Polk County’s Kanye Staley, center

Ahead of key week, Wolverines romp past Vikings

Polk County delivered the perfect tuneup Saturday for a big week ahead.

The Wolverines exploded for 26 points in the second quarter, steadily pulling away from Avery for a 70-48 victory in a boys basketball matchup at Polk.

Polk County improved to 6-2 overall, 5-2 in Western Highlands Conference play, and clinched the first winning regular season for the program since the 2011-12 season.

The Wolverines remain squarely in the hunt for the WHC’s top 1A seed and automatic playoff berth. Polk County hosts undefeated Mountain Heritage on Monday, then travels to Mitchell on Wednesday for a game that will likely decide the winner of the automatic berth. Polk then concludes its season on Friday at Madison.

Avery (0-12, 0-9) kept pace with Polk in the first period and trailed just 22-18 early in the second quarter before the Wolverines began to dominate on both ends of the floor.

Dominique Carson hit a pull-up jumper on a fast break, Chan Barber scored off an offensive rebounds and Tyler Staley hit a 3-pointer to put the Wolverines up 29-18 with 4:41 left in the half and leading Avery to call a timeout.

That break did little to slow Polk, which repeatedly limited Avery to one shot on the Vikings’ end of the floor while finding easy baskets in its half. Barber and Staley hit layups and Carson followed with a baseline jumper to stretch the margin to 35-18 before an Avery basket stopped the run.

Shaq Wingo followed with a three-point play for a 38-20 lead, then the Wolverines followed an Avery basket with three straight buckets, those on a Carson layup, a Bryson Edwards putback and a Kris Littlejohn steal and layup, that flurry giving Polk a 44-22 lead at the half.

Seven different Wolverines scored in the second period.

Polk continued to stretch the lead in the second half, the lead surpassing 30 points before Avery rallied in the waning minutes for the final margin.

Carson had 14 points, Staley had 13 and Wesley Royster had 10 to lead Polk County. Barber had eight points, with Edwards, Brett Bagwell and Kanye Staley each scoring six.

Littlejohn had four points and Wingo had three for the Wolverines.