Polk County was coming off a pair of nice District 5-AA victories over Sweetwater last Friday, but when McMinn Central showed up Tuesday evening for a league twin bill, both Charger squads arrived having just been listed among the top in the state and proceeded to show why.
With a 70-48 win over the Wildcats, the Chargers are now 16-1 on the season and ranked ninth in the first Associated Press poll of the season, while the Chargerettes, who have been to the last five TSSAA state tournaments, posted a 74-40 victory to improve to 15-3. They are listed fifth in the girl’s Class AA ranking.
Both Polk County squads are 5-12 on the season and now 1-3 in the district and will host 5-AA foe Sequoyah Friday evening.
McMinn Central jumped out to early leads in both games and steadily increased the difference throughout the contests.
The Chargers led 16-9 at the first break and led by double digits (11) at the intermission. After Polk won the third frame by a 7-6 margin, the boys from Englewood closed out the night with a 27-16 rally in the final eight minutes.
Central drained nine 3-pointers and had 11 different players get into the scoring column. Max Miller led the Chargers with 16 points, while Josh Scudder added 14 and Tim Webb drilled a trio of treys on his way to 11 points.
Polk senior Evan Ball led all scorers with 21 points, including three goals from both sides of the arc and a half dozen free throws. Derrick Weber helped out with a dozen points, while Cody Groomes drilled a pair from downtown as he finished with 10 points.
In the girls’ game, Central charged out to a 20-7 advantage at the first buzzer and was up by 22 at the half before coasting to the 34-point victory.
Emily Wilson led the way for Polk with 19 points, including hitting 8-of-10 free throws and cleaning the glass for seven rebounds.
Bella Liner helped out with a half dozen points, while Rachel Epperson added five markers and snatched three caroms. Felecia Johnson grabbed a six rebounds, while Rosa Haynes snagged four and Heather McLain three.
McMinn Central 20 15 25 14 — 74
Polk County 7 6 15 12 — 40
CHARGERETTES (74) — No individual scoring available
WILDKITTENS (55) — Emily Wilson 19, Liner 6, Epperson 5, Haynes 3, Withrow 3, McClary 2, Johnson 2, Hatcher, McLain, Lillard.
3-pointers: McMinn Central n/a; Polk 2 (Wilson, Liner).
Free throws: McMinn Central n/a; Polk 18-of-26.
Records: McMinn Central 15-3, 4-0 District 5-AA; Polk 5-12, 1-3 District 5-AA.
McMinn Central 16 21 6 27 — 70
Polk County 9 16 7 16 — 48
CHARGERS (70) — Max Miller 16, Josh Scudder 14, Tim Webb 11, Ward 7, Boyle 2, Cook 4, Harper 4, Farrar 3, Boyd 4, Holley 3, Swilley 2.
WILDCATS (48) — Evan Ball 21, Derrick Weber 12, Cody Groomes 10, Hutcheson 3, Richmond 2, Locke.
3-pointers: McMinn Central 9 (Webb 3, Scudder 2, Cook, Farrar, Holley, Miller); Polk 6 (Ball 3, Groomes 2, Hutcheson).
Free throws: McMinn Central 10-of-13; Polk 8-of-10.
Records: McMinn Central 17-1, 4-0 District 5-AA; Polk County 5-12, 1-3 District 5-AA