KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coming off a bad loss and facing an early deficit, Platte County forged an important comeback behind guards Jaycie Stubbs, Rockey Chambers and Hannah Valentine.
A big third quarter run provided just enough cushion, and the Pirates held on for a 48-43 win Monday, Jan. 16 against Park Hill South in the first of two round robin games in the Oak Park Invitational’s seven-team field. The Panthers gave up 13 unanswered in the final 4 minutes of the third quarter to fall behind by 11 before rallying to nearly force overtime.
Platte County improved to 7-5 overall, coming off a 29-point loss to Smithville in the only other game played since a lengthy holiday break. The Pirates put themselves in position to potentially earn a rematch with the Warriors thanks to the needed win over Park Hill South.
“It’s really important to keep our momentum going, even when we’re down, especially for us as a team, but bringing it back in the second half really meant a lot,” said Stubbs, who finished with a team-high 19 points.
Stubbs keyed the third quarter run, hitting all three of her 3-pointers and accounting for 11 of Platte County’s first 20 points out of halftime.
Ava White, a senior guard, converted a three-point play to first tie the score at 30-30 and then give the Pirates the lead for good midway through the third quarter. They scored the next 10 in a row to take a 41-30 lead into the fourth quarter that looked insurmountable.
With less than a minute to play in regulation, Park Hill South drew within 46-43 before Stubbs hit two free throws late to seal the win.
“I’m pretty excited after that win; I think we’ll definitely improve and I’m excited to see where we go,” Stubbs said.
Coming in on a three-game winning streak with the return of sophomore center Alecia Westbrook, Park Hill South bolted to a 12-3 lead in the first quarter.
Platte County mostly erased the mark with Valentine hitting all six of her free throws in the first quarter on her way to 13 points. Chambers scored all five of her points in the first half, and the two teams went into the break tied at 21-21.
Taylor Farr, a sophomore reserve guard, scored all four of her points in the third quarter to assist in the comeback effort.
Chambers and Valentine also put up a team-high of six rebounds each, while Valentine and Stubbs dished out three assists apiece. Park Hill South committed 15 turnovers.
Platte County needs a win in its second round robin game Thursday, Jan. 20 against Lincoln Prep to advance to the championship game against the other half of the bracket’s semifinal winner. Park Hill South was scheduled to play Lincoln Prep on Tuesday, Jan. 17, needing a win and help from the Blue Tigers to force a tiebreaker scenario in the bottom half’s round robin.
The results was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Park Hill South 50, Liberty North 46
The Panthers improved to 3-0 to take a commanding early lead in the Suburban Conference Red Division standings with a win Thursday, Jan. 12 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.
Park Hill South led nearly the whole way but fended off multiple comeback attempts. The Panthers’ lead was down to 25-22 at halftime, and a 5-0 run in the third quarter tied it up at 27-27 before the run expanded to 7-0 to give the Eagles’ their first and only lead.
Liberty North closed back within 43-41 with 5 minutes to go but then went more than 5 minutes without a field goal, allowing Park Hill South to pull away.