By Morgan Guyer
Head Coach Tim Jermain fought back tears as he began to talk about the four seniors on the Platte Valley Boys Basketball Team in an interview room outside of the Hammons Student Center in Springfield on March 10. The team had just defeated Glasgow 81 – 45 to capture the Class 1 third place trophy at the State Championship. Those four seniors, Wyatt Miller, Memphis Bliley, Carter Luke and Matt Jermain have paved the way for the Platte Valley co-op, and are now bringing a trophy home.
Heading into the final four games, Platte Valley had hopes for taking home the State Championship. Those hopes were dashed however, when they ran into South Iron, losing 49 – 65 on March 9 inside Great Southern Bank Arena. South Iron would go on to win the championship, making it three in a row for them. Platte Valley was able to stick around early, as the game was tied 11 – 11 at the end of the first quarter. South Iron was able to extend their lead however, and Platte Valley was unable to mount a comeback.
If there was any concern that Platte Valley would head into the third place game hanging their heads, they were quickly done away with, as Platte Valley came out of the gates firing against Glasgow, starting the game on an 8 – 0 run, and forcing multiple turnovers. Memphis Bliley was hot from the field in his last ever high school basketball game, shooting 10 of 14 from the field with six threes, scoring 27 points to lead the way. In the end the result was never in doubt, and it was a dominant end to the season for Platte Valley.
“We got to play one more time together, and I thought they did a great job coming out ready to play,” Tim Jermain said. “They did a lot of great things. It has been fun watching them play.”
It’s a bittersweet moment for the seniors, and especially for Matt Jermain, who played his last game for his dad.
“It means a lot to me. Ever since I was little I’ve been around Jefferson, watching my dad coach. I’ve been around all my brothers playing, and I wanted to be like them when I was little,” Matt Jermain said. “To bring something back to the community means a lot.”