The items not easily visible on the scoresheet provided the most satisfaction Monday for Polk County basketball coach Brandy Alm.
Rebounding, defense, effort – those were the areas that Alm cited as vital to the Wolverines’ 63-34 victory over Patton in the opening round of the Mountain Foothills 7 Conference Basketball Tournament.
Polk County (13-10) advances to Wednesday’s semifinals, where the Wolverines will face top-seeded Hendersonville at Hendersonville in a 7 p.m. matchup.
The Wolverines never trailed in the game, breaking an early 3-3 tie and rolling to a 17-8 lead at the end of the first period. Mia Bradley hit two 3-pointers as part of her eight first-quarter points.
A Kylie Lewis basket to open the second quarter pushed the Polk lead into double digits, and it stayed there the rest of the night. The Wolverines scored the first eight points of the quarter, building a 25-8 advantage, and led 31-16 at the half.
“We did a lot of the little things really well,” Alm said. “We controlled the boards, and that was a big thing, and we played solid defense.
“They played hard, they played tough, they ran our transition game well. We keep improving, and we’re looking forward to the challenge of Wednesday.”
Bradley finished with 24 points, with Lewis adding 16 and Bailey Staton scoring 12. Charley Dusenbury, Sarah Gray and Gavionna Carson each scored three points while Kayleigh Wilson scored two.
Freshman Karson Pinkerton led Patton (4-20) with 14 points.