Record-setting Polowy scores 43 points for Lady Falcons in win

LeeAnn Polowy of Blair Oaks drives past NaShayla Brandt of Fulton during Monday night's game in Wardsville.

LeeAnn Polowy of Blair Oaks drives past NaShayla Brandt of Fulton during Monday night's game in Wardsville. Photo by Kris Wilson.

WARDSVILLE — LeeAnn Polowy has always enjoyed shooting at the Blair Oaks gym.

The Lady Falcons’ senior loved it Monday night.

“I like shooting on these rims a lot better than other schools,” Polowy said after pouring in a school-record 43 points in Blair Oaks’ 70-59 victory against Fulton on Monday night. “I’m just used to it. I’ve been here since kindergarten shooting on these same old rims. It’s a lot better than traveling to different places. Last week wasn’t my week, I wasn’t shooting very well.”

Blair Oaks was on the road last week at the Eugene Invitational. Home has never been sweeter for Polowy than it is against the Lady Hornets.

After tying the school record of 32 points her sophomore season against Fulton — a benchmark equaled by Sharon Verslues and Kelly Rackers — Polowy shattered the mark this time around.

“I’m just glad we got a win,” the Missouri State signee said. “It’s exciting. I have a lot of goals that I shoot for. That’s been one of them. It’s a good little milestone.”

It was Polowy’s night from the get-go.

The Blair Oaks guard hit her first four shots — including a pair of 3-pointers — while scoring 11 points in the first three minutes of the contest against Fulton’s 2-3 zone. That little barrage handed the Lady Falcons a 13-2 advantage, prompting a Fulton timeout. There’d be no more zone after that from the Lady Hornets.

“After I made that first 3 it kind of set the tone for the rest of the game,” Polowy said. “If you make your first shot you feel a lot better going into it.

Any time I see a zone I get really happy because that means I get open 3s, which doesn’t happen very often. And I’m a shooter, so it’s what I do.”

Blair Oaks seemed destined to run away with the game, opening an 18-3 advantage. Yet Fulton used a pair of late 3s to get within 21-11 after one quarter.

Fulton threw everything but the kitchen sink at Polowy, including a box-and-one defense and giving four different girls a stab at guarding Polowy man-to-man.

No dice.

“There’s always going to be a challenge. It’s just your mentality. It doesn’t matter who’s on me, I’m still going to try to get to the rack, either the get the bucket or get an assist, find a way for our team to score,” Polowy said.

Fulton crept within 23-17 on a driving layup from Sloane Totta early in the second period. Then at 28-21, it was nine straight points from Polowy — including her second pair of 3s on the night — that restored order. She owned 21 first-half points as Blair Oaks held a 40-27 halftime advantage.

After Fulton cut the deficit to 44-36 midway through the third stanza, Polowy unloaded for 11 unanswered points, handing Blair Oaks a 55-36 lead heading into the final period. The last pair of points of that 11-0 surge for Polowy came on a putback at the buzzer, giving the guard 32 points on the night.

One more point was all she needed.

It came at the 5:57 mark, as determined Polowy drove past her defender on the wing for a layup and a foul. The Blair Oaks’ student section, clearly aware she had made history, went berserk.

“Everybody was yelling at me to get it. I wont’ say what they were yelling,” Polowy said with a laugh.

With the feel-good story emanating through the gym, Fulton reminded Blair Oaks there was still eight minutes to be played. A 20-6 run from the Lady Hornets made it a 61-56 game with 1:52 left in the contest. Plenty of time left.

“We’d get that good lead and then we’d let them back in, let them back in, back and forth,” Blair Oaks head coach Leroy Bernskoetter said. “We got up by double figures how many different times, and then we just had lapses defensively. We did some good stuff at the right time.”

With Fulton threatening to pull off a miraculous comeback and spoil the party for Polowy and the Lady Falcons, it was none other than the record-setter who set the record straight.

Polowy knocked down seven free throws over the final 63 seconds to secure the victory for Blair Oaks.

“Those free throws were killing me, straight up,” Polowy quipped about her 15-of-22 night at the foul line. “If I would have made my free throws I could have had a few more points.”

Polowy finished 12-of-21 from the field, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, on her way to a mark that might stand for quite some time.

“LeeAnn just had a career night,” Bernskoetter said. “That shattered the school record.”

While no other Lady Falcon reached double digits, the rest of the squad combined to go a respectable 10-of-22 from the field.

“A couple of other girls stepped up and made some shots,” Bernskoetter said. “It was a pretty good game overall, except for we score 70 and she has 43 of it, I don’t know if that can happen every night. You don’t look for that, but when those nights happen and they’re all of a sudden just hitting their shots, you just ride it out.”

NaShayla Brandt led four Lady Hornets in double figures with 20. Baileigh Horstmeier added 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Totta and Rachel Guse added 11 apiece.

Blair Oaks (3-1) is back at home Thursday against School of the Osage.

“I’m just glad we got a win,” Polowy said.

Blair Oaks won the JV game 48-22. Cassidy Prenger paced the Lady Falcons with nine points.

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