Mountaineers make early lead stick, top Wolverines

Polk County's Sedrick Pickett dribbles through a pair of Mitchell defenders en route to the basket during Friday's action.

Mitchell built a first-quarter lead and made it stick Friday, thwarting a handful of Polk County challenges en route to a 67-50 victory over the Wolverines in Western Highlands Conference action at Polk.

The Mountainers (3-12, 1-1) took a 20-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and never led by less than eight the rest of the night – but not without a pair of runs by the Wolverines in ths second half.

Down 38-22 at the half, Polk County (2-11, 0-3) began to rally late in the third period, pulling within 46-34 on a Jaylon Bontrager 3-pointer with 2:30 left in the third. The Mountaineers turned aside that surge and led by 17 at quarter’s end.

But the Wolverines continued to fight in the final quarter. Bontrager scored five straight points midway through the period, including another 3-pointer, to make it 55-46 with 4:24 remaining. Mitchell hit a couple of quick baskets to break Polk’s momentum, and while the Wolverines again pulled within nine with 1:57 remaining, the Mountaineers scored the final eight points of the game for the final margin.

Bontrager scoed 18 points to lead Polk County, with leading scorer Clark Phipps scoring 17 despite some first-half foul trouble.

Jason Fox added eight points, with Wilson Edwards scoring three and Peyton Dill and Markell Lipscomb each scoring two points.

Trystan Jenkins finished with 22 points and Jesse Pittman added 13 for Mitchell.

With first-semester exams beginning at Polk County, the Wolverines will next be in action on Friday, hosting Madison.