As long as Raytown South continued to misfire on 3-point shots, Rick Hodge stuck with his zone.
Platte County gave up too many second-chance opportunities in its rarely used defense but frustrated the Cardinals from start to finish in a 50-42 victory Friday, Feb. 6 at Platte County High School. The Pirates snapped a brief two-game skid with the upset and moved into a four-way tie for second place at 2-2 that also includes Raytown South in the Suburban League Blue Division standings.
Raytown South (11-8) managed only 26 points in the first three quarters and hit only three 3-pointers — all from reserve guard Tony Sisco — on the way to its second-lowest scoring production of the season.
“I felt like we were in control the entire game,” Platte County senior guard Jake Eastman said. “It gave us a lot of confidence having control the whole game, instead of trying to chase from behind.
“I thought we definitely messed with their offense with our zone.”
Jake Eastman hit three of his four 3-pointers and scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second half for Platte County, which scored 11 points in each of the first three quarters. The Pirates never held a double-digit lead thanks to some late struggles at the free throw line (13-for-27 overall) but were not threatened in the final 6 minutes.
The last points from Jake Eastman came on a 3, and Topher Kilkenny added the first of his two three-point plays with 5:48 to go to put Raytown South down 39-30. Sam Zimmerman hit his last three free throws in the final minute to finish with 15 points.
“I thought the kids really executed the zone how we wanted them to execute the zone,” Platte County coach Rick Hodge said. “They gave up some open looks, but Ray South wasn’t hitting ’em tonight; it wasn’t their shooting night, and that obviously benefited us.
“As long as they weren’t making us pay for it, we were OK to stay in it.”
Overall, Platte County hit seven 3-pointers for the offense needed to go with a slowed-down pace.
Jake Eastman and Josh Eastman each hit one from beyond the arc in the first quarter, helping the Pirates to an 11-6 lead. Raytown South closed within one late in the first half, but Zimmerman hit a trey with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter and took a charge on the Cardinals’ ensuing possession to make it 22-18 at the break.
Raytown South closed within 28-26 in the third quarter with a 7-1 run but came no closer after the Pirates responded with five unanswered entering the final 8 minutes. Jake Eastman scored eight of their 11 points in the third quarter.
Platte County entered a matchup Tuesday, Feb. 10 at Winnetonka (winless in league play) with a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Pirates also play vs. Grandview on Friday, Feb. 13, having won the previous matchup between the two, 56-54 earlier this month.
Following that win, Platte County (8-11) lost close games at Belton (4-0, leading the Blue Division) and vs. Kearney.
“We needed that,” Hodge said, “especially like I told them after the game: the Belton loss was tough because it was a two-pointer on the road; Kearney was tough because they shot it so well. But the kids bounced back and played well tonight.”
Kearney boys 73, Platte County 64
The Pirates shot poorly at the line and couldn’t reel in a chief rival Tuesday, Feb. 3 — their first home game in nearly a month.
Zimmerman scored 20 points, and Josh Eastman added 14 for Platte County in the loss. Topher Kilkenny finished with 10.
Platte County shot just 7 of 15 on free throws but were ahead 46-45 entering the fourth quarter. Kearney went perfect at the line (18-for-18) and pulled away using that advantage.
Platte County girls 56, Belton 50
The Pirates committed a season-low 10 turnovers and rallied for a road win on Thursday, Feb. 5 in Belton, Mo.
Platte County trailed 30-24 at halftime and didn’t regain the lead until the fourth quarter, hitting 18 of 27 free throws to avoid another late-game disappointment. Holden notched a double-double with team-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Liz Peterson added 14 points.
“We were really happy for the girls,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “They have been so close in so many games this season and to finally finish one off against a conference opponent was really nice.”
Four players ended up with the bulk of the scoring for Platte County.
Madysen Fine added 10 points, while Lindsey Bogart had nine. She hit a pair of 3-pointers.
Grandview girls 71, Platte County 55
Tatiana McCree hit six 3-pointers and torched the Pirates for 33 points in a Suburban League Blue Division matchup Monday, Feb. 9 at Platte County High School.
Platte County (5-13) fell behind early and couldn’t recover in search of a second straight win. The Pirates dropped to 2-3 in league play and sit fourth out of six teams entering a matchup at last-place Winnetonka on Thursday, Feb. 12.
The two teams have already met three times this season with Platte County winning the most recent matchup 69-46 in Suburban League play. The Griffins won the first two matchups in tournaments.
Against Grandview, Fine tallied 17 points and hit three 3s. Bogart hit two more and finished with six points. Holden ended up with 16 points for the Pirates, who hit 22 field goals to Grandview’s 26 but couldn’t overcome McCree’s barrage.