Lamar Loop: Basketball rosters for next season take shape

Redshirt senior Kiandra Bowers will return for a fifth season with LU.

Junior forward Colton Weisbrod was chosen as a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ (NABC) All-District team. The Nederland native is the first Cardinal chosen for the group since Kenny Dawkins and Jay Brown were picked nine years ago.

The second-team honor comes following a season where Weisbrod helped the Lamar to 19 wins in the regular season and a postseason berth, both for the first time since 2012.

A former first-team NJCAA All-American, Weisbrod made an immediate impact with the Cardinals in his first season from Lamar State College Port Arthur. He led the team and finished sixth in the league in scoring (15.1 points per game), second in rebounds and field-goal percentage (52 percent).

Sophomores Dorian Chatman and Terrance Hubby will not return for the 2017-18 season, head coach Tic Price said Friday.

“I want to thank Dorian and Terrance for the time and effort they put into our program,” said Price. “We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

Chatman signed with the Cardinals after a standout prep career at Port Arthur Memorial High School, while Hubby came from Mansfield Summit near Dallas.

Chatman played in 32 games this season, earning one start. He averaged less than 6.0 points per game and grabbed three rebounds per contest. During his two seasons on campus, he played in 61 games, earning 19 starts.

Hubby played in 25 games during his two seasons with the Cardinals, scoring fewer than two points per game.

On the women’s side, redshirt senior Kiandra Bowers will return for a fifth season with the LU women’s basketball team in 2017-18.

Bowers, a second-team All-Southland Conference selection this past season, was given a medical redshirt in 2015-16 after suffering a season-ending injury just two games into the campaign. This past season, Bowers led the Cardinals in rebounding at 10.5 per game, while finishing second in scoring at 14.3 points per contest as LU went 22-8 overall and 15-3 in the Southland Conference, the most SLC wins in LU history. In addition, Bowers leads the nation in offensive rebounding, pulling down an average of 5.97 per game, while her 17 double-doubles this season rank 11th in the nation.

“This is great news for our program,” said head coach Robin Harmony. “Kiandra is not only a tremendous player, but she is a great leader. She worked hard to come back from her injury and it paid off.”

Bowers is also successful in the classroom, as she has a 3.71 grade-point average. She will graduate with a degree in communication from LU in May and will pursue a master’s degree next year.

Lamar football to host coaching clinic

First-year Lamar University head football coach Mike Schultz and his coaching staff will be hosting a clinic for coaches Friday, April 7 – Saturday, April 8. In addition to the LU coaching staff, the list of speakers will be highlighted by former Texas A&M and Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione and former Miami and UTSA head coach Larry Coker. Local high school coaches Brandon Faircloth from Port Neches-Groves High School, and two-time defending state champion West Orange-Stark head coach Cornel Thompson will also be speaking.

The cost of the clinic is $25 per person. Registration will begin Friday at 7 a.m. following the guest speakers, coaches will be allowed to attend the LU spring position meetings. Saturday’s practice will also be open to those in attendance.

Coaches can register for the clinic online at lamarcard inals.com or by e-mailing kbrown71 [at] lamar [dot] edu.

After offensive line coach Brad Bedell parted for Boise State, Schultz wasted no time in replacing him with Jamal Powell, who comes over from James Madison University last season after going 14-1 and winning the FCS National Championship.

Powell was also an assistant at West Virginia State, Texas A&M, Seton Hall, Centre College and Southwest Baptist University.

From Channelview, Powell was highly recruited out of high school and played college football at TCU when Schultz was an assistant coach under Dennis Franchione and Gary Patterson. Powell was an All-American, first team Conference USA lineman who also played in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans as well as a stint in the Canadian Football League (British Columbia, Hamilton).

Baseball

The Cards got their first sweep of the season, and it came at a great time as the team improved to 4-5 in Southland Conference play after beating Incarnate Word last weekend at Vincent-Beck Stadium by the scores of 9-6, 3-1 and 5-2.

“It was nice to have four guys step up this weekend like they did,” said head coach Will Davis. “We’ve been fighting a little bit of an injury bug on our staff, and (Carson) Lance, (Jimmy) Johnson, (Jace) Campbell and (Tanner) Driskill really played big when we needed them to.”

A walk-off blast and perfect 4-for-4 day led to slugger Chad Fleischman’s honor as the Southland Conference Hitter of the Week on March 27.

The St. Paul, Minnesota, native popped his first career homer at Lamar in a dramatic fashion. One day after going 4-of-4 in the series opener against Incarnate Word, the junior turned on a first pitch in the ninth inning of game two and lifted LU to a 3-1 win.

“I think Chad is a great story of perseverance. He was brought here to compete as our third baseman but didn’t have the greatest fall,” said Davis. “He waited his turned and battled back to force his way in the lineup. He’s turned into the guy we thought he’d be. He’s really a leader on the team, and there isn’t a person who doesn’t love him.”

He was 9-of-17 (.529) in the four-game week with a total of seven runs batted in, and scored two more. He had four doubles on the week to go with his home run for a total slugging percentage of .941. He had two multi-hit games – the other a three-hit contest – and had two games with two or more RBI.

LU will host Houston Baptist for three games beginning Friday, March 31 (6 p.m.), then Saturday, April 1 (2 p.m.) and Sunday, April 2 (1 p.m.).

The Cards will travel to Waco on Tuesday, April 5 to play No. 22 Baylor at 4 p.m.

Softball

Lamar swept a March 28 non-conference home double-header against Alcorn State by the scores of 8-7 and 9-1.

The Lady Cards (15-15, 8-1) will travel to Hammond this weekend to play three games at Southeastern Louisiana with a double-header Friday, March 31, at 4 p.m. and one game on Saturday, April 1, at noon.

LU will play a non-conference double-header on the road at the University of Houston on Tuesday, April 4, at 4 p.m.

Women’s golf

Freshman Elodie Chapelet was the picture of consistency at the HBU Husky Invitational, firing her third straight 73 to finish second at the event that wrapped up March 28.

Chapelet finished at 3-over-par 219 for 54 holes, trailing only Gianti Mahardhika of Sam Houston State in the 75-player field.

Mahardhika’s performance helped the Bearkats win the team title with a team total of 28-over-par 892. The host Houston Baptist Huskies were second at 906, followed by Texas State at 907. LU finished fourth in the 13-team field at 924. Stephen F. Austin was fifth at 947.

“Elodie was consistent once again,” said head coach Jessica Steward. This was a solid field, and to have a runner-up and three golfers in the top eight is a good accomplishment.”

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