Shreveport begins TBL semifinal series here tonight against So Cal

By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mavericks will begin their best-of-three semifinal series in The Basketball League playoffs tonight against the So Cal Moguls of San Diego at Centenary’s Gold Dome. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m.

Game two for the series will be played Thursday at the same time and place and if necessary, game three will take place Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Gold Dome.

So Cal is coached by Olden Polynice, a former NBA player for 16 years. The Moguls, who finished the regular season with an 18-6 record, are led in scoring by 6-foot point guard Julian Winton at 25.7 points per game. He has a season-high 42 points against Vancouver in early April and has posted 31 or more points nine times this season. He also averages 4.9 assists per game. 

The Moguls also get double digit scoring from 6-foot-4 Josue Salaam (16.1), 6-foot-5 Davion Johnson at 14.8, and Kevin McNeal scores 13.1 a game. Alex Smith averages 11.1 points and a team-best 5.5 rebounds. They finished second in the West Conference to the California Sea-Kings (20-4) who they defeated in game three of their championship series 108-107 Sunday.

The Mavericks won game three of their conference series Saturday to eliminate Enid, the defending TBL champions.

Paul Parks still leads the Mavs in scoring with a 22.7 points per game average. Paul Harrison is averaging 19.6 points and eight rebounds a game, Tyrone Jordan 16.1 points a game and PJ Meyers averages 6.1 assists a game.

Photo by LEE HILLER




Lang’s Locks: Another nice win streak snapped at U.S. Open

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

We were teased for a while by Aaron Wise, but ultimately did not cash the big ticket at The Country Club. First losing week in a bit, but we’re right back at it with another big week in the tumultuous golf world. As the game has been turned upside down, we’re just here to make a profit. Our second LIV opportunity comes next week.

For now, we’re playing the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour. Good luck!

Notes

All bets are measured in units. For instance, if your normal bet on a game is $100, that is one unit. If the bet is listed as .2 units, it’s a $20 bet.

Best line (as of Tuesday) is listed in parenthesis. Find the best price, one key to being a successful sports bettor!

Shop around!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel

MGM: Bet MGM

DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool

LANG’S LOCKS

Last week recap: minus-2.7 units

THIS WEEK’S SELECTIONS

PGA Tour

Travelers Championship

Win bets

Sungjae Im, . 1 unit, +3025 (FD)

Si Woo Kim, . 1 unit, +9900 (DK)

Top 20 bets

Anirban Lahiri, .3 units, +650 (FD)

Tyler Duncan, .2 units, +750 (DK)

Martin Laird, .2 units, +750 (DK)

Lanto Griffin, .2 units, +600 (DK)

Lucas Glover, .2 units, +600 (DK)

Troy Merritt, .2 units, +500 (FD)

DP WORLD TOUR

BMW International Open

Win bet

Sergio Garcia, .2 units, +2125 (FD)

Top 20 bets

Billy Horschel, .9 units, +105 (FD)

Sergio Garcia, .9 units, +120 (CAE)

Dean Burmester, .4 units, +250 (CAE)

Ross Fisher, .3 units, +370 (FD)

Victor Dubuisson, .3 units, +500 (FD)

Daniel Van Tonder, .2 units, +600 (FD)

Paul Waring, .2 units, +600 (FD)

KORN FERRY TOUR

Live and Work in Maine Open

Win bets

Logan McAllister, .1 unit, +19900 (MGM)

Erik Barnes, .1 unit, +3125 (FD)

Jacob Bridgeman, .1 unit, +5455 (MGM)




The Adcock name has stayed at the top of the game at Louisiana Downs

FAMILY TRADITION:  Jay Adcock developed a love of the horse business growing up alongside his dad, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame baseball legend Joe Adcock. Jay’s son Brandon has followed that path.

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

Baseball was in his name, but horses were in his blood.

Jay Adcock, son of 17-year major league veteran and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame member

Joe Adcock, played for Louisiana Tech in the late 1970’s.  Jay was a good first baseman, but not as good as his dad.

Few were.

Joe wore the uniform of four teams, hit 336 home runs (despite several injuries) — including an MLB record four round trippers in one game — and broke up Harvey Haddix’s astounding 12-inning no-hitter.

So, when Jay’s college career was over, he went down to the farm. Not to a big-league farm team, but to a real farm to work with his dad.

“I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to do horses. That’s what I really enjoyed.”

That’s because when Joe retired from baseball in 1969 after a couple of managerial jobs, he went home to Coushatta and Red River Farms.

“He had horses during his baseball career, but not thoroughbreds,” Jay said. “Mostly Appaloosa. He gravitated to thoroughbreds when he got out of baseball.”

And Jay, then 12 years-old, was happily along for the ride.

“The computers and the phones and the instant information you can get at the touch of your fingertips. Back then, we didn’t have any of that stuff,” Jay remembered. “You had one, two landlines in the house — maybe one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. TV’s, you had (Channels) 3, 6, and 12. Outside was the place to be. We hunted. We fished. I grew up swimming in the pond.”

And learning the breeding business from his father, whose second act was as good as his first. According to the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Joe was named top breeder eight times. He died in 1999, at the young age of 71. But Jay continued his father’s legacy — and has built one of his own. Jay and Red River Farms have won seven top state breeder awards, including five straight from 1997-2001.

“I thought I could make a living at it,” Jay said. “Fortunately, I have. I have no complaints. None whatsoever.”

And neither do the thoroughbreds, at least from February to June. That’s when they, for lack of a better term, get busy. Which means that’s when Jay gets busy.

“(They) are a little bit different than all the other breeds,” Jay explained. “You cannot artificial (inseminate). You have to live cover, which means you actually have to put the mare and the stallion together. We do it in a controlled (environment). We don’t just turn them out there and hope for the best. You hold the stallion. You hold the mare. They actually mount, and breed.”

The goal — the hope — is that the foal goes on to a successful racing career.

“There’s no silver bullet,” Jay said. “Pedigree is awful hard to argue with. The heritage of them. The brothers and sisters that ran. The mommas that produced. The daddies that produced. You take a stallion that’s never had a baby to the races, you’re going on pedigree, you’re going on looks, confirmation, race record. There’s a bunch of intangibles that you try to put together, but it’s not an exact science. You see full brothers and full sisters, one of them is a really nice racehorse, and one of them can’t outrun me.”

Ask 10 breeders what gives a foal the best chance to be a winner, and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. But Jay will give you the same answer each time you ask.

“Pedigree. Blood. My dad told me a long time ago, ‘Son, when they turn for home, unless you’ve got some good blood flowing through the veins, you’re going to get run over down the lane.’ I honestly believe that’s true.”

Louisiana breds do very well racing in their home state. Last year, according to the Louisiana Fact Book produced by The Jockey Club, Louisiana breds won 89 percent of the state’s purse money. Regardless of where they raced, Louisiana breds earned $43 million. The more than $18,000 average per starter was the highest since 2001.

But how do Louisiana breds match up against horses bred in other states? Jay says that’s hard to answer.

“Last year, we ran 332 days in the state of Louisiana. A lot of the horses in Louisiana don’t necessarily leave the state because they get the opportunity to run here year-round. So, they don’t go outside the the state lines and maybe prove themselves on the open market. But don’t fool yourself. There are a lot of Louisiana breds that can run (in open competition). I promise you that. And it’s been proven more and more the last few years.”

At 64 years old, Jay doesn’t have any plans to retire. But if he does, the Adcock legacy is likely to continue. Brandon Adcock, one of Jay’s two sons, is part owner of Red River Farms, and for years has been learning from his dad.

Sound familiar?

“Growing up, that’s where we went,” Brandon said of going to the farm as a child. “There were no babysitters. Me and my brother, we were out there with (Dad) every day. When we were big enough to do anything labor-wise, we had to do it. I was there every day. That’s all I know how to do.”

At age 31, Brandon is trying to bring his dad — and the farm — into 2022.

“He’s kind of old school,” Brandon said. “He reads what happens in other states three or four days later, when it comes out in press clippings on the computer. You can go to Twitter and see what happened five seconds ago. Dad doesn’t have none of that. He doesn’t know everything right off the bat. I feel like within the next five or 10 years, there are going to have to be some changes made. It’s my job to try not to screw it up.”

That’s highly unlikely. Remember, pedigree is awful hard to argue with.

Louisiana Downs runs Saturday-Tuesday. Weekend post time is 1:45 p.m. Weekday post time is 3:05.

This Sunday, there is a special post time of 4:30.

Contact Tony at SBJTonyT@gmail.com

Mr. Menu is an advertising company that produces in-house and take-home menus for locally owned restaurants statewide. The menus are full color, printed on heavy stock paper and provided to the restaurants at no charge. The menus cycle every three to four months and they allow advertisers to speak to the customers of popular locally owned restaurants.

Mike Whitler became the owner/operator of Mr. Menu in 2006, and has since grown the business to include dozens of menus and hundreds of advertisers across the state of Louisiana.




Blue Goose pushes LA Krewe, but eventually falls 2-1

BLUE GOOSE D: Shreveport defender Inzwirashe Zuniga (2) and keeper Brett Ekperouh (wearing red) try to contain a LA Krewe attack.

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports

LA Blue Goose FC, playing in its second of four straight away games, fell to LA Krewe 2-1 in Lafayette Saturday night.

If a goalie battle is what you like about soccer, then this game was for you. Blue Goose (1-4-1) keeper Brett Ekperouh had five saves that were game-saving-type saves that even had the Lafayette crowd cheering his efforts. Not to be outdone, Krewe keeper Sami Borchalli, who has been Centenary’s keeper for the past four years, added four saves at the same crowd-cheering level.

The first half of play favored Krewe with possession and overall opportunities at goal but still had enough up and down the field to know this was going to be a dogfight throughout.

Blue Goose went for goal right off the opening whistle as they pushed to ball forward, when Martin Weintschke hit a rocket from 20 yards out that was headed just under the bar. Borchalli jumped and just got his outstretched fingertips on the ball to deflect it just over the bar.

Krewe (3-1-3) was on notice; the upstart Blue Goose team was here to play.

The Krewe got on the board in the 28th minute off a corner kick. Right wing Pol Mur hit the corner kick to the near post to a charging Alfi Conten, who flicked a header just inside the near post for the only score of the first half and a 1-0 lead.

Blue Goose added one other strong shot which almost tied the game up just before the halftime whistle.

The second half played just as the first had, with Krewe controlling much of the possession. In the 57th minute Krewe had another corner, much like the first goal. This time the corner was put in by Minur Poca, who also found Conten for the 2-0 lead.

Shortly after the goal, a through ball was sent to Blue Goose right wing Nicco TheBerge. The Krewe keeper came out but was stuck in No Man’s Land. TheBerge saw the keeper up and attempted to chip him into goal. The ball went just wide for what would have cut the lead in half. 

Having found a weakness in the Krewe defense, through balls to Theberge were duplicated. The first had him crossing to Adam Morris, who beat the diving Borchalli, to put Blue Goose on the scoreboard, 2-1.

As time was running out, another through ball to Theberge ended with him pounding a left-footed shot from 25 yards out that went just over the top of the crossbar. The final whistle soon sounded with a 2-1 final.

The rematch between the two teams will be July 2 at Centenary College.

Last Wednesday Blue Goose tied LA Parish in Baton Rouge 4-4. Sam Scarth had two goals; Guilherme Bittencourt and Johan Arevalo added one each. Scarth, TheBerge and Morris were credited with the assists.

Blue Goose stays on the road this week with a Wednesday game in Arkansas against the Little Rock Rangers and a Saturday game in Frisco, Texas against Texas United.

Their next home game is June 28 against LA Parish., 7 p.m. at Centenary College.

Photo courtesy LA Krewe




Reagan becomes youngest City Am champion

A VICTORY FOR THE AGES: Patrick Blunt (right) congratulates City Amateur champion Grant Reagan on the 15th green at Huntington Park Sunday afternoon. 

By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports

When Grant Reagan was handed the trophy after winning the Championship Flight of the Shreveport City Amateur Match Play Championship at Huntington Park Sunday afternoon, the Byrd junior-to-be took a minute to look over the names of the tournament’s past winners.

“Eddie Lyons, Craig Webb, Robby McWilliams, Patrick Blunt,” Reagan said out loud as he scanned the names on the plaques. “Wow.”

Lyons won the event nine times, Webb was the 1991 champion, McWilliams was a three-time winner and Blunt was the City Am champ in 2016.

While Reagan seemed to be in awe looking over the names, he didn’t realize he had something on all the past winners – at 16, he is the youngest champion to hoist the huge trophy.

What surprised Reagan was the fact that he defeated one of those players on the list of past champions. In the sweltering heat Sunday, Reagan captured the title with a 4&3 victory over a foe twice his age, 32-year-old Blunt, who played college golf at Louisiana Tech.

“I felt great out there,” said Reagan, who also won the Greater Shreveport Medal Play Junior Championship in May. “That’s probably the best I’ve felt on the course since (high) school golf. I only had one bad shot out there today.”

That came on the par-5 sixth hole, where Reagan hit his second shot in the water and bogeyed the hole to watch his 3-up lead fall to 2-up. After exchanging pars on holes seven, eight, and nine, he won the next two holes to go 5-up with six holes to play.

Both players’ tee shots came up short and right of the green on the par-4 13th, where Blunt was able to get up-and-down for his birdie and narrow Reagan’s lead to 4-up. Blunt hit a perfect tee shot on the par-four 14th while Reagan’s started down the right side of the fairway and started trickling toward the water.

“I thought it had gone in the water,” said Reagan, “but I knew I just had to win one more hole.”

When he got to where he thought his tee shot had gone in the lake, Reagan found the ball sitting in the dirt just short of the water. With an incredible second shot, his ball landed on the front of the green while Blunt’s was on the left edge of the green.

After both players came away with par, and Reagan held his 4-up lead with just four holes to play. When Blunt was unable to get up-and-down for birdie from behind the green on the par-5 15th, the victory was Reagan’s.

“It’s pretty cool to be the youngest (to win the City Am),” said Reagan. “It took some good golf to do it. My game felt super solid this week. I was able to make putts, and that’s key.”

Reagan will now go for the “amateur slam” when he plays in the 65th Louisiana Junior Amateur Championship July 6-8 at East Ridge Country Club.

Other winners at Sunday’s City Am included Ricky Blair (Presidential Flight), Harold Turner (First Flight), Rodney Orrell (Second Flight), Danny Williams (Third Flight), and Steve Summerlin (Fourth Flight).

Benton’s Noah McWilliams has added another LJGT tour victory to his resume.

McWilliams shot a 9-under to cruise to an 11-stroke victory at the LJGT at Tamahka Trails held last Thursday and Friday at Tamahka Trails Country Club in Marksville. He followed a first-round 67 with a final-round 66 on the tough course.

McWilliams also shot a 9-under when he captured the LJGT at Querbes Park in April.

Photo by JOHN PENROD

Contact Harriet at SBJHarriet@gmail.com




SPOTLIGHT: D2 product Evans ranks among Saints’ elite

By JEFF DUNCAN, Written for the LSWA

Doug Marrone remembers the first game of Jahri Evans’ NFL career.

It was a preseason contest against the Tennessee Titans and star defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, one of the most feared defenders in the NFL at the time.

Marrone coached offensive tackles at the University of Tennessee in 2001, when Haynesworth developed into a heralded first-round draft pick for the Volunteers. He knew how dominant Haynesworth could be when he put his mind to it.

“I remember telling Jahri, ‘This guy is a career killer,’” Marrone said. “’If you don’t go in and play well against him you can have problems.’”

Evans’ response caught his coach by surprise.

“Jahri was, like, ‘Who is he? What number is he?’” Marrone said.

Marrone remembers thinking that his wet-behind-the-ears rookie left guard was in for a rude awakening. But when the whistle blew for that Aug. 12, 2006 game, Evans more than held his own against Haynesworth, sending a message not only to his teammates and coaches but to the rest of the NFL that the stage was not too big for the unheralded rookie from Division II Bloomsburg University. Evans belonged.

“From that point on, we knew we had something special,” Marrone said.

Evans started all 16 games for the NFL’s top-ranked offense in 2006 and was voted to the All-Rookie Team. For the next 11 years, he was a fixture at right guard for one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history and became one of the most decorated linemen in franchise history. This year, he punctuated his stellar career by earning induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

The Induction Celebration featuring Evans and 11 other inductees begins Thursday in Natchitoches. For participation opportunities and information, visit LaSportsHall.com or call 318-238-4255.

“When I got drafted by the Saints in ’06, I wanted to be the best player I could be, so I always kept working and trying to improve,” Evans said. “We had a great general behind us for all those years in Drew Brees, and we broke a lot of records and won a lot of games. He made our jobs very easy.”

How Evans ended up in New Orleans was largely the result of great scouting and good fortune.

Evans was an overlooked recruit at Frankford High School in northeast Philadelphia. He was recruited by Maryland, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt and others as a junior, but the interest dissipated after he fractured his kneecap while playing pickup basketball the following summer and missed his senior season of football.

Bloomsburg took a flyer on him at the recommendation of one of his teammates, Sean Williams. Evans earned a partial football scholarship and also qualified for an academic scholarship, without which he might not have been able to afford the school. Evans graduated in the top 10 of his class thanks to the prodding of his single mother, Katreen Hopkins, who stressed academics to Evans and his three older sisters.

At Bloomsburg, Evans redshirted as a freshman to gain strength and mature into his body. By his sophomore year, he was one of the best linemen on the team, rotating at both guard and tackle spots before taking over at left tackle. During his junior and senior seasons, he was a finalist for the Division II Gene Upshaw Offensive Player of the Year award.

Pro scouts took note during his senior season, but many had reservations because of Bloomsburg’s run-heavy offensive attack and the quality of the opposition.

“You had no problem saying that this guy could be a good run blocker at this (NFL) level,” Marrone said. “What you didn’t know, because of a lack of evidence, was: ‘does he have the ability to pass protect at this level?,’ which is always probably the biggest question mark from college to pro.”

Evans was one of seven Division II players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine that year. He performed well in the drills and aced his interviews.

“I remember (other players) saying, ‘I’m going to wait until my pro day (to do certain drills),’ and I was, like, ‘well, there’s no tomorrow for me,’ ” Evans said. “’I don’t have a Pro Day. There’s nobody coming to Bloomsburg to watch me,’ so I had to do everything.”

The Saints, though, had seen enough to have Evans on their radar.

“When the tape came in on Jahri, it kind of came in on a horse and buggy,” Saints coach Sean Payton joked. “You had one copy of it, and we wanted to hold on to that tape, thinking no one else in the league might have the same copy and we saw what a good football player he was.”

When the draft rolled around, the Saints had Evans graded as a solid second day choice. They wanted to draft Wisconsin tight end Owen Daniels with their first pick on the second day of the 2006 NFL Draft. With the second pick of Round 2, they were in great position to get their man. The Houston Texans, though, beat them to the punch, nabbing Daniels with the first pick, No. 33 overall.

Undeterred, the Saints quickly pivoted to Plan B. Because of Evans’ relatively low profile, they were confident they could land him lower in the draft, so they orchestrated a trade with the Cleveland Browns, which netted them center Jeff Faine and the No. 43 pick in Round 2, which they used to select Alabama safety Roman Harper.

They then took aim at Evans. The Saints had an “in” with Evans. College scout Jim Manos’ father was the offensive coordinator at Bloomsburg and knew Evans was a Division I talent. He knew Evans had landed at Bloomsburg solely because of his untimely injury and touted Evans’ athleticism, work ethic and character to the staff.

The Saints were able to swap fourth-round picks with the Eagles and acquire run-stuffing nose tackle Hollis Thomas in the deal. The Saints selected Evans with the 108th overall pick. In Faine, Harper, Evans and Thomas, the Saints essentially acquired four starters for the price of the Nos. 34 and 99 overall picks.

The Saints planned for Evans to back up veteran Jermane Mayberry at right guard, but Mayberry retired after suffering a shoulder injury during training camp. The Saints threw Evans into the starting lineup between a pair of veterans, Faine, and right tackle Jon Stinchcomb, and he thrived.

“When you get a player from a smaller school like Bloomsburg, you really don’t know how the transition is going to be,” Payton said. “But with Jahri, it was immediate.”

From 2006 through 2013, Evans started 122 consecutive games, including playoffs. A reliable force on one of the league’s most dominant offensive lines, he missed only nine of 202 games in his career. The Saints perennially ranked among the NFL’s best offenses and Brees was annually among the league’s least sacked quarterbacks over that period

Evans earned six Pro Bowl invitations and a franchise-record four first-team All-Pro honors, twice as many as Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Willie Roaf. He was voted onto the NFL’s All-2010s Team and was elected into the Saints Hall of Fame in 2020.

“He was one of the most physical guards in the league,” Stinchcomb said. “He had just incredible upper-body strength, good lower-body bend, and just a tenacity that let him finish better than 99 percent of the guards that played.”

Indeed, Marrone called Evans the best finisher that he’s ever coached, a player so gifted athletically that he could block defenders even when he was technically unsound or out of position.

Former Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer said Evans’ footwork, hand technique, strength and intelligence were all above average for a starting NFL lineman. His agility, in particular, was special for a player of his massive size – 6-feet-4, 318 pounds.

The Saints took advantage of Evans’ extraordinary athleticism by having him pull as a lead blocker on run plays and sending him into the flat to clear a path downfield on screen passes.

In the 2009 NFC Championship game, Evans was the lead blocker on both of running back Pierre Thomas’ touchdowns in the Saints’ 31-28 overtime win over Minnesota, one a 38-yard screen pass, the other an 8-yard run behind Evans.

In Super Bowl XLIV two weeks later, Evans laid a key block on Colts linebacker Gary Brackett on another screen pass to spring Thomas for a 16-yard touchdown catch.

“He’s one of the toughest and smartest players I have ever been around in coaching and that coupled with his unselfishness and dependability made him one of the most respected players in our locker room,” Payton said

Zach Strief started alongside Evans on the Saints offensive line for six seasons from 2011 to 2016. He called Evans the most poised and confident player he ever played with, someone who personified the traits Saints coaches and scouts sought in players during the unprecedently successful Payton-Brees era.

“When we prepared for the draft, Sean asked the same questions about every single player we evaluated: ‘Is he tough? Is he smart. Does he love football? And is he a great teammate?’” said Strief, who now serves as the team’s assistant offensive line coach. “There are few players in the history of this organization that have encompassed those four things more than Jahri Evans.

“For 11 years, I watched Jahri dominate the best football players in the world. He was an absolutely dominant player.”

Today, Evans is living in the Philadelphia suburb of Wyndmoor and manages his various business interests, including a restaurant, fitness facility, drinking water company and various real estate investments. He also conducts a weekly sports talk radio show with his longtime agent Jerrold Colton. He’s going to be at Saints training camp as a special assistant, invited by new coach Dennis Allen.

But first, he and his family are here in Natchitoches as he takes a place among the state’s all-time greats in all sports.

“It’s a huge honor and not one that I expected,” Evans said of the Hall of Fame recognition. “Being honored by the state of Louisiana is special when you consider the number of great athletes that have come out of the state. I’m happy, fortunate, blessed and honored to be a part of it.”

Photo courtesy of New Orleans Saints/Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame




No Sunday run for Burns at U.S. Open

IN THE MIX AGAIN:  Shreveport’s Sam Burns, the former LSU All-American, opened Sunday in the top 10 at the U.S. Open Championship, but ran into trouble on the final nine holes.  

JOURNAL STAFF

Shreveport native Sam Burns was in contention when he teed off in the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, but despite a couple nifty par saves on the first two holes, couldn’t stay there.

Burns entered the final round as the only player in the field to not have a bogey on the first four holes at The Country Club at Brookline (Mass.) but got tripped up on No. 3 Sunday, starting a decline to a closing 76. That six-over total left him at plus five for the tournament, tied for 27th, when he had been as close as fourth in the standings during Saturday’s round.

Burn shot 71-67-71-76 for a 285 tally, good enough to bring home a $127,002 paycheck. He remains No. 9 in the Official Golf World Rankings.

Sunday, he had two bogeys and a birdie on the front side, but ran into trouble quickly afterward. Burns bogied the 12th, double-bogied the 13th, and added bogies on 15 and 17.

He will tee it up again this week at The Travelers Championship in nearby Cramford, Conn., with most of the world’s best making the short move from the Boston metropolitan area.

Burns has been in the top 10 mix on the final day in the last two majors, the PGA Championship and this weekend. The season’s last major is the 150th British Open July 13-17 at St. Andrews, Scotland.




Shreveport moves on to Final 4 of TBL playoffs with win

By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports

Shreveport defeated Enid Saturday night 112-104 in game three of the best-of-three series at the Stride Bank Center to win the Central Conference Championship and advance to the Final Four of The Basketball League.

The Mavericks got out to a fast start scoring 41 first quarter points to take a 41-27 lead after one period. Shreveport continued to heat it up and took its biggest lead of the game in the second quarter at 66-45 before the Outlaws rallied in the second half to get within 102-98 with a little more than four minutes left in the game.

Paul Parks hit a 3 to make to break an almost four-minute scoring drought and give Shreveport a seven-point advantage 105-98. Chuck Guy cut the lead to five with a couple of free throws (107-102) with a minute left but that was as close as Enid could get. Paul Harrison hit four free throws in the final 29 seconds to ice the game away.

Harrison led Shreveport in scoring with 30 points, Parks tossed in 28, Ty Jordan 14, PJ Meyers had 11 points and eight assists, and Josh Montgomery came of the bench to score 10.

It was a bounce-back night for Parks who had just five points in Friday’s 129-109 loss. He had five points in the first two minutes of Saturday’s win and 13 in the monster first quarter.

Enid relied on its starting five as its bench only played 22 minutes in the game. KD Moore led them in scoring with 33 points, Ricardo Artis had 24 points and 16 rebounds, Darin Johnson 16 points and Guy 13 points and 10 assists.

Shreveport held Enid to 40 percent shooting from the floor after the Outlaws shot 50 percent in their win Friday. The Mavericks shot 52 percent Saturday night and 41 percent (12-29) on 3-point baskets.

Enid forced a game three with its win on Friday as Artis tallied 40 points and 14 rebounds. Guy had 31 points and 12 assists and KD Moore 15 points and 11 rebounds. Its bench played 30 minutes with reserve Quantel Denson scoring 12 points.

The Outlaws took over the lead midway through the first quarter and never trailed thereafter.

Harrison led Shreveport in scoring with 21 points, Tavin Cummings had 20, Jordan 12 and Montgomery 11.

Shreveport will face the winner from the West. California Sea-Kings and Socal Moguls were playing game three Sunday night in a winner-take-all.

Photo by LEE HILLER




Shreveport hits road to Oklahoma for rest of series

JOURNAL STAFF

The Shreveport Mavericks hit the road Thursday morning to travel to Enid, Oklahoma for the rest of the Central Conference Championship series of The Basketball League a half day after defeating the Outlaws in game one, 130-117.

The Mavericks will face the Outlaws in game two of the best-of-three series Friday night at the Stride Bank Center in Enid hoping to be able to close out the series and claim the Central championship.

An Enid win would force a game three winner-take-all Saturday night also in Enid. Game time for both of those games is 7 p.m. (CT).

Shreveport won in Enid 115-107 in the last game of the regular season that clinched the No. 2 seed in the Central Conference playoffs. Wednesday’s win gave the Mavs a 2-1 edge in games played with the Outlaws this year and 1-0 series advantage.

In Wednesday’s win Paul Harrison led Shreveport in scoring with 35 points, Paul Parks had 28, Tavin Cummings 21 and Tyrone Jordan 20. For Enid, Kadavion Evans led them with 31 points, Daylon Guy pitched in 30 and Ricardo Artis had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

The winner of this series will advance to the final four of the TBL Playoffs and face the winner of the California Sea-Kings and Socal Moguls in the West Conference. California leads that series 1-0 after a 133-125 win last night.

Photo by LEE HILLER




LSU great Sam Burns tees off at lunchtime today as a contender in U.S. Open

MAJOR OPPORTUNITY: Sam Burns is playing well and is considered among the contenders this week at the U.S. Open, which starts today.

JOURNAL SPORTS

Shreveport native Sam Burns, a former LSU All-America golfer, will make his fourth appearance in the U.S. Open as a contender for the first time when the 122nd edition of the Grand Slam event takes place at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Burns tees off at 12:14 p.m. CT on Thursday and will be paired with Abraham Ancer and Thomas Pieters. The group will tee off on No. 10. Tournament action can be seen on USA Network as well as NBC.

“For me, it’s just being able to manage the game I have each day; not having my best stuff each day, but being able to get the ball around and shoot those couple under rounds that could have been a couple over,” he told Golf Channel Wednesday, “and when you have your A-game, being able to shoot 4-5-6 under. Obviously that may not be the case this week with that kind of scoring, but being able to manage your ball around here so when you get on a hot stretch, you’re able to make birdies.”

Burns, a Calvary Baptist Academy graduate, was the winner of the 2017 Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year as a sophomore at LSU. He is currently ranked ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking.

In 17 starts in 2021-22, Burns has won three PGA events and finished in the Top 10 eight times. He’s ranked No. 2 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Standings.

Since winning the Valspar Championship on March 20 of this year, Burns has gone on to finish second at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and then won the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 29. Last week, Burns carded a 14-under total to place in a tie for fourth at the Canadian Open. The 25-year-old has over $6.1 million in winnings this season.

Burns’ other PGA Tour victory this season came in October when he posted a 72-hole total of 22-under to claim the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Burns first appeared in the U.S. Open following his freshman season at LSU in 2016. He followed that with appearances in 2018 and last year. His top finish came in 2018 when he tied for 41st with a 72-hole total of 14-over par (71-76-75-72—294). Last year at Torrey Pines, Burns opened with rounds of 73 and 74 and missed the cut by one stroke.

This will mark Burns’ third appearance in a Grand Slam event this year. He tied for 20th at the PGA Championship in late April at 1-over par (71-67-71-72—281). He missed the cut at The Masters in early April by one stroke.

At LSU, Burns left as the school’s record holder for career scoring average (71.13) and his 70.05 stroke average in 2016-17 ranks as the best in school history dating back to 1982. Burns won four tournaments during his LSU career, including the NCAA Regional played at the University Club in Baton Rouge in 2017.




GOLF NOTEBOOK: Moss leads local contingent of successful players

LOCALS LEADING THE WAY: Peyton Johnson, who tied for fourth at the 103rd Louisiana Amateur Golf Championships, is one of many local juniors enjoying success on the course this summer.

By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports

Local golfers have been very busy, and very successful, at different events around the Ark-La-Tex over the past couple of weeks.

The most successful was recent Byrd graduate Sydney Moss, who finished in a tie for first and took co-medalist honors at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Qualifier held Wednesday at Tamahka Trails Golf Club in Marksville.

Moss, who will play at the University of Memphis next year, shot a 1-over 72 to finish in a tie with Emerson Blair of West Point, Mississippi. Benton’s Abigail McWilliams shot a 12-over 83 to finish in a tie for 14th.

“Today (Wednesday), I played a pretty solid round of golf,” said Moss, whose co-medalist finish qualifies her for the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship. “I had five bogeys and four birdies, which I think speaks a lot for my comeback abilities. It’s okay to mess up and make mistakes because it’s golf. Mistakes are bound to happen. But the way we approach those mistakes and try to recover from them, truly shows our abilities as a golfer.”

Three local boys finished in the Top 10 at the U.S. Junior Amateur (also held Wednesday at Tamahka Trails). Shreveporters Charlie Bell tied for 4th place with a 1-over 72 and Peyton Johnson finished in a tie for 10th with a 3-over 74 while Benton’s Noah McWilliams finished in a tie for 8th with a 3-over 73. Hudson Greene of Bossier City finished in a tie for 31st with a 12-over 83 and Benton’s Cason Toms shot a 13-over 84 to finish in a tie for 33rd.

Byrd’s Grant Reagan, who finished the first round of the TJGT event at Water Chase in Fort Worth on Wednesday in a tie for 4th, is hoping for better conditions for today’s final round.

“I played okay, but it was super windy out there,” Reagan said after finishing the first round. “I haven’t been hitting the ball that well, but I’m working on it. I was sick a few days last week and didn’t get to play.”

Reagan will be playing plenty over the next week. After playing in this weekend’s City Amateur Golf Championship at Huntington, he will travel to Canton, TX, for a Legends Tour event that will include 36 holes on the first day followed by 18 holes on Day Two.

At the 103rd Louisiana Amateur Golf Championships held at TPC Louisiana in Avondale earlier this week, recent Byrd graduate and Louisiana Tech signee Peyton Johnson shot 3-under and finished in a tie for 4th place. Johnson opened with a 67 and followed with rounds of 75-71-72.

Other Shreveporters competing were Payne Johnson and Taylor Netherton (tied for 21st) and Billy Joe Tolliver (60th).—

At the GSPGA Junior Championships at Beau Chene Country Club in Mandeville last week, Bell finished in a tie for 6th while Xan Walker took 12th place and Charles Valiulis tied for 15th.

The 2022 City Amateur Golf Championships at Huntington, which will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, is a match play tournament open to all male amateur golfers. Championship and President Flights will play two matches Friday, two matches Saturday, and one match Sunday. Final matches will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.

All other flights will play one match each day with Sunday’s final round beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Contact Harriet at sbjharriet@gmail.com

Photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL




Shreveport begins Conference Championship series with reigning TBL champs Enid

MAVS WORKOUT: The Shreveport Mavericks get some shots up during Tuesday’s shoot around at Centenary’s Gold Dome.

By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports

Shreveport begins its The Basketball League Central Conference Championship series with Enid at Centenary’s Gold Dome tonight at 7:05 p.m.

It will be the first time since joining the TBL last season the Mavericks will play a team that it had beaten during the regular season. Last year the Mavs were eliminated by a Houston team that had defeated them four times. This year Shreveport’s second round opponent of the playoffs, Potawatomi, had beaten the Mavs both times they played in the regular season and in the first game of the playoffs.

But coach Steve Tucker warns everybody that Enid has a very good team that likes to push the pace of the game as fast as it can. The Outlaws won the overall TBL championship last year but have a different set of players.

“They are a very formidable team, they present a lot of problems,’’ said the veteran coach. “They are a little undersized so you really got to watch the tempo of the game.”

The Outlaws defeated Shreveport 139-120 in the first game the two met in Shreveport. The Mavericks returned the favor in the last regular season game of the season by defeating the Outlaws 115-108 in Enid.

“We controlled the tempo on them in the second game and that is one of the reasons why we beat them,” said Tucker. “They have a hard time with our size inside and I think that will be a big factor in this series.”

The Outlaws are similar to Potawatomi but don’t have the size inside to protect the rim like the Fire did.

“This team doesn’t have that but they present a lot of problems with their quickness and athleticism,” said Tucker. “And they have that prowess to score so we have to be very careful in controlling the pace of the game.”

Shreveport has five players averaging in double figure scoring with Paul Parks leading the way at 23.5. Paul Harrison comes in at 19.1 and Tyrone Jordan 16.9. Point guards PJ Meyers (10.7) and Alani Moore (10.1) round out the leading scorers with Meyers averaging 6.2 assists per game and Moore 4.3. Harrison leads the way in rebounds with 8.1 and Parks comes in at 6.4.

The Mavericks bench has outscored their opponent throughout the season and that shouldn’t change. The only change of late has been in the starting lineup where Tavin Cummings has taken the place of Jamal Brantley but both have been playing the same amount of minutes.

Sixth man DeAndre McIntyre will again play a key factor as he did in Saturday’s series clinching defeat of Potawatomi. McIntyre was 2-of-3 from 3 in both games against the Fire. With him in the game on Saturday it opened things up for both Parks and Harrison to do their damage. Parks scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half and Harrison 16 of his 29 points in the closing two quarters.

Six foot-9 Bilal Richardson comes in to spell Harrison in the post and had 19 points and seven rebounds in Friday’s win.

Enid counters with one of the top players in the league in Ricardo Artis II who averages 21.8 points and 10 rebounds. Point guard Daylon Guy averages 21.0 points a game and 9.2 assists a game and Darin Johnson scores 20.2 points a game.

Contact Lee at Lee.hiller51@gmail.com

Photo by LEE HILLER




Mudbugs eye six picks in today’s NAHL Draft

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The 2022 North American Hockey League Draft takes place today and the Shreveport Mudbugs have the 19th selection in the first round.

NAHL teams don’t use the draft to build their teams like NFL teams. Selections are made to garner a player’s rights should he play in the league, but draftees often have many options and there’s a decent chance they don’t wear the sweater of the NAHL team that took a shot on them.

The Mudbugs’ first draft choice in NAHL franchise history, Jared Domin, never played for the team.

However, the draft does offer opportunity. In the Mudbugs’ inaugural draft (2016), they were able to grab defenseman Croix Evingson in the seventh round. The 6-foot-5, Anchorage, Alaska, product played one season in Shreveport and became the first Mudbug selected in the NHL Draft (Winnipeg, seventh round, 2017).

The number of selections used by teams in the NAHL drafts depend on the spots they have available on their protected list. This year, Campbell says the Mudbugs have six openings to work with in the draft.

“We lost a lot (12) of players from last year that have a lot of experience,” Campbell told The Journal. “I feel like we’ve done a pretty good job with our tenders, now it’s a matter of what we feel we need to target.

Draft planning has been in the process for months, but the team finalized their approach with a call Tuesday night.

“We will look at what we think need most, try to get it in the first round and go from there,” Campbell said.

Last year, the Mudbugs used their first-round selection on defenseman Brandon Cimino. He was not one of the four of nine players selected to hit the ice for Shreveport during the 2021-22 season. Those were: forward Logan Gotinsky (third round), defenseman Jonah Copre (fourth round), Ryan Williams (fourth round), Will Fortescue (sixth round).

Only Gotinsky and Copre were on the team at season’s end. Gotinsky, who was also drafted by Shreveport in 2020, finished in the top 10 in scoring for the team (10 goals, nine assists).

Mudbugs’ six-pack

The Shreveport Mudbugs’ first six slots in today’s 2022 NAHL Draft:

Round (overall pick)

1 (19)
2(48)
4 (106)
5 (135)
5 (144 from St. Cloud)
6 (148, from El Paso)

Contact Roy via email at roylangiii@yahoo.com

Photo by CHRISTI LANG




Lang’s Locks: No drama here, just another big week

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

While the golf world had a meltdown over the LIV debut, we just stayed the course and took advantage for another huge week on the links.

We added nearly 5 units to our season total.

This week, all the best players are gathered for one tournament – the U.S. Open, the third major championship of the season. As always this time of year, we’re golf dominant this week, but we throw in a Game 6 pick on the NBA Finals, too.

Good luck!

Notes

All bets are measured in units. For instance, if your normal bet on a game is $100, that is one unit. If the bet is listed as .2 units, it’s a $20 bet.

Best line (as of Tuesday) is listed in parenthesis. Find the best price, one key to being a successful sports bettor! Shop around!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s
FD: Fan Duel
MGM: Bet MGM
DK: DraftKings
BS: Barstool

LANG’S LOCKS

Last week recap: +4.79 units

THIS WEEK’S SELECTIONS

BASKETBALL

NBA FINALS, Game 6

Celtics, -3.5 (FD)

Golf

U.S. OPEN

Win bet

Aaron Wise, .1 unit, +9900

Top 20 bets

Lanto Griffin, .4 units, +900 (DK)
Ryan Fox, .3 units, +700 (DK)
Sam Horsfield, .3 units, +900 (DK)
Sepp Straka, .3 units, +700 (CAE)
Kurt Kitayama, .3 units, +1200 (DK)
Min Woo Lee, .2 units, +1200 (DK)
Matthew NeSmith, .2 units, +700 (FD)
Scott Stallings, .2 units, +900 (DK)
Denny McCarthy, .2 units, +650 (CAE)
Joseph Bramlett, .2 units, +1600 (DK)

KORN FERRY TOUR

WICHITA OPEN

Win bets

Jacob Bridgeman, .1 unit, +6150 (MGM
Pierceson Coody, .1 unit, +6500 (MGM)
Dou Zecheng, .1 unit, +6150 (MGM)
Logan McAllister, .1 unit, +19900 (DK)




A gamble at the Downs still paying off after 34 seasons

SHE’S UP ABOUT THE DOWNS:  Phyllis Whitehurst has worked at Louisiana Downs since 1988 and can’t imagine leaving. She has risen through the ranks and is the  Food and Beverage Manager.

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

It was 34 years ago when young Phyllis Whitehurst lied.

“A little white lie,” she said.

“I can tell the story now,” she said, assuming the statute of limitations has expired.

In 1988, as a 16-year-old, she applied for a weekend job at Louisiana Downs.

“My next-door neighbor said they needed some help in the concession stands.”

But legally, Whitehurst had to be at least 18 to work at the track.

“They didn’t check social security, driver’s license, and all that stuff like they do now,” Whitehurst said.

So, the Haughton High School student was hired. And she’s been at the Downs ever since.

Whitehurst has worked her way up to become Louisiana Downs’ Food and Beverage Manager. She also books banquets and catering events.

“I’m a jack of all trades, because I can do everything.”

Whitehurst loves her job. But in the beginning, she loved the money.

“I thought I was rich,” Whitehurst said. “I was making tips. Sixteen and you’re making money like this? Girl! Woo!…During the weekend, I bet I was clearing $100, $200 just in tips. I was excited!”

The money was so good, Whitehurst didn’t finish college. She left Louisiana Tech for Louisiana Downs.

“That was a mistake I made. The money was overwhelming for me. I bought my own Grand Am. I kind of got away from school. If I had known then what I know now, I would have finished college.”

As Whitehurst got older, she began to appreciate the job more than the money.

“I really enjoyed myself. Working with the people. Talking with the people.”

And if you have a long memory, as Whitehurst does, you know that at one time, there were plenty of people with whom Whitehurst could work and talk.

“When I first started here, it was so overwhelming. There were people everywhere. This place was busy coming in and out. I remember coming to work, and there were lines (of cars) all on the freeway trying to get in there. It was the same way going out.”

In fact, just because the last horse crossed the finish line didn’t mean Whitehurst could head home.

“Sometimes we used to just sit in the parking lot. You couldn’t get out of here in five minutes. Sometimes it took you 30, 40 minutes, maybe an hour to get out of here. I’ve seen it booming, and I’ve seen it not booming.”

The “not booming” years were when crowds grew smaller and smaller. That led to staff growing smaller and smaller.

“I’ve seen a whole lot of my friends leave,” Whitehurst said. “I saw a lot of people leave that taught me so much. So many managers, employees — line employees that taught me so I could get where I am now.”

That’s a culture the track’s new owner wants to change.

“Creating that family-type experience with our team members, and not seeing them go through a revolving door,” said Kevin Preston, President of Rubico Acquisition Group. “So, when you come, you ask, ‘Where’s Jessica?’ ‘She’s not here anymore. She left.’ We want those same experiences to resonate with the team members too, so when customers come, they say, ‘Oh, wow, so and so has been here and they take care of us all the time.’”

Whitehurst believes under Preston’s ownership, those crowds will return.

“I’m very hopeful. I really, truly believe we can get back. I’m not going to say we can get back to where we were — everything booming, those never-ending lines. The guys in the parking lot parking cars and all that. We might not get there, but I really think we’re going to give the community a little growth … I hope and I pray.”

Whitehurst and her kitchen staff play an important part in the Downs regaining some of its popularity. After all, who wants to go somewhere that doesn’t have good food?

“We’re trying to flip the menu,” Whitehurst said. “Give them something different.”

A few years ago, Whitehurst tried something different. When Louisiana Downs and Horseshoe Casino and Hotel were affiliated with each other, Whitehurst’s boss wanted to move Whitehurst from the track to the casino.

“I worked there two nights,” Whitehurst said. “I was miserable. He saw it all over my face. I went into his office and told him I can’t do it. I don’t like it. The atmosphere was so different than the one here. He looked at me, and I didn’t even have to say anything. He said ‘OK, Phyllis, you can go back home. I could tell by watching you the past two days you weren’t happy.’”

With the track’s thoroughbred racing season off and running, Whitehurst is very happy and optimistic about the future of Louisiana Downs. And she plans on being there to see it.

“How long are you going to stay at Louisiana Downs?” she was asked.

“Until they just put me out of here.”

Contact Tony at SBJTonyT@gmail.com

Louisiana Downs races through September 27. First post time is 3:05 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 1:45 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Photo by DEREK DANIEL, Louisiana Downs

Mr. Menu is an advertising company that produces in-house and take-home menus for locally owned restaurants statewide. The menus are full color, printed on heavy stock paper and provided to the restaurants at no charge. The menus cycle every three to four months and they allow advertisers to speak to the customers of popular locally owned restaurants.

Mike Whitler became the owner/operator of Mr. Menu in 2006, and has since grown the business to include dozens of menus and hundreds of advertisers across the state of Louisiana.




Blue Goose hits the road for four straight after narrow loss

GOOSE ATTACK: Juri Schlingmann passed to Gerardo Martinez but like the other Shreveport Blue Goose threats last Saturday, this didn’t pan out, sailing  just over the crossbar. 

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports

The local Blue Goose soccer club is going to be sweating out gas prices for the next two weeks, beginning a series of four road games Wednesday in Baton Rouge on the heels of a tough shutout loss at home on Saturday.

Blue Goose will travel down I-49 on the way to meet LA Parish Saturday in the state’s capitol city. LA Parish will be the next team to visit Shreveport, coming in for a Tuesday, June 28 contest against Blue Goose at Centenary College.

Last Saturday, one of the hottest days of the year, Blue Goose lost a close game with perennial powerhouse Mississippi Brilla, 1-0 at Centenary. Brilla scored early and were able to hold off Blue Goose for the victory.

At the opening whistle, Brilla was on the attack, employing a high press at every level of play. They pushed the ball forward every time they had possession and when Blue Goose had the ball, they challenged every player and pass. This style of play proved effective, with two early shots on goal, forcing keeper Brett Ekperouh to come up big early.

In the 12th minute, Brilla’s third attempt at goal was successful, but not by design. It began with a shot from the right wing that went off the crossbar, then landed at the feet of Brilla left winger Remi Emetiau, who had a wide net to score the only goal of the night.

The rest of the first half saw the play even out, with Blue Goose fruitlessly taking control at times. Brilla’s high press was unsustainable after the first 15 minutes, as the heat and humidity started taking its toll. Midway through the half, Blue Goose winger Nicolas TheBerge took the ball into Brilla’s box, and was surrounded by three defenders and went down to the ground. Local supporters and the Blue Goose bench screamed for a penalty kick, but the referee waved it off and awarded a corner kick as the ball went out the back line. The ensuing corner kick was a beauty that was headed just wide of the goal.

It seemed just a matter of time when the contest would be tied. In extra time of the opening half, outside back Gerardo Martinez  streaked down the left side of the field, looked up and saw the Brilla keeper off his line. At this sight and with time down to seconds, Martinez took a left-footed shot from just outside the box, but the ball went just over the crossbar.

The second half started just as the game began, with Brilla pressing hard again. This time that form of play only lasted a few minutes and resulted in just one serious threat at goal, with Ekepouh coming up big with the save, deflecting it wide. As in the first half, once Brilla pulled off its press, Blue Goose took much of the possession and opportunities. These early second half chances did not result in any good shots on frame.

As time was winding down, Blue Goose’s sense of urgency stepped up, and the chances grew more dangerous. With less than five  minutes remaining, the ball ended up at the feet of Blue Goose winger Johan Arevalo, who took a close shot that seemed destined to tie the game, Brilla keeper Chris Morrison dove and made a strong save to preserve his clean sheet.

“This is the type of game I expected, with both teams fighting for opportunities,” Blue Goose coach Will Awagu said. “I am pleased with the effort, and felt good about it overall, but really felt we deserved a tie. This is the one the strongest teams in our league, and we held up well.”

Photo by DAVID CHESAK




Fourth at Canadian Open sends Burns to Brookline on a roll

JOURNAL STAFF

Sam Burns heads to the U.S. Open Golf Championship this week in fine form.

Sunday, the Shreveport native and Calvary Baptist Academy alumnus, and a former LSU All-American, finished a very competitive fourth in the RBC Canadian Open, finishing Sunday at 14-under after a final round 65.

Burns was only bettered by defending champion Rory McIlroy (19 under), Tony Finau (17) and PGA champion Justin Thomas (15).

He hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, and found 9 of 13 fairways. Burns had three straight birdies in the middle of his round, on Nos. 9-10-11, then went back-to-back with birdies on 14 and 15 to get to six-under for Sunday.

A wayward drive on 17 led to an approach short of the green, and Burns dropped a shot and fell out of contention to catch McIlroy, who birdied the difficult final two holes, each with approaches inside the flagsticks, to card a closing 62.

McIlroy earned the $1.56 million winner’s check. Burns collected $391,500 for his four-day 266 score (67-69-65-65) on the par 280 (70) course.

In his last two starts, Burns has been in contention on Sundays, winning in Fort Worth at the Colonial last month. He will be among the elite to watch at The Country Club of Brookline, Mass., a Boston suburb, when the year’s third major tees off Thursday.

Burns didn’t make the cut at the Masters but had the best major finish of his young career, a tie for 20th, at the PGA Championship after being in the mix and the top 10 during the final round last month.

Brookline and Sunday’s course in Toronto, St. George’s, are considered to be similar, which could foreshadow another strong showing by Burns.

Burns is second in the FedExCup official standings with 2,223 points, closing within three digits of leader and good friend Scottie Scheffler after Sunday’s finish. He has earned $6,145,982 this season while winning three times in 17 starts.

His strong season and Sunday’s finish kept him at No. 9 in the Official World Golf Rankings.




Shreveport Mavericks send Potawatomi back to Oklahoma with nothing but memories

MAVS TIPOFF: Shreveport Maverick Paul Harrison (50) and Potawatomi center Anthony Allen tip off Saturday’s game three decider. 

By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports

Potawatomi fans arrived at Centenary’s Gold Dome Friday with brooms in their hands. They left Saturday night with nothing more than a reminder of what a good season they just finished.

The Fire had defeated the Shreveport Mavericks in game-one of a best-of-three series in The Basketball League Central Conference playoffs and needed just to win one of two possible games at Centenary’s Gold Dome.

The Mavericks responded like they have for most of the 2022 season, with dominating wins. Friday’s final tally was 120-107 Shreveport and Saturday the Mavs prevailed 120-110.

Shreveport won the deciding game getting big performances from its dynamic duo of Paul Harrison (29 points, eight rebounds) and Paul Parks (22 points, five rebounds and six assists). Alani Moore joined them with 20 points plus eight rebounds, Tyrone Jordan added 13 points, PJ Meyers  pitched in11 points and six assists and Jamal Brantley contributed 10 points.

The Mavericks took over the lead late in the first quarter and never trailed with Moore scoring 11 points in the first stanza and finishing the first half with 17. The Fire kept it close and reduced a six-point first quarter deficit (31-25) to five, 50-45, at the half.

Shreveport led with Parks only scoring two points in the first half, but DeAndre McIntyre was inserted in the starting lineup in the second half.

 “I put Dre’ (McIntyre) in the game to open things up for Paul (Parks),” said coach Steve Tucker. “I took big Paul (Harrison) out in the first half and told him he was going to have to play inside if he wanted to stay in the game (in the second half).”

The move set things up for Parks and Harrison to do their damage. Parks scored 14 and Harrison nine as the hosts increased their lead to 13 (89-76) after three quarters.

PJ Meyers also started the second half at the point and scored nine of his 11 points and delivered four of his six assists — all without committing a turnover in the game.

“I thought PJ did a phenomenal job the second half,’’ said Tucker. “Everybody played great. We just played a couple of great games here at home.”

The lead grew to as much as 19 (109-90) in the final quarter. The closest the Fire was able to get was 10 in the last minute of the game.

DeShawn Munson led all scorers in the game for Potawatomi with 40 points and added 13 rebounds and eight assists. Deon Lyle had 19 points, Tevin Foster and Theo Johnson 12 each and Mustapha Traore 11.

Friday’s game was much the same with the Shreveport bench playing a key role by outscoring Potawatomi 49-30. Bilal Richardson was a big reason tying Parks in scoring honors with 19 points. McIntyre (11 points) and Brantley (10) both came off the bench to make big contributions. Tyrone Jordan tallied 18, Tavin Cummings got a rare start and scored 15 and Harrison had 13. Parks led the Mavs with 10 rebounds and Richardson added seven. Moore was the main facilitator, feeding Richardson with eight assists.

Munson again led the Fire with 35 points and 12 rebounds and seven assists. It was the first game in the last six he did not record a triple-double. Foster hit six-of-10 3-pointers and finished with 25 points and Johnson had 17 points, eight rebounds.

The Mavericks advance to the Central Conference Finals against the TBL defending champion Enid Outlaws. The first game of the best-of-three series will be Wednesday at the Gold Dome. Games two and three will be played Friday and if necessary Saturday at Enid.

Photo by LEE HILLER




Shreveport Mavericks will need a pair of wins to continue in playoffs

JOURNAL STAFF

The Shreveport Mavericks have put together another successful season in The Basketball League, but all that success can end this weekend if they don’t win a pair of playoff games with the Potawatomi Fire tonight and Saturday night at Centenary’s Gold Dome.

The Mavericks, the No. 2 seed in the Central Conference playoffs, will face the Fire (No. 3 seed) in Game Two of a best-of-three series after dropping the first game of the series in Oklahoma, 113-100 Wednesday. The second game of the series is tonight at 7:05 at the Gold Dome. A Maverick win will force a Game Three Saturday also at the Gold Dome at 7:05 p.m. to see who advances to the Central Conference finals next week.

In the Game One defeat, Paul Harrison led the Shreveport scoring with 28 points and corralled nine rebounds. Ty Jordan added 18 points, Paul Parks scored 16 and Alanie Moore 11.

But the Fire made it difficult in the paint with eight blocked shots and held the Mavericks to 35 percent shooting. The bench will need to step up as well for the Mavs after scoring only 24 points in Game One. In their big win at Enid, the final game of the regular season, the bench outscored the Outlaws 56-7.

Shreveport scored 30 first quarter points and led 30-28 at the end of the quarter. But it only managed 70 points the final three periods.

Potawatomi used a surge late in the second period and then a big third quarter to lead 92-71 entering the final quarter.

Shreveport closed the gap with a 16-2 run in which they held Potawatomi scoreless for four minutes to start the last period and trailed 94-87. The hosts got back on track to go back ahead by double-digits and the Mavericks were not able to get closer than 10 down the stretch.

The winner of this series will face the winner of No. 1 seed Enid and No. 4 seed Dallas in the finals of the Central Conference. Enid took game one of that series 114-100 Wednesday night and played Game Two Thursday.




WEEKEND SCHEDULE: Shreveport hosts Potawatomi at Gold Dome

Friday

Pro Basketball (The Basketball League)

Central Conference Semifinals

Potawatomi Fire at Shreveport Mavericks, Gold Dome, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday

Pro Basketball (The Basketball League)

Central Conference Semifinals

Potawatomi Fire at Shreveport Mavericks, Gold Dome, 7:05 p.m., (If Shreveport wins Friday)

Soccer

US League 2

Mississippi Brilla FC at LA Blue Goose FC, Mayo Field at Centenary, 7 p.m.

Sunday

No Events Scheduled

Note: The above schedule is subject to cancellations or reschedule




SPOTLIGHT: Grateful Max White gets the pairing he wanted

GETTING OUT OF TROUBLE:  Local PGA competitor Phillip Barbaree Jr. pitches out of a trap at East Ridge Country Club Wednesday as Max White watches. 

By JERRY BYRD JR., Journal Sports

Just before 1 p.m. on Wednesday, there wasn’t anyone at East Ridge Country Club more uncomfortable than Max White. That’s when local media were clipping microphones to the collar of his blue shirt and turning on their cameras. The hand-held microphones were stuck in his face as the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s wish recipient readied to answer questions about his special day.

During his two-year battle with cancer, being uncomfortable is something – unfortunately –  White has grown accustomed to. 

Before the interview session was over, White was fielding questions like a PGA professional, which was ironic because there was one – Phillip Barbaree Jr.– standing just a few feet away, waiting to play a round with White as part of his wish. 

Usually, it’s the other way around. Usually, it’s pros like Barbaree getting the media attention. Not this time. White was the headliner at this Make-A-Wish Tour event.

“It’s great,” the 19-year-old Shreveporter said. “I don’t really have the words for it right now. It’s amazing, and I’m very blessed to be going through this.”

White’s mother didn’t have many words for it either, but there were several tears shed as she watched Yara Elsayed Guest, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Gulf Coast and Louisiana, present her son with a specially designed St. Jude’s golf bag with White’s patient number etched just under his name, a set of custom fitted Titleist clubs, and other prizes.  

“Well, they (tears) happen a lot, any time,” Laura White said. “It’s a great day, but we have scariness ahead.” 

The scary part for the White family began when Wednesday’s wishes ended. Max White stepped off the 18th green at East Ridge, got in a car with his family, and headed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Today, he will have scans which will tell his doctors and loved ones how Max is doing in his fight against cancer.

His battle has been a long par 5, not the easy–nine-iron-off–the–tee par 3 he expected. 

“It’s taken a little longer than planned,” White said. “I thought I would be over it within a few months when I got back. Everything is a process. I’m going to the gym. I work out and everything.”

His workout on Wednesday was 18 holes with Barbaree, a golfer who grew up in his neighborhood and has been a standout at LSU and is moving up the ladder in pro golf. 

“I’ve seen him play a lot,” White said. “We know a lot of the same people. Of course, I never got to meet him myself, but it’s great to (finally) meet him. He is nice. Maybe he can give me some pointers out there.”

Of the Make-A-Wish Foundation surprises, none was bigger than White’s new St. Jude golf bag.

“I was really surprised on the St. Jude bag,” White said. “I wasn’t expecting to get that. They told me I wasn’t getting it. I guess they wanted to keep it a surprise, which I’m very surprised. I love the bag. When I saw it for the first time as a patient I was like ‘I need that bag.’”

He got the bag, and he didn’t even have to lug it around on its first trip around the course. That job went to Barbaree’s caddy, Roy Lang III, who had a caddy bib made for the event with WHITE across the back; Lang gave White a Barbaree autographed bid from PBJ’s first major event. 

While all the prizes from Make-A-Wish were treasured, they paled in comparison to the response from those involved, and their love and support. 

“The stuff, the clubs and everything, are not the real wish,” White said. “Being here today is my real wish.

“Being here and getting to hang out with everyone, getting to talk to people, it’s amazing. That’s my real wish. To be alive.”

Grateful for the support he has received from family, friends, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, it’s the love and care from his parents that have meant the most during this time.

“They were my best friends going through everything,” White said. “They were by my side through thick and thin. They still are. I’m glad they are my parents. They are the best parents in the world. Their support is unbelievable and I’m very, very blessed for everything.”

Photo by CHRISTI LANG




TENNIS NOTEBOOK: Numbers prove Tennis Apprentice a success

TAKING IT TO COURT: The 2022 Tennis Apprentice events at The Bossier Tennis Center and Querbes Park Tennis Center attracted almost 200 new and long-lost adult players to the sport.

By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports

Much of the recent talk about the growth of tennis has centered around the upswing in the number of juniors taking up and excelling at the game.

Just as impressive is the phenomenal growth that has taken place in the adult tennis community of our area. Much of the credit goes to the Tennis Apprentice program, which has attracted new and long-lost players to the sport.

“The Louisiana Tennis Association started the Tennis Apprentice program about five years ago and community tennis associations around the state put it into action,” said Northwest Louisiana Community Tennis Association (NWLACTA) board member Rhonda Rubben.

The goal of the program is to introduce the sport to adults and reintroduce the game to those who haven’t participated in years. For $75, participants receive a free racket, four 1 ½ lessons from area professionals, four weeks of one-hour sessions of play where pros give input, a dinner, new player handbook and an introduction to league play.

“It’s a grassroots way to introduce adults to the social and league aspects of the game,” said Rubben.

The success of the program is in the numbers: The most recent (April) session at The Bossier Tennis Center gained over 80 new players in the community while the Querbes Park Tennis Center event brought in 72 new players.

Participants have included adults 18-and-over all the way to players in their 70s. A couple of teams made up of Tennis Apprentice alums have recently qualified for their state tournament.

“And nine women’s 2.5 teams have come out of the program,” added Rubben.

According to Rubben, plans are in the works to have another event in the fall. Stay tuned for information.

Summer camps continue

No matter where you live in Shreveport or Bossier, there are summer tennis camps right around the corner.

Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club is offering sessions June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 5-8 (prorated four-day session), July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, and August 1-5. Camp is open to children ages 4-17 of all abilities; each participant is required to bring a towel, swimsuit, proper shoes, and sunscreen. Camp includes tennis instruction from 9:00-12:00, lunch (provided by POTC), and open swimming and other activities from 1:00-3:00. Cost is $275 weekly/$75 daily for members; $325 weekly/$100 daily for non-members. For information, call 318-865-4625.

Bossier Tennis Center has four-day sessions (Friday is a rainout day) from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on June 13-16, June 27-30, July 11-14, July 18-21, and July 25-28. Divisions include “Alley Gators” (K-2nd grade) and “Super Shots” (3rd-5th grade). Cost is $100 per week. For information, call 318-213-2108.

Southern Trace Country Club sessions are June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 18-22, July 25-29, and August 1-5. Ages 4-16 of all skill levels are welcome. Activities include tennis, swimming, soccer, basketball, wiffleball, and team competitions. Lunch is provided daily to each camper. Cost is $235 weekly/$55 drop-in for members and $285 weekly/$65 drop-in for non-members. Register online at www.TraceTennis.com.

Local juniors excel in competition

Congratulations to the local juniors who recently brought trophies back to the Ark-La-Tex. At the Louisiana State Championships in Baton Rouge, Knox Stinson and Jack Belcher won Boys’ 14 doubles, Kat Elberson won Girls’ 14 consolation and received the Sportsmanship Award, Annie Bickham finished fourth in Girls’ 14 singles, and Connor Wilson and Cooper Kouch won Boys’ 12 doubles.

At the King Daddy Sports Open in Baton Rouge, Genesis Allen finished second while Zaria Curry took third place in the Girls’ 12 singles.

Photo by JOHN PENROD




Big third quarter lifts Potawatomi past Shreveport

MAVS TOP SCORER: Shreveport Mavericks’ big man Paul Harrison (50) had a game-high 28 points in the game one loss at Potawatomi.

By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma – Potawatomi used a big third quarter surge and held off a final period push from Shreveport to defeat the Mavericks 113-100 in game one of the second round in The Basketball League Central Conference playoffs at Firelake Arena Wednesday night.

With the win the Fire takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series that will resume Friday night in Shreveport at the Gold Dome. Tip off for Game Two will be at 7:05 p.m. A Shreveport win would force a winner-moves-on Game Three Saturday at the Gold Dome.

Theophilus Johnson hit all four of his 3-pointers in the third quarter as Potawatomi outscored Shreveport 36-22 to take its biggest lead, 92-71, into the final period. Johnson finished with 22 points on the night for the Fire.

Shreveport wasn’t going away, however, as it held the Fire scoreless for a little over four minutes early in the fourth quarter. Leading scorer Paul Harrison scored 11 of his game-high 28 points to bring the Mavs within 94-87 with seven minutes left in the game.

Two Potawatomi baskets, one a 3, broke the drought and gave the homestanding Fire a 99-87 lead. The closest the Mavericks were able to get down the stretch was 10.

Shreveport had three others in double-digit scoring in addition to Harrison’s 28. Ty Jordan was next with 18, Paul Parks tallied 16 and Alanie Moore 11. Harrison led the Mavs with nine rebounds, while Parks led in assists with six. The Mavericks hit only 35 percent from the floor but outscored the Fire 16-9 on points off turnovers and 23-12 on second-chance points.

Potawatomi point guard Deshawn Munson recorded his fifth straight triple-double and 12th of the season with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Deon Lyle led the Fire in scoring with 25 points. Tevin Foster added 20 points and hit all six of his free throw attempts in the final 36 seconds of the game. The Fire hit 48 percent of their field goals and outrebounded the Mavericks 61-55.

Shreveport enjoyed its biggest of the night midway through the first period 21-10 on a Harrison 3. Potawatomi rallied to take a lead, but a DeAndre McIntyre 3 tied it for Shreveport and PJ Meyers’ two free throws with four seconds left in the quarter gave the Mavs a 30-28 advantage after one quarter.

The teams traded leads in the second quarter but a Foster layup and 3-pointer gave the hosts a 49-44 lead with three minutes remaining in the first half and they never trailed the rest of the night.

Photo by LEE HILLER




TBL Central Conference playoff schedule, scoreboard

SECOND ROUND

Best-of-3 Series

Wednesday’s results

Potawatomi 113, Shreveport 100
(Potawatomi leads series 1-0)

Enid 114, Dallas 100
(Enid leads series 1-0)

Thursday’s game

Dallas at Enid, Stride Bank Center, 7 p.m.

Friday’s games

Potawatomi at Shreveport, Centenary Gold Dome, 7:05 p.m.
Dallas at Enid, Stride Bank Center, 7 p.m. (if necessary)

Saturday’s game (if necessary)

Potawatomi at Shreveport, Centenary Gold Dome, 7:05 p.m.