ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Platte County left Lafayette High School bloodied — quite literally in one sense — but encouraged.
Lafayette pulled away for a 77-65 win Friday, Dec. 8 behind a quartet of double-digit scorers, but the visiting Pirates were within four heading to the fourth quarter. Deiondre Ragsdale, a high-scoring senior, posted 26 in the loss despite playing the entire second half with four fouls, and senior Lucas Stanley finished with 14 points and a large gash above his left eye after taking an inadvertent elbow to the face late in the game.
This matchup didn’t feature the dramatics of Platte County’s 24-point collapse in a 2016 loss but did offer reasons for encouragement for the underdogs.
“It definitely gave us a confidence boost because we know that’s a good team,” Ragsdale said. “We know we’re capable of playing like this every time out and winning a lot more games.”
Platte County led three times in the first quarter while trying to keep pace.
Lafayette star senior Diego Bernard started his game with passing, providing assists on three of the Irish’s first four field goals. Stanley scored six points in the first quarter for Platte County, and a late bucket for senior Kobe Cummings made it 20-16 going to the second.
Ragsdale scored six in the second quarter and had eight at halftime but went back to the bench right before the break after picking up his fourth foul.
Despite limited minutes for Ragsdale, a bucket for senior forward John Watts put Platte County within 25-24 with 3 minutes, 18 seconds left before halftime. The Pirates couldn’t sustain the momentum, going into halftime down 33-26.
Ragsdale came out firing in the third quarter, scoring 10 in the next 8 minutes.
“(Foul trouble) affected a lot,” Ragsdale said. “I had to play off a little bit and be more cautious. I was still trying to play my hardest but had to be really cautious. I knew my team needed me.”
A 3 for junior reserve guard Ethan Esdohr and an inside bucket for Stanley, who had the final eight of his points in the quarter, even put Platte County back ahead at 47-46. Bernard, who finished with 14 points, again led a charge late in the quarter to put the Irish ahead for good.
Ragsdale hit a pair of 3s in the fourth quarter, and Watts added six points to finish with 10 points. His dunk provided another brief surge in energy, but Stanley went out with his cut at the 4:36 mark, the Pirates trailing by six. They would get no closer.
Ragsdale pulled up for a deep 3 with 41 seconds left to make it 72-63, but Lafayette hit free throws late to avoid any hopes of an upset bid.
“We fought hard in the second half, came out ready to fight in the second half,” Ragsdale said. “We just couldn’t knock down our important shots.”
Platte County suffered a second straight loss against a returning state playoff qualifier after starting 3-0 with a championship in the Savannah Invitational. The Pirates dropped to 3-2 entering a scheduled Tuesday, Dec. 12 home game with Smithville (result not available at deadline).
North Kansas City 90, Platte County 44
The Hornets had four players in double figures and handed the Pirates’ their first loss of the season Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Platte County High School.
Platte County did debut senior JP Post, making his first appearance of the season after missing the Savannah Invitational due to injury. He didn’t score but played in all four quarters.
Ragsdale scored a team-high 18 points — nine in each half — for Platte County. North Kansas City led 47-22 at halftime in the nonconference matchup.