Platte County senior Mackenzie Borland hits a shot during a recent competition. TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra

Platte County goes into White Division tournament after pair of strong 2nd-place finishes

Green, Ricketts, Borland continue to lead Pirates’ lineup ahead of Monday’s chase for an 8th straight conference championship.

Platte County seniors Mackenzie Borland and Lily Ricketts plus junior No. 1 Ella Green all medaled in Wednesday’s Smithville Invitational on The Posse Course at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex, sending the Pirates into the closing stretch of the season with some momentum. They shot a team 398 in the final tuneup before the Suburban Conference White Division tournament Monday at Hoot’s Hollow in Pleasant Hill and the Class 3 District 4 tournament next Friday in Jefferson City.

“The team placed well and the ladies all gained some confidence,” Platte County coach Trevor Short said. “We will use this as a good momentum-builder.”

Platte County finished second only to Smithville (373) in the seven-team field with Green also second in the individual standings with a 15-over 87, just one shot back of Smithville’s Cali Hatcher. Borland (93) placed fourth, while Ricketts (96) came in sixth. The top three — all returning starters — remain consistent presences for the Pirates, but the final two spots in the lineup have fluctuated throughout the season.

In the final regular season tournament, Platte County used sophomore Grace Handke (31st, 122) and junior Macie Garland (35th, 127), while sophomore Izzie Grell played in the field unattached to the varsity and placed 32nd with a 124. The Pirates will have an initial decision on who to play Monday at in the White Division Championships but could change again before districts.

Last year, Platte County won the conference title — a seventh straight after previously capturing the Blue Division crown the previous six years. Green won the individual championship while Ricketts finished third and Borland seventh to also medal. Green placed fourth as a freshman in the Blue Division.

Platte County posted a 345 and beat Grain Valley by 23 shots, and the two teams will likely battle atop the standings again this year.

Highway 92 Showdown

To avoid playing this event the day before leaving for districts, the teams moved the competition up to Tuesday with Excelsior Springs Golf Course hosting for the first time.

Platte County (189) finished second to Smithville by just four strokes with Kearney third and Excelsior Springs fourth. Green won the individual title with a 3-over 39, carding a birdie at No. 2 to help offset a bogey on the par 5 first. She added three pars and a second birdie on No. 9, ultimately topping runnerup Jessi Kutch of Kearney by six strokes.

Borland tied for third with a 46, while Ricketts (50) and Handke (54) rounded out the team score.

“This was the first time that most of our players had been to Excelsior Springs Golf Course, and I think we handled it very well,” Short said. “The course is in great shape, but the greens are on the smaller side. It takes some skill to adjust to new courses and greens every couple of days.”

Staley 193, Platte County 196, Central (St. Joseph) 207

The Pirates were a distant second to Staley, and Green posted the third-best score last Wednesday with a 43 at Staley Farms Golf Club in Kansas City.

Central’s Ali Perry (41) took medalist honors, while Staley’s Madi Zebeck came in second in a tight top three. Ricketts ended up fourth with a 45, while Borland (50) and sophomore Erin Anderson (58) rounded out the team score. Anderson played at No. 5 and continues to compete with Handke, Grell and Garland for playing time ahead of the final competitions of the season.

Grell played at No. 4 in this triangular and shot a 59.

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