An early third-quarter run helped Mountain Heritage take command of Tuesday’s game with Polk County and go on to claim a 70-53 victory over the Wolverines in girls basketball action at Polk.
The Cougars (13-4, 5-0), defending state 2A champions, inched ahead to a 33-24 lead at halftime, but then forced a flurry of Polk turnovers early in the third period as part of an 11-2 run in the opening three minutes. That gave Mountain Heritage a 44-26 advantage, and the Cougars were able to keep Polk at bay the rest of the night.
The Wolverines (12-3, 3-2) held their own much of the first half. Olivia Overholt had five straight points in the first and second periods to make it a 12-9 game, then hit a 3-pointer midway through the second to pull Polk within two.
The Wolverines had early success finding Marissa Twitty open on the low post for layups, and one of those made it 21-18 before the Cougars began to pull away. Sara Muse cut the deficit to six with a jumper in the final minute, but Hannah Tipton drilled a 3-pointer just before the half to give Mountain Heritage its 33-24 edge at the break.
Overholt finished with 26 points, surpassing 500 for her career, and added five assists and three steals. Twitty had 14 points and seven rebounds while Kristen Hall grabbed 10 rebounds to go with her six points.
Tori Thompson had three points, with Muse and Kaylin Jenkins each adding two.
Tipton had 26 points for Mountain Heritage, with Hannah Ray adding 10.
Polk County steps out of Western Highlands Conference play on Wednesday, traveling to Bessemer City for a non-conference game.