WESTON, Mo. — West Platte didn’t close either half.
In a KCI Conference matchup with Lawson, the Bluejays made just one made field goal in both the second and fourth quarters on the way to a 60-29 loss Friday, Feb. 13 at West Platte High School. Tanner Lintner returned to the lineup earlier in the week, but the current losing streak hit four with just one league game left on the schedule.
West Platte sat at 15-8 overall and 3-3 in KCI play entering Tuesday’s scheduled game with Hamilton.
“Our energy just wasn’t there,” West Platte coach Dillon Higdon said of the loss to Lawson. “We did some good things early and then we lost a little bit of momentum, and we couldn’t get it back. It’s just a disappointing night.”
West Platte built an 8-5 lead in the opening five minutes.
Lawson’s Mason Cox, a senior, scored the next 10 points — part of his game-high 15 with 13 coming in the first quarter — to give the Cardinals a lead they held until the end. Lawson’s 2-3 zone stymied West Platte during the second quarter.
Overall, the Cardinals outscored the hosts 19-3 to take a 34-11 lead into halftime.
“We just weren’t getting the ball where we needed to get it,” Higdon said. “I thought we got some good looks at times. I thought we had some open guys we could have gotten the ball to at times. We just didn’t execute. I give Lawson a lot of credit. They’re a really good basketball team, and they did some good things.”
West Platte gained some traction at the end of the third quarter with Lawson’s reserves playing an increased role.
Cody Guthrie led the modest charge back and finished with a team-high 12 points), while Kaleb Baber (five points) capped the late 8-0 run with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close the Bluejays’ deficit to 47-26.
Higdon pulled his starters with 4 minutes, 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter with Lawson up 57-26. McKaulley Stephenson hit a 3 — West Platte’s only field goal of the quarter — to briefly end the running clock before Logan Weber answered for the Cardinals to provide the final margin.
“It’s a sour taste,” Guthrie said. “You don’t want to lose by 31. We’re going to have to come back hard and play as a team next time. We were playing as individuals tonight.”
After Hamilton, West Platte closes the regular season at University Academy on Thursday, Feb. 19. The Bluejays earned the No. 4 seed in the upcoming Class 2 District 15 tournament, scheduled to start next week at Wellington-Napoleon High School in Wellington, Mo.
Fifth-seeded Kansas City Lutheran awaits West Platte in the opening round — a rematch of a Dec. 15 matchup the Bluejays won 59-37. The winner of the postseason matchup faces the winner of district host and top-seed Wellington Napoleon and Frontier School of Excellence, the No. 8 seed.
Mid-Buchanan 63, West Platte 57
The Bluejays hung around with Lintner back in the lineup but lost in KCI play to the Dragons for a second straight year.
Last season, Mid-Buchanan pulled the upset and forced a share of the league crown. West Platte tried to return the favor on Tuesday, Feb. 10 with the roles reversed, but a slow second quarter doomed the Bluejays, despite the return of Lintner, a forward.
Guthrie hit six 3s and tallied a game-high 27 points for West Platte, while Brett Shepardson added 12 before fouling out.
Mid-Buchanan made its comeback by outscoring West Platte 15-5 in the second quarter. Braydn Kemper (24 points) and Austin Scaggs (22) led the comeback after the Dragons trailed 19-13 at the end of the first quarter.
Plattsburg 54, North Platte 50
The Panthers lost their third straight on Friday, Feb. 13 at North Platte High School, the rough stretch coming on the the heels of a four-game winning streak.
The most recent loss came ahead of a matchup with Mid-Buchanan, which already locked up the KCI title, on Tuesday, Feb. 17. The result was not available at deadline. The Panthers (6-15, 0-6) needed an upset to avoid a winless league campaign.
North Platte did earn the No. 5 seed in the Class 2 District 16 tournament and opens postseason play Tuesday, Feb. 24 against fourth-seeded Maysville at Albany High School.
Lawson beat North Platte 60-44 on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at Lawson High School for the third loss in the Panthers’ losing skid.
Kyle Ewing scored a team-high 14 points for North Platte with Andrew Roberts limited to just 10. Lawson finished with eight 3-pointers and a trio of double-figure scorers.