The defending state champion Chargerettes came out swinging in the District 5-AA Basketball Jamboree, being whistled for 15 fouls in 15 minutes of play, but able to post a 22-15 victory in the exhibition.
In the boys’ action the Chargers drained a trio of long-range bombs in the final 2 1/2 minutes to pull away for a 29-21 victory.
In other action at the event, Meigs County’s girls claimed a 22-15 win over Tellico Plains, while the Bears returned the favor in the boys’ game by a 38-28 margin. Both Sequoyah teams looked strong as the Chiefs downed Sweetwater 26-21, while the Lady Chiefs blasted the Lady Wildcats 34-12.
Running a full court press to create 14 turnovers, McMinn Central’s girls raced out to a 10-1 advantage before Rosa Haynes hit the first field goal for the Wildkittens on a fast break five minutes into the contest.
That turned out to be the only shot of just four from the field made by the Polk girls as the rest of their points came from the free-throw line as they were hammered continually.
The Wildkittens hit 13-of-18 charity tosses with Nattalie Miles pumping in five and Maclain Yowarski hitting all four she attempted. Miles also pulled down four rebounds, while Yowarski snagged three.
Polk cut a double-digit deficit (13-3) to just four points (18-14) with just a minute to go, but the hosts were able to stretch the difference to seven points by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Elizabeth Masengil led Central with five points and three fouls, while a total of nine Chargettes got into the scoring column.
After each team scored just one point in the first five minutes, the Polk boys moved out to a 6-3 lead before the first of five Charger 3-pointers turned the tide.
The Wildcats pulled out of a five-point hole when Evan Ball drained back-to-back long-range bombs to briefly retake the lead.
The Chargers answered with six straight points and despite a 3 from the top of the key, plus an old-fashioned three-point play from Logan Brewer, a pair of goals from behind the arc by the home boys sealed the win.
Brewer led Polk with 10 points, while Bradley Ward and Max Miller topped Central with eight apiece.
Polk County will participate in TSSAA Hall of Fame Games next week before opening the regular season Nov. 22 against Cleveland High.