Stingy and steady won the race Tuesday for Polk County Middle.
The Wolverines fashioned a solid defensive effort, never allowing Smoky Mountain Middle to lead en route to a 39-20 victory in a Blue Ridge Conference girls basketball clash.
Polk (1-1) scored the first eight points in its home opener, six of those by Sofie Abrahamsen, and never allowed that advantage to slip away. The Wolverines’ defense had much to do with that, not allowing Smoky Mountain to score more than six points in any quarter.
“Our defense was a lot better tonight,” said Polk Middle head coach Michelle Fagan. “We were more dialed in defensively.”
Polk also had success working the ball inside, with Amiyah Waters scoring a team-high 14 points, all of those in the paint. Reeve Carroll added 13 points.
“I felt like were in the right spots offensively, much more so than last game,” Fagan said. “We had a great effort. We’ve just got to hit our layups and finish a little bit better.”
Polk led 10-6 after the first quarter and began to steadily pull away in the second. Carroll had a steal and layup to open the second period, Waters scored on a rebound and Carroll drilled a 3-pointer to help push Polk to a 17-8 advantage. The lead stood at 19-12 at the half.
Carroll and Waters then helped spark an 8-2 run in the third quarter, allowing the Wolverines to build a 27-14 advantage. Honesty Jackson canned a short jumper to open the final quarter and the Wolverines raced away to the final margin.
Abrahamsen finished with six points, with Jackson, Kenzie Alm and Camdyn Isreal-Garrett each scoring two.
Polk Middle returns to the court on Thursday, hosting Apple Valley Middle in a 4:30 p.m. tip.