, Port Arthur, Texas


February 16, 2013

Lamar sinks deeper into Southland cellar

BEAUMONT — BEAUMONT — Moral victories don’t count for much when you’ve been camping out in the Southland Conference cellar from day one, so the best news Saturday night for a Lamar basketball team listing worse than the Carnival Triumph is that only six games remain in a season which will be little noted nor long remembered.

    On an evening when the banner for LU’s Southland Conference tournament championship last spring was draped from the Montagne Center rafters, Pat Knight’s Cardinals created false hope by battling back from an 18-point deficit. But, after a Hondo Webb putback forged a  60-60 deadlock with 2:23 left, they saw McNeese State reel off nine consecutive points to post a 69-62 victory.

    “We played hard, we just didn’t make the plays at the end,” said LU coach Pat Knight. “There was a lot of positives in the way we came back, but it’s still a loss. It’s so hard to come back from 18 points down.”

    With the loss, Lamar dropped to 1-12 in SLC play and 3-22 overall, and saw its long-shot chances of claiming the eighth and final spot in the conference tournament all but expire. McNeese (4-9, 10-13) now holds a three-game lead and the tiebreaker over the Cardinals by virtue of sweeping the season series. Central Arkansas, at 4-10, is the next closest team.

    Lamar, down 32-14 with 6:20 left in the opening period, and trailing 50-34 with 13-50 to play, fought back by turning up the defensive pressure, cutting down turnovers  and getting strong second-half offensive efforts from redshirt freshman Rhon Mitchell and senior Donley Minor.

    Mitchell scored 12 of his 18 points after the break and Minor tallied 13 of his 14. Mitchell delivered six consecutive points as Lamar forged it first tie at 58. Webb’s only bucket of the evening tied it again at 60, then the Cardinals played the final 2:23 exactly the way you would expect a 3-22 team to play. A turnover and three consecutive missed shots opened the door for the Cowboys.

    McNeese, to its credit, was near flawless at crunch time. After the tie at 60, the visitors from Lake Charles scored on their final five possessions of the game. A putback by Kevin Hardy made it 62-60, 1-of-2 free throws by Desharick Guidry nudged the lead to 63-60, a well-guarded Dontae Cannon hit a tough jumper, Guidry added two more free throws and Jeremie Mitchell swished a pair of freebies.

    Before you could say “here we go again,” the Cowboys were up 69-60 and it was time to turn out the lights.

    “We didn’t make the plays at the end and they did,” Knight said. “We had a critical turnover late.”

    The final margin of victory turned out to be the seven-point hole Lamar’s starters were in when they entered the game. Knight started five bench players and the result was four turnovers and a 9-2 deficit in the opening 4:11. It got worse before it got better after the starters entered, as McNeese pulled out to 23-5 in the next 4:37.

    Ultimately, the difference in the game came at the three-point line. McNeese, which shot only 37.5 percent overall on 24-of-64, made 8-of-17 behind the arc. Jeremie Mitchell led the way by sinking 4-of-6 bonus buckets on the way to 17 points. Lamar, which has made only 45 treys all season, was 1-of-5.

    Among the positives for Lamar were 11 rebounds from Nikko Acosta, 48 percent shooting in the second half (14-of-29) and domination of the paint to the tune of 35-24. Also, after being down 12-4 on the boards early, the Cardinals fought back to a 36-36 draw. And, after turning the ball over 12 times in the first 15 minutes, they gave it away only three times in the final 25 minutes.

    Too little too late, though, and now Knight has the dubious distinction of losing more games in one season than any coach in LU history. And there are still five games left.



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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

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From the Fieldhouse blog