Platte County girls show off confidence on way to Winnetonka title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jaycie Stubbs showed off loads of confidence in the championship game of the Winnetonka Invitational’s gold bracket. BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Platte County freshman guard Jaycie Stubbs (21) takes a shot during the  Winnetonka Invitational gold bracket championship game on Friday, Dec. 4 at Winnetonka High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Daughter of long-time coach Chris Stubbs, Platte County’s promising freshman guard provided an instant spark for the Pirates in a 63-45 win against Oak Park, which claimed the Pirates’ first title at the tournament since winning three straight from 2007-2009. She scored six of her game-high 20 points in the first 90 seconds, finding lanes to drive to the basket.

Stubbs hit three layups as part of a 9-0 run to open the first quarter, and Platte County didn’t look back on the way to a fourth straight win to open the season.

“It was a lot of fun to be able to take them out right off the bat,” Jaycie Stubbs said. “We made a statement when we started out. The crowd was cheering us on, and it got us all really motivated. The crowd and having my dad as my coach really helps motivate me. All my teammates are really supportive.”

Stubbs poured in seven more points in the first half, including a long-range 3-point attempt from more than 25 feet out. Overall, the Pirates sank six shots from beyond the arc with Lindsey Bogart hitting three (10 points), Stubbs two and senior Koryne Mathews with one.

Platte County scored at least 63 in each of its first four games entering a Tuesday, Dec. 8 home game against North Kansas City. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Outside shooting has been improved from last year when Platte County won just eight games all season. Stubbs’ 3 from way outside in the first half made it 25-14 Pirates on the way to a 33-16 advantage at halftime.

“I know I can shoot from back there,” Jaycie Stubbs said. “I just take it. If I air ball it, I just keep shooting because I know one has to go in sooner or later. It’s something I’ve dealt with. Sometimes I’ll be off, and I won’t want to shoot again. But I just have to keep going and make the best play, keep going so I can score points.”

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Platte County sophomore guard Rocky Chambers goes up for a shot past Oak Park guard Leah Israel in the Winnetonka Invitational gold bracket championship game against Oak Park on Friday, Dec. 4 at Winnetonka High School in Kansas City, Mo. Platte County won the game 63-45 for the Pirates’ first Winnetonka championship since 2009.

Platte County also displayed a smaller, quicker rotation in the championship game with senior forward Rachel Holden out with a foot injury. Last year’s leading scorer sat on the bench after going out of the Pirates’ semifinal win.

Chris Stubbs doesn’t expect her to return until after the holiday break, possibly longer.

With Holden out, junior forward Liz Peterson stepped into a more prominent role in the post. She finished with 11 points.

“It was one of those games where it was very physical,” Chris Stubbs said. “I thought the second half we did the best job all year of boxing out. We had been really reliant on Rachel. She’s out. We figured out that, ‘Hey, somebody else has to get the rebounds.’ That’s what we did.”

Platte County sophomore guard Rocky Chambers scored four of her nine and junior guard Ava White scored six of her seven to help the Pirates start a 16-1 run in the second quarter that also included Stubbs’ 3-pointer. Oak Park never closed back within single digits, and the deficit grew to as much as 25 early in the fourth quarter.

“We try to get as many shots up, limit our turnovers and give ourselves an opportunity to score,” Chris Stubbs said. “When we’re rolling, the girls like to run, have fun and get the ball up.”

Park Hill South 62, Pembroke Hill 47

A 21-point third quarter helped the Panthers rebound in the third place-game of the Winnetonka Invitational on Friday, Dec. 4 in Kansas City, Mo.

Park Hill South sophomore guard Raquel Reid led the Panthers with 15 points to go with her four steals. Kate Eischens, another sophomore, continued her sharp shooting from 3-point range hitting three triples on the way to 11 points.

Eischens played more with senior guard Mayleigh Oder out with the flue.

“(Eischens) came in tonight and hit some big 3-pointers for us and ran the point,” Park Hill South coach Jenny Orlowski said. “She did an outstanding job. We have three seniors, but we’re a young team. To see the young kids get quality time and do good things, it’s important.”

Overall, nine players scored for Park Hill South with Grace Cunningham (eight), Ashton Gray (eight) Alecia Westbrook (seven), Leah Booth (four), Emily Dinovo (four) Nicole Gardner (three) and Kallen Mazeitis (two) rounding out the rest of the contributors. Westbrook, a standout freshman forward now in the starting lineup, also tallied 17 rebounds to total 42 for the three-game tournament. She has 68 through five games.

Platte County 63, Park Hill South 52

The Pirates made a 10-point halftime lead stand up behind balanced scoring and strong 3-point shooting in a semifinal Wednesday, Dec. 2 at Winnetonka High School.

Bogart (three), Stubbs (two) and Chambers (one) combined to hit six 3-pointers and accounted for 41 points. Platte County went up 33-23 at halftime and held on despite a slower fourth quarter to reach the title game.

Chambers led all scorers with 20, while Westbrook continued her strong play for Park Hill South with 19 points and 18 rebounds — part of a 44-37 advantage on the boards for the Panthers.

Platte County went 6-for-15 on 3s and made 21-of-28 free throws. Eischens hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Cunningham added another for Park Hill South, which went 13-for-26 at the line. Eischens finished with 10 points, the only other player for the Panthers in double figures.

Bogart notched 15 points, and Stubbs added six. White scored seven, and Peterson matched Stubbs with six.

Park Hill 61, Grandview 60, OT

The Trojans salvaged a seventh-place finish in the gold bracket with a narrow win in their third game in three days.

Park Hill (1-2) played overtime for a second straight day Thursday, Dec. 3 at Winnetonka High School but eked the place game out behind 19 points for Alex Berger. Gigi Hopkins and Morgen Smith added 11 apiece in the win.

Smith (12 rebounds) and Berger (11 rebounds) both finished with double-doubles.

Park Hill went just 10 of 22 from the free throw line but also hit five 3-pointers, including two apiece for Berger and Hannah Stout. Maliah Hudson tallied six assists for the Trojans.

Raymore-Peculiar 43, Park Hill 39

The Trojans scored just two points in overtime Wednesday, Dec. 2, unable to win the consolation semifinal matchup.

Park Hill again struggled on free throws (6-for-13), while shooting just 27 percent from the floor. Smith wound up with a team-high 12 points but made just 2 of 7 from the line. Only five players scored with Hopkins also in double figures with 10 points.

St. Joseph Lafayette 38, Park Hill 33

The Trojans stretch of three games in three days started with a loss to the top bracket’s No. 3 seed Tuesday, Dec. 1.

At halftime, Park Hill held a 20-13 lead, but the Fighting Irish limited the Trojans to just one point in a dominant third quarter. Smith led the Trojans with seven points, while Amanda Alexander, Berger and Stout finished with six apiece.

Stout and Berger hit two 3s apiece.

Other games

Park Hill 66, Oak Park 40

Four players scored in double figures, helping the Trojans pull away early Monday, Dec. 7 at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Park Hill (2-2) bolted to a 38-17 halftime lead and outscored the Lady Oakies in each of the final two quarters as well. Mackenzie Jones and Berger led the way with 13 points apiece, while Smith added 12. Hopkins rounded out the top quartet with 11 points.

After back-to-back overtime games, Park Hill enjoyed a comfortable win with seven 3-pointers — three apiece for Jones and Berger.

Grandview 54, Park Hill South 28

Westbrook scored 11 points for the Panthers in a blowout loss Monday, Dec. 7 in Grandview, Mo.

Park Hill South trailed 28-10 at halftime, scoring just five points in each of the first two quarters. The Panthers made just 10 shots from the field total and hit 7 of 14 free throws.