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Sports briefs


FREEZZ OPEN CAMP: The Utah Freezz kicked off training camp Monday, with a squad featuring only two new faces.

Shane Jones, a 15-goal scorer for the Freezz in 1999, returns to the lineup after taking last year off. Africa's Simplice Kdahanou will also join coach Jeff Betts' club.

"We think we will be much improved as our young nucleus of Beau Brown, Nick Vorberg, Justin Labrum, Myles Stoddard, Matt Johnson and Jake Atkin continue to develop into prominent players," said Betts.

Utah's first game is Aug. 18 when it hosts the Sacramento Knights.


12-YEAR-OLD CHAMPS: The Utah Highlanders 12-year-old baseball club won the Triple Crown World Series Championship on Sunday in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In a 36-team tournament with qualifiers from all over the country, the local team compiled an 8-0 record and defeated the Southern California Bombers for the championship. In the tournament they defeated teams from Colorado, Georgia, New Jersey, Texas, California and Kansas. Tanner Robles was named the offensive MVP and Zach Jones the defensive MVP. Also named to the All-American Team were Sean Taylor, Bryce Baugh, Garrett Nash and Mike Gibbens. The Highlanders, coached by Glen Nash, Brett Wilson and Mark Jones ,compiled a 76-5 record on the season and won six tournament championships.


TIME CHANGE: The game time for the Sacramento State vs. Weber State football game on Sept. 29 at Stewart Stadium has been changed from 6:05 p.m. to 1:35 p.m. The change was made to accommodate FOX Sports Northwest, which will televise the game live.

AGGIES GO ON-LINE: Tickets for Utah State away football games will be available for sale on-line beginning Aug. 7, while home single-game tickets will be available for sale beginning Aug. 13. Tickets can be purchased through Utah State's website at www.UtahStateAggies.com.


PATTERSON SIGNS WITH BLAZERS: Ruben Patterson, the No. 3 scorer for the Seattle SuperSonics last season, signed an offer sheet with the Portland Trail Blazers.

SMITH RETURNS TO T-WOLVES: Joe Smith made his return to the Minnesota Timberwolves official, signing a six-year contract for about $34 million he agreed to last week. ACURA CLASSIC: Sandra Cacic beat Kim-Anh Nguyen 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the Acura Classic women's tournament at the La Costa Resort and Spa.

In other matches, Luxembourg's Anne Kremer beat Zimbabwe's Cara Black 6-2, 6-1; Lilia Osterloh eliminated France's Virginia Razzano 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, Australia's Nicole Pratt beat New Zealand's Pavlina Nola 6-3, 6-2; and Chanda Rubin routed Russia's Tatiana Panova 6-0, 6-3.

In the first round of doubles, the top-seeded team of Martina Hingis and Russia's Anna Kournikova beat South Africa's Liezel Huber and Argentina's Laura Montalvo 6-1, 6-1. Kournikova, out since February, is returning to play following a stress fracture in her left foot.