GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cards’ early sizzling shooting sparks win over Wolverines

Published 11:49 am Monday, December 11, 2023

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A 3-pointer dropped. Then another. Then another.

Landrum couldn’t miss from beyond the arc in Friday’s first quarter at Polk County. The Cardinals didn’t miss many inside the stripe, either.

The shooting display largely left Polk County searching for a moral victory, and that the Wolverines got, more than holding its own in the second half of the 62-44 loss to the Cardinals.

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Landrum more than backed the quality of its 7-1 start to this season. Four different Cardinals hit 3-pointers, accounting for 18 of Landrum’s first 22 points. A barrage of three straight threes turned a 13-7 advantage into a 22-7 gap, and the Cardinals led 28-9 by the end of the first quarter.

Shots continued to fall in the second quarter as Landrum’s offense flowed freely, the Cardinals building a 50-21 lead by the half.

But give Polk County credit – the Wolverines returned from the dressing room and began to regain the footing knocked askew by the Cardinals’ sizzling start. Landrum’s starters played a good bit in the second half, but shots didn’t fall quite as often and the Wolverines began to rebound well. Polk held Landrum to just 12 second-half points.

“After the first quarter, I told them, look, they can’t continue to shoot 90 percent from the floor,” said Polk County head coach Brandy Alm. “They were hitting everything and that just took the wind of our sails.

“I think the third and fourth quarter says a lot about our team. We never gave up. That’s why I love this team. We never quit, we never give up.”

Bailey Staton finished with 17 points to lead Polk County, with Mia Bradley adding 11. Kiera Littlejohn had nine points, with Kylie Lewis scoring three and Charley Dusenbury and Jayden Duncan each scoring two.

Kylie Fortner led Landrum with 18 points, with Sarah Price scoring 17 and Savannah Brown adding 14.

Polk County will begin its Mountain Foothills 7 Conference schedule on Friday, the Wolverines traveling to Patton for the league opener.