Competing in last week’s Conway Tournament, North Pulaski Coach Roy Jackson was hoping to get a measure on his team. Placing third in the tournament, Jackson found out the Falcons can compete with some of the best.
North Pulaski (5-2) beat Hot Springs (63-50), lost to Conway (58-50) and defeated Fayetteville in overtime (61-59) to capture third place. Jackson was pleased with the play of the Falcons.
"We played some good, talented, athletic teams," Jackson said. "It was a good tournament for us."
In the Hot Springs contest, the lead changed back and forth with the biggest being between five and seven points. Finally, in the third period, North Pulaski put the game away.
"We slowed them down and got after them with our quickness," Jackson said. "We were breaking down their offense."
Against Conway, the Falcons trailed by as many as 16 points and fought back to cut the lead to 10 at the half. In the fourth quarter, North Pulaski even had a three-point lead but Jackson said the Falcons just couldn’t put the ball in the hole. Conway is one of the bigger teams the Falcons have seen this year, and Jackson was glad to see his team play with the Wampus Cats.
As for the Fayetteville contest, it was a back and forth, nip and tuck affair. Sophomore guard RaShawn Langston converted two free throws in regulation to send the game to overtime and also made a crucial shot in overtime to aid in the victory.
"The kids were so excited and played with confidence," Jackson said. "Fayetteville is a good team, and it was a good win for us."
While the Falcons experienced success, Jackson did see some things they need to continue to improve. In particular, they need to execute the offense better and learn to play with a lead. Jackson was happy the guys are starting to step up and play hard. Also, senior guard and leader Joe Aikens didn’t play the second half of the Fayetteville game because of an injury, and Jackson liked that the Falcons could carry on without him. He praised the play of Langston, senior guards Arren Scruggs and Fred Thomas.
Friday, North Pulaski gets another chance to see it is with the best teams and programs in the state when it hosts Little Rock Parkview. Jackson is excited to see how the matchup unfolds.
"We have a tall order, and they are a little tougher (than opponents last week)," he said. "We’ll definitely find out if we can play with some of the best."