Nothing could be more exciting than ending the regular season with several things on the line. That is what the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats experience Friday.
Hosting the Little Rock Central Lady Tigers, the first thing is it is a rivalry game so bragging rights on the line. Secondly, North Little Rock (20-6, 11-2 6A/7A-East) and West Memphis are tied for the conference title so the Lady Wildcats must win to keep pace in that race. Third, seedings for the state tournament have not been determined yet. North Little Rock Coach Daryl Fimple said the teams have been decided but where they fall in the bracket is a still not clear. That is another motivation for the Lady Wildcats.
“I told the girls this will be the biggest crowd they will play in front of,” Fimple said. “Even in college, crowds won’t be as big as the 2,800-3,000 that will be there Friday night. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.”
In North Little Rock’s last two games, they secured blowouts. The first was a 67-39 triumph over Marion last Friday. In that contest, sophomore Kyra Collier tallied 23 of her 27 points in the first half. Junior Malica Monk added 14 as North Little Rock jumped out on Marion quickly.
“It was 32-4 after one quarter and 48-18 at the half,” Fimple said. “I like blowouts, but we have also won some close games.”
At Mountain Home this past Tuesday, a 44-25 score was indicative of a blowout. But, the game didn’t start out that way. Actually, the Lady Wildcats were behind 20-12 at the half but outscored the Lady Bombers 32-5 in the second half to cruise to the victory. Collier paced North Little Rock with 15 points.
“We were sluggish, and it is a long trip up there,” Fimple said. “We figured it out in the third quarter.”
Although, the Lady Wildcats defeated Central, 72-52, in their first meeting, Fimple knows Friday’s game won’t be easy. For one thing it is senior night, but he is sure the girls will handle that. Another thing is both teams know each other.
“We are playing good basketball right now,” Fimple said. “We are scoring and playing well defensively.”