A change of tempo allowed No. 1 North Little Rock to get back on a winning track Friday night.
Coming off Tuesday's loss at Conway, Kylon McCollugh and Collin Moore combined for 53 points and 24 rebounds as North Little Rock trounced Fort Smith Southside 92-63 in 6A-Central Conference action at Charging Wildcat Arena.
North Little Rock (14-4, 2-1) failed to shake free from the Mavericks for the game's first 14 minutes, but finished the first half by outscoring Southside 11-3. The 'Cats then outscored Southside 23-8 in the first 4:13 of the third quarter for a 65-41 advantage.
"We weren't playing with a whole lot of passion," said NLR Coach Johnny Rice, whose team outrebounded the Mavericks 41-24. "We didn't care if they beat us down the court. We didn't care if they beat us off the dribble. It was like, 'So what?' "
But McCollugh and Moore changed all that in the second half, scoring a combined 16 of the team's first 23 points of the third quarter.
McCollugh, a 6-4 senior forward, led NLR with 27 points while claiming 10 rebounds. Moore, also a 6-4 senior, scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
"They really complement each other really well," Rice said. "Collins is a guy who can wipe the glass, finish and fight for rebounds. Kylon shoots the ball really well. He's a very good offensive player. Kylon is a finese guy while Collin is more explosive."
The Mavericks (4-11, 0-3) suffered their sixth consecutive loss but were no pushovers in the first half. Southside's only lead (20-19) came in the opening minute of the second quarter when senior forward Dalton Thomas hit back-to-back shots.
Tyrese Solomon put in a layup with 2:58 remaining in the second quarter to pull the Mavericks to within 31-30, but a putback and a three-pointer by Spencer Simes ignited North Little Rock's onslaught.
"The last 29 seconds of the first half we made three crucial turnovers that they converted on," Southside Coach Charles Cooper said. "You can't do that against a team as good as North Little Rock.
"I thought we took some steps forward tonight. We went toe-to-toe with them for a little while."
Senior Taye Gatewood led Southside with 19 points. Senior Tyrese Soloman added 14 and junior Mykale Franks 11.
Sports on 01/12/2019
Print Headline: Duo dynamic as NLR bounces back