Olivia Overholt led Polk County with 13 points in the win over Piedmont Community Charter

Defense fuels Polk runaway win over Piedmont Charter

Polk County ratched up its defensive pressure Tuesday and ran away from Piedmont Community Charter.

The Wolverines finished with 22 steals, many of those fueling transition layups, to hand the Patriots a 60-26 setback at Polk.

Polk County improved to 4-1, matching its best start since the 2014-15 season, with Piedmont falling to 3-6.

The Wolverines lead 13-9 early in the second period when a five-point possession sparked a Polk rally. Emmie McDowell scored on a rebound, drawing a foul. McDowell’s free throw bounced awry, but Sara Muse grabbed the rebound, scored and also drew a foul. Muse hit the foul shot to make it 18-9.

McDowell followed seconds later with a nice pass in transition to Muse, who scored the layup for a 20-9 lead, and the Wolverines added the final six points of the quarter to lead 26-9 at the half.

Piedmont finally snapped a scoreless drought of more than six minutes early in the third, but Polk’s relentless pressure continued to lead to turnovers and points and the Wolverines continued to build the margin until the final whistle.

“We didn’t allow them to have easy shots,” said Polk County head coach Brandy Alm. “We contested everything and we played aggressively.

“We changed up our defense a little bit and I feel like we controlled the boards. We executed and did the little things that we’ve been working on.”

Olivia Overholt had 13 points, six rebounds and five assists for Polk County, with Muse scoring 11 and recording five steals. Marissa Twitty had nine points and eight rebounds, with Tori Thompson scoring seven points and notching five steals.

McDowell had eight points, with Rachael Davis and Alana Jergenson each scoring four. Kristen Hall and Kaylin Jenkins each had two points, with Jenkins adding five steals.