MONROE-WESTOVER NOTEBOOK: Patriots' Ochie 'OK' after scary fall vs. Tornadoes

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Westover center Onochie Ochie collapsed on the gym floor midway through the first period of Friday night's city rivalry showdown with Monroe and lay motionless on the floor for several minutes before being carried out of the building as an ambulance arrived.

Ochie had taken a hard arm across his chest underneath the Monroe basket, turned and took several steps toward the other end of the floor before collapsing, falling face-first onto the floor

Ochie was taken to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

"The word I got is that he is OK," Westover coach Dallis Smith said after the game was over. "It was a scary sight."

Ochie signed with Division I Southeast Louisiana earlier this year.



Dequan Green, the son of former Patriots great Dontonio Wingfield, transferred last month from Sherwood Christian Academy to Westover, but had been held out of action until Friday night.

Playing sparingly, Green scored five points -- a field goal and three free throws -- in his first game in a Westover uniform.

"We had wanted to get him in during the holidays, but we had some paperwork issues with him," Smith said. "He'll get more playing time as we go along."



Former Dougherty basketball coach Charlie Givens won two state championships with the Trojans and knows the local hoops talent as well as anyone. Prior to the game, Givens gave his assessment of the two city powerhouses.

"Monroe is bigger and has an advantage down low. They are also deeper than Westover," Givens said. "Westover has an advantage in the back court and has better shooters. But Monroe can run waves of players at you.

"If Monroe plays their game, they'll win."

The Tornadoes won, 61-58.



A Monroe-Westover game always draws a crowd. And if both teams are unbeaten?

Well ....

Westover's gym holds 1,500-plus spectators. The place was full one-half hour before the girls game began at 7.

"We sold the last ticket at 6:30," Westover principal William Chunn said. "We sold 1,500 because we wanted to make sure we had room for those coming through the pass gate."

In addition to those seated, a couple hundred more people were left standing in the corners and lined up beneath each basket.

"Please don't let this thing go into overtime, I've been standing here since 7," one weary fan said as time wound down "I'm tired and my feet are killing me ..."