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Day 16: A shower curtain in Barrack 15

Written by Brady McCollough on .

sochi17

I have now been in Russia for 16 days. What a blur. 

In Magnitogorsk, I was jet lagged and going on full adrenaline doing the reporting for my story on Evgeni Malkin. When I arrived in Sochi, I was no longer jet lagged and ready to hit the ground running. The only problem was that Sochi wasn't ready for me. As I previously noted, I had no door latch, no shower curtain, no working heat and no wifi in my hotel building, which I have affectionately called "Barrack 15."
 
sochi showerThe Miracle on Vinyl.But I will give the Russians credit. There was nothing malicious about them ignoring media accommodations. The preparations for this event have been on such a massive scale, and I honestly think they just weren't ready for media to arrive a few days before the Games begun. Within a few days, I had a new door latch, heat and wifi. After a while, I had given up on a shower curtain.
 
And then a few days ago, I returned to my room to find one hanging. Do you believe in miracles?! Yes!
 
I have no complaints about this place. It is gorgeous, and the venues where I watch events and do work are futuristic and first-class. The views of the Black Sea coast, where the weather has been in the 50s most days, are only surpassed by the views of the stunning Krasnaya Polyana mountains in the distance.
 
So far, Russia is winning these games, at least as much as a country could in the midst of allegations of killing stray dogs and the ever-present feeling that not everybody is welcome to be themselves in this country. 
 
They needed the Olympic venues to shine, and they needed there to be no terrorist acts. So far, they're two for two, and let's pray it stays that way for the next 10 days.
 
Now, some observations from my travels:
 
* The mountain area is way nicer. I went up there to cover Shaun White in the snowboarding and crashed with my friend Rick Maese of the Washington Post, and when I saw Rick's room, I felt like I was in a Marriott. (There is actually a Marriott being built in the mountain area, but this was just a hotel where media were staying). Apparently, they really get stuff done in the mountain area. When Rick got there, there was an empty building next to his hotel. Three days later, there was a fully operational Subway. And to think that I get excited for a shower curtain down here!
sochi marriott
 
* The halfpipe is way steeper than it appears on TV:
sochi halfpipe
 
* The hockey scene is going to be great as it gets going. This is a photo of a Russian Evgeni Malkin fan taking a picture with a bunch of Canadians wearing Curling hats: 
curlheads
 
* The mountain is pretty great, but you can't fish there like these guys on a recent afternoon in Sochi. 
sochi beach

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Travis Bell DUI hearing delayed

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

WVUSports.com

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia junior cornerback Travis Bell's hearing regarding his Dec. 1 drunken-driving arrest has been postponed to an undetermined later date, according to the Monongalia County magistrate court clerk.

Bell was arrested at 3 a.m. Dec. 1, just hours after the Mountaineers' triple-overtime defeat against Iowa State in the season finale.

It was his second arrest in 10 months. After his previous arrest, on a domestic battery charge, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to home confinement.

His status with the team remains uncertain.

If you haven't seen it yet, we rolled out a story this morning on Bell and his relationship to the family of WVU running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider. I'll have more to write on this later.


Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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Luthers have chance at 4 for 1,000 ..... WPIAL playoff predictions

Written by Mike White on .

The Bellhy family of Fort Cherry made history. They are believed to be the first family in the WPIAL with four siblings to have 1,000 points. A story in today's Post-Gazette chronicles their family of players.

But there is a chance another family could have four siblings with 1,000 by the end of the season. 

The Luthers of Hampton have three with 1,000 already. Jodie was the first. Then came Bill and Ryan, now a senior, has over 1,000. According to Hampton coach Joe Lafko, Collin Luther, Ryan's twin brother, has 920 points. He needs 80 to reach 1,000.

Now Collin isn't a big scorer, but Hampton should go deep into the WPIAL playoffs and also could make a run in the PIAA playoffs. Luther at least has a chance at 1,000.

Collin LutherIf Collin Luther (pictured against New Castle's Anthony Richards) makes it, that would make four 1,000-point scorers in his immediate family. But if you count his uncles and cousin, his extended family would have seven 1,000-point scorers.

Uncles Brian and Rob Shanahan also scored 1,000 in their careers at Hampton and cousin, Mike Jr., scored more than 1,000 at Norwin. Brian played at Duquesne University and Rob at Pitt-Johnstown. Mike Jr. played football at Pitt. Jerry and Mike Sr., older brothers of Rob and Brian, also were standout players at Hampton. Both were close to 1,000 points also.

Quite a family. Go to a Hampton game, and there is a good chance you will run into at least one of the Shanahans. If as many teams made the playoffs back then as nowadays, who knows. You could have had maybe nine Luthers-Shanahans with 1,000. The Luthers father, Bill, is married to a Shanahan sister, Kate.

But before we get to the playoff predictions, I thought I'd share with you a photo from this morning's paper that went with a story on the Obama boys team trying to go undefeated and win a City League championship. The last team to do that was the great 1976 Fifth Avenue team.

How about this old picture of three stars from that Fifth Ave. team? From left, Warner Macklin, Sam Clancy and David "Puffy" Kennedy. Macklin ended up at Point Park, Clancy did wonderful things for Pitt basketball before playing in the NFL and Kennedy played at Cincinnati. His son is former Schenley star D.J. Kennedy who played at St. John's. Check out the classic:

Fifth Avenue

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS 

Here are picks for games tonight and Saturday. Remember to check @PGVarsityXtra Twitter account for score updates and notes. Send scores and updates to that account and post with #wpial

BOYS

CLASS AAAA

Saturday

Fox Chapel vs. Bethel Park - Matchups of 8-9 seeds are always good ones and this one is one of the best in any classification. Fox Chapel would prefer a faster-paced game. The key to the game is how well Fox Chapel defends. Winner: Fox Chapel.

Gateway vs. Upper St. Clair - Gateway comes from a much stronger section. Section 4 (Upper St. Clair's section) was down this year. But if you go by trends, things would favor Upper St. Clair, despite coming from a weaker section. The Panthers had won six in a row before losing to Chartiers Valley Monday. Gateway has lost five of seven. Upper St. Clair's outside shooting and rebounding will be key. Winner: Upper St. Clair.

Others - Franklin Regional over Seneca Valley; New Castle over Latrobe; Hampton over Peters Township.

CLASS AAA

Friday - Ambridge over Keystone Oaks; Mount Pleasant over Kittanning; South Fayette over Greensburg Salem; West Mifflin over Laurel Highlands; West Allegheny over South Park.

CLASS AA

Saturday - Jeannette over Sto-Rox; Washington over Burrell; Brownsville over Brentwood; Northgate over Shady Side Academy; West Shamokin over Laurel; Apollo-Ridge over California; Charleroi over Chartiers-Houston; South Allegheny over Frazier.

CLASS A

Friday - Lincoln Park over Mapletown; Western Beaver over Carmichaels; Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic over Winchester Thurston; OLSH over St. Joseph; Vincentian over Trinity Christian; Sewickley Academy over Clairton; Monessen over Eden Christian; Wilkinsburg over Union.

CITY LEAGUE

Friday - Allderdice over Brashear.

GIRLS

CLASS AAAA

Friday - North Allegheny over Latrobe; Shaler over Baldwin; Mt. Lebanon over Gateway; Penn-Trafford over Plum.

CLASS AAA

Saturday - Kittanning over Greensburg Salem; Ringgold over South Fayette; West Mifflin over Freeport; Moon over Uniontown; Ambridge over Thomas Jefferson.

CLASS AA

Saturday - Riverview over West Shamokin; OLSH over Apollo-Ridge; Fort Cherry over Avonworth; Washington over Shady Side Academy; Beaver over Jeannette; Charleroi over Shenango; Brentwood over Freedom; Ford City over Laurel; Mohawk over South Side Beaver.

CLASS A

Saturday - Monessen over Carmichaels; St. Joseph over Jefferson-Morgan; Quigley over West Greene; Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic over Winchester Thurston; California over Cornell.

CITY LEAGUE

Monday - Allderdice over Carrick; Westinghouse over Obama.

 

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Olympic hockey chat - 02-14-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

We will be holding a live chat for today's Canada-Austria men's game which will be broadcasted on USA Network.

The chat and the game begin at approximately noon, EST.

Click here to join the chat or participate below:

 

 

(Photo: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)

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Anderson comes through early and often in RMU victory

Written by Craig Meyer on .

LORETTO, Pa. – When a player shoots 48 percent from 3-point range, they’re not too accustomed to hearing “airball” chants rained down in their direction.

But after one of Karvel Anderson’s shots failed to hit the rim in the first half of a road game, it was inevitable.

Though the scene wasn’t an enviable one for any player, Anderson’s mindset never changed. As far as he saw it, it couldn’t, even as the comments continued into the second half.

“I was going to be aggressive no matter what happened,” he said. “If I would have let that affect me, it would have dragged on the entire game.”

And affect him it didn’t.

By the time his team walked off the court with a 66-60 victory Thursday night at Saint Francis, the senior guard netted a team-high 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting, providing consistent and timely scoring that proved to be the difference.

Impressive as the performance was, it’s what the team’s leading scorer has been doing for much of this season.

“There are times when the play breaks down and he’s still able to make the shot or create enough space to get it off,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said. “It makes us fortunate as a coaching staff to be able to have that and he’s done it all year long for us.”

The win helped improve Robert Morris’ record in Northeast Conference play to 10-1, effectively giving it a 2.5 game lead over second-place Bryant. With the loss, the Red Flash (7-17, 5-6 NEC) haven’t defeated the Colonials (15-11, 10-1) since Dec. 8, 2007.

Five of the past eight losses in the series have come by 10 points or fewer, with Thursday night proving to be the latest chapter in the saga.

“There are only so many of these games that you play throughout your career and our guys were up for it,” Saint Francis coach Rob Krimmel said. “They responded to the challenge, but just came up short tonight.”

Trailing by eight points with 11 minutes remaining, Saint Francis went on a 12-4 run to tie the score at 51 with 5:57 left. But, just as he had for much of the game, Anderson led his team through any difficulty, scoring six of the Colonials’ final 15 points.

Robert Morris made 11 of its 12 free throws in the final five minutes and two of its three field goals, with the lone miss ending up as an offensive rebound. Saint Francis, meanwhile, missed six of its final nine shots.

“It just shows how fragile the game is,” Toole said. “We end up making and they end up missing a couple of good looks that all of a sudden can change the course of a game.”

Lucky Jones added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Colonials, who shot 54.8 percent as a team. Earl Brown led Saint Francis with 17 points and seven rebounds.

The victory was Robert Morris’ 10th in its past 11 games. Though his team has momentum and a comfortable lead in the conference standings, Toole knows that with five games remaining in the regular season, the margin for error is still pretty small.

“There’s a confidence there, but I want to make sure it’s not an expectation that you’re just going to go on the floor and win games,” he said. “We keep reminding them the reason they’ve been successful is because they’ve followed through on the process and followed our formula and we need to continue to do that.”

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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