Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Heat Step On Raptors In Game 1

     The Miami Heat began the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a 102-96 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night. It was the first ever playoff meeting between both clubs. The Heat snapped an eight-game losing streak in Game 1 road games.
     Miami fell off the pace early and ended the first strong as they were tied with Toronto 18-18 after one quarter. The Raptors came up with a 15-5 spurt late in the second quarter and led the Heat 43-41 at halftime.
     The Heat bounced back and got ahead 68-63 after three quarters. Miami had an 89-83 with 19.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter and they were unable to hold it. Kyle Lowry hit a half-court three-point shot for Toronto with no time left in regulation to make it 90-90 and sent it into overtime. Miami scored the first eight points in overtime, held the Raptors scoreless for almost four minutes and pulled away with the win.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Rowdies Outlast Strikers

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers remained winless as they lost to the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 on Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium. It was the first time that the Rowdies won in South Florida since April 2013.
     Tampa Bay(2-2-1) got the only goal of the game during the 78th minute when Neil Collins scored and Eric Avila assisted on the play. Fort Lauderdale(0-2-2) remained tied for last place in the NASL with two points.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Heat Win Game 7 Over Hornets

     The Miami Heat finished off the Charlotte Hornets with a 106-73 victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday at American Airlines Arena. They will travel north and face the Toronto Raptors in the next round on Tuesday.
     Miami came up strong in the first quarter and stayed ahead 29-18 after one quarter. Both teams played even throughout the second quarter and Charlotte trailed 54-42 at halftime.    
     The Heat went on a 20-4 run at the beginning of the second half and were up 74-46 with 5:27 left in the third. They extended their margin to 30 points at the end of three quarters and led 83-53 as they outscored the Hornets 29-11 in the period.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Local Players Picked In NFL Draft

     Several local players who either played high school or college football in South Florida were picked at the 2016 NFL Draft held in Chicago over this past weekend. There was not a bevy of players with local roots as there had been in previous years.
     The first round on Thursday night saw former St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders and Ohio State University defensive end Joey Bosa selected third overall by the San Diego Chargers. He captured two FHSAA Class 7A state titles with STA in 2010 and 2012 along with one national championship with the Buckeyes in 2014. The University of Miami had one player selected as cornerback Artie Burns went to the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 25th overall pick.
     The second and third rounds of the NFL Draft on Friday night had just one local player selected. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett was picked in the third round as the 91st overall pick by the New England Patriots. Brissett played high school football with the Dwyer Panthers and helped them capture their first FHSAA state tile in 2009 with the Class 4A crown. He began with the University of Florida for two years then transferred to North Carolina State where he participated in his final two years.
     Saturday saw more local talent taken in the final four rounds. University of Miami Hurricanes strong safety Deon Bush was selected in the fourth round and 124th overall by the Chicago Bears. He played for Christopher Columbus and helped them get to a FHSAA Class 8A state semifinal in 2011. An overlooked local player who was also picked in the fourth round was former Blanche Ely Tigers and LSU Tigers defensive back Rashard Robinson by the San Francisco 49ers as the 133rd overall pick.
     The fifth round brought another local talent selected as the Seattle Seahawks got running back Alex Collins as the 171st overall pick. Collins played with the South Plantation Paladins then attended the University of Arkansas for three years.
     Quarterback Jake Rudock was taken in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions as the 191st overall pick. Rudock was at St. Thomas Aquinas where he led the Raiders to two FHSAA state championships and two national high school championships in 2008 and 2010. He went to the University of Iowa for four years with the Hawkeyes and then transferred to the University of Michigan for his final year of college football in 2015.

Marlins Knock Off Brewers

     The Miami Marlins extended their winning streak to six games with a 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park. The Marlins now have a  6-2 record on their current ten-game road trip which included their first sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
     Miami(11-11) starting pitcher Adam Conley pitched a no-hitter through 7 2/3 innings before he was pulled from the game due to a high pitch count. He had thrown 116 pitches against Milwaukee(8-14).

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hornets Slip By Heat In Game 5

     The Miami Heat were stopped by the Charlotte Hornets 90-88 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena in Game 5. Miami trail the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals three games to two and can be eliminated from the NBA Playoffs on Friday in Charlotte.
     The Hornets were down 14-5 at the start of the game then scored 14 unanswered points to go up 20-14 with 4:20 left and led 28-25 after one quarter. Charlotte grew their margin to double digits midway through the second quarter 40-28 on a 15-3 spurt and stayed ahead 49-47 at halftime.
     The Heat outscored Charlotte 24-16 in the third and were up 71-65 after three quarters. The Hornets cut at the deficit during the fourth quarter as they outscored Miami 25-17 in the final frame.
Charlotte regained the lead 90-87 with 25 seconds left when Courtney Lee made a three-point shot.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Andrea Ocampo Leaves Florida Panthers

     Florida Panthers game operations arena host Andrea Ocampo spent her last day as part of the organization on Tuesday when the team had their final interviews with the media at BB&T Center in Sunrise. Ocampo announced earlier this month that she was joining NXT, a part of World Wrestling Entertainment, as a ring announcer and interviewer in Orlando.
     Ocampo has worked for the Panthers over the past four years making announcements to people in attendance at Panthers home games during commercial breaks and intermissions. She had shared the position with several people for the first couple of seasons and worked solo in the 2015-16 season. Ocampo has appeared as a guest on several local radio and television stations speaking both English and Spanish languages. She was also the game operations stadium host for Florida Atlantic University football games in Boca Raton.