State-ranked Central ‘shocks’ Polk County
by By SARALYN NORKUS Sports Writer
Feb 17, 2013 | 516 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POLK COUNTY’S Bryce Coffey (14) manages to get a shot off against the McMinn Central defense. Banner Photo, SARALYN NORKUS
POLK COUNTY’S Bryce Coffey (14) manages to get a shot off against the McMinn Central defense. Banner Photo, SARALYN NORKUS
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ATHENS — Both McMinn Central squads demonstrated why they hold the number one spot in District 5-AA as they easily charged past both the boys and girls of Polk County.

The Wildkittens (6-21) suffered a harsh 72-28 loss to the third-ranked Chargerettes (24-3), while the Wildcats (7-22) faced a similar fate with a 73-37 loss to the 11th-ranked Chargers (25-3).

Both Polk County squads will return to the McMinn County High School gym Monday to play for third place in the consolation games.

McMinn Central came out hot from the start of the girls’ game, ending the first period up 19-1.

"I guess the thing is turnovers for us and not hitting easy shots in the beginning of the game. We had some opportunities, had some layups, but we just didn't convert on them,” Wildkitten head coach Johnny Hayes said. “When you get those chances you have to take advantage of them and score. We didn't do that and it got out of hand early."

The Chargerettes added 20 more points to their lead during the second period, ending the first half up 39-12.

The Wildkittens, who were playing without their top scorer Emily Wilson, who was injured in Thursday evening’s play-in game against Sweetwater, were unable to stage a comeback in the second half. In the third period Polk County was only able to add five points to their scoreboard.

"We've just got to play a lot better than what we've been playing," Hayes stated.

McMinn Central finished off the game with a decisive 72-28 win over Polk County.

Miss Tennessee Basketball nominee Elizabeth Masengil led the Chargerettes with a game-high 21 points.

Riley Hatcher topped the Wildkittens with eight points, while Heather McLain added a half dozen.

The Wildkittens will take on Meigs County this Monday at 6 p.m. for a consolation game.

CHARGERS 72

WILDCATS 37

The Wildcats started out their game against the Chargers on a positive note, as they were the first team to register any points on the board.

McMinn Central would quickly work to take the lead, and once they got it, Polk County would never catch up.

By the end of the first period the Wildcats were trailing the Chargers 16-10, and an underdog comeback was still quite a possibility.

"The first quarter we came out pretty good. We got some opportunities but we just couldn't finish," Polk head coach Rusty Brewer stated.

McMinn Central squashed any potential upset in the second period by adding 20 more points to the board, ending the first half ahead 36-18.

The second half stayed in the Chargers favor, with the top-seeded team out scoring their arch rivals 37-19 in the final 16 points for 35-point victory.

"You have to play well to compete with a team like that. They're 25 wins for a reason. We had to come out and play well, had to shoot the ball well, had to do a better job on the boards and it just didn't happen tonight," Brewer explained.

Cody Groomes topped the Wildcats effort with 10 points, while Evan Ball and Chandler Hutcheson netted eight apiece.

Max Miller and Tim Webb ripped the chords for 16 points each, while Bradley Ward netted 13 for the Chargers.

Polk County will battle Sequoyah for third place Monday at 7:30 p.m.

GAME SUMMARIES

Girls

Polk County 1 11 5 11 — 28

McMinn Central 19 20 18 15 — 72

WILDKITTENS (28) — Hatcher 8, McLain 6, Lillard 5, McClary 4, Liner 2, Withrow 2, Haynes 1, Johnson, Wilson, Stewart, Epperson, Hutcheson.

LADY CHARGERS (72) — Elizabeth Masengil 21, Kelsey Young 10, Morrow 9, P. Williams 6, Aikins 5, S. Williams 4, Gray 4, J. Young 3, Tillman 3, Trentham 3, Coleman 2, Casteel 2, Trulove.

3-point goals: Polk 2 (Hatcher, Lillard); McMinn Central 4 (Morrow 3, J. Young).

Free throws: Polk 8-of-9; McMinn Central 16-of-28.

Records: Polk Co. 6-21; McMinn Central 24-3

Boys

Polk County 10 8 12 7 — 37

McMinn Central 16 20 18 19 — 73

WILDCATS (48) — Cody Groomes 10, Hutcheson 8, Ball 8, Dev. Weber 3, Richmond 2, Coffey 2, Locke 2, Keith, Cross.

CHARGERS (40) — Max Miller 16, Tim Webb 16, Bradley Ward 13, Holley 8, Saidder 6, Haper 5, Farrar 4, Bull, Cook, Boyd, Swilley, Baker.

3-point goals: Polk 4 (Ball 2, Groomes 2); McMinn Central 5 (Saidder 2, Webb, Harper, Farrar).

Free throws: Polk 11-of-20; McMinn Central 12-of-21.

Records: Polk County 7-22; McMinn Central 25-3.