Digest (Dec. 22): St. Paul's grad Mike Ward scores 29 for Salisbury in men's basketball

The No. 22 Salisbury men's basketball team absorbed its first loss of the season, falling at Rowan on Saturday afternoon, 97-76. However, Mike Ward (St. Paul's) scored a career-high 29 points in the defeat for the Sea Gulls, going 8-of-18 from the floor, including 6-of-11 from beyond the 3-point arc, coming off the bench and playing 34 minutes. The Sea Gulls (9-1) took an early 8-4 lead on 3-pointers from Chase Kumor and Marquis Roberson, along with a layup by Johnny Fierstein, but the advantage was short lived. The Profs (8-3) scored 15 straight points over a four-minute stretch to take a lead they would not relinquish. Along with Ward's 29 points, Fierstein scored 13 and Gary Briddell finished with 11. Roberson had four assists.

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Horse racing

She's Stunning holds onto avoid stunning upset

She's Stunning, owned by Jaime Bravo-Estrada, repelled a challenge from 18-1 long shot Reality Queen at the head of the stretch and pulled away to a front-running 1¼-length victory in Saturday's featured third race at Laurel Park. Ridden by Carol Cedeno for trainer Miguel Penaloza, She's Stunning ($8.60) covered 6 furlongs in 1:09.93 over a sloppy main track to capture the $47,000 third-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up. It was the fifth win from 16 starts this year for She's Stunning, a 4-year-old Adios Charlie filly that had run second in each of her two previous races, both at her home track of Parx Racing. In Saturday's co-feature, General Downs ($5.40) dueled with Measured through the final eighth of a mile and emerged a neck winner of Race 5, a $45,000 second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up. The winning time for 1 mile was 1:35.94. Mason Dixon Stable's Blow the Whistle finished third as the 2-5 favorite in Saturday's opener, a $25,000 starter allowance, in his bid to earn his 11th victory from 13 starts this year. The 6-year-old gelding, who had won five straight including his previous two at Laurel, is one of five horses with 10 wins in 2018.

Et Cetera

Odenton's Zanelli selectedfor United esports team

D.C. United acquired Renato Zanelli as the club's first official professional esports athlete to play EA Sports FIFA and compete in the 2019 eMLS series. Zanelli, who is an Odenton native, plays under the name "Renatogz05" and will make his first competitive appearance at the eMLS League Series One on Jan. 22 hosted by the LA Galaxy . eMLS is expanding on all fronts for its second season in 2019, including the addition of D.C. United to the competitive gaming league. Major League Soccer and EA Sports announced details for the 2019 eMLS season, which will feature 22 teams, including newcomers D.C. United, Atlanta United, and FC Cincinnati and all 19 originals. Each club will vie for the 2019 eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation, to be played on Playstation 4 as the official console. The calendar is highlighted by the inaugural eMLS League Series presented by PlayStation, comprised of two events: eMLS League Series One, hosted in conjunction with the LA Galaxy in January, and eMLS League Series Two, hosted by FC Dallas in February. Each will include participation from all eMLS professional FIFA players, with prizes awarded for performance in each series. Additionally, performance across the two eMLS League Series events will determine seeding for the 2019 eMLS Cup.

Women's college basketball: Mount St. Mary's will retire the number of former star player and coach Vanessa Blair (Class of 1992) on Jan. 26. Blair's No. 24 will be retired at halftime of the Mount St. Mary's men's game against St. Francis Brooklyn. Blair will be the second member of the Mount St. Mary's women's basketball program to have her number retired, joining Susie Rowlyk (1995), whose No. 35 was hung at a ceremony in 2017. One of the all-time greats at the Mount and in the Northeast Conference , Blair was inducted into the Mount St. Mary's Hall of Fame in 2003 and earned a spot in the league's Hall of Fame in 2012. Blair was named the NEC Player of the Decade and was selected to the NEC 20th and 25th Anniversary All-Time Teams. In 2005, she was named to the Mount women's basketball 30th Anniversary Team. Blair earned NEC Player of the Year honors as both a junior and senior and wrapped her career as a three-time All-NEC performer.

From Sun staff and news services

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