Power rankings aren’t something Chrissy Givens is overly concerned with in her first year as Ouachita girls head coach. Givens is more focused on the little things like ensuring her players won’t shoot a 3-pointer, open or not, without any teammates in the paint.
“It’s all about being patient,” Givens said. “It’s about understanding that it’s not about your shot or the shot that’s good for you. What’s the best shot for the team? If I come back and go for a 3-pointer but there aren’t any Ouachita girls under the goal, then it’s not a good shot. You can shoot any shot as long as we crash the boards.”
Because Givens has been preoccupied with drilling the nuances that she believes will make a good team great, the Lady Lions head coach was unaware her team beat two opponents that were previously ranked higher than (9-4) Ouachita.
No. 17 Ouachita defeated No. 16 West Ouachita (55-39) on Tuesday before handling business against No. 10 Ruston (73-54) on Friday.
“Learning they were ahead of us makes those wins even bigger,” Givens said. “I’m new to the coaching realm, so I don’t look at the power rankings too much. Because really it’s just a number. You can come in at No. 1 and get beat.”
In the win against West Ouachita, veteran guard Breanna Day recorded 10 points for the Lady Lions, while Amyah Timber led the team with 12 points. Having Day return as one of the key cogs for the team was huge for Givens and her staff.
“Breanna has led us, Byrd McCarthy came over to us from Winnsboro and Faith Lee has given us a lot of energy,” Given said.
Lee exploded for 22 points in the victory against Ruston. Day added 14 and McCarty led all with 24 points in that Friday night win. Both Lee and Day corralled 10 rebounds apiece in the huge district victory.
Ouachita has had to overcome adversity this season after losing one of its pivotal post players to an ACL injury. Aliyah Washington suffered the injury, so Givens is counting on younger members of the Lady Lions to step up as Ouachita approaches crunch time in district play.
Ouachita will face another stiff challenge against West Monroe Friday, as the Lady Lions are set to host the Lady Rebels at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
"It's always been a rivalry as long as I can remember," Givens said. "It was that way when I played here. It's always going to be exciting."