STANBERRY, Mo. — Stanberry has had is struggle getting past Jefferson and Platte Valley over the years with the team from Conception Junction winning the last 10 matchup and 18 of the last 19.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs (6-6) were able to get over the hump against their neighbors to the west, but Platte Valley (4-9) certainly didn’t make it easy in the 60-49 ballgame.
Stanberry’s trump card all day was its massive size advantage over Platte Valley and Bulldog junior Austin Schwebach was able to use that advantage to dominate the first half with 16 of his game-high 20 points coming before intermission.
“He does present a problem,” Platte Valley coach Tim Jermain said. “And not just him, but their overall length. They did a really good job of running some stuff where they took the weakside help away, because we were in good position, just not in good position to get weakside help.”
Schwebach scored 3-straight times as the first quarter wound down to give his team a 14-4 lead. Platte Valley senior Trever McQueen scored to end the first quarter, but Schwebach had the first four points of the second quarter to push the the margin to 18-6.
Platte Valley was able to heat up for long range in the second quarter with two 3-pointers by Memphis Bliley and one by McQueen.
“I think he is just getting better and better,” Jermain said of Bliley. “At the beginning of the year, he was quarantined for a pretty significant stretch and missed the start of the season. Then he got back and had a pretty severe ankle injury and missed some more games. So it was really Christmas break before he got healthy.
“We’ve seen that he is capable of doing those things, but now that he is healthy, you are starting to see some of the things he can do.”
Stanberry was able to keep pace into halftime though and took a 32-20 lead into the locker room.
After Stanberry went back up by 13, Platte Valley struck back with a 11-0 run including 3-pointers by Matt Jermain, McQueen and Bliley. A Trevor Weir bucket pulled Platte Valley to pithing 35-33 late in the third quarter.
“I thought did a great job of battling — probably as good of job as we did all year,” Tim Jermain said. “In that capacity, we are moving in the right direction — just a lot of communicating and flying around. We talked about: when we get good looks, they aren’t always going to go in, but believe the next one is going in.
“We got to quit digging ourselves that hole though. We keep digging ourselves a hole early and it takes a lot of energy to get out of that hole.”
Schwebach had the answer with an interior score and then Landon Marticke beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to put Bulldogs back up seven at 40-33 entering the fourth quarter.
A trio of Platte Valley 3-pointers immediately erased that lead though as McQueen, Carter Luke and Bliley each connected to give Platte Valley its first lead of thee game at 42-40.
“I think says that we have a lot of mental toughness,” McQueen said of the rally. “We trust each other, and we know that we can all hit shots.”
Stanberry senior Collin Sager ended the run with a 3-pointer of his own to retake the lead, but McQueen came right back with another to take the lead right back.
Schwebach tied the game at 45-45, but Platte Valley freshman Alex Mattson answered with a floater in the lane.
After a Platte Valley stop the game turned with a turnover in the backcourt on a steal by Tyler Schwebach. Platte Valley tried to take the foul instead of giving away the breakaway to tie the game. That backfired as an intentional foul was called.
“The intentional was right,” Tim Jermain said. “He wanted to foul him so he didn’t have the breakaway layup, but we reached out and grabbed his uniform so I thought it was a good call by the official
Tyler Schwebach made bother free throws to tie the game and Sager made it a 4-point possession with basket to retake the lead.
This time, Platte Valley could not recover as Stanberry ended the game on a 15-2 run following the intentional foul to win by 11 points.
Platte Valley was led in scoring by McQueen with 16 while Bliley added 12. Matt Jermain and Weir each had five while Wyatt Tobin had four, Luke had three, and Gabe Nothstine and Mattson each had two.
The Schwebach twins led the way for Stanberry as Austin had 20 and Tyler had 13. Sager added 11 points.
Platte Valley will be on the road all next week with a trip to Mid Buchanan on Tuesday and one to East Atchison on Thursday.