Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Falcons get league win

Special to The Leader

North Pulaski scored 23 points in the first quarter Friday night and then held on from the free-throw stripe in the fourth quarter as it defeated the Sylvan Hills Bears 56-45.

The home victory was the first conference win for the Falcons (3-11, 1-3), and Sylvan Hills (5-9, 0-4) remains winless in the 5A-Central conference.

“It was a real big win,” said Falcon coach Roy Jackson. “We needed it, especially being at home against a rival like Sylvan Hills. Coach Davis’ boys, they came to play tonight. They played hard. We had to match their intensity. Like I told my guys at the beginning of the game, ‘y’all got to come with it. This is a rivalry game, the crowd is going to be into it and everything’. I think they responded well.”

The score at the end of one quarter was 23-8, but the Bears were able to even thescore somewhat at the half by outscoring North Pulaski 14-9 in the second quarter. Second half scoring was almost even, the Falcons having just a one-point advantage, but all together adding to an 11-point margin for the game.

“I thought some shots didn’t fall for us that would have made a huge difference.” Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said. “They were good looks. This bunch had been coming off a couple of pretty good days of practice, so they’re getting there. The hard work is paying off. There is a little bit of inconsistency, not from anything but having new guys in the rotation and some substitutions that they’re probably not as comfortable with as they were. I was certainly proud of the effort, and that they fought all the way through.”

North Pulaski scored first, a layup by Brandon England. Tre West tied the game at two with a shot under the basket. The Falcons then went on a 13-0 run with two 3-pointers by England, a baseline drive and layup by Isaiah Brown, a dunk by England, and a three by Brown.

Herman Washington broke the run for a minute with a 2-pointer for Sylvan Hills, but Breon Baker sank a 3-point basket and then 3 of 3 free throws as he was fouled on a three, and the lead was 21-4 for the Falcons.

After the Bears’ Jaylin Johnson sank 1 of 2 free throws, North Pulaski turned the ball over twice, allowing a free throw by Marlon Clemmons, and a floater in the lane by Washington to cut the lead to 21-8.

Jalen Kelly hit a 2-pointer for the Falcons just before the buzzer for the 23-8 first-quarter score.

Clemmons hit a three for the Bears to start the second-quarter scoring, but Brown answered with a drive and score plus one free throw for a traditional 3-point play.

Sylvan Hills then ran off nine unanswered points, and Jordan Washington closed the scoring for the half with two free throws for the Bears and a 32-22 halftime score. Jordan Washington had eight points in the quarter and Clemmons six for Sylvan Hills. Brown led the Falcons in the frame with seven points.

The Bears also won the third quarter, scoring 15 to the Falcons’ nine points. West led the way for Sylvan Hills with five points, including a dunk. Braxton McKinney came in for North Pulaski and hit a 3-point basket and then an offensive rebound and putback plus one free throw for a 3-point play and six points in the quarter, but the Bears had cut the lead to 41-37.

The final quarter was mainly a battle of free throws as it often is, and the Falcons won that battle, hitting 9 of 12 from the line and scoring a total of 15 points. Sylvan Hills was 2 of 10 from the free-throw stripe and a total of eight points. The final margin was thus set, with North Pulaski stretching the final lead to 56-45.

The Falcons were 17 of 21 from the line for 81 percent, while the Bears were 11 of 23 for 48 percent. North Pulaski outrebounded the visitors 24-14, but also had 16 turnovers to the Bears’ 11.

Brown led the Falcons in scoring with 21, with England close behind with 18 points.
Jordan Washington led Sylvan Hills with 14 points, West had 10 points and Clemmons nine points.