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NORTH LITTLE ROCK BOYS BASKETBALL | Cats look to start new streak

The streak is over.

31 games. 31 wins.

Now the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats are constructing a new streak after falling to Little Rock Parkview in the Jammin for Jackets tournament over the weekend.

“Everything we say that can make us lose,” NLR coach Johnny Rice said. “We didn’t play well, didn’t play together as a team. We didn’t answer their runs at us.”

Rice admits that the Patriots were likely a bit more amped up and motivated.

“It’s a rivalry game,” Rice said, “plus Anton was one of theirs and is over here now, and I’m sure that was a factor.”

Anton Beard transferred from Little Rock Parkview during the summer and has since signed with the Arkansas Razorbacks.

But the Charging Wildcats don’t have time for feeling sorry for themselves. They fly out to Milwaukee play in the Snow Jam Classic.

“They called us out of the blue,” Rice said. “We had been nationally ranked by Max Preps and a couple other places, so I think that’s how they knew about us.”

An unbeaten conference record and a state championship didn’t hurt either.

The Charging Wildcats will get two games, their finale being at 3 p.m. on Saturday. When they return, they head to Fort Smith for the Coke Classic in Fort Smith.

“We had about two weeks where we didn’t play,” Rice said, “starting this week we play a lot.”

Rice wants to play more. One reason for the long break was winter weather that canceled the Battle of the Border. Rice is looking at rescheduling as well as getting an impromptu game in the first week of January.

He has spoken to Little Rock Hall about such a game before the conference schedule kicks in on Jan. 10.

This season is beginning to mirror the 2012-13 campaign where the Charging Wildcats lost just once. The difference is the timing of the lone loss. Last season, a Thanksgiving Day setback against Charleston, Mo. made way for the 31-game streak.

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