Uncertain how his offense would fare after a long holiday layoff, Polk County Middle School head boys basketball coach Billy Alm hoped the Wolverine defense would set the tone in Thursday’s matchup with Rugby Middle School.
That, the Wolverines did, and then some.
Polk Middle held Rugby scoreless for nearly 11 minutes – almost the equivalent of a full half – and cruised to a 43-17 victory in Blue Ridge Middle School Conference action at Polk Middle.
Once the Raiders knocked home a 3-pointer with 1:55 left in the second quarter (and even that was their only points of the period), they didn’t score again until 5:13 remained in the fourth quarter. That scoreless span of 10:42 of game time allowed Polk County (7-0) to build a 34-8 lead before Rugby did tally.
“Our goal coming out tonight was to get the rust out offensively, play great defense and use our defense to get our offense going,” Alm said. “That worked out for us.
“Defensively we did some really good things. Offensively, we were a little rusty, but we hadn’t played since before Christmas and it’s so hard to get the rust off.”
Rusty or not, Polk County controlled the game from the outset. The Wolverines rolled to an 8-0 lead, with Holden Owens scoring the game’s first four points, and held Rugby scoreless for the first six minutes of the game. Polk County took an 11-3 lead at the end of the first before an Arnie Twitty 3-pointer started a 7-0 run that upped the Wolverine lead to 18-3. Rugby broke that streak with a basket at the 3:05 mark of the second period, then added that 3-pointer at the 1:55 mark before DJ Twitty scored twice in the final 1:42 to give the Wolverines a 24-8 halftime lead.
The 10-0 third period would then put the game out of reach for the Wolverines.
Arnie Twitty scored 13 points to lead Polk, which also got eight points from Owens and DJ Twitty.
Polk County Scoring
Arnie Twitty 13, Holden Owens 8, DJ Twitty 8, Jake Justice 6, Dillion Overholt 4, Clark Phipps 2, Rahjay Hines 2