Sports

Winning streak comes to an end for Patriots

CINCINNATI -- The streak is over at Charlotte Independence -- 109 wins and seven years after it began.

Cincinnati Elder ended the nation's longest football winning streak with a 41-34 overtime victory over the North Carolina high school Saturday night in the Kirk Herbstreit Challenge.

Johnny Groene threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Josh Jones in OT for the winning score. Keith Hamberg sealed the victory with an interception for the Panthers (2-0), who forced overtime with a 1-yard TD run by Nick Gramke with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Independence's Robbie Ward missed a 48-yard field goal in the final seconds of regulation that would have won it.

"We never could stop them," coach Tom Knotts told The Charlotte Observer. "We had our best on their best, and they made big plays ... I told our team it was coming, and I hated to say I told you so."

Independence (1-1) had not lost since falling 34-31 to Shelby Crest exactly seven years ago, on Sept. 1, 2000, when this year's team was in elementary school.

• BASKETBALL -- LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony finally earned the reward that used to await U.S. players.

James scored 31 points, most by an American player in an Olympic qualifier, and the United States capped its dominance in the desert by beating Argentina 118-81 to win the FIBA Americas championship.

Then James and Anthony climbed the podium and were given gold medals -- a first for the two players whose international careers had consisted of nothing but bronze.

Dwight Howard made all seven of his shots and scored 20 points, and Anthony added 16 points for the Americans, who were never challenged while winning 10 games in 12 days and will head to Beijing next summer as one of the favorites.

The Americans averaged 116.7 points in the tournament.

• SOCCER -- Think Appalachian State was the only team in the Carolinas to pull a stunning football upset Saturday?

Just look at the South Carolina women's soccer team, which handed powerful North Carolina -- the No. 1 ranked, defending NCAA champions -- its first loss in a home opener in the 29 years of the program, 1-0.

It may not have the impact of the Mountaineers 34-32 win at mighty Michigan on Saturday, but in women's soccer circles it rarely gets bigger than beating North Carolina.

South Carolina has been a slowly building program since it started in 1995. It's had only one NCAA tournament appearance (in 1998) in its 12 previous seasons. A year ago, the Gamecocks finished 11-6-5, yet missed out on an NCAA bid in a tournament eventually became North Carolina's 18th college championship.

• AUTO RACING -- Tony Kanaan's luck held up twice in the Detroit Indy Grand Prix.

The Brazilian, the leader after a late restart, had enough fuel to win the shortened race and avoid a last-lap melee that collected IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon and Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing teammate Dario Franchitti.

It was Kanaan's series-best fifth victory this season and 12th of his career. Danica Patrick avoided the wreckage and earn her first career second-place finish. Dan Wheldon was third.

Despite the crash, which dropped Franchitti from fourth to sixth, he ended the day three points ahead of Dixon heading into next Sunday's final race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Kanaan, 39 points behind his teammate, remains mathematically alive in the championship hunt.

• WNBA -- The Detroit Shock always make things hard on themselves.

Luckily for Bill Laimbeer's team, they have the talent to pull it off.

The defending WNBA champs got 24 points from Deanna Nolan and evened the Eastern Conference finals at 1-1 with a 77-63 win over the Indiana Fever.

The Shock are 6-0 when facing elimination in the past two postseasons, and will look to make it 7-0 in the series finale at home tonight.

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