Ochie: I'll be back Tuesday

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Onochie Ochie will be back Tuesday.

At least that's the plan at Westover High, where the Patriots have held their own despite the loss of their top player, a Super 6er who can dominate inside.

"I feel great,'' said Ochie, who has been out since hitting his head on the floor early in the first quarter in the Westover-Monroe game Jan. 8. "I can't wait to play again. It's been killing me to have sit back and watch my team. It's been eating me up inside.''

Ochie hit his head, passed out and was rushed to the hospital that night. He was released a few hours later, but didn't go back to practice until this week.

"I didn't have a concussion,'' Ochie confirmed to The Herald on Friday. "I hit my head and passed out. But when I fell I hit my shoulder, and that's what has taken so long (to return). I injured my rotator cuff.''

It was serious enough, however, to keep him off the court for more than two weeks.

"He almost dislocated it,'' Westover boys basketball coach Dallis Smith said Friday. "We are hoping he can be back Tuesday. He just came back to practice and he's been shooting and doing drills, really no contact.''

Ochie, who signed with Division I Southeast Louisiana before the season, said he has been working out with the third team, and has been running to get back in basketball shape.

"We just have to get him ready to play again,'' Smith said. "He's been running suicides to get back in shape.''

Westover (17-2) came back to beat Dougherty, 64-50, Friday to stay in second place in the Region 1-AAA race, and played Terrell County in a non-region game Saturday night in Dawson. The Herald No. 2 Patriots are ranked seventh in the Georgia Sportswriters Association Class AAA poll. They play Worth in a Region 1-AAA game Tuesday in what everyone at Westover hopes is a big night -- and return -- for Ochie.