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College Basketball

Pacers dominate in season opener

In Aiken, junior guard Kinley Branch came off the bench to score 19 points and lead USC Aiken to a season-opening 92-72 victory over Voorhees on Tuesday night.

Branch, a transfer from Arkansas State, hit seven of 12 shots from the field in his regular season Pacer debut.

Jesse Seilern had 16 points for the Pacers, who have now won 15 in a row at the convocation center.

It was the 126th victory for Pacer coach Vince Alexander, moving him into second place on the school’s win list. He’s three behind the leader, Larry Epperley.

Golf

Reed, Kisner off to strong starts

Four area players started play in the second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament at two courses in Texas on Tuesday.

In Humble, Texas, former Augusta State All-American Patrick Reed and Aiken’s Kevin Kisner opened with 4-under-par 68s and are tied for fifth place at Redstone Golf Club’s Member’s Course. Aiken’s Stephen Poole had 71 and is tied for 25th place.

In McKinney, Texas, ex-Augusta State All-American Henrik Norlander shot 3-under-par 69 and is tied for 13th place at TPC Craig Ranch.

After 72 holes, the top 18 to 20 players at the six second-
stage sites around the country advance to the finals, which begin Nov. 28 at PGA West in LaQuinta, Calif.

Prep Football

Thomson is still No. 1 in AP poll

Thomson will begin the playoffs right where it wants to finish: No. 1.

The Bulldogs remained the top team in Class AAA in the final Associated Press Georgia high school football polls release of the regular season. The Class AA-AAAAAA state playoffs begin this week.

Unbeaten Thomson is joined by fellow Region 3-AAA member Washington County in the Class AAA poll. The Golden Hawks, previously tied for fourth, are now tied for fifth. Washington County’s only loss was to Thomson.

Up to Class AAAA, Region 3-AAAA champion Burke County stayed No. 3.

Over in Class AA, Washington-Wilkes is the only ranked local team. The Tigers went up to No. 8, which is just one spot behind Jefferson, the only team to defeat Washington-Wilkes.

In Class A, Lincoln County is again No. 3. Class A’s two playoffs – one public, one private – don’t begin until next week. Those two brackets will be released today.

• Thomson also remained on top in the weekly 10-team power poll, as voted on by members of The Augusta Chronicle sports department, WRDW-TV, and other area media.

Strom Thurmond is second and Burke County third.

The only change this week had Augusta Christian (12-0) moving from eighth to seventh and Washington-Wilkes (9-1) dropping from seventh to eighth.

• The South Carolina High School League has disqualified Goose Creek from the Class AAAA Division II state playoffs for using an ineligible player. Goose Creek beat Conway last week in the first round of the playoffs and was scheduled to play host to Bluffton on Friday.

Skiing

Intestinal pain sidelines Vonn

Lindsey Vonn remained hospitalized in Colorado on Tuesday with “severe intestinal pain” that has been affecting her for the past two weeks.

Vonn’s spokesman, Lewis Kay, wrote in an e-mail that the four-time overall World Cup champion was “awaiting results from diagnostic testing for severe intestinal pain.”

– From staff and wire reports


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