SPORTS>>No. Pulaski boys and girls prevail
Special to The Leader
Fans can usually expect sparks to fly when the North Pulaski Falcons and Mills Comets meet on the basketball court.
Sparks were definitely flying for the Falcons Friday night, but the Comets fizzled as North Pulaski took a 70-40 win at The Galaxy.
North Pulaski played the entire fourth quarter with the 30-point mercy rule in effect.
The win improved the Falcons to 17-5 overall and keeps them perfect at 8-0 in the conference.
The Comets were missing their best player in Nick Hansberry, but providing a 30-point swing would be a lot to ask of any player.
“I certainly didn’t expect this kind of game coming into this gym,” North Pulaski coach Raymond Cooper said. “The first time basically came down to the buzzer, but they had Nick in that one.”
This time the game came down to North Pulaski’s pressure defense taking control.
The Falcons forced the Comets into 23 turnovers by the end of the third quarter when they held a 30-point lead.
“I thought we played much better, much more aggressive on defense,” said Cooper. “We got a little ragged once we got ahead, but we played better overall.”
The Comets tried to make a game of it early in the second quarter. North Pulaski led 21-8 after the first, but Mills opened the second quarter with six straight points.
That was just about the end of any good times for the Comets.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Aaron Cooper sparked a 16-1 run by the Falcons. Cooper dished out three assists during the run, while DaQuan Bryant had three steals, two rebounds and an assist in the quarter. Mills committed nine turnovers in the second quarter.
Bryant led all scorers with 17 points to go along with nine rebounds, five steals and five assists — all in three quarters of work.
“We passed the ball pretty well tonight and that’s something I’ve been looking for,” Cooper said. “We did a good job on the perimeter and getting the ball in the paint. It was just a good win for us.”
Jerald Blair scored 16 points for North Pulaski, while Cooper scored 14. Kyron Ware added 11 points in the win. Cooper also dished out six assists for the Falcons.
North Pulaski put the game away in the third quarter after coming out of halftime with a 43-22 lead. A 10-0 run late in the third gave the Falcons a 30-pint lead heading into the fourth.
NO. PULASKI GIRLS 34,
Maybe the North Pulaski Lady Falcons should try to play the Mills Lady Comets more often.
Two games against the Comets have provided two exciting one-point victories.
The latest came Friday night at The Galaxy.
“It was another good nail-biter against Mills,” North Pulaski coach Todd Romaine said. “We were pretty lucky to come out of this one with a win.”
North Pulaski was outscored in each of the first three quarters and trailed by eight points heading into the fourth.
The Lady Falcons came back with one of their best quarters of the season in the fourth, outscoring the Lady Comets 14-5.
“The girls played hard,” said Romaine. “We’re still making too many mistakes, but that’s going to happen with any team this young. We started causing Mills to make some mistakes in the fourth quarter.”
The Lady Falcons completed the comeback when Laura Dortch drained a shot with just under seven seconds left to play.
That basket didn’t end the game’s excitement however. There was still enough time for the Comets to get down the court and get off a shot and a putback attempt. Both shots rimmed out.
“It’s easy to get excited and not get back on defense after a go-ahead shot like that,” Romaine said. “I’m proud of the way the girls never gave up and battled back at the end.”
Dortch led the Lady Falcons with nine points, while Keke Springs was right behind her with eight points. Breyana Trent scored four, while Jackie Moragne added two more in the win.