Second-half surge carries Mitchell past Polk County varsity girls

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2019

As the maturation process continues for Polk County’s young girls basketball team, nights such as Friday will provide invaluable lessons.

The Wolverines played well against Mitchell, but the Mountaineers pulled away in the second half and survived a Polk rally to take a 54-41 win in a Western Highlands Conference battle at Polk.

Mitchell (9-6, 1-2) led by two at the half and only by three midway through the third period after an Olivia Overholt 3-pointer left the score at 30-27, Mitchell.

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But the Mountaineers turned a pair of turnovers into layups on the other end three times in the final two minutes, pulling out to a 36-29 lead by the end of the period. Another steal and layup early in the fourth pushed that advantage to 10.

Polk County then rallied, with Overholt scoring five points on back-to-back possessions to cut the Mountaineer lead to five. That would be as close as the Wolverines would get, however, as Mitchell held Polk scoreless for the next two minutes and pushed the lead back to double digits.

But with a lineup dominated this season by freshmen and sophomores, Polk County head coach Brandy Alm still found plenty to be pleased with in the loss.

“I feel like we’re growing each and every game, and that’s what I want to see,” Alm said. “Defensively, we played well, and we controlled the boards. We just had some good shots that didn’t fall when we needed them.”

Helping Polk was Mitchell’s struggles at the foul line. The Mountaineers were 13-of-33 at the stripe compared to Polk’s 6-of-11 effort.

Overholt had a season-high 20 points with five rebounds to lead Polk County, with Marissa Twitty scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Kristen Hall had seven points, with Ansley Lynch adding two points and six rebounds and Tori Thompson scoring two points with five assists.

The Wolverines will get a break in the week ahead before returning to the court on Thursday, hosting Brevard in a nonconference clash.

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