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Lauren Burleson scored a game-high 21 points in Avery's varsity girls basketball win against Polk
County last week. Photo by Serena Smith

Originally published: 2013-01-18 20:23:33
Last modified: 2013-01-18 20:28:48

Lady Vikings cages Wolverines, falls to Lady Patriots

Jamie Shell / (

Behind a game-high 21 points from junior Lauren Burleson, the Avery Lady Vikings jumped out to a quick lead and maintained momentum throughout a 76-63 win at Viking Gym on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Three nights later, Avery met a buzzsaw in Marshall, as the Madison Lady Patriots dealt the Big Red a 75-49 loss.
The first quarter of the Polk contest was closely contested, as Polk held a narrow 9-8 lead more than midway through the period. Avery began to click offensively, however, as Burleson and teammate Katie Rigdon found the shooting touch, sparking a 10-0 AHS scoring spurt to close the quarter, giving the Lady Vikings an 18-9 lead after one quarter.
The teams played evenly on the scoreboard in the second period, leaving the Big Red with a 39-30 halftime lead. Polk rallied to open the third quarter, drawing to within a single point at 41-40, but AHS answered with a pair of baskets off the bench from Kylie Polsgrove to spark a 9-0 scoring run and 54-46 lead after three periods.
Avery's starters shut the door on Polk to prevent any hope for a Wolverines upset, as senior Kelsie Clarke scored eight points, Burleson added six points and forward Haley Woody chipped in with five points to clinch the victory.
Burleson, who did not play at Hendersonville due to illness, finished with a double-double, as she pulled down 11 rebounds and added five assists and a pair of steals. Clarke finished with 13 points and five assists, with 11 points from Bre Heaton and 10 points, three rebounds and three steals by Rigdon.
Hayley Kropp paced Polk with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.
Madison built an early 14-9 lead after one quarter, but used a 26-point second quarter to extend its lead to double figures, taking a 40-28 lead into halftime.
Avery had difficulty shutting down the Patriots' shooters, as the Lady Patriots built a 55-39 advantage after three periods. MHS went on to slam the door on any hope for a Big Red comeback in the final stanza, outscoring AHS 20-10 for the 26-point victory.
Clarke paced Avery as the only player scoring double figures with 13 points. Heaton and Polsgrove each added eight points, with six points from Burleson.
The Big Red forced Madison into 22 turnovers during the contest, but was unable to convert enough extra offensive opportunities into points on the scoreboard.
Avery struggled to find the answer in defending Lady Patriots sophomore Baylea Loven, who paced Madison with 23 points. Three additional MHS players registered double figures, including Tess Harris (14), Cheyenne Bunner (12) and Lexi Ammons (12). The Lady Vikings fell to a record of 10-5 overall after the week's split, with a 4-1 mark in conference play. 
AHS traveled to Burnsville earlier this week to take on undefeated conference leader Mountain Heritage, then returns home this Friday, Jan. 18, to host rival Mitchell.