RAVENWOOD, Mo. — In most years, few things feel bigger than the Northeast Nodaway-Platte Valley basketball rivalry, especially to a student at one of the schools.
Players, coaches, students and fans got a reminder of something much more important on Saturday with Northeast Nodaway’s Purple Out to celebrate Boston Adwell’s courage in his fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The boys’ game was postponed from earlier in the season, but in conjuncture with the girls’ game in January, the teams and communities raised money to donate to the American Cancer Society in Adwell’s name.
Making the project even more special was the fact that Adwell was suited up and playing with him teammates. The sophomore has been back on the floor for over a month now, and prior to he game game, he won the ceremonial jump ball.
Players on both teams wore special purple shirts for the ceremonial tipoff, but quickly changed into their rivalry colors as the game tipped off in earnest.
Platte Valley (7-13) continued its late-season surge with its highest-quality win this season, a 53-49 win over Northeast Nodaway (13-7).
“First of all, I just thought it was a great game,” Platte Valley coach Tim Jermain said. “Northeast Nodaway plays really hard. I thought we did a really good job in the second half playing hard with a lot of intensity out there. … It was just a really fun game to be a part of.”
The first quarter was tight throughout, but Northeast Nodaway began the second quarter by opening up its largest lead of the game with a 6-0 run to go in front 21-14. Platte Valley came right back with a 3-pointer by freshman Matt Jermain sparking a 12-2 run as Platte Valley took its largest lead to that point at 26-23.
Northeast Nodaway sophomore Dylan McIntyre closed the half on a personal 4-1 surge which included a put-back just before the buzzer to tie the game at 27-27.
McIntyre began the second half just like he had ended the first — with a bucket. Ben Boswell and Auston Pride quickly followed suit to build the lead to 33-27.
Platte Valley answered with sophomore Memphis Bliley hitting a 3-pointer and then senior Levi Burch finding sophomore Wyatt Miller for a layup. Miller played valuable minutes for Platte Valley and was a solid post presence when senior Gabe Nothstine was out of the game.
In the fourth quarter, it was the Platte Valley seniors time to shine though. Trever McQueen began the quarter with a basket to tie the game at 34-34, and his 3-pointer put Platte Valley up 37-34.
“We did a really good job out of the quarter executing one of our sets and got him a look at the 3-point line because they do a good job of not letting him get those looks,” Jermain said. “We ran him off a couple greens and did a good job of finding him.”
Nothstine was unstoppable on the offensive glass all night and he grabbed 3-straight offensive rebounds and putbacks to build the lead to 43-37.
“Gabe had a great game,” McQueen said. “I would say he won the game for us. He kind of carried us the whole game.”
Northeast Nodaway answered right back with a 6-0 run bookended by McIntyre baskets to knot the game at 43-43. Nothstine converted an ‘and-1’ play with just over three minutes to go to give his team the lead back.
McIntyre cut the margin to one on another score. Nothstine scored on the other end again, but McIntyre came right back with a score then converted 1-of-2 at the foul line to tie the game again.
Bluejay junior Colton Swalley also went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to give the Jays back the lead with 1:25 to play, but Nothstine answered by making both his foul shots on the other end with 52 seconds left.
The fouling continued, but Pride missed a pair at the charity stripe. Platte Valley couldn’t capitalize through as McQueen missed the front end of a 1-and-1 on the other end.
Platte Valley forced a steal on the ensuing possession and the ball found its way back to McQueen to go back to the line. The senior made the first with 15 seconds left.
McQueen missed the second, but in a fitting summation of the game, Nothstine kept the ball alive and it found its way to McQueen again.
“I knew we needed it,” Nothstine said. “At the time we were up two, and that is not enough to win, so I knew I had to get one more board. I just willed myself to go up and get it.”
This time the Platte Valley senior knocked them both in with 11 seconds left to ice the 4-point victory.
“I knew I had to get the last two for my team,” McQueen said. “That is just what I told myself. I said ‘1-2-follow through’ in my head and just put it through.”
The win is Platte Valley/Jefferson’s 11th-straight in the rivalry.
Nothstine finished with a game-high 21 points including 13 points in the fourth quarter.
McQueen had 14 points while Alex Mattson and Bliley each had four, Matt Jermain and Burch each had three and Wyatt Tobin and Miller each had two.
“That is what we need is just a little confidence,” Tim Jermain said. “We are definitely moving in the right direction.”
McIntyre led the Jays with 17 points while Boswell had 13 and Pride had 11. Lane Back had four, Swalley had three and Zach Pride had one.
Northeast Nodaway will travel to Nodaway-Holt on Tuesday while Platte Valley is set to host Union Star on Tuesday.