With 4 ½ minutes left to play, Platte County faced a 15-point deficit.
If there was an ESPN-like win probability it would be next to nothing, but over the remainder of the game, Platte County battled to the very end.
But visiting Belton ultimately hung on for a 58-55 victory in a non-conference game be-tween former league foes on Friday, Dec. 7 at Platte County High School.
Trailing 48-33, the rally started with a 3-pointer from Dawson Wood, who then made two free throws with 3 minutes, 33 seconds left to pull Platte County (2-2 after the loss) within 48-40.
Down by eight, a chance to cut the deficit lower with four shots at the charity stripe resulted in only one make for Platte County. A loose ball on the fourth free throw was saved by Platte County and ended with Wood driving to the lane and making a layup while getting fouled.
Down 45-40, Wood made the free throw after a timeout by Belton (2-3 after the win).
Twice during the final two minutes the home team pulled within three points, the last at 52-49. Platte County had two free throws with 1:52 left, but missed both and Belton re-sponded with two straight buckets to put the game out of reach.
Wood hit a trey with 12.3 seconds left to make it 56-52, but Belton made two free throws to extend the lead. A 3-pointer at the buzzer by Jace Trimble accounted for the final margin.
Wood finished with a game-high 20 points. Dylan Gilbert had 11 and Brady Wright added 10.
Belton had a balanced attack led by Da’Rius Brewington with 13. Gavin Russell and Jordan Clark had 12 each.
The visiting Pirates trailed after the first quarter, but took a 23-20 lead at halftime on a 3-pointer by Russell with 1.4 seconds left in the second quarter. Russell was fouled, but missed the free throw and the chance for a four-point play.
Belton raced out to a 30-20 lead early in the third quarter and by the end of the quarter, the visitors led 44-29 when Russell hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Pirates played Truman on Tuesday, Dec. 11, but the results weren’t available by press time. Platte County returns to league play with a home game against Grain Valley on Friday, Dec. 14, before a road game at Raytown South on Tuesday, Dec. 18.