Monday, December 10, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Wildcats run past Patriots at Hall Arena

Leader sports editor

Parkview was without its best player Imara Ready, but the deep and talented Patriots gave North Little Rock all it wanted anyway. In the end, the shorthanded Parkview squad couldn’t keep up with the blistering pace set by the Charging Wildcats as North Little Rock prevailed 82-68 in the first round of the Jammin for Jackets tournament at Little Rock Hall.

North Little Rock (5-1) pressured Parkview relentlessly in the early-going of the 16-minute half. The Wildcats rattled off a trio of three pointers in the first four minutes. And when Gary Vines got a steal and dished to Thomas Alexander for a fastbreak dunk, North Little Rock 15-5 and forced a Parkview timeout.

From that point and for the rest of the game, the margin stayed between five and 14 until two free throws set the final margin.

“You always expect Parkview to make a run, but we kept our composure, just never really let it happen,” North Little Rock Johnny Rice said. “On the other side of that, every time we got a little breathing room, they’d make a little run and get right back in it.”

Parkview (3-1) got within five on five-straight points by Anton Beard at 19-14. But two steals and dunks by Alexander and Kevaughn Allen quickly made it 23-14.

The lead grew to 68-54 on two Allen free throws with 7:11 left, but Parkview went on a 10-2 run to make it 70-64 with 3:55 remaining in the game.

Rice called timeout, and senior DayShawn Watkins came up with a huge play after the break. A ball fake got his defender in the air.

Watkins then penetrated into the lane, and hit a one-handed circus shot while being pulled backwards by his other arm. He added the free throw to complete the three-point play and Parkview never got within eight the rest of the way.

Three Charging Wildcats finished with more than 20 points while four finished in double figures. Allen and Alexander each scored 22. Watkins added 21 and Vines scored 10 points.

Alexander made it a double-double by pulling down 13 rebounds, and also blocked four shots.

Beard led Parkview with 20 points while Jaylen Franklin added 19 and Daryl Macon 15 for the Patriots.