If the North Pulaski Falcons want to notch a spot in the 5A state tournament, they need to get busy.

While all hope is not lost, it is very slim. Winning the rest of their games would be a big plus along with some of the other conference teams losing games they shouldn’t. The Falcons (8-11, 1-7 5A-Central) could have made a difference in their quest if would have won at West Helena last Friday. After winning the first meeting, North Pulaski lost 70-50.

"We were ahead for the first minute or two," North Pulaski Coach Roy Jackson said. "We aren’t playing good basketball at all."

The Falcons were without sophomore guard RaShawn Langston who is nursing a groin injury. Additionally, two other starters didn’t play because of violating team rules. North Pulaski’s mode of operation seems to be to start off well but then falter quickly.

After a strong non-conference season with wins over Fayetteville, El Dorado and Hot Springs, who are all some of the top teams in their conferences, Jackson is disappointed with this season. Additionally, the Falcons returned most of their players from last season.

"I felt like this would be a good group and made the non-conference harder," Jackson said. "Unfortunately, we’ve had some injuries. Once again, we get into conference play and can’t play well."

Senior guard Joe Aikens has been out for the conference season after nursing an ankle and then breaking his knuckle against Jacksonville. Jackson is hoping he returns before the end of the season.

North Pulaski was open this past Tuesday and resumes conference play Friday and hosts Pulaski Academy. Jackson is hoping the Falcons don’t do what they always do and start off hot but then go cold. The Bruins did win the first meeting, 62-45, but they are beatable. The Falcons just need to get back on the winning track.

"We still have a lot to play for," Jackson said. "We play Jacksonville next week, and they are a rivalry and the number one team in the state. If we knock them off, we can say we beat the number one team."