DEKALB, Mo. — Platte Valley's boys won their sixth-straight game Tuesday night with a 63-24 win over the DeKalb Tigers. The Valley led by just four points two minutes into the second quarter before outscoring the Tigers 45-10 over the final 22 minutes of the game.
“We came out a little slow, but we went on a big run there in the second quarter and ended the half well,” Chase Farnan said. “We came out with the moment, did the things we do best, played good defense and got the job done.”
DeKalb came into the game with just one win this season and averaging just 38 points per game. Platte Valley garnered the momentum early, jumping out to an 11-2 lead over the Tigers.
Platte Valley has used early runs to put teams away in the early stages of games this season, but DeKalb had different plans for the defending state champs. After falling behind by nine, the Tigers used a 12-7 run to cut the deficit to four with 6:16 remaining in the second quarter.
Platte Valley coach Tim Jermain used two timeouts early on in the second quarter, but his team responded with two missed free throws and two turnovers, allowing the Tigers to make it a one-score game with 4:57 to go in the half.
“I think the big thing right now is that they have high expectations of themselves and when things aren’t going like they feel they should, they get frustrated,” Jermain said. “We have to guard against that because we know teams are going to play hard against us and we just can’t get frustrated.”
Farnan and Gabe Nothstine each added a field goal to start a run. Senior Clayton Merrigan took it from there, scoring 11-straight points to give the Valley an 18-point lead.
“He’s (Merrigan) the team leader, he does a lot of great things and you can’t say enough good things about him,” Farnan said. “He’s always there and he is such a great asset to the team.”
Junior Trevor McQueen capped off the 21-2 run with back-to-back baskets to end the half. Platte Valley took a 39-17 lead into the halftime break.
“That was kind of the driving factor in the game there, we always stress being able to close quarters,” Merrigan said. “That can be the difference between them getting back in the game and us running away with it.”
Merrigan led the team with 15 points, Nothstine had 13 and Farnan rounded out the top three with 11. The Valley had nine different players score, improving to 10-1 on the season.
“We opened up flat in this one and that’s something that we have to work on over the next couple of games,” Merrigan said.
“We focus on doing the same things every night, play hard and play defense,” Jermain said. “The offense is going to have nights where it flows really well and nights that it doesn’t. But the intensity defensively has to be there every night … we’ve just been a little flat offensively.”