The Wildcats and Wildkittens each defeated Murphy, N.C., in the event’s opening round, but then fell to Hayesville, N.C., in the semifinals. The Benton squads then battled Gordon Lee (Ga.) Saturday in the event’s consolation finals, but once again came out on the short end for fourth-place finishes in the eight-team competition.
A big fourth quarter rallied the Lady Trojans to a 51-45 victory, while the Gordon Lee boys were able to claim a 59-40 win.
The Polk County squads will be back to regular season play Friday with a trip to Decatur to face former District 5-AA member and longtime rival Meigs County. The girls game will tip off at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow around 7:30.
The Wildkittens (7-7) claimed an early lead in Saturday’s girls’ consolation game, leading 14-10 at the first horn. Coach Johnny Hayes’ felines saw their advantage cut in half (26-24) by the intermission, but were able to inch back up by another point (36-33) by the end of the third frame.
Gordon Lee made a late charge and doubled-up the Polk scoring in the final eight minutes with an 18-9 run to claim the six-point finale.
Katelyn Lee topped all scorers with 25 points, while her Lady Trojan teammate Sarah Meadows netted 15.
The Polk girls were paced by Bella Liner’s 20-point effort, which included a trio of 3-pointers and 5-of-6 free throws.
Heather McLain and Mikayla McClary pitched in with 11 and 10 points respectively. Hannah Withrow was the chairwoman of the boards with a dozen rebounds, while McLain cleaned the glass for a half dozen ricochets for the Wildkittens. McClary pulled down four caroms, copped four steals and went 4-for-4 at the free-throw line. Polk County was 13-of-15 at the charity stripe in the contest.
In the boys’ contest, Cody Groomes finished off an all-tournament team performance with a dozen points, including a pair of long-range bombs, plus he snagged five rebounds.
Devin Weber and Gage Locke both netted 10 points for the Wildcats (3-12), while Bryce Coffey added four, plus cleared five caroms. Will Richmond only netted one basket but handed out four assists and grabbed four boards.
Gordon Lee (5-6) was paced by 15 points apiece from all-tournament selection Samuel Welsh and Garrett McAllister. McAllister drilled a trio of treys, while Welsh netted a pair.
Bearettes fall to
S.C. state runner-up
DORMAN, S.C. — Battling in the semifinals of the Dorman Christmas Classic, the Bradley Central Bearettes came up short to the defending South Carolina state runner-up and host Dorman High School squad Saturday evening.
Falling to 10-4 on the season, head coach Jason Reuter’s squad came out on the short end of a 44-37 tally, posting their lowest offensive output of the season.
The Bearettes will take on Parkview, a 2,800-enrollment school out of Lilburn, Ga., in today’s third-place contest at the eight-team event.
Bradley will return to Jim Smiddy Arena to take on Girls Preparatory School on Jan. 6.
(No individual details of Saturday’s game were available by press time.)
Polk County 14 12 10 9 — 45
Gordon Lee, Ga. 10 14 9 18 — 51
WILDKITTENS (45) — Bella Liner 20, Heather McLain 11, Mikayla McClary 10, Johnson 4, Waldroup, Davis, Miracle.
LADY TROJANS (51) — Katelyn Lee 25, Sarah Meadows 15, M. Lee 7, Holcomb 2, Holland 2.
3-point goals: Polk County 4 (Liner 3, McLain); Gordon Lee n/a.
Free Throws: Polk County 13-of-15; Gordon Lee n/a.
Records: Polk County 7-7; Gordon Lee n/a.
Polk County 6 8 11 15 — 40
Gordon Lee, Ga. n/a n/a n/a n/a — 59
WILDCATS (40) — Cody Groomes 12, Devin Weber 10, Gage Locke 10, Coffey 4, Cross 2, Richmond 2, Wimberley, Sipe, Frerichs.
TROJANS (59) — Samuel Welsh 15, Garrett McAllister 15, Norton 5, Howard 5, Armour 5, Wright 4, Oneal 4, Cawan 3, Wooden 3.
3-point goals: Polk County 2 (Groomes 2); Gordon Lee 7 (McAllister 3, Welsh 2, Wooden, Howard).
Free Throws: Polk 2-of-7; Gordon Lee 14-26.
Records: Polk County 3-12; Gordon Lee 5-6.