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U.S.-Afghan basketball game turns unfriendly

A basketball game between U.S. and Afghan teams turned violent in Kabul, with one American player kicked in the head and two Afghan spectators shot in the leg, peacekeepers and witnesses said Friday.

The events on Thursday began when an American player fell near the seating area of the Kabul stadium. An Afghan spectator kicked the player in the head, Flight Lt. Tony Marshall said.

An Afghan guard with the U.S. team tried to push the crowd back. He cocked his machine gun and it went off unintentionally, Marshall said.

Two Afghan spectators were hit by bullets, both in the leg, said a witness, Wahid Ullah. Both were in good condition at Kabul's Italian-run emergency hospital. The guard was taken into police custody, Marshall said.

The game was played on the second day of a four-day tournament in the Afghan capital. The American team, which included soldiers, U.S. Embassy personnel and one British player, withdrew.

HORSES: Six Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Associations boycotting the export of their tracks' signal to Tampa Bay Downs relented, prompting TBD management to boost purses beginning Tuesday. TBD general manager Peter Berube trimmed purses 10 percent in late January when a boycott by eight facilities began affecting the track's revenue stream. The HBPAs acted in support of Tampa Bay HBPA president Bob Jeffries, who was denied stalls on TBD grounds for a second year. Berube said he had a "nice conversation" with Jeffries and they agreed to raise all purses $400. Siphonic, considered one of the leading Triple Crown contenders when the year began, will not run in the Kentucky Derby because of soreness in his right ankle.

COLLEGES: Miami running back Frank Gore had surgery to repair ligaments in his right knee and could be ready to play in the fall. Gore, who ran for 562 yards and five touchdowns last season as a freshman, was injured Tuesday in practice. South Florida sophomores Alexis McGaffagan and Dayanna Octavien set school records at the Florida State Invitational. McGaffagan won the heptathlon with a record 4,476 points, and Octavien won the discus with a NCAA provisional qualifier of 167 feet, breaking the record by almost 15 feet. North Carolina scored nine runs in the seventh to beat visiting FSU 11-7. Colorado College beat Michigan State 2-0 and Michigan beat St. Cloud State 4-2 in the NCAA men's hockey West Region in Ann Arbor, Mich. Defending champion Minnesota-Duluth beat Niagara 3-2 and Brown beat top-ranked Minnesota 2-1 in Durham, N.H., advancing to the women's championship final. The FSU softball team beat Campbell 8-0 and UNC-Greensboro 3-1 in the Buzz Classic at Georgia Tech. Iowa State's Cael Sanderson (197 pounds) extended his unbeaten streak to 158, advancing to the NCAA wrestling championship final in Albany, N.Y. In team competition, defending champion Minnesota (112 points) moved ahead of Oklahoma (95). The USF women's tennis team beat Northern Iowa 5-2. California's Natalie Coughlin won the 100 butterfly (50.01 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (49.97) in record times at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Texas. She beat Jenny Thompson's butterfly mark by 1.06 and broke her own in the backstroke by .60. South Carolina beat visiting Florida 2-1 in baseball.

BOXING: Sponsors in Memphis failed to come up with a $12.5-million site fee to land the Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis fight. Promoters have until Monday to formalize the June 8 bout, or the IBF said Lewis must fight No. 1 contender Chris Byrd or risk losing one of his two heavyweight titles. James Toney, the six-time world champion who played Joe Frazier in the movie Ali, easily outpointed Tonga's Sione Asipeli in a 10-round cruiserweight bout in Phoenix.

WINTER SPORTS: Tricia Byrnes won a World Cup halfpipe event, beating Gretchen Bleiler in an all-American final in Tandadalen, Sweden. Switzerland's Therry Brunner won the men's event. Olympic silver medalist Shannon Bahrke won her second dual moguls national title at the U.S. Championship in Boise, Idaho.

SWIMMING: Aaron Peirsol won his second and third titles of the week (100 backstroke and 800 relay) in the Spring National Championships in Minneapolis. Diana Munz also won two titles (400 freestyle and 800 relay).

BASKETBALL: Cleveland's Gund Arena will host next year's McDonald's All-America high school games.

_ BRANT JAMES, TIMES WIRES

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