KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a rubber contest, Platte County came up short.
The Pirates suffered a 45-42 loss at the hands of Smithville in the Class 4 District 16 semifinals on Monday, Feb. 25 at Winnetonka High School.
Smithville, who trailed 23-19 at halftime, used a strong start of the third quarter to earn its second victory over Platte County this month. The Warriors beat the Pirates 43-23 on Feb. 4 after a 58-46 loss in early December.
The most recent defeat ended Platte County’s season with a 14-11 record.
“I felt like it was going to be a toss-up, but it ended up being whoever had the ball last,” Pirates coach Chris Stubbs said. “There was no rhythm. It was just two teams that battled and two teams that didn’t want to end your season.
“We could of laid down in the fourth, we could’ve laid down in the first, he added. “This could’ve been a blowout, a 30-point route but we kept fighting.”
Platte County got off to a slow start, as Smithville owned a 14-2 lead midway through the first quarter. But the Pirates closed the frame on an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 16-10 after the first quarter.
Platte County kept the ball rolling with strong defense and the first seven points of the second quarter, which saw the Warriors score only three points.
After a 23-19 halftime lead, the Pirates fell into an offensive rutt. Smithville opened the second half on a 14-2 run to take a 33-25 lead. Platte County registered only four points in the third frame.
“They hit a couple 3s to start the second half that we weren’t expecting. That was a big swing,” Stubbs said.
The Pirates, however, overcame an 11-point deficit with five minutes left to cut the margin to one — 40-39 — with 1:45 left. But McKenzie Robinson sunk 3 of 4 from the free throw line to give Smithville a 42-39 edge with 39 seconds left.
The rest of the way, Platte County was called for an intentional foul and senior Jaycie Stubbs missed two 3s before drilling a long 3-pointer for the final score with less than 10 seconds remaining.
Freshman guard Amaya Blake led the Pirates in scoring with 16 points. Jaycie Stubbs added 14 points in her final prep game. Senior Shayla Kohler chipped in seven points.
“This team is scrappy,” coach Stubbs said. “We lose one of our best players (Hannah Valentine, leg injury) the fourth game of the season and we come out and scrap together 14 wins. They’re just competitive and I’m just so proud of them.”
Platte County 49, St. Joseph Lafayette 43
The Pirates breezed past St. Joseph Lafayette in the district opener on Friday, Feb. 23 in Winnetonka.
Blake led Platte County with 13 points, a 3-pointer and a 4-for-6 showing at the free throw line.
Jaycie Stubbs added 10 points, one trey and a 2-for-2 effort on charities, while Addi Long chipped in nine points.
It was Platte County’s second victory over Lafayette this season, as the Pirates recorded a 59-27 win back on Jan. 15 in Platte City.
The Irish finished the season with a 2-19 record.