Ex-U star Lumpkin is released by Saints

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints cut five players on Wednesday, including three veterans and a seventh-round draft pick from last year.
Released were wide receiver Haywood Jeffires, defensive end Fred Stokes, safeties Sean Lumpkin and Derrick Hoskins and tight end Henry Lusk.
Jeffires, signed by the Saints last summer, played in the first nine games catching 20 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns. He was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 8, snapping a string of 123 games played, which dated back to 1988 when Jeffires was with the Houston Oilers.
Stokes was also signed as an unrestricted free agent last year, after spending time with both the Rams and the Redskins. He missed all five preseason games with a knee injury he suffered working out before training camp and was put on injured reserve Nov. 11.
Lumpkin was the Saints second fourth-round pick in 1992 after a four-year career with the Gophers, which was highlighted in 1991 when he was a captain and the team MVP. Lumpkin played in seven games last year with the Saints, mostly on special teams and was placed on injured reserve Dec. 4.
Hoskins was signed as a free agent to replace Lumpkin on the roster and played in one game.
Lusk played in every game for the Saints last season and was third on the team with 27 receptions for 210 yards.
Wolves want lower property taxes
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves are challenging the $44 million assessed value of the Target Center in an effort to lower their property taxes.
The team has commissioned an independent appraisal and filed a tax court petition challenging the assessed value of the city-owned arena.
The Wolves’ 1997 tax bill of slightly more than $2.9 million was $68,000 lower than the 1996 bill, said John Moir, Minneapolis’ finance officer.
“It’s the proper, prudent thing to do, to take a look at it,” said Roger Griffith, the Wolves’ chief financial officer.
Any overvaluation of the arena could be compounded over the team’s 30-year lease. The lease also has a clause that would allow owner Glen Taylor to move the team if the property taxes go up 2 percent or more during a five-year period.
Junior leads golf tourney
COON RAPIDS (AP) — Elk River junior Mark Christensen shot a 4-under-par 68 Wednesday to cruise to a 7-shot victory in the boys’ Class AA state golf tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Course.
Christensen, who finished in a tie for fourth in 1996, fired the only sub-70 round of this year’s two-day tournament. His total score of 141 tied the Class AA record set by Chris Perry of Edina West in 1980.
Christensen’s 68 was nine strokes better than first-round co-leader Adam Riddering. The Totino-Grace sophomore shot a 77 Wednesday and finished third, nine strokes back at 150.
In the boys’ team competition, 1996 runner-up Bemidji placed four of its five golfers in the top 27 to win the state title.