Avery raced to an 11-point first-quarter lead Saturday and went on to hand Polk County a 54-38 defeat in junior varsity boys basketball action at Polk.
Playing for the first time in more than two weeks, the Wolverines dropped to 4-2 overall, 3-2 in Western Highlands Conference play. Both losses have been courtesy of Avery.
Trailing 16-5 at the end of the opening quarter, the Wolverines fought back early in the second period, pulling within 16-9 as Mackus Simpson drilled a jumper from the corner.
Polk missed a couple of opportunities to draw closer, and the Vikings pulled ahead to a 27-14 lead at the half.
A Simpson 3-pointer made it 30-19 midway through the third period, and Polk later got within eight as Antonio Simpson completed a three-point play late in the quarter to cut Avery’s lead to 33-25. The Vikings closed the third with a 38-27 edge.
Down 13 early in the fourth period, the Wolverines responded with a six-point spurt featuring two free throws by Mackus Simpson, a fast-break lay-in by Antonio Simpson and a putback by Avery Harden to make it 40-33 midway through the fourth.
But Avery pushed the lead back to double digits and never led by less than nine the rest of the game.
Mackus Simpson finished with 14 points, with Antonio Simpson adding 13. Vincent Twitty had four points, with Landen Bradley scoring three.
Lawson Carter and Harden each had two points for Polk, which concludes its season on Monday at home, hosting Mountain Heritage in a 4:30 p.m. game that will air on the NFHS Network.