Around The Bases – Your trip around the world in sports for February 21, 2019

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The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.

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First Base - Zion leaves Duke loss with injury

Last night's game between Duke and North Carolina, the first of two this season, was highly anticipated. However, nobody really expected the eighth-ranked NC Tarheels to beat Duke on the road. However, when Zion Williamson left the game with a sprained knee — due to his Nike shoe blowing out  no-less — the game was there for the taking for North Carolina, who won 88-72. The loss is a big deal, but the biggest story is the status of Williamson. Both he and his coach say his knee is fine, but they will still most likely keep him out for a week or so as a precaution, which makes the next couple games a bit more entertaining, as a couple more Duke losses could change the seeding for March Madness in a significant way. 

Second Base - Georges St-Pierre announces retirement from MMA

Montreal-based UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre announced his retirement from fighting yesterday, stepping away from the sport as a two-time champion with a 26-2 record and a record nine title defenses in the 170lb division. It's a bit disappointing that we won't get to see a follow up to St-Pierre's last fight when he beat Michael Bisping in 2017 after a four-year break, the 37-year old is walking away at the right time, on his terms. 

"It takes a lot of discipline to become and stay champion. It also takes a lot of discipline to stop while still feeling that you're in the best physical and mental shape of your life, but I've always planned to leave the sport when I'm at the top and in good health," St-Pierre said in a statement.

Third Base - Josh Telizyn wins bronze in 1000m at Canada Winter Games

Long track speed skater Josh Telizyn saved his best for last at the Canada Winter Games. In the final day of competition for long track speed skating, in his best event, Telizyn turned in his best performance of the week and won the bronze medal in the 1000m

“I really hung in there for the last 200m and when I crossed the line and the board second, I was so pumped. I just waited for the rest of the heats to end and I am so excited to have the medal," said Telizyn, who finished with a time of 1:14:65.

Home Base - Brayden Sims wins gold in boxing at Canada Winter Games

Brayden Sims had a very tough week, with three fights in four days against the best at 60kg in his division, including two former national champions. But Sims beat them all, culminating in his gold medal match against Justice Harborne of Manitoba on Feb. 20. Harborne came out with a lot of energy and threw some big punches at Sims in the first round, with all five judges scoring the round for Harborne. However, in the second and third, Sims was steady, played great defence, and never slowed down, and won the last two rounds to win the fight by split decision, 3:2. It's a huge accomplishment for Sims, who becomes the first B.C. fighter to win gold at the Canada Winter Games since Jessy Brown did it in 2011. 

Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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