Wolverines fall 61-40 in third round of state playoffs

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Polk County Wolverines run in the 2A state playoffs came to an end Friday with a 61-40 defeat against Smoky Mountain in Sylva.
After completing upsets of higher seeds in the first two rounds of the state tournament, the Wolverines came within one win of reaching the West regional finals.
The Wolverines stayed close early in the game, but began losing ground late in the first quarter. Landon Schlabach connected on a three-pointer for Polk County to tie the score at 11-11.
However, the Mustangs regained the lead and ended the first quarter up 19-14. After a couple 3-pointers early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs quickly expanded their lead. By halftime, Polk was down 35-19.
Jackson Simmons of Smoky Mountain led all scorers in the game with 18 points, including 13 in the first half. He also had 16 rebounds.
The Wolverines couldnt narrow the gap in the second half as they continued to shoot a low percentage from the field.
The Wolverines were led in scoring by junior guard Shawn Gary with 10 points. Schlabach, who scored all his points on 3-pointers, was next with nine.
The Wolverines finished with a record of 10-16 after reaching the sectionals of the state tournament.
They entered as a No. 3 seed from the Western Highlands Conference and knocked off two No. 1 seeds before falling Friday.
Polk County coach Craig Culbreth said the Bulldogs made it difficult by contesting every Polk shot on Friday, causing Polk to revert to some of its habits from earlier in the season.
The Bulldogs, 23-4, reached the Regional finals for the first time in the schools history.

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