Friday, January 27, 2012

SPORTS >> Lady Falcons beat Cougars

Leader sports editor

The North Pulaski Lady Falcons got their first conference win of the season and just their second win overall Tuesday night in Jacksonville, beating Helena-West Helena Central 55-49 in overtime. Lady Falcon guard Haley Hudson scored 14 of her game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter and overtime period.

North Pulaski led 10-4 after one quarter and 20-14 at halftime, but the Lady Cougars rallied for a 31-29 lead at the end of the third quarter. With four minutes remaining regulation, HWHC had stretched its lead to 40-32, but North Pulaski mounted a furious comeback.

It started with a three pointer by North Pulaski’s Neddy Fuller with 3:45 left that made it 40-35. That’s when Hudson took over. She scored North Pulaski’s final 10 points in the fourth quarter to rally her team into an extra period that began with the two teams tied at 45.

Hudson’s first basket of the rally came with 2:55 remaining and made it 41-37. She scored again 30 seconds later to make it a two-point game. The Falcons sent Shadashia Baker to the line. Baker missed both free throws, but got her own rebound and scored to make it 43-39 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Hudson drove the length of the floor and into the lane for another bucket just 10 seconds later. She then got a steal, was fouled and made both free throws to tie the game with 1:17 remaining.

Hudson rebounded a missed three pointer by Baker and was fouled again. This time she missed both free throws. Helena-West Helena’s Delana Bedford scored with 38 seconds remaining, but Hudson answered with 22 seconds to go.

NP fouled Helena-West Helena’s Lakwonta Harvey with 11 seconds left, but Harvey missed the front end of the one-and-one. NP got the ball down the court and the Lady Cougars knocked it out of bounds with two seconds remaining. North Pulaski got it in bounds, but couldn’t get a shot, sending the game into an extra four-minute period.

Khalea Rhodes got North Pulaski’s first points of overtime. She made both ends of a one-and-one trip to the free-throw line for a 47-45 North Pulaski lead. Talia Nation then got the rebound off a Helena miss. She passed to Hudson who was fouled and made one of two foul shots for a 48-45 NP lead with 3:09 left.

Lady Cougar Kymberlee Collier made it a one-point game with two free throws, but Lady Falcon post player Cathy Waylan scored inside to make it 50-47 with 2:34 remaining.

Fuller then got a steal and was fouled. She hit one of two at the line for a 51-47 North Pulaski lead. Fuller got another steal on Helena-West Helena’s next possession. She passed to Jolisha Baker for a layup and a 53-47 North Pulaski lead with 2:00 left in the game.

The two teams then traded trips to the line. Hudson made two free throws with 1:09 on the clock that set the final margin. Fuller got her third steal in two minutes, but the Falcons turned it back over. The two teams combined for four missed free throws in the final minute.

North Pulaski (2-10, 1-5)won the rebounding battle 48-41.

Waylan finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Baker came off the bench to score 10 points and grab 13 rebounds. Rhodes had two points and eight rebounds while Nation finished with five points and six rebounds.

Bedford led Helena-West Helena Central (1-11, 0-6) with 15 points. Baker finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds. Bri’ana Meriweather came off the bench for 10 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Cougars.