Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, January 09, 2003

Ninilchik sweeps Homer Christian

The Ninilchik boys and girls basketball teams opened up their season Tuesday with a sweep of Homer Christian.

The Ninilchik girls topped the Knights 63-12. Whitney Leman paced Ninilchik with 34 points.

In the boys game, the Knights kept it close until the fourth quarter before losing 61-43.


Ninilchik 19 16 17 11 --63

Homer Christian 8 2 0 2 --12

NINILCHIK (63) -- Peterson 0 2-2 2, Ka. Moerlein 1 1-2 3, Leman 15 1-2 34, Wolford 0 0-0 0, Matson 2 4-6 8, Ke. Moerlein 2 0-0 4, Wood 3 0-0 6, George 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Deiman 3 0-0 6, McKee 0 0-0 0, Dawson 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 24 8-12 63.

HOMER COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN (12) -- Collenberg 0 0-0 0, Haakenson 0 0-0 0, Seymour 1 0-0 2, Keim 1 0-0 2, Case 4 0-0 8, Walker 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 6 0-0 12.

3-point goals -- Ninilchik 3 (Leman 3); Homer Community Christian 0. Total fouls -- Ninilchik 5, Homer Community Christian 4. Fouled out -- none.


Ninilchik 9 15 15 22 --61

Homer Christian 7 10 11 15 --43

NINILCHIK (61) -- Kruzick 2 3 0-0 6, Miller 4 2-2 11, Schollenberg 2 2-4 6, Loggins 4 3-3 11, D. Hatfield 2 2-3 6, C. Hatfield 8 0-0 16, Russo 1 1-2 3. Totals -- 21 10-14 61.

HOMER CHRISTIAN (43) -- Halpin 4 2-2 11, Ellert 2 3-6 8, P. Resetarits 5 1-2 12, Arndt 2 3-4 7, Seymour 2 0-0 5. Totals -- 15 9-16 43.

3-point goals -- Ninilchik 1 (Miller); Homer Christian 4 (Halpin, Ellert, P. Resetarits, Seymour). Total fouls -- Ninilchik 23, Homer Christian 16. Fouled out -- Seymour.

Tagliabue implements changes in officiating

NEW YORK -- The NFL implemented several officiating changes Wednesday, including the positioning of officials on field-goal attempts to avoid future foul-ups like the one at the end of the Giants-49ers playoff game.

Under the new policy, initiated by commissioner Paul Tagliabue, the seven field officials will be realigned so they can better see what happens in the event of a fake field goal or a botched attempt, like the one at the end of last Sunday's game, won by the 49ers 39-38.

The new policy will begin with this weekend's four playoff games.

In addition, the new policy calls for the field officials to confer on controversial game-deciding calls at the end of games instead of just the referee and the other officials who made the call.

However, the officials involved in Sunday's botched call are unlikely to be disciplined beyond bad grades that will keep them from working the Super Bowl this season, according to a source within the league who requested anonymity.

Senators miss paycheck but surge to top of NHL

NEW YORK -- For the past week, the Ottawa Senators played the way they did when they were kids: skating hard, scoring plenty and not thinking about the money.

Of course, they didn't get paid.

The team with the most victories in the NHL through Tuesday is also the most financially troubled. The Senators didn't hand out paychecks on New Year's Day.

Sure, they weren't thrilled when the envelopes that should have held checks merely contained a letter explaining that they wouldn't be paid that day because of financing problems.

But they were assured that they would soon get their money -- though they still hadn't as of Tuesday -- and that point was reinforced when owner Rod Bryden met with his players before a game last week.

The players are getting their standard meal money on road trips: $80 a day.

They trust Bryden and keep going out and winning for him, even as reports surfaced that the team would file for bankruptcy.

''Everybody seems to be focused on the game,'' leading scorer Marian Hossa said after his two goals led a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Monday. ''Nobody is focused on the money issue, which is really good. We're going to get our money back and everything is going to be fine.''

The Senators missed the payroll payment after a $234 million financing plan fell apart. That deal would have injected $42 million to cover operating expenses -- including the missed salaries -- and payments to keep its loans current.

Even though the team has drawn well and has a comparatively modest payroll, debts estimated at $160 million have made it impossible for the Senators to make money.

''We've still got enough sticks around, and there's hot water coming out of the taps, and the lights are on in the dressing room,'' defenseman Wade Redden said. ''You joke about it, but we're all confident that (Bryden has) it under control.''

Bryden has been looking for short-term financing to keep the team going. He met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to come up with a plan. Bettman said he hoped financing could be arranged and finalized this week.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings are the only franchises in the four major pro sports leagues to file for federal bankruptcy protection in the last 29 years. Pittsburgh did it in 1974 and 1998, with the second filing leading to Mario Lemieux's taking over the club. Los Angeles filed for bankruptcy in 1995 to allow the purchase of the team to proceed.

''You've got to learn to put those things aside,'' Senators coach Jacques Martin said. ''First of all, the players' contracts are all guaranteed, so it's a matter of time. Our players have been good as far as keeping their focus and looking at the task at hand.''

In this day when the impression is that professional sports is all about the money, this young bunch of Senators -- playing in a small market that seems to be the perfect size for them -- is succeeding with a payroll that is just $31 million.

Compare that to the Rangers, a last-place team despite a payroll above $70 million.

''Some teams have lots of money and spend more money,'' Redden said. ''But a small-market team, we need everybody going together. It's a different attitude, maybe.

''We have a really good system going here, and that's the difference for us.''

The Senators entered Wednesday's opener of a three-game trip to Western Canada with 25 wins and an Eastern Conference-best 56 points.

''All we can control is what we do on the ice,'' forward Daniel Alfredsson said. ''Everything is not perfect all the time. You've got to deal with adversity, and that's what we're doing. I like what we have here and where we're going.''

But the team has $375 million of debt -- including losses from its home arena.

''We're not focusing on it at all really,'' defenseman Curtis Leschyshyn said. ''Our focus is to play hockey games, and that's what we're doing.''

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