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Sports briefs: Gasperini leads Valentine Invitational by one shot

LOCAL GOLF

Gasperini leads Valentine Invitational by one

Paul Gasperini of South Boston registered a second-round 3-under-par 69 for a 5-under 139 total and one-shot lead going into Sunday’s final round of the 76th Valentine Invitational at Hermitage Country Club.

Longtime friends Jordan Utley of Midlothian and Dustin Groves of Charlottesville were tied at 140. Utley, the defending champion, shot his second straight 70, and Groves posted a 71.

Justin Young of Salem, Steve Serrao of Richmond and Ryan Muthiora of Zion Crossroads were deadlocked at 141.

In the senior division (50 and older), Cam Young of Manakin-Sabot, Greg Bales of Richmond, Jon Zampedro of Centreville and Steven Liebler of Prosperity, S.C., were tied for the lead at 145. Bales shot a 70 Saturday, Zampedro a 71, Liebler 72 and Young 73. They held a one-shot lead over Scott Reisenweaver of Midlothian.

TENNIS

Djokovic to face Federer in Ohio final

Novak Djokovic closed in on the one title that has eluded him, reaching the final of the Western & Southern Open with a three-set victory over Marin Cilic in Mason, Ohio.

His 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win on Saturday left him a one victory away from the only ATP Masters 1000 title he’s never claimed. Djokovic is trying to become the first to win all nine events since the series started in 1990. He’s reached the finals five times and lost each time.

Djokovic watched Roger Federer advance to the finals as well when David Goffin retired in the second set with a shoulder injury. Federer has won an unprecedented seven Cincinnati titles, beating Djokovic three times in title matches.

In the women’s bracket, top-ranked Simona Halep reached the final for a second straight year, beating Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 6-4. Like Djokovic, she’s never won the title, losing both of her chances, including the title match last year to Garbine Muguruza.

Halep will face Kiki Bertens , who advanced to her first Western & Southern final by wearing down No. 8 Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Georgia TB White suffers torn ACL

Georgia freshman tailback Zamir White suffered his second anterior cruciate ligament injury in less than a year Saturday, likely ending his hopes of playing this season.

Georgia confirmed tests showed White tore the ACL in his left knee injury in a scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. Coach Kirby Smart said White was hurt on a noncontact, special teams play.

White tore his right ACL during the playoffs of his 2017 senior season in high school.

LSU receiver Drake suspended after arrest

LSU says junior receiver Drake Davis has been suspended indefinitely following his arrest for allegedly hitting and threatening a woman he was dating.

An arrest warrant issued Friday by LSU Police said the alleged victim told police about four incidents between May 2017 and this past June. Davis was being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison without bond on Saturday.

GYMNASTICS

Mikulak captures fifth U.S. title

Sam Mikulak soared to his fifth U.S. gymnastics title in Boston, rebounding from a sluggish performance in the opening round to leave little doubt that he’s fully recovered from an Achilles injury 18 months ago.

The two-time Olympian finished with the top scores on floor exercise, high bar and parallel bars while posting a two-day total of 172.900 to become the sixth man to win five national championships and the first since Blaine Wilson ripped off five straight crowns (1996-2000).

Defending national champion Yul Moldauer surged to second following a rocky start during the first round on Thursday. Allan Bower finished third. HORSE RACING

Accelerate easily wins Pacific Classic

Accelerate cruised to a record 12 ½-length victory in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar (Calif.), becoming just the third horse to sweep all three of Southern California’s major races for older horses in the same year.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Accelerate ran 1¼ miles in 2:01.83. The winning margin was the largest in the race’s 27-year history, bettering Game On Dude’s 8½-length win in 2013.

Accelerate joined Lava Man in 2006 and Game On Dude in 2013 in sweeping the Santa Anita Handicap, Gold Cup and Pacific Classic.

  • Santa Anita will rename a Grade 1 stakes race in honor of 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. The track said the American Pharoah Stakes for 2-year-olds will be run at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 29. The race was formerly known as the FrontRunner Stakes, which American Pharoah won in 2014.

ELSEWHERE

  • Paul Naumoff
  • , a former Pro Bowl linebacker who spent 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions, has died in Lenoir City, Tenn. He was 73.
  • Larry Click
  • , funeral director at Click Funeral Home, said Saturday that Mr. Naumoff died Friday at his home. Mr. Naumoff played for the Lions from 1967 to 78. The former third-round draft pick reached the Pro Bowl in the 1970 season and was the Lions’ defensive MVP in 1975.
  • Bob Bass
  • , the former San Antonio and Charlotte general manager who was an integral part of the front office for most of the Spurs’ first 20 years in South Texas, has died. He was 89. The San Antonio Express-News reported Mr. Bass died Friday at home in San Antonio after a series of strokes.
  • In Belfast, Northern Ireland, former world heavyweight champion
  • Tyson Fury
  • won the second fight of his comeback Saturday, clearing the path to a potential bout with WBC titlist
  • Deontay Wilder
  • later in 2018. Wilder saw Fury taken the full 10 rounds against Italian journeyman
  • Francesco Pianeta
  • before being awarded the victory on points, 100-90.
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