EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 3, 2014

Sports in a Minute

GREAT CALL ... AND HE GOT THE WIN Those of you who've seen some tough beats for Andover High boys hoop at the hands of Central Catholic can understand when Warrior coach David Fazio laments a bit about the collisions. So take the night before the Commonwealth Classic final win when Fazio and trusted assistant Alan Hibino took the trip to Tufts to scout the Raiders against St. Anthony's of Jersey City. Fazio was discussing the Raider lineup when the subject of sophomore guard A.J. Pettway came up. The 3-point bomber had struggled early, with nine points in the first four games of the year. He had only hit one three in that stretch, but somehow Fazio knew better. "He'll hit four against us, you watch," said Fazio of Pettway, who did just that in a career-high 13-point night against the Warriors for the Christmas title. Fazio's clairvoyance continues to amaze, and this time around he was right and picked up the title win. Remember, Round 2 of the Central-Andover trilogy (and potential quadrilogy) is at Andover's Dunn Gym a week from today. CAMP WARMUP Frank Carey has a bit of a warmup planned for area baseball players, who are looking to kick-start their seasons. Carey will host specialty camps at North Reading High School on hitting and pitching/catching. March 4-6, camp will run for players ages 7-11 from 4-6:15 p.m. The week of March 10-12, players of all ages will be welcomed in two sessions, 4-6:15 p.m. and 6:45-9 p.m. For more information on the camps, contact coach Carey at 781-842-4042. CASH IN ON PATS? Listening to Boston fans chime on daily about the easy trip the New England Patriots have, it's often good to get a more worldly opinion, especially now as the 12-team NFL playoffs open up this weekend. According to the sports odds Website www.bovada.lv, the Patriots are a hefty 9-to-1 to win Super Bowl XLVIII. That would make New England the fourth choice overall behind Denver 11-to-4, Seattle 11-to-4, and San Francisco 7-to-1. COLLIE BACK IN An ankle injury has sent Patriots rookie Josh Boyce to the season-ending injured reserve list and has forced the team to re-sign veteran Austin Collie as insurance. Remember, Collie has been plagued by head injuries, but he's performed admirably in his previous stints here. Collie, of course, is insurance for the other two rookies as weel, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, who've struggled mightily at staying on the field here in the second half of the season. FRIGID FLOP DEAD AHEAD Do you think this recent snow and cold that have basically pounded the entire Northeast Corridor this week is enough of a wakeup call for the NFL to realize how stupid scheduling a Super Bowl in New Jersey really is? Bad enough the last Patriots game of the regular season was nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment for fans and players alike, that was only wind-driven rain. How about these temps in the teens here recently? Feeling like paying a couple grand for your Super Bowl ticket to sit and freeze? The NFL is about to make a colossal error, and it's too late to step them. BOWL SEASON DRONES ON Has there been a less enticing college bowl season than this year's version. Thank goodness for the upcoming change to playoffs, because these bowls, even games like the Rose and last night's Sugar Bowl simply have not been that enticing. That said, the upcoming schedule of games on tap tonight are: The Cotton Bowl Missouri vs. Oklahoma State The Orange Bowl Ohio State vs. Clemson

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