A veteran, talented Polk County Middle School boys basketball squad will cause some headaches this season for the Blue Ridge Middle School Conference.
Canton Middle School learned that the hard way on Monday.
Arnie Twitty scored 13 points and Holden Owens added 11 as the Wolverines built a 26-8 halftime lead en route to a 49-29 win in the season opener for both schools at Polk Middle.
After a slow start that saw the game tied at 3 with three minutes left in the first quarter, Polk County (1-0) scored 23 of the next 28 points in a nine-minute span. Many of those points came in the paint, either on rebounds or driving layups, as the Wolverines put both their ball-handling skills and height advantage to good use.
Up 11-5 at the end of the first period, Polk extended that lead to 15-5 on two baskets by Twitty. DJ Twitty then matched a Canton basket with one of his own, and Owens scored off a rebound to extend the lead to 19-7. After a Canton free throw at the 2:15 mark, the Wolverines reeled off the final eight points of the quarter, those coming on baskets by Dillion Overholt, Arnie Twitty and two from Kendal Wilkins to give Polk its halftime cushion.
“We’re developing as a team,” said Polk Middle head boys basketball coach Billy Alm. “We’re struggling with the little things, but we don’t want to be in midseason form. We want to win the first three or four games, then build on that and keep building so that we’ll be at full strength for the conference tournament.”
The Wolverines scored 19 points in the third period, extending the lead to 45-19, before Canton rallied in the fourth period for the final margin.
“We did what we supposed to do, which was win by 20 or 30 points,” Alm said.
Polk County Scoring
Arnie Twitty 13, Holden Owens 11, Kendal Wilkins 8, DJ Twitty 5, Dillion Overholt 5, Jake Justice 2, Jaylon Bontrager 2, Wilson Edwards 2, Markel Lipscomb 1