Demon quartet finds success, camaraderie at Saints Pro Day

PRO TALK:  Northwestern State 2022 senior football player William Hooper (25), a cornerback, talked with scouts and personnel from the New Orleans Saints and the Cleveland Browns Thursday after the Saints hosted a Pro Day for state college seniors at their facility in Metairie. (Photo by PETER FOREST, Journal Sports)

By JASON PUGH, Special to the Journal

METAIRIE – Almost five months to the day they played their final college football game together, a quartet of Northwestern State football players were together again late last week, continuing their pursuit of a dream.

Kicker Eddie Godina, tight end L.C. Greenwood, cornerback William Hooper and wide receiver Jamel Thomas all took part in a statewide Pro Day workout put together by the New Orleans Saints at their facility on Thursday.

“It was cool to see my teammates one last time,” Greenwood said. “We’ve been blessed to play the sport we love.”

The group of Demons were joined by other familiar faces from some of the state’s fellow Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools, which led to the NSU representatives cranking up their competitive juices.

“I’m a guy who likes to compete,” Hooper said. “Some of those teams got the best of us this season, and we couldn’t let that happen again, so it raised the competition level a lot.”

Hooper and Godina tested well enough in the morning stages to work their way into the next round of position drills in front of professional scouts.

Godina made field goals of 50, 55 and 60 yards on the first attempt at each distance and was about a yard short on a 63-yarder.

“It was a really good day,” Godina said. “After hitting the 55, I knew I had the leg to hit some 60s. I toed my 63. If I had hit it right, I would have definitely made it.”

Godina, who has been training in Dallas and in Arizona since the end of the fall semester, said seeing some familiar faces helped relax him and drove his performance upward.

“It definitely helped me get in my comfort zone, especially having Hooper there,” Godina said. “We definitely performed our best. It helped having some NSU guys there. It wasn’t just them. (Director of football operations) Sonja (Pezant) was there to support us, too.”

Hooper, a second-team All-Southland Conference selection this past fall, tested well, especially in the 40-yard dash.

“They had me run it a third time, one more than anyone else,” Hooper said.

Hooper echoed Godina’s thoughts on the importance of having familiar faces around while scouts watched their on-field moves.

“They helped me feel more comfortable because there were people there I was familiar with,” he said. “It felt good to be around people you know and have played ball with before.”

Much like Hooper, Godina’s performance did what he hoped for when he headed to Metairie.

“I knew coming in I didn’t have a lot of eyes on me,” he said. “They didn’t know who I was. After I made the 60-yarder, a bunch of scouts were asking about me. I definitely turned some heads today.”

While Godina started quickly and Hooper ran fast, the pre-draft process pace slows considerably following Thursday’s event.

“All I can do now is wait,” Hooper said.

While none are NFL Draft prospects, each hopes to get a free agent opportunity or extended tryout with an NFL club. Several had representatives at the workout.

Contact Jason at pughj@nsula.edu


Thursday’s baseball, softball scoreboard; upcoming schedule

College Baseball

Thursday’s scores

No games scheduled.

Today’s games

Texas Lutheran at Centenary, 6 p.m.

Charlotte at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

Southern U. at Grambling State, 6 p.m.

Little Rock at Northwestern State, 6:30 p.m.

LSU at Texas A&M, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Panola at BPCC, DH, 1 p.m.

Charlotte at Louisiana Tech, 2 p.m.

Houston Victoria at LSUS, 5 p.m.

Texas Lutheran at Centenary, DH, noon

Southern U. at Grambling State, 6 p.m.

Little Rock at Northwestern State, 2 p.m.

LSU at Texas A&M, 2 p.m.

Sunday’s games

Charlotte at Louisiana Tech, 11 a.m.

Houston – Victoria at LSUS, DH, noon

Little Rock at Northwestern State, 1 p.m.

LSU at Texas A&M, 1 p.m.

Southern U. at Grambling State, 3 p.m.

College Softball

Thursday’s scores

No games scheduled.

Today’s games

Louisiana Tech at FIU, 5 p.m.

Northwestern State vs. Indiana, at Memphis, 2 p.m.

Northwestern State at Memphis, 4:30 p.m.

Grambling State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 3 p.m.

Saturday’s games

BPCC at Tyler JC, DH, 1 p.m.

St. Thomas at Centenary, DH, noon

Louisiana Tech at FIU, noon

Northwestern State vs. Indiana, at Memphis, noon

Northwestern State at Memphis, 5 p.m.

Grambling State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, DH, noon

Sunday’s games

St. Thomas at Centenary, noon

Louisiana Tech at FIU, noon

High School Baseball

Thursday’s scores

Airline 3, Byrd 1
Captain Shreve 8, Haughton 3
Northwood 8, Many 2

Today’s games

Quitman at Haughton, 5 p.m.

North Caddo at Southwood

Bossier at Plain Dealing

Lakeside at Loyola (DH)

Saturday’s games

Airline at Byrd

Haughton at Captain Shreve

Parkway at Southwood

Natchitoches Central at Benton

North Caddo at Bossier

Sunday’s games

No games scheduled.

High School Softball

Thursday’s scores

No games scheduled.

Today’s games

Buckeye Tournament – Airline

Cedar Creek Tournament – Benton

Stanley Tournament – Parkway

Summerfield Tournament – Captain Shreve

Grace Christian Tournament – Southwood

Evangel Tournament – Evangel, North Caddo, Ruston, Zwolle, Converse, D’Arbonne Woods, Minden

Saturday’s games

Buckeye Tournament – Airline

Cedar creek Tournament – Benton

Stanley Tournament – Parkway

Grace Christian Tournament – Southwood

Summerfield Tournament – Captain Shreve

Evangel Tournament – Evangel, North Caddo, Ruston, Zwolle, Converse, D’Arbonne Woods, Minden

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.


It’s galling to be grumbling for Grambling

I’ve got a case of March Madness. I’ll treat it today with a load of boiled crawfish and total immersion in the NCAA Tournament. That’s worked every year except when I rode Mike McConathy’s Northwestern State bus into the Big Dance in 2001, 2006 and 2013, along with the time four years ago when my gall bladder entered the transfer portal.

That Friday night, I was on Oxycodone hours after surgery and so it had to be a hallucination when 16th-seeded Maryland-Baltimore County blasted No. 1 Virginia 74-54. Just like later in the evening when my bed was vertical and I could see Paul McCartney’s guitar and jacket below my feet, laid out neatly on the floor.

Four years to the day, I find myself grumbling for Grambling. 

Last night as I watched Texas Southern getting cracked in the First Four, I was sick for the Grambling Tigers, who would have been a much more accomplished Southwestern Athletic Conference representative.

Our Tigers were not only a SWAC regular-season co-champion, with a 24-9 record that included wins over a bad Colorado team and a Vanderbilt squad that finished tied for fourth in the SEC, but their brand would have added luster to the NCAA Tournament field.

For that matter, the Tigers would have added luster to the NCAA-run NIT and they should have been included there. That was discretionary and that was a bad blunder by that selection committee.

Grambling had every chance to be in the Big Dance. But the Tigers stumbled at the worst time, in the SWAC Tournament finals, losing for the first time in 12 games, 61-58 to Texas Southern. Coach Donte’ Jackson’s G-Men hit a painful 25 percent of their first-half shots, falling behind 22-5 in the first 10 minutes. Although they rallied back to a 43-all tie, they just couldn’t get control over a TSU squad they had beaten by 19 in Grambling on Feb. 11 and by 13 in Houston on Jan. 4.

Texas Southern entered the SWAC Tournament on a three-game skid. The Texas Tigers stunned regular-season co-champ Alcorn State to start a three-game winning streak – equaling two others during the SWAC slate as their best this season under coach Johnny Jones (yes, the former LSU point guard and head coach).

By getting hot at the right time, TSU gave Jones his sixth NCAA Tournament berth as a coach, and his third straight in five seasons in the SWAC. That should make the DeRidder native upwardly mobile in the job market in the coming days, if he wants a big raise and a step up on the mid-major pecking order.

Grambling was beaten fair and square. But it didn’t help that the SWAC’s postseason tournament format, with the eight qualifiers paired in four quarterfinal games, doesn’t reward the top teams over nine weeks of conference play.

For a one-bid league, the Southland Conference is superior with its bracket, which protects the top two teams until the semifinals. The four lowest seeds meet in an opening round, then the survivors meet the Nos. 3-4 seeds in quarterfinals, with the winners moving on to the semis.

Two more one-bid leagues of local interest, Conference USA and the Sun Belt, along with the SEC and the Big XII, also use tournament formats that place a premium on regular-season conference performance. Why doesn’t the SWAC? 

Instead, an eighth-place team got equal SWAC Tournament status with the co-champions, beat both, and surged into March Madness – where it got drubbed 84-61. 

Meanwhile, the SWAC’s best representative watched and winced last night in Lincoln Parish. I hope they had some crawfish.

Contact Doug at sbjdoug@gmail.com


Wednesday’s baseball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

College Baseball

Wednesday’s scores

BPCC 4-0, Tyler JC 3-0

Today’s games

No games scheduled

College Softball

Wednesday’s scores

Eastern Conn. St. 3-2, Centenary 1-1

Today’s games

No games scheduled

High School Baseball

Wednesday’s scores

West Monroe 11, Captain Shreve 1, 5 innings
Parkway 15, Southwood 0

Today’s games

Byrd at Airline, noon

Natchitoches Central at Benton

Captain Shreve at Haughton

Loyola at Lakeside

High School Softball

Wednesday’s scores

Airline 8, Captain Shreve 4

Benton 10, Parkway 0

Natchitoches Central 7, Haughton 0

Today’s games

No games scheduled

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.


Techsters blank Lady Demons; NSU tops ULM, Tech grounds Air Force in baseball

(Photo by KELSEY CHANLER, Louisiana Tech)

JOURNAL SPORTS

RUSTON — Behind dominant pitching, the Louisiana Tech softball team shut out Northwestern State 5-0 on Tuesday evening at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

With the midweek victory, the Lady Techsters are now 16-8 on the season including a 10-4 mark at home as they ended a 10-game homestand. NSU (12-10) launched a string of eight straight road games.

Mary Martinez and Brook Melnychuk (4-2) each threw three innings and Alyssa Martin closed out the shutout. Melnychuk picked up the win with three innings in relief, because the starting pitcher must throw four innings to be credited with a win.

Amanda Gonzales topped Tech with two hits. Kylie Neel reached base three times, going 1-1 with a walk and a hit-by pitch.

The winners pushed in a pair of runs in each of the first two innings, then added the last in the sixth.

“Getting the lead early was big for us. All three pitchers threw really well and our defense played really well. When we can pitch and play defense like that, it takes pressure off of our offense and when we score early runs they can settle in a bit which is what happened,” said Tech coach Josh Taylor.

The Lady Demon bats were stymied all night long by a Tech pitching staff that ranks as the best in Conference USA. Bailie Ragsdale accounted for NSU’s only two hits through the first six innings of the game, leadoff infield singles in both the first and third innings. 

Her base hit in the third was the last hit and baserunner for the Demons until a two-out single by Kat Marshall in the sixth inning. The Tech pitching combination of Martinez and Melnychuk retired 11 straight NSU batters between base hits. 

BASEBALL

NORTHWESTERN STATE 6, ULM 2:  Jacob Farrell got the Northwestern State baseball team off and running Tuesday night. The Demon bullpen then took care of things down the stretch, polishing off a 6-2 victory against visiting ULM in Natchitoches at Brown-Stroud Field to cap a season sweep of the Warhawks (7-11).

“Throwing strikes, staying ahead in counts, staying out of hitters’ counts – we did a good job of that tonight,” seventh-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “Chase (Prestwich) was great. He wasn’t as sharp as he has been, but he battled. Dawson (Flowers) was really good. We needed that from him after a couple of tough ones. (Andrew) Cossio, same thing.”

Prestwich (3-0) gave the Demons another strong mid-week start, scattering six hits in five innings but limiting the damage to a single run in the fourth inning.

By then, Northwestern State (10-6) had built a 5-0 lead thanks in part to Farrell’s first career leadoff home run and a three-run blast from Gabe Colaianni that punctuated a four-run third inning.

NSU is home this weekend for three games against UALR.

LOUISIANA TECH 5, AIR FORCE 0:  In the first start of his collegiate career, senior righty Landon Tomkins pitched three shutout innings and three relievers combined for six scoreless innings and only one hit surrendered – just three as a staff – in Game One of a two-game set against Air Force before 2,166 on a chilly Tuesday night at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

After walking the only five batters he faced in Tech’s loss at Arkansas Sunday, Tomkins (3-0) left two on in the second and three in the third, but got two of his six strikeouts to end both innings after a 1-2-3 first.

He gave up two of the Falcons three hits as the bullpen was dynamic. Alec Sparks pitched two innings, Ryan Harland pitched three innings of one-hit ball, and Byrd High product Jonathan Fincher,  the senior lefty who took the loss in Arkansas as the Friday starter, added the exclamation point by striking out the side on 10 pitches.

Tech (9-7) and Air Force (5-12) are scheduled to play at 3 today.


Tuesday’s baseball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

(Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

College Baseball

Tuesday’s scores

Texas Wesleyan 8, LSUS 3
Louisiana Tech 5, Air Force 0
Grambling State 9, Wiley College 7
Northwestern State 6, ULM 2
LSU 16, New Orleans 0

Today’s games

BPCC at Tyler JC, DH, 1 p.m.

College Softball

Tuesday’s scores

Louisiana Tech 5, Northwestern State 0

Today’s games

Navarro at BPCC, DH, 1 p.m.

Eastern Conn. St. vs. Centenary, at ETBU, DH, 4 p.m.

High School Baseball

Tuesday’s scores

Airline 2, Ruston 1
Benton 5, Calvary 2
Glenbrook 6, Evangel 4
Haughton 13, Minden 5
Parkway 13, Loyola 3
West Monroe 6, Byrd 0

Today’s games

Captain Shreve at West Monroe

Arcadia at Huntington

High School Softball

Tuesday’s scores

Airline 12, D’Arbonne Woods 0
Benton 18, Captain Shreve 6
Natchitoches Central 6, Parkway 0
Converse 12, Northwood 1
Minden 6, Evangel 4

Today’s games

No games scheduled.

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.


Pilots’ 26-win season ends in national tournament round of 16

JOURNAL SPORTS

KANSAS CITY – LSUS’ trip to the NAIA National Tournament here was short-lived as the Pilots were defeated by College of Idaho Monday afternoon 98-50 at Municipal Auditorium.

The Pilots enjoyed an early 8-2 lead to start the game but a 21-point run by the Yotes staked them to a 31-11 advantage and LSUS was never able to answer back. Idaho, the No. 1 seed in the Naismith Bracket, led 43-22 at the half and cruised to its 33rd win in 34 games.

Senior Jalen Brooks led the Pilots with 18 points and eight rebounds as LSUS finished the season 26-8. The 26 wins for the Kyle Blankenship-led Pilots marked the fourth season in the last six with 25 or more wins, with one of those seasons cut short due to Covid.


Northwestern State visits Louisiana Tech to start annual softball series

TURNING TWO:  NSU’s Bailie Ragsdale prepares to fire a throw to first on a potential double play against Lamar. (Photo by GARY HARDAMON, Northwestern State)

JOURNAL SPORTS

RUSTON – After two weeks at home, Northwestern State begins an eight-game road swing on Tuesday with its second midweek contest of the season at Louisiana Tech, which wraps up a 10-game homestand.

The Lady Demons (12-9) and the Lady Techsters (15-8) play the first of two meetings this season beginning at 6 p.m. at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.  Northwestern swept the neighborhood series last spring, 3-2 in Ruston Feb. 16 and 6-2 in Natchitoches on April 29.

Both teams are coming off home series losses in their first conference weekends of the season. NSU dropped two-of-three to Lamar while Tech lost two-of-three to North Texas. The Lady Techsters’ two losses were by a combined three runs, including a 3-1 defeat in 11 innings to open the series. 

Tech’s offense is triggered by centerfielder Sierra Sacco, who has 18 steals, nearly half the team’s total. The Techsters are an impressive 38-of-41 on steals. Rightfielder Kylie Neal leads the hitters with a .348 average and 23 RBI.

Laney Roos is the top hitter for NSU with a .348 average. Airline’s Makenzie Chaffin has a pair of home runs to pace the Lady Demons.

Their bats were held in check for most of the weekend against Lamar, save for the nine-hit, five-run performance in the second game win. In its two losses, NSU combined for nine hits and just three runs. 

That frustration was amplified by Lamar’s ability to get those coveted two-out hits, seemingly every time it mattered most, on its way to 11 total runs in the two wins coming with two outs in the inning. 

“You have to be able to respond to things when something doesn’t go your way and have a little more toughness about you,” NSU  head coach Donald Pickett said. “You can’t get deflated like I think we did a little there early in that last game. We’ve got to continue to play the game and play it the right way no matter if something good or bad happens.  

“We’ve got a lot of experienced players and some upperclassmen who I hope can maybe bring some stuff out of their teammates and have some leaders step up and say the things that need to be said that will help us moving forward.” 

Northwestern’s experience and toughness will be put to the test right away as it faces the best pitching staff in Conference USA.

The Lady Techsters have a 1.80 team ERA and have allowed just 40 earned runs in 23 games this season. They have the 37th best team ERA in the country and have thrown six shutouts. Tech has allowed just six earned runs in the past eight games combined. 


Monday’s baseball, basketball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

College Baseball

Monday’s scores

LSUS 17, Briar Cliff 7, 7 innings

Today’s games

Texas Wesleyan at LSUS, 3 p.m.

Air Force at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

Wiley College at Grambling State, 6 p.m.

ULM at Northwestern State, 6 p.m.

New Orleans at LSU, 6:30 p.m.

College Basketball

Monday’s score

NAIA National Tournament 

At Kansas City, Missouri

College of Idaho 98, LSUS 50

College Softball

Today’s games

Northwestern State at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

Jackson State at Grambling State, 3 p.m.

High School Baseball

Monday’s scores

Byrd 10, North Caddo 0
Glenbrook 9, Southwood 2
Loyola 19, Mansfield 0, 4 innings
North DeSoto 7, Airline 6
Northwood 13, North Webster 3

Today’s games

Airline at Ruston
West Monroe at Byrd
Parkway at Loyola
Minden at Haughton
Evangel at Glenbrook
Woodlawn at Plain Dealing

High School Softball

Monday’s scores

Airline 16, Byrd 0
Captain Shreve 16, Loyola 1
Haughton 19, Southwood 0
Northwood 6, Stanley 4
West Monroe 9, Calvary 8

Today’s games

Evangel at Quitman

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.


LSUS begins play at NAIA national tourney in Kansas City

JOURNAL SPORTS

LSUS begins play in the NAIA round of 16 today at the national tournament site in Kansas City against College of Idaho at 3 p.m.

The Pilots (No. 5 seed) will have their hands full facing the Yotes, who are the No. 1 seeded team in the Naismith Quadrant bracket. LSUS has compiled a 26-7 record this season while College of Idaho is 32-1, its only loss coming in the season opener.

LSUS is competing in its 18th NAIA National tournament, 11 under current head coach Kyle Blankenship. This is the fifth visit to the Round of 16 and the Pilots are looking to advance to the Round of Eight for the fourth time and second under coach Blankenship.

Entering the tournament, senior Jalen Brooks was the team’s leading scorer averaging 23.9 points per game and top rebounder with an 11.2 per game average. Junior guard Calvin Carpenter averaged 11.7 points a game and freshman Jordan Decuir 11.0 per game. As a team the Pilots score 83.9 points per game and allow 79.0.

College of Idaho is playing in its 25th NAIA Tournament and has a 30-22 record in the tournament.

On the other side of the Naismith bracket is the matchup of No. 6 Tougaloo (Miss.) vs. No. 10 St. Thomas (Fla.) in the game prior to LSUS at 1 p.m.


NSU’s Gipson resigns to take Austin Peay head coaching job

HEADED HOME:  Corey Gipson parlayed a turnaround season at Northwestern State into the head basketball job at his alma mater, Austin Peay. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

By JASON PUGH, Special to the Journal

NATCHITOCHES – After engineering a 13-win turnaround for the Northwestern State men’s basketball team, head coach Corey Gipson has resigned his position to accept the head coaching position at Austin Peay.

Gipson, a former player and assistant coach at Austin Peay who helped the Governors to an NCAA Tournament and NIT berth in his two seasons in uniform, will be introduced in Clarkville, Tenn., Tuesday.

In his lone season at Northwestern State, Gipson led the Demons to their most wins in a single season in a decade and their most Southland Conference wins in a season since 2014-15. Gipson took Northwestern to its first Southland Conference Tournament championship game since 2013 and the Demons’ second-place finish in the SLC regular season was its best since the 2012-13 season.

“Corey Gipson did a tremendous job during his time here at Northwestern State,” NSU athletics director Kevin Bostian said. “From the hours of off-the-court community service to the on-court product, his program was deeply tied to the university and the city of Natchitoches. Together, they brought national recognition to Northwestern State while succeeding in the game of basketball and outside of it. While it is difficult to lose good coaches, Austin Peay’s interest speaks highly of the work Corey and his staff did during their time here.”

Under Gipson, Northwestern collected its first regular-season victory against an Associated Press Top 25 team, defeating then-No. 15 TCU, 64-63, in Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 14. Northwestern State’s 8-2 start to the season was the best 10-game mark for the program since moving to the Division I level in the 1976-77 season and its best since the 1952-53 season.

In the past week, Gipson has been named a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award, honoring the nation’s top Division I minority coach, the Hugh Durham Award for the nation’s top mid-major coach and the Joe B. Hall Award, which honors the top first-time head coach in Division I.

Gipson helped tutor the Southland Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year DeMarcus Sharp, who is a finalist for the Lou Henson Player of the Year that is given to the nation’s top mid-major player.

“The year-to-year improvement shown by coach Gipson and his program elevated the perception of our program,” Bostian said. “I wish he, (wife) April, and their family all the best in the immediate and more distant future and thank them for what they did for Northwestern State and the Natchitoches community.”

Contact Jason at pughj@nsula.edu


Good for Gipson, who gave NSU his best in his short stay

Don’t blame Corey Gipson one bit. Thank him for his remarkable season — no, that’s not plural — as Northwestern State’s men’s basketball coach.

Accept the new paradigm in college sports. You may detest the transfer portal, not to mention Name, Image and Likeness payments to athletes. But those are defining standards these days.

Coaching moves after brief stays were happening before the portal or NIL. They felt like the portal, and resulted from the motivation behind the NIL. There’s lots of money in reach climbing the ladder in college sports. Now the players can access it, too.

Sources indicate by moving to Austin Peay, Gipson will nearly double his $160,000 base salary at NSU as the Governors open a new arena. Those are undeniable and understandable incentives. It’s his alma mater, where he played in Austin Peay’s glory days. Can’t deny that appeal, although it’s a nice sidebar, not the primary motivation.

Also nice for Northwestern: a contract buyout, said to be at least $100,000 and maybe almost twice that,  a tab his new employer will have to pay the Demons. APSU’s $178 million university budget would rank third in Louisiana higher education, behind only LSU and UL Lafayette, nearly $100 million higher than Northwestern’s, so the Govs can do such things.

Speculation that has swirled for weeks about Gipson’s upward mobility crystalized over the weekend, with reputable national basketball observers and others reporting he was heading to Austin Peay after one 22-win season in Natchitoches. APSU made it official with a Tweet posting its announcement Sunday night.

Gipson spent 356 days as the Demons’ coach. Don’t let that upset you.

He accomplished a bunch, built around a core of three outstanding players – DeMarcus Sharp, Ja’Monta Black and Isaac Haney – who loyally followed him to Natchitoches from Missouri State, where Gipson was an assistant coach for seven seasons. He boldly signed Hansel Enmanuel, whose journey from the amputation of his left arm when he was six had already earned global notice and a huge social media following.

The patient development of Enmanuel into a player able to start and play some significant minutes as the season ended is a fabulous achievement for all involved, especially Gipson. The mind-blowing exposure Northwestern got in conventional and social media pathways was justifiably phenomenal, and the young man proved he was not a “dog and pony show,” Gipson said after the Southland Conference Tournament championship loss on Wednesday.

Gipson continued the long tradition of community service established by his predecessor, Mike McConathy, who received a prestigious National Association of Basketball Coaches’ “Guardians of the Game” award in 2012 for community outreach through educational initiatives off campus.  Gipson, staff and coaches did a wonderful job coming in blind and quickly getting involved across the community with good causes, and making new inroads. They were quite justified in talking about it, although the impression of some that it was beyond comparison to anything prior with the program was way off-base.

Northwestern president Dr. Marcus Jones and athletics director Kevin Bostian surely knew Gipson’s departure became inevitable in the last 2-4 days as the coach visited Austin Peay and contract terms were wrapping. There were plenty of rumors floating about a hefty pay hike Jones supposedly proposed for Gipson, but it seemed implausible. Adding tens of thousands of dollars would have shattered the salary structure not only in the athletic department, but across campus, at a time when the university is laying off employees and making brutal budget decisions in the wake of an enrollment free-fall hardly unique to NSU – although it’s not just because of COVID, despite what the party line has been.

You can bank on it that Bostian and Kyle Bowlsby, who is the one-man search firm that identified both Bostian and Gipson for NSU last year, already have a list of potential successors and those are being vetted, at least.

There probably have been some conditional conversations with a handful of candidates in case the job opened. Don’t expect there to be much of a gap in hiring the new guy. It’s the way the business gets done nowadays, and that’s necessary, because every competitor is already building next year’s team.

Speaking of that – don’t be surprised if there’s a total roster rebuild. It’s as likely as the Academy Awards running way too long that Black, Enmanuel, Haney, Sharp and some other 2022-23 Demons will be at Austin Peay in the fall.

Fair, and feasible with the portal. The mindset that players choose a school primarily because of the institution and its community is secondary to recruits or transfers being totally invested in their coach – and available dollars from scholarships and financial aid and if any exists (there’s only a trickle at NSU), NIL money.

Bottom line: the landscape is very different than what St. Denis saw in 1714. It’s not much like what Demon fans enjoyed under McConathy when north Louisiana prep stars Chris Thompson, Clifton Lee and Jermaine Wallace, then Will Mosley, James Hulbin, Jalan West and Zeek Woodley wowed with their feats in the best of times for modern-day Demon basketball, featuring three trips and two wins in March Madness .

Perhaps Bostian, Bowlsby and Jones can pick another winner, and this time, he’ll stay a little longer — not 23 years, but maybe 3-4? It’s happened before at Northwestern.

After five years at his alma mater in Natchitoches, baseball coach Jim Wells got the Alabama job in 1994. Athletic director Tynes Hildbrand hired Dave Van Horn, who has become one of the game’s icons at Arkansas. When Van Horn left in December 1997, young NSU AD Greg Burke picked John Cohen, who is now Auburn’s AD after a long, highly successful coaching career at Mississippi State and Kentucky. Cohen left NSU in 2001, and Burke brought back Wells’ assistant Mitch Gaspard, who also became head coach at Alabama.

Demon fans are hoping for some of that magic.

Contact Doug at sbjdoug@gmail.com


Weekend baseball, basketball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

JOURNAL SPORTS

College Baseball

Friday’s scores

LSUS 11, Xavier 2
Centenary 11, LaGrange 0, 7 innings
Arkansas 7, Louisiana Tech 4
Little Rock 9, Grambling State 5
Northwestern State 7, Alabama A&M 0
LSU 11, Stanford 1

Saturday’s scores

LSU 12, Samford 0
LSUS 5-16, Xavier 4-4
BPCC 7-8, Northeast Texas 1-0
Arkansas 6, Louisiana Tech 1
Northwestern State 10, Alabama A&M 0
Little Rock 6, Grambling State 0

Sunday’s scores

Westfield State 3, Centenary 2
Centenary 11, Univ. of Chicago Maroons 0
Arkansas 15, Louisiana Tech 6
Northwestern State 8, Alabama A&M 5
Little Rock 15, Grambling State 9
LSU 13, Samford 1

Today’s games

Briar Cliff at LSUS, 4 p.m.

College Basketball

Friday’s score

MEN 

SWAC Tournament – at Birmingham, Ala. 

Grambling State 78, Jackson State 69 

Saturday’s score 

MEN 

SWAC Tournament – at Birmingham, Ala. 

Texas Southern U. 61, Grambling State 58 

Today’s game 

NAIA National Tournament

At Kansas City, Missouri

LSUS vs. College of Idaho, 3 p.m. 

College Softball 

Friday’s scores 

Grambling State 3, Texas Southern 2
McNeese St. 6, ULM 0
North Texas 3, Louisiana Tech 1, 11 innings

Saturday’s scores

Grambling State 10-3, Texas Southern 2-2
Louisiana Tech 7, North Texas 2
Lamar 8-4, Northwestern State 2-5

Sunday’s scores

Lamar 6, Northwestern State 1
North Texas 3, Louisiana Tech 2

Today’s games

No games scheduled.

High School Baseball 

Friday’s scores 

Captain Shreve 9, Oak Grove 8
Haughton 5, Glenbrook 4
North Caddo 3-9, Loyola 1-8
Parkway 10, Central-BR 3
St. Louis Catholic 6, Benton 5
Haynesville at Bossier, ppd.

Lakeside Tournament

Airline 15, North Webster 0
Byrd 11, D’Arbonne Woods 2

East Ascension Tournament

Calvary 3, Parkview 1

Saturday’s scores

Oak Grove 12-4, Captain Shreve 5-10
Central-BR 5-7, Parkway 4-11
Haughton 7, Glenbrook 5
Many 3-10, Southwood 2-5

Lakeside Tournament

Byrd 9, Lakeside 1
Lakeside 5, Airline 4

East Ascension Tournament

Calvary 7, Zachary 1
Northshore 7, Calvary 5

Today’s games

Airline at North DeSoto

North Caddo at Byrd, 6 p.m.

North Webster at Northwood

High School Basketball

LHSAA Boys’ State Tournament 

Saturday’s scores

Division IV Select

No. 1 Northwood-Lena 73, No. 2 Lincoln Prep 56 

Division II Select

No. 6 G.W. Carver 34, No. 1 Madison Prep 25 

Division III Non-Select

No. 1 Port Allen 73, No. 3 Winnfield 56 

Division I Select

No. 3 Catholic-BR 57, No. 1 Scotlandville 54 

Division I Non-Select

No. 3 Ponchatoula 63, No. 1 New Iberia 48

High School Softball

Friday’s scores

Saline Tournament

Saline 17, Southwood 6

Calvary Tournament

Calvary 10, Sacred Heart 0

Brusly Tournament

Evangel 11, Dunham 4

Tioga Tournament

Northwood 16, Alexandria-Country Day 1

Saturday’s scores

Calvary Tournament

Bentonville (Ark.) 6, Calvary 2
West Monroe 8, Calvary 0

Brusly Tournament

Iota 13, Benton 12
Central-BR 19, Benton 9, 6 innings
Brusly 13, Evangel 1
West Feliciana 7, Evangel 6

Converse Tournament

Captain Shreve 15, Ebarb 0
Converse 20, Byrd 10
Converse 7, Captain Shreve 2
Haughton 11, Hornbeck 1
Haughton 8, Zwolle 6
Negreet 16, Byrd 1

Tioga Tournament

Tioga 17, Northwood 2
Oak Hill 11, Northwood 4

Today’s games

Airline at Byrd

Loyola at Captain Shreve

Southwood at Haughton

Evangel at Quitman

Stanley at Northwood

Calvary at West Monroe

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.


Thursday’s baseball, basketball, softball scoreboard; today’s, weekend schedule

JOURNAL SPORTS

College Baseball

Thursday’s scores

No games scheduled.

Today’s games

LSUS at Xavier, TBD

LaGrange vs. Centenary, Millington, Tenn., 10 a.m.

Louisiana Tech at Arkansas, 3 p.m.

Grambling State at Little Rock, 4 p.m.

Alabama A&M at Northwestern State, 6:30 p.m.

Samford at LSU, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s games

LSUS at Xavier, DH, TBD

BPCC at Northeast Texas, DH, 1 p.m.

Grambling State at Little Rock, 2 p.m.

Chicago vs. Centenary, Millington, Tenn., 4 p.m.

Louisiana Tech at Arkansas, 2 p.m.

Alabama A&M at Northwestern State, 2 p.m.

Samford at LSU, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday’s games

Westfield State vs. Centenary, Millington, Tenn., 2:30 p.m.

Louisiana Tech at Arkansas, 1 p.m.

Alabama A&M at Northwestern State, 1 p.m.

Grambling State at Little Rock, 1 p.m.

Samford at LSU, 1 p.m.

College Basketball

Thursday’s scores

WOMEN 

C-USA Tournament – at Frisco, Texas 

UTEP 64, Louisiana Tech 54 

MEN 

C-USA Tournament – at Frisco, Texas 

North Texas 74, Louisiana Tech 46 

SEC Tournament – Nashville, Tenn. 

Vanderbilt 77, LSU 68 

Region XIV Tournament – Tyler, Texas 

Panola 78, BPCC 64 

Today’s games 

MEN 

SWAC Tournament – at Birmingham, Ala. 

Grambling State vs. Jackson State, 8:30 p.m. 

Saturday’s games 

No games scheduled (SWAC Championship Game possible for Grambling). 

College Softball 

Thursday’s scores 

No games scheduled.

Today’s games

Texas Southern at Grambling State, 3 p.m.

North Texas at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

Lamar at Northwestern State, 4 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Texas Southern at Grambling State, DH, noon

North Texas at Louisiana Tech, 2 p.m.

Lamar at Northwestern State, 6 p.m.

Sunday’s games

Lamar at Northwestern State, noon

North Texas at Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m.

High School Baseball 

Thursday’s scores 

Haughton 6, Glenbrook 3
Southwood 13, Saline 5
Loyola 4, North Caddo 1

Lakeside Tournament

Airline 3, Minden 2
Byrd 6, Texas High 1

Today’s games

Benton at St. Louis Catholic, 6 p.m.

Captain Shreve at Oak Grove, 6 p.m.

Haughton at Glenbrook, 6 p.m.

Parkway at Central-BR, 6 p.m.

Loyola at North Caddo, DH, 5 p.m.

Haynesville at Bossier

Woodlawn at Plain Dealing

Lakeside Tournament

Byrd vs. D’Arbonne Woods, at Minden, 5 p.m.

Airline vs. North Webster, at Lakeside, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Captain Shreve at Oak Grove, DH, noon

Parkway at Central-BR, DH, noon

Haughton at Glenbrook, 1 p.m.

Southwood at Many, DH, 10 a.m.

Lakeside Tournament

Byrd vs. North Webster at Lakeside, 2 p.m.

Airline at Lakeside, 6 p.m.

High School Basketball

LHSAA Boys’ State Tournament 

Today’s games (only local teams)

Select Division III Final (seeds in parenthesis)

(1) Newman vs. (3) Calvary, 2 p.m. (KSYR, 92.1 FM)

Non-Select Division II Final (seeds in parenthesis)

(3) Carroll vs. (4) Bossier, 6 p.m. (KSYR, 92.1 FM)

High School Softball

Thursday’s scores

Airline 12, Benton 4
Haughton 16, Byrd 1
Natchitoches Central 11, Captain Shreve 0
Parkway 15, Southwood 0
Bossier 5-5, Plain Dealing 4-12
Minden 16, Huntington 2
Converse 11, Loyola 1

Today’s games

Loyola at Caddo Magnet

Bossier at Minden

Calvary Tournament – Sacred Heart, West Monroe, Jena

Brusly Tournament – Benton, Evangel

Converse Tournament – Byrd, Captain Shreve, Haughton

Saturday’s games

Calvary Tournament – Sacred Heart, West Monroe, Jena

Brusly Tournament – Benton, Evangel

Converse Tournament – Byrd, Captain Shreve, Haughton

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.


Bossier Parish’s season comes to an end with loss in tourney

SEASON ENDS: Bossier Parish’s Jon’Quarius McGhee, Christian Caldwell and Kendrick Delahoussaye were among the key players on this year’s Cavaliers team. (Photo courtesy of BPCC)

JOURNAL SPORTS

TYLER, Texas – Bossier Parish Community College had its men’s basketball season come to an end Thursday with a 78-64 loss to Panola in the quarterfinals of the Region XIV Tournament held at Tyler JC’s Wagstaff Gym.

The Ponies, the No. 2 seed in the tournament and now 27-4 on the season, jumped on top from the start to advance to the semifinals.

BPCC (15-16) was led by Kendrick Delahoussaye with 17 points before he fouled out. Eric McKnight hit three from beyond the arc and was the only other Cav in double figures with 16 points.

Delahoussaye finished his season averaging 14.5 to lead the team. Christian Caldwell was next at 12.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. D’Marcus Hall averaged 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds and Damani Claxton 9.8 points and 4.0 assists.


LSUS men win another trip to Kansas City

STILL DANCING: The LSUS men’s basketball team won the Alexandria Bracket Wednesday and advanced to play in the NAIA national tournament next week in Kansas City. (Photo courtesy LSUS Athletics)

JOURNAL STAFF

The LSUS men’s basketball team defeated University of Pikeville 78-73 Wednesday afternoon to win the NAIA Tournament’s Alexandria Bracket and earn a return trip to the national tournament in Kansas City.

The Pilots (26-7) didn’t need another second-half comeback like the night before as they led 37-27 at halftime and extended the lead to 20 in the second half 50-30. The Bears, out of Kentucky, wouldn’t go away, closing the gap to 56-50 with a little more than seven minutes left.

LSUS pushed the lead back out to 13 (71-58) with 3:26 left and held off a late Pikeville rally that got as close as 77-73 with nine seconds left.

Calvin Carpenter led the Pilots with 20 points. Jalen Brooks had another double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Damon Davis poured in 16 as well and Devonte Snow rounded out the Pilots’ double-digit scorers with 12.

It will be the fifth visit to the Round of 16 for LSUS under the leadership of coach Kyle Blankenship. The Pilots will be trying to reach the round of eight for just the fourth time in school history.


Wednesday’s baseball, basketball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

(Photo courtesy GRAMBLING STATE)

JOURNAL SPORTS

College Baseball

Wednesday’s scores

Navarro 6-3, BPCC 1-3
LSUS 5, Tennessee Wesleyan 2
LSU 9, Lamar 2
Northwestern State 3, ULM 1
Dallas Baptist 13, Grambling 3

Today’s games

No games scheduled.

College Basketball

Wednesday’s scores

WOMEN

SWAC Tournament – Birmingham, Ala.

Jackson State 59, Grambling State 50

MEN

NAIA Tournament – At Alexandria 

LSUS 78, Pikeville 73 

SWAC Tournament – Birmingham, Ala.

Grambling State 87, Bethune-Cookman 72

SLC Tournament – at Lake Charles

Texas A&M Corpus Christi 75, Northwestern State 71 

C-USA Tournament – at Frisco, Texas 

Louisiana Tech 81, FIU 76 (OT)

SEC Tournament – Nashville, Tenn.

LSU 72, Georgia 67 

Today’s games 

WOMEN

C-USA Tournament – at Frisco, Texas 

Louisiana Tech vs. UTEP, 11:30 a.m.

MEN

C-USA Tournament – at Frisco, Texas 

Louisiana Tech vs. North Texas, 8 p.m. 

SEC Tournament – Nashville, Tenn.

LSU vs. Vanderbilt, 8 p.m.

Region XIV Tournament – Tyler, Texas 

BPCC vs. Panola, 6 p.m. 

High School Baseball 

Wednesday’s score 

Haughton 14, Red River 2

Today’s games

Glenbrook at Haughton

Saline at Southwood

North Caddo at Loyola

High School Basketball

LHSAA Boys’ State Tournament 

Wednesday’s score

Select Division I

(1) Scotlandville 63, (4) Huntington 43

Today’s games

No games scheduled (local teams).

High School Softball

Wednesday’s score

Caddo Magnet 23, Carroll 4

Today’s games

Benton at Airline

Haughton at Byrd

Captain Shreve at Natchitoches Central

Southwood at Parkway

Plain Dealing at Bossier, DH, 4 p.m.

Huntington at Minden

Loyola at Converse

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.


Islanders rally past NSU; no Big Dance for Demons

DEMON BOMBER:  Ja’Monta Black connected on four 3-pointers and finished with 15 points in Wednesday’s SLC Tournament title game loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

By JASON PUGH, Special to the Journal

LAKE CHARLES – Northwestern State’s eighth appearance in a Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game could not have started better, or ended more painfully.

For the second straight game, the Demons blitzed their opponent early, building a double-digit lead in the first half, this time against top-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – the regular-season champions and the 2022 tournament winners.

The Islanders leaned on that postseason experience, shook off the loss of Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year Terrion Murdix to an early injury,  and rallied past Northwestern State for a 75-71 victory inside the Legacy Center on Wednesday that denied the second-seeded Demons their first conference tournament crown since 2013.

The Islanders (23-10) advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Demons (22-11) may find their way into another postseason tourney after their most successful season in a decade.

Just as it happened in Tuesday night’s semifinal win against New Orleans, Northwestern blistered the nets, sinking its first four 3-pointers – two each by Ja’Monta Black and Isaac Haney – and built a 12-point lead less than eight minutes into the game.

The lead grew to 16 just past the halfway mark of the first half when DeMarcus Sharp, the league’s Player and Newcomer of the Year, hit a step-back jumper to put the Demons up 26-10 with 9:46 remaining in the half.

That’s when Owen Dease awakened the Islanders.

A 6-foot-8 freshman who had hit 6 of 35 3-pointers on the season, Dease hit both of his 3-point attempts in the first half, sparking Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s 21-5 run across the final 9:46 of the half, tying the game at the break.

“Guys on that team who hadn’t played much or been very productive throughout the year, they found a way to activate themselves and do a job to pull back from behind,” said first-year NSU coach Corey Gipson. “That’s impressive.”

Corpus built its largest lead of the game – the first of three separate eight-point edges with 4:50 to play on a Trevian Tennyson jumper. Again, NSU fought back, scoring six straight points all involving Sharp, who scored four and fed Greedy Williams for a layup to cut the lead to two.

Tournament MVP Jalen Jackson’s layup with 1:36 gave the Islanders their final eight-point lead, one the Demons nearly erased with a spirited 7-0 push spearheaded by a pair of Sharp buckets sandwiched around a Black 3-pointer.

Sharp’s final bucket of his 32-point performance pulled NSU within one, but the Demons could not overcome a second-chance Tennyson jumper and Black’s contested 3-pointer at the end did not fall.

Sharp earned all-tournament honors after averaging 31.5 points and eight assists in two tournament games. Freshman Jalen Hampton notched his team-leading sixth double-double of the year (12 points, 13 rebounds) to earn all-tournament honors as well. Black added 15 on 4-for-9 shooting from 3-point range, pushing his season total to 122, second-most in SLC history. 

Contact Jason at pughj@nsula.edu


LSUS, BPCC men win in overtime, LSUS women fall

DIFFERENCE MAKER: Kendrick Delahoussaye’s six free throws in overtime were the difference for Bossier Parish Tuesday in the Region XIV Tournament at Tyler, Texas. (Photo by LEE HILLER, Journal Sports)

JOURNAL SPORTS 

The LSUS and Bossier Parish men’s basketball teams used second-half comebacks Tuesday to force overtime and get wins to stay alive in tournament play while the LSUS women bowed out with a loss.

Playing in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round in Alexandria, the fifth-seeded Pilots defeated 12 seed Thomas University (Georgia) 107-104 after overcoming a 10-point (49-39) halftime deficit.

Five Tyler Washington free throws, the last coming with eight seconds left in overtime, gave the Pilots a nine-point lead, 105-96. The Night Hawks didn’t lay down and got a layup and 3-pointer to pull within 105-101 with four seconds. Another pair of free throws by Washington iced it for LSUS. 

The Pilots used a 24-4 run to start the second half to erase the mid-point deficit and take a 63-53 lead only to see the Night Hawks come back and tie the game at 70-70.

It was tight the rest of the way. LSUS took a 87-84 lead on two Damon Davis free throws with six seconds left. Thomas was able to tie the game on a Toriano Lewis 3-point basket with two seconds left, forcing overtime.

Davis led all scorers for LSUS with 37 points followed by Washington’s 25. Both were 12-of-14 from the line as the Pilots made 38-of-54 free shots. Calvin Carpenter chipped in 18 points and Jalen Brooks 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Jordan Booker led Thomas with 27 points and 10 rebounds. The Night Hawks made 22-of-24 free throws and were 14-of-40 from 3-point range.

LSUS will play No. 13 seed Pikeville (Kentucky), who defeated No. 4 seed Huntington (Indiana) 71-66, today at 3 p.m. 

Bossier Parish 62, Angelina 55, OT: In the Region XIV Tournament at Tyler, Texas, the Cavaliers rallied from 11 down in the second half to force an extra period and leading scorer Kendrick Delahoussaye (18 points) hit six free throws to spark the overtime advantage. Christian Caldwell had 12 points and nine rebounds and D’Marcus Hall 11 points for BPCC (15-15). The Cavs hit on 21-of-33 free throws and held the Road Runners to 32.4 percent from the field.

The 10th-seeded Cavs now play No. 2 Panola Thursday at 6 p.m.

Keddrick Mays II led all scorers with 19 and Kanaan Holder had 11 rebounds for No. 7 seed Angelina.

WOMEN

Vanguard 71, LSUS 60: At Alexandria, the Lady Pilots stayed even for a half (33-33) but the Lions from Costa Mesa, Cal., outscored them 19-9 in the third quarter and went on to get the win. Destanee Roblow was the only LSUS player in double figures with 11 points. Alona Washington and Taty Barnes both had eight points for LSUS, which finished 24-8. 


Tuesday’s baseball, basketball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

(Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

JOURNAL SPORTS

College Baseball

Tuesday’s scores

LSUS 9, Tennessee Wesleyan 3
Centenary 6, LeTourneau 2

Today’s games

Northwestern State at ULM, 6 p.m.

Grambling State at Dallas Baptist, 6:30 p.m.

College Basketball

Tuesday’s scores

WOMEN

NAIA Tournament – At Alexandria

Vanguard 71, LSUS 60 

 MEN

NAIA Tournament – At Alexandria 

LSUS 107, Thomas University 104, OT 

Region XIV Tournament – Tyler, Texas 

BPCC 62, Angelina 55, OT

SLC Tournament – at Lake Charles

Northwestern State 74, New Orleans 70

Today’s games 

WOMEN

SWAC Tournament – Birmingham, Ala.

Grambling State vs. Jackson State, 5:30 p.m.

MEN

NAIA Tournament – At Alexandria 

LSUS vs. Pikeville, 3 p.m. 

SWAC Tournament – Birmingham, Ala.

Grambling State vs. Bethune-Cookman, 2 p.m.

SLC Tournament – at Lake Charles

Northwestern State vs. Corpus Christi, 4 p.m. 

C-USA Tournament – at Frisco, Texas 

Louisiana Tech vs. FIU, 8 p.m. 

College Softball

Tuesday’s scores

ULM 3, Louisiana Tech 1
UMass-Lowell 11-3, Grambling St. 0-3

Today’s games 

Louisiana Christian JV at BPCC, DH, 4 p.m. 

High School Baseball 

Tuesday’s scores

Texas High 4, Benton 2
Parkway 13, Sterlington 3
Evangel 15, Woodlawn 0
North DeSoto 12, North Caddo 1
Northwood 7, Loyola 0
Ruston 8, Byrd 3
Glenbrook 6, Calvary 2

Today’s games

No games scheduled

High School Basketball

LHSAA Boys’ State Tournament 

Tuesday’s scores

Non-Select Division II (seed in parenthesis)

(4) Bossier 48, (1) Wossman 42
(3) Carroll 63, (2) Iowa 57

Today’s game

Select Division I

(4) Huntington vs. (1) Scotlandville, 3 p.m.

High School Softball

Tuesday’s scores

Airline 3, Haughton 1
Calvary 15, Stanley 0
Captain Shreve 21, Southwood 2
Loyola 17, Doyline 2
Natchitoches Central 6, Benton 0
Parkway 20, Byrd 1
North DeSoto 15, BTW 0
North DeSoto 15, Caddo Magnet 0

Today’s games

Airline at Haughton

Natchitoches Central at Benton

Parkway at Byrd

BTW at North DeSoto, 4 p.m.

Caddo Magnet at North DeSoto, 5:30 p.m.

Northwood at Evangel

Calvary at Stanley

Loyola at Doyline

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.


Postseason tips today for LSUS teams, BPCC men

GATHERING THE TROOPS:  Seven-time Red River Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Kyle Blankenship talks with his team during a timeout. (Photo courtesy LSUS Athletics)

JOURNAL STAFF

It’s win or go home in postseason play beginning today for the LSUS men’s and women’s basketball teams and the Bossier Parish Community College Cavaliers.

The Red River Athletic Conference men’s basketball champion Pilots (24-7, seeded fifth in the 16-team Naismith Quadrant of the 64-team tournament) tip off the action involving local teams in the NAIA’s Alexandria Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round, meeting No. 12 Thomas (Ga.) University (18-8) at 3 p.m.

The Pilots were 17th in the last NAIA Top 25 poll late last month. Woodlawn High School product Jalen Brooks, a senior transfer from Southern Arkansas, was named Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year on the All-RRAC team announced recently.

In the ensuing contest at the Rapides Parish Coliseum – site of last weekend’s RRAC Tournament, when both LSUS teams fell in championship games – the 13th-seeded Lady Pilots (24-7) play No. 4 Vanguard (Cal.) at 5:30. Vanguard is 21-7 and ranked 14th nationally.

BPCC has a 6 p.m. rematch of a Dec. 10 non-conference 56-53 overtime loss at Angelina to open the first round of the Region XIV Tournament hosted by Tyler Junior College. Both teams are 14-15 overall.

The Cavaliers have three double-digit scorers in an offense averaging 81 points. Kendrick Delahoussaye tops the list at 14.3 per game and contributes a 2.7 assists average. Christian Caldwell scores 12.4 per game and leads the rebounders with a 7.2 average. D’Marcus Hill is scoring 11.9 per game.

Brooks – who led the league with averages of 23.9 points (fifth nationally) and 11.2 rebounds (third nationally) along with ranking third in the RRAC in blocks and fifth in steals — seems like a one-man wrecking machine, but all five Pilots starters earned All-RRAC recognition.

Guard Jordan DeCuir was Freshman of the Year and a second-team all-conference pick, along with junior Calvin Carpenter. Tyler Washington and Stacey Thomas were honorable mention All-RRAC.

The Lady Pilots also had five players honored on the all-conference team. Destanee Roblow was a first-team selection for the conference runner-ups. Tiarra Tillison was Freshman of the Year.

Derrica Gilbert, a junior, was a second-team all-conference pick while Alexis Brown, another junior, made the third team along with classmate Tahja Smith.

Tillison was the LSUS women’s pick on the RRAC Champions of Character roster while Noah Jonker represented the Pilots.

REGION XIV MBB 

FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS | Tuesday’s games 

Session I

1 p.m. — (8) Tyler (15-14) v. (9) Navarro (15-14)

3:00 — (5) CBC (19-11) v. (12) Paris (10-20) 

Session II 

6:00 — (7) Angelina (14-15) v. (10) BPCC (14-15)

8:00 — (6) Kilgore (19-10) v. (11) Lamar State (12-18)

NAIA First round pairings

At Alexandria 

Tuesday’s games

MEN

1 p.m. – (4) Huntington (Ind.) vs. (13) Pikeville (Ky.)

3:00 – (5) LSU-Shreveport vs. (12) Thomas (Ga.)

WOMEN

5:30 – Vanguard (Calif.) vs. LSU-Shreveport

7:30 – Texas Wesleyan vs. Brewton-Parker (Ga.)


Monday’s baseball, basketball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

JOURNAL SPORTS

College Baseball

Monday’s scores

LSU 11, Butler 0, 7 innings

Today’s games

Tennessee Wesleyan at LSUS, 6 p.m.

Centenary at LeTourneau, 6 p.m.

College Basketball

Monday’s scores

No games scheduled.

Today’s games 

WOMEN

NAIA Tournament – At Alexandria

LSUS vs. Vanguard, 5:30 pm. 

MEN

NAIA Tournament – At Alexandria

LSUS vs. Thomas University, 3 p.m. 

Region XIV Tournament – Tyler, Texas

BPCC vs. Angelina, 6 p.m. 

College Softball

Monday’s scores

No games scheduled.

Today’s games 

ULM at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

UMass-Lowell at Grambling St., DH, 1 p.m. 

High School Baseball 

Monday’s scores 

North DeSoto 15, Woodlawn 0
Northwood 20, Alexandria Country Day 0
Simsboro 16, Plain Dealing 5

Today’s games

Texas High at Benton

Parkway at Sterlington

Woodlawn at Evangel

Huntington at Arcadia

North Caddo at North DeSoto

Loyola at Northwood

Glenbrook at Calvary

Plain Dealing at Mansfield

High School Basketball

LHSAA Boys Playoffs 

Monday’s score

Select Division III – Semifinal (seed in parenthesis) 

(3) Calvary 52, (10) Catholic-NI 47

Today’s game

Non-Select Division II

(4) Bossier vs. (1) Wossman, 4:45 p.m.

High School Softball

Monday’s scores

Alexandria 8, Calvary 7
Captain Shreve 4, Haughton 3
Logansport 15, Loyola 1
North DeSoto 15, Woodlawn 0
North DeSoto 15, Huntington 0
Northwood 15, Saline 5
River Oaks 18, Caddo Magnet 7

Today’s games

Airline at Haughton

Natchitoches Central at Benton

Parkway at Byrd

BTW at North DeSoto, 4 p.m.

Caddo Magnet at North DeSoto, 5:30 p.m.

Northwood at Evangel

Calvary at Stanley

Loyola at Doyline

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements. 


Chaffin nabs Southland accolades after red-hot hitting surge

HOT HITTER:  Airline product Makenzie Chaffin went 7-for-11 at the plate with two home runs to earn the Southland Conference’s softball offensive player of the week award. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

JOURNAL SPORTS

NATCHITOCHES – The hottest bat in the Northwestern State lineup this past weekend, Airline High School product Makenzie Chaffin, was named Southland Conference Hitter of the Week on Monday. 

Chaffin, a junior outfielder, helped the Lady Demons (11-7) to an undefeated Natchitoches Historic Development District Lady Demon Classic weekend by going 7-for-11 (.636) at the plate with a pair of home runs, two RBIs and a 1.182 slugging percentage. 

On top of her seven hits, she walked twice and stole a pair of bases allowing her to tie for the team lead on the weekend with five runs scored. 

Chaffin had two different 3-for-3 performances at the plate, one each against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Jackson State, as the Demons as a team pounded out 32 hits and scored 24 runs in their four wins. 

The Bossier City native hit her first home run of the season, a no-doubter, to right as part of NSU’s run-rule win over Jackson State on Saturday night. She followed with her second dinger of the season against the Tigers on Sunday afternoon to help secure the 6-1 win and perfect weekend for the team. 

Chaffin is second on the team with a .353 batting average and is tied for the lead with a .490 slugging percentage, while also leading the team with four sacrifice hits this season, showing her versatility with the bat. She was a third-team All-Southland selection last season on track to graduate this spring.


Weekend baseball, basketball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

(Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

JOURNAL SPORTS

College Baseball

Friday’s scores

Centenary 8, Alma 3
LSUS 9, Our Lady of the Lake 0
Louisiana Tech 14, Northwestern U. 5
Florida A&M 17, Grambling State 2
UT Arlington 5, Northwestern State 4
LSU 12, Butler 2

Saturday’s scores

Our Lady of the Lake 2-6, LSUS 1-5 (2nd game 10 innings)
Alma 5-3, Centenary 2-14
Paris 8-6, BPCC 3-7
Grambling State 20, Florida A&M 16
Louisiana Tech 5, Northwestern U. 4, 11 innings
Northwestern State 11, UT Arlington 10
LSU 26, Central Connecticut State 4, 7 innings

Sunday’s scores

Louisiana Tech 16, Northwestern U. 9
UT Arlington 5, Northwestern State 2
LSU 13, Central Connecticut State 0, 7 innings

College Basketball

Friday’s scores

WOMEN 

SEC Tournament

LSU 83, Georgia 66

Saturday’s scores

WOMEN

Louisiana Tech 65, Florida Atlantic 60
Grambling State 62, Alabama State 60

SEC Tournament

Tennessee 69, LSU 67 

MEN

Florida 79, LSU 67
Grambling State 69, Alabama State 49
Florida Atlantic 76, Louisiana Tech 72

Today’s games 

No games scheduled. 

College Softball

Friday’s scores

BPCC 5-2, Angelina 4-8
Northwestern State 9, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 1, 5 innings

Saturday’s scores

Louisiana Tech 8, Houston Christian 0
Louisiana Tech 10, UMass-Lowell 0
Northwestern State 8, Jackson State 0, 5 innings

Sunday’s scores

Grambling State 9-3, Louisiana Christian 1-1
Louisiana Tech 8, UMass-Lowell 0, 6 innings
Louisiana Tech 1, Houston Christian 0
Northwestern State 1, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 0
Northwestern State 6, Jackson State 1
St. John Fisher 7-4, at Centenary 3-0

Today’s games 

No games scheduled. 

High School Baseball 

Friday’s scores

Haughton 18, Loyola 1
Haughton 10, Loyola 0 (completion of Thursday’s game)
Haynesville 7, Huntington 5

Trey Altick Tournament

Airline 2, Brookhaven, Miss. 0
Benton 4, Denham Springs 1
Benton 17, Slidell 1
Byrd 5, Greenbrier (Ark.)
Calvary 5, Oak Grove 2
Central-BR 8, Captain Shreve 0
Parkway 7, Slidell 4
University 5, Evangel 0

Saturday’s scores

Haughton 8, Loyola 2
North Caddo 6, Haynesville 4

Trey Altick Tournament

Airline 17, Ouachita 4
University 7, Airline 6
Byrd 18, Ouachita 0
Byrd 8, Walker 0
Calvary 3, Opelousas Catholic 2
Dunham 14, Evangel 6
John Curtis 5, Captain Shreve 3
Northwood 6, D’Arbonne Woods 4
Parkway 11, Walker 7
Parkway 5, Greenbrier (Ark.) 4
Sacred Heart 8, Evangel 2

Simsboro Tournament

Simsboro 14, Bossier 1

Today’s games

Homer at Huntington

Woodlawn at North DeSoto

Alexandria Country Day at Northwood

Simsboro at Plain Dealing

High School Basketball

LHSAA Girls Playoffs 

Non-Select Division I – State Championship 

Saturday’s score

Parkway 80, Ponchatoula 57

High School Softball

Friday’s scores

Zwolle 10, Parkway 5

Grant Tournament

Calvary 4, Sterlington 3
Calvary 10, Neville 0
Central-BR 4, Airline 0

Saturday’s scores

Grant Tournament

Calvary 10, Franklin Parish 0
Calvary 12, LaSalle 2
Tioga 6, Airline 5

Today’s games

Captain Shreve at Haughton

Southwood at Northwood-Lena

Bossier at Evangel

River Oaks at Caddo Magnet

Woodlawn at North DeSoto, 4 p.m.

Huntington at North DeSoto, 5:30 p.m.

Saline at Northwood, DH

Calvary at Alexandria

Logansport at Loyola

TBL Basketball 

Friday’s score 

Shreveport 129, Enid Outlaws 115

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.