The Richwood Rams hoped to avenge their season-opening loss to Ouachita in a rematch Tuesday night. The Lions had other plans.
Ouachita picked up another double digit win at Richwood, downing the Rams 96-81. The Lions (7-1) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Halfway through the first quarter, Ouachita moved ahead 15-4 with a big-time dunk by Kwame Fletcher and forced Richwood (4-2)to call a timeout to stop the bleeding. But it didn't help. The Lions used aggressive play and took advantage of fast breaks to build a 53-37 lead by halftime. Though Richwood would hang with Ouachita in the second half, the Rams were unable to put any real dent in the scoreboard. "I thought we played well for about three fourths of the game," said Lion head coach Casey Jones. "The hot start really propelled us to this win, but we need to be better in the fourth quarter." The Rams made the Lions somewhat uneasy in the fourth quarter by cutting the lead to 10, but they ran out of time and began fouling to stop the clock. Ouachita's lead swelled again to 15, about where it had been since the end of the first quarter. Lion point guard Yettra Specks lead Lion scorers with 26 points. Chris Sumbler was second in scoring for the Lions, adding 19 points. Despite the loss, Richwood got a big night from Reginal Johnson and Remond Brown. Johnson lead all scorers with 33 points. Brown added 22 points. Ouachita's win snapped the Rams' four-game win streak. Richwood dropped the first game of the season to Ouachita 79-68. Richwood head coach Terry Martin said early in the week he'd seen improvement in his team since the loss and expected Tuesday to be a close game. However, Ouachita added three football players to the basketball line up tonight, adding what Jones called a more physical aspect to his team. Cameron Sims, Dearius Rollins and Diquan Wilson all made their basketball season debuts Tuesday. Sims had an immediate impact with 13 points. His size on the inside allowed for big blocks and rebounds. "Those three guys bring physicality. Before we were finesse. Now we have physicality," Jones said. Jones said he will spend tomorrow's practice working on guard play. He said he was not happy with how his guards were out-played in the fourth quarter when the Rams began creeping back to become a threat. Ouachita is now set with its showdown Thursday against Carroll, which is undefeated and ranked second in the Class 3A LHSAA power rankings. Most of the Carroll coaching staff travelled to Richwood to watch the game. Tip-off will be at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Carroll. Richwood and Carroll will play at 8 p.m. Friday at Carroll.