Polk loses tight battle to Hendersonville, headed to regionals

Published 11:59 pm Monday, February 17, 2014

Scores of 19-19, 34-34 and 43-43 is how the men’s basketball game between the Wolverines and the Hendersonville Bearcats stood at the end of the first three quarters, respectively, last Friday, Feb. 14 at Hendersonville.

Polk’s Anthony Carson goes up for 2 points against Hendersonville. The Bearcats squeaked by Polk, 57-50. (photo by Mark Schmerling)

Polk’s Anthony Carson goes up for 2 points against Hendersonville. The Bearcats squeaked by Polk, 57-50. (photo by Mark Schmerling)

Hendersonville escaped its own court with a 57-50 win in a game that neither team deserved to lose.

Polk dropped to 6-14 overall, and 2-9 in the conference, with the conference tournament beginning today (Tuesday, Feb. 18), at Hendersonville.

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Among the differences, Polk Coach Josh McEntire said, “With the score 53-50 (Polk led, 48-47 just prior to that), we had three straight possessions where the ball went in and out.”

He said if those shots had gone through the net, it would have been Polk’s game.

The other difference was the Bearcat’s 6’7” center, Cody Westmoreland, whom Polk contained almost well enough. Westmoreland was unable to break the game open, thanks to Polk’s tenacious defense, but “he did just enough to beat us,” said McEntire.

“Both teams played well,” McEntire said. “Both teams played hard. They had a couple more shots drop in than we did. We played well on defense. We just couldn’t get the shots to drop.”

Westmoreland gave Hendersonville the early lead, by going two-for-two from the foul line to open the game’s scoring. In fact, both teams shot well from the line in the first half. The Bearcats went up 5-0, before Anthony Carson scored two on a lay-up. A Bearcat bucket later, Jordan Smith put in two points to keep Polk closer. Carson hit two points to trim the Bearcats’ lead to 8-6. Polk went up, 15-12, and 19-15 in the first period, but Hendersonville tied it before the buzzer.

Second-quarter action was much the same, with neither team able to lead by more than five points. Neither team could open much of a lead in the third quarter, either, as Carson’s bucket to give Polk a 43-41 lead, was matched by Hendersonville, with eight minutes to go in the game.

Westmoreland’s goal opened fourth quarter action, making it 45-43. Shortly after, Jamal Tanner nailed a three-pointer to put Polk ahead 48-47, but that was Polk’s last lead of the night.

Polk will compete in the Western Highlands Conference tournament this week, at Hendersonville.