’Cats, ’Kittens struggle in District 5-AA openers
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Dec 08, 2013 | 385 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POLK COUNTY’S CODY GROOMES (21) attempts to block a shot by Sequoyah’s Braden Strickland as Bryce Coffey (14) looks on during Friday evening’s District 5-AA game. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
POLK COUNTY’S CODY GROOMES (21) attempts to block a shot by Sequoyah’s Braden Strickland as Bryce Coffey (14) looks on during Friday evening’s District 5-AA game. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
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BENTON — They say when it rains it pours, and on a rainy Friday night in Benton, that age-old adage proved true for both Polk County Basketball teams.

In their first District 5-AA matchup of the season, both teams were dropped by visiting Sequoyah.

The Wildkittens lost 36-17 to the Lady Chiefs, while the Wildcats suffered a staggering 51-21 loss to the Chiefs.

For the Polk girls, the evening started out on a positive note as they were able to hold the Lady Chiefs to just three points in the first quarter while scoring eight of their own.

The second quarter marked the changeover in the game, as Sequoyah came back to score 12 points to Polk’s lone basket scored by Whitney Hutcheson.

Trailing by five points at the half, the Polk County was unable to stage a comeback in the third quarter.

While the Lady Chiefs once again finished with 12 points, the Wildkittens were only able to three free-throws and a basket in the third quarter.

Polk County saw their 27-15 deficit only increase in the fourth quarter, as Shakori Pirkle netted the only basket for her team in the fourth with only 1:47 remaining in the game.

“Anytime you score two points in the second, five in the third, and two in the fourth you don’t stand a chance. You’ve got to score points to win. They put a lot of pressure on us and I think that gets to our heads sometimes,” Wildkittens head coach Johnny Hayes said. “I was happy that we were able to hold them to 36 points. Defensively we could’ve been better, but I thought we played halfway decent. We’ve just got to learn how to knock some shots down and score when we have opportunities.”

The Wildkittens had 16 turnovers in their first district game and hit only 7-of-23 of their 2-point shots.

“We’ve got to have some breakdowns. You’ve got to break them down and then that releases you on the perimeter to get some easier shots. We’ve got to penetrate more and get some easier shots in the bucket,” Hayes commented.

Heather McLain led the Wildkittens in scoring with six points.

The Wildkittens will travel north to Tellico Plains on Tuesday for a rematch with the Lady Bears, who beat them 73-37 on Nov. 12.

“They whipped us in the hall of fame game so we’re looking to do a lot better than we did that first time,” Hayes said.

CHIEFS 51, WILDCATS 21

Things didn’t go much better for the Wildcats Friday evening, as they fell to the Chiefs by a 30-point deficit.

“They did what we thought they were going to do and we just didn’t handle it, it’s as simple as that,” head coach Rusty Brewer said.“You’ve got to show up and execute. You’ve got to do the little things to win and we’re not doing that right now.”

The Polk County boys suffered the same issues as the Wildkittens, and were unable to get many points on the board in 32 minutes of play.

The first quarter ended with both teams tied 6-6, but the Chiefs were able to take the lead by the end of the first half after scoring 14 points, while the Wildcats only points came from a basket by Gage Locke.

After the half, Sequoyah continued their barrage on the net, scoring 21 points in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth.

The Wildcats were unable to find an answer to their offensive issues, and scored eight points in the third and five points in the fourth quarter.

Polk County went 11-for-13 from the free throw line, while Sequoyah went 7-for-12.

Cody Frerichs led the Wildcats in scoring with five points.

Polk County will hope to quell their recent string of losses when they travel to Tellico Plains on Tuesday.

In their meeting on the Nov. 12 hall of fame game the Bears handed the Wildcats a 63-46 loss.

GAME SUMMARIES

GIRLS

Sequoyah 3 12 12 9 — 36

Polk County 8 2 5 2 — 17

LADY CHIEFS (36) — Simpson 8, Ingram 7, Atchley 7, Whited 6, Haymes 4, Isbill 2, Welsham 2, Miller, Moses, Davidson, Hall, Walker.

WILDKITTENS (17) —McLain 6, Hutcheson 4 , Withrow 3, McClary 2, Pirkle 2, Liner, Davis, Johnson, Lillard.

FREE THROWS: Sequoyah 3-of-14; Polk 3-of-6.

RECORDS: Polk County 5-3, 0-1 District 5-AA; Sequoyah 6-3, 1-0.

BOYS

Sequoyah 6 14 21 10 — 51

Polk County 6 2 8 5 — 21

CHIEFS (51) — Taylor Hawkins 12, Braden Strickland 10, Schaffer 8, Abernathy 6, Phillips 3, McCrary 3, T. Strickland 2, Hampton 2, Russell 1, Moore.

WILDCATS (21) — Frerichs 5, Locke 4, Rogers 4, Sipe 3, Coffey 3, Wimberley 1, Ownbey, Groomes, Cross, Richmond.

3-POINTERS: Sequoyah 3 (Schaffer 2, McCrary).

FREE THROWS: Sequoyah 7-of-12; Polk 11-of-13.

RECORDS: Polk County 2-6, 0-1 District 5-AA; Sequoyah 4-4, 1-0