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NORTH PULASKI BOYS BASKETBALL | Falcons handle West Helena as Air Force signee Aikens misses game

After being outrebounded in the double digits in the first half, North Pulaski came alive in the second half Tuesday and defeated West Helena, 80-70.

“We were behind the whole first half,” North Pulaski Coach Roy Jackson said. “In the second half, we took care of the basketball, got some steals and easy baskets in transition.”

Four players reached double digits for North Pulaski (8-4, 1-0 5A-Central). Senior Steven Farrior had 17 points, senior Arren Scruggs contributed 16 points, sophomore RaShawn Langston added 14 points and senior Fred Thomas finished with 10 points.

“We’ve got to find a way to play consistently in the first half,” Jackson said. “We’ll have to practice and make preparations.”

One thing Jackson is pleased with is how the Falcons are playing without senior guard Joe Aikens, who has been nursing an ankle injury. They have stepped up without his presence and are not a one-dimensional team.

“I didn’t expect Joe to be out this long,” Jackson said. “I’ve been with these guys for three years now, and they know what I expect. We are playing well without Joe, which is surprising. The guys are stepping up, and not one person is doing everything.”

Friday, the Falcons travel to Pulaski Academy. Last year, North Pulaski lost to the Bruins in the second half of the conference in overtime. Jackson knows Pulaski Academy has two guys who can score. The key will be to keep the other Bruins from scoring.

“I think it will be a testament of wills of which team can play its game,” Jackson said. “I expect it to be nip and tuck like last year.”

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