Polk girls dominate from start to finish in home finale

Polk County's Bella Marino finds a path to the basket during Tuesday's win.

On one early possession Tuesday night, Polk County passed the ball around the perimeter, pushed it inside, then kicked it back out for an Autumn Owen 3-pointer from the perimeter.

It’s the type of ball movement that head coach Brandy Alm has been preaching all season – and it paid off nicely for the Wolverines.

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As did nearly everything else in Polk County’s final home game of the¬†year, the Wolverines getting key contributions from their entire roster in a 61-46 win over Hendersonville in a Western Highlands Conference matchup.

Owen unofficially matched her career high with 31 points as Polk County won for just the second time this season. But if ever a victory could be labeled a team win, this one was it, a bright spot in a season that hasn’t had enough of them for the Wolverines.

Polk County (2-20, 1-11) opened a 20-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, stretched it to 33-12 by halftime and never led by less than 15 in the final two quarters, a welcome way to bid farewell to both the Bearcats (1-17, 1-11) as conference rivals and a large home crowd who cheered from start to finish.

“We executed our game plan and played great,” Alm said. “We moved the ball well offensively. We were a lot more patient in our halfcourt set than we have been. We made very smart decisions on the offensive end as far as knowing when to drive and when to pull the ball back out.”

All nine Wolverines offered key contributions. Among them:

* Owen, who had 17 points in the first half and hit scored both inside and outside. She also had four rebounds.

* Haley Fowler, who had seven first-quarter points and ignited a 15-2 run in the final 3:50 of the quarter with a pair of steals and baskets. Fowler finished with 12 points.

* Taylor Newton, who scored four points and grabbed eight rebounds and helped slow Hendersonville’s inside attack

* Anna McFadden, who drew two charges against Hendersonville’s Sekaya Canady, the second slowing Canady after she scored 11 points in the third period.

And you could point out Mariah Overholt, Ava Marino, Bella Marino, Willow Arkell and Karli Wood. All played a role in the win.

“The biggest thing I’m proudest of in the game is how well they played together,” Alm said. “It was a fun game to coach.”

Overholt had seven points, Wood had three and Arkell and Ava Marino each had two for the Wolverines, who travel Wednesday to Madison for their conference and regular-season finale.