Sports briefs

Published: Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 28, 2003 at 11:35 p.m.

Gainesville's Davis wins, reaches state final

LAKELAND - Gainesville High's Nick Davis won both of his matches Friday to advance to the state wrestling finals tonight.

Davis, a junior, was impressive as he scored two major decisions. In his quarterfinal bout, Davis won over Thomas Butler of Auburndale by 15-2. In the evening's semifinals, Davis beat Omar Mubaidin of Tampa Sickles by 17-5.

"He got the job done." Gainesville coach Jim Zaruba said. "He put it all together - singles, doubles, head snaps."

Zaruba said he was nervous about Friday's match as Davis fell in the semifinals last year.

"Last year Nick was tentative, this year we had a good game plan. We wanted him to keep on moving."

Suwannee junior Josh Davis defeated North Marion's Tyler Helms 9-8.

Other area wrestlers didn't fare as well. Suwannee's Paul Horne lost to Tampa Prep's Joe Christenson. Palatka's Courtney James lost 11-5 to Florida School for the Deaf's Marty Whittington, and Palatka's Immanuel Hutcherson lost to Westwood's Keith Faust.

- John Lawton

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: James scores 30 as case takes turn

BARBERTON, Ohio - LeBron James doesn't look ready to sign any shoe deals or drive off to the NBA in his Hummer just yet. The high school star is savoring his final days as an amateur.

James began playing for another state title Friday night, just hours after a court case on his eligibility took another unexpected turn.

The nation's top player scored 30 points - 14 on dunks - to lead No. 1 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary to an 84-30 win over Akron Kenmore in a Division II sectional final.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for the Ohio High School Athletic Association - which ruled James ineligible - asked a judge Friday to dismiss James' case on the grounds that the 18-year-old superstar did not properly appeal the OHSAA's ruling.

In asking for a dismissal, OHSAA attorney Steven Craig argued that James ``cannot maintain the present action due to his failure to exhaust the administrative remedies afforded him.''

SAILING: Race 5 postponed as Alinghi goes for sweep

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Switzerland's pursuit of nautical history will have to wait.

Race 5 of the America's Cup was postponed Saturday because of light wind on the uncooperative Hauraki Gulf. It was the seventh postponement in the best-of-nine series, which Alinghi leads 4-0.

The forecast called for wind of 7-to-12 knots from the northeast, but it was down to 4 knots during much of a two-hour delay, with an occasional breeze of 7 knots.

Principal race officer Harold Bennett called it off about two hours after the scheduled starting time. The race committee will try to get the race under way Sunday.

The light conditions came a day after Team New Zealand's 110-foot mast snapped in two amid high wind and rough seas, the second major Kiwi breakdown in four races.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Marshall billboard nixed in W.Va. territory

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A billboard praising Marshall University's football program smack dab in the middle of West Virginia University territory was canceled at the last minute.

The billboard on Interstate 79 purchased by Marshall's athletic department was scheduled for unveiling on Thursday but was nixed by Marshall President Dan Angel that morning.

``Dr. Angel said this is a clear contradiction of his directive of no more billboards in Morgantown,'' said Dave Wellman, Marshall's communications director.

The billboard would have been Marshall's second promotional sign near Morgantown in the past six months. A billboard that appeared in September on Interstate 68 was quickly defaced by vandals who painted over the word ``Marshall'' with the letters ``WVU.''

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