A message from owner Gayle Benson to Pelicans fans

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While we are heartbroken by the loss of my husband, we are also tremendously grateful for the overwhelming love and prayers we continue to receive. Tom Benson’s love for his teams was rooted in his love for the fans. There was nothing he enjoyed more than greeting fans on game days, driving around training camp practices to shake hands or seeing so many loyal fans welcoming the team back from a road trip- win or lose. He felt a special connection to our incredible fan base because he truly felt like a fan himself -a hardworking, passionate New Orleanian who loved everything about his city. Following the Super Bowl victory, his first order of business was figuring out how he could share the Lombardi Trophy with as many of you as he could. He vowed that our trophy would be the most traveled, touched and photographed in the history of the NFL and ordered that a tour of the Gulf South be scheduled so that as many fans as possible could have their turn with it.

To his very last day, Tom Benson’s greatest hope was to bring more championships to our fans. I want you to know we are more committed than ever to make his hopes a reality. We will never forget his belief in what truly powers our teams- our fans. I would like to assure you that we planned carefully for this day and, while my husband could never be replaced, I am blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful leadership team and staff and we will move forward successfully together. We cannot thank you enough for all of the joy you gave my husband and will continue to do everything within our power to make you proud of our teams and city.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we celebrate my husband’s extraordinary life. Most of all, thank you for your unwavering devotion to our teams and city. I look forward to sharing many more special times together.

Gayle Benson
Owner
New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans

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Hammond Art Guild celebrates 56 years with April exhibition

Lunch at the Rookery
PRESS RELEASE

HAMMOND, Louisiana– An artists’ group is a special thing to join. Ask any of the members of the Hammond Art Guild as several members have been involved with the group for more than a decade, and some since the guild’s founding in the 1960s.
The guild is currently celebrating a notable milestone this year with its 56th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the Hammond Art Guild will have its 56th Annual Open Spring Judged Exhibition at the Hammond Regional Arts Center with an opening reception on Friday, April 6 from 5-8 p.m.
This exhibition continues the guild’s tradition of providing the city of Hammond with a display of art by some of the best artists in the area. The show features artist members’ creations, as well as artwork from area high school students and non-members of the guild. Pieces range from paintings, drawings, sculpture, jewelry, and more.

Old Pipes
Many of the art pieces in the Hammond Art Guild’s annual spring exhibition can serve as great gifts for Mother’s Day or just an original piece to hang in your home. The exhibition will be on display in the Hammond Regional Arts Center (HRAC) from April 6 through April 27. Special thanks to this year’s judge, Jeff Mickey, Professor of Sculpture, Southeastern Louisiana University. The award recipients will give a presentation on their award-winning works during an Art Talk and Tour on Wednesday, April 11, 5-6 p.m.

During Friday’s reception, wine and refreshments featuring the best, local strawberries of the season will be served a long with live music.

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Viewers may vote for the “People’s Choice Award,” and participate in an art raffle for $1 per chance. Admission into the Hammond Regional Arts Center is free. HRAC gallery hours include Wednesday-Friday from noon to 6 p.m.

The Hammond Regional Arts Center (HRAC) supports, promotes, and coordinates visual, performing, and literary arts in Tangipahoa Parish and surrounding parishes. Our primary mission is to enrich lives through quality arts education, develop an appreciation of the arts within individuals, and introduce the public to professional exhibitions, performances and literature.

Tigers’ Baker named District 9-2A MVP

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LEADING THE PACK- Senior Independence forward Melvin Baker named District 9-2A MVP. File photo by Matthew Roy.

By Jesse Brooks

Both Independence and Amite boys basketball squads turned in highly successful seasons in which the programs surpassed the first round of postseason tournament play in Class 2A.

One Tangipahoa Parish’s best prospects, Independence senior forward Melvin Baker, was named the “Most Valuable Player” of District 9-2A. Throughout his high school tenure, Baker’s role for Tigers ascended from contributing role player to featured star his junior and senior seasons.

For a team lacking in size down on the block, the 6’4 forward often played in the post while flashing skills that fit into all five positions on the floor.

“I think it speaks to Melvin’s ability to be voted MVP in a district with so many guys with D1 offers in various sports.,” said Tigers head coach Ace Misita. “Melvin is a leader on and off the court and it’s been a blessing coaching him the past three years. Any college will be lucky to add him to their program. They’ll be getting a great player and an even better person.”

Baker is currently not committed to any college programs, and still hoping for offers to come through.

In addition to Baker’s top honor, several members of the Tigers’ and Amite Warriors were named to the All-District team. Fellow Tiger De’Angelo Gaines joins Baker in the first team selections as does senior Tyrus Wheat, junior Devonta Lee and juniorTroy Wyre from Amite.

All District Second Team: Amite junior shooting guard Dereon Edwards.

All District Honorable Mention: Independence guards Michael Otkins (senior) and Genord Perry (junior).

Other All-District selections:

Second Team:

Christian Hasenkampf/ Junior/ Pope John Paul II

Nathan Newberry/ Senior/ Northlake Christian

Kaz Warren/ Senior/ Pine

Blain Gros/ Sophomore/ Northlake Christian

Honorable mention:

Trenton Reimoneng/ Freshman/ Northlanke Christian

Jordan Anderson/ Sophomore/ Pine

Marcell Cotton/ Junior/ Pine

Jonathan Bulot/ Senior/ Pope John Paul II

Sean Price/ Senior/ Pope John Paul II

Independence boys advance first round, face Many Tuesday on the road

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CLOSE IT OUT- Independence guard Genord Perry celebrates as the Tigers advance past the LHSAA 2A first round playoffs with a wild 62-60 finish over MLK Charter. Photo by Matthew Roy.

By Jesse Brooks

The Independence boys basketball team advanced past the first round of the LHSAA 2A playoffs on Friday, February 23 after defeating MLK Charter 62-60 in a game that went down to the wire.

Inside of a minute of the fourth quarter, the Tigers were tied with the Jags 60-60 despite once holding a commanding lead in the third quarter. After the Jag’s 11-4 run, the ball was inbounded to junior De’Angelo Gaines who set up the offense and fed senior forward Melvin Baker who won the battle for inside position in the paint. Without hesitation, Baker got off a turnaround one-handed runner to take a 62-60 lead with just under 30 seconds left to play.

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Senior Melvin Baker’s game winning shot. Photo by Matthew Roy

 

The Tigers were able to get the ball back through a steal and possibly seal the game when freshman Jaden Howard was sent to the line, but two missed free throws would give MLK Charter one final chance. The Tigers opted to defend the length of the floor which resulted in an altered shot by a Jaguar that rolled off the rim as time expired.

“I thought we had pretty good defense for them to have to take a fall away runner considering we missed two free throws to give them the opportunity to take that shot,” Misita said. “Defense was great in the first quarter and then we kind of figured them out. Then they figured us out. So it turned more into a shootout in the second half.”

The game started as a low scoring affair, ending with an 11-9 lead for the Tigers after the first quarter. That changed halfway through the second quarter when Howard nailed back-to-back 3-pt. shots that helped launch a 15-3 run for the Tigers. With 1:22 remaining in the first half, the Tigers held a 28-23 lead. Right before the half ended, Howard grabbed a steal and missed a shot, but Baker was there for the clean up. Tigers would lead 30-23 at half time.

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Freshman guard Jaden Howard. Photo by Matthew Roy. 

The Tigers turned in their best quarter in the third as they commanded a majority of offensive possessions. On consecutive defensive possessions, Baker, who led the Tigers with 18 points, grabbed defensive rebounds and led fast breaks the other way to assist streaking scorers. The Tiger went into the fourth quarter leading 51-43.

Gaines also connected on a 3-pointer, and Perry got a eurostep layup to fall in to go up 56-49 with 4:33 left in regulation, but MLK Charter was not done. Three straight three pointers would be what tied the game up for the Jaguars.

“In the last two minutes, our backs were against the wall and we found a way to win the game,” Misita said. “I was really proud of that.”

Misita also praised his squad for stepping up when the defense was focused on slowing Baker down. Gaines was the Tigers’ second leading scorer with 15 points. Michael Otkins contributed 11 points, and Howard totaled 10 points.

On Tuesday, February 27, Independence will take on No. 3 Many on the road in the second round at 6:30 p.m. Many has an overall record of 20-8.

List of local boys basketball playoff games

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MAIS AAAA Div. 1 State Tournament Round 1

2/20 – Oak Forest Academy vs. Jackson Prep at Presbyterian Christian (Hattiesburg, MS)

LHSAA 1A

2/23 – No. 18 Kentwood @ No. 15 South Cameron: time TBA

2A

2/23 – No. 21 Franklin @ No. 13 Amite: time TBA

2/23 – No. 19 MLK Charter @ No. 14 Independence: 6 p.m.

2/23 – No. 20 St. Helena @ No. 13 East Feliciana: time TBA

2/23 – No. 18 Delhi Charter @ No. 15 Doyle: 6 p.m.

5A

2/23 – No. 32 Ponchatoula @ No. 1 Natchitoches Central: time TBA

2/23 – No. 17 Covington @ No. 16 Denham Springs: time TBA

2/23 – No. 29 Sulphur @ No. 4 Walker: time TBA

Div. I

2/20-27 St. Paul’s on two round BYE

Div. III

2/27 – No. 10 The Church Academy @ No. 7 St. Thomas Aquinas: time TBA

Local LHSAA girls basketball winners from last night

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Local girls basketball first round playoff winners:

LHSAA 2A
No. 15 Amite 77
No. 18 MLK Charter 66

Lady Warriors will play No. 2 Lake Arthur on the road in the second round. Date and time TBD.

3A
No. 6 Albany 80
No. 27 Green Oaks 46

Lady Hornets will host No. 11 Kaplan on Monday, February 19 in the second round at 6:30 p.m.

No. 2 Loranger 77
No. 31 Bogalusa 39

Lady Wolves will host No. 15 Jennings in the second round with date and time TBD.

5A

No. 23 Hammond 61
No. 10 Walker 33

Lady Tors will host No. 7 Nachitoches Central in the second round with a date and time TBD.

No. 2 Ponchatoula 66
No. 31 Parkway 36

Lady Wave will host East St. John in the second round with a date and time TBD.

MUSIC CALENDAR – February 2017

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ARTIST OF THE MONTH- The Angry 88 are original Hammond City punk rock for bring a CBGB style noise to South Louisiana in modern times. Catch them at Mad Maiden’s in Ponchatoula on February 16. Photo courtesy of the band’s Facebook.

HAMMOND

2/17 – Casey Saba @ Red White & Brew: 21+ 8 p.m.

PONCHATOULA 

2/16 – The Angry 88, Shadow Giant and McQueenery: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/24 – The Telegraph Salesman @ Mad Maiden’s: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/24 – Webbie w/ Sassy D @ 1111 SW Railroad Avenue: 21+ 8 p.m.

BATON ROUGE

2/23 – Cory Branan w/ The Weeping Willows @ Manship Theater: All Ages 7:30 p.m.

2/24 – Alejandro Escovedo @ Manship Theater: All Ages 7:30 p.m.

MADISONVILLE

** OPEN MIC EVERY FRIDAY @ Abita Roasting Co.: all ages 7 p.m.

MANDEVILLE

2/17 – Alex Bosworth w/ Hank Mackie @ The Lakehouse: 7 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS 

** Rebirth Brass Band @ The Maple Leaf EVERY TUESDAY: 21+ 10 p.m.

** Percy J @ The Maple Leaf EVERY WEDNESDAY: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/16 Green Mantles @ Checkpoint Charlie’s: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/16 – Lilli Lewis @ Little Gen Saloon: All ages 7:30 p.m.

2/16 – Noisewater @ Le Bon Temps Roule: 21+ 11 p.m.

2/16 – Struthers @ Maple Leaf: 21+ 11 p.m.

2/16 – Lenny Zenith @ Portside Lounge: 21+ 8:30 p.m.

2/16 – Vox and the Hound @ Three Keys: 21+ 9 p.m.

2/17 – Kermit Ruffins @ Little Gem Saloon: All Ages 9 p.m.

2/19 – St. Vincent @ Civic Theater: All Ages 8 p.m.

2/19 – The Porter Trio @ Maple Leaf: 21+ 10 p.m.

2/22 – The Revolution (Prince’s band) @ Joy Theater: 21+ 8 p.m.

2/24 – Tab Benoit @ House of Blues: 18+ 8 p.m.

2/25 – Cory Branan @ Portside Lounge: 21+ 8 p.m.

2/25 – Joywave @ Gasa Gasa: 8:30 p.m.

BILOXI

2/16 – Daughtry (acoustic evening) @ IP Casino: 21+ 8 p.m.

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS

2/24 – The Underhill Family Orchestra @ Government Street Grocery: 21+ 7 p.m.

Lakeshore QB Penton verbally commits to Southeastern Louisiana

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CLOSE TO HOME- A Class of 2018 standout, Lakeshore QB Chris Penton has verbally committed to Southeastern Louisiana. Photo by Herb Gomez.

UPDATE: As of 2:49 p.m. Fox Sports reports Tulane offensive coordinator Frank Scelfo has taken the head coaching job at Southeastern Louisiana.

By Jesse Brooks

Despite Head Coach Ron Roberts leaving Southeastern Louisiana to fill the defensive coordinator vacancy at Louisiana-Lafayette, the Lions are picking up Lakeshore quarterback Chris Penton according to the athlete’s announcement today on Twitter.

Penton is regarded as the best quarterback in LHSAA 4A this past season, leading the Lakeshore Titans to the State Championship where they fell 48-26 to Edna Karr, ending an incredible undefeated streak at 16-1 overall.

The 2017 season was a dramatic turnaround for the Titans out of Mandeville, improving from a 5-5 regular season record in 2016.

In 2017, Penton completed 211 of 314 passes for a total of 3,790 yards in the air and 43 touchdowns which qualified him as the leading passer of the New Orleans Metro-Area this season. The 6’0 and 185 lbs. quarterback also totaled 4,159 All-Purpose Yards and eight rushing touchdowns. His combined total of 51 touchdowns his senior year was more than any player in the state of Louisiana.

As a head coaching candidate has yet to emerge for the Lions, the Louisiana Sportswriter’s Association 4A Offensive Player of the Year is excited to wear the green and gold.

“Big thanks to Coach Graves, Coach Stevens and Coach Lace for the opportunity. Let’s go get some rings!” Penton shared on social media.