After a come-from-behind performance at Cabot this past Monday, North Little Rock turned up the pressure and cruised to an 86-67 victory over West Memphis at home this past Tuesday.
Granted, the Charging Wildcats have experience playing two games in a row as they have done that in tournaments. However, this was different as they had a nine-day layoff. No game was scheduled for last Tuesday, and the original date with Cabot last Friday was cancelled because of wintery precipitation.
Though North Little Rock (19-1, 9-0 6/7A-East) escaped with a 58-45 win at Cabot, they trailed by four at the half and were tied with the Panthers at the end of the third period. The first time the two teams met, North Little Rock was better in one quarter than Cabot. The same thing happened last Monday with the Wildcats winning the fourth period.
“The fourth quarter was a huge difference,” North Little Rock Coach Johnny Rice said. “We did a better job of controlling the tempo, and I think our pressure finally got to them.”
Guard Anton Beard lead the way with 15 as Kevaughn Allen added 14 points and Jawan Eldridge threw in 11 points respectively.
Against West Memphis, North Little Rock jumped out to a 19-13 first-quarter lead and never trailed expect by one point early in the first period for 35 seconds. The Charging Wildcats’ cushion increased to 14 points with 6:28 left in the second stanza on a 3-point basket by Eldridge. By the end of the third quarter, they owned a 60-44 margin.
K.J. Hill led the Charging Wildcats with 21 points. Also reaching double digits were Beard with 18 points, Allen with 14 and Adrian Moore with 10.
“That’s the most points we’ve scored in a while,” Rice said. “We don’t attack as well off the dribble against a zone, but it we adjusted and hit some shots. That was a huge difference.”
The Wildcats used Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices in preparation for a contest Friday at Jonesboro. The Hurricanes only conference loss is to North Little Rock, and Rice said Jonesboro’s guard play is good but the Hurricanes aren’t as big as West Memphis.
“At this time of the year, we’ve done everything we can do in practice,” Rice said. “Because, we had two games in a row, we will mentally prepare for Jonesboro.”