Polk County's Mia Bradley scored four points and led the Wolverines' defensive effort in Monday's win

A scrappy Patton team and a cold start from the field made Monday for a sluggish first quarter for Polk County’s girls basketball team.

The third seed in the Mountain Foothills 7 Conference Girls Basketball Tournament, the Wolverines led the sixth-seeded Panthers by just eight at the end of the opening quarter, and that due to three points in the final minute of the period.

But Polk’s defense kept Patton off the scoreboard for more than six minutes across the first and second quarters, the shooting woes dissipated and the Wolverines raced away to a 67-22 first-round home victory.

Polk County (15-9) moves into Wednesday’s tournament semifinals, where a clash with second-seed Hendersonville awaits. That game is set for 4 p.m. at Patton.

Patton (3-22) failed to click the scoreboard from the 2:21 mark of the first period until 3:33 remained in the second quarter. The Wolverines built a 25-8 lead by that point and kept that 17-point bulge until the half, leading 30-13.

Polk then ratched up the offensive pressure in the third period, with Kylie Lewis and Kiera Littlejohn controlling the lane and Bailey Staton beginning to find her range from the outside. Staton had two of her five 3-pointers in the quarter as the Wolverines pulled away to a 49-17 lead by period’s end.

Staton’s fifth 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter was her 55th of the season, matching Hayley Kropp’s single-season school record. The Polk sophomore finished with a game-high 32 points.

Lewis added 15 points, with Littlejohn scoring seven. Mia Bradley notched a handful of blocked shots and added four points, with Charley Dusenbury scoring three. Beija Olivari, Raney Tallon and Brianna Gray each added two points.