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Four Bulldogs to sit out on Friday

Four Thomson Bulldogs players have been suspended for this week’s game.

Felton Hatcher, Jalen McNair, KT Woods and Quay Cummings will not be allowed to play because of their involvement in a fight with LaGrange last week, Bulldogs coach Milan Turner confirmed. Two Grangers players were also ejected.

Thomson plays Westminster of Atlanta on Friday.

The skirmish appeared to start after a LaGrange player knocked down a Thomson player in the third quarter following a kick return. The Bulldogs would go on to win 31-28 to end a three-game losing streak dating back to the 2012 state quarterfinals.

• Burke County is in an unfamiliar spot this week: unranked.

The Bears, once No. 2 in Class AAAA, dropped out of the top 10 in the latest Georgia Sports Writers Association Prep Football Poll after a loss to Statesboro.

Burke County’s two losses have come to Class AAAAAA Coffee and the Blue Devils, who are ranked No. 6 in Class AAAA.

The Bears have lost consecutive games in a season for the first time since 2009. Over the next three years, Burke County won 11, 14 and 11 games, winning the Class AAA title in 2011.

In the other classifications, Washington County is No. 3 and Jefferson County is No. 5 in Class AAA. Both teams went up a spot.

Washington-Wilkes also improved one place, going to fifth in Class AA.

In Class A, Aquinas is alone at No. 4 after tying Prince Avenue Christian for the spot a week ago. Region rival Lincoln County fell four spots to 10th following a defeat to Ninety Six.

Tennis

Knee injury was excuse for Cilic

A tennis tribunal says Marin Cilic hid behind the excuse of a knee injury to withdraw from Wimbledon this year to avoid negative publicity after failing a doping test.

The Croatian player was suspended for nine months last week by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for a banned stimulant at a tournament in Munich in May.

The ITF’s anti-doping tribunal released its findings of the case Tuesday, saying Cilic pulled out of Wimbledon before his second-round match against Kenny de Schepper on the same day he accepted a provisional doping suspension and waived his right to testing of his backup ‘B’ sample.

• In Tokyo, Venus Williams upset top-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday to advance to the third round of the Pan Pacific Open.

In her first appearance in the Tokyo tournament since 2009, Williams took advantage of six-double faults by Azarenka.

• In Bangkok, Bernard Tomic advanced to the second round of the Thailand Open when Ivo Karlovic retired with a back injury while trailing 6-7 (3), 6-4, 4-2.

Tomic, a quarterfinalist in Bangkok last year, will next face 2006 champion Gilles Simon.

NBA

Pacers, George agree on deal

The Indiana Pacers have signed young star forward Paul George to a five-year maximum contract extension through the 2018-19 season, according to ESPN.com.

The Pacers are expected to announce the deal today.

Last season, George won the 2012-13 Most Improved Player Award, averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

The New York Knicks have signed center Cole Aldrich, a former lottery pick who has struggled in the NBA.

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