Wednesday, January 02, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> North Pulaski goes 1-1, NLR girls lose one

Leader sports editor

Several local basketball teams were scheduled to take part in holiday tournaments around the state, but weather stopped some from being able to get to their respective events. The Cabot and Jacksonville girls and Sylvan Hills boys were unable to make it to their events. Cabot was in the Mansfield Rotary Club Classic in Mansfield, Texas. Jacksonville was scheduled for Springfield, Mo. and Sylvan Hills was supposed to take part in the Mountain Home tournament. The North Little Rock girls were also supposed to be in Mountain Home by Thursday. Though the Lady Wildcats weren’t able to make it, they did find a team to play and traveled to Paragould on Saturday.


Things didn’t go as well as hoped for the Daryl Fimple-coached North Little Rock team. Paragould won the game 63-55. The Lady Rams return all five starters from last year’s class 5A runner-up team. They shot three pointers in the first half like no one was guarding them. Paragould made eight three pointers in the first half and took a 36-26 lead into halftime.

North Little Rock turned up the pressure in the second half and almost caught up, cutting the lead to 40-37 halfway through the third quarter. A three-point play by Paragould’s Carson Gill put it back to six, but North Little Rock got within two when freshman Kyra Collier’s three pointer made it 44-42.

Every time the Lady Wildcats knocked on the door, Paragould answered. The Lady Rams scored the next five points to close the third quarter with a seven-point lead.

Still, North Little Rock had one run left in the tank. Sophomore Malica Monk got a steal and layup that made it 57-55 with three minutes left, but the Lady Wildcats would not score another point.

Paragould put up a quick shot and missed, but a long rebound caused a scramble for the ball that resulted in a foul on the Lady Wildcats. Paragould made just one of two free throws but North Little Rock went cold from the field the rest of the way.

“We got what we wanted and got them to shoot it quickly,” Fimple said. “We just missed three point-blank layups and they made their free throws.

“I was glad we got to play and I was glad about how hard the kids played. The way they came out shooting and put us down, we never stopped fighting. I think they were getting tired from our pressure, we just couldn’t make a shot at the end.”

The Lady Wildcats open conference play with a vital game at Cabot on Friday.


The Falcons went 1-1 at Camden-Fairview, though it didn’t get to participate in the first round of the tournament. Arriving a day late, North Pulaski was moved to the consolation bracket and faced Lafayette County in the second round. The Falcons won easily 60-25. LCHS beat North Pulaski in overtime last season, but head Falcon Roy Jackson said this was not the same team.

“They lost a lot from that team and we’re a lot better, so there wasn’t much to it,” Jackson said. “I was pleased that we kept the intensity up and put them away. That was about the easiest game we’ve had all year.”

Joe Aikens led North Pulaski with 14 points while Aaron Williamson added 10.

That win was followed by a 45-30 loss to Magnolia. Used to seeing man defense most of the season, North Pulaski struggled to score against Magnolia’s 1-3-1 zone.

“Our defense was there,” Jackson said. “My kids played hard. We didn’t attack the basket as much as we should have. We settled for outside shots and we couldn’t buy a bucket.”

Eric Mouton led North Pulaski with eight points in the loss.