Although their tournament at Beebe was pushed back a day, the North Pulaski Falcons played three much needed games before conference play begins tomorrow.
Prior to the Beebe tournament, the Falcons (3-5) had only played five games and also endured a 17-day layoff. With conference action beginning at West Helena tomorrow, North Pulaski finally got to play last Friday, Saturday and Monday and picked up a win over Little Rock Mills while suffering losses to Beebe and Brookland.
"We finished fourth," North Pulaski Coach Stacy Dalmut said. "Not the outcome I wanted, but we weren’t last like in the previous years."
The Falcons defeated Mills, 39-30, in a contest that Dalmut say was ugly, ugly but that she would also take the victory. Beebe defeated North Pulaski, 62-28, while Brookland won, 59-34.
"Beebe was not close, and we got our tails beat," Dalmut said. "Against Brookland, we came back to within four to five points. We played two great teams that were tough. The thing is they were solid, and we still are our rebuilding."
One thing that was a pleasant surprise for Dalmut is she had some unexpected players step up and contribute. Senior Cathy Waylan had 12 points in one game, and Dalmut said she is finally shooting in the paint and making the baskets in traffic. Junior Kristin Munn gained the confidence she had been lacking and helped out at the point guard position and in getting the ball up the court. Senior Talisha Nations had some good passes under the basket, and freshman Raigen Thomas keeps improving. Freshman Kiarra Evans also helped out at the point guard position.
"More people are starting to contribute to scoring," Dalmut said. "Everybody is starting to step and come together."
Offensively, the Falcons still need some work. During the tournament, Dalmut wasn’t confident enough to let them run their new stuff. Picking up the dribble too quickly and not setting screens wouldn’t allow them to show the new plays. Dalmut said North Pulaski needs to work on the little things.
"We would steal the ball and give it right back," she said. "We are going to really work on correcting those problems."
West Helena is the one conference game the Falcons won last year. Knowing her team is better this year, Dalmut feels good about Friday’s contest. Being able to play three games helped, and she is confident the Falcons will give West Helena a run for its money.