West Virginia Sports

Doolittle has 19 points, Oklahoma beats No. 20 West Virginia

By MATT THORNSBURY Associated Press
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Kristian Doolittle and Oklahoma are giving the NCAA Tournament selection committee a good reason to pencil them into the bracket.
Doolittle scored 19 points two days after surgery to repair a broken nose and Oklahoma boosted its tournament hopes with a 73-62 victory over No. 20 West Virginia on Saturday.
The Sooners have won two straight heading into the final week of the regular season with games left against Texas and TCU before the league tournament.
“How you finish will determine who goes and who doesn’t,” Kruger said. “So that’s a good start on those four.”
Doolittle played in his third game wearing a mask since breaking his nose against Oklahoma State on Feb. 22.
He underwent surgery Thursday and didn’t slow down against the Mountaineers, going 7 of 13 from the floor and matching a team high with seven rebounds.
“We didn’t know how he was going to feel going in,” Kruger said. “He was great.”
Oklahoma (18-11, 8-8 Big 12) built a 21-point lead in the second half and cruised from there to complete a regular-season sweep of the reeling Mountaineers (19-10, 7-9).
Brady Manek added 15 points, Austin Reaves had 13 and Jamal Bieniemy 11 points for the Sooners. They broke a six-game road losing streak.
“I think right now our guys are feeling good about what they’re doing,” Kruger said.
Miles McBride came off the bench to score 13 points for West Virginia, and Oscar Tshiebwe had nine points and 10 rebounds. The Mountaineers have lost three straight and six of seven.
West Virginia went scoreless over the final 5:43 of the first half and trailed 25-21 at the break.
Doolittle scored 14 points in the second half, making a free throw to give the Sooners their largest lead, 59-38, with 7:08 remaining.
Reaves said based on Doolittle’s play, he might want to “keep wearing the mask his entire life.”
“You can’t guard him,” Reaves said. “He’s just got that versatility and he’s big. So yeah, he’s a problem.”
West Virginia came alive with a 13-2 run but got no closer than eight points the rest of the game.
West Virginia retired Rod Thorn’s No. 44 during a halftime ceremony. He’s the third player to have his number retired at West Virginia. Thorn was the last player to wear No. 44 during his career from 1961-63. Jerry West, who played at West Virginia before Thorn, had his No. 44 retired in 2005. Hot Rod Hundley’s No. 33 was retired in 2010.
Oklahoma: The Sooners shot 62% from the floor after halftime and now have two straight quality wins that could help get them into the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma also beat No. 22 Texas Tech 65-61 on Tuesday.
West Virginia: Once a projected high seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Mountaineers have faded fast and need every win they can get to make one last impression on the tournament selection committee. West Virginia had another poor shooting effort, going 34% from the floor, 16% from 3-point range and 53% at the free-throw line.
“You would hope that we have enough fight to us to bounce back,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “Most of the time guys, at least my guys when they go on a losing streak, they come out ready to fight.”
West Virginia will fall out of the AP Top 25 after an 0-2 week.
Oklahoma hosts Texas on Tuesday night. The Sooners beat the Longhorns 72-62 on Jan. 8 in Austin, Texas.
West Virginia plays at Iowa State on Tuesday night. The Mountaineers won the earlier meeting 76-61.
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Hawaii Headlines

Geothermal plant reopening delayed

HILO (AP) — The Puna Geothermal Venture power plant is expected to restart operations in the second half of 2020, later than a previous estimate, according to its owner.

Ormat Technologies Inc. said the restart of the Big Island plant was held up because of delayed building permitting, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Thursday.

The company is attempting to resume normal operations at the state’s only geo-thermal power plant after wells were isolated or covered by lava in the Kilauea volcano eruption that began in May 2018 and destroyed more than 700 homes.

Lava destroyed the company’s substation and covered geothermal wells, while cutting off road access to the power plant. The company began drilling a new production well in October.

Permits required for the construction and operation of the substation were recently obtained and initial testing is expected during the second quarter of the year, Ormat’s website said.

PGV hopes the plant will operate full capacity by the third quarter, assuming all other permits are received, ongoing efforts to upgrade overhead transmission lines are completed and the field recovery is successful.

Property insurers have accepted Ormat’s claims and are paying the cost to rebuild items damaged in the eruption, including the substation, the company said.

Hawaii Sports

Hawaii All Stars win in Las Vegas

A Hawaii All Stars cheerleading team won the title of Division One Grand Champion at the JAMZ All Star Cheer Nationals at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., on Feb. 17.

The International Junior Level 3 Krush Team scored a 98.11 to top 143 teams in the competition. This is the first time a Hawaii team has won the JAMZ Division One Grand Champion.

Members of the Krush team are: Shaely Anderson, Sadie-Lyn Barbosa, Carly Culligan, Jordan Howell, Tiera Kapoi, Lacie Leon, Stevie Lin, Teegan Lin, Danica Madariaga, Gisele Madariaga, Mia Magsayo, MacKenna Miles, Brilyn Neizman, Anisa Nicolas-Kaiwi, Hailey Nocelo, Kailee Nocelo, Natashya Peterson, Jarish Sagario, Teija Sniffen, Alecxy Soberano, Hilalia Villanueva-Langi, Sophie Villarosa, and Tairjah Young.

Krush also won first place in their division, Overall Level 3 Champion, and a paid bid to the Pinnacle Cheerleading Championship. Senior Level 2 Karma and International Open Senior 4 Kweenz also won first place in their respective divisions. Their coach is Kealii Molina.

Michigan Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw strikes out 4 Milwaukee Brewers in 1st spring appearance, Detroit Tigers lose by a run

By The Associated Press
Clayton Kershaw struck out four without allowing a hit in his spring training debut Friday, the first step toward a possible opening-day start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Kershaw faced a Milwaukee Brewers lineup with five expected regulars, including Brock Holt and Keston Hiura at the top of the order. He struck out both on three pitches in the first. After two walks and a strikeout of his final batter, Kershaw left with a 1-0 lead after 1 2/3 innings.
“It was awesome. Maybe I didn’t hit one spot, but physically I felt like the ball was coming out, felt like it was breaking the right way,” Kershaw said. “Now just got to figure out how to throw strikes, but other than that, it was a good first step for sure.”
Kershaw, a left-hander who turns 32 on March 19, went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA last season. He pitched 178 1/3 innings, his highest total since 2015.
He missed the start of the season due to shoulder soreness that caused him to be shut down for most of spring training. His streak of eight straight opening day starts came to an end.


Blue Jays 5, Tigers 4
Teoscar Hernandez had a two-run double and an RBI triple for Toronto, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added a run-scoring single.
Left-handed pitching prospect Anthony Kaya allowed two hits in two scoreless innings while striking out three. Jonathan Schoop had a two-run double for Detroit. Kody Clemens, the son of former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens, had an RBI single. Ivan Nova gave up three runs and four hits in two innings.

Michigan Sports

Detroit Pistons snap 7-game skid with 113-11 win at Phoenix

AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX — Derrick Rose scored 31 points, Christian Wood and Brandon Knight both added 19 and the Detroit Pistons snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating the Phoenix Suns 113-111 on Friday night.
The Pistons hadn’t won since Feb. 5, when they beat Phoenix 116-108 in Detroit. They got the best of the Suns once again and picked up a road victory for the first time since Jan. 18.
It was also the first time Detroit won since dealing star center Andre Drummond to Cleveland at the trade deadline. The rebuilding Pistons leaned on the veteran combination of Rose and Knight in the fourth quarter to stop their skid.
The Pistons led 109-98 with 2:37 remaining but the Suns responded with nine straight points to make things interesting.
Detroit had the ball with a 113-111 lead and just 1.9 seconds left, but the Pistons threw a bad inbounds pass and the Suns grabbed the ball before calling a quick timeout. Devin Booker had a chance to win it for the Suns, but couldn’t get a shot off before time expired.
Rose made two clutch baskets in the final minute to keep the Pistons ahead. Knight scored 11 points in the fourth quarter.
It was another frustrating loss for the Suns, who are running out of time to get back into contention for a Western Conference playoff spot. Booker led Phoenix with 26 points while Deandre Ayton added 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Phoenix had a 53-52 lead at halftime. Ayton led the Suns with 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting before the break. Rose had 12 points and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk scored 11 for the Pistons.
Pistons: G Bruce Brown didn’t play for a second straight game because of left knee soreness.
Suns: Kelly Oubre Jr. missed his second straight game with a right knee injury, and coach Monty Williams is unsure when Oubre will return. He is the team’s third-leading scorer, averaging 18.7 points per game. … Rookie forward Cameron Johnson hit the floor hard in the first quarter and had to leave the game for X-rays, but returned in the second quarter.
The Pistons wrap up their four-game road trip at Sacramento on Sunday.
The Suns host the Warriors on Saturday.

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West Virginia Sports

Big 12 bubble teams have chance to help resume this weekend

By DAVE SKRETTA AP Basketball Writer
A look at the upcoming week around the Big 12 Conference:
There are two intriguing games in the Big 12 on Saturday that feature teams that are likely locks for the NCAA Tournament against teams that have some work to do. The first happens in Lubbock, where Texas (17-11, 7-8) takes on No. 22 Texas Tech (18-10, 9-6) in a game that could help to solidify the Longhorns’ at-large resume. Shaka Smart’s crew has rallied to three wins in a row after a four-game skid. The second happens in Morgantown, where Oklahoma (17-11, 7-8) plays No. 20 West Virginia (19-9, 7-8). The Sooners are coming off a win over the Red Raiders while the Mountaineers have lost two straight.
The other noteworthy game Saturday has nothing to do with its competitive nature. Top-ranked Kansas (25-3, 14-1) is a big favorite to beat rival Kansas State (9-19, 2-13) in Manhattan. But it’s the first time the schools have met since their game in Lawrence ended in a massive brawl that spilled into the stands. Jayhawks forward Silvio de Sousa is still serving his 12-game suspension for nearly throwing a stool, and three other players also were suspended amid the fallout.
Kansas forward Udoka Azubuike has been riding one of the best stretches of anyone in the country. The 7-foot senior had 23 points and 19 rebounds when the Jayhawks took down then-No. 1 Baylor in Waco to forge a tie atop the Big 12, then he piled up 19 points with 16 rebounds in a blowout of Oklahoma State. He remains the national leader in field-goal percentage while his defense has become crucial in helping Kansas put together a 13-game win streak.
This week was the third time the Big 12 has had different teams ranked No. 1 in back-to-back weeks after Kansas supplanted Baylor. The Jayhawks accomplished the feat with Oklahoma in 2016 and Texas in 2010. … Kansas and Baylor are a combined 14-0 on the road in league play. The rest of the Big 12 is 10-51. … Texas has won three straight Big 12 games for the first time since 2016. … TCU’s Desmond Bane had 22 points and a career-high 11 rebounds against Iowa State for his fifth career double-double. … Kansas State has used eight different starting lineups this season, the most since 2014-15. At least one of the Wildcats’ three freshmen have started each of the last nine.
No. 2 Baylor (26-1, 15-0) tries to remain unbeaten in the Big 12 when Kansas State visits Saturday. The Lady Bears face Texas and visit Iowa State to conclude the regular season. … Baylor clinched the outright Big 12 title last week and has won 10 straight, the longest active streak in the nation. … Oklahoma guard Taylor Robertson needs three 3-pointers to pass Kansas State’s Laurie Koehn (122) for the single-season Big 12 record. … Kansas held West Virginia to four points in the first quarter last Saturday. The Jayhawks won 60-53. … TCU is 11-3 in the Big 12 to set a single-season school record for wins in the Big 12. It’s the Horned Frogs’ most conference wins since going 13-3 in the Mountain West in 2010-11. … Texas Tech won at Iowa State for the first time in 18 years last Sunday.
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Michigan Headlines

Oversight panel OKs limits on ‘forever chemicals’

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — A Michigan oversight panel Thursday endorsed drinking water standards designed to limit exposure to a group of household and industrial chemicals linked to a variety of health problems.
The proposed rules would apply to seven compounds in a category known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. They have been used for decades in products ranging from nonstick cookware to stain-resistant clothing and food containers, as well as foam used to extinguish jet-fuel fires.
They’re known as “forever chemicals” because they persist indefinitely in the environment without breaking down. Members of Congress announced Thursday the Air Force would spend $13.5 million cleaning up PFAS water pollution near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Michigan.
Thousands of PFAS compounds have been developed. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy crafted drinking water standards for just seven because they’re the only ones for which there is enough scientific data to justify regulation, spokesman Scott Dean said.
Their acceptance by the Environmental Rules Review Committee was a key step. The state legislature established the panel in 2018 at the urging of Republicans who described it as a check on excessively burdensome regulation.
Among its members are representatives of business and industry sectors including oil and gas, agriculture and manufacturing. At their urging, the panel delayed action on the PFAS rules last fall.
But it approved the proposals Thursday on a 8-0 vote, with two members abstaining.
The decision “shows there is broad support for rules that protect Michiganders from contaminants in their drinking water,” said Liesl Clark, director of the environment department.
The rules still need approval of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules before taking effect.
They would cover about 2,700 drinking water systems, requiring them to conduct periodic testing and inform the public of results.
The environment department forwarded its proposals to the oversight panel last October.
The panel considered them in two meetings and took public feedback.
While the overwhelming majority of written comments were supportive, some raised concern about the costs of meeting the standards or said the rules were put together too quickly.
Smaller drinking water suppliers “don’t have the ability to pass that cost along on any non-painful way to ratepayers,” Laura Campbell, agricultural ecology manager for the Michigan Farm Bureau, said during Thursday’s meeting in Lansing.
John Dulmes, executive director of the Michigan Chemistry Council, said the department hadn’t provided enough scientific justification for some of the provisions.

Michigan Headlines

Senate rejects another Whitmer appointee to hunting panel

LANSING (AP) — The Republican-led Michigan Senate on Thursday blocked another of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointments to the state panel that regulates hunting, after gun rights groups expressed opposition and a key senator said he was concerned because the nominee no longer hunts.
George Heartwell, the former mayor of Grand Rapids, was rejected on an almost entirely party-line vote. The rare move came two weeks after the Senate nixed Whitmer nominee Anna Mitterling for the Natural Resources Commission following Whitmer’s refusal to pull Heartwell’s nomination.
GOP Sen. Ed McBroom, of Vulcan, said Heartwell is not trusted by hunters and anglers at a time they are frustrated with the state Department of Natural Resources.
He “is not somebody that the folks in my district are saying, ‘We trust this guy’s got our best interests at heart and is going to go forward with policymaking and advice to the department that I trust is going to change a situation that is in turmoil,’” McBroom said.
Democratic Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., of East Lansing, accused the Republican majority of rejecting Heartwell, a Democrat, due to “politics” — not this qualifications — and said he would have been an independent voice on the panel.
The National Rifle Association had criticized Heartwell’s involvement in one of billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s gun control groups, and Michigan Open Carry had opposed his support as mayor for an unenforceable ordinance prohibiting guns at public meetings.
“I think it’s unfortunate that outside influences have had so much effect in this process,” Hertel said. “I think it’s unfortunate that the long arm of the NRA comes all the way down into this body and gets to choose who’s on the Natural Resources Commission. I think that’s inappropriate.”
Heartwell, whom Whitmer also appointed to chair the seven-member panel, said last week during his advice-and-consent hearing that he does catch-and-release fishing but stopped hunting about 35 years ago, when he was in his mid-30s. He said he respects hunting and hunters’ rights, and he believes in the Second Amendment.
He said he adamantly opposed the presence of armed civilians in public meetings when he was mayor because he believed — and still believes — that “the open carry of a firearm in a public meeting has a chilling effect on freedom of speech.” The ordinance conflicted with state law and was unenforceable.
Sen. Peter Lucido, a Republican from Macomb County’s Shelby Township who chairs the Senate Advice and Consent Committee, said he listened to his constituents and others who weighed in.
“We can do better than what we saw,” he said. “We can do better because we have better out there. It’s a very big business. People that don’t have a clue, that haven’t hunted in 35 years and have religious beliefs against it — I have some concerns.”
Heartwell said last week that he went through a “significant life transition” in his mid-30s, selling his share in the family business and attending a theological seminary.
“I made a personal decision at that point in time that killing things was not for me. … It was not intended nor would I want it to be read today as a judgment on others who hunt. I support hunting, but it wasn’t right for me,” he said.
Tiffany Brown, a spokeswoman for Whitmer, said the Senate’s rejections of Heartwell and Mitterling are departures from its tradition of approving well-qualified gubernatorial appointments made by a governor of the opposite party.
“George Heartwell is a former Christian minister, an avid fisherman, former gun owner, who testified in a public hearing that he supports the Second Amendment and the right to hunt,” she said. “It’s sad that Sen. Lucido would rather waste time on partisan games than focus on getting things done for the people of Michigan.”
Before his appointment by Whitmer, Heartwell served on the State Transportation Commission as an independent. Then-Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed him to that panel in late 2015.

Michigan Headlines

Michigan settles lawsuit over teen abuse in prison for $80M

DETROIT (AP) — The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $80 million to settle a class-action lawsuit on behalf of male teens who said they were sexually harassed or assaulted in prison while housed with adults, officials said Thursday.
The deal closes years of litigation. The lawsuit accused the Corrections Department of failing to prevent the assaults, especially abuse that was “open and obvious” by prisoners and staff.
The department had denied the allegations and aggressively fought the lawsuit by appealing — and losing — some key court decisions. It said it wasn’t able to corroborate the allegations.
But Attorney General Dana Nessel said the settlement before a series of trials “allows us to move forward and brings closure for the inmates.”
“I believe prisoners are entitled to be treated with respect and basic human dignity,” Nessel said. “I know MDOC has made significant strides under the leadership of Director Washington and that the past seven years of litigation do not reflect the values of her administration or the current reality of life inside Michigan’s prison system.”
She was referring to Heidi Washington, who became prisons director after the lawsuit was filed.
“I would agree that during that the trajectory of this case the department has responded to the allegations and improved conditions,” said Deborah LaBelle, the attorney who filed the lawsuit.
It’s unclear how many people will seek a share of the settlement, although the pool likely will be 1,000 or more, LaBelle told The Associated Press.
She said a committee will evaluate claims. The state will have no role in how money is distributed.
“We have heard from hundreds, so we know it was widespread and there was a great deal of harm,” LaBelle said. “Youth who were subjected to penetrative assaults qualify for the most. Those who were subjected to sexual harassment, touching, will receive less because the severity of the injuries was different.”
Teens who were in solitary confinement also qualify. Under the deal, any child support or restitution owed to crime victims must be paid out of the settlement.
One-third of the deal, or roughly $26 million, will go to the legal team, which worked on the case for a decade, LaBelle said.
Male teens younger than 18 no longer are in cells with adults but are at an adult prison in Lapeer. Female teens are kept apart from women at the state’s only prison for women near Ypsilanti. Twenty-nine of Michigan’s 38,000 inmates are under 18. Washington wants the Legislature to end the practice of sentencing juveniles to adult prison.

Michigan Headlines

Former Michigan wrestlers urge more victims to ‘speak up’

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — The whistleblower whose letter to University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel alleging sexual assault sparked an investigation into a former school doctor says he was inspired by the women who testified against convicted Michigan State physician Larry Nassar.
An attorney for Tad DeLuca said Thursday that his client complained to his wrestling coach in 1975 that Dr. Robert E. Anderson molested him during medical exams. In response, then-coach Bill Johannesen humiliated DeLuca, kicked him off the team and effectively removed his financial assistance, the attorney said.
“I spoke up again by letter in 2018 after hearing an NPR story about the MSU gymnasts, women who I am in awe of,” DeLuca said at a news conference in suburban Detroit. “Once again, the University of Michigan ignored me.
“I’m here today to speak up again, to let the University of Michigan know that I will not be ignored.”
DeLuca’s 2018 letter of complaint about Anderson, now deceased, led to a university police investigation that became public last week. Two other former Michigan wrestlers who allege they were abused by Anderson also spoke to reporters Thursday: Tom Evashevski and Andy Hrovat, the first athlete to publicly say Anderson molested him.
Evashevski was in school with DeLuca at Michigan in the mid-1970s. Hrovat was a star wrestler in the late 1990s for the Wolverines and went on to compete for the U.S. at the 2008 Olympics.
“These were and are physically and mentally tough men,” said attorney Parker Stinar, who represents the trio. “But they were all victims of sexual abuse and victims of an institution that ignored warning after warning after warning about a predator preying on young individuals.”
DeLuca put his complaints about Anderson in writing in 1975 in a letter to Johannesen. Subsequently, Johannesen read DeLuca’s letter to his teammates in an effort to humiliate him, kicked him off the team and took away his scholarship, according to Stinar.
Johannesen denied in interviews this week with The Associated Press that any of his student-athletes ever told him Anderson touched them inappropriately.
“You can’t call him a coach,” said DeLuca, a retired teacher in northern Michigan. “‘Coach’ is a term of endearment.”
Stinar, who met with the school’s general counsel Thursday afternoon, predicts “hundreds of more victims” will emerge, and that his firm already represents more than a dozen.
Several other law firms have spent the past week talking to potential accusers about legal action. Among them are attorneys Michelle Simpson Tuegel and H. James White, who represented more than 60 people who were abused by Nassar at Michigan State.
White said Thursday that the number of potential Anderson victims is “extremely troubling,” adding that “the University of Michigan and the community at large should brace itself.”
Stinar, who is based in Denver, said the university must explain its years of inaction.
“For nearly four decades, the University of Michigan allowed Dr. Anderson to prey on vulnerable young individuals away from home for the first time,” he said. “I ask the University of Michigan this: Why didn’t you act in 1975 or earlier to prevent the sexual abuse of possibly hundreds of other victims?”