EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 13, 2008

US men won't overlook Greece this time


Two years ago, the U.S. may have overlooked Greece. Not this time.

As soon as the Americans finished drubbing Angola 97-76 yesterday, they were relishing a shot at the last team to defeat them in a major international competition.

"We want to get them back," U.S. forward Chris Bosh said. "That's the great thing about competition. You beat us and we'll come back around. The team that loses never forgets."

Greece stunned the U.S. in the semifinals of the 2006 world championship in Japan, sending ripples through the international basketball community. The rematch comes tomorrow, when the U.S. (2-0) meets Greece (1-1) in Olympic pool play.

Against Angola, Dwyane Wade led the U.S. with 19 points, followed by Dwight Howard with 14 and LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony with 12 apiece.

Women's soccer pastes New Zealand

Heather O'Reilly scored 40 seconds into the match, leading the U.S. past New Zealand 4-0 and into the women's soccer quarterfinals. Better yet, they won their group, avoiding a match with title contender Brazil. ... Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor keep looking good in their bid for a second straight gold, improving to 2-0 with a straight sets victory over Cuba that virtually assures them of a spot in the medal round. It was their 103rd consecutive beach volleyball victory. ... Wearing the initials TB on one shoe and BB on another, the U.S. men's volleyball team paid tribute to their coach's in-laws in their four-set victory over Italy. The letters were for Todd and Barbara Bachman, the in-laws of coach Hugh McCutcheon. Todd was killed and Barbara seriously wounded in a knife attack at a tourist site Saturday. McCutcheon has left the team to be with his wife, 2004 U.S. Olympian Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon.

Gymnasts settle for silver

With the two best gymnasts in the world and the Olympic gold medal within their grasp, the Americans bumbled and fumbled it away. China's score of 188.9 points was more than two points ahead of the Americans, a blowout in a competition that was supposed to be decided by the slimmest of margins. Team captain Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., landed her second pass flat on her back and the gold medal was gone. ... Glenn Eller is a member of the U.S. Army. He's also the new double-trap champion, having set an Olympic shooting record with his score. So it's no surprise that his spot in the military is being part of the Army Marksmanship Unit. Fourth went to Jeff Holguin, another Army marksman. ... Serena won. Venus won. Then, they won together — three victories in one day for the tennis-playing Williams sisters. In men's singles, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal advanced with ease.