The Aliquippa girls face off against Ellis School on Beaver County Radio tonight at 6:30 from Fox Chapel. Pregame on the air and on TribLive is at 6:00. Local area teams below are listed in boldface.
GIRLS (All games in Class 2A)
Aliquippa vs. Ellis School [at Fox Chapel]
South Side Beaver vs. Riverview [at Hampton]
Sto-Rox vs. Serra Catholic [at Peters Twp.]
Winchester-Thurston vs. Frazier [at Charleroi]
Laurel vs. Chartiers-Houston [at Mt. Lebanon]
OLSH vs. Burgettstown [at Peters Twp.]
BOYS (All games in Class 1A)
Leechburg vs. Bishop Canevin [at Fox Chapel]
Union vs. Clairton [at Hampton]
Geibel Catholic vs. Greensburg Central Catholic [at Charleroi]
St. Joseph vs. West Greene [at Mt. Lebanon]
Crosby, Penguins trip up McDavid, Oilers 3-1
By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The NHL’s most electric playmaker swooping in on him and his team’s one-goal lead very much in doubt, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray did something that’s kind of tough when Edmonton’s Connor McDavid has the puck dangling on his stick and the game in the balance.
Murray waited. He figures he didn’t really have a choice.
“He’s got 100 different moves in his arsenal,” Murray said.
This time, though, McDavid could have used 101. Murray made an acrobatic stop with his glove hand on McDavid’s penalty shot late in the second period to keep Pittsburgh in front and the Penguins beat the reeling Oilers 3-1 on Wednesday night.
McDavid earned the chance after getting pulled down by Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel on a breakaway. McDavid walked in on Murray slowly from the left before making his way across the crease. The delayed wrist shot from the player Murray called “the best in the world” ended up not in the net but in Murray’s awaiting glove.
“I think maybe he knew I was going to do it,” McDavid said. “So, got to find something new.”
The stop was the flashiest of Murray’s 38 saves, and the one most critical to helping the Pittsburgh win consecutive games for just the second time in five weeks as it tries to stay in the middle of the crowded Eastern Conference playoff chase.
“That’s a big turning point,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “If that goes in late in the period like that, it’s a big shift in momentum.”
Instead, the Penguins remained unbeaten (6-0) against the Oilers when both Crosby and McDavid are on the ice. Bryan Rust, Teddy Blueger and Jared McCann all scored as Pittsburgh picked up two vital points despite playing without suspended center Evgeni Malkin, forced to sit while serving a one-game suspension for an illegal high stick. Crosby finished with one assist and spent large portions of the night going head to head with the 22-year-old McDavid.
“It’s a great challenge,” the 31-year-old Crosby said. “He’s pretty tough to defend. A lot of times you can be in good spots and good positionally but with his speed if you’re even you’re probably in trouble.”
McDavid picked up an assist on Leon Draisaitl’s first-period goal but was otherwise held in check. Mikko Koskinen stopped 31 shots for the Oilers but couldn’t stop Edmonton from falling for the eighth time in nine games.
“We had a bunch of chances to tie it,” McDavid said. “I have to bear down on a couple. Credit to them. They had that four-minute stretch where they scored two and held on.”
The second meeting of the season between two of the game’s generational talents the electricity of the first — when McDavid and Crosby both scored, with Crosby getting the winner in overtime back on Oct. 23 — but with considerably higher stakes, at least for Pittsburgh.
The Penguins entered play with a tenuous one-point lead over Carolina for the second wild card in the East. Though Pittsburgh rode a career-high 50 saves from Murray in a one-sided road victory in Philadelphia on Monday, it also continued a pattern of one step forward, one step back.
Defenseman Olli Maatta went down in the first period with an upper-body injury that will sideline him indefinitely and the NHL ordered Malkin to sit out as penance after Malkin flung his stick wildly at Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl late in the third period, forcing Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan to get creative in an effort keep his team’s fragile surge going. He moved Nick Bjugstad to center the second line and reshuffled the defensive pairings, including giving Chad Ruhwedel his first appearance since Nov. 19.
It led to a bit of a sluggish start, and McDavid wasted little time taking advantage as the Penguins tried to find their footing. He got a pass in front of the Pittsburgh bench from Oscar Klefbom to spark a 2-on-1 and slid a pass over to Draisaitl that beat Murray 4:45 into the game for his 33rd of the season.
Rust gave the Penguins a needed spark early in the second period when he put together a dazzling short-handed shift with Matt Cullen that ended with Rust creeping out from behind the Edmonton net and stuffing a puck past Koskinen at 2:35.
Blueger put Pittsburgh in front at 6:10 when Kris Letang banked a pass off the side of the Edmonton net that landed on the rookie’s stick. Blueger ripped it by Koskinen for his third goal in seven career games.
McDavid used his speed to split Letang and Guentzel, earning a penalty shot for his efforts with 2:35 left in the second.
NOTES: Edmonton went 0 for 2 on the power play. The Penguins were 0 for 1. … Rust’s goal gave the Penguins nine this season with a man down.
Oilers: At Carolina on Friday night.
Penguins: Host Calgary on Saturday.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
3rd Period Goals:
Jared McCann (19:00)
Want to know who you favorite team plays in the playoffs if they qualified. Check out the brackets below.
Steelers’ Brown convicted of summary reckless driving count
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was convicted of a summary count of reckless driving after failure to appear for a hearing.
Police said Brown was pulled over after traveling over 100 mph in a 45-mph zone in November in Ross Township, hours before the team’s game against the Carolina Panthers. He earlier paid a $426.77 fine.
Brown was represented in Tuesday’s proceeding in Allegheny County Magisterial District Court by attorney James Hankle, who declined to say where his client was or otherwise comment. The summary reckless driving conviction carries a $200 fine.
Brown, the only player in NFL history with six consecutive seasons of at least 100 receptions, has three years remaining on his current contract but has indicated on social media that he’d prefer to play elsewhere.
Freedom 62, Western Beaver 45
OLSH 85, New Brighton 53
Erie 63, Lincoln Park 53
Quaker Valley 75, Summit Academy 42
Highlands 66, Beaver 50
Peters Township 60, Central Valley 31
Riverside 67, Union 51
Pine-Richland 93, Sewickley Academy 60
Hopewell at Ellwood City
Lincoln Park 62, Freedom 58
Moon 52, South Side Beaver 45
Riverside 68, Union 42
Neshannock 64, Blackhawk 59
Central Valley 61, Mohawk 33
Mars 76, Rochester 44
Quaker Valley 50, Shady Side Academy 48
Peters Township 83, West Allegheny 49
Quigley Catholic 33, Fort Cherry 28
Avonworth 40, Sewickley Academy 39
Texans star J.J. Watt to serve as Daytona 500 grand marshal
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Houston Texans star J.J. Watt will serve as the grand marshal for the Daytona 500, making him the first NFL player to give the command for drivers to starts their engines before NASCAR’s most famous race.
Daytona International Speedway made the announcement Monday, six days before the 61st running of “The Great American Race.”
Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and well known for his charity work with the Justin J. Watt Foundation, which provides after-school opportunities for children. Following Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Watt set a goal to raise $200,000 for recovery efforts in Houston. He ended up raising more than $41 million, helping earn him the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
Country music singer Jake Owen will perform an infield concert before the race. Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. will serve as the honorary pace truck driver. The 82nd Airborne Division’s All-American Chorus will sing the national anthem.
More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Mickelson finishes off a 5th win at Pebble Beach
By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Phil Mickelson is closing in on three decades on the PGA Tour and a half-century on Earth, and he still feels his best golf is good enough.
He was at his best at Pebble Beach, and no one had a chance.
A Monday finish brought on by rain and a freak hail storm was only a minor inconvenience for the 48-year-old Mickelson. He played two holes just as well as the previous 16 and polished off his bogey-free final round with one last birdie for a 7-under 65 and a three-shot victory over Paul Casey in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Mickelson won at Pebble Beach for the fifth time, matching the record set by Mark O’Meara. He has gone 28 years since his first PGA Tour victory and his 44th, and he joined Tiger Woods as the only players to surpass $90 million in career earnings.
“It’s a lot more work and effort to play at this level,” Mickelson said. “And I have believed for some time that if I play at my best, it will be good enough to win tournaments. The challenge is getting myself to play my best. It’s a lot more work off the course, it’s more time in the gym, it’s more time eating, it’s more time focusing, it’s all these things that go into it.
“And so it’s gratifying to see the results and to finish it off the way I did.”
Making it even more special is Pebble Beach, where he made his pro debut at the U.S. Open in 1992, where he won the first of his five titles in another Monday finish in 1998, this one in August because of rain. It’s where his grandfather, Al Santos, was among the first caddies when the course opened in 1919, and Mickelson still uses as a marker the 1900 silver dollar his grandfather kept in his pocket to remind him he was not poor.
There was plenty of sunlight for the Monday morning finish, just no drama.
Mickelson, who started the final round three shots behind, never came close to a bogey and built a three-shot lead through 16 holes on Sunday night when it was too dark to finish, no matter how hard he lobbied to keep going.
The final round Sunday had been delayed at the start by one hour because of rain, and then sunshine quickly gave way to hail that covered the greens in a sheet of white and led to a two-hour delay.
Mickelson said he could “see just fine” even after sunset, knowing darkness falls quickly on the Monterey Peninsula. Casey could barely see the 3 feet of grass between his ball and the cup on the 16th hole and said there was no way to complete two holes in six minutes. Mickelson was on the 17th tee, shaking his head when he heard the siren to stop play.
On Monday morning, he had a change of heart and said he thanked Casey for standing his ground.
“Paul made the tough call, but it was the right decision in that he protected himself and myself for the competition,” Mickelson said. “I just get in my own little bubble and I don’t see the big picture.”
It worked out well in the end.
Mickelson finished at 19-under 268. Casey needed Mickelson to make a big blunder on the two closing holes, and there was little chance of that. Casey at least birdied the 18th for a 71 to finish alone in second, the difference of $152,000.
He also won the Pro-Am with Don Colleran, the chief sales officer for FedEx.
But the final day, and all week, was about the ageless Mickelson.
This was the fourth time that Casey had a 54-hole lead of at least two shots on the PGA Tour and failed to win. The other three times he was 2-over par or worse in the final round. This time, he closed with a 71 and lost to Mickelson’s 65, which matched the low score of the final round.
“A phenomenal round of golf,” Casey said.
Mickelson’s longest putt for par was 4 feet. He played the final 26 holes in cold, damp and windy weather without a bogey.
How it bodes for the rest of the year — particularly in June when the U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach — was of little concern to Mickelson. The U.S. Open remains the final piece of the career Grand Slam for Mickelson, who already holds the record with six runner-up finishes. He finished three shots behind Graeme McDowell in 2010, the last U.S. Open at Pebble.
And while the fairway lines already have been cut much tighter at Pebble, the conditions were so soft that balls plugged in the fairway when they landed and greens easily held shots even from the rough.
“It’s nothing like the course we’ll see,” Mickelson said. “I’ll deal with that in six months.”
Mickelson lives for the moment. He says he had as much fun winning at Pebble Beach as when he finished one shot behind in the Desert Classic three weeks ago.
It’s the thrill of competition. And even at 48, that never gets old.
Kyler Murray chooses NFL over baseball and A’s
By CARRIE MUSKAT, Associated Press
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray says he will pursue a career in the NFL over playing baseball for the Oakland Athletics.
Murray was the ninth overall pick in last June’s baseball amateur draft, and the outfielder agreed to a minor league contract with Oakland for a $4.66 million signing bonus. He is a football quarterback and is eligible for this year’s NFL draft, which starts April; 25.
Oakland, which started spring training workouts Monday, had a locker with a No. 73 jersey waiting for him.
“I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” Murray tweeted Monday. “Football has been my love and passion my entire life. I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100 percent of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships. I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming workouts and interviews. I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”
“Things have certainly changed since the draft,” Billy Beane, Oakland’s executive vice president of baseball operations, said before the announcement. “The situation is fluid right now and based on a historic college football season that the young man had.”
Murray’s baseball deal called for him to receive $1.5 million within 30 days of the deal’s approval last summer by Major League Baseball and $3.16 million on March 1.
Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders played both football and baseball, but Sanders was a running back and Sanders a cornerback.
“Quarterback is a very demanding position, as is being a Major League baseball player,” Beane said. “To say somebody could or couldn’t, I’m not here to say that. Something like that is something that is part of our private discussions.”
“He’s one of those rare athletes, who I think any sport that he played, he’d probably excel at,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Murray passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns for Oklahoma last season. He ran for 1,001 yards and another 12 scores, posting the second-best passer efficiency rating in FBS history.
“Obviously the fact that he would want to play quarterback, if he chooses the football route, is a little different than Deion or Bo or some of those guys,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said in November. “But he athletically is so gifted and can transition between the two.”
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Browns sign running back Kareem Hunt, on NFL exempt list
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have signed Kareem Hunt, the running back cut by Kansas City in November after a video showed him pushing and kicking a woman the previous February.
Hunt was placed on the NFL’s commissioner’s exempt list hours before the Chiefs released him. He was in his second season with Kansas City and was one of the team’s most productive players as it won the AFC West the last two years.
Hunt still could be suspended by the league under its personal conduct policy for the February incident at a hotel in Cleveland and for two others that surfaced after he was released by the Chiefs.
Cleveland general manager John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt while working for Kansas City, on Monday said the Browns “fully understand and respect the complexity of questions and issues in signing a player with Kareem’s history and do not condone his actions.”
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL