St. Joseph Central beats Platte County boys

Christopher Tenpenny

Special to the Citizen

Platte County dropped a nonleague contest, 45-30, against St. Joseph Central on Friday, Feb. 8 in Platte City.

Neither team was able to score early as the first basket of the game wasn’t scored until the five-minute mark of the first quarter. From there, Central was able to drive the lane repeatedly, jumping out to a 15-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

Platte County coach Rick Hodge mixed up his defense to begin the second quarter. 

“When we switched to zone in the second quarter it really slowed them down, especially their dribble penetration,” Hodge said. “We knew their driving in the paint was going to be a concern of ours and the kids did a pretty good job in the second quarter.”

After a mostly even second quarter, sophomore La’var Felder of Central hit a 3-pointer near the buzzer to extend Central’s lead to 10 points at the half.

Platte County’s offense couldn’t find a rhythm in the third quarter, managing just four points. 

“We’ve been talking to the kids a lot lately about finding other ways to score other than the 3-ball,” Hodge said. “We are trying to go through the post, we are trying to get putbacks, we are trying to go in transition and we are trying to get different things like that, but it has been very difficult for us to generate offense in those other areas all season long.

“Defensively, 45 points for (Central), we are relatively happy with the defensive game plan and the kids execution of the game plan,” Hodge added. “What’s frustrating is when your offense isn’t producing, and now you have to change what you do defensively. You have to do that to try and generate offense and that’s when things can snowball.”

Senior guard Ethan Esdohr scored eight points to lead the Pirates. Senior guard Justin Barkely added a pair of treys.

Platte County had a league game Tuesday night at Winnetonka, but the result was unavailable by press time. They stay on the road for another Suburban Blue contest at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Smithville, rescheduled from Feb. 5.