Polk County sent both a pesky Madison squad and its six-game losing streak unhappily into Wednesday’s warm January evening.
The Wolverines picked up their first win since Dec. 6, taking a 56-50 win over the Patriots in a non-conference boys basketball battle at Polk.
Polk improved to 4-7 with the win. Madison dropped to 3-11.
How it happened: Close games have become a norm for Polk County in the past month. In its six-game streak, the Wolverines lost four times by 10 points or fewer.
A tight matchup throughout the first half tilted in the Wolverines’ favor late in the third period, with Wayne Carson scoring a traditional three-point play and Mackus Simpson draining a 3-pointer to give Polk a 41-30 advantage at quarter’s end.
The lead was still at 10 early in the fourth period when Madison began to rally, with Abram Allison hitting two 3-pointers in a 12-4 run that cut the Polk lead to 45-42 with 5:11 remaining.
Antonio Simpson’s 3-pointer halted that surge, and another Simpson basket with 3:26 to go gave the Wolverines a 52-45 edge. Madison, though, responded with the next five points to make it 52-50 with 1:58 remaining.
That would be the end of the Patriots’ scoring as Polk’s defense and rebounding kept Madison in check. Kris Littlejohn hit 3-of-5 free throws down the stretch to secure the Wolverine win.
Scoring: Antonio Simpson had 18 points to pace Polk, with Littlejohn scoring 10 of his 14 points at the foul line.
Carson added nine points, with Mackus Simpson scoring six. Khalil Watley and Aaron Jackson each added four points and Avery Harden finished with one.
Next up: Polk County travels Friday to Owen for a non-conference meeting and a rematch of the Wolverines’ 72-62 win earlier this season.