Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 FHSAA Football Title Recap

     High schools from South Florida captured four different FHSAA football titles in 2017. South Florida teams did not dominate in the FHSAA playoffs as they have in other years.
     Two Broward County schools captured state championships. American Heritage won the Class 5A title as the Patriots blasted Baker County 44-15. It was their second straight championship and the fourth crown in the last five years.
     Chaminade-Madonna won their first state championship since 2005. The Lions edged recent playoff rival and Palm Beach County school Oxbridge Academy 31-28 for the Class 3A state title.
     Two Dade County schools were victorious at Camping World Stadium in Orlando and took state titles. Miami Northwestern held off Armwood 21-16 for the Class 6A state title. It was the Bulls first state championship since they captured back-to-back state championships in 2006 and 2007.
     Champagnat Catholic reached the Class 2A state championship game. They defeated University Christian 24-7 in the title game.
     Atlantic made their first championship appearance since 1978. The Eagles fell short and lost to the Dr. Phillips Panthers 17-7 in the Class 8A state championship game.
   

South Florida Sports Review 2017

     2017 was a year where all four South Florida major professional sports franchises fell short of their goals. None of teams were able to reach the postseason for the second time in three years. The previous time that no pro teams showed up in the playoffs was in 2002.
     The Miami Dolphins finished in third place of the AFC East Division with a 6-10 record which was seven games back from the New England Patriots. The Miami Marlins ended in second place of the National League Eastern Division at 77-85 and 20 games behind the Washington Nationals.
     The Miami Heat finished ninth in the Eastern Conference at 41-41 and lost the tiebreaker with the Chicago Bulls for the final playoff spot. The Heat landed in third place for the Southeast Division. The Florida Panthers were fifth in the Atlantic Division with a 35-36-11 record and ended 14 points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final playoff spot.
     Miami FC competed in their second season of the North American Soccer League. They finished first in the NASL Spring Season and Fall Season. Miami FC had the most combined points and was placed as the first seed of the NASL Playoffs. They lost at home in the semifinal round to the New York Cosmos on penalty kicks 7-6.

Bills Outlast Dolphins

     The Miami Dolphins finished the 2017 regular season with a 22-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. The Bills made it to the NFL playoffs for the first time since 1999. It  was the longest consecutive streak for any teams in the four North American professional sports to not make the postseason.

Heat Take Magic

     The Miami Heat finished the 2017 calendar year with a 117-11 victory over the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena on Saturday night. The Heat beat their cross-state rivals the Magic for the second time in the last five days.
     Orlando(12-25) raced out to a double-digit lead 32-21 after one quarter and extended it to 66-50 by halftime. The second half would belong to Miami(18-18) as they cut down a 16-point deficit. They outscored the Magic by ten points and trailed 92-86 after three quarters. The Heat went on a 15-5 run in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter to take the eventual lead.
     The Heat were led by Tyler Johnson who had a game-high 31 points. Goran Dragic added 25 points with six assists while Kelly Olynyk poured in 17 points. Aaron Gordon contributed 39 points with seven rebounds for the Magic and Evan Fournier drained 23 points.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hurricanes Lose Orange Bowl To Wisconsin

     The Miami Hurricanes played in the 84th annual Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday night and were defeated by the Wisconsin Badgers 34-24. The Canes finished the 2017 season losing their final three games.
     Wisconsin(13-1) scored first during the opening quarter. They were able to get a 35-yard field goal from Rafael Gaglianone at 7:58 to go up 3-0.
     Miami(10-3) responded with a touchdown on their second possession of the contest at the 5:21 mark. Running back Travis Homer, an Oxbridge Academy grad, ran the ball in from five yards away for the score to give the Canes a 7-3 lead.
     The Hurricanes would get into the end zone on the second play of their third drive. Running back DeeJay Dallas took a handoff and raced for a 39-yard touchdown run with 2:49 left in the first quarter.
     In the second quarter, the Badgers cut the deficit to 14-10 at 13:37. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Danny Davis III on the right sideline.
     Wisconsin kept the momentum and regained the lead 17-14 with 5:49 remaining in the first half. Wide receiver A.J. Taylor caught a 16-yard touchdown reception from Hornibrook. The Badgers increased their lead to 24-14 with 28 seconds to go when Hornibrook found Davis on a five-yard toss.
     The Canes quickly attacked in the third quarter with a two-play drive and closed the gap to three points 24-21 at 10:52. Quarterback Malik Rosier completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lawrence Cager.
     Both teams later exchanged field goals as Gaglianone connected from 47 yards away for Wisconsin with 3:45 left in the third and Michael Badgley booted a 41-yard field goal at the 11:39 mark of the fourth.
     Hornibrook compiled his fourth touchdown pass of the contest to give the Badgers a 34-24 lead with 7:48 remaining. He passed six yards to Davis for his third touchdown reception.

Panthers Top Habs

     The Florida Panthers improved their season-best longest winning streak to five games as they disposed of the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Saturday night at BB&T Center. The Canadiens extended their losing streak to four games. It was the second straight Saturday that a Panthers home game was broadcast nationally on Hockey Night In Canada.
     After no scoring in the first period, Florida(17-16-5) put in the first goal at 4:02 of the second. Mark Pysyk fired a slap shot from the left point which was stopped by traffic in front. Connor Brickley recovered the puck in the left circle, spun and scored a snap shot by Carey Price for his fourth goal of the campaign.
     Montreal(16-19-4) surrendered another goal with 8:11 left in the third period. Brickley carried the puck across the Habs line and sent a lead pass to MacKenzie Weegar on the left wing. He connected a backhand pass across the low slot and Vincent Trocheck scored into an open net on a forehand shot for his 15th goal of the season.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Nets Pound Heat

     The Brooklyn Nets blasted the Miami Heat 111-87 on Friday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat have a quick turnaround as they travel to Orlando and face the Magic on Saturday night.
     Brooklyn(13-22) moved ahead 24-20 after one quarter and outscored the Heat 35-19 in the second to go up 59-39 at halftime. It got worse for Miami(18-17) as they were pummeled 36-21 in the third quarter and trailed 95-60.
     Joe Harris had a game-high 21 points along with seven rebounds for the Nets. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson contributed 19 points and seven rebounds while Jarrett Allen fell short of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Hassan Whiteside helped the Heat with 17 points and eight rebounds. Josh Richardson nailed 19 points for Miami while Goran Dragic dropped in 11 points.

West Palm Beach Ratings December 2017

     Sports radio stations in the West Palm Beach market saw few changes in December. ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM was able to increase their audience with the Florida Atlantic University football team which won the Boca Bowl.
     640 The Hurricane WMEN-AM was not able to hold their 0.7 rating in November and fell to 0.6 this month. Two straight losses by the University of Miami football team at the end of the season did not help matters.
     1230 The Zone WBZT-AM had barely an audience and registered a 0.0 for the fourth consecutive month. They continue to pipe in syndicated national radio with CBS Sports Radio Network.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Panthers Stop Flyers

     The Florida Panthers returned from the five-day Christmas break and handled the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at BB&T Center on Thursday night. The Panthers compiled a season-high, four-game winning streak with the victory while the Flyers now have lost three straight games.
     Philadelphia(15-14-8) committed two penalties in the first 1:15 of the contest, survived a 5-on-3 power play for 1:21 and allowed just two shots.
     Florida (16-16-5) eventually scored at 6:43 of the opening frame. Nick Bjugstad fed a pass from the neutral zone to Jared McCann. He skated into the Flyers zone and scored on a wrist shot from the high slot past Brian Elliott for his sixth tally of the year.
     In the second period, the Panthers made it 2-0 on a shorthanded goal at the 9:19 mark. Colton Sceviour carried the puck down the right-wing boards. He centered it to the middle where Derek MacKenzie put in a one-time slap shot from the slot area.
     The Cats extended the game to a three-goal margin with 6:08 left in the second. Bjugstad was on the right wing and made a short pass to Jonathan Huberdeau at the right-circle dot. He ripped a snap shot into the top portion of the cage for his 13th goal of the season.
     The Flyers broke the shutout with 7:32 remaining in the third period and cut the lead down to 3-1. Travis Konecny came into the Panthers zone and found Scott Laughton at the top right circle. He sailed a wrist shot over the left shoulder of James Reimer for his sixth goal of the campaign.
     Philadelphia pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and it worked. Claude Giroux had the puck in the left corner and moved it to Shayne Gostisbehere above the top left circle. His slap shot was deflected in by Sean Couturier in the crease area with 2:02 left in the third.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Miami Ratings December 2017

     Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM was the top sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market for the fifth straight month. Their margin of victory among the other two competitors increased during the month.
     It was the first period that WQAM and Sports Talk 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM became sister stations owned by Entercom Communications. That company merged with CBS Radio on November 17. Both stations captured 88% of the market share among sports format stations in December after they had a 92% share in the previous month with different owners.
     WQAM rose from a 1.4 to a 1.5 in the period. They tied 610 WIOD-AM in first place for the highest share of any AM radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region. No AM sports station has ever accomplished that feat. The momentum of the University of Miami Hurricanes football season in the ACC has created more listeners.
     The Ticket dropped from a 1.0 to a 0.9 in the period. The Miami Heat continue to struggle in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM pulled off a surprise as they went up from a 0.2 to a 0.3 this month. They were at a 0.2 for five consecutive months and went up during the offseason of the Miami Marlins. It has helped that they have the exclusive rights to NFL games from Westwood One in the region.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Heat Strike Magic

     The Miami Heat continued their long stretch of home games with a 107-89 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat have won three of their last four games.
     Miami(18-16) had a 21-18 lead after one quarter and fell behind Orlando(11-24) 49-43 by halftime. The Heat came back with a 16-9 spurt, tied the contest 68-68 after three quarters and outscored the Magic 39-21 in the final quarter.
     Josh Richardson put together 20 points along with seven rebounds for Miami while Wayne Ellington added 18 points and six rebounds. Kelly Olynyk compiled a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Tyler Johnson delivered 17 points and Goran Dragic dropped 14 points. Elfrid Payton led the Magic with 19 points and eight rebounds while Evan Fournier drained 14 points.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Friday Night Football Magazine Prediction Recap

     Friday Night Football Magazine came up with a FHSAA top 25 preseason list of Florida high school football programs in 2017. All of the teams selected on the list was from Class 8A to Class 3A.
     The publication had at three of their top four show up in Orlando for the FHSAA football finals with the exception of #1 St. Thomas Aquinas. They also had four of the their top 10 and six of their top 15 schools projected to make the state championship game in Orlando.
     The magazine was correct with #2 Miami Northwestern predicted to win the Class 6A title and #4 American Heritage to capture the Class 5A crown. #3 Cocoa made it to the Class 4A title game where they were upset. They were also right that #10 Armwood would participate in the Class 6A final and fall to Miami Northwestern.
      Class 7A high schools that were in the top 15 that reached Orlando for the state title game were #13 Venice and #15 Bartram Trail. Venice was projected to lose to St. Thomas Aquinas in a state semifinal, however they defeated them and captured the Class 7A title one week later. Bartram Trail was predicted to not get by #12 Lakeland or #14 Plant during the playoffs and still went to the state final.
     Others in their top 11 list fell short of a state championship game. They included #5 Carol City. #6 Lake Gibson, #7 Miami Central, #8 Trinity Christian Academy, #9 Dwyer and #11 Southridge. None of the teams from #16 to #25 in the preseason list made it to a state semifinal except #23 Naples in Class 6A.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Dolphins Eliminated By Chiefs

     The Miami Dolphins were eliminated from playoff contention as they fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 29-13 at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. The Dolphins finished their season next week when they host the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City clinched the AFC West Division and repeated as division champions for the first time in franchise history.
     The Chiefs got a 31-yard field goal from Harrison Butker at 9:45 of the first quarter. Cody Parkey matched to tie the game 3-3 for the Dolphins at 3:33 on a 44-yard field goal.
     In the second quarter, quarterback Alex Smith connected a nine-yard pass for Kansas City(9-6) in the right seam to tight end Travis Kelce for a score at the 13:04 mark. Parkey cut the lead to 10-6 with a 28-yard field goal at 8:14.
     Running back Kareem Hunt would extend the Chiefs margin to 17-6 with 3:41 left in the second on a rush up the middle from one yard out. Quarterback Jay Cutler answered back for Miami(6-9) seven seconds later on the first play of the next drive as he threw a long pass on the left hash marks to wide receiver Jakeem Grant for a 65-yard touchdown. Butker drove in a 32-yard field goal with 11 second to go in the first half to make it 20-13.
     There were no touchdowns during the second half. Butker popped a 21-yard field goal at 10:27 of the third quarter. He added a 29-yard field goal at the 12:19 mark and blasted a 49-yard field goal with 3:46 remaining in the fourth.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Pelicans Crawl By Heat

     The Miami Heat lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 109-94 at American Airlines Arena on Saturday night. The Heat, who had their two-game winning streak snapped, played for the second straight night at home.
     Miami(17-16) had a slight lead 28-27 after one quarter and trailed 54-53 by halftime. New Orleans(17-16) outscored the Heat 27-16 in the third and led 83-69 heading into the fourth quarter.
     Tyler Johnson had a game-high 20 points for Miami and Wayne Ellington contributed 13 points. Goran Dragic returned to the lineup after missing three games due to an elbow injury and dropped in 13 points. Ian Clark was the leading scorer for the Pelicans with 19 points. Anthony Davis compiled 17 points and six rebounds while DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and seven rebounds.

Panthers Shut Out Senators

     The Florida Panthers made a rare home appearance on the nationally televised Hockey Night In Canada as they blanked the Ottawa Senators 1-0 on Saturday night at BB&T Center. Florida extended their winning streak to a season-high three games while Ottawa(11-15-8) lost their third straight game.
    The club will have five days off for the Christmas break before they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. The Panthers will again appear on Hockey Night In Canada next Saturday as they host the Montreal Canadiens.
     After no scoring in the first period, Florida(15-16-5) quickly scored in the second at 1:36. Nick Bjugstad connected a cross-ice pass from the right circle to the middle. Jonathan Huberdeau snapped a shot from the left circle past Mike Condon for his 12th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. It was his third goal for the Cats in the last two games.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Heat Shake Off Mavericks

     The Miami Heat held on to stop the Dallas Mavericks 113-101 at American Airlines Arena on Friday night. The Heat began a stretch in which they play seven of the next eight games at home.
     Miami(17-15) scored the first 12 points of the contest and rumbled out to a 15-2 advantage four minutes in. They were up 32-23 after one quarter. The Mavs chipped at the deficit and both clubs were tied 53-53 at halftime. Dallas(9-24) were outscored 29-20 in the third quarter and trailed 82-73. The Heat, who have won six of their last eight games, pulled away in the fourth.
     The Heat got 28 points from Wayne Ellington and 24 points from Dion Waiters in the victory. Tyler Johnson combined 19 points and seven rebounds while Bam Adebayo contributed 14 points along with eight rebounds. Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki dropped 20 points and Harrison Barnes also had 20. Yogi Ferrell drained in a team-high 23 points for Dallas.

Panthers Survive Wild

     The Florida Panthers came back to top the Minnesota Wild 4-2 at BB&T Center on Friday night. The Panthers returned home following a five-game road trip that lasted almost two weeks.
     Minnesota(18-14-3) scored on their first power play at 8:09 of the opening period. Ryan Suter blasted a one-time slap shot from the top of the zone off a Matt Dumba pass from the top left circle that went by James Reimer for a 1-0 lead.
     Florida(14-16-5) was able to even it up with 3:07 left in the first. The puck ringed around the end wall following an Alex Petrovic shot to Vincent Trocheck on the right-wing boards and he flicked a wrist shot on net that beat Alex Stalock for his 14th goal of the season.
     In the second period, the Wild regained the lead midway through the frame. Daniel Winnik carried the puck down to the crease area and softly shot the puck on goal. A defensive player bumped into Reimer in the blue paint and forced it into the Panthers cage at the 10:34 mark.
     The Panthers tied it two minutes into the third period. Jonathan Huberdeau went into the left circle, faked a wrist shot and then scored on a backhand shot from the low slot for his 10th goal of the season to make it 2-2.
     It was with 8:46 left in the third that Florida moved out to their first lead of the contest. Keith Yandle fired a slap shot from the left point which was stopped by traffic. Connor Brickley put in the loose puck from the low left circle for the go-ahead goal. Huberdeau got his second goal of the game as he scored into an empty net with 5.6 seconds left.

John Henry Smith III In Hartford

     Former South Florida television sportscaster John Henry Smith III has joined WVIT-TV in Hartford as a sports director and sports anchor. He recently worked as a freelance broadcaster at News 12 in New York.
     Smith, a Syracuse University grad, started as a sports reporter and sports anchor at News 14 in Raleigh from 2002 to 2004 before he moved to Miami. He arrived at WPLG-TV as a sports anchor in May 2004 and stayed there until July 2009.
     He then joined at WVUE-TV in New Orleans as a sports anchor from October 2009 to July 2011. Smith followed that with a stint as a sports anchor and sports reporter at Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area in San Francisco from July 2011 until September 2013. He worked the 2011-12 season as the sideline reporter for Golden State Warriors telecasts. Smith moved on to Al Jazeera America in Washington D.C. and was employed there as a sportscaster until early 2016.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Early National Signing Day Broward County

     Broward County high school football players had early national signing day on Wednesday. The date for signing national letters of intent was moved up from February 7 to December 20.
     St. Thomas Aquinas made a big splash as 12 players made their decisions. Defensive back Asante Samuel Jr. selected Florida State. Wide receiver Elijah Moore signed with Mississippi while defensive back Al Blades Jr. kept the family traditional and went with Miami. Defensive back Trenell Troutman heads to Louisville and linebacker Rocky Shelton moves to Duke. Other offensive standouts have wide receiver Tavares Kelly to Virginia and wide receiver Cole Caterbone to Army. Offensive linemen Jason Swann is off to Tulane and Tyler Steen to Vanderbilt while defensive lineman Dejmi Dumervil Jean decided on Louisville. Linebackers Coleman Crozier and Grayson Crozier both selected Navy.
     FHSAA Class 3A state champion Chaminade-Madonna had numerous people decide. Running back Shaun Shivers signed with Auburn while wide receiver Xavier Williams agreed with Alabama. Kentucky got wide receiver Akeem Hayes, wide receiver Marvin Alexander and lineman Davoan Hawkins from the school. Wide receiver Logan Giordano chose Eastern Michigan and offensive lineman Sebastian Sainterling went with South Florida. Others included defensive lineman Corey Prince(Wofford), defensive back Justinn Richardson(Old Dominion) and linebacker Carlton Williams(Valdosta State).
     Deerfield Beach have a share of players moving to the next level. Linebacker Rosendo Louis announced South Florida while running back Jakari Norwood picked Illinois and so did tight end Daniel Barker. Defensive back Miguel Edwards went with Oklahoma and Ashtan Pierre with Kentucky. Georgia State got wide receiver Cornelius McCoy and offensive lineman Despelado Alexandre. The FHSAA Class 5A state champion American Heritage only had linebacker Calvin Hart sign with North Carolina State.
     Blanche Ely had quarterback Yanez Rogers go to Cincinnati, defensive back Jamari Brown to Kentucky, defensive back James Harris to Bowling Green and linebacker Carlton Cleophat to Central Michigan. Bethune Cookman got wide receiver Darryl Powell and defensive lineman Desmond Pete.
     Two Dillard players move on to Kentucky with wide receiver Bryce Oliver and defensive back Stanley Gardner while their teammate running back Keyondre White goes to Akron. Cardinal Gibbons has wide receiver Carlos Sandy and defensive back Ron Hardge enter Illinois, defensive back Marquise Williams go to Pittsburgh and defensive back Maxwell Worship to Vanderbilt.
     Miramar wide receiver Terrence Horne goes to South Florida and North Broward Prep wide receiver Kevin Austin heads to Notre Dame. Other top Broward County players includes Western defensive back Teshaun Smith(North Carolina State), Western wide receiver Jordan Smith(Temple), Nova running back Shaun Peterson(FIU), Stranahan quarterback Maurquel Dillard(FIU), Hallandale defensive back Michael Nesmith(Massachusetts), Miramar quarterback Steve Williams(Central Connecticut) and Miramar defensive lineman Hansky Palliant(Appalachian State).

Early National Signing Day Palm Beach County

     It was early national signing day in Palm Beach County for high school football players on Wednesday. Students were allowed to sign national letters of intent as the date was moved to December 20 from February 7.
     Palm Beach Gardens saw defensive back/special teams returner Gurvan Hall go to Miami while defensive end Jarrett Jackson chose Louisville. Benjamin quarterback Jordan Travis will join Louisville and offensive lineman Martin Weisz signed with Virginia.
     Two Park Vista players made their decisions. Quarterback John Smith is headed to Holy Cross and wide receiver Atorian Perry goes to Wake Forest. Dwyer safety Cameron Jonas announced Syracuse while defensive back Justin Birchette selected Ohio.
     Five players from FHSAA Class 3A state finalist Oxbridge Academy decided on colleges. Wide receiver/safety V'Lique Carter heads to Pittsburgh, defensive back Keidron Smith goes to Mississippi, defensive end Romello Tarver picked Central Michigan, defensive back Jason McCleod signed with Penn and tight end Herman McCray took Georgia State.
     Several guys from south Palm Beach County also signed. Tight end Dante Lang of Boca Raton chose Florida while Atlantic defensive back Kenih Lovely agreed to Western Michigan.
     Two of the top local offensive lineman made their announcements. Jorden Ogle of Palm Beach Gardens heads to Massachusetts and Jordan Earle of Forest Hill goes to Appalachian State.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Heat Upset Celtics

     The Miami Heat surprised the Boston Celtics 90-89 at TD Garden on Wednesday night. The Heat have been victorious in five of their last seven games. The Celtics entered the contest with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
     Boston(26-8) rolled out to a 24-15 lead after one quarter and were up 44-36 at halftime. Miami(16-15) charged out in the second half with a 23-12 spurt, moved ahead 62-59 after three quarters and held off the C's in the fourth.
     Kelly Olynyk burned his former team with a team-high 32 points and seven rebounds for Miami. Josh Richardson also contributed 19 points along with six assists for the Heat. Kyrie Irving dropped a game-high 33 points for the Celtics while Jaylen Brown added 16 points.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Panthers Break Coyotes

     The Florida Panthers ended a five-game road trip with a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night at Gila River Arena. The Panthers return home to start a four-game home stand on Friday against the Minnesota Wild.
     Arizona(7-24-5) waited until after a long 4-on-3 power play to go up 1-0 with 4:09 left in the first period. Clayton Keller ripped a wrist shot from the top right circle which was redirected in by Christian Keller in the crease past James Reimer.
     In the second period, the Coyotes raced out to a 2-0 margin with 1:46 to go. Alex Goligoski sent a shot from the blue line and it was tipped by Brendan Perlini at the top of the crease. The puck went to the left of the crease and Derek Stepan backhanded it in for a tally.
     Florida(13-16-5) broke the shutout with 9.7 seconds remaining in the second. Derek MacKenzie won the face-off in the left circle and drew the puck behind him. Nick Bjugstad followed with a snap shot from the top left circle by Antti Raanta for his ninth goal of the season.
     The Panthers would tie the contest early in the third period at the 3:37 mark. Denis Malgin lifted a wrist shot from the low slot after a feed by Evgenii Dadonov.
     Moments later the Cats took the lead at 5:41 on a 4-on-4 situation. Mike Matheson intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and brought it into the Arizona zone. He split the defense in the high slot, charged toward the net and scored on a forward shot.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hawks Fly By Heat

     The Miami Heat lost to the Atlanta Hawks 110-104 on Monday night at Philips Arena. The loss ended a Heat two-game winning streak. The Hawks, who entered the contest with the worst record in NBA, snapped a four-game winning streak.
     Miami(15-15) slipped ahead 30-29 after one quarter and were slightly down 58-57 at the half. Atlanta(7-23) extended their margin with a 15-5 run to 87-76 after three quarters and withheld a spurt by the Heat during the fourth quarter.
     Goran Dragic missed his first game this season due to an elbow injury. Josh Richardson led the Heat with 26 points while Dion Waiters added 23 points. Taurean Prince had a team-high 24 points for Atlanta and Dennis Schroder dropped 23 points.

Bills Roam By Dolphins

     The Buffalo Bills defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-16 at New Era Field on Sunday. The loss almost eliminates the Dolphins from playoff contention in the American Football Conference.
     Buffalo(8-6) pulled out to a 7-0 lead at 10:16 of the first quarter. Running back LeSean McCoy scooted in from four yards away.
     The Dolphins chipped at the lead later. Cody Parkey kicked a 28-yard field goal with 3:20 left in the first quarter and nailed a 41-yard field goal at the 9:20 mark of the second quarter.
     The rest of the first half belonged to the Bills. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor connected a 16-yard touchdown pass to McCoy with 6:10 to go. Taylor scored on a nine-yard run with 40 seconds remaining in the second to make it 21-6. Steven Hauschka had the only points of the third quarter with a 34-yard field goal for a Buffalo 18-point margin.
     Miami(6-8) tried to get out of the deficit during the fourth quarter. Running back Kenyan Drake plunged in on a rush from one-yard out at 8:02. Parkey made his third field goal of the contest, this time from 26 yards, with 43 seconds left in the fourth.

No Local Shows On Radio Ink List

     Radio Ink released their list of the top 35 local sports shows in the United States. No shows from the six South Florida sports talk format stations were listed for the second straight year. The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Sports Talk 790 The Ticket was classified as a national show by the publication.
     There was only one former local personality that made the list. Dan Sileo, a one-time sports host on Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM and 640 The Hurricane WMEN-AM, was listed at 26th. He currently works at XEPRS-AM in San Diego and last year finished at 21st.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Golden Knights Lance Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played their first NHL game in Las Vegas and lost to the Golden Knights 5-2 on Sunday night at T-Mobile Arena. Florida faced their former head coach Gerard Gallant who was let go by the club in November 2016. It was the fourth game of a five-game road trip for the Cats.
     It did not take that long for Florida(12-16-5) to get on the scoreboard. Radim Vrbata scored on a one-timer from the left circle for a power-play goal with assists from Denis Malgin and Nick Bjugstad at 2:58.
     The Panthers made it 2-0 at the 5:13 mark. Mike Matheson put in a tally on a slap shot from the top left circle by Malcom Subban on assists from Evgenii Dadonov and Vincent Trocheck.
     Vegas(21-9-2), who are on pace to break the Panthers record in 1993-94 for most points by an NHL expansion franchise, cut the margin just over one minute later. Nate Schmidt scored on a primary assist by former Panther Reilly Smith.
     Colin Miller would tie the contest 2-2 with 2:40 left in the first period on a slap shot from the top of the zone. Another former Panther Jonathan Marchessault got an assist on a pass from the right point along with James Neal.
     After no scoring during the second period, the Golden Knights finally got the lead with 8:20 remaining in the third. Marchessault spun and fired a wrist shot from the right point. Eric Haula redirected the puck past James Reimer from the right of the crease area.
     The Cats pulled their goalie for an extra attacker with 2:30 to go and Vegas scored soon after. Marchessault ripped a shot from inside the red line into an empty net off a cross-ice feed by Smith with 2:10 remaining. Neal followed with an empty-net goal from his own goal line with 27.9 seconds left.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Heat Knock Off Clippers

     The Miami Heat hosted the Los Angeles Clippers at American Airlines Arena on Saturday night and won 90-85. The Heat are on a roll and have won four of their last five games.
     Miami(15-14) moved out to a 24-17 margin after one quarter and led 46-40 at halftime. Los Angeles(11-17) chipped away at the lead and were down 69-65 after three quarters and were unable to go ahead in the fourth.
     The Heat were led by Josh Richardson with 28 points and Dion Waiters added 13 points. Montrezl Harrell had a team-high 15 points for the Clippers while DeAndre Jordan compiled a double-double with 12 points and 20 rebounds.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Heat Buzz Around Hornets

     The Miami Heat breezed by the Charlotte Hornets 104-98 on Friday night. The Heat return home on Saturday and face the Los Angeles Clippers.
     Miami(14-14) went on a 17-7 run and had a 24-19 lead after one quarter and maintained the lead 53-47 at halftime. Charlotte(10-18) remained behind 79-71 after three quarters and barely cut the deficit in the final quarter.
     Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson both led the Heat with 16 points each while Dion Waiters drained 12 points. Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson all had 11 points each for the Miami. Kemba Walker had a team-high 25 points for Charlotte and Dwight Howard compiled a double-double with 15 points along with 16 rebounds.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Panthers Downed By Avalanche

     The Florida Panthers continued their five-game road trip with a 2-1 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Thursday night. It was the second time in five days that these non-conference opponents faced each other.
     It was not until the second period when one of the teams scored. Colorado(15-14-2) made it 1-0 at 3:15 when Tyson Barrie passed across the high slot for Nathan MacKinnon to take a one-time slap shot past James Reimer.
     Florida(12-15-5) battled back and picked up a shorthanded goal to tie the contest 1-1 at the 10:27 mark. Jared McCann stripped the puck from Samuel Girard behind the Avalanche net and fed a pass to Aleksander Barkov in the crease area for him to shoot a one-timer by Semyon Varlamov. Barkov now leads the National Hockey League with four shorthanded goals this year.
     In the third period, the Avs were able to regain the lead 2-1 at 6:44. Mark Barberio zipped a pass through the neutral zone to MacKinnon on the left wing. He skated into the Panthers zone, through the left circle and placed a snap shot inside the near post for his second tally of the game and 13rd goal of the season.

Disney Buys Fox Sports Florida And Sun Sports

     The Walt Disney Company has come to an agreement to buy all Fox Sports regional sports networks from 21st Century Fox. It would have to be approved by the United States Department of Justice.
     Disney will become the new owner of Fox Sports Florida and Sun Sports in the state of Florida. They would have the television broadcast rights to the Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Florida Panthers, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Marlins Release Edinson Volquez

     The Miami Marlins have released starting pitcher Edinson Volquez from his contract. He had one year remaining on his current deal with the team.
     He joined the Marlins for the 2017 season and went 4-8 with a 4.19 earned-run average and 81 strikeouts in 17 games pitched. Volquez helped the Kansas City Royals win their first World Series in 30 years back in 2015 with a 13-9 record.

Trail Blazers Avoid Heat

     The Miami Heat were unable to hold off the Portland Trail Blazers and fell 102-95 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat made a quick stop at home during a one-week stretch on the road.
     Miami(13-14) rolled out to a 33-21 lead after one quarter and stayed ahead 60-50 at halftime. The Heat was up 79-70 after three quarter, however Portland(14-13) outscored them 32-16 in the fourth quarter and took the victory.
     Wayne Ellington had a team-high 24 points for the Heat while Dion Waiters added 17 points. C.J. McCollum dropped a game-high 28 points for Portland and Damian Lillard compiled 18 points along with six assists.

Marlins Trade Marcell Ozuna To Cardinals

     The Miami Marlins traded left fielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Magneuris Sierra and three other players on Wednesday. The Marlins have dealt Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Ozuna in the past seven days and consisted of almost half of their 2017 starting lineup.
     Ozuna compiled his best numbers from an offensive standpoint in 2017 as he hit 37 home runs, 124 runs batted in, 93 runs scored and 191 base hits for the Marlins. He also had a .312 batting average, .376 on-base percentage, .548 slugging percentage and a .924 OPS for the Fish. Ozuna just completed his fifth season with Miami and was named a National League All-Star for the last two seasons.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blackhawks Get By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were edged by the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime at United Center on Tuesday night. The Panthers, who played their second game of a five-game road trip, went into overtime for the second straight night.
     It took a while until Chicago(12-14-5) scored to go ahead 1-0 with 3:11 left in the first period. Keith Yandle lost the puck along the end wall to Alex DeBrincat. He centered a pass to the crease area where Brandon Saad took a one-time slap shot past James Reimer.
    The game was tied up by Florida(15-11-5) with 8:48 to go in the second period. Micheal Haley lifted a high pass from his own end zone to Nick Bjugstad at the Blackhawks blue line. He came in on a breakaway, switched to his backhand and put the puck by Corey Crawford.
     In the third period, the Panthers get their first lead of the contest at the 16:07 mark. Vincent Trocheck got a loose puck at the top right circle and connected a cross-ice pass to Jamie McGinn in the left circle. He placed a wrist shot from the low left circle into the Blackhawks cage. Trocheck extended his point streak to six games on the play.
     The Blackhawks answered back with 6:02 left in the third to tie it 2-2. DeBrincat sent a lead pass from the neutral zone to Saad on the right wing. He backhanded a pass through the slot to Toews who slapped the puck in for the tally.
     Chicago capitalized on a Matheson turnover in the neutral zone to get the victory at 2:24. Artem Anisimov bumped Matheson off the puck and found Patrick Kane alone in front of him. He skated in and scored on a snap shot from the slot for his 11th goal of the season along with the 296th goal of his NHL career.

Dolphins Take Care Of Patriots

     The Miami Dolphins wore their 1970s throwback uniforms as they defeated the New England Patriots 27-20 at Hard Rock Stadium on Monday night. The Dolphins still have an outside shot to make the postseason. The Patriots fell one game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers for the best record in the American Football Conference.
     Miami(6-7) slowly took the lead during the first quarter. Cody Parkey kicked a 30-yard field goal at 9:05 and a 44-yard field goal at 3:53.
     New England(10-3) moved ahead 7-6 at 6:24 mark of the second quarter. Running back Rex Burkhead rushed in for a touchdown from three yards out. The Fins regained the lead with 3:39 to go in the second when Jarvis Landry caught a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jay Cutler. Stephen Gostkowski closed the gap for the Pats to 13-10 as he converted on a 46-yard field goal with six seconds left in the first half.
     The Dolphins compiled two touchdown in the third quarter and had a 17-point margin. Cutler connected a 25-yard pass to wide receiver Jakeem Grant at 11:09 and he tossed a four-yard pass to Landry with 4:48 left in the third.
     The Patriots scored at 13:09 of the fourth quarter to make it 27-17. Running back James White, a St. Thomas Aquinas grad, made a three-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Tom Brady. Gosttkowski made a 33-yard field goal with 57 seconds remaining in the fourth and cut the deficit to 27-20.
   

Monday, December 11, 2017

Panthers Come Back On Red Wings

     The Florida Panthers made their first visit ever to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and topped the Red Wings 2-1 in overtime on Monday night. It was the first game of a five-game road trip for the Panthers.
     Detroit(11-13-6) got a fortunate bounce to go up 1-0 with 1:33 left in the first period. Henrik Zetterberg ended a 22-game goal-scoring drought as he scored on an assist by Trevor Daley.
     Florida(12-4-4) would have to wait until the third period to tie the game 1-1 on the power play at 10:09. Aleksander Barkov sent the puck from the left circle to Jonathan Huberdeau to the crease area. He made a backhand pass from his belly across the blue paint where Vincent Trocheck scored his team-high 13rd goal of the season. Trocheck extended his point streak to five games with the tally.
     The Panthers were able to win in overtime with 2:58 remaining on the first goal of the season by Michael Matheson. He carried the puck into the Red Wings zone through the right circle and took a shot from close range. After Jimmy Howard make a save on that and a Nick Bjugstad shot, Matheson slapped in the puck from the top of the crease.

Heat Knock Down Grizzlies

     The Miami Heat finished the road trip with a 107-82 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum on Monday night. The Heat, who had their biggest margin of victory this season, return home for one game on Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
     Memphis(8-19) had a 23-22 edge after one quarter and then trailed 45-42 at halftime. Miami(13-13) extended their lead to 70-60 after third quarters and outscored the Grizzlies 37-22 in the fourth.
     Goran Dragic led the Heat with 19 points and Josh Richardson added 17 points. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Johnson both dropped 14 points. Marc Gasol had a team-high 19 points for Memphis and Andrew Harrison placed 16 points.

Marlins Trade Giancarlo Stanton To Yankees

     The Miami Marlins have traded right fielder Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees for second baseman Starlin Castro and two other players. Stanton became the first player in Marlins history to capture the National League Most Valuable Player award in 2017.
     The Yankees have acquired a player who was the reigning Most Valuable Player before. They picked up Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers after the 2003 season.
     Stanton hit 59 home runs in 2017 for Miami which is the most homers by anyone in Major League Baseball since Barry Bonds had 73 home runs back in 2001. He also led the National League with 132 runs batted in and a .631 slugging percentage in 2017.
     He was drafted by the Florida Marlins at the 2007 MLB Draft and made his major league debut in June 2010. His best season prior to 2017 was in 2014 when he led the National League with 37 home runs and a .555 slugging percentage along with 105 RBI. Stanton finished second in voting for the N.L. Most Valuable Player award.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Panthers To Retire Number For Wayne Huizenga

     The Florida Panthers organization announced that the club will retire the number 37 jersey for their original owner H. Wayne Huizenga. The banner honoring Huizenga will be raised on January 19 during a pregame ceremony prior to the contest between the Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights. The only other number retired in franchise history was number 93 for original team president Bill Torrey on October 23, 2010.
     The announcement on Sunday came on the 25th anniversary of the club's inauguration as a National Hockey League franchise. The decision came as a major surprise to people in attendance at The Breakers in Palm Beach as the NHL awarded a team to South Florida for Huizenga and a team to Anaheim for the Walt Disney Corporation headed by Michael Eisner on December 10, 1992.
     Huizenga was the majority owner of the Panthers from 1992 until after the end of the 2001-02 season. The Florida Panthers played their first five seasons at Miami Arena and moved to a new arena in Sunrise prior to the 1998-99 NHL season. The team won the Eastern Conference Championship and lost in the Stanley Cup Finals during their third season of existence back in 1996. Huizenga sold his majority share of the team to Alan Cohen in 2002 and became a silent minority owner for several years.

Avalanche Pours On Panthers

    The Florida Panthers allowed four goals in the third period as they were routed by the Colorado Avalanche 7-3 at BB&T Center on Saturday night. It was the final game of a three-game home stand for the Cats. They now head out of South Florida to begin a five-game road trip.
     Colorado(13-13-2) scored midway through the first period at 10:56 on a goal by Mikko Rantanen. Florida(11-14-4) came back on a tally with three seconds left in the first by Aaron Ekblad on assists by Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle. Ekblad passed Gord Murphy for third all-time in club history having the most goals by a defenseman with 44 goals.
     In the second period, the Panthers took their only lead of the game. Denis Malgin scored at the 4:51 mark with assists from Jamie McGinn and Ian McCoshen to make it 2-1. The Avs would get two goals in a 41-second span from Nathan MacKinnon at 11:26 and Alexander Kerfoot at 12:07.
     The Avalanche pulled away in the third scoring twice within a two-minute period. Erik Johnson scored at 11:59 and Colin Wilson scored at 13:42 to give them a 5-2 margin.
     Florida closed the gap 23 seconds later on a tally by Huberdeau. The Panthers pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and it did not work. Colorado finished with two empty-net goals by Matt Nieto with 4:01 remaining and Carl Soderberg with 2:20 left in the third period.

Heat Outpace Nets

     The Miami Heat defeated the Brooklyn Nets 101-89 on Saturday night at Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City. Miami played in just their third game in the last eight days.
     Brooklyn(10-15) had a 26-24 edge after one quarter and were up 53-50 at halftime. Miami(12-13) overcome them and had a 75-72 lead after three quarters. The Heat pulled away on a 14-4 run as they outscored the Nets 26-17 in the final quarter.
     Goran Dragic had a game-high 20 points along with seven rebounds and Justice Winslow got 15 points. Tyler Johnson poured in 20 points while James Johnson added 17 points and seven rebounds.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the Nets with 18 points and nine rebounds while Spencer Dinwiddie dropped 15 points.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Dr. Phillips Defeats Atlantic For 8A Title

     The Atlantic Eagles came up short and lost to the Dr. Phillips Panthers 17-7 in the FHSAA Class 8A state championship game on Saturday night at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Panthers, who made the crosstown trip, won their first state title in school history. Atlantic was playing in their first championship contest since 1978.
     Dr. Phillips(13-2) got the only points in the first quarter. The Eagles had a punt blocked by Japerri Powell and he returned it eight yards for the score and a 7-0 lead at 4:25.
     In the second quarter, Sterling Stockwell would miss a 29-yard field goal at the 11:49 mark. He would redeem himself when he kicked a 28-yard field goal with 4:52 left in the first half for a Panthers 10-point margin.
     Atlantic(12-2) got some momentum with 4:55 to go in the third quarter when Oyeh Lurry-Davis returned a punt 30 yards to the Panthers 32-yard line. The Eagles lost the ball on downs during the eight-play drive at the 24-yard line with 1:57 left in the third.
     Early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were bottled in their own end of the field. Quarterback Antoine Williams II threw a swing pass which was intercepted by linebacker Cameron Williams and he returned it nine yards for a touchdown and gave Dr. Phillips a 17-0 lead with 9:53 left.
     Atlantic would avoid the shutout with 3:38 remaining in the fourth quarter to make it 17-7. Williams fumbled the ball, recovered it and sprinted in with a 15-yard touchdown run.

Chaminade-Madonna Tops Oxbridge Academy For 3A Crown

     The Chaminade-Madonna Lions redeemed themselves on Saturday as they edged the Oxbridge Academy Thunderwolves 31-28 in the Class 3A state championship game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Lions, who captured their first state title since 2005, made it to state finals for the second straight year.
     Chaminade-Madonna(11-2) wasted no time and scored on their first possession. Running back Shaun Shivers ended the six-play, 59-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run at 9:29 of the first quarter.
     Oxbridge Academy(10-2), who played in their first FHSAA championship game in school history, answered back to tie the game 7-7 at the 3:53 mark. Quarterback Gio Richardson sneaked in with a touchdown run from one yard away to complete the 12-play, 66-yard drive.
     The Lions responded during their following possession on the third play to regain the lead 14-7 with 2:09 left in the first. Quarterback Daelen Menard connected a 44-yard touchdown pass to wide Akeem Hayes on the right side.
     In the second quarter, the Thunderwolves reached the end zone on their next drive that took ten plays for 80 yards. Richardson tossed a swing pass to running back James Meeks and he scored from 20 yards out at 9:22.
     Chaminade-Madonna scored on their third consecutive possession with 7:15 remaining in the second. Shivers rushed for his second touchdown of the contest with a two-yard run around the left end to cap a four-play, 55-yard drive.
     The second half began with Oxbridge Academy getting all the way to the Lions 11-yard line and lost the ball on downs almost five minutes into the third quarter. The Lions capitalized on it eight plays later when wide receiver Xavier Williams caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Menard and increased their gap to 28-14 at the 3:49 mark.
     The Thunderwolves again got into the red zone by the end of the third quarter. Their possession ended as Lions defensive back James Williams intercepted a pass at his own two-yard line 21 seconds into the fourth quarter.
     Oxbridge Academy got good field positioning to begin their next possession. Tight end Herman McCray caught a 17-yard pass up the middle from Richardson for the score on a five-play, 48-yard drive with 7:53 left in the fourth and trailed 28-21.
     Following another Chaminade-Madonna punt, the Thunderwolves marched down the field that included a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Jordan Cash to the Lions 19-yard line. Wide receiver De' John King made a 16-yard touchdown reception on fourth down to tie the contest 28-28 with 3:27 remaining in tbe fourth quarter.
     The Lions came back in the final minutes of the game with their rushing attack and entered deep into Thunderwolves territory. Daniel Longman kicked a 19-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to get the victory.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Miami Northwestern Takes Armwood And 6A Title

     The Miami Northwestern Bulls got back to the top of the mountain as they defeated the Armwood Hawks 21-16 for the Class 6A state championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Friday night. Miami Northwestern won their first state title since they captured back-to-back Class 6A state championships in 2006 and 2007.
     Armwood(14-1) moved out to a 2-0 lead at 7:16 of the first quarter. The Bulls had a bad snap on a punt and the ball ended up out of the end zone for a safety.
     The Hawks got a break on their next possession as a 30-yard field goal by Adrian Olivio was waved off when the Bulls were called for roughing the kicker. Three plays later, quarterback Devin Black threw a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Warren Thompson and they had a 10-0 lead with 4:38 left in the first.
     Miami Northwestern(12-2) was in the red zone midway through the second quarter. They turned the ball over on downs at the Hawks 12-yard line with 6:48 left in the first half.
     It was deja vu six plays later as Armwood had a bad snap on a punt which turned into a safety for the Bulls and they trailed 9-2 with 4:13 left in the second. Running back Kiaryn Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 40 yards to the Hawks 31-yard line. Three plays later, running back Davonne Kendrick raced in from 12 yard away to tie the contest 9-9 with 3:09 remaining in the quarter.
     In the third quarter, the Bulls finally took their first lead of the game at the 3:41 mark on a four-play, 61-yard drive. Quarterback Chatarius Atwell Jr. scored on a 51-yard touchdown run to give them a 15-9 lead.
     Miami Northwestern struck again on the first play of their next possession with 1:10 left in the third. Atwell connected a 46-yard pass to Davis for a score and a 21-9 margin.
     Armwood did not go away as they scored at 6:46 of the fourth quarter on a five-play, 68-yard drive. Quarterback Devin Black carried the ball around the right end and into the end zone from 11 yards out to cut the deficit down to 21-16.

American Heritage Wins 5A Title Over Baker County

     The American Heritage Patriots captured their second straight FHSAA Class 5A state championship and fourth state title in the last five seasons with a 44-15 blowout victory over the Baker County Wildcats on Friday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Patriots, who scored on all seven possessions they had in the contest, extended their winning streak to 27 games and have not lost a game since the 2015 playoffs against Hallandale.
     American Heritage(13-0) got the ball first to begin the game and scored on their first possession. Quarterback Cameron Smith busted through the center of the line with a one-yard touchdown run on a 13-play, 77-yard drive to make it 7-0 at 6:56.
     The Patriots added to their lead late in the first quarter on their next drive. Jared Elstein kicked a 33-yard field goal with 42 seconds left in the first and made it a 10-point margin.
     They continued their momentum in the second quarter. Smith connected a 39-yard pass to wide receiver Josh Alexander for a touchdown at 9:53 to complete a three-play, 60-yard drive and made it 17-0.
     Baker County(13-2) fell behind even more with 4:52 left in the first half. Patriots defensive tackle Nesta Silvera recovered a fumble and returned it 57 yards for a score and a 24-point cushion.
     American Heritage scored on the first play of their next possession with 3:13 to go in the second. Smith found wide receiver Anthony Schwartz on a 43-yard touchdown pass to expand their lead to 30-0.
     The Patriots again reached the end zone on the first play of their next drive with 1:30 remaining in the quarter for a 37-0 lead. Schwartz took a handoff and scored on a run from 37 yards away.
     The second half started with a running clock. Wildcats running back Nick Lee rushed 48 yards for on the second play of their possession to the Patriots three-yard line. Running back Seth Paige ran in from three yards out on the next play at the 9:40 mark to make it 37-7.
     Baker County recovered an on-side kick and would eventually scored on a three-play, 53-yard drive. Paige threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lee Graham at 6:17. Paige converted on a two-point conversion run to draw closer 37-15.
     In the fourth quarter, the Patriots chewed up the clock on a long 13-play, 53-yard drive that took 11:01. Smith finished the possession and he scored on a one-yard touchdown run for a 44-15 lead.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Marlins Trade Dee Gordon To Mariners

     The Miami Marlins traded second baseman Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners for three players on Thursday. It was the first major deal made by the new ownership group of Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman that took over the franchise following the end of the 2017 regular season.
     Gordon was acquired by the Marlins from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a seven-play deal in December 2014. He led the National League with a .333 batting average, 58 stolen bases and 205 base hits during his first season with the Fish in 2015. Gordon played a portion of the 2016 season and was suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball because of violating their drug policy. He led the National League again in stolen bases with 60 and had a .308 batting average in 2017.

Panthers Slip By Jets

     The Florida Panthers faced the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night at BB&T Center and beat them 6-4. It was the second game of a three-game home stand for the Cats.
     Florida(11-13-4) struck just 2:48 into the contest for a 1-0 lead. A rebound from a Micheal Haley shot came out to Mark Pysyk in the high slot. He skated to the top left circle and scored on wrist shot.
     The Panthers added onto their lead less than a minute later at 2:17. Jonathan Huberdeau had the puck at the top of the zone and angled a pass to his right. Aaron Ekblad sprinted through the right circle and fired a snap shot. Eric Comrie made the save, however Ekblad was able to put in the rebound for his fifth goal of the year. He tied Gord Murphy for third all-time with 43 goals by a Panthers defenseman.
     Winnipeg(17-8-4) cut the deficit down to 2-1 with 4:47 left in the first. Ben Chiarot took a slap shot from the left point which grazed off Patrick Laine in the high slot and sailed by James Reimer.
     The Jets tied the contest 2-2 with 2:17 to go in the period. Adam Lowry, son of former Florida Panther Dave Lowry, was able to redirect a shot from the left of the crease on a cross-ice feed by Brandon Tanev from the right circle.
     The game changed as Winnipeg scored on the power play to go up 3-2 at 4:46 of the second period. Mathieu Perreault was on the left wing and centered the puck where Laine put it across the slot area. Blake Wheeler zipped a shot from the low right circle for his eighth goal of the campaign.
     The Cats evened the game with 4:13 remaining in the second. Jamie McGinn passed the puck from the left wing down to Colton Sceviour on the end wall. He backhanded puck to the crease area and Denis Malgin scored on a one-timer from close range.
     In tbe third period, Florida scored on the power play 48 seconds in. Keith Yandle fired a shot from the top of the zone which was saved. Jonathan Huberdeau made two shot attempts from the blue paint before Vincent Trocheck swept the puck in for his 11th tally of the year.
     The Jets bounced back at the 1:51 mark to tie it 4-4. Bryan Little sent a cross-ice pass from the right side to Laine. He blasted a slap shot from the left circle in the Panthers cage for his second goal of the contest and 16th this season.
     The Panthers regained the lead 5-4 midway through the period at 9:58. Derek MacKenzie shot the puck from the right wing and it was redirected by Haley in the slot. Mike Matheson also got an assist on the play. Trocheck added another goal on the power play into an empty net with 10.1 seconds left to make it 6-4.

No FHSAA Football Finals On South Florida Television

     The FHSAA football state championship games will not be broadcast on local television in the South Florida region for the fourth consecutive year. The eight state title games will be played from Thursday through Saturday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
     Spectrum Sports, formerly Bright House Sports Network, is based in Central Florida and has the exclusive television rights to the FHSAA football championship games since 2013. Local South Florida residents who can not watch the title games on their television can pay a fee to see the contests streamed on a computer at BoxCast.TV under Spectrum Sports.
     One South Florida radio station will broadcast two FHSAA football championship games that are represented by Palm Beach County high schools. ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM will have Oxbridge Academy take on Chaminade-Madonna in the Class 3A state title game on Saturday morning and Atlantic will face Dr. Phillips in the Class 8A state title game on Saturday night. Chris Dietrich will be the play-by-play announcer and former Jupiter Christian head coach Bill Powers is the game analyst.

Atlantic And Dr. Phillips Title Preview

     The Atlantic Eagles and Dr. Phillips Panthers play in the FHSAA Class 8A state championship game on Saturday night at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Both teams are trying to capture their first football state title in school history.
     Atlantic(12-1), who has hosted four playoff games this year, make their first appearance in a state championship game for the first time since 1978. The Eagles have won 12 consecutive games since their loss opening week to Palm Beach Central by one point. They topped Plantation 29-12 in a regional quarterfinal, edged Park Vista 14-7 in a regional semifinal, got by Western 35-22 in a regional final and last week beat Miami 28-21 in a state semifinal. Atlantic has outscored their opponents 364-129 this season and held teams to nine points per game.
     The Eagles are well balanced on offense with Antoine Williams II as their quarterback. Their rushing game will have running back Shelley Singletary getting some of the carries for the team along with Corey Cola Jr. and Henry Bryant. University of Florida commit Corey Gammage leads a wide receiver crew that includes Oyeh Lurry-Davis, Cadarius Gaskin, Javone Jackson, Kamareon Williams and Aydin Henningham who can make catches from Williams.
     Dr, Phillips(12-2) reached the Class 8A state championship game last year and blew a fourth quarter 10-point lead to Southridge and lost 14-10. The Panthers certainly have a hometown advantage having their campus less than eight miles away from Camping World Stadium. They are currently on an eight-game winning streak following consecutive losses to Weikiva and Apopka. They hosted their only playoff game and handled Ridge Community 35-7 in a regional quarterfinal. The Panthers went on the road and got by Osceola 17-13 in a regional semifinal, defeated Riverview 28-19 in a regional final and gained revenge on Wekiva 28-7 in a state semifinal. They have outscored their opponents 389-171 this season and allowed 12 points per game.
     The Panthers offense is led by quarterback Besean McCray who can run and pass the ball. Running back Devodney Alford will get the majority of carries from the backfield and Brandon Fields will see some action. McCray has multiple options to threw the ball to which includes wide receivers Davarius Bargnare, Michael Fox, Devon Buckhanon, Trey Schyck, Jacquez Jones and Alford.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Spurs Close Heat

     The Miami Heat went on the road and lost to the San Antonio Spurs 117-105 on Wednesday night. The Heat have fell in four of their last five games.
     Miami(11-13) started off well as they got out to a 35-27 margin after one quarter and still led 58-57 at halftime. San Antonio(17-8) went on a 14-5 spurt and pulled ahead 86-82 after three quarters. The Spurs extended their lead as they outscored the Heat 31-23 in the final quarter.
     Tyler Johnson had a game-high 25 points for Miami. Dion Waiters added 22 points while Josh Richardson dropped in 19 points. Eight players of San Antonio scored in double figures. They were led by LaMarcus Aldridge with 18 points and Rudy Gay had 16 points. Pau Gasol and Danny Green each compiled 12 points while Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker placed 10 points each.

Chaminade-Madonna And Oxbridge Academy Title Preview

     The Chaminade-Madonna Lions take on the Oxbridge Academy Thunderwolves in the FHSAA Class 3A state championship game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Saturday morning. It is a rematch from last year when the Lions defeated the Thunderwolves 30-13 in a regional final game at Cooper City. Both schools are based in South Florida and are around 60 miles away from each other.
     Chaminade-Madonna(10-2) made it to the Class 3A championship game in 2016 and fell to defending champion Trinity Christian Academy. They enter this contest on a nine-game winning streak. The Lions compiled two home shutouts to begin their march to Orlando as they blanked American Heritage 38-0 in a regional semifinal and blasted Benjamin 56-0 in a regional final. They went to Clearwater Central Catholic for the state semifinal two weeks ago and were victorious 49-3. The Lions have outscored their three playoff opponents 143-3 in November. They have outscored their last nine opponents 418-42 and averaged 46 points for and four points against per game.
     The first thing you notice about the Lions offense is their rushing attack with Auburn University commit and running back Shaun Shivers, who can score on a run from any part of the field. University of Alabama commit and wide receiver Xavier Williams will be the primary target for quarterback Daelen Menard. Wide receivers Akeem Hayes, Marvin Alexander, Marlin Mayo and Logan Giordano can also can the ball from Menard.
     Oxbridge Academy(10-1) looks to avenge their loss to the Lions in the FHSAA playoffs last season. They have won 10 consecutive games since they lost their season opener and all their playoff games has been played on their home field. The Thunderwolves topped Kings Academy 42-7 in a regional semifinal, defeated Melbourne Central Catholic 32-7 in a regional final and stomped the Florida State University Seminoles 41-0 in a state semifinal. They have outscored their opponents 420-53 this season and averaged 38 points for and four points against per game.
     The Thunderwolves have two running backs to split the amount of carries from the backfield with James Meeks and Luis Gonzalez. Quarterback Gio Richardson gets the opportunity to run the offense. He has numerous options to connect passes to which includes wide receivers V'Lique Carter, De' John King, Keidron Smith, Carlos Silencieux, Jordan Cash and C.J. Smith.

Miami Northwestern And Armwood Title Preview

     The Miami Northwestern Bulls challenge the Armwood Hawks in the FHSAA Class 6A state championship game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Friday night. It has been a while since either school has captured a state title.
     Miami Northwestern(11-2), who will be playing their first playoff game on the road this year, last played in a state championship contest in 2008. They did win the top classification Class 6A state title in 2006 and 2007. They have won 21 of their last 25 games over the last two seasons. The Bulls blew out Matanzas 33-0 in a regional quarterfinal before they defeated division rivals Miami Central 24-18 in a regional semifinal and Carol City 23-15 in a regional final. Last week they dominated Naples 42-7 in a state semifinal. They have outscored their opponents 358-117 this season and allowed nine points per game.
     Quarterback Chatarius Atwell Jr. will lead the Bulls offense. His primary targets down the field are wide receivers Derrick Davis and Justin Hill. Their rushing game is focused on running back Corey Hammett who is expected to get the majority of carries along with Davonne Kendrick and Kiaryn Davis.
     Armwood(14-0) is undefeated and have won 14 consecutive games. They also will be playing their first playoff contest this season on the road. Some of their players do have some experience in a state title game held in Orlando as the Hawks played in the Class 6A final and lost to Miami Central in 2014 and 2015. The Hawks pulled out victories over Sebring 42-0 in a regional quarterfinal, Hillsborough 22-0 in a regional semifinal, Vanguard 31-17 in a regional final and St. Augustine 30-6 in a state semifinal. They have outscored their opponents 503-77 as they averaged 35 points for and five points against per game this year.
     Devin Black will call the signals as the quarterback for the Hawks. They have several options in their rushing attack with running backs Brian Snead, Larry Anderson, Jerome Ford and Silas Powell. Black intends to find wide receivers Warren Thompson, Ezeriah Anderson, Wayne Denis and Jerome Ford for pass receptions.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

American Heritage And Baker County Title Preview

     The American Heritage Patriots face the Baker County Wildcats for the FHSAA Class 5A state championship on Friday afternoon at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Patriots are the defending state champions.
     American Heritage(12-0) have dominated this classification over the last couple of seasons. They have won the Class 5A crown three times in the last four years. The Patriots are undefeated and head into this contest on a 26-game winning streak. It is the first playoff game this year that the school will not be playing at home in Plantation. They shut out Merritt Island 52-0 in a regional quarterfinal, defeated Bishop Moore 56-27 in a regional semifinal, edged Cardinal Gibbons 58-57 in triple overtime during a regional final and beat Immokalee 28-21 last week in a state semifinal. American Heritage has outscored their opponents 505-175 this season and averaged 42 points per game.
     The Patriots have quarterback Cameron Smith who can pass and if necessary run with the ball. They got numerous options at running back with Jordan Johnson, Miles Jones and Tyler Jones. Smith has several targets that consist of wide receivers Anthony Schwartz, Marcus Lodge, Tyler March, Josh Alexander, Miles Jones and tight end Beau Johnson. Their defense is anchored by defensive backs Patrick Surtain Jr, Tyson Campbell, Dyllon Lester, Anthony Brown along with defensive tackle Nesta Silvera and middle linebacker Calvin Hart.
     Baker County(13-1) comes into this game on a 13-game win streak following a loss in their season opener at St. Augustine. The Wildcats played their first three playoff games at home as they took Nature Coast Tech 34-7 in a regional quarterfinal, handled Menendez 37-28 in a regional semifinal and topped Clay 29-14 in a regional final. Baker County went on the road last week for a state semifinal and defeated West Florida 48-28. They have outscored their opponents 456-238 and averaged 32 points for per game this season.
     The Wildcats made adjustments earlier this year when their leading rusher from last season running back Josh Heygood decided not to play football in 2017 and concentrate on baseball. Running back Seth Paige is expected to get most of the carries from the backfield along with Savoy Jefferson. Chase Reynolds is at quarterback and he will connect passes to wide receivers Lee Graham, Wesley Belford and John Green. They have a big defensive line that includes Chase Hancock, Tay Reed and Brian West.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Islanders Top Panthers

     The Florida Panthers hosted the New York Islanders on Monday night at BB&T Center and lost 5-4 in a shootout. The Islanders have won five of their last six games. Florida Panthers assistant coach Jack Capuano faced his former team for the first time since he was let go as head coach by the Islanders last season.
     Florida(10-13-4) got on the scoreboard at 10:25 of the first period. Nick Leddy sent a backhand pass from the end wall up ahead. It was intercepted by Keith Yandle when he blasted a one-time slap shot from the left point by Jaroslav Halak. The Cats held the Isles to two shots in the first 12 minutes of the contest.
     New York(16-8-2) responded with 6:09 left in the first to tie the game 1-1. Calvin de Hannan fired a slap shot from the left point which was wide left of the cage. The puck bounced solidly from the end boards to the low slot and Anders Lee scored from close range past Roberto Luongo for his 16th goal of the season and 100th goal in his NHL career.
     In the second period, Luongo had to leave the game at the 2:31 mark due to injury when making a save and was replaced by James Reimer in net. The Islanders would score just a couple of minutes later at 5:35. Joshua Ho-Sang passed the puck from the end wall  around the boards to Thomas Hickey at the left point. He placed a shot which went through traffic and by Reimer for his first goal of the year.
     The Panthers recovered and scored on the power play at 8:45 to make it 2-2. Yandle was on the right point and passed the puck to his left. Aaron Ekblad nailed a one-time slap shot from the high slot for his fourth tally of the season. Vincent Trocheck was also credited with an assist on the play.
     The Cats added another power-play goal with 9:26 remaining in the frame. Yandle was at the blue line and connected a backhand drop pass to Alekander Barkov. He ripped a snap shot in for his 10th goal of the season.
     The contest would be tied again at 3-3 with 3:41 to go in the second. Ho-Sang carried the puck across the Panthers line and found Brock Nelson on his left side. Nelson scored on a wrist shot for the Islanders to finish off the play.
     The Islanders pulled ahead 4-3 with 1:39 left in the period. Josh Bailey recovered a loose puck in the right circle and centered it to John Tavares in the slot. He pushed in a shot that went through the pads of Reimer for his 17th goal of the campaign.
     Florida got a break on a turnover and evened the game at 5:06 of the third period. De Haan lost the puck and fell down in the right corner. Trocheck passed to the low slot and Denis Malgin scored on a one-time shot.
     The game went into a shootout and there was only one shot that was converted. Islanders rookie Matthew Barzal scored on their third attempt as he lifted a backhand shot into the top shelf of the net.

West Palm Beach Ratings November 2017

     The ratings for the West Palm Beach market were released. There were no program changes in the region over the past month.
     ESPN West Palm Beach 106.3 WUUB-FM continued a positive trend. The station saw Florida Atlantic University football finish in first place of the East Division in Conference USA standings and knocked off local division rival Florida International University.
     640 The Hurricane WMEN-AM had their numbers go up from a 0.4 to a 0.7 in November. They are the Palm Beach County affiliate of University of Miami football and the squad wrapped up their first ACC Coastal Division title and headed for ACC Championship Game. It is quite a surprise that WMEN has more than doubled their ratings since June with a new logo, brand, slogan and no local weekday programs.
     1230 The Zone WBZT-AM registered a 0.0 for the third consecutive month. They have the use of Westwood One NFL broadcasts and CBS Sports Radio Network and pipe in the Jeff DeForest Show from Miami.

Dolphins Roll Over Broncos

     The Miami Dolphins dominated the Denver Broncos 35-9 at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday. It ended a five-game losing streak for the club.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Warriors Pound Heat

     The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors made their annual appearance in Miami and they beat the Heat 123-95 at American Airlines Arena on Sunday night. The Heat have lost three of their last four games.
     Miami(11-12) was ahead 36-33 after first quarter and trailed 62-60 at halftime. Golden State(18-6) went on a 20-6 run to begin the second half and led 99-77 after three quarters. The Warriors maintained their 20-point margin and outscored the Heat 24-18 in the fourth.
     Stephen Curry was the leading scorer for the Warriors with 30 points while Kevin Durant compiled 24 points along with seven assists. Klay Thompson also added 19 points for Golden State. Goran Dragic had a team-high 20 points for the Heat and Kelly Olynyk dropped 14 points.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

WQAM Sporting Events On The Ticket

     The Florida Panthers Radio Network with play-by-play announcer Doug Plagens was moved on Saturday night from Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM to Sports Talk 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM due to the broadcast of the University of Miami Hurricanes in the ACC Championship Game.
     It was the first time ever that both top local sports format radio stations in South Florida had an agreement to move a sporting event to the other station. WQAM and The Ticket became part of the same company on November 17 when CBS Radio merged with Entercom Communications.
     The Florida Panthers Radio Network had previously been moved during a certain broadcasting conflict from WQAM to another local radio station. Certain stations that have broadcast Florida Panthers games in Dade County and Broward County includes 940 WINZ-AM and 880 WZAB-AM.

Hurricanes Lose ACC Championship To Clemson

     The Miami Hurricanes had a tough time and lost the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game to the Clemson Tigers 38-3 on Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The Hurricanes won the Coastal Division this year and finally made an appearance in the ACC title game.
     Clemson(12-1) scored on their first possession at 10:39 of the first quarter. Travis Etienne brushed with a touchdown run for four yards away. Quarterback Kelly Bryant added another score on an 11-yard scramble at the 3:10 mark to make it 14-0.
     The Tigers get the only touchdown in the second quarter with 12:52 left. Running back Adam Choice rushed to the left side with a one-yard run.
     In the third quarter, Clemson compiled 17 points and expanded their margin to 38 points. Alex Spence kicked a 46-yard field goal at 12:52. Running back Tavien Feaster followed it with a run from 11 yards out with 3:22 to go. Bryant later connected a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deon Cain with 1:10 remaining in the third.
     Miami(10-2) broke the shutout with 3:33 left in the fourth quarter. Michael Badgley nailed a 22-yard field goal and gave the Hurricanes their only score of the contest.

Panthers Fall To Hurricanes

     The Florida Panthers made a one-day trip to Carolina and lost to the Hurricanes in overtime 3-2 at PNC Arena on Saturday night. It was the second game for the Cats on back-to-back nights.
     The only goal of the first period was by Carolina(11-9-5). Elias Lindholm scored a power-play goal at 14:02 for a 1-0 lead.
     After no scoring in the second, Florida(10-13-3) evened it up at the 4:52 mark of the third period. Nick Bjugstad got his sixth goal of the season on assists from Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.
     The Canes regained the lead on the power play at 8:17. Jeff Skinner compiled his 10th goal of the year on an assist from Derek Ryan.
     The Panthers put the game toward overtime on a goal with 1:56 left in the third. Barkov picked up his ninth tally of the season from the crease on assists from Vincent Trocheck and Aaron Ekblad.
     The Hurricanes got the game-winning goal in the final seconds in overtime. Noah Hanifan scored with only two seconds left in the extra session.

2017 South Florida Fourth Round Results

     The fourth round of large school classifications from Class 8A to Class 5A happened on Friday night. Four FHSAA state semifinal games were played that involved South Florida high schools.
     Atlantic topped Miami 28-21 in Class 8A and will play Dr. Phillips for the state championship next Saturday night. The Eagles reached the FHSAA football final game for the first time since 1978.
     St. Thomas Aquinas fell to Venice 27-20 and had their three-year title reign as Class 7A state champions end. It was the first time that the Raiders lost a game in Central Florida and also a state semifinal game since 2009 at Bradenton against Manatee.
     Defending Class 5A state champion American Heritage came back to defeat Immokalee 28-21 in Plantation and will face Baker County for the Class 5A state title next Friday afternoon. They will attempt to capture their fourth state title in the last five seasons.
     Miami Northwestern blasted Naples 42-7 in a state semifinal and will challenge Armwood in the Class 6A state championship contest next Friday night. The Bulls return to the state championship game for the first time since 2008 and look to win their first title since 2007.
     The final count has been determined in which six South Florida high schools will be a part of state championship games at Camping World Stadium in Orlando next week. Palm Beach County has two teams with Atlantic in Class 8A and Oxbridge Academy in Class 3A.
     There are two high schools representing Broward County. Chaminade-Madonna will battle it out for the Class 3A state title against Oxbridge Academy next Saturday morning. American Heritage is the other school.
     Dade County has two schools heading for Orlando. Along with Miami Northwestern in Class 6A, Champagnat Catholic takes on University Christian for the Class 2A state crown next Friday morning.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Heat Hold Off Hornets

     The Miami Heat stopped the Charlotte Hornets 105-100 at American Airlines Arena on Friday night. The Heat have won four of their last six games.
     Charlotte(8-13) climbed out to a 30-22 lead after one quarter. Miami(11-11) fought back and had a slim 50-49 margin at halftime. The Heat stayed on top after three quarters 79-75 and outscored the Hornets 26-25 in the final quarter.
     Josh Robinson showed up and had a game-high 27 points for the Heat. Dion Waiters dropped in 19 points and Wayne Ellington added 14 points. Charlotte had seven players with double digits in scoring. Marvin Williams had a team-high 14 points and Dwight Howard compiled a double-double with 10 points along with 10 rebounds.

Sharks Strike Panthers

     The San Jose Sharks got by the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Friday night at BB&T Center on Friday night. The Panthers tried to win their third straight game for the first time this season. The Sharks extended their winning streak to three games with the victory.
     Florida(10-13-2) would get out to a 1-0 lead at 1:49 left in the first period. Colton Sceviour scored on a backhand shot in the crease for his fifth goal of the year on assists from Alex Petrovic and former Sharks player Micheal Haley.
     A milestone was accomplished in the second period for San Jose(14-8-2). Joe Pavelski collected his 300th career goal at 11:20 with a shot from the blue paint. He became the 199th NHL player and 18th born in the United States to reach that plateau. Joe Thornton dug the puck from the end wall and centered it for the primary assist.
     The Sharks got the go-ahead goal at the 7:13 mark of the third period. Chris Tierney put in a tally as he banked a backhand shot from the right goal line off the back of Roberto Luongo for his seventh goal of the season. Meiker Karlsson and Brett Burns put picked up assists.

American Heritage Overcomes Immokalee

     The defending FHSAA Class 5A state champion American Heritage Patriots came back to defeat the Immokalee Indians 28-21 at Heritage Field in Plantation on Friday night in a state semifinal. The Patriots advanced to the title game for the fourth time in the last five years and will play Baker County next Friday afternoon at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Pats had won Class 5A state championships in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
     American Heritage(12-0), who expanded their winning streak to 26 games, scored on their first possession at 8:10 of the first quarter. Quarterback Cameron Smith threw up the middle to wide receiver Marcus Lodge for a 67-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead.
     Shedro Louis intercepted a Smith pass at the Indians 30-yard line. Immokalee(12-1) evened it up at 7-7 on the final play of the first with no time remaining. On a 4th-and-10, quarterback R.J. Rosales found running back Fred Green on the right sideline for a 42-yard pass play.
     The Indians got the only score in the second quarter. American Heritage fumbled the ball away on a handoff and linebacker Samuel Edison recovered it at the Patriots 35-yard line. Louis caught a 24-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to give them their first lead 14-7 at the 9:41 mark.
     The Patriots tied the contest 14-14 on their first drive of the third quarter. Smith rushed through the middle, broke a couple of tackles and scored from 62 yards away at 10:45.
     Ellias Cuervas attempted a 25-yard field goal and the Patriots were called for offside to give Immokalee a first down. On the next play, former American Heritage running back Abraham Alce busted through the middle for a touchdown from four yards out with 1:28 left in the third to give them a 21-14 advantage.
     The fourth quarter belonged to American Heritage as they compiled 14 points. Running back Tyler Jones slipped by the left side of the line and scored a five-yard touchdown at 10:09 to tie the game 21-21.
     The Indians punted the ball away and the Patriots scored on the first play of their next possession. Running back Miles Jones found a hole through the middle and pulled away from the Immokalee defenders for a 73-yard touchdown run with 8:40 left in the fourth.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Miami Ratings November 2017

     The ratings came out for sports format radio stations in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market and Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM was on top for the fourth consecutive month. The South Florida region is set for a major change on the local airwaves.
     It was the final period where WQAM and Sports Talk 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM will have different owners. Both their parent corporations CBS Radio and Entercom Communications finally were able to merge together after the approval of the United States government and shareholders.
     WQAM rose from a 1.1 to a 1.4 in November. The University of Miami Hurricanes football team remained undefeated, clinched their first ACC Coastal Division title and will play in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. The Miami Dolphins losing five straight games over the month and a bad start by the Florida Panthers had no impact.
     The Ticket moved from a 0.9 to a 1.0 in the month. The Miami Heat have been an average team in the early part of the NBA season. The station will need find a temporary fill-in for evening host Josh Friedman who was hosting his final shows of the year.
     Miami Sports Radio 940 WINZ-AM stayed in the same position with a 0.2 for the fifth consecutive month. They continue to rely on local shows with Jeff DeForest in morning drive and Andy Slater in mid-afternoons.

Josh Friedman Takes Time Off From The Ticket

     Sports Talk 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM evening host Josh Friedman will be taking time off from the station as of today. He will be having knee replacement surgery and expects to be back by the beginning of January. The station is expected to use Greg Likens, Barry Jackson and others as fill-in hosts during December.
     Friedman, an Indiana University grad, has been with The Ticket since early 2006. He started as a reporter for the station covering the Florida Marlins, Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat. He later hosted a weekend show until March 2014.
     After The Ticket lost the radio broadcast rights to the Miami Marlins following the 2013 season, Friedman was named as evening host in April 2014 and picked up Chris Wittyngham as a co-host in July 2014. They were the interim afternoon co-hosts for one month in August 2015 and then returned to the evening shift. Wittyngham left the evening program and joined Ethan Skolnick for the afternoon shift in May 2016. Friedman has co-hosted the evening show with guest co-hosts ever since.
     He had a tenure during the 1990s at a sports radio station in Chicago as a reporter, producer and board operator. He moved to Miami in 1998 and became the Florida Marlins reporter for 560 WQAM-AM. His contract was not renewed by that station in the middle of 2003. Friedman worked the next two years as a Miami sports reporter for Metro Networks.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Knicks Bounce Heat

     The Miami Heat were blown out by the New York Knicks 115-86 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Heat played for the second straight night and the third time in the last four days on the road.
     New York(11-10) found it would be a different contest when Kristaps Porzingis ended his night when he sprained his right ankle and had to leave the game just three minutes in. They still went on a 10-3 spurt in the final three minutes of the frame and led 33-21 after one quarter. The Knicks kept up the pace scoring the last nine points of the second quarter and were up 65-44 at halftime. Miami(10-11) was unable to cut into the deficit and trailed 88-64 after three quarters.
     Kelly Olynyk had a team-high 18 points and Tyler Johnson added 13 for the Heat. Josh Richardson drained in 13 points while Dion Waiters dropped 10 points. Enes Kanter got a game-high 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks while Courtney Lee scored 17 points.
   

St. Thomas Aquinas At Venice Preview

     It is a rematch from last year as the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders meet the Venice Indians on Friday night in a Class 7A state semifinal. They faced each other during the same round in Fort Lauderdale last season and the Raiders were victorious 46-8.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(11-2) is the defending three-time FHSAA Class 7A state champions and have not lost a game held in Central Florida since Manatee in 2009. It will be the 11th time in the last 14 seasons that the Raiders will play in a state semifinal. STA hosted their last three playoff games and had no problems. Aquinas destroyed South Miami 56-0 in a regional quarterfinal, blasted West Broward 38-7 in a regional semifinal and downed Doral Academy 48-6 last week in a regional final. They have outscored their opponents 398-99 this season and averaged 30 points for and seven points against per game.
     The Raiders can run or pass the ball on any occasion. Running back Daniel Carter is expected to get his share of carries along with Nigel White. They have a slew of wide receivers that includes Elijah Moore, Teriq Phillips, Tavares Kelly and Cole Caterbone. Derek Wingo has filled in at quarterback for Curt Casteel over the last couple of games. Their secondary is talented with Asante Samuel Jr., Al Blades Jr., Trenell Troutman and Adetutu Daranijo.
     Venice(12-1), who lost one game this season to independent school IMG Academy during Week 7, enter this contest on an eight-game winning streak. The Indians will host their fourth consecutive playoff game. They defeated St. Petersburg 49-13 in a regional quarterfinal, handled Braden River 41-32 in a regional semifinal and cruised by Tampa Bay Tech 48-17 in a regional final. They have outscored their opponents 529-171 and averaged 40 points per game this year.
     The Indians return several offensive skill players that played in their game against the Raiders last year. Bryce Carpenter leads the team at quarterback and is a dual threat to run and pass the ball. Running back Courtney Doss gets the most opportunities to rush the ball from the backfield as will Brandon Gregory and Mike Trapani. Carpenter looks to connect passes off to wide receivers Jaivon Heiligh, Zach Fryar, Sam Whitney and Damian Brown.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Naples At Miami Northwestern Preview

     The Naples Golden Eagles head across I-75 to Dade County and challenge the Miami Northwestern Bulls at Traz Powell Stadium on Friday night in a Class 6A state semifinal. The school that wins will play in the state championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on December 8.
     Naples(10-1) have won nine straight games since they fell to Palmetto in Week 2. The Golden Eagles topped Port Charlotte 14-7 in a regional quarterfinal, shut out Largo 24-0 in a regional semifinal and took Fort Myers 36-9 in a regional final. They have outscored their opponents 387-137 this season and averaged 35 points for per game.
     The Golden Eagles put a heavy emphasis on their running game. Quarterback Jordan Persad-Tirone along with running backs Cesare Melluci, Elan Sommala and Chase Bertucci will rush the ball out of the backfield. Look for an rare pass by Persad-Tirone to wide receivers Wooby Theork and Taejon Wright.
     Miami Northwestern(10-2) looks to get back to the top of the mountain for the first time since they won back-to-back Class 6A state championship in 2006 and 2007. The last time they played in a state semifinal was in 2008 when they beat Geno Smith and Miramar. After they blanked Matanzas 33-0 in a regional quarterfinal, the Bulls faced their two District 16 rivals in the next two rounds. They got by Miami Central 24-18 in a regional semifinal and beat the defending Class 6A champion Carol City 23-15 last week in a regional final. They have outscored their opponents 316-110 this year and allowed nine points per game.
     The person that controls the Bulls offense is quarterback Chatarius Atwell Jr. He will attempt to connect passes to wide receivers Derrick Davis and Justin Hill. Running back Corey Hammett is expected to get the bulk of carries from the backfield for Miami Northwestern.

Miami At Atlantic Preview

     The Miami Stingarees visit Delray Beach and take on the Atlantic Eagles in a Class 8A state semifinal on Friday night. The winner of this game will play in the championship game on December 9 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
     Miami(11-1) was a seventh seed in Region 4 and have won three straight road playoff games along with eight straight overall. The Stingarees blanked Palmetto 28-0 in a regional quarterfinal, knocked off the defending FHSAA Class 8A state champion Southridge in a regional semifinal 27-21 and came back from 22 points to upset Columbus 28-22 last week in a regional final. They have outscored their opponents 485-182 this season and scored 40 points per game.
     The Stingarees have Isaias Castellon in the quarterback position and he will throw passes to wide receivers Lamont Finnie, Bernard Marshall, Marcus Flemming and Keythan Drayton. Look for running back Johnny Ford to carry the ball along with Marcus Barthell.
     Atlantic(11-1) play in a state semifinal for the first time since 2001. The Eagles last two seasons  ended following a loss in a regional final game. They have won their last 11 games following an opening week defeat to Palm Beach Central by one point. Atlantic has outscored their opponents 336-108 and held teams to nine points this year. They beat Plantation 29-14 in a regional quarterfinal, got by Park Vista 14-7 in a regional semifinal and defeated Western 35-22 in a regional final.
     Running back Shelley Singletary is expected to get the majority of carries from the backfield along with Corey Cola Jr. Quarterback Antoine Williams II can roll out of the pocket and find wide receivers Corey Gammage, Oyeh Lurry-Davis, Cadarius Gaskin, Kamareon Williams, Javone Jackson and Aydin Henningham for pass receptions.

Immokalee At American Heritage Preview

     The American Heritage Patriots host the Immakolee Indians at Heritage Field in Plantation on Friday night. The winner of the Class 5A state semifinal will play in the state championship game on December 8 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
     Immakolee(12-0) is undefeated this season and will play their first playoff game on the road. They lost in the playoffs to the Patriots in 2013 and 2014 which led to two state titles for American Heritage. The Indians have outscored their opponents 582-171 this year and have averaged 48 points per contest. They shut out Booker 54-0 in a regional quarterfinal, handled Dunbar 51-32 in a regional semifinal and defeated Lakewood 42-14 in a regional final.
     The Indians offense has R.J. Rosales at quarterback and he can either run or pass with the ball. They have a steady crew of running backs with Fred Green, former American Heritage player Abraham Alce and Malcom Jackson. Wide receivers Shedro Louis, Jordan Hall and Yanavis Fuller intend to catch the ball from Rosales.
     American Heritage(11-0) are the defending FHSAA Class 5A state champions and have won the state title in three of the last four years. The Patriots have won 25 consecutive games entering this contest and have not lost a game since the 2015 playoffs against Hallandale. They blanked Merritt Island 52-0 in a regional quarterfinal, pounded Bishop Moore 56-27 in a regional semifinal, and edged Cardinal Gibbons 58-57 in triple overtime last week in a regional final. The Pats have outscored their opponents 477-154 this season and averaged 43 points per game.
     Cameron Smith starts at quarterback and leads the Patriots offense. They have a bunch of running backs to depend on that includes Jordan Johnson, Tyler Jones and Miles Jones. Smith will look for wide receivers Anthony Schwartz, Marcus Lodge, Josh Alexander, Tyler March and Miles Jones down the field for completions.