Future Cats shine in Jordan Classic
Kentucky-bound point guard Isaiah Briscoe scored 22 points and had six assists and five rebounds in the East squad's 118-116 loss to the West in the Jordan Brand Classic on Friday in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Arizona commitment Allonzo Trier led the West with a game-high 28 points. Cheick Diallo, one of the top uncommitted players remaining in the class of 2015, had 26 points and 11 boards for the East. Diallo is considering UK, St. John's, Kansas, Iowa State and Pittsburgh.
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Skal Labissiere, another Kentucky signee, had 11 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots in 19 minutes. And future Cat Charles Matthews added six points and four assists.
■ Former University of Kentucky and West Jessamine High School soccer standout Arin Gilliland has an opportunity to make her professional debut Saturday night. Gilliland is a rookie with the Chicago Red Stars, who play their season and home opener in the National Women's Soccer League against Seattle. The match will be broadcast live on YouTube at 8 p.m.
■ UK gymnastics freshman Sydney Waltz made her NCAA championships debut and competed in the all-around Friday in Fort Worth, Texas. Highlighted by a 9.875 on floor, Waltz scored a 38.525 to finish 15th overall in the first of two semifinal sessions.
Merritt's 61 trumps Spieth's 62
Troy Merritt one-upped Masters champion Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island, S.C. Merritt shot a 10-under 61 on Friday to tie the course record at Harbour Town Golf Links only a few hours after Spieth wowed the gallery with a bounce-back 62 to match his lowest PGA Tour round.
Merritt tied David Frost's tournament mark set in 1994 and topped the leaderboard at 12-under 130, a stroke off the 36-hole event record shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson. Merritt, who opened with a 69 on Thursday, saw Spieth's score in the morning and knew the opportunity was there to go low.
"Anytime that you match shot for shot with the Masters champ, with the way he's playing, it's a pretty good feeling," said Merritt, whose career best in four seasons on the PGA Tour is a tie for second last year at the St. Jude Classic.
Spieth looked like the headliner Friday, following a 74 on Thursday with the 62. "That's just better golf," he said. "I told you guys yesterday, no excuses, I just played poorly."
Scott Co. grad qualifies for Canadian tour
Kyle Wilshire, a former Scott County standout who played in college at Central Florida, tied for fourth at 20-under par in the PGA Tour Canada's qualifying tournament in Winter Garden, Fla., to earn exempt status for the upcoming season's first six events.
Wilshire finished strong with a 65 on Friday after shooting 68, 67 and 68 in the previous three rounds. Wilshire's round Friday included an eagle on No. 2, six birdies and one bogey.
"I came into the week pretty confident," Wilshire said. "Four rounds in the 60s was pretty cool."
Wilshire, who turned pro last June after graduating from college, made it to the second stage of Web.com Tour qualifying last fall. Another former Central Florida standout, Greg Eason, played on the PGA's Canadian tour last year, and he suggested Wilshire give it a shot.
"I'm looking forward to it," Wilshire said. "I've never been to Canada. I don't mind the travel part of it. I get to see a new part of the world, I guess."
Another Kentuckian, former Butler High School and Murray State standout Jared Wolfe, tied with Wilshire for fourth and also earned exempt status. Cody Martin, a Ryle graduate who played in college at Kentucky, earned conditional tour status with a 27th-place finish.
Ex-WKU swimmer needs new place to train
Olympian Claire Donahue is in search of a new place to train barely a year before the Rio Games after her coach lost his job at Western Kentucky when the school's swimming and diving programs were suspended for five years. Donahue, who won a gold medal in 2012 as part of the United States' 400-meter medley relay team, said Friday she plans to follow coach Bruce Marchionda wherever he ends up after his job is eliminated on June 30. The 26-year-old swimmer graduated from WKU four years ago and has continued to train there.
"He's been an amazing coach," Donahue said. "He's good about making the best decision for me and what's going to be best for my future."
Donahue cried while discussing the sanctions handed down by the university following an investigation of hazing incidents and violations of Title IX sexual misconduct and assault policies and the student conduct code.
"To hear this is very shocking," she said. "I don't think anybody was expecting the entire team (to be suspended). ...
"If anything like that happened, I think punishment should happen, but it seems very big and people are very quick to judge," Donahue said. "I know this team very well. I'm with them every single day, multiple times a day. It's sad to see an entire program be cut from a few people's actions and it's very one-sided, which is very, very upsetting for most of us."
Minor league baseball
Ex-Cat Burns 4-for-4 in Triple-A debut
Former University of Kentucky standout Andy Burns was 4-for-4 with a double and a run scored in his Triple-A debut on Friday. Buffalo, which defeated Lehigh Valley 5-1, also got a scoreless inning of relief from former Central Hardin star Steve Delabar. Burns batted .279 with 18 home runs and 63 RBI in two seasons at UK in 2009 and 2010. He was set to play at Arizona the next season, but he ended up going pro instead after getting drafted in the 11th round by the Toronto Blue Jays.
■ Former UK star AJ Reed, who swept college baseball's top player-of-the-year awards in 2014, hit his first home run of the season on Thursday night. The Houston Astros prospect was 2-for-4 with the solo homer and a run-scoring double in Class A Advanced Lancaster's 10-7 victory at High Desert.
■ The Lexington Legends improved to 5-4 with a 6-3 win at home against West Virginia. Corey Ray pitched 52⁄3 scoreless innings, but did not factor in the decision. Mike Hill had an two-run triple in the fourth and a two-run single in the eighth.
Miller's 10th homer for WKU a grand slam
Western Kentucky junior outfielder Anderson Miller, a former Lafayette standout, broke a 2-2 tie with Florida International in the seventh inning with a first-pitch grand slam Friday night, and his 10th home run of the year proved to be the difference in the Hilltoppers' 6-4 win over the host Panthers. Miller finished 1-for-2 and was walked three times.
■ Reggie Bonnafon made a strong case to be Louisville's starting quarterback in Friday's scrimmage. Brandon Radcliff bolstered his credentials as the Cardinals' featured running back. That would give the Cardinals the potential for a 1-2 offensive punch as the skill players combined for five TDs and 351 yards, and the Red squad scored on five of six first-half possessions against the White squad of reserves.
■ Matt Kenseth, a three-time winner at Bristol Motor Speedway, won the pole for Sunday's race. Kenseth turned a lap at 128.632 mph in Friday in qualifying to earn the top starting spot. Brad Keselowski qualified second at 128.442.
The last word
Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut said his team won't take being the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs for granted against the New Orleans Pelicans:
"They don't care that we won 67 games. We don't get an extra pat on the back before the series starts or anything like that. We get home court and that's about it."