Competitive conference play highlights season for Polk JV girls

Polk County's Kaylin Jenkins drives to the basket during a recent game (Jane Ollis photo).

A 44-39 loss Monday night in its season finale didn’t deter from what has been a successful season for Polk County’s junior varsity girls basketball squad.

With Madison not having a JV girl’s squad, Polk County’s trip to Mitchell ended its regular season with a 7-9 record. The Wolverines were competitive in nearly every Western Highlands Conference game.

“Avery is the only team we’ve played this year that I thought had better skill, quicker speed, and more experience than our girls,” said Polk County head coach Dr. Amber Thompson. “Even with our conference losses, I feel this team has been competitive in shooting, rebounding and game execution all season long.

“Our shooting percentage dropped slightly after break going into conference play. We were shooting a team average of 37 percent before the Christmas break. With exams, weather and rescheduling of games, we were not able to be in the gym as much as we normally would have for shooting practice. Even with this midseason slump, we ended our conference play with a team average 31 percent from the field.”

Close losses to traditional conference power Mountain Heritage in both meetings indicated that good things could be in store for the group when they join the Polk County varsity program. Not including Avery’s scores, this team averaged only a seven-point differential in games that ended in a loss.

Marissa Twitty led the team in scoring and rebounding (Jane Ollis photo)

“Our motto this season came from 2 Timothy 4:7: ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’ We began and ended every game with the word finish,” Thompson said. “I believe these girls did finish this year.

“The only thing I would want to change about this season is foul shot attempts. In conference play, our opponents averaged 17.6 foul shot attempts per game, whereas we only had an average of 11.5 foul shot attempts. In close games like we had this year, missed calls and skewed shooting foul calls can decide the game. In some cases, such as the Mountain Heritage game, our opponents had more than twice the foul shot attempts was we did.

“No matter what, we still played to the finish. Everyone on the team contributed this year.”

Thompson noted that highlights of the year included all team members scoring in the North Buncombe game, an overtime matchup with Cherokee and balanced statistical performance.

The team averaged 34 points per game, with 18.33 steals or forced turnovers, 23 rebounds, nine assists and 46 field goal attempts per game.

Individual averages are listed below:

Alana Jergenson – 50 pts. total; Per game averages: 3.57 points, 3.5 steals, 2.5 rebounds, 1 assist

Amy Chupp – 32 pts. total; Per game averages: 2 points, 1 steal, 5 rebounds, .15 assist

Anna McFadden – 29 pts. total; Per game averages:1.93 points, 1.75 steals, 2.25 rebounds, .5 assist

Emily Prince – 21 pts. total; Per game averages: 2 points, 2.75 steals, 1 rebound, 1.88 assists

Emmie McDowell – 100 pts. total; Per game averages: 6.25 points, 3.25 steals, 1.5 rebound, 1.5 assists, Double digit scoring in 4 games

Hannah Jenne – 20 pts. total; Per game averages: 1.88 points, 1 steals, 2 rebounds, .25 assists

Kaylin Jenkins- 76 pts. total; Per game averages: 5 points, 1 steals, 2 rebounds, .75 assists, Career High in Owen game of 23 points

Kiri Ashley – 15 pts. total; Per game averages: 1 points, 1.5 steals, 3.25 rebounds, .75 assists

Marissa Twitty- 102 pts. total; Per game averages: 6.38 points, 1.25 steals, 5.75 rebounds, .25 assists, Highest scorer, rebounder for the season

Savannah Parris – 43 pts. total; Per game averages: 2.86 points, 1.33 steals, 1.5 rebounds, 1.25 assists

Partial season players before moving to varsity:

Jenifer Guerrero – 23 pts. total

Makayla Staley – 24 pts. total

Paulina Harden – 13 pts. total