Playing shorthanded again, Platte County built up a big lead only to see inexperience and tired legs combine to create a frantic finish.
Platte County led by as many as 13 in the second half of a Suburban Conference Blue Division matchup with Belton on Thursday, Feb. 4 but ended up settling for a 61-60 win at Platte County High School. Platte County managed to stop a two-game losing streak and move back above .500 despite dealing with more absences.
Starting with senior forward Rachel Holden’s broken nose suffered against Smithville in an Oak Park Invitational semifinal, four of five starters and a half dozen players overall have missed time for Platte County, creating inconsistency in playing time, rotations and confidence.
“It seems like I don’t know who I have until literally game day,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “We have some pieces. It’s just the chemistry is starting to come back together. We talked before the game that if we can get back to how we played over the summer or before Christmas, we’ll be fine.”
Rockey Chambers scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the first half, helping Platte County build a 10-point lead at halftime.
Jaycie Stubbs’ second 3-pointer put Belton’s deficit at 13 with 5 minutes, 54 seconds to go. Belton began to ratchet up the pressure defense, and 3-pointer from Sydney Bandy with 1:12 remaining trimmed Platte County’s lead to 56-55.
Playing without Holden and key reserve Ava White (illness), Platte County also saw Liz Peterson foul out of her first game back after missing time with a head injury. Her fifth came on a rebound situation after Chambers missed a free throw trying to put Platte County up two possessions.
Amy Lett and Lindsey Bogart each split a pair of free throws in the final 41.7 seconds, and a 3-pointer for Belton’s Courtnie Lewis in the final seconds ultimately meant nothing. She cut the lead to one, but the final second ticked off the clock without an inbounds pass.
Lewis finished with a game-high 31 points — 10 in the second quarter, eight in the third quarter and 13 in the fourth quarter.
“We all come together pretty well, in my opinion,” said Bogart, who scored six points and hit a big 3-pointer in the third quarter but missed some of the fourth quarter with a bloody nose. “It’s been difficult for sure. We’ve dealt with a lot of adversity throughout my four years. We started from the bottom freshman year, so we’re still working hard for every win we can get.”
Platte County entered off of a 57-17 Blue Division loss to Kearney and another blowout defeat at Raymore-Peculiar earlier in the week.
The win against Belton improved Platte County to 3-1 in league play with Chris Stubbs still shuffling his lineups. Chambers scored 10 of Platte County’s first 17 points, fueling a 10-0 run spanning the end of the first quarter and start of the second quarter.
Jaycie Stubbs, who finished with 13 points, hit her first 3-pointer to extend Platte County’s lead to 23-11.
Koryne Matthews, back in the starting lineup with Holden out, added a 3 from the right corner to push Platte County’s lead back out to 10 at 28-18, and Belton went into the half down 32-22. Chambers struggled on offense to open the second half, which created the opening needed for Belton to make its first run.
Foul trouble increased the issues, forcing Chris Stubbs to play his starters more while also getting significant minutes from reserves Lett, Hannah Valentine and Janessa Barmann — all three normally deeper bench options when Platte County is at full strength.
“(Chambers) and Jaycie should both be getting more rest,” Chris Stubbs. “They just get tired. We don’t have those subs we normally do.”
Belton cut the lead to 39-33 before Chambers scored in the third quarter.
Bogart added her 3-pointer with 1:12 to go in the frame to re-establish a double-digit lead at 46-36. The wild runs weren’t finished even after Stubbs’ step-back 3 with just under 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Turnovers helped Belton climb within six, prompting a timeout from Chris Stubbs, and Platte County threw it away out of the stoppage leading to a quick prayer jump shot from the right baseline for Molly Chevalier that put Belton within 54-50.
The key basket for Platte County came with Jaycie Stubbs driving around a Peterson screen that flattened a Belton defender. The help came, and Stubbs hit Chambers for a layup to make it 58-55. drawing a foul on th eplay, Chambers then missed the free throw, leading Peterson to foul out and making Platte County sweat out the final 41 seconds of a critical matchup.
“Win by one or win by 50 — a win’s a win,” Bogart said.
Grandview 72, Platte County 47
The Pirates dropped to 9-9 overall and sit tied with Belton for third in the Blue Division after a loss Monday, Feb. 8 in Grandview, Mo.
Grandview, unbeaten in league play, jumped to a big lead early and cruised. The Bulldogs were up 34-14 at halftime and put up 19 points in each of the final two quarters.
Chambers scored 13 for Platte County while Bogart added 10.
Park Hill 51, Truman 49
The Trojans overcame a five-point deficit in the final 5 minutes, scoring the tying and winning points in the last 20 seconds Monday, Feb. 8 in Independence, Mo.
Entering with losses in five of the past six, Park Hill took a 37-36 lead after the third quarter, limiting the Patriots to just nine points in the frame. Truman found itself back up 45-39 with 5 minutes to play. Morgen Smith (team-high 13 points) tied the score at 49 with 20 seconds to play, and senior Amanda Alexander (12 points) hit the winning shot just before the buzzer.
Alexander and Alex Berger (nine points) hit two 3s apiece.
Liberty 67, Park Hill South 27
The Panthers scored just three points, one field goal and a free throw, in the second half of a blowout loss Monday, Feb. 8 in Liberty, Mo.
Down 30-24 at halftime, Park Hill South ended up outscored 26-2 in the third quarter with coach Jenny Orlowksi picking up a technical foul and Liberty’s Morgan Fleming hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The running clock was on for the entire fourth quarter.
There were 22 fouls — 11 on each team — called in the first half, and Liberty made it into the bonus with nearly 2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Blue Jays ended up only shooting 13-for-25 from the line.
Alecia Westbrook led Park Hill South with nine points.
Kearney 49, Park Hill 44
The Trojans went 0-3 in the Northtown Classic last week, unable to mount a comeback in the fifth-place game Friday, Feb. 5 in North Kansas City, Mo.
Trailing 27-17 at halftime, Park Hill scored 27 points in the second half and ended up wtih six 3-pointers — two apiece for Alexander, Berger and Gigi Hopkins. The Trojans also shot 14-for-21 on free throws, attempting and making more than Kearney.
Hopkins, Alexander and Taiya Shelby finished with 10 points apiece, while Berger and Smith added six apiece. Park Hill made just 12 shots from the floor total.
St. Joseph Central 39, Park Hill 37
After limiting the Indians to 10 first-half points, Park Hill ended up with a loss in its second pool game Tuesday, Feb. 2 in North Kansas City, Mo.
Berger and Smith scored 11 points apiece and helped the Trojans build an 18-10 halftime lead, but Central fought back behind three 3-pointers for Jaelyn Haggard. The Indians led by one entering the fourth quarter and survived the final eight minutes.
Kearney 54, Park Hill South 51
The Panthers went two-and-out in the Northtown Classic, squandering a 27-15 halftime lead in a consolation bracket game Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Kearney took the lead back with two free throws on its first possession of the fourth quarter, but despite shooting 29 percent from the floor, Park Hill South fought back to tie the score at 43-43. Raquel Reid’s 3-pointer moments later put the Panthers up 46-45.
Park Hill South led once more, but a 6-0 run late provided the difference. Grace Cunningham’s 3-pointer late only cut the deficit in half, and she finished with 11 points.
Westbrook scored a team-high 16 points for Park Hill South and her two free throws in the fourth quarter provided the Panthers with their other lead. She also had nine rebounds and five blocks.