Tuesday, November 17, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Falcons fend off Wolves

Special to The Leader

The North Pulaski Falcons won their basketball season opener 62-60 Friday over the visiting Jacksonville Lighthouse Wolves. The Wolves (3-2) led by six points early in the game. North Pulaski (1-0) fought back to tie the game by the end of the first quarter, and it remained close the rest of the way.

“It’s always good to get the first one,” said North Pulaski coach Roy Jackson. “I’ve got a real inexperienced team. I’m real proud of them. They hung in there. Lighthouse is a good team. Me and coach (Rodney) Gilmore put a game plan together. I’ve got to give credit to him for working the kids with the defense and everything, for putting the kids in situations in practice. It’s a good win for us.”

“The guys were so amped up,” Lighthouse coach Kelvin Parker said. “We missed a lot of shots that they usually hit, and missed a lot of layups. I think we played a lot better the last three games. Even the first game we lost, we played better. We still were in the game and had a chance to win.”

Lighthouse scored first on a layup by Jordan McNair. James Robinson tied the game with a two, but Zack Bobo hit a 3-pointer and Chris Mims two free throws to give the Wolves a 7-2 lead.

Christian White responded with a 2-point basket for the Falcons, but Cameron Shaffer gave Lighthouse a10-4 advantage with an old-fashioned 3-point play.

Brandon Shirnes scored for North Pulaski, but Shaffer got the six-point lead back for the Wolves with a baseline drive for a layup.

The Falcons scored six points to tie with a dunk , another two by White and a layup following a Lighthouse turnover by Sean Moragne. Each team scored six more points in the quarter to end the period tied at 18.

The Wolves won the second quarter, barely outscoring North Pulaski 14-13 to take a 32-31 lead at the half. Mims had six in the quarter for Lighthouse, and White had five for the Falcons.

White and Waltez Ware each had six points in the third for North Pulaski as the Falcons scored 17 points to 13 for the Wolves to take a 48-45 lead. Shirnes had a tip-in, White another dunk, and Justin Glasco a layup in traffic for the Falcons.

Daeshawn Dixon hit a 3-point basket for Lighthouse to tie the game at 50-50, but the Falcons scored six unanswered for a 56-50 advantage.

The Wolves answered with five straight. Free throws came into play as the Falcons hit 3 of 6, and Lighthouse 1 of 2 in the next stretch to give North Pulaski the lead, 59-56, with 1:30 remaining in the game. Mims made a layup for Lighthouse and was fouled, but could not convert the additional free throw to tie.

Trailing by one at 59-58, the Wolves fouled Leon Brooks with 17 seconds on the clock. Brooks sank both of the double-bonus free throws to give the Falcons a 61-58 lead.

Shaffer scored under the basket for Lighthouse to cut the advantage to one, and the Wolves immediately fouled Robinson, who made 1 of 2 free throws to set the final score at 62-60. A steal by Brooks sealed the game.

White led North Pulaski in scoring with 21 points, Braxton McKinney had eight points and Glasco, Robinson and Ware all had seven points each.

Shaffer had 21 for the Wolves, followed by Mims with 17 points and McNair with 11.