Minor League Hockey
RiverHawks fall in season opener
In Southaven, Miss., Augusta’s rally came up short and the RiverHawks lost to the Mississippi RiverKings in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.
In Rob Miller’s first regular-season game as the RiverHawks coach, Augusta fell 5-4.
Mississippi took a 5-2 lead during the third period, only to have Augusta storm back on goals by Kyle Watson and Matt Puntureri to pull to within one, and that’s how it ended.
Chad Ziegler and Aaron McGill had the other goals for the RiverHawks. McGill also had an assist.
The teams play again tonight at 8:05 at the Landers Center.
Reed, Norlander pass first stage
Former Augusta State teammates Patrick Reed and Henrik Norlander easily advanced to the second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament on Friday.
Reed won a first-stage qualifier in Kingwood, Texas, and Norlander finished in a tie for second place in his first stage site in Lewisville, Texas.
Reed shot 69-63-65-74 to finish at 17-under 271 at Deerwood Golf Club, winning by one shot. The top 19 advanced to the second stage.
Norlander, playing at The Lakes at Castle Hills, shot 72-73-66-74. The top 18 advanced.
Area players failing to advance were Wallace Booth (36th at The Lakes at Castle Hills), Roger Furrer (tied for 28th at Deerwood) and Brad Arrington (72nd at Pensacola, Fla.).
Two other first-stage sites conclude today. At Florence (S.C.) Country Club, David Robinson had 68 on Friday and is tied for seventh, Stephen Poole shot 71 and is tied for 28th, Scott Usher shot 67 and is tied for 41st and Garland Smith shot 74 and is tied for 62nd. The top 17 advance from this stage.
At Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., Casey Johnson shot 76 and is tied for 34th place and Mitch Krywulycz had 72 and is tied for 58th place. The top 18 advance.
Area teams fall in state events
In Columbus, Ga. Greenbrier and Harlem were ousted from the respective double elimination Georgia High School Association state tournaments on Friday.
Greenbrier, which was in the losers bracket in the Class AAAAA tournament, beat Northgate 12-11 Friday morning to stay alive, but then lost to Whitewater 11-8.
Harlem, in Class AA, was also in the losers bracket. The Lady Bulldogs beat Jeff Davis 7-4 in the morning, but lost to Heard County 4-1.
Nominees set for Ray Guy Award
There are 69 nominees for the Ray Guy Award, which goes the nation’s top collegiate punter.
Among the group is 2011 winner Ryan Allen of Louisiana Tech, 2011 finalist Steven Clark, of Auburn, and Sean Poole, of Georgia Tech.
• In Greenwood, S.C., Augusta State had to win a tough third set to sweep Lander 3-0 in volleyball.
The Lady Jaguars won 25-15, 25-16 and 26-24.
Kristen Koch had 15 kills and Krystin Wahlig had 47 assists for the Lady Jaguars (16-11, 4-6 Peach Belt Conference).
• In Aiken, USC Aiken ended a four-match losing streak by beating Montevallo, 3-2 to move over the .500 mark in Peach Belt play.
The games were 23-25, 25-18, 25-17, 21-25 and 15-7.
Shannon Byers had 16 kills and 14 digs for the Lady Pacers (16-9, 5-4 Peach Belt Conference).
– From staff and wire reports
Azarenka’s win locks up No. 1
In Istanbul, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus made sure of finishing the year as the top-ranked player in the world by beating Li Na of China 7-6 (4), 6-3 at the WTA Championships.
Azarenka secured a spot in the semifinals and will next play Maria Sharapova.
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland advanced to the semifinals when she edged Sara Errani of Italy 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 in a match that lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours. The fourth-ranked Radwanska will now play Serena Williams today.
Sharapova swept past Sam Stosur 6-0, 6-3 on the final day of round-robin play but Azarenka’s win means that the Russian will not be able to wrest the No. 1 ranking form her.