Wolverines end basketball season on a loss

Published 11:01 am Monday, February 22, 2016

Polk County’s men’s varsity scored an upset over Owen, before bowing to Avery County, 73-62, on Feb. 19 in the final round of the Western Highlands Conference basketball tournament.

Going into Friday’s contest, the Wolverines had won just seven games on the season, while Avery’s Vikings were 12-0 in the WHC.

Avery took command early, building a 30-12 lead after one quarter, but Polk fought back, outscoring the Vikings 12-8 in the second period, and 18-13 in the third, to cut the hosts’ lead to 51-42.

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Polk’s Jamal Wheeler scored 34, to lead everyone, with teammates Wes Mullis (12), Daniel Painter (nine), Derek Overholt (four) and Holden Owens (three) chipping in. Jacob Waldroop led the Vikings with 25.

On Feb. 17, the Wolverines turned it on to trip Owen, 74-63, at Avery, to advance to the Feb. 19 contest.

Outscoring the Warhorses, 12-11, 29-21 and 20-10, in the first, second and fourth quarters, respectively made it happen. It was Polk’s seventh win overall of the season, after going just 3-9 in the WHC’s regular season. Owen had come into that game at 9-3 in the WHC, but it was Polk who played like a 9-3 squad.

Leading the Wolverines was Mullis with 21 points, followed by Wheeler (20), Overholt (11), Jaylon Bontrager (eight), Davis Derkach (six), Owens (five) and Painter (three).

The loss to Avery marked the end of the season for the Wolverines, as spring sports are about to open.