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The (15-6, 0-2) West Ouachita boys basketball team may have lost the battle against Alexandria, but never has a loss been more encouraging for the Chiefs.

After facing the possibility that seniors Reid Guirlando and Caleb Williams could possibly sit out the remainder of the season with injuries, West Ouachita head coach Daniel Dalleo received good news last week that each player would be able to finish their senior seasons on the court.

Knowing his vets would be able to play after falling to Ouachita, 55-28, the previous Tuesday, Dalleo challenged his seniors and they delivered in a 47-42 loss.

“It was very encouraging after being pretty disappointed with the way we played against Ouachita,” Dalleo said. “I challenged my seniors to step up and take on more of a leadership role, and they really rose to the challenge and carried us in that game, no doubt.”

Williams had 13 points and Guirlando added another 11 points in a loss to an Alexandria team that was a Top 5 team entering the first week of district play.

“We were well balanced, and we played solid defense,” Dalleo said. “It was an all-around good game, but we just got a little fatigued at the end.”

Dalleo said he hopes his team builds off the loss and competes like that the rest of the way in district play.

“I just don’t want this to be a one time deal,” Dalleo said. “We need to play like that the rest of the season.”

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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