Games, citing the challenges of a season shutdown, the lack of tangible benefit to the league and the IOC’s resistance to covering out-of-pocket payments for players to attend.

Bettman said it wasn’t just the risk of injury at the Olympics, but the effects a compressed NHL schedule has on the league and its players. Even the newly added break for NHL clubs during the regular season is causing concerns among players, he said, because it further tightens the schedule.

Thomas’ TD receptions lead Team Armour

ORLANDO, FLA.

Wide receiver Jeff Thomas caught two touchdowns to lead Team Armour to a 24-21 victory over Team Highlight on Sunday in the Under Armour All-America Game at Camping World Stadium.

Thomas, an uncommitted prospect from East St. Louis, Illinois, had touchdown receptions of 44 and 79 yards. His 148 receiving yards set a game record and he is the first to have two receiving touchdowns in the 10-year history of the game.

His 79-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Avery Davis, a Notre Dame commit from Cedar Hills, Texas, capped off a run of 17 straight points that made it 24-10 in the third quarter.

Staff/wire report