BENTON — Friday night marked the final District 5-AA game of the regular season for Polk County.
The night was split between the teams, with the Wildkittens topping the Lady Wildcats 50-33 and the Sweetwater Wildcats narrowly defeating the home ‘Cats 45-41.
The Wildkittens (10-14, 3-5) got off on a strong start against the Lady Wildcats (1-26, 0-8), taking a 16-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The momentum stayed in Polk’s favor in the second quarter, with the Wildkittens outscoring the Lady Wildcats 19-11 to close out the first half.
Sweetwater was able to slow up Wildkittens’ offense in the third, outscoring them 11-9.
A stronger quarter by the Lady Wildcats wasn’t enough to take away the lead from Polk, who led 44-29 going into the fourth quarter.
Both teams struggled to get points on the board in the final eight minutes of the game, but with another six points scored the Wildkittens closed out the game with a 17 point win.
Mikayla McClary led Polk with 18 points, three rebounds and three steals. She also hit a trio of treys in the game.
Hannah Withrow finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and one steal, while Heather McLain had nine points, nine rebounds and a steal of her own.
Felecia Johnson led the team in assists with five, while Bella Liner had three assists.
The Wildkittens were 9-for-14 at the charity stripe.
SWEETWATER 45, POLK COUNTY 41
Polk County fell just five points short of getting a much needed district win in their final District 5-AA game of the season.
Sweetwater netted 18 points in the opening quarter, while Polk trailed by eight points.
The home team was able to hold the visiting Wildcats to just eight points in the second quarter, but were unable to take advantage of the opportunity and added only seven points to their score.
Trailing 26-17 at the start of the second half, Polk saw Sweetwater outscore them 12-6, increasing the Big Red’s deficit to 15 points.
Polk was able to spring to life in the final eight minutes of play, netting 18 points to Sweetwater’s 7.
The late surge wasn’t enough to steal the win though, as the visiting Wildcats took the game by four points.
Cody Groomes led Polk in scoring with 13 points, which included three 3-pointers.
Gage Locke finished the night with 11 points.
Polk County was 5-for-7 from the free throw line.
Monday marks the last regular season game for Polk County, who will travel to North Carolina to take on Hiwassee Dam.
Sweetwater 7 11 11 4 — 33
Polk County 16 19 9 6 — 50
LADY WILDCATS (33) — Mandalyn McNabb 13, Betsy Mashburn 10, Davidson 5, Greene 3, Rasmussen 2.
WILDKITTENS (50) — Mikayla McClary 18, Hannah Withrow 12, McLain 9, Liner 7, Johnson 4, Davis, Waldroup, Trew, Muller.
3-point goals: Polk County 5 (McClary 3, Johnson, Liner).
Records: Polk County 10-14, 3-5 District 5-AA; Sweetwater 1-26, 0-8 District 5-AA.
Sweetwater 18 8 12 7 — 45
Polk County 10 7 6 18 — 41
SWEETWATER (45) — Matt Stiles 17, Terrel Johnson 12, Allen 7, A. Thaxton 5, Hill 4, D. Thaxton.
POLK COUNTY (41)— Cody Groomes 13, Gage Locke 11, Weber 8, Richmond 5, Cross 2, Sipe, Ownbey, Coffey, Wimberley.
3-point goals: Sweetwater 1 (A. Thaxton); Polk County 4 (Groomes 3, Richmond).
Records: Polk County 6-19, 0-8 District 5-AA; Sweetwater 6-21, 2-6 District 5-AA.