Originally created 01/14/02

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Gymnastics

Georgia turns back national champion UCLA

For the second time in three days, second-ranked Georgia defeated defending national champion UCLA, paced Sunday in Athens by the second-best all-around performance in school history.

Sophomore Cory Fritzinger of Virginia Beach, Va., scored 39.8 in the four events combined to spark Georgia to a 197.9-196.875 victory over UCLA before a sellout crowd of 9,951.

On Friday, Georgia won the Super Six Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., where UCLA was third.

"This was a big meet for us," said Georgia Coach Suzanne Yoculan. "It was obvious that we wanted badly to win the meet, while it was not that important to UCLA."

Georgia had to do some shuffling on the fly Sunday after sophomore Chelsa Byrd slipped on the vault board and slammed into the horse. She dislocated and fractured a finger on her right hand and is expected to be out three to four weeks.

But freshman Kinsey Rowe responded with a near-perfect 9.975 vault, followed by a career-best 10.0 by Fritzinger and a 9.975 by Marline Stephens.

Rowe finished with a career-high 39.675 all-around. Stephens, who subbed for Byrd in the bars, scored 39.575. UCLA's top scorer was Onnie Willis, 2001 NCAA all-around champion, with 39.65.

Georgia's score was its highest ever in a January meet.

Basketball

Six area youths win in hoop shoot

Three boys and three girls, ages 8-13, were named Augusta champions Saturday in the annual "Elk Hoop Shoot" free throw contest at Murphey Middle School.

Advancing to the Northeast District finals in Eatonton, Ga., on Feb. 9 were Da'Leecia Armstrong (girls ages 8-9) of Bayvale Elementary School; Jeniecia Anderson (girls 10-11) of Bungalow Road Elementary; Lauren Brinson (girls, 12-13) of Tutt Middle School; Travis Osborne Dean (boys 8-9) of Bayvale Elementary; Diontae Roberson (boys 10-11) of Willis Foreman Elementary; and Dominque Walters (boys 12-13) of Murphey Middle School.

The "Elks Hoop Shoot," started as a local program in Corvallis, Ore., in 1946, is in its 30th year of national competition. More than 3 million boys and girls are expected to participate this year.

Baseball

Red Sox decline late bid for team

The owners of the Boston Red Sox declined Sunday to pursue a late $700 million offer to buy the team and they reconfirmed their Dec. 20 decision to accept a $660 million bid from a group led by Florida financier John Henry.

"We always knew people would fight very hard to own the Red Sox, and that emotions would run high. But enough is enough," Red Sox chief executive John Harrington said in a statement. "It is obvious that there will be another round of criticism from the disappointed. So be it. This is the best decision for the trust and the foundation because it has the highest probability of closing."

Harrington runs the Jean R. Yawkey Trust, which owns a 53 percent controlling share of the Red Sox.

Harrington said the team's limited partners rejected the late $700 million offer from cable television billionaire Charles Dolan because it came too late.

Dolan, chairman of Cablevision Systems Corp., made the bid Thursday, three weeks after the Red Sox agreed to the offer from Henry, who is in the process of selling the Florida Marlins.

Harrington said the team's limited partners also decided to stick with the Henry bid because the group has already paid a $66 million deposit; it still provides a better economic value; and the team wants the new ownership group in place by April's opening day.