North Pulaski Lady Falcon Coach Stacy Dalmut was beside herself this past Tuesday.
The Lady Falcons (3-2) let a 12-point lead against Conway Christian evaporate and lost 46-43 in the first round of the Conway Christian tournament. The tournament was rearranged after some teams dropped out because of other commitments and the weather. So instead of playing in a regular tournament, the Falcons’ matchup was a play-in game into the tournament. Because of the loss, North Pulaski doesn’t play again. That is not good, as the Lady Falcons needed to play. Prior to Tuesday they hadn’t played since Nov. 19. A contest at Lonoke last Friday was cancelled because of the weather.
"The whole point of the tournament was to get some games," Dalmut said. "The bracket changed three times because of teams not able to make it because of conference obligations or the weather."
Dalmut’s frustration had to do with the fourth quarter. North Pulaski only scored three points, and Dalmut said they made tons of turnovers. A technical foul also allowed Conway Christian to catch up.
"We missed free throws at the end with a chance to tie," Dalmut said. "We were at our end our end of the floor and making bad passes, fundamental stuff that we know better. We didn’t have basketball sense tonight and just didn’t play."
Dalmut said the first quarter started off sluggish, and it was the second period when North Pulaski took at least a 12-point lead and lead 29-18 at halftime. She said the second and third quarters were decent until the disastrous fourth period. Dalmut hopes this game was just a bad one for the Lady Falcons to get out their system and not a sign of what happened last year. Last season, North Pulaski had trouble winning at the end.
"I’ve see that in spurts but not for a whole quarter," Dalmut said. "Down the stretch, we made mistake after mistake. We had the lead, and all we had to do was hold the ball. When you have the lead, you don’t have to shoot. We didn’t have intensity down the stretch. The girls aren’t used to competing and now that they can, they don’t know what to do."
With a game not scheduled until Friday, Dec. 20 when Little Rock Parkview comes to North Pulaski, Dalmut will use this week and next week to fix what happened and get the Lady Falcons prepared for that game and a tournament after Christmas at Mountain Home.