Police arrest three in connection with break-in at school

Lake Charles police have arrested three people in connection with a Dec. 14 burglary at J.D. Clifton Elementary School, officials said.

Stacy Lamb, 18, Christopher Bartie Jr., 21, and an unnamed juvenile were charged with simple burglary and felony theft. Lamb’s bond was set at $30,000; Bartie’s was set at $20,000.

Lots of Santas present for Kinder couple

KINDER — Santa Claus is always watching at Jeremy and Katy Poe’s house around Christmastime.

Santas abound throughout the house. From the lighted Santa toilet seat cover in the bathroom to the Santa cookie jars lining the shelves in the dining room, the fat, jolly man in the red suit keeps watch from his perch.

Dixon: police deserve better pay

As Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon seeks to fill vacant posts in his department, he is fighting to raise pay for his employees.

The department, which is down nine officers, will hold a job fair Jan. 10 at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

DeRidder infant on life support; upgraded charges pending

A DeRidder couple charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile could face murder charges when the victim dies, authorities said.

McNeese State had the talent to compete with the defending Mid-American Conference regular-season champions on Saturday afternoon, but it did not have the size or depth needed to win.

Visiting Toledo took advantage of the void created when McNeese center Austin Lewis had to head to the bench early with foul trouble, pulling away for a 83-69 win at Burton Coliseum.

“We knew they were going to be the best team coming in here so far this year,” said McNeese coach Dave Simmons. “When they needed an extra rebound, they got it. They won 27 games last year. That’s a very good team coming out of a very tough league.

“When they brought their second unit in, you hoped maybe those guys couldn’t shoot it. But they shot just as well as their starters.”

Things were nip-and-tuck early, but Lewis, the nation’s No. 2 shot blocker, went to the bench with his second personal foul just five minutes into the game.

The Cowboys (5-4) made do without him for the next seven minutes, but then the Rockets offense figured out where it could exploit the defense and went on a 21-5 run to enter halftime with a 47-30 lead.

“Normally when you go to two fouls early you try to save him, but I probably should have kept him in just for the experience factor of teaching him how to play with two,” Simmons said. “We wanted to go zone to try to protect him, but as well as they were shooting it was hard to go zone.”

Toledo (7-4) shot 53.1 percent (17 of 32) from the field in the first half, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range. Four Rockets starters — Justin Drummond (17 points), Julius Brown (15), J.D. Weatherspoon (12) and Nathan Boothe (10) finished in double figures while another 23 points came from the bench.

Senior forward Desharick Guidry said someone has to pick up the slack when Lewis is absent from the lineup.

“We’ve got to find somebody who can come in and do the things that he can do,” Guidry said. “Obviously we don’t have anyody that can block shots like we can. But we have to find somebody that can chip in something as far as rebounding and altering shots.”

Guidry recorded his eighth consecutive double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Though the Cowboys appeared done at halftime, there was still some fight left in them.

McNeese came out of the gates hot in the second half as Kevin Hardy and Keelan Garrett each scored eight points during a run that saw Toledo’s lead dwindle to 58-53 with 12:23 left.

Hardy finished with a game-high 20 points and Garrett added 11.

“Coming out of the second half, I wanted to make sure we brought the effort to get our team energized and make the comeback we needed to win the game,” Hardy said. “We just fell short and got a little tired. That hurt us in the end.”

That momentum was shattered when the Rockets scored 3 points the old-fashioned way on back-to-back possessions to push the margin back to double figures.

“We showed spurts of being a real good team,” Guidry said. “We have to bring it all together.”

With Toledo comfortably in control, Simmons pulled all of his starters with 3 minutes left in an effort to save their legs for Monday night’s game against another physical MAC opponent in Central Michigan.

NOTES: Toledo’s visit was a return game from the old ESPN Brackebuster event. McNeese visited Toledo in Feb. 2013, the final year for the Bracketbuster. Since the previous game was officiated by Southland referees, Saturday’s game featured MAC officials... In three all-time meetings against McNeese, Toledo has won by 13, 13 and 14 points.

Barbe stuns Washington-Marion

The Barbe Bucs overcame a fourth-quarter rally and survived overtime Friday night for a stunning 54-51 win over the Washington-Marion