Polk girls win 2nd straight
by From Staff Reports
Dec 31, 2012 | 638 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HIAWASSEE, Ga. — In what coach Johnny Hayes hopes is a sign of good things to come, his Polk County Wildkittens equaled their win total from the season’s first 13 games with back-to-back wins to close out the annual Battle of the States over the weekend.

Also now 4-11 on the campaign, the Polk County boys didn’t fair as well, dropping their finale 73-43 to Gordon Lee (Ga.) in the same tournament Saturday.

The Benton squads will return to District 5-AA action Friday evening, as Sweetwater comes calling for a pair of varsity games starting at 6 p.m.

After struggling to just a pair of wins before Christmas, the Wildkittens dropped their Battle of the States opener to Union County, Ga., but then bounced back with wins over a pair of North Carolina squads from Murphy and Hayesville.

After a 72-49 win over Murphy Friday, coach Hayes’ ’Kittens rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to capture a 44-41 victory over Hayesville on Saturday.

In a very low-scoring opening eight minutes, Hayesville held a 7-3 edge at the first buzzer and then increased its advantage to 20-15 at the half.

The girls from Benton battled back to even the score at 28-all heading into the final period and then outscored their Tar Heel opponents 16-13 in the final frame.

Emily Wilson led the offensive attack for the Wildkittens with 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, plus she pulled down four rebounds.

Riley Hatcher drilled 3-of-5 long-range bombs for nine points and copped a pair of steals in the victory. Rosa Haynes helped out with seven points and snatched five caroms, while Rachel Epperson also netted seven markers and pulled down a couple of board.

Makayla McClary went 5-of-6 at the free-throw line and grabbed a pair of rebounds, while Felecia Johnson cleaned the glass for a half dozen caroms for the victors.

Polk sank 6-of-12 3-pointers in the contest, but was just 7-for-27 from the two-point area and only 12-of-20 at the free throw line.

In the boys action, Gordon Lee raced out to a 13-3 advantage by the first horn and then tacked on 52 more points over the next 16 minutes of play to put the game away.

Cody Groomes drilled four 3-pointers and went 3-for-5 from the free-throw line on his way to a team-high 15 points to pace the Wildcats.

Gage Locke helped out with 11 points, while Derrick Weber netted eight.

Senior Evan Ball captured all-tournament honors and finished with seven point.

Daniel Brooks was the only one of 11 Gordon Lee scorers to reach double figures as he netted a game-high 24 points, including a trio of treys.

Game Summaries


Polk County 4 11 13 16 — 44

Murphy, N.C. 7 13 8 13 — 41

WILDKITTENS (44) — Emily Wilson 16, Riley Hatcher 9, Rachel Epperson 7, Rosa Haynes 7, Makayla McClary 5, Johnson.

LADY YELLOW JACKETS (41) — No individual results available.

3-pointers: Polk 7 (Wilson 5 Haynes 2).

Free throws: Polk 12-of-20.

Records: Polk 4-11.


Gordon Lee 13 22 30 8 — 73

Polk County 3 19 12 9 — 43

TROJANS (48) — Daniel Brooks 24, McAllister 9, Wright 7, Crabtree 6, L. O’Neal 6, Armour 6, Wilson 4, Royal 4, Welsh 4, C. O’Neal 3, Lewis 2.

WILDCATS (45) — Cody Groomes 15, Gage Locke 11, Derrick Weber 8, Evan Ball 7, Bryce Coffey 3, Devin Weber 1, Hutcheson, Richmond, Keith.

3-pointers: Gordon Lee 7 (Brooks 3, Crabtree 2, McAllister, Wilson); Polk 5 (Groomes 4, Ball).

Free throws: Gordon Lee 14-of-19: Polk 16-of-24.

Records: Polk County 4-11.