Staff Photo by Gabriel Garcia
Sweetwater’s Matt Spencer (13) drives for a layup against Polk County’s Cody Groomes (21) in the first-round District 5-AA tournament game Thursday at McMinn County High School in Athens.
|Published: 4:18 PM, 02/19/2013
Author: Gabriel Garcia
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
ATHENS â€“ Too many missed shots and one of their best scorers in foul trouble doomed the Sweetwater boys basketball team and ended their season in the first round of the District 5-AA tournament.
Fourth-seeded Polk County won the Wildcat fight against fifth-seeded Sweetwater for the third time this season, this time coming out on top 48-42 despite Sweetwater scoring the first eight points of Thursdayâ€™s contest at McMinn County High School in Athens.
â€śWe started out strong, but basketball is one of those games when youâ€™ve got to be consistent and hit shots at the end,â€ť said Sweetwater coach Chris Shillings, whose team finishes with a 5-23 record. â€śWe didnâ€™t hit our shots at the end.â€ť
Sweetwater wanted to establish senior Brandon Clark in the post early, and it did. Clark scored eight of his teamâ€™s first 12 points in staking Sweetwater to a 12-4 lead.
But Polk County responded with a 7-0 run, fueled by a trey from Will Richmond. Tyler Wilson briefly gave Sweetwater some of its cushion back with two straight makes â€” one after a steal â€” but Polk Countyâ€™s Devin Weber struck right back in transition before the first-quarter buzzer to cut Sweetwaterâ€™s tenuous lead to 16-13.
Polk County took the lead for good with two consecutive triples to start the second quarter from Evan Ball and Richmond, igniting a 13-1 run.
Wilson got Sweetwater back to within 26-22 with a 3-pointer of his own, but he picked up his third foul right before halftime. The senior then picked up his fourth foul on a loose ball seconds into the third quarter and sat out for much of the second half.
â€śTyler, when he got in foul trouble, thatâ€™s been the scenario all year,â€ť Shillings said. â€śHeâ€™s a great offensive player, and when we donâ€™t have him on the floor it hurts us.â€ť
Sweetwater managed to stay in striking distance a few times in the second half with Wilson on the bench, cutting the Polk County lead to 32-29 at one point in the third quarter and never falling behind by more than 10 points.
But Polk County hit 10 of 13 foul shots as a team in the fourth quarter, and despite seven points in that final stanza and two treys from Seth Battle, Sweetwater could not sustain a rally and seriously threaten.
POLK COUNTY 48, SWEETWATER 42
S 16 6 9 11 â€” 42
PC 13 15 10 10 â€” 48
SWEETWATER: Nick Wicker 3, Tyler Watson 7, Andrew Barr 1, Matt Spencer 3, Jordan Davis 2, Seth Battle 11, Brandon Clark 15
POLK COUNTY: Chandler Hutcheson 4, Evan Ball 13, Cody Groomes 13, Will Richmond 13, Devin Weber 5
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