Polk controls pace, R-S Central for conference win

Midway through the third quarter of Wednesday’s game against R-S Central, up big, Polk County’s Kylie Lewis saw an opportunity.

After running down a loose ball, Lewis looked to head up the floor. Instead, she stopped in her tracks, waited a beat, and led Mia Bradley with a great outlet pass. Bradley gathered it in, took a dribble, and fired a perfect bounce pass to Charley Dusenbury, who laid it up.

The play was simple, and got a little lost in the Wolverines’ 73-33 win over the Hilltoppers. But that play, and plays like it, are just what coach Brandy Alm wanted to see.

“We want to be able to control the pace of the game, and we did a good job of that tonight,” Alm said. “We were working on our secondary break in transition, and we’re improving on that every game. Limiting our turnovers and limiting their second chance opportunities was our goal. When you can do those things, it makes life a lot easier.”

They also shared the ball. Time after time, Polk County passed up a good shot in favor of a great one.

“That’s one thing that our secondary break provides,” Alm said. “The guards have their places, and the post players have their places. They know where they’re going to go. They know they’re going to get it back. I think we’re starting to come together and that chemistry is starting to kick in. We’ve been working on it in practice. Why settle for a jump shot when you can reverse the ball and get a layup?”

The Wolverines (7-6, 2-1) made extra passes and collected easy buckets all night. Bradley had 10 assists for the game, and added 10 points. Bailey Staton played with relentless effort, pouring in 18 points as she seemed to be everywhere all at once. Dusenbury scored 12, and Kiera Littlejohn had 10 in the post.

“We had four girls in double digits tonight, and I think Kylie had seven,” Alm said. “It’s tough to beat a team that can score.”

It’s also hard to beat a team that doesn’t let you score. Polk County did a little bit of that, too, limiting the Hilltoppers (4-11, 0-3) to just four first-quarter points and 11 in the first half as they built a commanding lead. Lay Flack led all scorers with 24 points, but the Wolverines locked down everybody else.

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