The players continue trying to adapt as the changes and uncertainty pile up, but Platte County’s task remains difficult.
Down one of its top scorers, the Pirates continue shuffling through different lineups in hopes of navigating the final part of the Suburban Conference Blue Division schedule. They’ve won just twice at the midway point and desperately need some positive results heading into the quickly approaching postseason.
Platte County suffered a 52-28 blowout loss to Belton Friday, Feb. 3 at Platte County High School in the first of two games between the league rivals in a span of four days. Belton won again Monday, Feb. 6 to further Platte County’s woes.
“Too many turnovers, too many empty possessions,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “We’re still learning. We’re still trying to figure ourselves out.”
Seeking a second straight winning season after a lengthy spell of downtrodden play, Platte County sits at 10-10 with just four games left before the start of Class 4 District 15 play.
Platte County has not won more than two straight at any point this season, and the first loss to Belton ended another quick two-game surge. Jaycie Stubbs, a sophomore guard, scored five straight early to give Platte County a brief 5-2 lead with a zone defense trying to limit the touches of Belton star guard Courtnie Lewis, a high-scoring senior headed to play Division I after this season.
Jaycie Stubbs’ second 3 of the first quarter halted a 12-0 run, keeping Platte County within 14-8 after the first quarter.
After junior Rockey Chambers left the team, Jaycie Stubbs’ minutes and responsibilities have increased, while senior guard Ava White remains the only other consistent starter in Chris Stubbs’ rotation. The duo combined for 19 points in the loss, but Jaycie Stubbs ended up 3-for-12 on 3-point attempts, unable to shoot the hosts back into the game.
“(Jaycie) got frustrated, got tired,” Chris Stubbs said. “They were D’ing her up box-and-one and faceguarding. She’s got to expect that. That’s when we’re hoping somebody else will step up and try to hit a shot.”
Jaycie Stubbs scored Platte County’s first 10 points before junior forward Lauren Walker, starting in front of senior Liz Peterson, scored inside at the midway point of the second quarter to cut Belton’s lead to 19-12. Belton immediately answered and then went ahead 23-12 before Platte County sophomore Stephanie Carroll’s lone basket — a 3-pointer from the right wing — briefly cut Belton’s advantage back to single digits.
Belton closed the half on a 7-0 run to go up 30-15 and pulled away from there. Lewis scored 18 of her game-high 28 points in the first half, while Sydney Bandy hit a pair of key 3s.
White had four of her six points in the third quarter to lead a small charge for Platte County, but too many fouls and too many offensive rebounds for Belton kept the advantage at double digits. White scored Platte County’s only two points in the fourth quarter.
“We had a good run,” Chris Stubbs said. “(Lewis) is good, but we also made her into something she was more than.”
Belton 57, Platte County 38
Lewis scored 31 more in the rematch between Blue Division rivals Monday, Feb. 6 in Belton, Mo.
Platte County (10-10, 2-4 Blue Division) scored only two points in the second quarter and trailed 31-13 at the break. No one scored in double figures for Platte County with Jaycie Stubbs leading the way at nine points, all on 3-pointers.
Platte County 55, Raytown South 37
Walker scored a career-high 17 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds Thursday, Feb. 2 in Raytown, Mo.
Platte County earned its second straight Blue Division win of the season with a balanced first half before Walker took over. She scored 13 in the second half, helping the Pirates stretch a 29-22 lead into a blowout.
Janessa Barmann added seven points, while Taylor Farr had six points and five steals for Platte County, which forced 31 turnovers to help overcome a slow shooting night (30.9 percent).