Postseason heats up in February for Polk winter sports teams

Published 11:56 am Monday, February 5, 2024

March Madness can wait for a bit – it’s time for February Frenzy.

Postseason action awaits all North Carolina winter sports this month, with basketball kicking off its playoffs at month’s end while indoor track and wrestling conclude their seasons by the middle of the month.

Polk County will have a postseason presence in all three sports. Here’s a look at what’s ahead for each:

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BASKETBALL: Two weeks remain in the 2023-24 regular season for Polk County, with the Wolverines slated to celebrate Senior Night in the season finale on Feb. 15 at home against Brevard.

The Mountain Foothills 7 Conference Tournament will follow, with seeding for the state playoffs taking place on Feb. 24 and the first round of games set for Feb. 27.

Barring a collapse in the final two weeks, Polk County’s girls team should be in position to earn a first-round 1A playoff game. Remember that the Wolverines can be seeded like a conference champion with a .500 or better record, and Polk is assured of that despite Friday’s upset loss at R-S Central.

The Wolverines currently project as the ninth seed in the 1A West. North Rowam projects as the eighth seed and is five spots ahead of Polk County in the 1A West RPI. That may be too large a gap for the Wolverines to overcome, but a No. 9 seed would still mean at least one home playoff date.

The Polk County boys will likely need to win the MF7 tourney to earn a playoff spot. Currently 44th in the 1A West RPI, climbing to the top 32 to earn a wild-card berth in the final two weeks is likely a task too tall to conquer.

 

INDOOR TRACK: The state 1A/2A Indoor Track and Field State Championships are set for Saturday morning at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem.

The state meet kicks off at 9 a.m.

Karsyn Huskey stands as Polk County’s best hope for a podium finish. Huskey’s top time of 3:14.53 in the 1000 meters puts her well into the top 10 across the state, as does her 500-meter time of 1:24.71.

Polk County’s 4×800-meter boys relay team could also crack the podium as the Wolverines currently have the seventh-fastest team at 9:02.35.

Full seeding times and qualifiers will be released later this week.

 

WRESTLING: It should be quite a two-day affair in Robbinsville as the 1A West Regional kicks off Friday evening.

The regional at Robbinsville High School is loaded with talent, with wrestlers from state runner-up Avery present as well as those from the host school and Alleghany. And, of course, Polk County.

The Wolverines will take a strong contingent of wrestlers to Robbinsville for the regional, which begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. Two rounds of competition will be held Friday, with the final day of action beginning Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Polk will be led by Efrain Rivera (40-1, 106), Brody Wolfe (27-14, 113), Zalen McCraw (40-7, 175) and Jadyn Virgil (36-4, 215) as well as a handful of others who could crack the top four at the regional and earn a trip to Greensboro for the state tournament on Feb. 15-17.