Local Sports in Brief: News editor Ken Sain claims Courier Bowl Challenge title

(Courier Graphic)

(Courier Graphic)

Finishing 13-3 in his last 16 bowl-game picks, news editor Ken Sain of The Daily Courier claims the 2017 Courier Bowl Challenge title. Sain (26-14) leads sports reporter Doug Cook (25-15) by one game in the standings, but both participants have Georgia defeating Alabama in the College Football Playoff finale Monday, Jan. 8, in Atlanta, Georgia. That wasn’t the case last season as Cook needed a tiebreaker score to defeat senior editor Tim Wiederaenders in the finale. Wiederaenders finishes fourth this season with a 19-22 overall record, while sports editor Brian M. Bergner Jr. (20-21) finishes third for the second-straight year. Sain and Cook can still add a win or loss to their total record depending on how next week’s championship game shakes out.

Derrick Jones Jr. signs two-way contract with Miami Heat

The Miami Heat announced Sunday they have called up and signed Northern Arizona Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr. to a two-way contract. It is the fifth call up of a Suns player in team history, and the second one of the season. Isaiah Canaan was called up by the Phoenix Suns earlier this month. Jones will wear No. 5 for the Heat, which next play Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons. Jones, a 6-foot-7 forward, played 35 games for the Suns in the past two seasons, reaching 20-plus points five times this season.

AIA to host spiritline state tournament at Chase Field on Jan. 20

The Arizona Interscholastic Association announced Saturday that the 2018 spiritline state tournament is scheduled to take place at Chase Field on Saturday, Jan. 20, in downtown Phoenix. The is set to begin at 8 a.m. “The folks at Chase Field are really going out of their way to make this a first-class event for our student-athletes,” AIA executive director David Hines said in a statement released by the AIA.

American Ninja Warrior Experience set for Feb. 10-11 in Phoenix

Do you have what it takes to complete one of the most difficult obstacle courses known to man? From NBC’s Emmy-Award-nominated series, the new American Ninja Warrior Experience is a touring obstacle course that will make a stop in Phoenix on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 10 and 11.

The experience opens up the course to all that want to give it their best shot, or just want to watch the action in person. The event offers adult, amateur and youth courses where participants can both get on the obstacles and be coached by some of the best American Ninja Warriors.

There’s also a top ninja competition, allowing fans to watch some of the best at work. For more information, or to purchase tickets, log online to anwexperience.com.