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Around & about

Versus to air NLL games

The National Lacrosse League has announced that the Versus television outlet will air nine of its games during the 2011 season. The package will start on Feb. 27 with the NLL All-Star Game, which will be staged at the Turning Stone Casino Arena in Verona.

The championship game will cap the package. The full broadcast schedule will be announced later.

The league will ask fans to vote for the starters for the All-Star Game by casting ballots at nll.com. Six Bandits are listed -- John Tavares, Tracey Kelusky, Scott Self, Chris White, Mark Steenhuis and Mike Thompson.

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Ciminelli still in running

Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga is the only area bowling pro who still has a shot at $250,000.

Ciminelli was among the 24 qualifiers to reach the match-play portion of the PBA Tournament of Champions, which continues Friday at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas, Nev. Ciminelli finished 20th through 34 qualifying games to reach match play, which began Thursday night.

The top four finishers after 24 games of match play advance to Saturday's stepladder finals to compete for the PBA-record first prize payout.

Jack Jurek of Lackawanna missed the cut by just 12 pins and finished 27th overall, while Cheektowaga's Liz Johnson finished tied for 35th.

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Briefly

*Chris Young finalized a $1.1 million, one-year contract with the New York Mets that gives him the chance to earn an additional $3.4 million in bonuses if he makes 31 starts and pitches 180 innings. Meanwhile, Andruw Jones and the New York Yankees agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract. The 33-year-old Jones is being brought in as a right-handed-hitting backup to Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher.

*Erie Community College defeated Monroe CC, 98-82, behind a huge night by God's Gift Achiuwa. The Nigeria native scored 38 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for ECC (14-1), which is ranked third in the nation. Monroe took a 60-58 lead with 14:02 left, and the Kats responded with a 13-1 run. Using its size underneath, ECC pulled away. Tyshawn Edwards (Grover) scored six points in the run en route to 24 points and 13 rebounds.

From News and wire service reports.