‘Really, really good’ Avery team defeats Polk men

Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Avery's Vikings heavily defended Polk's Jamal Wheeler (#10), but in this action, Wheeler has just stolen the ball and made an easy layup. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)

Avery’s Vikings heavily defended Polk’s Jamal Wheeler (#10), but in this action, Wheeler has just stolen the ball and made an easy layup. (Photo by Mark Schmerling)

The Wolverines fought the good fight, but Avery’s highly talented basketball team methodically ground down Polk County, 77-41, in Western Highlands Conference basketball at Columbus on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Polk fell to 1-3 in WHC competition, and 3-9 overall, with a re-match planned for this Saturday, Jan. 9 in the evening against the Cardinals at Landrum.

On Tuesday, Avery’s Vikings did it all, amassing an 18-5 lead after eight minutes.

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“They’re really, really good,” Polk’s head coach Josh McEntire observed of Avery, which upped its WHC mark to 3-0, and its overall record to 11-2.

“For two and a half quarters, we did some good things,” McEntire emphasized.

In the first half, the Wolverines used a press to help speed up the Vikings’ deliberate-paced game, “to force speed and turnovers,” he noted. “We did that at times,” he continued.

In spite of Polk’s best efforts, Avery outscored the hosts in every quarter, including taking a 32-13 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter, the Vikings built on their already sizable lead.

“After that last little run (by Avery), that was it for us,” McEntire admitted. “We didn’t have any fight in us.”

At times, when the Vikings were forced to speed up their game, they responded by scoring on fast breaks. Their withering defense forced Polk to miss nine layups, another big factor on the night.

At times, Avery missed key shots as well, but was able to grab rebounds, and make follow-up shots.

Toward the end, McEntire substituted freely.

“Some other kids got some (playing) time,” he noted, but, “That’s not the way you like to give it to them.”

Polk’s heavily-defended Jamal Wheeler was limited to just 11 points, with Jaymes Wingo adding eight.

Landrum won the first matchup of the season against Polk, 69-53. McEntire might have some tricks up his sleeve as the Wolverines visit the Cardinals this Saturday evening. Men’s action begins after the women’s game, which is set for 6:30.

Polk visited A.C. Reynolds for a non-conference game on Thursday, Jan. 7. On Friday, Jan. 15, Polk hosts Hendersonville. The game at Owen, originally set for Jan. 12, has been re-scheduled for Jan. 27.