SPORTS >> Falcons improve to 9-0 with win
Special to The Leader
Sylvan Hills gave North Pulaski some problems Tuesday night, but Aaron Cooper had all the answers in a 68-57 road win for the Falcons. The win kept the Falcons unbeaten in 5A-Southeast Conference play and tied with McClellan for first place in the league standings.
The Bears took the lead twice in the first quarter and once in the second quarter. Each time they grabbed the lead, Cooper responded with either a three-point play or a three-pointer.
In the third quarter, Sylvan Hills pulled to within five points after falling behind 43-30. Cooper broke that run with back-to-back threes as well.
“Our half-court game was non-existent,” said Falcons coach Raymond Cooper. “Guys weren’t hustling and weren’t in the places they needed to be. I think Aaron just took it on himself to take over at times because that was all we had.”
Sylvan Hills came out and gave North Pulaski all they wanted for most of the game. The Falcons had just beaten rival Mills by 30 points, but had a hard time putting the Bears down for the count.
“Let me first give credit to Sylvan Hills,” Cooper said. “They had a great game plan on defense spreading us out and really attacked us on offense.”
North Pulaski took a 10-point lead just before halftime when Kyron Ware was fouled attempting a three-pointer with just over one second left on the clock. Ware drained all three freebies to give the Falcons a 33-23 lead.
The Falcons improved that lead to 13 points before Harold Ward caught fire for the Bears. Ward scored 17 points in the third quarter, including an 8-0 run that pulled the Bears to within five points.
“This was a game that was fun to watch for the fans,” Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said. “Harold had one of the best overall games since I’ve been here. He scored a lot of points, but he was really unselfish with the ball. Cooper just had an answer for everything we did tonight.”
Ward finished the game with 23 points and 13 rebounds for Sylvan Hills. Cooper led all scorers with 26 points for the Falcons. Kyron Ware scored 19 points for North Pulaski, while DaQuan Bryant scored four points and had 10 rebounds, four steals and four assists. Alonte Mitchell came off the bench to score 10 points for the Bears.
The win improved the Falcons to 18-5 overall and a perfect 9-0 in the 5A-Southeast. The Bears fell to 9-12 overall and 4-5 in conference.
S. HILLS GIRLS 56,
NORTH PULASKI 25
The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears had an early end to their night thanks to a 56-25 mercy-rule win over North Pulaski Tuesday night in Sherwood.
A free throw by Dede Lewis early in the fourth quarter gave the Lady Bears the 30-point lead they needed to get the running clock started.
“We’ve just been getting better and are playing pretty well right now,” Sylvan Hills coach Bee Rodden said. “We took care of the ball tonight and stayed away from the turnovers.”
The win improves the Lady Bears to 15-4 overall and 9-0 in the 5A-Southeast. North Pulaski fell to 2-7 in conference play.
“The girls know that they’re going to have a target on their backs every game,” said Rodden. “We’ve got to come out be ready for everybody’s best every night.”
Sylvan Hills led 16-6 after the first quarter, then extended that lead to 38-13 by halftime.
North Pulaski played almost even with Sylvan Hills in the third quarter, but couldn’t quite keep the mercy rule from going into effect.
Latrina Brandon led the Lady Bears with 20 points and eight steals. Ashley Johnson scored 19 points while leading the Bears with five rebounds. Lewis led Sylvan Hills with seven assists.
Laura Dortch led North Pulaski with 13 points, while Bianca Harper added 11 points.