Sports briefs for Feb. 7, 2013

Posted Feb. 07, 2013, at 6:59 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 07, 2013, at 7:49 p.m.

Hampden, Bangor to face EL in KVAC ‘A’ basketball finals

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A basketball championships will be held Monday at Cony High School.

The games match the top-finishing teams based on Heal points in the KVAC’s northern and southern divisions.

The doubleheader begins at 5 p.m. with the boys game between northern division champion Hampden Academy and southern division leader Edward Little of Auburn. The girls game follows at 7 p.m. with northern division champion Bangor facing southern division winner Edward Little.

The KVAC Class A boys and girls all-conference and academic all-star teams will be honored between games.

Titans hire Saints’ Gregg Williams

Nearly a year after being suspended indefinitely for allegedly coordinating the New Orleans Saints’ bounty system, Gregg Williams is returning to the NFL.

The Tennessee Titans named Williams as a Senior Assistant/Defense on Thursday, after his reinstatement by the league.

“Commissioner Roger Goodell today notified Gregg Williams and the Tennessee Titans that Williams’ contract with the Titans has been approved and that he has been reinstated,” the team said in a statement. “The commissioner cited several reasons for the reinstatement, including Williams’ forthcoming acknowledgement of and acceptance of responsibility for his role in the bounty program at the Saints, his commitment to never again be involved in a pay-for-performance or bounty system, and his pledge to teach safe play and respect for the rules at all levels of the game. The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance.”

Williams returns to the organization where he began his NFL career and coached from 1990-2000, including four years as the defensive coordinator.

Williams is the final person associated in the scandal to be reinstated by the league. New Orleans head coach Sean Payton had his suspension lifted on Jan. 22.

Clippers’ Paul, Billups expect to return Friday

The Los Angeles Clippers, who have been beset by injuries recently, reportedly will get their two star guards back for Friday’s game against the Miami Heat.

All-Star Chris Paul and veteran Chauncey Billups are expected to be back in the lineup from their respective, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Paul has been out for eight games with a knee bruise. Billups has suffered from peroneal tendinitis in his left foot and has played in three games this season.

It is unclear if All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who has missed the last two games with a strained hamstring, and Jamal Crawford, who missed one game with a sore shoulder, will also return Friday.

Ravens’ Newsome ‘optimistic’ on signing Flacco

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told reporters that he’s “optimistic” of retaining Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco doesn’t have a contract for next season. Newsome added that the sides were close before the season, but mutually agreed to halt talks until the end of the season.

“I’m coming away today thinking that we can get a deal done,” Newsome told reporters at the “State of the Ravens” season-ending news conference. “We’ve got deals done with Haloti (Ngata), JO (Jonathan Ogden), Ray (Lewis), Ray Rice, Ed Reed, (Terrell) Suggs. I’ve got a very good owner who understands the business and understands the importance of certain positions. So, I’m optimistic.”

Without an agreement, the Ravens will slap Flacco with the franchise tag, preventing him from becoming a free agent, but taking up $20 million in cap space.

Vikings’ Peterson has surgery to repair sports hernia

Adrian Peterson, who nearly broke the National Football League’s single-season rushing record last season during an MVP campaign, had surgery on Thursday to repair a sports hernia, the Minnesota Vikings said.

Peterson, who was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player for the 2012 season a year after suffering a torn knee ligament, is expected to make “a speedy recovery with no long-term concerns,” the Vikings said in a statement.

Despite an injury that forced the Vikings to list Peterson on their injury report in the final month of the 2012 season, Peterson kept playing and came within nine yards of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record set in 1984.

Peterson rushed for 199 yards in a victory over the Green Bay Packers that closed out the regular season and secured a playoff berth for the Vikings.

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