Platte County boys struggle to score vs. Raytown South

Platte County struggled to find a way to unlock the physical Raytown South defense in a Suburban Conference Blue Division matchup on Friday, Feb. 2 at Platte County High School.

The Pirates had few answers for the Cardinals speedy attack and fell 67-50 to the No. 10 team in the latest Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 4 rankings.

“I was very happy with the way we competed,” Pirates coach Rick Hodge said. “This was a team where we didn’t come out intimidated. We didn’t come out scared. The kids played very hard and we competed. This is a state-ranked team. I told the kids after the game, ‘We didn’t pick a very good night to shoot the ball poorly.’ We’re a pretty good offensive team when the ball moves. Tonight we moved it, we found open cutters, open shooters, we just didn’t make them.”

 BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Platte County’s John Watts, left, dribbles around Raytown South’s Caleb Jones-McCrary during a game Friday, Feb. 2, at Platte County High School. The Class 4 No. 10-ranked Raytown South squad won 67-50 against the Pirates.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo
Platte County’s John Watts, left, dribbles around Raytown South’s Caleb Jones-McCrary during a game Friday, Feb. 2, at Platte County High School. The Class 4 No. 10-ranked Raytown South squad won 67-50 against the Pirates.

Platte County hit just two field goals in the first quarter and trailed 17-4 after the first 8 minutes. The Cardinals forced multiple turnovers in the first quarter and altered shots at the rim with multiple players taller than 6-foot-6 in the paint.

“Against Raytown South you have to handle the pressure,” Hodge said. “We were expecting a lot more full-court pressure, but most of it came in the half-court. They forced some turnovers. We have to live with that, but we have to make sure to limit that because we have no defense for the run out layup.”

In the second quarter the team made a run, thanks to the benefit of the bonus. The Pirates hit 12-of-15 free throws in the second quarter and cut the deficit to just four points at the break, 30-26.

“The free throws let us stay in it,” Hodge said.

In the third quarter, again the Pirates couldn’t find an answer on offense. The team didn’t score for the first 6 minutes of the third and the deficit ballooned to as many as 18 points.

“A lot of their points came in the transition,” Hodge said. “We just don’t have a defense for that. When we were missing shots, if we shoot the ball a little better and reduce the turnovers, now they aren’t getting the run out layups which cuts into the point total.”

Again the Pirates made a run in the fourth quarter, cutting the game to within nine points with 2 minutes to play, however, free throws and easy buckets after the Cardinals broke the press gave the game its final margin.

“I was happy with the effort,” Hodge said. “For the most part I was happy with execution. How many times did we get to the rim and just not finish it? How many times did we have an open 3 that we just didn’t hit? Not that we’re going to shoot 100 percent, but you are hoping to hit a few more of those, which reduces the run out layups and that swings the game a little bit more.”

Deiondre Ragsdale led the Pirates with a team-high 18 points and was the lone player to reach double figures. Ethan Esdohr finished with nine points. Lucas Stanley and John Watts each chipped in eight apiece.