Cloud County Men Drop Conference Opener at Northwest Kansas Tech

Cloud County Men Drop Conference Opener at Northwest Kansas Tech

Having their worst shooting performance of the season, the Cloud County Community College men's basketball team would be dealt a 74-53 road loss to Northwest Kansas Tech inside of Max L. Jones Fieldhouse in Goodland, Kansas on Wednesday, November 17th.

Losing for the first time in five games, the T-Birds are now 4-2 overall and 0-1 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference while the Mavericks improved to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in league play.

Five early points by CCCC would stake Cloud County to a 5-2 lead in the opening two minutes of play, but the Northwest Tech would respond by scoring the next 10 points of the game while holding the T-Birds scoreless over a stretch of 6:22 to open a 12-5 lead just over eight minutes into the contest. Following a one-of-two trip at the free-throw line to break the scoring drought, Cloud County would pull back within five on a Justin Graham three-point play before giving up another 10-0 run that would make it a 24-9 lead for the Mavericks with 8:13 left in the first half.

Offensive struggles would continue for CCCC as the T-Birds would seemingly trade two-point buckets for threes by NW Tech with the lead growing to as many as 16 with 6:11 left before halftime. Cloud County would appear to be building some momentum by cutting the Maverick lead down to 12 at 29-17 following a Joe Kearney jumper, but Northwest Tech once again would have a response to push their lead back out to 17 at 39-22. Two free throws from Malang Athian and a Corey Sawyer Jr. layup would end the scoring for the T-Birds in the first half to get CCCC back within 13 at 39-26, but a buzzer-beating triple from Hantz Louis-Jeune would prove to be another momentum killer as NW Kansas Tech took a 42-26 lead into the break.

The Mavericks would jump out and push their lead to 20 in the opening seconds of the second half as both teams would trade buckets throughout the opening five-plus minutes of action in the second. six-straight points for CCCC would get the T-Birds back within 16 at 50-36 with 14:04 remaining in the contest, but two straight baskets from NW Tech would once again take the wind out of Cloud County's sails. As the second half progressed, it would be evident no matter what CCCC did the Mavericks would have a response with Cloud County unable to get any closer down the stretch while suffering their largest defeat of the young season.

Hitting just 34.7 percent (17-of-49) of their shots from the field, the T-Birds would struggle even more from beyond the arc by hitting on just two-of-25 (eight percent) of their attempts and finish minus 12 in the rebounding category (37-25). Leading CCCC on the night offensively would be Graham and Sawyer Jr. with 14 points each as no other play would score more than eight for Cloud County.

What's Next?
Cloud County will be back in action on Saturday, November 20th as the T-Birds will host number-nine ranked Hutchinson Community College for a 4 p.m. tip-off. The Blue Dragons remained undefeated on the season with a 96-91 road win at Independence on Wednesday night to move to 7-0 overall and 1-0 in the KJCCC.