Wednesday, December 23, 2015

SPORT STORY >> Lighthouse avenges its loss to NP

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville Lighthouse Wolves avenged an earlier loss and got some hometown solace on Tuesday, beating North Pulaski 73-54 in their second game of the McDonald’s Red Devil Classic at Jacksonville High School on Tuesday.

Lighthouse jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead in the first half of the first quarter, and led 14-4 at the end of the opening period.

The Falcons didn’t make a basket from the floor until 6:12 remained in the second quarter and Justin Glasco hit a 3-pointer. Despite the offensive struggles, Glasco’s basket pulled the Falcons (4-8) back to within 10 points at 18-8. From there, the Wolves outscored NP 11-8 and took a 29-16 lead into the break.

The third quarter is when Lighthouse blew the game open after heating up from outside. Zack Bobo, Cameron Shaffer DaeShawn Dixon hit from outside. When the Falcons tried fullcourt pressure, JLCS guards Jordan McNair and Chris Mims got to the rim for easy buckets. Shaffer and Bobo also scored four points each on the inside and the Wovles carried a 52-27 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We’re just struggling right now,” said NP coach Roy Jackson, whose team beat Lighthouse 62-60 earlier this season. “We don’t have a true point guard, and when teams press us, we keep making mistakes. We just have to calm down. We need to realize there are some things we can do well, and work to put ourselves in situations to do that. Right now it’s like we’re just panicking a little bit under the fullcourt pressure, and we can’t get into our offense. We weren’t doing that earlier this year. I’m going to spend this time off breaking down film. I’m going to find some things we’re good at and we’re going to intensify working on those things.”

North Pulaski’s own pressure took its toll on Lighthouse in the fourth quarter. The Falcons forced turnovers on three-straight possessions and scored after each one early in the period. Another run later in the period resulted in back-to-back transition dunks by Falcon sophomore Christian White that pulled the Falcons to within 63-50 with 3:20 left in the game.

But the pace of the game began to take a toll on both teams. North Pulaski’s pressure ceased to be as effective and the Falcons were forced to begin fouling to extend the game. Lightouse (8-7) only made 6 of 12 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons couldn’t take advantage, missing several open shots on their end of the floor.

White led all scorers with 19 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter alone. Shaffer led Lightouse with 17 while Bobo added 11.

North Pulaski is off until its 5A-Central Conference opener at Little Rock McClellan on Jan. 5. Lighthouse, which is still not an Arkansas High School Activities Association sanctioned team, doesn’t play another varsity game until Jan. 20 against Little Rock Central.