Platte County enjoyed a lead for much of its nonconference game Monday, Feb. 2 despite committing turnover after turnover.
In the fourth quarter, those miscues finally caught up to the Pirates in a 43-41 loss to Raymore-Peculiar at Platte County High School — part of a maddening trend for the youthful roster. The Panthers began the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run to turn a six-point deficit into a four-point lead.
Amy Lett’s 3-point attempt in the closing seconds went long, and Platte County lost by one possession for the fifth time this season.
“Thirty turnovers is way too many for any team,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “To play a team like this to within two points and have 30 turnovers, if we cut those down by 10 even, we probably win by six or eight points.”
Platte County (4-12) committed nine turnovers in the pivotal fourth quarter and 15 in each half. Yet, the Pirates led 35-29 with 8 minutes to play.
Another close loss followed, and Platte County returns to Suburban League Blue Division play on Thursday, Feb. 5 at Belton. Looking to improve on a 1-2 league mark, the Pirates, who have no seniors, continue to search for the right way to close out victories.
“We got real tight,” Stubbs said of the loss to Raymore-Peculiar. “It’s something we’ve battled all season. … We just can’t quite figure out a way to finish games. I told them after the game they are the most determined girls I have ever been a part of under the circumstances.”
Raymore-Peculiar took its first lead since hitting a 3-pointer at the first quarter buzzer with 4:19 to play.
The Panthers forced four straight turnovers to build the advantage to 39-36. Pirates forward Rachel Holden split a pair of free throws with 2:18 to go to further close the gap — the second 1-for-2 trip to the line for Platte County in the quarter — but they couldn’t draw closer.
“It hurts,” said Holden who finished with a nine points and 11 rebounds. “Our whole team, we work hard every day. We never give up. When it comes down to one possession games, they hurt. The hardest thing is knowing we had 30 turnovers — if we had just not turned the ball over once and gotten a shot and gotten a possession, knowing any one thing could have changed that game.”
Platte County junior Madysen Fine scored 10 points, including the first six points for the Pirates. The junior hit a 3 on the first possession and hit another after three straight trips with turnovers for Platte County. She spent most of the second half on the bench in foul trouble before fouling out with 17 seconds remaining.
Ava White added eight more for Platte County while Lindsey Bogart and Lauren Walker each added four.
“We’re going to get something from (the effort),” Stubbs said. “I don’t know when or how or where but it’s going to pay off somewhere.”
Belton boys 53, Platte County 50
The Pirates tried to rally but fell into a familiar pattern with the road loss on Friday, Jan. 30.
Sam Zimmerman scored 20 points, but Platte County trailed throughout thanks to a slow first three quarters. Belton led 37-25 entering the fourth quarter when the Pirates turned up the defensive pressure in an effort to make up the gap.
Platte County doubled its output in the final eight minutes but came up short.
Topher Kilkenny added nine points and six assists in the loss, while Josh Eastman finished with eight points and a team-high six rebounds. Zimmerman hit one 3 and grabbed five rebounds.
Starting with a loss Dec. 16 against Smithville, Platte County has alternated wins and losses during its current 11-game stretch, going 5-6. The Pirates have yet to win two straight at any point this season entering a Tuesday, Feb. 3 matchup vs. Kearney.
The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Platte County plays a second straight home game on Friday, Feb. 6 against Raytown South, which will also serve as the courtwarming game. The Pirates’ most recent home game prior to that was Jan. 9 against St. Joseph Central before a pair of tournaments and road games at Grandview and Belton to start Suburban League Red Division play.
Platte County boys 56, Grandview 54
The Pirates knocked off a 2014 Class 4 playoff team with a big second half in the conference opener for both teams on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at Grandview High School.
Zimmerman again led the way with 24 points, and Platte County hit 13-of-14 free throws. After scoring just 27 points total in the first half, the Pirates totaled 23 in the third quarter and 16 more in the fourth quarter. Overall, Platte County outscored Grandview 39-22 in the second half to overcome a 15-point deficit.
Josh Eastman added 12 points for the Pirates, including two of Platte County’s seven 3-pointers. Kilkenny also hit a pair from beyond the arc and finished with eight points.
Kearney girls 50, Platte County 20
Only two players scored, and the Pirates made just four field goals in a loss Thursday, Jan. 29 at Kearney High School.
Platte County didn’t score more than six points in any quarter and went 12-of-14 at the line to supply most of the limited offense. Holden tallied 14 points, while Liz Peterson added six.
Kearney outscored the Pirates 29-10 in the second half.