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Luke Wotell finds space inside to score two of his team-high 18 points during Avery's 73-52 win
over Polk County last week. Photo by Serena Smith



Originally published: 2013-01-18 20:16:24
Last modified: 2013-01-18 20:31:21

Vikings blows out Wolverines, handles Madison in conference showdowns

Jamie Shell / (sports@averyjournal.com)

When healthy and scoring the basketball, the Avery varsity boys basketball team is a dangerous foe for any opponent. Polk County witnessed firsthand the premise become reality as the Big Red routed the Wolverines 73-52 in front of the home crowd at Viking Gym on Tuesday, Jan. 8. 
Avery traveled three days later to Marshall to take on Madison. A difficult place for the Big Red to earn a road win through the years, AHS pulled out a 50-41 win to improve its conference mark to 2-3.
In Jan. 8's win against Polk, Luke Wotell set the pace with a team-high 18 points, in addition to grabbing four rebounds. Dylan Bauer added 11 points, six rebounds and a pair of steals, while Shea Buchanan, returning from illness that forced him out of the team's previous game at Hendersonville, poured in 11 points, with three assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds. Chance Watson was a juggernaut on both ends of the floor as he scored eight points, grabbed nine rebounds (five offensive) and blocked a game-high five shots. Teammate James Stewart chipped in with eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in the win.
Alec Philpott paced Polk with 12 points.Avery jumped to an early 8-0 advantage in the opening period en route to a commanding 15-5 lead after the first eight minutes of action. Polk chipped away at the Vikings' lead early in the second quarter behind a pair of three-pointers from Philpott, but the Vikings answered with four points each from Buchanan, Watson and Wotell to boost the AHS advantage to 31-20 at halftime.
Avery opened the third period with a 7-0 scoring run to extend its lead to 18 points and effectively take control of the contest for good as it led by 15 points entering the final quarter. The Big Red finished with a flurry, as seven different Vikings players chipped in with points in the final stanza to hold Polk at bay and earn the decisive 21-point win.
"The Polk game was our best offensive effort of the year, while playing great defense in the first half," Vikings head coach Scott Polsgrove said. "Our rebounding continues to be a concern, but we did a great job out-rebounding them by 13. Luke Wotell had his best scoring game, scoring both inside and outside, and Chance Watson had a great overall game."
Avery played a more defensive contest as it traveled to take on Madison, earning the victory in a low-scoring affair. The Vikings used a 17-5 fourth-quarter scoring spurt to pull away and pick up the conference win.
Ty Polsgrove led the Big Red with 14 points, nine of which were scored in the fourth quarter, including five free throws. Wotell chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds, while teammate Payton Lowery scored 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the floor.
"This was a great team win. We competed very well in the fourth quarter in a tough atmosphere," Polsgrove explained. "The team is learning to play hard and is doing a great job sharing the basketball. I am really proud of the progress this team has made, and we area getting solid leadership from our only senior, point guard Shea Buchanan."
AHS traveled earlier this week to play Mountain Heritage, and hosts Mitchell this Friday, Jan. 18, in Viking Gym.