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|Ouachita splits pair of games with West Monroe|
"This ain't football!" was the chant from the fired up Ouachita student section dubbed the "Milhaven Maniacs" — a reference to the recent decade-long dominance of Ouachita by the West Monroe High School football team.
How true it was on Tuesday night as the Ouachita Lions (31-3, 3-0) dumped the West Monroe Rebels on the basketball court, 61-46.
Ouachita jumped out to an 18-7 lead with pressure defense that stifled the Rebels
(20-6, 2-1) and forced numerous missed shots.
Things did not get much better for the Rebels in the second quarter as Ouachita kept West Monroe at an arm's length and held a 31-21 advantage at intermission as the sell-out crowd was thrown into a frenzy.
Nick Haywood led Ouachita with 15 points, 10 of which came in the first half. Mike Shaw also scored 15 points with eight rebounds and Jeremy Mitchell chipped in 10 points.
West Monroe went on a small run and cut the lead to six in third quarter before Ouachita swelled the advantage to 46-30 to close out the third quarter.
Urald King led the Rebels with nine points. D.D. Brown added eight points while Barkavious Mingo chipped in six points. The two squads will close out the regular season next Friday with a game against each other.
Ouachita would not be denied on their home court and aided their effort with an incredible effort at the free-throw line. Ouachita converted 27-of-27 free-throw attempts during the game.
The roles were reversed in the game between the ladies. West Monroe defeated Ouachita for the second time this year with a 55-45 victory.
The two teams met at West Monroe Jan. 30 with the Lady Rebels (20-6, 5-0) winning by the exact same margin.
Kassietta Brown scored 24 points to led West Monroe to the victory. Brown scored 12 points in the third quarter. Jasmine Jones also added 12 points for West Monroe.
"The difference tonight was clearly (Kassietta) Brown," Ouachita head coach John Merritt said. "We need to get healthy and we will be alright but we just did not do a good defensive job in the second half."
Ouachita leading scorer Transheia Smith has battled an ACL tear and sprained her ankle Tuesday against West Monroe. She is expected to play through the pain and lead the Lady Lions.
Maria Brown led Ouachita as their only double-digit scorer with 25 points for the Lady Lions.
"The shots were simply not falling for us at first," West Monroe head coach John Green said. "We got some shots to fall in the third quarter and took care of business."
West Monroe will have both teams at Natchitoches Central on Friday night. The Lady Rebels will be in deep control of the district championship race if they can win over second-place Natchitoches Central this week.
Ouachita will be at Ruston for the final game of the regular season for the ladies. The Lions still play three more games with their guys before the playoffs begin.