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NORTH LITTLE ROCK BOYS BASKETBALL | Cats shake off Parkview loss, get back to winning

It appears the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats have rediscovered their winning ways. After Little Rock Parkview halted the Cats’ 30-game winning streak, North Little Rock has reeled off a half dozen wins in a row.

Not only have the Charging Wildcats won, but they have won against some good teams.

Two games in Milwaukee yielded a pair of wins with one against Archbishop Mitty from San Jose, Calif., a team that won the state championship in their classification last season, in an overtime game.

Last weekend, North Little Rock won the Coke Classic for the second year in a row beating Arkadelphia, Texarkana Texas and a nail biter against the Springdale Red Dogs.

“They are good teams,” coach Johnny Rice said. “Springdale was very prepared. Like most teams they were very up to play us.”

The Bulldogs slowed the game down Rice said which is something the Charging Wildcats should expect from their opponents down the line in their conference schedule.

“We have to get better in our half court sets,” Rice said. “Learning to use each other to get shots, screening and not just being one on one.”

On defense, the Cats need to work on rotating and executing their help assignments.

One of North Little Rock’s biggest accomplishments, other than re-establishing their winning ways is to team build with so many players gone from last year’s state title team.

“That’s why we went so many places,” Rice said. “Spending time in hotels together in places like Forrest City, Milwaukee and Fort Smith.”

Rice said the time off the floor helped his team on the floor.

“We have learned to trust each other,” Rice said. “Learned to rely on each other’s game.”

Rice said his team is very team oriented.

“We are a very unselfish group,” Rice said. “It was good for us to play in a couple of close games. Was good to have a game where possessions were important.”

Rice said he is trying to get a couple more games before the league opener on Jan. 10. The Cats lost a pair of games after the Battle of the Border was canceled. Rice hopes to schedule an impromptu contest against Little Rock Hall to keep the off time to a minimum.

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