Polk County's Wayne Carson

Cavaliers stave off determined Wolverine effort

East Rutherford fought off a determined Polk County squad Wednesday, handing the Wolverines a 71-60 setback in Mountain Foothills 7 Conference boys basketball play at Polk.

The Wolverines (6-13, 0-11) kept pace with the Cavaliers (8-14, 4-7) for much of the game. Polk took a 52-51 lead late in the third period before East’s Dacen Petty drilled a long 3-pointer just before the quarter ended, giving the Cavaliers a lead they would never relinquish.

East pulled out to a 63-56 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Polk answered with two free throws by Kris Littlejohn and a Dominique Carson basket to trim the margin to three with 3:13 remaining.

East, though, held Polk scoreless the rest of the way, closing with an 8-0 run to account for the final margin.

Neither team gained much of an advantage throughout a close first half, with a Petty three-point play with 27 seconds left giving the Cavaliers a 37-34 advantage at the half.

An uptempo third period by both squads saw Carson hit back-to-back 3-pointers early on to give the Wolverines a one-point edge. The teams then swapped the lead until Petty’s triple gave East a lead it would never lose.

Polk County closes its regular season on Friday, hosting Brevard.