Staff Photo by Gabriel Garcia
Sweetwaterâ€™s Courtney Greene drives from the wing for a layup.
|Published: 4:19 PM, 02/19/2013
Author: Gabriel Garcia
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
ATHENS â€“ The Sweetwater girls basketball teamâ€™s long, hard season is finally at an end.
The No. 5-seeded Lady Wildcats could not find the basket, and fourth-seeded Polk County coasted to a 52-20 win in the first round of the District 5-AA tournament Thursday at McMinn County High School in Athens.
Despite going 1-27 in a season derailed after the injury to standout Raven Jefford, Sweetwater coach Chris Shillings has no regrets about the way his team played.
â€śThey are the grittiest girls team Iâ€™ve ever had,â€ť he said. â€śTheyâ€™ll play with anybody down on the floor no matter the score. Theyâ€™ve given everything, and I respect that 100 percent. Iâ€™m glad I had every one of those girls.â€ť
The Lady Wildcats briefly led 6-2 after two early 3-pointers from Betsy Mashburn and Mandalyn McNabb. But Polk Countyâ€™s leading scorer Emily Wilson single-handedly kept pace with Sweetwater, scoring the Lady Wildkittensâ€™ first nine points, including seven straight capped by a trey to put her team up for good.
Wilson put Polk County up 18-8 shortly after the start of the second quarter for the last of her 13 points, but she injured her ankle on the next play and did not return to the game.
It didnâ€™t help Sweetwater any.
Courtney Greeneâ€™s driving layup to briefly cut the margin to 18-10 were the last two points the Lady Wildcats would score until near the end of the third quarter. Meanwhile, Polk County steadily increased its margin, leading 42-10 late in the third quarter before Mashburnâ€™s layup finally broke Sweetwaterâ€™s scoring drought.
Rachel Epperson took over the lead scoring duties for the Lady Wildkittens, netting all 11 of her points after the injury to her teammate Wilson.
POLK COUNTY 52, SWEETWATER 20
S 8 2 2 8 â€” 20
PC 16 9 17 10 â€” 52
SWEETWATER: Courtney Greene 2, Betsy Mashburn 9, Mandalyn McNabb 3, Rachel Thomasson 4, Macala Rasmussen 2
POLK COUNTY: Isabella Liner 7, Riley Hatcher 9, Emily Wilson 13, Heather McClain 4, MiKayla McClary 2, Shelby Lillard 2, Rachel Epperson 11, Rosa Haynes 4
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