After finding a way back above .500 last season, Platte County knows the next step can be achieved.
The Pirates went 13-12 last season, bowing out in the first round of an incredibly balanced Class 4 District 16 tournament, despite enduring injuries and illnesses. Rachel Holden entered 2015-16 as the top returning scorer and rebounder but missed three different stints due to various injuries, including a head injury that kept her out of the postseason loss to St. Joseph Lafayette.
The valuable leftover minutes were spread out to a large crop of underclassmen hoping to benefit from the unexpected experience.
“Last year, it gave some of our younger girls the opportunity to step in and get minutes that they may not have had otherwise,” Platte County coach Chris Stubbs said. “So now that they’re sophomores and juniors I think that they’re going to be a little bit more used to the speed at the varsity level.”
Rockey Chambers, now a junior guard, developed into Platte County’s go-to scorer last year at 11.1 points per game while sophomore guard Jaycie Stubbs joined her on the All-Suburban Conference Blue Division list after averaging 10.3 points per game from the point guard spot. The Pirates were fairly well balanced last season but also struggled with turnovers.
Lindsey Bogart started every game at guard last season while Koryne Matthews alternated between starter and substitute, but the seniors ceded many of the ballhandling duties to the younger players. The volatile play still produced a second-place finish in the Blue Division and the first winning record for the Pirates since 2010-11.
“At times, we played too fast,” Stubbs said. “We want to play up tempo but we’re trying to emphasize ball control this year, and I think with the style of basketball we want to play we’re going to have some turnovers but we want to make sure that they’re at least turnovers that we can live with.”
Even the loss of Holden doesn’t deplete the front court with senior Liz Peterson (5.9 points per game as a starter) and senior Amy Lett back.
“Amy’s been kind of a role player for us,” Stubbs said. “She’s played the point guard at times, the five at times. She’s played about every position, and she’s a senior this year and she was voted as one of the captains so we’re going to kind of rely on her as our emotional leader.”