RIO DE JANEIRO -- As an assistant coach for Britains womens field hockey team, Craig Parnham always admired the United States.Now the head coach of the American womens squad, he recalled why in the moments after a 6-1 rout over Japan at the Olympics last week.USA have always had a huge heart, great spirit, great passion, great drive -- they never give in, Parnham said. When I was working with other teams, we would always see those as big threats of the USA, and when you see it firsthand, you see it for what it is.Just four years ago, those intangible qualities were about all the Americans had going for themselves when they faced elite programs. Parnhams job when the United States hired him in 2013 was to improve the teams skill and fitness and turn the Americans into contenders for major titles. The players bought into his approach, and now the 43-year-old British coach has guided a squad that finished last at the 2012 London Games to a 4-1 record in pool play four years later.The Americans are in a position to make a run at their first medal since earning bronze in 1984. They play Germany in the quarterfinals on Monday.We just are meshing, U.S. striker Katie Bam said. Its just our time.The players met shortly after Parnham became coach, and he left them to decide their goals. Once he learned they wanted to rank among the best teams in the world, he put them in position to make that vision realistic.Hes opened our communication lines, U.S. defender Lauren Crandall said. Hes really allowed us to drive our program. Hes given us the power. Hes told us, figure out your goals, figure out your vision and drive this bus forward.Because the players have the power, they correct themselves.He creates a culture where the team are accountable, USA field hockey executive director Simon Hoskins said. I think that really works with todays modern athlete. To me, he really is the epitome of the modern elite coach.There were plenty of losses along the way. But then, the United States won the Pan American Games in 2015 and finished third in the Champions Trophy event in June. Their No. 5 world ranking is their highest ever.The United States opened the Olympics with 2-1 victories over No. 2 Argentina and No. 3 Australia, then set a U.S. womens Olympic record with six goals against No. 10 Japan. The Americans beat India, then faltered late to drop their final pool play match to Britain. The United States finished second in the pool and already has set a program high for wins at an Olympics.Its been 3+ years of hard work, Parnham said. We got together and established a program we thought was going to be useful. Weve been working on all aspects of our game -- physical, mental, technical, tactical. Im pleased for the team, Im pleased for U.S. hockey. Things are moving along nicely.---Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter (at)CliffBruntAP Logan Forsythe Rangers Jersey .C. Lions has come to an end. Banks told TSN on Jan 2 that he had no interest in playing out the option year of his contract with the Lions in 2014, and he again made that clear in a conversation with Lions GM Wally Buono last week. Jeff Mathis Rangers Jersey . "Four now," Carl Gunnarsson told the Leaf Report proudly following a 5-2 victory over New York on Tuesday night, the clubs fifth straight at home. https://www.cheaprangersbaseball.com/2372h-c-d-pelham-jersey-rangers.html . 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CLEMSON, S.C. -- Jaron Blossomgame scored a season-high 27 points, four other Clemson players scored in double figures and the Tigers held off High Point 83-74 on Friday night.Donte Grantham and Avry Holmes added 13 points each to help Clemson (3-2) end a two-game losing skid.A little harder fought win than we wouldve liked down the stretch, Clemson coach Brad Brownell said, but I thought our guys played with really good offensive confidence.After coming up short against No. 9 Xavier and Oklahoma in last weeks Tire Pros Invitational, the Tigers shot 48 percent from the field and made 22 of their 24 free throws Friday.The Panthers (3-3) got 22 points from leading scorer Andre Fox, who made two 3-pointers and eight free throws.Hes a confident kid, High Point head coach Scott Cherry said. These games are only going to help him get better as the year goes on.Anthony Lindauer added 16 points for the Panthers, who trailed by 13 at halftime and as many as 16 in the second half.High Point would get to within four points on Lindauers layup with 6:17 to play, but a jumper by Marcquise Reed and a steal and dunk by Blossomgame pushed Clemsons lead back up to eight with 5:22 to play.Blossomgame, hes a problem and a heck of a player, Cherry said.Reed and Gabe DeVoe scored 11 points each for the Tigers.We dropped two games in Orlando, but were still a good team, Blossomgame said.BIG PICTUREHigh Point: The Panthers created some momentum after winning two of three games at the HPU Classic last week, but after a four-day layoff, High Point lost to an ACC squad for the secoond time this season.dddddddddddd Virginia Tech thumped the Panthers 99-73 in Blacksburg, Va., on Nov. 15.Clemson: Shelton Mitchell, who was expected to be the starting point guard before a Nov. 8 knee surgery to repair torn meniscus sidelined him, made his season debut off the bench Friday. The Vanderbilt transfer had two assists, zero turnovers and no points on two shot attempts in 11 minutes of action.It was good to have him back, Brownell said. He certainly isnt where he was pre-injury.STAT OF THE NIGHT: Blossomgame has yet to find his long-range game, making just three of his 16 3-point attempts this season, but hes now scored 20 points or more in consecutive games by making 18 combined field goals.HE SAID IT: We have some warts that need attention, Brownell said. We also have some things that we do pretty well. The teams out there that are 5-0 or 5-1, maybe havent been exposed to some of the things that theyre going to be exposed to here the next month. Weve got a chance to rectify those problems.TIP-INS: High Point never led and the game was only tied for 15 seconds.Sidy Djitte grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds for the Tigers to record double-digit boards in consecutive games.Clemson blocked a season-high six shots.High Point outscored the Tigers in the paint 34-28.UP NEXTHigh Point plays its second consecutive road game when it visits Morgan State on Monday.Clemson hosts Nebraska in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday. ' ' '