Horry strikes again

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Big Shot Bob did it again.

Robert Horry, whose clutch postseason 3-pointers have defined his career, knocked down a wide-open 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left in overtime Sunday night to give the San Antonio Spurs a 96-95 victory against the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Rematch gives same conclusion

David McDonald and Joe Bellmer are names engraved many times on the Francis Hagan Match Play Championship trophy.

They will show up there again after Sunday’s play.

Biffle stays on track at Batman 400

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Greg Biffle never considered pitting during the last caution period Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

Instead, he stayed on track with slightly worn tires and turned that decision into his fifth Nextel Cup victory in 15 starts this season.

Cardinals roll by Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t impressed with their steadily growing lead in the NL Central.

The defending National League champions increased their cushion over second-place Chicago to a season-high 91/2 games with Sunday’s 8-5 victory against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but say it’s important to keep the club’s fastest start in more than 60 years in perspective.

Hernandez earns third straight victory for Royals

KANSAS CITY — Runelvys Hernandez is recovering nicely from Tommy John surgery.

Hernandez pitched one-hit ball for seven innings and Emil Brown hit a three-run home run, leading the Kansas City Royals past the Houston Astros 7-1 on Sunday.

Triple Buschcrown

SPARTA, Ky. — Columbia native Carl Edwards raced to his third NASCAR Busch Series victory of the year Saturday night, passing Martin Truex Jr. with a little more than lap to go in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

Edwards, who won the Nextel Cup event last Sunday at Pocono after missing the rain-delayed Busch Series race in Tennessee, worked his way back to the front of the field after dropping to ninth following a four-tire pit stop with 31 laps left.

Launching graduation plans

When Janae Strickland tried shot put for the first time during her senior year at Westfield High School in Houston, Texas, she had no idea that in a few years she would be turning the event into a career.

“The only reason that I threw was because I was the strongest girl on the team,” Strickland said. “It was just to get points for the team. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

Race against champs

At 46, Rowdy Gaines stood on the edge of the Oakland Family Aquatic Center pool with his goggles strapped on tight. The race was to be a 50-meter sprint. The pool water reflected to him the image of an aged three-time 1984 Los Angeles Olympic gold medalist.

Gaines had raced and beaten heats of world-class athletes in similar pools across the globe.

Skate Jam attracts laid-back crowd

When skater Ryan Sublette arrived at Cosmo Park on Saturday, he was really just looking to hang out and skate.

He knew the 2005 Skate Jam was at the skate park, and he knew there was competition for best trick, but he wasn’t really thinking past having fun.

Final 4 to tee off in Hagan Match Play

Last year at this time, Jim Parkinson played one of the worst rounds of his life and failed to qualify for the Francis Hagan Match Play Championship field of 64.

So he circled this year’s event on his calendar, and set out for vindication.

T-Time at Cosmo Park

The fans aren’t averse to yelling at the players, but the tone is much different than at other kinds of ball parks.

Cheering is as prevalent as anywhere, but it flows steadily and the plays that garner appreciation are usually had to recall later. A force out at second base can put the entire park in an uproar.

Mavs’ Winn back in the game

Brett Winn would still be involved with baseball, even if the Mavericks hadn’t kept a promise.

He would merely be giving instructions instead of receiving them.

Rodeo culture adds options for students

Rodeo is a unique sport. While we see bull riding on TV, there is more to rodeo than just that. It is a sport rich in tradition and Western culture. Here is a list of ten things that you probably do not know about rodeo.

1. The Missouri High School Rodeo Association receives no tax dollars to support the athletes.

Rodeo creates niche for athletes

As the Saturday morning slack competition ended, everyone in the stands shuffled out the door, the overhead lights started to shut off and Brady Wilson began a seven hour wait until the evening short-go performance and the completion of his first season calf roping in the Missouri High School Rodeo Association.

An hour later, Adrienne Vought, the student president of the MHSRA, began her own wait. She exited a side room after attending her last Board of Directors meeting and strode into the parking lot of the Boone County Fairgrounds. In six hours she would compete in her last high school rodeo, hoping to make it to nationals for the third- consecutive time.

Mavs Hammer Paints

The first 1,000 fans to enter the Taylor Stadium turnstiles Friday night received a free seat cushion. They didn't get much mileage out of their gifts in the early going.

The crowd spen most of the first two innings standing and applauding. Mid-Missouri scored seven runs in that span en route to an 18-1 win over the Chillicothe Paints.

Thomari Story-Harden and Eli Albertson each hit their fourth home runs of the season in the second, tying them for the team lead. Greg Buscher added his second home run of 2005 in the Mavericks' five-run seventh inning.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Mavericks (7-14). Chillicothe fell to 11-11.

Chillichothe's bullpen was so bare near the end of the game that manager Glenn Wilson summoned position players to pitch. The Paints' right fielder and second baseman fared no better on the mound than its regular pitchers.

Mavericks' right-hander Nick Renault (2-1) threw a complete-game four-hitter. His 13 strikeouts werea a team season high. Renault had a perfect game through four innings before Paints' third baseman Beau Blacken singled to lead off the fifth.

Mid-Missouri and Chillicothe play again tonight at 7:05.

Years later, Gaines still inspirational

Rowdy Gaines tightened his goggles and stepped onto his block for the final of the 100-meter freestyle in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Around 25,000 people watched as the fastest swimmers in the world stood over the pool.

“I remember thinking this was a great chance to swim as an American,” Gaines said.

Double Dustys for Mavericks

Dusty Young did more than solidify the Mavericks’ middle infield when he joined the team as its shortstop Tuesday.

He made it possible for Mid-Missouri to boast one of the more inane distinctions in the Frontier League.

Added hours proposed for sports center

For as long as she can remember, Keiara Tatum, 16, has gone to the Armory Sports Center in the heart of downtown Columbia. She said her mother, who played in the Armory’s adult volleyball league, began taking her there when she was a small child.

Tatum said a lot of teenagers hang out at the Armory at 701 E. Ash St., and many would take advantage of the proposed extension of late-night activities the City Council discussed in its June 6 meeting.

Game part of Chung’s college goals

Whether it’s on the golf course or in life, D.J. Chung never seems to hit a bad shot.

Chung will continue his pursuit of the Francis Hagan Match Play Championship on Saturday at Lake of the Woods Golf Course. Chung is one of 16 remaining golfers to survive the field of 64.

Another sweep for Kansas City

KANSAS CITY — First they sweep the New York Yankees. Now they’ve swept the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What gives with these supposedly lowly Kansas City Royals? Three weeks ago, they were on track to lose more than 110 games. But since Buddy Bell became their manager they have won 11 of 15, including a 9-6 defeat of Los Angeles on Thursday night that gave them a three-game sweep of the Dodgers.