Basketball returns in full force Tuesday in Polk County.
All of the county’s high school and middle school teams will be in action and all will be at home. Polk County hosts Avery in Western Highlands Conference high school play while Flat Rock Middle visits Polk County Middle in Blue Ridge Middle School Conference action.
For Polk County’s varsity boys, the first game of 2016 will be a challenge, as Avery (10-2, 2-0) enters ranked as the top 1A team in the state in the MaxPreps computer rankings. The Vikings are led by senior Jacon Waldroop (14.9 ppg) and junior Jeffery Puckett (12.3 ppg).
The game marks the start of a tough four-game swing for Polk County (3-8, 1-2), which travels to Reynolds on Wednesday, then Landrum on Saturday before a week off for exams ends with a home game against Hendersonville on Jan. 15.
For Polk County’s girls (6-5, 1-2), the matchup with Avery (7-5, 1-1) offers a chance for the Wolverines to continue their solid play of last week, when Polk knocked off previously undefeated Rosman to win the Blue Ridge division of the Wells Fargo WNC Holiday Classic.
Avery enters with wins in three of its last four games. The Vikings are led by 5-6 freshman Heaven Nelson, who is averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Senior Jessica Hoilman adds eight points and six rebounds per game.
Polk Middle’s boys (0-5) will look to build upon their final pre-Christmas game, a 46-37 loss to Hendersonville Middle.
Flat Rock (0-5) enters also looking for its first win as well as consistent offense, the Eagles averaging just 14.4 points per game.
Polk Middle’s girls squad (2-3) brings a two-game winning streak into its matchup with Flat Rock (2-3). The Eagles also won two straight before dropping a 54-29 decision to Brevard Middle in their final pre-holiday game.
High school junior varsity play begins at 4 p.m., with varsity action starting around 6:30 p.m., while middle school action begins at 4;30 p.m.