Monticello unable to mar North Pulaski's record
The North Pulaski Falcons walked onto the court Friday night at Dan Coston Fieldhouse undefeated in AAAAA-Southeast conference play.
Monticello (4-18, 2-10) threw everything it had at the Falcons, trailing by only three points at the end of the first quarter, but North Pulaski emerged with their unblemished record intact after an aggressive defensive effort earned them a 70-40 win.
The Billies led three times in the opening period. Once 4-3 when Marcus Lewis finished a fast break after a North Pulaski turnover, and again 6-5 on Reggie Rayford’s putback on a shot missed by Lance Ridgell.
Ridgell gave Monticello its third lead 9-7 on a three-pointer with 3:10 to play in the period. Ryan Shaw extended the lead to 10-7 with a free throw at the 2:05 mark.
North Pulaski (21-5, 12-0) asserted itself in the halfcourt, turning two offensive rebounds into four points and adding two more points at the charity stripe to earn a 13-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter that it never relinquished again.
Monticello went four minutes without a field goal to start the second quarter as North Pulaski attacked with defensive precision. By the time Ridgell made his second three-point basket of the night with 3:05 remaining in the quarter, the Billies trailed 34-17.
James Jones knocked down a jumper with 0:32 to play before the half only to cut the Falcons' lead to 38-19.
Shaw scored four points, and Ridgell continued his long range prowess, connecting on his third three-pointer of the game to pace Monticello’s effort in the third quarter.
But North Pulaski outscored the Billies 21-11 in the period to extend its lead to 59-30 going into the fourth quarter.
Jones made three the old fashioned way on Monticello’s first possession in the final frame. He added a runner later in the quarter to account for five of Monticello’s ten points in the period.
Ridgell knocked down another three-pointer in the fourth quarter to finish the game with 12 points.