Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Twins to put on reunion game

Former Twins American Legion baseball players are invited to play in an Old Timers Game July 30 at 6 p.m. Those interested should call Lance Coz at 283-6101 and leave phone contact information.

KPSC takes two titles in Fairbanks

The Kenai Peninsula Soccer Club sent 12 teams to Fairbanks for the 2003 Midnight Sun Soccer Tournament from June 20 to 22, with six teams advancing to the semifinals, four teams advancing to championship matches and two teams taking No. 1 spots.

The two teams to take championships were the girls Under-12 Riverhawks and the boys Under-12 Spitfire.

The Riverhawks overpowered the Northern Lights Soccer Club Celtics 5-0 in the semifinals. In the championship, the Riverhawks ended regulation play tied 0-0 against the Eclipse. Karen Senette scored the winning goal 8 1/2 minutes into the first overtime. Out of the last 11 tournament games, the Riverhawks have only been scored on three times and have scored 35 goals.

The Spitfire won the tournament with a 5-1 record. The Spitfire topped the Phoenix 5-1 in the semifinals, then topped Flaming Lizards White 3-0 in the championship game. The Lizards coach said it was the first time the Lizards had been defeated in six tournaments.

Two KPSC teams finished second the girls Under-14 Renegades and the boys Under-15 Raptors. The Raptors had a 4-1 record at the tournament.

The Renegades won the semifinals in a sudden-death shoot-out, then lost the championship game 4-0. The tournament MVP for the Renegades was goalie Kyle Steward.

KPSC also got third-place finishes from the girls Under-16 Pyros, the boys Under-13 Riverhounds and the boys Under-19 United. For the United, goalie Matt Stalnik took the Scott Wheat Memorial Top Stopper Award.

Also from KPSC, the girls Under-13 Conquest finished 2-2, the girls Under-15 Avalanche finished 0-3, the boys Under-11 Flaming Hot Dogs finished 1-3, the boys Under-14 Eagles finished 0-3 and the boys Under-16 Fusion finished 0-2-1.

Agent: Duncan to sign long-term deal with Spurs

SAN ANTONIO San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan plans to sign a long-term deal with the 2003 NBA champions, his agent said Monday.

Duncan, the league's MVP the last two seasons, decided not to exercise a player option in his current four-year contract, meaning he will become a free agent. But that doesn't mean the 7-foot forward is thinking about going anywhere else.

''He will enter into discussions with the Spurs as soon as he is able to,'' Lon Babby, Duncan's agent, said. ''Tim intends to re-sign with the Spurs once the details of a long-term deal can be finalized.''

Grunfeld hired by Wizards

WASHINGTON Ernie Grunfeld was hired as president of basketball operations of the Washington Wizards on Monday, taking the job that Michael Jordan held the last two seasons.

The hiring came a day after Grunfeld was released from his contract as general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks. He inherits a team that went 37-45 in the two years Jordan held that position while playing his final two years in the NBA.

Washington owner Abe Pollin decided he no longer wanted Jordan as an executive.

Grunfeld is the final piece of Washington's front-office puzzle. Two weeks ago Pollin hired Eddie Jordan to replace Doug Collins, who had been Michael Jordan's hand-picked choice as coach.

The Wizards on Monday also introduced their two draft selections Jarvis Hayes of Georgia and Steve Blake of Maryland.

''From my standpoint, those of you that have said that Mr. Pollin is over-the-hill, incompetent and doesn't know what he's doing,'' Pollin said. ''I think we proved that we still know what we're doing and we got what we wanted.''

Pollin had said he hoped to have a new president of basketball operations by the night of the June 26 draft. However, draft duties were handled by outgoing general manager Wes Unseld.

''I told you that I was going to get the best brain in basketball to be the president of basketball operations that I could get,'' Pollin said. ''It's been somewhat of a longer process than I thought at times aggravating. But I didn't give up because I got the guy I wanted.''

Grunfeld, who assembled three playoff teams during four seasons with the Bucks, has little time to get adjusted. Tuesday is the first day teams can begin to talk with free agents.

''I haven't even seen my office yet,'' Grunfeld said. ''So once we get that out of the way we'll start moving along.''

The Wizards haven't made the playoffs since 1997 and haven't won a playoff series since 1982.

Despite drafting Blake, the search for a point guard is the top priority for Washington in the free agent market.

''We have Jared (Jeffries), Kwame (Brown) and those guys have a year or two under their belt,'' Eddie Jordan said. ''We've got some veterans. The youthfulness and inexperience is out now. You can't use that anymore.''

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