The West Monroe boys and girls basketball teams lost at home to Natchitoches Central on Tuesday. In the girls game, the Lady Rebels trailed only 27-24 at halftime before the Lady Chiefs got some timely rebounds and free throws down the stretch to win 49-43. The NCHS boys beat West Monroe 61-56.
The Lady Chiefs are now 3-0 in District 2-5A play while the Lady Rebels fell to 0-3 going into another tough road test Friday at Ruston at 6 p.m. as part of a basketball doubleheader with the West Monroe and Ruston boys.
“Even though we came out on the short end of the stick, I thought we actually played better than we did (Saturday) at Alexandria,” Lady Rebels coach John Green said. “Natchitoches (Central) is undefeated in our district. We had every opportunity to win that game tonight.”
In the boys game, the Rebels slugged it out for four quarters with the No. 1-ranked team in the state. West Monroe led several times in the third and fourth quarter.
The teams went to the fourth quarter tied 42-42. West Monroe missed key free throw attempts and some second chance points that could have turned the tide.
“It is a game of runs and Natchitoches made the last one,” West Monroe boys coach Kyle Hill said. “We had opportunities, but we didn’t cash in on them, and (NCHS) did, that is why they are the No. 1 team in the state.”
Hill said that the team is eyeing not just district wins, but a return to the state tournament in Lake Charles in March, and to do that they have to keep improving their game every week.
“The goal is the Top 28,” Hill said. “To do that, we have to keep getting better. We want to be playing our best ball in March.”
Both Rebels and Lady Rebels visit Ruston at 6 p.m. on Friday.