Polk County looked Tuesday more like the team that head coach Brandy Alm expects to see this season.
And the Wolverines reflected that with almost a mirror image of their season-opener loss at Avery – Polk County rebounded from Friday’s 24-point loss to upend the Vikings, 51-46, in the Wolverines’ home opener.
It proved a startling turnaround in the space of four days as Polk County (1-1) scored the game’s first eight points and led much of the opening three quarters.
The Vikings (1-1) took a four-point advantage early in the fourth period, but Polk promptly rallied, regained the lead and never trailed again.
“We made some adjustments on the defensive end and we put in a new offense just based upon what they did to us on Friday,” Alm said. “And, of course, having Mia Bradley back was a huge game-changer for us, offensively and especially defensively.
“She took a charge. She does a lot of little things on the defensive end that really helps us create some offensive opportunities. We played together, we finally controlled the boards and we had a lot fewer turnovers tonight.”
Avery grabbed its four-point edge at 42-38 with just under seven minutes remaining. Bailey Staton answered with a 3-pointer, and Charley Dusenbury gave the Wolverines the lead moments later with a layup on a fast break, drawing a foul in the process. She hit that free throw to make it 44-42.
Staton followed with a layup at the 4:27 mark to up the margin to 46-42, then hit four straight free throws in the final three minutes to keep the Vikings at bay.
Staton, who finished with 23 points, scored the game’s first eight points, and Dusenbury added a 3-pointer late in the first quarter to give Polk an 11-9 edge. The Wolverines slowly inched away in the second period and took a 25-18 lead into the dressing room at halftime.
But Avery forced three quick turnovers to open the third quarter, converting each into baskets to make it 25-24. That set the stage for a tight third period and the final-quarter drama.
Dusenbury finished with nine points, with Kylie Lewis scoring five and Bradley scoring five with 10 rebounds. Kiera Littlejohn had four points, with Cate Brown scoring three and Jayden Duncan adding two.
Polk County will next be in action on Dec. 6, traveling to Madison for a non-conference game.