Polk County girls basketball coach Brandy Alm had a halftime message Monday for her Wolverines – rebound, keep looking to score inside and find a way to slow down Bessemer City’s Janiya Adams.
Mission accomplished on all fronts.
Polk County kept Adams in check in the second half and took a 50-37 victory over Bessemer City in a non-conference game at Polk.
The Wolverines (3-1) held a 28-25 advantage at the break, with Adams scoring 12 first-half points, including a running jumper just before the halftime buzzer.
But the Yellow Jacket freshman managed just a single free throw in the final two quarters as Polk’s defense made her a focus of its efforts.
“I felt like we cleaned up things in the second half,” Alm said. “We controlled their leading scorer more. We didn’t control the boards in the first half, and I told them at halftime they had to start boxing out. We did a much better job of that in the second half.”
Polk pushed the lead to 10 points midway through the third period, but Bessemer City (1-4) cut the gap to six with 6:01 left in the fourth. The Wolverines hit three straight layups, though – one from Marissa Twitty in a halfcourt set and two from Sara Muse in transition – to up the lead back to 46-34 with 3:57 to go.
Muse and Olivia Overholt each had 14 points and Twitty had 10.
“We tried to create our inside/outide game and we did a pretty good job of that,” Alm said. “We were running the court, opening up the passing lanes and hitting the big guys inside.”
Kristen Hall had eight points and Tori Thompson and Rachael Davis each added two for Polk. Overholt finished with eight rebounds and six steals, with Hall and Kaylin Jenkins each grabbing six rebounds. Muse added four steals.
Polk County returns to the court on Tuesday, hosting Piedmont Community Charter in another non-conference game.