Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs


■ Basketball

Timberwolves fire coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves fired head coach Dwane Casey on Tuesday and named assistant coach Randy Wittman as coach of the NBA team for the rest of the season. The Timberwolves have lost four straight games to slip back to the .500 mark at 20-20, and the club was underachieving in the mind of vice president of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale. "We started the season with certain goals and expectations that have not been met," McHale told reporters. "We've struggled with being consistent throughout the year and ultimately that's the head coach's responsibility. I want to thank Dwane for his hard work and commitment to this team, and wish him well." Casey posted a record of 53-69 in less than two full seasons as head coach of the T-Wolves. He spent 11 seasons as an assistant with the Seattle SuperSonics prior to taking the job in Minnesota.

■ Football

Tank Johnson can play

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson will play in the Super Bowl -- with court approval and a warning from a judge to stay out of trouble. Cook County Judge John Moran granted a defense request on Tuesday to allow Johnson to leave the state as he awaits trial on gun possession charges. The Bears will play the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl in Miami on Feb. 4. Moran set no special restrictions on Johnson but said he must obey the law "or dire consequences will result." Johnson was arrested on Dec. 14 after police raided his home in Gurnee, about 65km northwest of Chicago. Prosecutors say officers found three rifles, three handguns and ammunition in Johnson's home. He faces 10 counts of possession of firearms without a state gun-owner identification card.

■ Soccer

Haiti wins Caribbean Cup

Haiti won the Caribbean Cup by defeating Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 in Tuesday's soccer final in Port-of-Spain, and Cuba claimed third place after downing Guadeloupe 2-1. First-time winner Haiti, contesting only its second final in the Cup's 18-year history, emerged triumphant after a competition lasting 73 matches and involving 25 teams. Eight-time winner Trinidad, fielding a fledgling side because of club commitments for many star players, fell behind in the 22nd minute when Alexandre Boucicaut scored off a rebound. The strength and pace of Eliphene Cadet took him round the Trinidad defense on the right flank, and his cross found Fucien Brunel, whose shot was saved by Jan Michael Williams but Boucicaut followed up. Brunel profited from confusion in the penalty area to double the advantage in the 51st.

■ Ice Hockey

East defeats West

New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise had two goals and four assists to lead the Eastern Conference over the Western Conference 9-8 in the NHL YoungStars game on Tuesday. Parise, a first-round pick by the Devils in 2003, was selected the MVP. Boston's Phil Kessel scored his third goal four minutes into the third period, assisted by Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal and Parise to give the East a 9-4 lead. The West scored the last four goals in the game, and had a chance to tie in the final 30 seconds when Finland's Jussi Jokinen of the hometown Dallas Stars -- the lowest draft pick in the game, picked 192nd overall in the sixth round in 2001 -- missed from the front of the net. Jokinen had a goal in the first period and another was disallowed.

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