The Journal Gazette
 
 
Monday, January 11, 2021 1:00 am

Briefs

K's sign defenseman from rival Walleye

Staff, news services

The Komets have signed defenseman Randy Gazzola, multiple sources confirmed, and they continue to talk with other players who had been with the Toledo Walleye before it opted out of the season.

Gazzola, 27, had one goal and five points in seven games for the Walleye in 2018-19, then added one goal and eight points in 24 playoff games. He spent last season in Italy but has big upside at both ends of the ice. He totaled 16 goals and 74 points in 68 games for the Val d'Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2013-14 and had six goals and 24 points in 30 game as a senior with the University of New Brunswick in 2017-18.

The Komets are believed to have been negotiating with forward Brandon Hawkins, who, along with Gazzola, had signed to play this season for Toledo.

The Komets' season is slated to start about Feb. 12. Thirteen other ECHL teams began play in December and 12 have opted out.

Basketball

Braves, Spartans stay 2, 3 in poll

Blackhawk Christian (10-0) and Homestead (12-0) remain No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in the IBCA poll released Sunday, two days before they face off Tuesday. Carmel (10-0) remains No. 1 and Lawrence North (9-0) is still No. 2. Carroll (6-1) held steady at No. 13. Leo (8-0) is the only other local team to receive votes.

Penn remains atop girls poll

Penn is atop the weekly IBCA girls' poll, which is regardless of school classification. Carroll is 15 and Homestead 16.

Ex-IU star Bryant tears ligament

The Washington Wizards likely will be without center Thomas Bryant for the remainder of the season. The former Indiana University player has a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Bryant was one of only two players who started all 10  games for the Wizards.

Ex-UConn coach Dee Rowe dies

Former UConn basketball coach Donald “Dee” Rowe, who served for more than five decades as an ambassador for the school's athletic department and as a mentor for coaches including Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma, died on Sunday at his home in Storrs. He was 91.

Football

RB Tirek Murphy leaving Purdue

Purdue running back Tirek Murphy has entered the transfer portal. Murphy was a four-star recruit in the Boilermakers' 2020 class. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Murphy, who was the top recruit from New York, did not get any carries as a true freshman. He can still decide to return to the Boilermakers.

IU lineman Crider entering draft

Indiana offensive lineman Harry Crider will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL draft, he announced. Crider was a captain and an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection at center in 2020 and the Hoosiers' starter at left guard in 2019.

Belichick to get Freedom award

President Donald Trump will present one of the nation's highest civilian honors to Bill Belichick, the football coach of the New England Patriots and the only coach to win six Super Bowl titles. The presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom is expected Thursday, a White House official confirmed on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Golf

English captures title at Kapalua

Harris English went more than seven years without winning on the PGA Tour, and he didn't mind going one extra hole to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Sunday. English missed a 10-foot eagle putt in regulation on the par-5 18th hole at Kapalua for a 4-under 69 to force a playoff with Joaquin Niemann, and he ended it on the 18th with a 6-foot birdie. Niemann, who closed with a 64, pulled his approach enough to tumble down the steep, shaggy hill. His full swing from thick grass got him to the fringe, but he missed the birdie putt.

Tennis

American reaches Dhabi quarters

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin of the United States came back from match point down to beat Yulia Putintseva and reach the quarterfinals of the Abu Dhabi Open on Sunday. Kenin posted 57 unforced errors to Putintseva's 43 but still prevailed 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 over the 13th-seeded Putintseva.

Tiafoe closes in on Delray title

Frances Tiafoe gained momentum Sunday in his bid for another Delray Beach Open title by winning a seesaw match against fellow American Bjorn Fratangelo, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Tiafoe won his first ATP Tour title as a 20-year-old wild card at Delray Beach in 2018.


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