Platte County returned from a lengthy layoff only to encounter a stubborn rival.
Despite a decent start, the Pirates faded late in a 57-28 blowout loss to Smithville on Monday, Jan. 9 at Platte County High School. The Warriors won their 11th straight in the annual series, dating back to a Class 4 District 16 matchup at the end of the 2009-2010 season.
Platte County played for the first time since Dec. 19, a stretch that included a postponed game against Belton the previous week.
“I think we were too rested,” said Platte County junior guard Rockey Chambers, who scored six points.
Platte County dropped to 6-5 overall with the loss.
Smithville’s normally stout defense showed up and limited the Pirates to 10 or fewer points in each quarter. Platte County made only 12 shots from the floor total — four on 3-pointers — and the Pirates didn’t attempt a single free throw.
Platte County’s last win in the series came in 2009-10 when the Pirates won the first two of three total meetings that season.
“Smithville is a quality girls basketball program,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “(Smithville) coach (Trevor) Mosby always has his athletes ready to play. I think we just need to figure out how much we want to play the game.”
Platte County sophomore Jaycie Stubbs hit three of the Pirates’ 3s and wound up with a team-high nine points. She helped keep Smithville’s lead to 18-10 after the first quarter and 29-18 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Warriors extended out the advantage and then held Platte County to just three points in the fourth quarter.
“I think we’re going to work more on our defense and really work on playing against teams that have heavy pressure on us,” Chambers said.
Due to the rescheduled Belton game, Platte County doesn’t open Suburban Conference Blue Division play until Jan. 23 at Kearney. The Pirates will play in the Oak Park Tournament next week, starting with Park Hill South on Monday, Jan. 16.
Even with a pair of returning starters, Platte County continues to lean heavily on underclassmen, including a strong crop of sophomores.
“We have all of our conference games left to play and a very difficult Oak Park tournament next week,” Stubbs said. “We will continue to stress focusing on the process and not worrying about the score. Our younger players are improving and hopefully they can give us the spark we need right now.”