The bright spots are becoming more frequent for Polk County head girls basketball coach Brandy Alm.
Take the second half of Wednesday’s non-conference clash with Landrum. The Wolverines actually outscored the Cardinals, ranked third in the state in this week’s South Carolina High School Basketball Coaches 2A poll, and played well for three-fourths of the latest border battle.
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But Landrum did enough damage in the second period to notch a 51-38 victory over Polk County in a non-conference matchup at Polk.
The Cardinals (18-2) led just 15-10 with 5:48 left in the second after Autumn Owen drained a 3-pointer. But Landrum fashioned a 17-4 run over the rest of the quarter, led by Ellen Boatwright, to build a 32-14 halftime advantage.
The Wolverines (1-19) regrouped and held their own over the final two periods, but got no closer than 13 points in the second half.
“In the second half we came out with some intensity and they were fighting for a win,” Alm said. “I felt like we played to win and didn’t play not to lose.
“We were more patient in our offensive sets and defensively, we were more aggressive and eliminated some of their second chance shots.”
Owen finished with 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Polk County. Mariah Overholt added eight points and five rebounds, with Haley Fowler scoring four points, Bella Marino, Willow Arkell, Taylor Newton and Karli Wood each scoring two and Ava Marino adding one.
Kaylee Huntley scored 17 points, nine of those in the third period, to lead Landrum, which also got 12 points from Bailey Butler.
Polk County returns to Western Highlands Conference play on Friday, traveling to Owen.