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In the same week Brad Angelo's wife, Michelle, gave birth to their daughter, Sierra, he went on to win the the Buffalo Bowling Association's 40th annual George A. Obenauer Masters Tournament in Lancaster Lanes.

Angelo beat Joe Ciccone, 865-768, Thursday night in the second four-game set of the championship round. Ciccone bowled a 300 game in winning the first series, 1,017-935, to force the second four-game series.

"This was a very special win," said Angelo, who won the tournament in 1994 and 2001, the year his son Dylan was born. "To dedicate it to him was really special for me."

After Ciccone's perfect opening game, he started the second with four more strikes, building his lead to 126 pins.

During the first series, however, Ciccone suffered an injury to his thumb but continued to bowl. Angelo said he could see that Ciccone was bowling in a lot of pain.

"That second series was a product of the first series," Angelo said. "Joe stamped me like a bug and then tore a blister. I was watching his thumb and it was shaking."

In Game One of the final match, both bowlers rolled 225. Angelo took the lead with a 209-173 win in the second game. The third game also went to Angelo, 249-180, putting the 2002-03 PBA Rookie of the Year up by 105 pins.

Ciccone came back to win the final game, 199-183.

To reach the finals, Ciccone beat Steve John Jr., 862-788, in the loser's bracket final.

Angelo, who won $1,500, led all bowlers with a 226 tournament average. Ciccone had a 219 average and John's 212 average ranked third.

Titans' McNair contrite
after drunken driving arrest

Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair apologized for his arrest hours earlier on charges of drunken driving and illegal possession of a handgun.

"This is something I didn't think that would ever happen, but this is something that we've just got to deal with, and I will with the support . . . of my teammates, coaches, family and friends," McNair said.

McNair read his short statement while flanked by Titans coach Jeff Fisher, General Manager Floyd Reese and President Jeff Diamond. He didn't take any questions and concluded by apologizing to his fans, particularly the children who look up to him.

McNair was stopped just after midnight by a police officer who saw his sports utility vehicle weaving on a downtown street. The quarterback's eyes were bloodshot, his breath smelled of alcohol and he acknowledged drinking, police said.

The weapon charge involves a 9 mm handgun found in the console between the front seats of his SUV. McNair has a permit for the handgun, but an intoxicated person may not legally carry a loaded weapon. The pistol was seized.

French draw sets up
for all-Williams final

Serena and Venus Williams were placed on opposite sides of the field in the French Open draw today, meaning they could meet in their fifth straight Grand Slam final.

Serena beat Venus for the title at last year's French Open, a result then duplicated at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.

Serena's potential semifinal opponent in Paris is fourth-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium. Venus could have a final four matchup against No. 2 Kim Clijsters, another Belgian and the 2001 French Open runner-up.

The men's quarterfinals could be No. 1-seeded Lleyton Hewitt vs. David Nalbandian in what would be a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final, No. 2 Andre Agassi vs. Guillermo Coria, 2002 runner-up Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Andy Roddick, and 1998 champion Carlos Moya vs. Roger Federer.

Niagara drops game
in MAAC Tournament

Niagara (26-24) lost to three-time defending champion Marist, 4-3, in Game Two of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference baseball Tournament at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill. Niagara falls into the loser's bracket and was to play Manhattan (25-25) today.

Freshman James Avery, who earlier Thursday was named MAAC Rookie of Year, started for the Purple Eagles and went eight innings, striking out four and allowing two runs.

Third baseman Andrew Macnevin had two hits to lead Niagara and scored one of the team's three runs.

Niagara senior outfielder Josh McCurdy was named MAAC Player of the Year. The 6-foot-6 center fielder is second in the conference and 31st in the nation in hitting with a .407 batting average.

Second-year coach Mike McRae led Niagara to a school-record 26 wins and was named MAAC Coach of the Year.

Making the conference first team was second baseman Vince Ircandia. Mike Medici made the second team as the designated hitter.

Niagara selections to the MAAC All-Academic Team were McCurdy, Ircandia, Tom Fitzgerald (Canisius) and Reed Eastley.


The Niagara women's basketball team signed four players to national letters of intent: guard Chantelle Wilson (Burlington, Ont.), guard Jessi Tomasin (Hamilton, Ont.), forward Toni Smalley (Thornville, Ont.) and forward Mallory Faylor (Columbia City, Ind.).

The Niagara golf team signed Jimmy Pizzutelli, who played four years for Williamsville East. Pizzutelli was rookie of the year as a freshman for the Flames.

Around & about

Britain's Karen Stupples shot an 8-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead at the LPGA Corning Classic. Rosie Jones, Helen Afredsson and Michele Redman opened with 66s. Defending Corning champion Laura Diaz, ailing with a torn tendon in her left ankle, shot an even-par 72.

Rain washed out qualifying for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. It was rescheduled for this afternoon.

Sheryl Swoopes scored 27 points, and Cynthia Cooper added 11 points and seven assists in her first game since coming out of retirement as the Houston Comets beat the Seattle Storm, 75-64, in the WNBA opener for both teams.

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