The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 6, 1997 · Page 131
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December 6, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 131

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Saturday, December 6, 1997
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Page 131
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The Palm Beach Post w SECTION C INSIDE MARLINS It's all up to the Vols Tennessee can prove it can win the big game by winning the SEC Championship. PAGE 8C Sprewell's agent: NBA Influenced Warriors He cites the team's change from a 10-day suspension for the player as proof. PAGE 6C Last player from first team designated for assignment Alex Arias, a reserve infielder who is the team's all-time leader with 44 pinch-hits, will be traded, waived or released within 10 days. PAGE 3C SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1997 SPORTS it-' J IWIJ.MIIIJJ'W MB llll i..H-LLL!UUMi(J '7,, Heat shoot down Cheryl Rosenberg Woman boxer has a sweet style of impact POMPANO BEACH They came to see the woman fight, there was no question about that. They braved the Florida-frigid 50-something-degree night (even the bikini-clad card girls put on sweaters in between their saunter around the ring) to see just what thjs Christy Martin was all about. . ; Martin, a 28-year-old anti-pioneer of women's boxing, was to fight Venezuelan Marcela Acuna in a scheduled 10-round bout Friday at Pompano Beach Amphitheater. !, Two minutes before the bout began, in strolled the ultimate benefactor (and let's just say the lack of humidity on this night did nothing to halt the height of his hair) promotor Don King. Perfect. Oscar De La Hoya still attracting attention 8C Mi It .& , ' CrQ , , . . .-- i M 1.1 III., Illllinill 1 ll.l 11-11 Ml ,,,1111.11, Bll.! IMWMM.IMIl.t.rrtMtMIIIWWII! Bll fa J I II II. .. ! I, . !, , I 'I ! I II I. I.NT.I.11 I.I I. , N. I RICHARD GRAULICHStaff Photographer Friday nights game at Cane Field. The Blue Devils led at the half, but Clewiston came back to win 28-1 5. Pahokee's James Beard makes a catch for a big gain and is immediately tackled by Clewiston's Tony Brathwaite during Clewiston rallies past Pahokee, into final Celtics Mark Strickland scores a career-best 20 as hot-shooting Miami takes control early, never relents. By Jorge Milian Palm Beach Post Staff Writer MIAMI The Rolling Stones weren't the only five-man band putting on a show Friday night in Miami. While the venerable British rockers were performing a few miles away in the Orange Bowl, the Miami Heat, led by Mark Strickland's career-high 20 points and 18-point efforts by Jamal Mashburn and Tim Hardaway, rocked the Boston Celtics 117-97 before 14,937 fans at Miami Arena. MONDAY'S GAME: Nets at Heat, 7:30 p.m. TV: Sunshine Miami (12-5) put the Celtics away early and countered the full-court, non-stop pace favored by first-year Boston coach Rick Pi-tino with dead-eye shooting. The Heat connected on 42-of-83 shots (51 percent) and committed only 17 turnovers to the Celtics, who entered the game first in the NBA in turnovers forced. "They give you a lot of opportunities because of their style," said Heat coach Pat Riley. "If you're not sharp, they create a game that is havoc." The Heat were sharp, and : Strickland was nearly perfect. The second-year forward from Temple made his first appearance with four minutes remaining in the third quarter, and managed his ; team-high 20 points by going 7-of-10 from the field and hitting six straight free throws in only 16 minutes. "Everyone knows that I'm real athletic and a fast-break game let's me showcase my talents," Strickland said. "Tonight, it was that way and I was just outrunning everybody." Strickland had plenty of help. Each of the Heat's five starters scored in double figures. Hardaway added 10 assists to his 18 points while P.J. Brown had 11 points and 12 rebounds. The loss was the fifth in a row Please see HEAT6C Panthers fall to Capitals in overtime By Brian Biggane Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WASHINGTON - The Florida Panthers spent most of their practice time this week working on their penalty-killing. Maybe next week they'll be getting back to their power play. " SUNDAY'S GAME: Capitals at Panthers, 1:30 p.m. TV: SportsChannel The Panthers were unable to capitalize on a four-minute man-advantage in the second period and a five-minute power play in the third and wound up losing 3-2 in overtime to the Washington Capitals on Friday night in the first hockey game at the new MCI Center. Jeff Toms stole the puck from . Florida defenseman Paul Laus at the Capitals' blue line and scored an unassisted goal with 1:28 remaining in the extra period as the Capitals won for the second time in three meetings with Florida this season. "It's a bitter pill to swallow," Laus said in a quiet Florida dressing room. "Especially when it's your fault." Aside from the Washington goals, the biggest cheers from the sellout crowd of 19,740 were for the Caps' own penalty killers, who Please see PANTHERS7C -"There are some basic facts you need to know about Martin: She is the most famous woman boxer in the world and she fights for the most infamous promoter in the world, . , "She is in it for the money, not to "further the cause of women in sports. : : v ...he entered the ring Friday wearing a pale pink robe with the hood up. Her husband, Jim Martin, and another handler also wore pink. The song The heat is on blared as the almost 1,000 spectators stood and cheered and whooped as she danced around. "My style's pretty aggressiveMartin Said. "They want to see people hit people and see people get hit. They know I'ml going to hit." ... Then, the bell rang and Martin came out brawling. The crowd , responded loudly to the solid thud of gloves connecting with flesh. ' " Acuna was on the defensive the entire fight as Martin chased her around the ring. By the eighth, Acuna's left eye was nearly swollen shut. The fight went the entire 10 rounds and Martin, who knocked down ' Acuna in the 10th with a right cross, won by unaminous decision. i e . There was nothing terribly artistic about this. Martin is a trained boxer but she got her start on a college dare, when she competed in "Tough Women" contests. She found her way to Jim Martin's gym, where she arrived with her pomeranian in her arms and her mother at her side. Jim figured he'd have her ribs broken and send the little woman on her way. ; Instead, under the watchful eye of her boss, Jim saw her determination, her potential as a fighter, and, let's be honest, dollar Signs. A woman who could box. Not a bad attraction. The chemistry extended beyond the ring, as the two fell in love and married. r Martin has not lost since November of 1989 and is 34-1-2 with 26 knockouts. She has appeared on every major TV talk show, the cover of Sports Illustrated, and would seem to be the perfect poster-person for the promotion of women to this male-dominated sport. , I Only don't try telling that to Martin. She never tried to carry the torch. And she is incredibly defensive to any suggestion of her responsibility to encourage other women. Call it selfish. Ironically, the loudest fans cheering her on ' Friday were women. Maybe it's tqojmuch of a burden. capped a six-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. Rodriguez's PAT was blocked but the Blue Devils led 9-7. Carlton Banks ran for a 46-yard touchdown on the Tigers' second play but Boldin again ate away the clock by chipping his way down the field with short runs and passes until he dived over a pile for a 4-yard touchdown to end the half. At half time, Morell said he yelled for his defense and offense to pick it up in the second half. Both teams couldn't score on two possessions each in the third quarter. That set the stage for Polhill's ice-breaking touchdown pass and a victory pileup on the 50-yard line. Pahokee players walked off the field with their heads down or huddled alone in tears. "I told them at half time it would come down to the fourth quarter but we couldn't get field position," said Pahokee coach Joe Marx. "These boys are hurting," said Marx, who told his players after the game to learn from the loss "because it's going to be Clewiston again next year." and I have a headache now and I have to find my wife for some aspirin." MorreU's headache was justified. Pahokee, which had dominated the early game by controlling the ball for most of the first half, still had a chance for a comeback. . But Clewiston linebacker Antowan Cain killed the Blue Devils' last significant drive with a rare interception of quarterback Anquan Boldin with three minutes left. "That's it, baby! Let's get ready for those guys over in Avon Park!" Cain said of the Red Devils, who beat Pope John Paul 34-7 Friday. Clewiston scored first on the second play of the game when Stone scored his . first of two touchdowns on a 51-yard run. Pahokee's Victor Rodriguez kicked a 16-yard filed goal to cap a 14-play drive that took seven minutes. The quarter expired as the Blue Devils defense stopped the Tigers at their own 33-yard line on four solo tackles. - On Pahokee's next possession, Boldin Josh Polhill's late TD pass to Eric Green puts Tigers in showdown with Avon Park. By Joe Capozzi Palm Beach Post Staff Writer CLEWISTON The Clewiston Tigers woke up in the fourth quarter Friday night and stormed past the Pahokee Blue Devils for a 28-15 playoff victory before a crowd of 4,000 at Cane Field. Quarterback Josh Polhill sealed the Tigers' berth in next week's Class 3A regional final game against Avon Park with a 20-yard pass into the end zone that sophomore receiver Eric Green caught on the run with nine minutes left. The touchdown, Clewiston's first score since Carlton Banks' 46-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, gave the Tigers a 20-15 lead after they had trailed at half time by one point. "I'm numb, I'm speechless," Clewiston coach Al Morrell said as fireworks went off i overhead after the clock ran out. "It's hard to explain how we won. It was too close, Big good John Thompson, a friend to ex-Hoyas, always coaches his way, in a big way I -tM I j , II iinnm,,,! , ,W)M " 4 - - "'" ' in nnninwi.t W i ' i 0 vff n:' 1 i f ! ' L u u 111 t " - -'It's more pressure now," Martin said. "It's starting to weigh on me. I'm trying too hard. If I could relax, the knockouts By Dave George Palm Beach Post Staff Writer MIAMI Alonzo Mourning and the Miami Heat have tonight off, but that won't stop Mourning from driving over to Miami Arena. He owes a visit to a friend. No, make that a giant. Better yet, make that a friendly giant. Regardless of the gruff image John Thompson sometimes projects on the sidelines, Mourning could never see the. towering, glowering coach of the Georgetown Hoyas any other way. "Patrick (Ewing) and I always call him up after a tough loss to see how he's doing, just like you would any friend," Mourning said. "He doesn't want to hear any advice from us, but he does like to hear from us." Thompson, in town for a Big East game against the 6-0 Miami TODAY'S GAME: Georgetown at Miami, 7:30 p.m., Miami Arena. TV: SportsChannel. Hurricanes, elicits guidance from very few after a quarter century of coaching NCAA Tournament teams. The wide swath he has cut across the game follows a route of his own choosing. That white towel he wears across one shoulder on the Georgetown bench signals anything but surrender. It is the trademark of a coach Please see TH0MPS0N5C wuuiu tunic easier, l m sua going to beat every opponent put before me, but if I relax, I could do it earlier." - Perhaps carrying the hopes of women is simply too much. But when the heat is really on, Martin shouldn't look for too many proponents of women's equality to sit in her corner. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 1996 FILE PHOTO Georgetown coach John Thompson's list of ex-players he admires the most has the names of Heat center Alonzo Mourning and Knicks center Patrick Ewing right near the top. 1" iti.llh jrit'iwit' irti jili.i Ol Ihmntitn' rwwKi(.nifHiffiiiiimHiilHi fHinrtitifrniniiUlt nln ii t,rAi iiln mf" n

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