Bethel’s Murphy likely to make U.S. freestyle team

Troy Murphy was not able to clinch a place on the U.S. Olympic freestyle team Saturday as he finished 14th in a World Cup moguls event at Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, but the Bethel native is expected to be named to the team Monday or Tuesday.

Murphy could have locked up a spot in the PyeongChang Games with a second top-three World Cup finish. He is still a leading candidate to be among the U.S. moguls selections, which Team USA plans to announce early in the week. Bradley Wilson is the other top candidate.

Murphy, 25 and a graduate of Gould Academy, was ranked 13th in the world heading into the weekend.

“I still see him as our No. 1 guy, and our best hope for a medal going in,” Matt Gnoza, coach of the U.S. moguls team, said last week.

DOWNHILL: Lindsey Vonn amped up her Olympic preparations by winning a World Cup downhill by a large margin at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Vonn clocked 1 minute, 36.48 seconds for a 0.92-second advantage over Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein. Vonn’s U.S. teammate, Jacqueline Wiles, finished third, 0.98 behind.

It was Vonn’s record 12th win in Cortina and 79th in her career.


G LEAGUE: Guerschon Yabusele had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Abdel Nader added 20 points, and the Maine Red Claws held on for a 97-92 win over the Westchester Knicks at the Portland Expo.

Nader hit a 3-pointer with just under 7 minutes left to give Maine (14-14) an 89-88 lead. Kadeem Allen then found Daniel Dixon for a 3 from the corner to push the lead to four, and Maine led the rest of the way.

Allen finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Anthony Bennett scored 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes had a triple-double for the Knicks (21-11) with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.


PYEONGCHANG GAMES: A Korean unity deal will bring 22 North Korean athletes across the border to South Korea, where they will march as one under a unification flag at the opening ceremony and compete together in one sport.

In the most symbolic agreement approved Saturday, 12 North Korean women’s hockey players will join their neighbors in a united roster playing in special uniforms with a Korean song as their anthem.

North Koreans will also compete in figure skating, short track speed skating, Alpine skiing and cross-country skiing after receiving exceptional late entries from the International Olympic Committee.


EUROPEAN TOUR: Rory McIlroy fired a 7-under 65 in the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and was one shot behind leaders Ross Fisher and Thomas Pieters in the United Arab Emirates.

McIlroy was at 16-under 200 in his first event since October.

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson (68) was five shots behind the leaders.

• Danthai Boonma and Chapchai Nirat built a two-stroke lead over a chasing pack including Sergio Garcia and Ryo Ishikawa, their closest rivals midway through the third round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

PGA: Austin Cook played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California.

Cook had birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

– Staff and news service report

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