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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Billy Dee Smith

     (Born June 30, 1982) -- Barring a trade, the Buffalo Bandits will have the third pick in the National Lacrosse League this fall. They did pretty well with that pick when they had it 10 years ago.

      Buffalo selected Billy Dee Smith with that choice in 2002. He needed little time for Smith to become a fixture in the Bandits' lineup.

     Smith only played in seven games as a rookie, but he showed an edge to his play by piling up 46 penalty minutes. The next year, he became a regular in the lineup.  

     Smith's play kept getting better and better as the seasons went by. By 2009 he was named the defender of the year in the NLL, despite missing three games to injury. And speaking of injuries, he hurt his knee in the summer of 2010 and missed the entire 2011 Bandits' season.

     However, Smith was back in the lineup for 2012, and he was one of the anchors of the Buffalo defense once again.

--- Budd Bailey

Savoie Takes Title

A 35-foot birdie putt to halve No. 16 was the dagger as Joey Savoie of Quebec won fhe International Junior Masters this afternoon, 2-up, over North Tonawanda's James Blackwell at East Aurora CC. Blackwell conceded the 18th hole and the match after an aggressive chip for birdie resulted in a 12-foot downhill putt that slid by the hole. Savoie is fhe Quebec Junior champion.

-- Bob DiCesare

Savoie beats Blackwell, 2-up

Details to follow

Savoie 1-up thru 16 at IJM

Savoie rolls in 40 footer to halve 16 with birdies.-- BD

IJM Final All Square Thru 12

James Blackwell has won last two holes to draw even for first time since No. 1 --BD

Savoie 2-up at Turn at IJM

Joey Savoie is two holes up on James Blackwell after 9 in the IJM title match at East Aurora. Blackwell made a 50-footer to win No. 8.
--BD

Blackwell Rallying

James Blackwell has won the last two holes and is 1 down to Joey Savoie through six.

Bob DiCesare

Savoie Up 3 on Blackwell

Joey Savoie, the reigning Quebec junior and juvenile champion, leads James Blackwell 3-up through four holes of the title match at the International Junior Masters. Savoie nearly double-eagled No. 3 and birdied No. 4.

--Bob DiCesare

Blackwell Survives

James Blackwell advaced to this afternoon's final of the International Junior Masters with a 1-up victory over Colombian David Marin. Marin won No. 17 but missed a 3-foot birdie putt on 18 that would have forced sudden death. Blackwell faces Joey Savoie of Quebec, who routed Matt VanNiekerk 7 and 5 in the other semifinal. Jacob Kreuz of Amherst has advanced to the championshp consolation final.

-- Bob DiCesare

IJM Update

We're all square through 13 in the Blackwell-Marin semifinal. Blackwell went 1-up when Marin missed from 2 feet on 11, but then missed a 2-footer himself that would have won 11. Marin won 12 with an 8-foot birdie putt to square the match and kept it even by making a 6-footer for par on 13.

-- Bob DiCesare

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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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