Polk County freshman Bailey Staton drives to the basket during the second half of Wednesday's game

Fourth-quarter surge lifts Polk girls past Madison

A fourth-quarter surge pushed Polk County to a 60-44 victory Wednesday over Madison in a non-conference girls basketball meeting at Polk.

Polk County improved to 7-5 with the win. Madison dropped to 2-12.

How it happened: Polk County built a 31-20 lead at halftime, and Charley Dusenbury opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to extend the advantage to 14 points.

But Madison began to rally, relying on its full-court pressure defense and pounding the ball inside to 6-2 senior center Ella Capps to steadly chip away at the deficit. The Patriots were able to pull within a single point, 39-38, at the end of the third quarter.

But Polk freshman Bailey Staton opened the fourth period with a 3-pointer, then hit three free throws during the next minute. Kylie Lewis scored four straight points and Staton added three more free throws as Polk surged to a 52-38 lead with 3:33 remaining.

Madison’s Sarah Ball finally tallied for the Patriots with 3:20 remaining, but Polk would never lead by less than 10 points the rest of the game.

Scoring: Staton had a career-high 29 points, including an 11-of-16 effort at the foul line.

Lewis added 13 points, with Dusenbury and Sarah Gray each scoring five. Brianna Gray finished with four points, with Kayleigh Wilson and Jayden Duncan each scoring two.

Next up: Polk County hits the road on Friday to face Owen in another non-conference game.