This one felt like a victory that Polk County Middle’s boys basketball team well deserved.
A season of hard work finally delivered a reward Monday as the Wolverines topped Brevard Middle 34-26, earning the Wolverines their first win of the season in their regular-season home finale.
On a day when the team honored its eighth graders, some of the younger Wolverines made certain those elder teammates wouldn’t go a season without a home win. Sixth grader Gunnar Alm scored 11 points and seventh graders Wyatt Cooley and Avery Hardin helped eighth grader Chandler Burnett control the boards.
“It feels amazing,” said Polk Middle head coach DeShane Briscoe. “The guys have fought all season long. They came to every practice, and to get a win for the eighth graders in their last home game is amazing.”
Polk Middle pulled ahead to a 22-14 lead in the third period during a run in which Alm buried a 3-pointer, Elijah Barnes hit a free throw and Cooley converted a rebound.
Brevard closed the deficit to 22-19 at period’s end, and the fourth period largely turned into a free-throw shooting contest. The Blue Devils trailed just 25-22 with 2:32 left when Cooley grabbed a rebound and scored, drawing a foul as he did.
Conley hit the free throw to complete the three-point play and put Polk up by six. Alm and Kris Littlejohn hit 5-of-8 free throws in the final two minutes to help the Wolverines seal the win.
“The biggest key to getting the win was controlling the boards,” Briscoe said. “Two seventh graders, Avery and Wyatt, really stepped up and showed some leadership.”
Barnes, Cooley and Littlejohn each had five points, with Cole Pereira scoring four, Hardin adding two and Burnett and Lawson Carter each scoring one.
Polk County Middle wraps up its season on Thursday, traveling to Rugby Middle.