Fortunately, the North Pulaski Falcons ended the regular season on a positive note.
As a sendoff to the eight seniors, the Falcons (11-14, 4-10 5A-Central) defeated Pulaski Academy, 56-50, last Thursday in its final game of the season. The victory was welcomed after a disappointing season and also sends the Bruins into the 5A state tournament with a loss.
"It was a real good thing," North Pulaski Coach Roy Jackson said. "We had high expectations and didn’t live up to them and were in a lot of close games that we could have won but lacked ball control."
Graduating are Joe Aikens, Steven Farrior, Fred Thomas, Arren Scruggs, Andrew Wilson, Justice Irby, Jarrod Craven and Stacy Cox. Jackson will return three players who saw significant playing time including sophomore guard RaShawn Langston. Aikens, who signed with the Air Force Academy, missed the majority of the season with several injuries. Jackson thinks that, along with other injuries to other players during the season, had an effect on the Falcons.
North Pulaski entered the conference season with an 8-3 record and won its first conference meeting with West Helena. After that, they went on an eight-game losing streak.
"With injuries and a lot of other stuff, we didn’t have any continuity," Jackson said. "Once we got into the conference season, every game was a fight. We had a lot of close games, but the ball didn’t bounce our way."
Following the eight-game skid, the Falcons had a short two-game winning streak. But, that was too late for them to accomplish their goal of making the 5A state tournament.
With a new group next year, Jackson may have to change his style of play to fit his personnel. For sure, he will be experimenting and hopes to get the Falcons in a summer league.