Pirates’ season ends with tough overtime loss

Winning is hard. It’s even harder when you make costly turnovers and miss free throws late in the game. The Platte County boys basketball team found that out Monday night in the first round of the Class 4 District 16 Tournament at St. Joseph Lafayette High School. The Pirates saw their season come to an end with an excruciating 69-67 overtime loss to Chillicothe. Platte County, which ended the season 8-16, looked like it had its former Midland Empire Conference foe beat a couple of times. The first came in regulation, when Platte County held a 58-55 lead with about one minute to play. But the Pirates missed the front end of a one-and-one trip to the free throw line and Chillicothe’s Mason Hayward tied the game with a three-pointer with 30 seconds to play. The Pirates held the ball for a last shot, but couldn’t convert. Then in overtime, Platte County held a 67-61 lead with 1:31 left to play, but didn’t score another point. A costly turnover and more missed free throws sparked a game-ending 8-0 run by the Hornets. The Pirates again had the last possession, but senior Jason Upton’s last-second contested layup rolled off the rim. “We had them a few times,” Platte County coach Rick Hodge said. “Up six in overtime, we have to close that out. It’s kind of the way our season has gone – inconsistent at times.” The game started out that way for the Pirates, who fell behind 26-16 midway through the second quarter before coming to life. Platte County embarked on a 17-6 run spanning the remainder of the first half and the first three minutes of the second that gave it a 33-32 lead. The game then settled into a back-and-forth affair late into the fourth quarter. Platte County then erased a 54-49 deficit with a 9-1 run fueled by eight points from junior guard Topher Kilkenny, before the late game snafus. “Yeah, we just couldn’t finish,” said Kilkenny, who finished with 15 points. “We did some things that hurt us – like, I didn’t get back on defense, stuff like that.” Platte County senior big man Jesse Eggers closed out his career with a big night – 16 points and 13 rebounds and senior Jason Upton added nine points. “I think we had a good year from the standpoint of I really liked playing with all of these guys,” Upton said. “We just struggled to win games that we had a chance to win.” PARK HILL, PARK HILL SOUTH HEADED FOR DISTRICT SHOWDOWN? As first reported last week, the Park Hill and Park Hill South boys basketball teams could meet in the championship game of the Class 5 District 15 Tournament, being held this week at Staley High School. Park Hill South drew the top seed and will play the Staley/St. Joe Central winner at 7 p.m. Friday. Park Hill is the no. 2 seed and will face the Oak Park/North Kansas City winner at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The championship game is set for 3 p.m. Saturday, with a berth in the Class 5 state playoffs on the line. The District 15 winner will play the District 16 champion in the sectional round at 2:45 p.m. March 12 at Independence Events Center. Park Hill split a pair of games to close out the regular season last week. The Trojans lost 65-61 at home to Truman Feb. 25. Deionte Wilson paced Park Hill with 20 points, while Landry Shamet scored 17 and Louis Reinmiller added 10. Park Hill rebounded by winning 47-38 Feb. 28 at St. Joseph Central in a tough, physical game. “We really focused on playing good defense and taking care of the basketball, and we did a great job of that; we held them to 19 points through the first three quarters,” Park Hill coach David Garrison said. Shamet led with 15 points, while Wilson and Ricky Trammell added eight points each. Last week’s results for Park Hill South were not available as of press time.