The courts at the Rome-Floyd Tennis Center will be buzzing with activity this weekend during the inaugural North Georgia Junior Open Championship.
The two-day event, which opens today, will include more than 100 players competing in the girls and boys 12 through 18 age divisions.
The tournament is sanctioned by the USTA, and players will be looking to boost their national rankings.
The event will feature a host of local players, and has also attracted players
from outside the area.
MIAMI — David West’s right hand helped the Indiana Pacers grab home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference finals.
Roy Hibbert scored 29 points, West knocked away two passes by LeBron James for huge turnovers in the final minute, and the Pacers evened the East title series with a 97-93 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the series on Friday night.
Paul George scored 22 points, George Hill added 18 and West finished with 13 for the Pacers, who handed the Heat just their fourth loss in their last 50 games.
The series resumes with Game 3 on Sunday night in Indianapolis.
James scored 36 points for the Heat, who got 17 points from Chris Bosh and 14 from Dwyane Wade.
The Heat led 88-84 in the fourth quarter, then were outscored 13-5 the rest of the way.
And West was the biggest reason.
With Indiana up 95-93, West intercepted a pass that James was throwing to Ray Allen with 43 seconds left, but the Pacers didn’t even get a shot off on the ensuing possession.
In fact, Indiana may have gotten a bit lucky that the shot clock expired with the ball rolling around — if Wade had collected the ball in time, he had Mario Chalmers all alone at the other end in position to almost certainly tie the game.
On the next Miami possession, James drove to the right block, spun and tried passing out toward the perimeter.
He released the ball, and West got his right hand on it to knock it off-course. Immediately afterward, West took that same hand and extended it skyward in celebration.
The Pacers — just as they did in the second-round series last year — knew they were winning Game 2 in Miami. Hill made two free throws with 8.3 seconds left to clinch it, and just like that, Miami’s home-court advantage was gone.
Lance Stephenson scored 10 for the Pacers.
The Heat trailed for virtually all of the game’s first 30 minutes, then tied the game three times in the third quarter — but Indiana always had a response. When the game was tied at 60, the Pacers scored seven of the next 10 points. Tied at 67, George quickly had a layup to put the Pacers back on top. Tied at 69, George struck again, this time with a jumper.
With 5.1 seconds left in the third, George drove the lane and finished a highlight-reel dunk over Miami’s Chris Andersen while getting fouled, the free throw putting the Pacers up by five. James connected on a long 3-pointer to close the quarter, then he and George exchanged a few words afterward and slapped each other’s hand as if to say, “here we go.”
Sure enough, the show was just getting started.
Hibbert was creating one problem after another for Miami, so James took it upon himself to find a solution in the fourth. And with about 8 minutes left, he swatted a putback attempt away from the 7-foot-2 Indiana center, starting a play that ended with Chalmers scoring at the other end to give Miami an 85-84 lead.
On the next possession, James tied up a rebound with Hibbert, then won the ensuing jump ball. Not long afterward, Bosh made a 3-pointer and Miami’s lead was up to 88-84 — its biggest of the night.
Indiana scored the next five points to reclaim the lead. James’ three-point play with 3:32 left put the Heat on top 91-89, and Hibbert answered that with a jump hook over the reigning MVP to tie the game for the 10th time.
If there was any remaining lament from losing Game 1 on the final play of overtime, the Pacers made sure it didn’t show. They trailed for all of 15 seconds in the first half, and after neither team held a lead of more than seven in the series opener, Indiana found itself leading by 10 late in the first quarter and by 13 with a minute to go before intermission.
Hibbert was either unguarded or unguardable, making six of his eight shots in the first two quarters and getting to the line on the way to a 19-point half. West, Hill and George combined for 27 more before the break, and when Hibbert scored with 1:25 left the Pacers’ lead was 53-40.
The Heat needed less than a minute to erase more than half of that deficit.
James made a pair of free throws with 59.1 seconds left, Chalmers had a layup and Mike Miller — who hadn’t taken a shot since May 8, but checked in with 3:23 remaining in the half after Allen and Shane Battier continued to struggle from the outside — connected on a 3-pointer as time expired, pulling Miami within 53-47 at the break.
And when Indiana went up nine early in the third quarter, Miami responded with another burst, this time an 11-2 run highlighted by a spectacular reverse dunk by James and capped by two baskets from Wade, the last of which knotted the game at 60-all.
By then, it was clear.
Just like Game 1, this one wouldn’t be decided until the end.
NOTES: South Florida resident Jozy Altidore of the U.S. men’s national soccer team was among those in attendance, two days before he’s set to report to Cleveland and begin training camp for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Other celebs in the crowd included newly retired football star and Miami Hurricanes great Ray Lewis, Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and Rosie O’Donnell. ... The Pacers were called for four technicals (one a defensive 3-second) in a 4-minute span of the second quarter. ... Indiana reserve Sam Young sprained his left ankle in the third quarter. ... Indiana was not planning to fly home after the game, instead staying in Miami one more night and avoiding getting back to Indianapolis around 4 a.m. or even later.
NEW YORK — Nothing was settled between the Braves and the Mets on Friday night.
After both teams mounted late rallies, the game was halted — and eventually suspended — in the ninth inning with the score tied at 5-5.
The teams will resume the game (from the point of interruption) tonight at 6:10 p.m.
The teams will then play the regularly scheduled game at 7:15 p.m.
Evan Gattis had a two-run, pinch-hit single in the top of the eighth, then the Mets rallied to tie it in a downpour in the bottom half of the inning.
With rain starting to fall heavily, Gattis put Atlanta up 5-3 with a bases-loaded single off Greg Burke.
The Mets tied it in a wet and wild bottom half, taking advantage of center fielder B.J. Upton’s error on Daniel Murphy’s RBI single and scoring on a wild pitch by Anthony Varvaro.
The game was suspended after a 75-minute delay.
Varvaro could be seen struggling to get a good grip on the ball throughout the inning, repeatedly rubbing his hand on his jersey and pants.
Catcher Brian McCann even visited Varvaro to calm him down.
The tarp was brought out after Rick Ankiel struck out to end the eighth.
The Braves were trying for their seventh straight win.
— they swept two home series — but only a second win in seven road games. The Mets were swept by Cincinnati in a three-game series at Citi Field. They entered Friday’s game 0-9 in games following a start by rookie star Matt Harvey.
New York led 3-2 behind the impressive pitching of Jeremy Hefner for six innings, but LaTroy Hawkins gave up a homer to Dan Uggla leading off the seventh to tie it. It was Uggla’s fourth hit in 38 at-bats.
Hefner gave up a two-run homer to Freddie Freeman in the first then was sharp the rest of his outing, giving up three hits and two walks. He struck out seven. But Uggla’s homer ensured he would remain winless in his nine starts.
Braves starter Kris Medlen allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out nine, but yielded a homer leading off the fourth to John Buck that tied it 2-all.
Justin Upton was walked by Scott Rice with one out in the eighth and advanced to third on Freeman’s single. Rice struck out McCann for the second out and was replaced by Greg Burke. Uggla walked to load the bases for Gattis.
The rookie with a made-for-Hollywood story came to the plate having hit three homers — two as a pinch-hitter — in his last six at-bats, including a grand slam on Wednesday. As a heavy rain started to fall, he worked the count to 1-2 before lining a single up the middle.
Struggling in the downpour, Varvaro walked Buck then struck out Ike Davis — his fourth strikeout of the night — and pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin before Ruben Tejada singled.
Murphy hit a soft line drive to center field that hit off Upton’s glove as he came in on it and Buck scored.
Tejada was able to race to third base when B.J. Upton struggled picking up the ball. Varvaro bounced the first pitch to Ankiel and it scooted to the left of catcher Buck allowing Tejada to score and tie it 5-all.
New York last scored more than four runs at home on April 24, a 7-3 win in 10 innings over the Dodgers.
NOTES: Braves RHP Brandon Beachy (elbow surgery, June 2012) was scheduled to make a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday night. ... Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia (elbow inflammation, 60-day DL) is set to have a rebab outing Saturday for Class A St. Lucie. ... Bravesmanager Fredi Gonzalez said rookie sensation Gattis and McCann will split the catching and designated hitter duties for the two-game series in Toronto next week. Atlanta’s third catcher, Gerald Laird is lined up to be behind the plate against the Mets on Sunday for Julio Teheran’s start. ... Braves 3B coach Brian Snitker stayed in Atlanta to see a back specialist. Carlos Tosca coached third. ... Mets 3B coach Tim Teufel was attending his daughter’s high school graduation in Florida. Bench coach Bob Geren coached first and Tom Goodwin moved from first to third.