Finally, after not playing since Nov.27, North Pulaski got to take the floor against Lonoke last Friday. The result was a 62-52 loss, but Coach Stacy Dalmut saw good things.

"We scored 52 points," she said. "One of the officials told me he wasn’t used to that with North Pulaski girls."

The Falcons (2-3) fell behind quickly and early in the game but eventually settled down and had a decent game the second half. Dalmut wondered if the long layoff was the reason for the slow start.

"I was surprised we started off so slow and got so behind," she said. "At one time, we were down by 17 points, and it was 18-9 after the first quarter. That was big. The first half was not pretty. We outscored them in the fourth, but it was too little too late."

Freshman Raigen Thomas turned in a double-double performance with 14 points and 19 rebounds. Dalmut said she played aggressively and with confidence. Senior Shayla Evans was the leading scorer with 15 points.

"We had several with six points," she said. "They are all starting to score except for one. Cathy (Waylan, senior forward) is still having trouble with her shot."

Since the Falcons had so much practice time before meeting Lonoke, they introduced some new plays. They tried to run them, but Lonoke made it difficult for sophomore point guard Ilycia Carter to get the offense going.

"They covered her up," Dalmut said. "We tried to set screens and do different things so she could get open. She tried to make the pass and threw the ball away more than she normally does."

Dalmut just wishes Carter would see that she is doing what is asked of her and doing a good job. Carter still needs to gain confidence.

"I ask her to do something, and she thinks she can’t," Dalmut said. "What she doesn’t realize is that she has been doing it."

Dalmut thought the Falcons’ press was pretty good, but defensively they didn’t do what they needed to do against Lonoke’s Kerasha Johnson, a left-hander. Dalmut told her players to make her go right, but they couldn’t seem to accomplish that.

"She scored almost 30 points," Dalmut said. "We weren’t doing what we were supposed to do. That one girl killed us."