Digest for 06-21-14


LOCAL

Cabot, HS Village highlight wood bat winners

SHERIDAN — Wins by Cabot and Hot Springs Village on Friday night set up a winner-take-all game between the two on Saturday in the Peoples Bank Wood Bat Classic at Sheridan.

The two Pool 3 members enter Saturday with 2-0 records after Cabot beat Malvern, 6-1, and HS Village defeated Conway, 8-2, on Friday. The teams will face each other at 5:30 p.m. for a spot in Sunday’s semifinal round.

Other winners on Friday were Texarkana (Texas) over Malvern, 10-0 in four innings, and Hot Springs Lakeside over Benton, 1-0.

In Pool 1, Sheridan (2-0 in the tourney) holds its own fate and advances automatically with a win over Searcy (1-0) at 8 p.m. Pool 2 will likely come down to the 12:30 p.m. game between Texarkana (1-0) and Conway (1-1). Pool 4 is still wide open with three of the four teams — Russellville (1-0), Jacksonville (1-0) and Lakeside (1-1) — still alive.

The winner of the four pools play Sunday at 2 p.m. in the semifinals with the championship game to follow at 4:30.

NATIONAL

Cavaliers name Blatt new head coach

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired David Blatt as their new coach, saying Friday night the longtime European coach’s international experience speaks for itself.

Blatt, 55, resigned as the coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel last week and has spent 33 years as a player and coach in Europe after playing collegiately at Princeton.

He takes over a team that will have the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft for the second straight year and for the third time in the last four years. The draft is next Thursday.

He guided Maccabi Tel Aviv to this year’s Euroleague championship and also led Russia to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Blatt spent six years as head coach of the Russian national team.

Blatt was one of numerous candidates interviewed by the Cavaliers to replace Mike Brown. Other reported finalists for the coaching job included Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue and former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry.

Woods to return at Quicken Loans National

Tiger Woods announced on his Facebook page on Friday that he will return next week at the Quicken Loans National.

That tournament benefits his foundation, and will be played at Congressional Country Club.

“After a lot of therapy, I have recovered well and will be supporting my foundation next week at the Quicken Loans National,” Woods said on his Facebook page. “I’ve just started to hit full shots, but it’s time to take the next step. I will be a bit rusty, but I want to play myself back into competitive shape. Excited for the challenge ahead.”

Woods has been out of action since the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March.

The former world No. 1 underwent back surgery on March 31 to fix a pinched nerve in his back. The procedure forced Woods to miss the Masters for the first time in his career.

Woods, the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year, has made just four starts worldwide during this current season. His best finish was a tie for 25th at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Embiid has surgery on broken foot

Joel Embiid underwent surgery on his broken foot Friday and will begin rehab soon, according to the doctor who performed the procedure on the top NBA Draft prospect.

Dr. Richard Ferkel, in a statement obtained by media outlets, said two screws were inserted into the navicular bone in Embiid’s right foot to fix a stress fracture.

The injury was revealed Thursday, just a week before the 7-foot center from Kansas was projected to be a top-three pick in the draft.

“The surgery went very well and I’m confident that after appropriate healing he will be able to return to NBA basketball,” Ferkel said. “Joel tolerated the surgery without difficulty and will begin his rehabilitation in the near future.”

Langley moves into Travelers lead

CROMWELL, Conn.— Scott Langley carded a 5-under 65 on Friday to claim a 1-stroke lead after two rounds of the Travelers Championship.

Langley finished 36 holes at TPC River Highlands at 11-under-par 129. He is seeking his first career win on the PGA Tour.

“I just had really good tempo,” Langley said. “The name of the game out here is putting. I putted quite well. I feel confident on the greens. My speed is pretty well dialed in.”

Michael Putnam fired the low round of the day with a 7-under 63 to vault into a share of second place with Harris English (64) and K.J. Choi (65) at 10-under 130.

First-round leader Brendan Steele managed a 1-under 69 during his second round to fall into a tie for fifth at 9-under 131. He is joined by Ryan Moore (68), Eric Axley (67) and Jamie Lovemark (63).

Dustin Johnson (66), who shared fourth place at the U.S. Open last week, is alone in ninth at minus-8.