Little League: Rain postpones Friday’s play
BRADENTON -- The District 26 Little League All-Star tournament was washed out by rain Friday. The 11-12 division was set to begin its double-elimination tournament, while the Juniors division was scheduled to continue its pool play. Games have been pushed back to noon today, rather than the original 10 a.m. start to allow for more prep time on the fields at G.T. Bray.
Prep football: Poole, Heaven on website’s Top 160
MANATEE -- Southeast rising senior Brian Poole was tabbed as the 29th best player in Florida after FlaVarsity.com released its Top 160 rankings for the Class of 2012 on Friday.
“Poole is one of the most electric athletes in the state,” reads the buzz portion to his selection on the list. “He is explosive on offense, and he is a lockdown corner. He may not be big, but he can hit and hit hard.”
Manatee defensive back Clinton Heaven also was ranked.
“Heaven is a terrific tackler and uses very good form,” the website said of Heaven, who was ranked No. 113. “He is solid when coming up to defend the run and has the range to be a good safety. He is more quick than fast.”
Golf: Reavie shoots 62 to lead Deere Classic by 2
SILVIS, Ill. -- Chez Reavie shot a 9-under 62 Friday to claim a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the John Deere Classic.
Reavie found the greens at TPC Deere Run to his liking while making an eagle and a succession of birdie putts, going 8 under during one nine-hole stretch. He went into the weekend at 14-under 128 in search of his first victory since the 2008 Canadian Open.
Steve Stricker shot a 64 to finish at 12 under in his bid for a third straight victory in the tournament.
Steve Marino (66) also was 12 under. Jhonattan Vegas (64), Mark Wilson (67), Brendon de Jonge (66) and Kyle Stanley (67) were four off the lead.
ELSEWHERE -- Russ Cochran made six consecutive birdies and shot a 7 under 65 to take the first-round lead at the First Tee Open on Friday. Cochran had seven birdies overall and played a bogey free round in his return to the Champions Tour after suffering a wrist injury that led to a two-month layoff. Cochran was only 1 under through 11 holes before going on his run of birdies at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. David Eger is one shot back at 66, followed by Brad Bryant, Morris Hatalsky and Jim Thorpe at 67. Ten others are tied at 68. ... Storms brought an early end to the second round at the Scottish Open on Friday, with former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell in a three-way share of the lead. McDowell shot an 8-under 64 in perfect conditions in the morning. He’s tied with Scottish pair Scott Jamieson and Peter Whiteford, who had 66s, at 11-under 133.
NBA: Houston Rockets center Ming is retiring
HOUSTON -- The 7-foot-6 Chinese star Yao Ming, plagued by lower-body injuries in the second half of his career, has informed the league office that his playing career is over, Yahoo! Sports reported.
The Rockets declined to comment on the report because of the lockout, and the NBA has not received official retirement paperwork from Yao.
Yao’s contract expired after last season, and the Rockets said they were interested in re-signing him if he came back healthy. Yao said in April in China that his professional future depended on his recovery from a stress fracture in his left ankle.
An eight-time All-Star selection, Yao averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds in his eight seasons, but his impact on the league goes far beyond the numbers.
Cycling: Cavendish wins 7th stage of Tour
CHATEAUROUX, France -- Mark Cavendish captured the crash-marred seventh stage Friday in the same town where three years ago he won a Tour de France stage for the first time. Thor Hushovd kept the leader’s yellow jersey.
A pileup toward the end of the 135-mile course across the Loire River valley cost British champion Bradley Wiggins any shot of a top-three finish in Paris. Team Sky’s leader crashed out of the race with what the team said was a broken collarbone.
Motorsports: Keselowski gets Nationwide victory
SPARTA, Ky. -- Brad Keselowski won the NASCAR Nationwide race at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night, stretching his fuel over the final 67 laps to pick up his first win in the series this year.
Kevin Harvick was second, followed by Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler.
Keselowski, the 2010 Nationwide champion, dominated the second half of the race but needed to go light on the gas pedal over the final miles to win for the first time since taking the checkered flag at Gateway last fall.
Joey Logano, who was looking for his fourth straight win at Kentucky, ran out of gas on the last lap and finished 10th.
Sadler took over the Nationwide points lead after Reed Sorenson ran into trouble on pit road and finished 17th.
ELSEWHERE -- Kyle Busch will be on the pole for the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway, grabbing the top spot after rain washed out qualifying and the starting order was based on practice times. Juan Pablo Montoya will start second in Saturday night’s 400-mile race and Kurt Busch will be third.
Track and field: Bolt wins 200 in Areva meet
SAINT-DENIS, France -- World-record holder Usain Bolt cruised to an easy victory over European champion Christophe Lemaitre in the 200 meters at the Areva meet Friday.
The Jamaican clocked 20.03 seconds, well off his record of 19.19 set at the 2009 world championships in Berlin, but it was enough to outclass Lemaitre of France, who finished second in 20.21.
-- Herald staff, wire reports