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Polk County Middle's Brianna Gray dribbles upcourt during a recent game

Girls Basketball

Effort at foul line lifts Polk Middle girls to first win of season

Polk Middle hit five-of-six free throws in the final three minutes, helping clinch a 20-18 victory over Flat Rock

A more-than-fair fourth-quarter performance at the foul line helped give Polk County Middle its first win of the season.

The Wolverines hit five-of-six free throws in the final three minutes Thursday, helping clinch a 20-18 victory over Flat Rock in a Blue Ridge Conference clash at Polk.

The Wolverines (1-3) built a five-pint halftime lead and made it stick thanks to outstanding defense and the effort at the free-throw stripe.

Leading by two, Polk County’s Caroline Taylor hit 1-of-2 free throws with 36 seconds left and Sarah Gray hit two key foul shots with 13 seconds left to give the Wolverines a 20-15 lead.

Flat Rock got a 3-pointer just before the buzzer for the final margin.

“I thought the girls fought hard and were really scrappy,” said Polk Middle head coach Brian Taylor. “We started gaining some confidence, and we played with a little bit of that confidence.

“I’m proud of their effort. We had people stepping up defensively and we had people knocking down free throws late. I thought everybody played well. I think effort was the key tonight.”

Polk grabbed a 7-4 lead at the end of the first period, then extended that margin to the five-point lead at the break as Gray hit a basket with 10 seconds left.

Taylor finished with nine points to lead Polk Middle, with Gray scoring four. Mia Bradley, Gavionna Carson and Ada Kelley each scored two while Brianna Gray had one.

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