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WJU men place two on all-conference first team

Birchard, Sowers honored
By: Staff Report
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The William Jessup University men’s basketball team’s standout guards Lucas Birchard and Zach Sowers were named first-team all-conference selections in the California Pacific Conference. Birchard, a senior, was a unanimous choice by Cal Pac coaches, and is on the list for the third time in his four seasons at William Jessup. The 6-foot-6 shooter from Lodi concluded his stellar career as the school’s all-time leader in several categories, including 3-pointers made and attempted; free throws made and attempted; rebounds, and blocked shots. The school’s second all-time leading scorer, he has been an integral part of 60 career wins, and finished his senior season averaging 14 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and two steals a game. A reliable performer on both ends of the floor, Birchard was counted on to score, rebound, and defend. "I am so proud of Lucas. He is a great student-athlete,” said WJU coach Aaron Muhic. “He is what NAIA basketball is about, and he has been a cornerstone in our program for four years and will be sorely missed. To be all-conference for three years is truly a testament to his competitive nature, consistency and hard work." Sowers, a 6-3 senior, joined the Warriors this season and brought an explosive athleticism and a knack for hitting big shots. He averaged 18 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and one steal per game. The versatile senior from Zanesville, Ohio was a definite crowd favorite. He was capable of rising up over defenders to drain threes, hang in the lane to hit buzzer-beating floaters, or throw down a dizzying array of dunks that whipped the crowd into a frenzy. "Zach is a great player because of his work ethic,” Muhic said. “He is a guy that is always working on his game. He is a great talent and is a pleasure to coach. He has such a humble spirit and is a great example on and off the court." Jessup finished the season with a 13-3 record in the Cal Pac, good for second place. The Warriors lost a playoff game to Dominican last Friday, ending their season.