RIVERSIDE, Mo. —Mayleigh Oder collected the defensive rebound, endured the contact and calmly sank the two ensuing free throws with less than 5 seconds on the clock at Park Hill South High School. The foul shots for the Park Hill South senior and first-year starting guard, provided a 48-43 win for the Panthers against Platte County on Thursday, Dec. 10. The Pirates won the previous matchup this season between the two in a semifinal of the Winnetonka Invitational when they scored 63 points.
Oder finished with four points but none bigger than the last two.
“I was a little nervous, but I was trying to relax,” Oder said. “Our team played great so it felt awesome to win. I wasn’t even thinking about (the free throws). I was just thinking we have to keep the ball so we can win the game.”
Park Hill South freshman forward Alecia Westbrook continued the torrid start to her career with a third double-double in five games — 21 points and 14 rebounds. The 6-foot-1 standout provided a key inside presence to counter the Pirates who are without 6-foot-3 senior forward Rachel Holden, who suffered a torn ligament in her foot in the previous matchup with Park Hill South and remained on the bench in a walking boot for the rematch.
Platte County scored 63 or more points in each of its first four games, but only one of those came without Holden. The Pirates have gone three straight games with under 60 points, two of them losses.
Platte County now goes on a hiatus and doesn’t play again until Jan. 5 vs. Park Hill.
“Alecia just took over,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “She’s a very good player. I feel like Amy Lett stepped in and did a good job on her. It was a game where we needed someone to step up, and she did. It’s before Christmas, and we still don’t have our starting post. We’ll just keep battling through it.”
Westbrook is averaging 13.7 points and rebounds through the Panthers first seven games of the season. She scored 15 of her 21 points against Platte County at the free-throw line on 15-of-23 shooting.
In the 63-52 loss to Platte County earlier in the season, Westbrook did her part with 19 points and 18 rebounds.
“After that loss, we went straight to practice and worked on everything we could,” Westbrook said. “I’m really close with a lot of (the Platte County girls). They were saying, ‘We’re going to get you again.’ And I would just say, ‘We’ll see.’ I really wanted to get the win today to get those girls back.”
Just six players scored for Park Hill South. Raquel Reid finished behind Westbrook with 13 points.
Platte County senior Lindsey Bogart scored a team-high13, including two 3-pointers, but missed a potential tying 3-point shot in the final minute that Oder rebounded before drawing the foul ahead of the game’s final two points.
Belton 51, Park Hill South 47
The Panthers’ up-and-down play continued Monday, Dec. 14 in Belton, Mo.
Park Hill South held a 13-point lead on three different occasions in the third quarter but allowed Belton a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close the gap to 38-31 entering the final 8 minutes. The Panthers continued to lead until the late stages of the fourth quarter, and a pair of free throws from Reid (10 points) put them up 45-39.
Belton responded with a 10-0 run to take the lead for good. Park Hill South went 0-for-5 from the field and committed three turnovers during that span.
Westbrook hit a pair of free throws to close Park Hill South’s deficit to 49-47, but the Pirates answered with two of their own. Oder misfired on Park Hill South’s final shot from the floor.
Park Hill South shot 21 percent from the floor and committed 19 turnovers. Westbrook led the Panthers (4-3) with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
North Kansas City 59, Platte County 45 The Pirates suffered their first loss of the season on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Platte County High School.
Both teams were coming off of championships at the Winntonka Invitational a week prior with the Hornets claiming the Cardinal Bracket — the top eight seeded teams — and the Pirates winning the Gold Bracket.
Lindsey Bogart led the scoring for Platte County with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Just five players cracked the score column for the Pirates with Rocky Chambers (nine), Ava White (nine), Lett (six) and Jaycie Stubbs (six) rounding out the scorers for the Pirates.
Platte County shot just 39 percent from the field while North Kansas City made 48 percent of its shots.
Platte County 56, Excelsior Springs 26
Coming off a pair of losses, the Pirates improved to 5-2 with an easy win Monday, Dec. 14 at Platte County High School.
Stubbs hit five 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 20 points. Platte County led 35-12 at halftime and outscored the Tigers in all four quarters.
Chambers added 15 points, while Bogart hit Platte County’s only other 3-pointer to account for her entire point total.
Platte County is finished with games until after the Christmas break.