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NORTH LITTLE ROCK GIRLS Fimple happy with team’s start

If someone would have told North Little Rock head coach Daryl Fimple that his Lady Charging Wildcats would have six wins in their first seven games, he would have been ecstatic.

Take away what Fimple calls a fiasco at Cabot, and he believes his team wouldn’t have a mark on the right side of the column.

North Little Rock kept up their winning ways on Monday in the opening round of the Wampus Cat Invitational on Monday with a 57-36 win over the Benton Lady Panthers.

Fimple had a luxury he hasn’t had all season—two point guards.

Malicha Monk, who scored 13 points on Monday, and Sasha Giles were able to play together on the floor for the first time giving the Lady Charging Wildcats a different dynamic and prompting Fimple to play four guards and spread and run the floor.

“We are faster and more athletic,” Fimple said.

Much of that speed comes from Monk, who at 5-6, has a slasher’s mentality and can jump high enough to touch the rim. Plus Fimple said his sophomore guard can shoot up to 15 feet.

“Her outside shot will be the knock on her,” Fimple said, “but she’ll develop that shot.”

Another advantage for Fimple’s four guard lineup is that he can extend his defense.

“We can press a lot more,” Fimple said, “and we are faster though we aren’t as big.”

Surprisingly, the Lady Charging Wildcats have depth which is proving to be an unexpected strength so far in the young season.

“We were able to play 11 kids more than 10 minutes against Benton,” Fimple said.

What has been a weakness all season is rebounding. Fimple has decided that his four-guard rotation and up-tempo style, he would take an advantage in turnover margin over rebounding margin. It paid off Monday night as the Lady Charging Wildcats committed just five turnovers against Benton.

It may not have been predicted that North Little Rock would have had this type of success so early in the season, but no one can argue with the results.

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