Originally created 01/31/05

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Boxing

Two local fighters take state honors

Augusta Boxing Club's Fred Hall and A.J. Obleton won state competitions on Saturday at the 2005 Loring Baker USA Boxing Tournament in Macon, Ga.

Fred Hall won the 152-pound division of the Georgia USA Boxing Championships with two unanimous decisions. Hall first outpointed Ronald Wright of the Blazers Boxing Club in Columbus, then beat Alpharetta PAL Boxing Club's Joseph Norfleet.

Hall advances to the Southeast Coast Region USA Boxing Championships in Greensboro, N.C., on Feb. 18-20.

Obleton was also a winner in the 85-pound Junior Olympic Division.

He got unanimous decisions over Alpharetta Boxing Club members Lavonte Cranford and Thomas Johnson.

 •  In Atlantic City, N.J., Arturo Gatti retained his WBC 140-pound title Saturday, stopping "Jesse" James Leija in the fifth round and avoiding the kind of slugfests that have made his career.

Before a sellout crowd that cheered his every move, Gatti landed a hard overhand right on a retreating Leija, knocking him down early in the round. But Leija narrowly beat referee Earl Brown's 10-count and got to his feet just as Brown got to 10.

Gatti teed off on him after that, finally dropping Leija for good with a left hand to the ear that forced the referee to stop the fight at 1:48 of the fifth.

Basketball

ASU women pull off upset at Columbus

In Columbus, Ga., almost all the numbers were against the Augusta State women's basketball team after Sunday's game at Columbus State - except for the final score.

Despite shooting just 16-for-30 from the free-throw line, allowing 30 offensive rebounds and going 2-for-14 from 3-point range, the Lady Jaguars came home with a 62-61 victory.

Eva Vodrazkova led the way with 15 points - despite going 4-for-9 from the free-throw line. She entered the day leading the NCAA in free-throw percentage. Taliah Roberts added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Augusta State (10-9, 4-4 Peach Belt).

The Lady Jaguars led 52-37 with 11 minutes to go, but the Cougars (13-6, 6-2) rallied and had two chances to win. But Angie Parkman missed two free throws with 4.6 seconds left, and Angelica Graham stepped out of bounds after she got the offensive rebound.

 •  The Columbus State men got 33 points from Yandel Brown and 26 more from Kendrick Jones to fight off Augusta State, 82-72.

Karim Telfer had 21 to lead the Jaguars (10-9, 3-5 Peach Belt), who went just 5-for-23 from 3-point range and were called for 23 fouls, compared to 12 for the Cougars.

 •  In Nashville, Tenn., Ashley McElhiney, the first female coach of a men's pro basketball team, was fired Saturday after an on-court dispute with the co-owner of the ABA's Nashville Rhythm.

Co-owner and CEO Sally Anthony was unhappy that McElhiney was playing former Vanderbilt star Matt Freije after Anthony instructed that he be benched.

The argument over Freije's playing time began during the third quarter and apparently escalated when Anthony attempted to remove McElhiney as coach during the team's 110-109 win over the Kansas City Knights. Anthony was eventually restrained by security guards and taken off the floor.

"I called my coach a couple of hours before the game and said 'I don't want him playing,' " Sally Anthony told The Tennessean after the game.