WWAY’s Tuesday night sports – December 24

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Former South Brunswick Cougar football standout Terrell Stanley had a sensational sophomore season for the East Carolina Pirates. ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill was hoping McNeill would be named all-conference in Conference USA. Instead, Stanley was only an honorable mention selection.

Click the play video icon in order to get Ruffin McNeill’s analysis of the former South Brunswick standout.


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Click the play video icon to see a lineup of three holiday high school basketball tournaments that will be held in our region this week.



Seminoles QB Winston wins another honor

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The post-season honors just keep rolling in for Jameis (JAY’-mihs) Winston.

Florida State’s freshman quarterback has been named The Associated Press national player of the year, in a runaway vote. He adds the distinction to the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp national player of the year, Davey O’Brien quarterback of the year and Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year.

Winston received 49 out of 56 votes cast by AP Top 25 college football poll voters. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch received three votes. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron got two votes.


Cadets hire Georgia Southern coach to replace Ellerson

UNDATED (AP) – Army has hired Jeff Monken as its football coach in hopes of changing its fortunes after suffering 12 straight losses to arch-rival Navy,.

Monken spent the last four seasons at Georgia Southern where he posted a 38-16 record and helped guide the program’s transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision from the Football Championship Subdivision ranks.

Monken will be officially introduced during a news conference Monday. He replaces Rich Ellerson, who was fired last week after his fifth straight loss to Navy.

In other coaching news;

– Southern Illinois assistant Kyle “Bubba” Schweigert has been hired as the football coach at North Dakota, returning to the school where he was the defensive coordinator when it won the 2001 NCAA Division II national title. He inherits a team that went 3-8 this year and succeeds Chris Mussman, who was fired after six seasons.


30 arrests during finale

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco police say 30 people were arrested during the 49ers’ final regular season game at Candlestick Park Monday night.

Police did not say what the arrests were for, when the 49ers clinched a playoff spot after beating Atlanta. The San Francisco Chronicle reported at least some were arrested on suspicion of stealing seats from the stadium.

The Niners are moving to a new $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara next season.


All four NFC divisions up for grabs

UNDATED (AP) – Thanks to San Francisco’s come-from-behind 34-24 victory over Atlanta Monday night in the finale at Candlestick Park, all four NFC division titles will be at stake Sunday in the NFL regular-season finale.

The Niners’ victory prevented Seattle from clinching the NFC West. The Seahawks lead the Niners by one game. Seattle finishes at home against St. Louis. The Niners visit Arizona, which is also in the NFC wild card hunt, on Sunday.

The NFC North title is a winner-take-all event when Green Bay visits Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. Both teams are coming off losses in Week 16.

Carolina has clinched its first playoff berth in five years. But the Panthers can win the NFC South with either a victory over Atlanta or a New Orleans loss against Tampa Bay.

The NFC East title will go to the winner of Sunday night’s Philadelphia-Dallas matchup.


First-round byes at stake in AFC

UNDATED (AP)_The playoff picture in the AFC is a fairly clear, with all four division titles clinched. But those all-important first-round byes are still at stake.

New England has clinched the AFC East but will earn home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a win and a Denver loss. The Broncos already have clinched the AFC West and a first-round bye and will earn home-field throughout the playoffs with a win against Oakland.

Cincinnati has wrapped up the AFC North but clinches a first-round bye with a win against Baltimore and a New England loss.

Indianapolis is AFC South champion. But the Colts clinch a first-round bye with a win over Jacksonville, a New England loss and a Cincinnati loss or tie.

Kansas City has clinched a playoff spot. San Diego, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are alive for wild cards but need help.


Romo, Rodgers still uncertain for Week 17

UNDATED (AP)- The health of two of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks is uncertain for their team’s regular-season finales.

Tony Romo’s back injury is casting a cloud over the Dallas Cowboys. Coach Jason Garrett says Romo hasn’t been ruled out of this week’s game at Philadelphia after injuring his back during Sunday’s win at Washington. Garrett says Romo underwent an MRI Monday and will continue to receive treatment and undergo further evaluation. If Romo can’t go, backup Kyle Orton gets the start. Dallas has announced on its website that it’s bringing 41-year old Jon Kitna out of retirement to serve as an emergency quarterback, pending a physical.

Meanwhile, Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn’t sure if quarterback Aaron Rodgers will start the team’s winner-take-all NFC North matchup against the Bears in Chicago on Sunday. McCarthy says the team wants to make a decision on Rodgers’ availability “sooner than later.” Rodgers has missed the Packers’ last seven games since fracturing his left collarbone against the Bears on Nov. 4.

In other injury news;

– Denver has placed linebacker Von Miller on injured reserve with a knee injury. He tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday’s loss to Denver. Miller was placed on IR after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament Sunday in Denver’s 37-13 win at Houston. That ended a rough season that began with a six-game drug suspension and included just five sacks in 10 games for the 2011 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

– Houston defensive end J.J. Watt tells The Associated Press he’s considering plastic surgery to repair a nose injury he suffered in Week 4. The gash required six stitches at the time, but the wound has reopened in every game Watt has played in since. There is a noticeable indentation and bright red mark across the top of Watt’s nose.


LA makes bullpen additions

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their bullpen with deals with J.P. Howell, Chris Perez and Jamey Wright.

Howell returns to Los Angeles for a two-year contract that includes a third-year vesting option. He held opponents to a .193 batting average last season and had a 2.03 ERA, both career bests.

Perez signed a one-year deal two months after the five-time All-Star was released by Cleveland.

Wright signed a one-year deal to return to the Dodgers after pitching for them in 2012. The right-hander was 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 66 games for Tampa Bay last season.


Knicks’ Anthony iffy for Christmas Day game

UNDATED (AP)_The NBA takes tonight off, but the action heats up with five games on Christmas Day.

The Brooklyn Nets get the holiday under way with a home game against the Chicago Bulls. Both teams are early season disappointments, sporting sub-.500 records.

Speaking of disappointments, the New York Knicks are home at Madison Square Garden for a Christmas matinee. The 9-18 Knicks draw 22-5 Oklahoma City as their holiday present. The Knicks are hurting, with star Carmelo Anthony a game-time decision after spraining his ankle in Monday’s win over Orlando. Guard Raymond Felton is out with a groin injury.

The 21-6 Miami Heat, coming off an overtime victory Monday night against Atlanta, travel to Staples Center to take on a Lakers team still reeling from the loss of star guard Kobe Bryant to another injury.

The battle of Texas occurs in the Alamo City when the San Antonio Spurs host the Houston Rockets. The 22-6 Spurs hold a four and a-game game lead over the Rockets in the Southwest Division.

A Pacific Division showdown winds up the five-game Christmas slate. The division-leading L.A. Clippers are in Oakland to play the Golden State Warriors, who are four games back in the Pacific.


League upholds 15-game suspension

NEW YORK (AP) – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld the 15-game suspension of Boston forward Shawn Thornton.

Thornton appealed the ban last week after he was sanctioned for punching and injuring an unsuspecting opponent against Pittsburgh on Dec. 7. He knocked Brooks Orpik’s feet from under him and landed gloved punches to his head.

Orpik was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion.


UNDATED (AP) – The NHL is in the midst of a three-day holiday layoff.

That gives Anaheim plenty of time to cool off. The Ducks are the hottest team in the league right now with a sizzling nine-game winning streak. The Ducks lead the NHL with 59 points in 39 games, sitting atop the Western Conference.

Pittsburgh had won seven straight and 12 of 13 before Monday’s loss to Ottawa. The Penguins lead the Eastern Conference with 55 points in 39 games.

NHL play resumes Friday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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