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Lynx End Sparks Season

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Defending Champion Douse Sparks Title Hopes

By Robert Attical and Gary Montgomery
BVN Staff

Staples Center - Sparks General Manager, Penny Toller won’t agree right now but by all measures her 2012 squad had a successful campaign. Tempered by the immediate pain of playoff elimination she would likely disagree with this assertion.

After finishing in near the bottom last season and sitting out the 2012 playoff, Toller did what she has became known for─ going out and finding more building blocks for her team.

Toller struck gold, hiring first time head coach Carol Ross from the Atlanta Dream. Upon arrival, Ross immediately installed a new defensive attitude to a team that was 15-19 and gave up over 80 points per game to opponents a year ago.

At the center of it all she drafted Stanford senior sensation Nneka Oguwmike to anchor the defense and take some of the work load away from Candace which showed up big time in her season numbers.

Parker averaged just over 17-points per game and finished second in MVP balloting behind Connecticut’s Tina Charles.

Still hurting from their 80-79 loss to the Lynx, a visibly upset Parker left the court with her jersey pulled over her face. LA lost the first game of the series in Minnesota by 16 points but seemed to have control of this one deep into the fourth quarter until a barrage of 3 pointers from Maya Moore brought the Lynx storming back.

When the pain resides, the Sparks will realize that the series was lost two days earlier when a veteran Seattle Storm team came within one shot of upsetting the defending champions -- the one break LA needed.

If Seattle could have pulled off the upset, LA would have owned home court advantage for the Western Conference Finals something the Sparks could have desperately used.

Although Candace is in her 5th season as a professional and DeLisha Milton-Jones is 38 years old the Sparks are a relatively inexperienced team but with championship talent. The Sparks owned Seattle this season, beating the Storm all five times the teams met this season and could have easily made it seven.

Parker played all 40 minutes ─ scored 33 points and pulled down 15 rebounds giving just about as much as any player could be expected to give. But in the final minutes LA needed Candace on more time but couldn’t get her the ball for the final shot.

With 1:31 remaining Parker hit a two-point basket to put LA ahead 79-77 ignited the crowd and seemingly sealed the win. But the Lynx’s Monica Wright came right back with a 3-point basket after LA missed a defensive assignment. The two teams then exchanged empty possessions until Khristi Toliver grabbed a defensive rebound with 0.6 seconds left and quickly called time out.

The Sparks setup a play for Candace but botched the execution leaving Alana Beard to take a desperation jumper that feel short and ended LA’s season.

The Lynx will move on to the WNBA Finals in pursuit of their second straight title against either Indiana or Connecticut.

G. Montgomery can be reached at sports@blackvoicenews.com

Harlem Globetrotters Let Fans Determine Rules of the Game In Ontario

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2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour brings unprecedented fan participation to Citizens Business Bank Arena

PHOENIX – Known as innovators of the game of basketball for decades, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters are again introducing something unparalleled in the history of sports and family entertainment, taking kid participation and fun to a whole new level when the Globetrotters come to Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, at 2:00 p.m.

For the first time ever, during the Globetrotters’ 2013 “You Write the Rules” World Tour, your family’s smiles will begin before you even get to the show. Fans will decide the rules for the game that could affect the final outcome. This could be anything from playing with two basketballs at once, to getting double the points for each basket made.

Go online with your kids to www.harlemglobetrotters.com to vote for which ground-breaking rule you want to see implemented in the game. Then, get your tickets, and see the winning rules in live action at the Globetrotters’ world championship game.

Tickets, starting at $17.00, are on sale now at www.harlemglobetrotters.com, www.axs.com, the Citizens Business Bank Arena box office, or by phone at 888-929-7849. Information on group and scout tickets can also be found at www.harlemglobetrotters.com.

Before the game, take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with your family where you get to actually spend time on the court with the Globetrotters one-on-one – shooting, trying out ball tricks, autographs and photos. The unique 30-minute pre-show, “Magic Pass,” will create memories of a lifetime.# After virtually every game, Globetrotter stars remain on the court for autographs and photographs with fans.*

This year's Globetrotters roster features stars such as Special K Daley and Flight Time Lang. They will join many other fan favorites, including 7-foot-8 Tiny Sturgess (the Guinness World Record holder as the World’s Tallest Professional Basketball Player), 5-foot-2 Too Tall Hall (the shortest Globetrotter ever), and female star T-Time Brawner.

The North American leg of the 2013 “Your Write the Rules” World Tour will tip-off on December 26, 2012, and will run through April 2013. The team will play over 270 games in nearly 240 cities in 45 states and nine Canadian provinces.

Beach Volleyball Champions Crowned

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By Jon D. Gaede
BVN Sports

Huntington Beach – Less than one month after the London games, top teams competed in the Cuervo Beach Volleyball Championships at Huntington Beach.

Cuervo’s association with the beach game can be traced back to 1979 when they became the initial sponsor of professional beach volleyball.

During the 1980’s, the “Cuervo Gold Crown” events were considered the pinnacle of the sport. These events were nationally televised which eventually led to the sport’s legitimacy and the adoption of beach volleyball into the competition at the Olympic games.

The seven city summer tour culminated at Huntington Beach for the Cuervo National Championships for men and women. Up for grabs, the championship and a piece of the $150,000 in prize money.

On the women’s side, the team of Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik have reached the finals at eleven tournaments over two years. With momentum and intensity, Kropp and Pavlik dominated the field at Huntington. In the final, they took Lauren Finbeck and Rachel Scott in straight sets 21-14 and 21-18.

For the men, the most successful team this year has been the duo of John Hyden and Sean Scott. They won at Manhattan Beach for the second consecutive year and were top seeded at Huntington.

In Sunday’s final, Scott and Hyden drew 2012 Olympians Sean Rosenthal and Jake Gibb, playing their final match as a team. The first set went to Hyden and Scott 21-15. The second set featured several great digs and long rallies, but Rosenthal and Gibb came up short, losing the final 21-12. Hyden and Scott win for the 5th time in 2012.

The well attended event is sure to grow next year. Free to fans, Cuervo completes another successful year on the beach. 2013 promises to be bigger and better as professional beach volleyball grows in popularity, once again.

WNBA Playoffs

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Sparks Take Next Step

By Gary Montgomery

BVN Staff

Commentary The Los Angeles Sparks finished a two game sweep over the San Antonio Silver Stars 101 to 93 on Saturday and are now awaiting the winner of the series between the Minnesota Lynx the league’s reigning champs and the Seattle Storm, the 2010 season’s champion. The Storm forced a series deciding third game on Tuesday in Minnesota after winning a double overtime thriller in Seattle on Saturday. LA, the Western conference’s second seed behind Minnesota is playing its best basketball in years. LA’s leading scorer is point guard Kristi Tolliver at 17.5 points per game. Tolliver, the WNBA’s most improved player this season has taken off under the tutelage of first year head coach Carol Ross.

Right on Tolliver heels, all everything Candace Parker is averaging a distant 17.4 points per game and is a leading candidate for WNBA Player of the Year honors. In two playoff games, Parker and Tolliver have raised their averages to 28 and 26 points per game respectively.

If the Sparks win the WNBA championship you can bet Parker will hoist two trophies. Parker has turned in the kind of performance this season that everyone has been waiting for since her arrival in the league 4 years ago. But before collecting their gold, there is a huge challenge ahead. LA will play the winner of Tuesday’s Minnesota Malay.

Both teams represent different but significant challenges for the Sparks. Seattle dismissed LA from playoff contention in the first round two years ago. Led by a group of crafty veterans, Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and Tina Thompson off the bench could give the Sparks a lot of trouble. The Lynx, led by Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen have been the league’s best team for the last two seasons. LA beat the Lynx on September 27th in a season ending blow out at Staples that the the Lynx will likely not forget.

Minnesota, with it’s a allstar cast or Seattle with its experienced veterans both present a real test for the young Sparks team. A matchup with Seattle would give the Sparks home court advantage. In the shortened WNBA playoff formats home court advantage is big. The Sparks probably won’t say it but my guess is they are rooting for Seattle. If LA plays Seattle game 1 will be at Staples Center on Thursday October 4th. If the Lynx prevail, LA will travel to Minnesota for game 1 on Sunday October 7th. G. Montgomery can be reached at HYPERLINK "mailto:sports@blackvoicenews.com"sports@blackvoicenews.com

Photo by Robert Attical, BVN Staff TOO LATE – Candace Parker rises above a defender during one of the season’s final games. Parker averaged 17.4 PPG this season and is a candidate for the league’s most valuable player honors. Photo by Robert Attical, BVN Staff YOU CAN’T SEE ME – LA’s point guard sensation Kristi Tolliver slashes past a defender during a game earlier in the season. Tolliver was voted the League’s Most Improved Players this season. Tolliver averaged 17.5 point per game this season.

Oregon State Beats UCLA


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By Steve Finley

The Oregon Ducks are not the only good college football team in the State of Oregon. Just ask the UCLA Bruins.

The Oregon State Beavers came into the Rose Bowl on Saturday and beat the Bruins 27-20. The Beavers out-played the Bruins in every phase of the game. UCLA is now 3-1 and Oregon State is 2-0."Our hats are off to Oregon State," said UCLA head coach Jim Mora. "They are a very good football team. We had three wins, now we got knocked back a little with this loss, so this should be a great lesson for our team. We will come back ready to go next week.

"The Bruins will need to be ready next week when they travel to Colorado to take on the Buffaloes who recorded their first victory of the year over Washington State on Saturday.

UCLA will need to find their running game if they expect to pull off a victory in Colorado. Oregon State held the Bruins to a season low 72 yards on 28 carries and held Jonathan Franklin, the nation’s leading rusher (180.3 yards per game) to 45 yards on 12 carries.

UCLA's passing game continues to thrive under freshman quarterback Brett Hundley. Hundley completed 27 of 42 passes for 372 yards and one touchdown. "We left a lot of points on the field," said Hundley. "This loss is not going to kill our season."

Another bright spot for the Bruins in the loss to the Beavers was the play of wide receiver Shaquelle Evans. Evans caught six passes for 148 yards including an electrifying 65 yard touchdown. Oregon State hit Evans hard all day, even knocking his helmet off on one play but Evans kept coming back. "He is a tough player," said Mora. The Bruins' game against Colorado is set for 3 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 29) and will be aired on the Pac-12.

Network Steve Finley is a former Daily Bruin staff writer and contributor to the Black Voice News –Steve can be reached at HYPERLINK "mailto:sfinley50@aol.com" sfinley50@aol.com

Photo by Robert Attical – BVN Staff Shaq Attack – UCLA’s junior wide receiver Shaq Evans is brought down by an OSU defender was the Bruin’s brightest star on Saturday. Evans had 6 catches for 148-yards, including a 65-yard touchdown run. UCLA’s 27-20 loss to the Beavers was their first loss of the season.

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