It took a quarter Tuesday night for Polk County to score 16 points. It took almost three more for the Wolverines to score their next 16.
That type of math usually adds up to a less-than-desirable outcome.
So it was for Polk in its regular-season home finale as Mitchell took advantage of the Wolverines’ woes to post a 52-37 Western Highlands Conference victory.
Polk head coach Brandy Alm suggested she might stop her review of the game film after the first quarter, which would be more than understandable. The Wolverines (13-6, 4-4) looked sharp in the first eight minutes, rebounding, running the floor and getting open inside for layups.
Polk grabbed an early 10-5 edge, pushed that to 13-5 on a Sara Muse 3-pointer and led by 10 late in the period before taking a 16-8 edge at quarter’s end.
But with Polk starters Olivia Overholt and Kristen Hall battling foul trouble and the Wolverines suddenly struggling to score, Mitchell (14-5, 6-2) began to slowly slice away at its deficit. The Mountaineers completed the comeback and took a lead with 1:56 left in the half before Shea Laws drained a 3-pointer with 1:32 remaining to give Mitchell a 24-20 advantage at the break.
“We got in a little bit of foul trouble and we just didn’t execute,” Alm said. “We played hard, and we did a lot of really good things. We couldn’t put the ball in the basket.
“They played more half-court trap (after the first quarter) and applied more pressure, but I thought we were able to handle it. We moved the ball around, but just didn’t score.”
The Wolverines trailed by seven, 32-25, late in the third period when Overholt picked up her fourth foul. Hall garnered her third shortly thereafter and Mitchell took advantage, building the lead to 37-27 by quarter’s end.
Polk finally scored its 16th point of the final three quarters in the final four minutes of the game.
Overholt had 12 points, five rebounds and four steals to lead Polk County, with Marissa Twitty finishing with eight points and 12 rebounds. Emmie McDowell had seven points, with Hall scoring three and hauling down seven rebounds.
Muse had three points, with Rachael Davis and Kaylin Jenkins each adding two.
Polk County’s game at Bessemer City on Wednesday has been cancelled, so the Wolverines will return to the court on Thursday, traveling to Mountain Heritage for a game rescheduled from Friday.