Platte County girls halt 7-year losing skid against Smithville

SMITHVILLE, Mo. — For only the second time this decade, Platte County picked up a victory against Smithville.

The Pirates started to pull away in the second quarter and carried that momentum with them over the final two frames to pick up a 63-47 victory Monday, Jan. 8, at Smithville High School. Prior to this result, the losing streak for Platte County against its rival from across Highway 92 stood at 11 in a row, dating back to 2010.

Platte County won twice in the early portion of the 2009-2010 season, the last was a 69-67 win on Jan. 11, 2010, but the Pirates lost in the district finals. Since then, Smithville has won at least one game each year against the Pirates and swept a pair of meetings in three of those seven seasons.

“It felt good to come out with a win,” said Platte County junior guard Hannah Valentine, who had 15 points. “We already have a rivalry with Smithville. We gave it our all and pushed through to win it in the end.”

 CODY THORN/Citizen photo Platte County junior forward Meghan Amos, center, battles for a rebound while Smithville defenders Leah Bultmann, left, and Malea Langhus, right, and teammate Rockey Chambers converge on the play during a game Monday, Jan. 8, at Smithville High School in Smithville, Mo. The Pirates won 63-47 to snap an 11-game losing streak against the Warriors that dated back to 2010. 

CODY THORN/Citizen photo
Platte County junior forward Meghan Amos, center, battles for a rebound while Smithville defenders Leah Bultmann, left, and Malea Langhus, right, and teammate Rockey Chambers converge on the play during a game Monday, Jan. 8, at Smithville High School in Smithville, Mo. The Pirates won 63-47 to snap an 11-game losing streak against the Warriors that dated back to 2010. 

Platte County played minus head coach Chris Stubbs, who missed the game while battling the flu. In stepped JV coach Katlyn Donovan, who admitted the nerves started building Sunday night and stayed throughout the day Monday. Her first varsity win was an impressive one.

The rivals played a competitive first quarter with Platte County holding a 15-14 lead going to the second. A pair of 3-pointers for junior guard Jaycie Stubbs opened the scoring in that frame and quickly made it 21-14.

Over the next five minutes, Smithville pulled within three points on four different occasions, but Platte County guard Rockey Chambers scored the final six points of the half.

The 5-foot-7 senior grabbed two offensive rebounds and scored putbacks on both, a minute apart. She got a steal and drew a foul with 44.5 seconds left in the second and made both free throws, giving Platte County a 33-24 lead at the break.

 “It is kind of normal, that is something I do,” said Chambers, who accounted for 10 of her game-high 16 points in the second quarter, eight of which came on offensive rebounds and putbacks. “Rebounds are my specialty. That is what I’m mostly good at.”

Smithville, coming off a last minute 47-43 loss against Class 4 No. 3-ranked Benton on Friday, rallied in the third quarter. Platte County went up by 12 on junior guard Stephanie Carroll’s 3-pointer, but the Warriors scored nine of the next 13 points to pull within 46-39 going into the fourth.

 CODY THORN/Citizen photo Platte County guard Hannah Valentine shoots a jumper over a Smithville defender during a game Monday, Jan. 8, in Smithville, Mo. 

CODY THORN/Citizen photo
Platte County guard Hannah Valentine shoots a jumper over a Smithville defender during a game Monday, Jan. 8, in Smithville, Mo. 

Platte County struck first in the fourth quarter and opened on a 10-4 run. Smithville never came closer than eight the rest of the way with the Pirates’ quartet of Valentine, Chambers, Stubbs and junior Janessa Barmann accounting for all 17 points in the final 8 minutes.

“We matched their physicality and took it to them,” Donovan said.

Four players scored in double figures for Platte County, led by Chambers’ 16. Stubbs finished with 14, while senior forward Lauren Walker added 11.

Known for its stingy defense, Smithville couldn’t find a way to slow Platte County’s offense.

“I don’t think it was ever close. They dominated from the tip in every aspect,” Smithville coach Trevor Mosby said. “When they needed to drive, they drove. When they needed to post up, they posted up. Whenever they wanted a rebound, they out-rebounded us. They out-shot us. I don’t think there was one stat we beat them in. It was a butt whooping.

“I don’t know if we were overconfident or what, but we weren’t ready to play,”

Platte County improved to 8-4 with the win and is idle until playing Liberty North on Jan. 15 in the Oak Park Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

Platte County 59, Belton 45

A strong first-half performance carried Platte County to a Suburban Conference Blue Division victory Wednesday, Jan. 4 in Belton, Mo.

Platte County led 31-17 at the break, and each team scored 28 points in the second half. Platte County shot 46.8 percent from the field (22 for 47) and did especially well in the paint, accounting for 32 points there on 16 of 26 shooting.

Platte County also had 23 points off of Belton turnovers.

Hannah Valentine had 23 points and six rebounds to lead Platte County’s offense, while Rockey Chambers had 11 points and five assists.