Pensacola News Journal from Pensacola, Florida on March 19, 1990 · 15
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Pensacola News Journal from Pensacola, Florida · 15

Pensacola, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, March 19, 1990
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I I v Newsjournal a NHL Pitsburgh 2, NY Islanders 2, tie Buffalo 4, Winnipeg 3, OT Montreal 8, Quebec 3 Philadelphia 7, Los Angeles 4 New York Rangers 5, Vancouver 2 Hartford 3, Edmonton 1 Washington 4, Minnesota 3 College Baseball Auburn 4, Mississippi 2 SCOREBOARD NBA Boston 122, New Jersey 106 Seattle 121, Golden State 116 Detroit 114, Dallas 84 Cleveland 120, Orlando 103 Portland 109. Houston 96 Charlotte 108, LA Clippers 97 Denver 103, Minnesota 98 Jacksonville 7-7, NC-Charlotte 6-0 Kentucky 7, Georgia 2 Miami, Fla. 12, Georgetown 1 North Carolina 12-12, Rider 4-7 South Florida 7, Portland St. 1 Rutgers 8, Fla. International 7 South Alabama 6, Florida A&M 1 S. Mississippi 9-1, Kansas St. 1-3 Troy St. 6-4, West Georgia 2-5 Arizona St. 9, Arizona 2 Washington St 7, Texas 4 ffixfflrtc Pensacola, Florida DIAL SPORTS (AFTER 4 P.M.)t 435-8521 Monday March 19, 1990 23 J Jamie PreH wins Late Model opener at Five Mags speedway, 3U NBA. NIT basketball, 5C The playoff road a mixed picture . GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -It's 5 a.m. on a Saturday in the city that's home to the Grand River, the Hoops and the Gerald R. Ford Museum. Two van loads of basketball players make their way through the darkness Today Basketball: Pensacola plays Grand Rapids in the CBA playoffs at the Pensacola Civic Center. Today Baseball: Pensacola Junior College plays Garland County Community College at PJC Field. Today On TV Basketball: NIT second-round, ESPN, 6 p.m. Basketball: NAIA championship. ESPN, 8 p.m. Tennis: International Players Championship, ESPN, noon Complete listings, 2C O Jodie Mudd wins The Players Championship, 6C O Area fishing report, 6C Tornados' backs up against wall Pensacola must win tonight or it's goodbye till next year morseful. Whatever provocation there was, there's no excuse for a fight." Edwards has not commented, but Thompson told a reporter after the game, "We were just talking. I walked away. He came and hit me from behind. It was a cheap shot. It was the shot of a coward. "(If) he's playing, he better watch his back," Thompson said. On the plus side, Wright should be back in the starting lineup. The Navy ensign stationed at Whiting Field near Milton could not make the Michigan trip but will likely be available tonight. There is no place like home for the Tornados. "Going home is a big boost to us," Tornado forward Larry Houzer said Friday night. "I don't think it's right they have the first game at home. It should See TORNADOS, 5C CBA playoff schedule2C By Nathan Dominitz News Journal The Pensacola Tornados are expecting hoping for, really a different game tonight when they meet the Grand Rapids Hoops at the Pensacola Civic Center in the second game of their three-game playoff series. The Tornados, seeded fourth in the CBA's American Conference playoffs, lost the first game Friday night 114-98 and face elimination if they don't even the score tonight against the fifth-seeded Hoops. Tipoff is at 7:05. The winner of the series plays top-seeded Albany in the next round. There will be some changes tonight. Tornados center Johnathan Edwards probably won't be there. Tornado forward Alabama Mows by Arizona Crimson Tide's defense skins Wildcats, 77-55 to trie airport as this Western Michigan town sleeps. Nine players, their coach, trainer and radio broadcaster will spend the worse part of the next eight hours on airplanes before touching down in Pensacola. Oh, the NATHAN DOMINITZ glamorous life of the Pensacola Tornados. Other scenes from the Tornados' three-day excursion to Grand Rapids to start the Continental Basketball Association playoffs: The Tornados' Thursday schedule began with a 7:10 a.m. flight which didn't leave Pensacola until 7:30. That made them late for Atlanta, where another delay made them late for Louisville, which made them late for Cincinnati. Fortunately, the airline held their flight to Grand Rapids, a twin-engine plane in which everyone from 6-foot-10 Johnathan Edwards to 6-foot Mark Wade had to hunch over in a 90-degree angle to reach their seats. There weren't even any flight attendants on the commuter flight. The team had a happy landing, especially after the pilot warned of "wind shear" problems earlier. Martin bumped, but no foul The team flew on stand-by all the way home. Edwards and Wade got bumped in Raleigh, N.C., but rejoined the team in time for its Atlanta flight. Forward Darryl Martin jumped at the chance to be bumped, in return for a future free flight or $200 cash. Guess which he chose. Tornados Larry Houzer and Keith Gatlin passed the time by playing cards. Houzer also passed his meal money to Gatlin. And finally, Wade shared a row on the Atlanta-Pensacola connection with the 9-year-old Martin twins, Frederick and Carlton. Wade loves kids (it takes one to love one), and he saw the wide-eyed look in their eyes when the larger-than-life Tornados boarded the plane. "I asked them if they watch 'The Simpsons'," said Wade, who loves the Sunday evening cartoon program. "We've been friends ever since." Besides occasionally launching a bag of peanuts and asking personal questions of a flight attendant, the boys (the Martins, not Wade) didn't get into trouble. That was fine with the pilot, who piped over the intercom, "It should be a pleasant flight if the passengers in 26E and F don't act up." A real crowd pleaser Tonight could be Tornados' fans last chance for a long time to sing along with Tom Frazier. You may not recognize the name, but you know Tom. Frazier has been a statistician at Tornados games since they arrived in Pensacola in January 1986. He always wears a red windbreaker. Need another clue? He's the guy who lip syncs along with the Ritchie Valens rock 'n' roll classic, "La Bamba," and sparks the crowd with his animated enthusiasm. Frazier, like the late Valens, is a real crowd-pleaser. In their three previous playoff appearances, the Tornados have lost to the eventual league champion. Their record during that time was 6-13. The Rapid City Thrillers dispatched the Tornados 4-1 in the Eastern semifinals en route to the 1986-87 title. In 1987-88 Pensacola grounded the Mississippi Jets 4-1 before being blanked 4-0 by the nearly perfect Albany Patroons (48-6 in the regular season). Albany went on to capture the crown. Last season the Tornados were dropped by the surging Tulsa Fast Breakers 4-1 in Round 1. Tulsa would set a league playoff record by going 12-1 on the road to the trophy. In 1985-86, the Tornados' first season in Pensacola, the team did not qualify for postseason play. Nathan Dominitz writes for the News Journal. CORRECTION Two percentages in a pie chart about minor league baseball possibly coming to Pensacola were reversed in Sunday's edition. As stated correctly in the story, 25 percent would attend minor league games once a month and 32 percent would attend more than once a week. i ,s' ' '.U " - - miJ:&&l a . .... . Gerry Wright probably will be there. And 3,487 rabid Grand Rapids fans definitely won't be there. The CBA is expected to make a ruling today on Edwards' eligibility. Edwards was ejected in the first half of Friday's game after punching Grand Rapids' Bernard Thompson, who was ejected soon afterward. Tornados coach Joe Mullaney expects Edwards to be suspended for the remainder of the Grand Rapids series, if not the rest of the playoffs. "In this league, a realistic fine is a suspension. The question is, "How long?'," Mullaney said Sunday. "I didn't see anything that could have triggered it. I couldn't hear what was said," the coach added. "Johnathan was wrong. He knows he was wrong. "I really think that (Edwards) is re Associated Press two games. The most intriguing first-round game pits No. 2 Southern Idaho against No. 7 San Jacinto (Texas) College, two teams expected to vie for the title. Matchups in the final 16 are determined vs. GRAND RAPIDS TIPOFF: Tonignt, 7:05. SITE: Pensocolo Civic Center GAME NOTES: The Hoops could eliminate ttie Tor-' nodos In the second gome of o best-of-three American Conference playoff series. Grand Rapids was 5-3 ooainst Pensacola In the regular season, 4-0 In Michigan. Friday night the Hoops outscored the Tornados 41-23 In the fourth quarter en route to a 114-98 win. The Tornados shot tust 45 percent from the floor; Grand Rapids shot 52 percent. Look for Pensocolo's Lorry Houier to take more shots. He scored 11 points, but shot only twice In the second half. The game will be broadcast on radio station WCOA-AM 1370. PENSACOLA (32-24, 312Vi) Coocn joe mullaney Plover Pos. HI. Richard Hollls F 4-5 GerrvWriaht F e-7 School Houston Iowa Lorry Houier F e-7 NC-Wilmington Clifford Lett...... G -3 Mark Wade Geo GRAND RAPIDS (2-30, 88Vl) Coach Jim Sleeper Player Pes. Hi. Bernard Thompson. F e-6 Florida UNLV. Jens-Uwe Gordon . . F Tony Brown. . , .;. . C 6-9 Reggie Fox G 6-4 StonKlmbrough. . G 5-1 1 Sunday's Games t Duke 76, St. John's 72 UCLA 71, Kansas 70 Syracuse 63, Virginia 61 Minnesota 81, Northern Iowa 78 Texas 73, Purdue 72 Xavier 74, Georgetown 71 Loyola Marymount 149, Michigan 115 Alabama 77, Arizona 55 Box scores, tourney schedule, 2C Complete report, 4C you think about it, size doesn't really matter. It's who wants the ball when, it comes off the rim." Alflhamfl nlan rnntrtliarl fha Inmnn nf "TKow rlrillarl fluavutliiniT orrainaf mil man-to-man (defense), Olson said. See ALABAMA, 4C : for grabs (14.3 points a game), 6-3 Lynn Smith (15.5), 6-3 John Robinson (15.7) and 6-6 : Gerry Lancaster (14.9). But two players ; drawing the most interest from four-year" colleges are 6-10, 205-pound Willie Lad-! son (11.9, 8.1 rebounds) and 7-2, 210-: pound reserve Ricky Lopes (10.0, 6.6 re- bounds). ' "We've got very good depth," coach Bob 1 Tipson said. "We use nine kids, and they ; all play every half." ; Hiwasee's top player is 6-6 Eric Manuel, .! who started at Kentucky last year and ; was involved in the Wildcats' NCAA problems. He is averaging 24 points and eight rebounds a game. Game 2, 1:45 p.m.: Odessa (Texas) College (30-5) vs. Pensacola Junior College (28-6). Odessa's top guns are 6-1 Len Collins (16), 6-2 Patric Nash (16.5) and 6-10 See PIRATES, 5C ; School Fresno St. Santa Clara Cal St.-LJV. Wyoming I Xavler ByDaveAlbee Gannett News Service LONG BEACH, Calif. - Here they come, Oakland. The irresistible force, Loyola Marymount, and the immovable object, Alabama, ready to meet in the Oakland Coliseum Arena in Friday's semifinals of the NCAA West Regional. Alabama earned its ticket by canceling 14th-ranked Arizona's 77-55 in second-round action Sunday. Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson knows how he feels about his defense, but he doesn't know quite what to make of Loyo-la-Marymount, which defeated defending champion Michigan, 149-115. "I know you need a couple of extra digits on the scoreboard," Sanderson said. "I saw the guy who runs the scoreboard, and he had his fingers in some ice water at the end." The Tide kept Arizona ice cold, too. Alabama limited the Wildcats to 22 points and 29 percent shooting in the second half and put together a 14-0 run after Arizona had closed to 44-42 with 15:04 left. Five Tide players scored in that stretch. In the end, Alabama had too much balance, too much quickness and too little fear to back away from Arizona's formidable front line. "The telling numbers are the difference on the boards," said Arizona coach Lute Olson. "It wasn't a case of us having ah excessive number of turnovers. They just took it away from us defensively." The Wildcats' three tallest players 7-foot center Ed Stokes, 6-11 Brian Williams and 6-11 Sean Rooks had just nine rebounds between them. David Benoit, Alabama's 6-8 senior center, had 13 all by himself. He added a game-high 20 points, six during the Tide's decisive scoring streak in the second half. "Mainly it's just having the desire to get to the basketball," Benoit said. "When a year in advance by pairing regions against each other, without regard to seeding. Coach Denny Lehnus of No. 11 Kankakee (111.) Community College said Mesa deserves its No. 1 ranking regardless. "I really like Mesa," he said. "They've got a well-balanced team, good size, they run the floor. ... They've older (and) more mature." And Lehnus doesn't stop there in singing Mesa's praises. "Their guards can handle the ball, their big people run the floor, they have perimeter shooting," he said. "They're as well-balanced as any team I've seen this year." Here is a brief look at the eight first-round games at Hutchinson: Tuesday's Games Game 1, noon: No. 3 Champlain (Vt.) College (32-1) vs. Hiwasee (Tenn.) College (29-4). Champlain is led by 6-foot-5 Al Grant UCLA forward Tracy Murray (30) races by teammate Don McLean after sinking two free throws with nine seconds left to finish off Kansas in Sunday's second-round action of the NCAA East Regionals in Atlanta. Story, 4C. Mesa ranked No. 1 but title up First-round pairings2C By Lee Creek Gannett News Service HUTCHINSON, Kan. Mesa (Ariz.) Community College coach Tom Bennett has a theory about why his team is the nation's top-ranked junior college team. "There must be some people out there that don't like us," he said of the poll voters. "I don't know if we have a great athlete on the team, but we have great people. We were hanging around 11-12 (in the rankings), and attrition (among the higher ranked teams) took hold." Mesa is one of 16 teams in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament that starts Tuesday. Pensacola Junior College takes on Odessa (Texas) College at 1:45 p.m. in the opening round. The tournament is designed to allow every team to play at least

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