CONCEPTION JUNCTION, Mo. – Platte Valley made plenty of mistakes in its season-opener against the King City Wildkats. Platte Valley made those mistakes while still taking down the Wildkats 44-27 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate.
“It’s exciting, I mean we did a lot of good things, but there are some things we can clean up,” Platte Valley coach Tyler Pedersen said. “We’re playing fast, and maybe faster than we’re comfortable with right now. That’s a process, you don’t just pick it up in three weeks of practice before the first game. It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve.”
Both offenses started slow in their first game of the season. The game was scoreless until King City’s Victoria Washburn connected on a three-pointer at the 5:42 mark of the first quarter.
Platte Valley’s first basket of the season came at the 4:30 mark off a three-pointer from Claire Galbraith. Kaylin LaMaster then connected on her first basket of the season on the Valley’s next possession.
Platte Valley scored on four-straight possessions late in the first quarter to take an 11-3 lead. LaMaster made two three-point attempts during that run. Platte Valley ended the first quarter on a 17-3 run.
“I think we were just getting used to it, getting it out, getting ready and improving,” LaMaster said.
The Wildkats started the second quarter with back-to-back threes to cut the lead to eight. Ashley Mattson then scored four-straight on a two-point field goal and two free throws to give Platte Valley a 21-9 advantage.
“I thought we played well, I thought coming in that it would take some time to get used to each other and how to play with the flow, but I thought we did a good job of adjusting,” Mattson said.
King City did what it could to trim the Platte Valley lead, but an 11-0 run at the end of the half was too much to overcome. The Valley ended the half with LaMaster’s third three-pointer of the game to take a 32-13 halftime lead.
“Kaylin has always been a great scorer and she definitely knocked down some shots for us,” Pedersen said.
The second half saw both teams struggle to score points. Ashley Mattson’s two-point field goal with 4:39 left in the third quarter gave Platte Valley its biggest lead to that point at 36-15.
“Ashley has that knack of being in the right spot,” Pedersen said. “I thought there was a couple of times where I felt like she needed to step to the pass, but she’ll get there.”
The third quarter scoring ended with a three-pointer from Hannah Wilmes to give Platte Valley a 40-19 lead. Pedersen rotated 10 different players through the third quarter but said how he works his rotation is still a work in progress.
“It’s a lot different, we had some injury question marks coming into this game and just some things changed last minute,” Pedersen said. “That’s just how it is, how it goes in basketball, but that’s something we’ll get figured out.”
Pedersen went even deeper into his bench in the fourth quarter with the game in-hand. The two teams combined for just eight points in the fourth quarter as Platte Valley cruised to a 17-point victory.
Mattson and LaMaster led the team in scoring on opening night. Mattson led with 13 points while LaMaster finished with nine. Jackie Pappert was third on the team with eight points.
Platte Valley will face King City at 4:45 on Monday in the opening round of the Albany Invitational.