Sports briefs: Oct. 6

High school basketball

North Hardin's Bevars retires

Ron Bevars, one of the winningest high school basketball coaches in state history, is retiring.

"It's been a good run and a lot of good memories," Bevars said on Saturday, less than two weeks before the official start of pre-season practice.

Bevars was head coach at North Hardin for 38 years and led the Trojans to 805 victories, including 12 regional championships. They were state runners-up in 1982, losing to Laurel County on a half-court shot by Paul Andrews at the buzzer.

Bevars, 70, said the time had come for him to step aside.

"I always said when I didn't have what it takes to get out there and get the job done, I'd let somebody else do it. This is going to be a rebuilding year and they need somebody willing to put a lot of work and hours into it."

Bevars coached in a state-record 1,153 games. He led North Hardin to its first region title in 1981, and its most recent in 2010.

According to the KHSAA record book, Bevars is Kentucky's fourth all-time winningest coach behind William Kean (856), Billy Hicks (817) and Dale Mabrey (813).

College basketball

Louisville shoots well in scrimmage

The Louisville men's basketball team's first Red-White scrimmage featured flashes of the trademark pressure that helped win last season's NCAA championship. However, that took a back seat to impressive offense before 8,280 at the KFC Yum Center as both squads shot at least 46 percent. Not bad considering Cardinals Coach Rick Pitino must replace starting point guard Peyton Siva and center Gorgui Dieng from a 35-5 title team while introducing six freshmen and a transfer to his high-energy playing style.

Senior guard and leading scorer Russ Smith set the tone with 24 points and eight assists in the first of three public scrimmages over consecutive Saturdays.

Chane Behanan's game highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds led the Red squad's 95-80 victory over the White. Sophomore Montrezl Harrell led the White team with 23 points and 10 rebounds.


Hayes aims to regain leadership role

Early in the 2011-12 season, as reporters surrounded Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, laughter broke out among the players. Chuck Hayes took offense, yelling that the behavior was unacceptable. But as the team's losses piled up over the next two seasons, Hayes started blending into the background. Hayes now says he no longer wants to be a part of a culture that accepts losing.

"That's exactly what happened," Hayes said. "I tried to come in and be the vocal leader, but when things went bad, I let that bring me down. I let it bring down my spirit. That was wrong on my part. It's unfair to my teammates; it's unfair to the coaching staff. So I just want to sustain that veteran role."

It was uncertain if the former Kentucky star would be back this season, if the Kings could find a taker for the two years and $11.7 million still owed to him after two underwhelming seasons with the team.

Hayes wasn't traded, and now the 6-foot-6 center hopes to fill the role as a locker-room leader that former Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie anticipated two years ago. And he likes what he has seen from new coach Michael Malone.

"We have a culture, a system of how we want to play," Hayes said. "That's good. That's something we needed, and he's coming with a lot of experience from being in the league, with his father (Kings assistant Brendan), and that's gone very, very well."

Anthony Davis had 21 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots and the New Orleans Pelicans rallied to win 116-115 at Houston on the first day of pre-season games. Terrence Jones had 13 points and five rebounds for the Rockets.

Nazr Mohammed started in place of injured Joakim Noah and had five points, six rebounds and three blocked shots in the Bulls' 82-76 pre-season win at Indiana. Marquis Teague hit his only shot, a three-pointer, and added an assist in six minutes for Chicago. The Bulls' Derrick Rose had 13 points and three assists in his first game since tearing his left ACL in the playoffs two seasons ago.

Horse racing

Saez cleared of wrongdoing in Travers

Jockey Luis Saez was cleared by the New York State Gaming Commission of accusations from a trainer that he used an electrical device in the Travers Stakes. Saez rode Will Take Charge to a nose victory in the $1 million Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 24. Eric Guillot, who trained runner-up Moreno, alleged that Saez carried an electrical device during the race to shock or jolt Will Take Charge into running faster. That would have violated gaming commission rules and carry possible criminal violations.

Power Broker beat Bradester by 1¾ lengths in the $500,000 Indiana Derby, giving trainer Bob Baffert a record third win in the race at Indiana Downs in Shelbyville, Ind. Baffert also won the race in 2010 with Lookin At Lucky and in 2009 with Misremembered.

Artemis Agrotera and Havana both improved to 2-for-2 with victories Saturday in the $500,000 stakes for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park. The wins guaranteed the duo starting spots in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile stakes next month at Santa Anita.

Auto racingBusch brothers both crash in practice

Kyle Busch slapped the wall hard in the opening minutes of the first practice Saturday at Kansas Speedway and had to go to a backup car for this weekend's race. A few minutes later, his older brother Kurt Busch slowed up for Marcos Ambrose, then got loose and backed into the wall in Turn 2. Both Chase contenders had to switch to a backup car for Sunday's race.

Matt Kenseth is proving to be unbeatable at Kansas Speedway. The winner of the last two Sprint Cup races at the track, Kenseth hopped into his Nationwide car and drove it to victory Saturday. The outcome was almost an afterthought, though, to the renewal of a long-standing feud between Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch that has threatened to spill over into Sunday's Cup race.

The two were side-by-side in the closing laps when Busch got into Keselowski's left rear. That sent the No. 22 car into the outside wall and knocked Keselowski out of the race. Busch finished fourth.

"I got wrecked by a dirty driver. There's no other way of putting it," Keselowski said. Busch shot back: "Brad Keselowski knows what dirty drivers are because he's done it plenty of times."

Busch said that he wasn't trying to wreck Keselowski, and that he simply got tight coming out of the final corner.

GolfU.S. seizes control in Presidents Cup

The Americans were assured of being in the lead going into the final round of the rain-plagued Presidents Cup at Dublin, Ohio.

Zach Johnson holed out from the 15th fairway for eagle to complete a swift turnaround and give the Americans yet another point. That was the only foursomes match that finished before it became too dark to continue Saturday at Muirfield Village.

A rain delay kept the matches from finishing for a second straight day. The U.S. had an 11½ -6½ lead with four matches unfinished.

Martha Leach of Hebron, Ky., was tied for third at 4-over par after the first round of stroke play at the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur at Asheville, N.C. Julia Potter of Granger, Ind., was the only player under par. She shot a 2-under 69 to take a five-shot lead.

The last word

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson on fantasy football players who are unhappy with him because he hasn't had a touchdown or 100-yard game yet this season:

"Public service announcement: I (couldn't) care less about fantasy football. Key word 'fantasy.' ... I didn't ask any of you to draft me."